BCS National Title Game '11

BCS National Title Game '11
BCS National Championship 1/10/11 Oregon vs Auburn

Friday, November 9, 2012

College Football: Week 11 matchups to watch

The regular season begins to get closer and closer to the end and we once again have another weekend of trap games for the top four undefeated teams in the country. #1 Alabama hosts #15 Texas A&M in a game that could give the Crimson Tide a spot in the SEC Championship game. #2 Kansas State will travel down to TCU in what could be the toughest of their three remaining games. The Wildcats could potentially be without Heisman frontrunner quarterback Collin Klein and this could provide the Wildcat offense serious problems. #3 Oregon will travel down to Berkeley to take on a Cal team that is already out of bowl contention. The Ducks seem to always struggle when they play in Berkley and what better way for Cal to save their season then to pull the upset. #4 Notre Dame will travel to Boston College in what should be an easy victory. After last weekend though, you just never know how the Irish will play in this game. In other games, the #5 Georgia Bulldogs play at Auburn in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry Game. A win for the Dawgs would give them the SEC East and clinch them a spot in the SEC Championship game. #11 Oregon State will play at #14 Stanford in a game that will most likely eliminate one of these teams from having the opportunity to win the Pac-12 North Division. USC and UCLA will look for wins over Arizona State and Washington State, so they can battle it out next week at the Rose Bowl for a chance to win the Pac-12 South Division. Lastly, who would have thought that a game between Wisconsin and Indiana could potentially decide who moves on to the Big Ten Championship game.

ESPN College GameDay will be live from Aboard the USS San Diego 

matchup: Air Force @ San Diego State 

Saturday, November 10th

1. Wisconsin @ Indiana  12:00 PM ET ESPN2

- Ok, we all knew Wisconsin would probably win the Big Ten Leaders Division. We all just thought the Badgers would be battling it out with Purdue or Illinois. It is the Indiana Hoosiers that are in fact the contender, and will be playing their biggest home game since 2007. The Badgers have named senior Curt Phillips and junior transfer Danny O'Brien co-starters at the quarterback position. The big matchup in this game will be the the Badger's rushing attack against the Hoosiers defense. The Montee Ball and James White tandem is going to be a big problem for an Indiana defense that is giving up an average of 212.5 rushing yards per game. The good thing for the Hoosiers is that they are averaging 33.1 points per game. I think Wisconsin finds it within themselves to win this game and clinch the Big Ten Leaders Division. 

Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Indiana 17

2. #24 Northwestern @ Michigan  12:00 PM ET ESPN

- As of now, we are not sure if Denard Robinson will be starting. Michigan should be happy that Devin Gardner returned to quarterback from the wide receiver position and passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns last week against Minnesota. Head Coach Brady Hoke will no longer give injury updates on his quarterback. The Michigan defense continues to have the seventh best defense in the country, but has struggled to defend the run. Northwestern relies heavily on their running game with Venric Mark and Kain Colter. The Wildcats are currently averaging 236.4 rushing yards per game. The Wolverines need to win this game to have a chance at winning the Big Ten Leaders Division. On the flip side, the Wildcats are trying to stay in the race, but are most likely out as they have already lost two conference games with one coming against division leader Nebraska. If Denard Robinson can't go again, expect this to be a much closer game.  

Prediction: Michigan 24, Northwestern 19

3. #11 Oregon State @ #14 Stanford  3:00 PM ET FOX

- This game will most likely knock one of these teams out of the Pac-12 North Division race. Both teams have a lot in common. Both teams have had quarterback controversies and it is official that the Beavers will start junior Cody Vaz and the Cardinal will start redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan. Both quarterbacks were not starters midway through the season. Both teams also have the two top rushing defenses in the country. The only thing that separates these two teams is that the Beavers have quick wide receivers in Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks and the Cardinal have a strong physical running back in Stepfan Taylor. This should be a very good game and it will come down to which defense can convert more turnovers and give their offense better field position.  

Prediction: Stanford 26, Oregon State 23

4. #15 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama  3:30 PM ET CBS

- The Alabama Crimson Tide are coming off a dramatic win at LSU and look to lock up the SEC West Division with a win over the Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies still have a chance to win the SEC West Division if they can somehow pull the upset in Tuscaloosa. This game will pit the number one defense in the country against the number two offense in the country. The Crimson Tide gave up 17 points last week at LSU, which is the most points they have given up in a single game this season. The Crimson Tide defense gives up an average of 9.1 points per game and only 228.9 total yards per game. The Aggies offense led by Johnny Manziel continues to make this one of the most dangerous offenses in the country. The Aggies are currently averaging 573.5 yards per game. The Aggies played tough against LSU three weeks ago and will need to be able to run the ball and put points on the board if they expect to defeat the Crimson Tide. The Aggie defense will also have to contain a tough Crimson Tide offense led by AJ McCarron.

Prediction: Alabama 27, Texas A&M 20

5. Penn State @ #16 Nebraska  3:30 PM ET ABC/ESPN2

- Nebraska had an important come from behind victory last weekend at Michigan State to keep their lead in the Big Ten Legends Division. Penn State could be the second best team in the Big Ten and this game will prove if they are or not. The Huskers are currently averaging 255.1 rushing yards per game and are putting up 38 points per game. The Nittany Lion defense is giving up 122.4 rushing yards per game and only 17.1 points per game. Taylor Martinez will need to use his legs like last week to spread the Nittany Lion defense out. Martinez is currently averaging 215.6 passing yards per game and 74 rushing yards per game. The Huskers defense will have their hands full in this one as they face a solid Penn State offense led my Matt McGloin. This is going to be a tough home game for the Huskers and will likely be the last game where the Huskers will be challenged. This is going to be really close, but I give the Huskers an edge in this one because they are at home. 

Prediction: Nebraska 31, Penn State 27

6. #5 Georgia @ Auburn  7:00 PM ET ESPN2

- It's the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry and a lot is on the line for the Georgia Bulldogs. If the Dawgs win this game they are the SEC East Division champions and will head to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. The Auburn Tigers snapped their five game losing streak last week as they defeated non-conference foe New Mexico State 42-7. The Georgia offense is putting up 36.8 points per game. The struggling Auburn defense is going to have to contain quarterback Aaron Murray and an offense that continues to improve. Running back Todd Gurley has averaged 117.5 yards in the past two games and looks to do it again against an Auburn defense that is giving up almost 200 yards per game. As every statistic points towards the Dawgs winning big, I feel Auburn gives the Dawgs a better game than we all think. It is a huge rivalry game and Head Coach Gene Chizik is on the hot seat and is desperate for an SEC win this season. I think the Tigers surprise the country and make the Dawgs work for their SEC East title. 

Prediction: Georgia 31, Auburn 20

7. #21 Mississippi State @ #7 LSU  7:00 PM ET ESPN

- LSU is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Alabama and is now out of contention for the the SEC West Division. LSU still has a chance to be a BCS at-large team though. Mississippi State has finally faced reality these past two weeks as they were outscored by Alabama and Texas A&M 76-20. The Bulldogs will get their last difficult test of the SEC schedule this weekend and look to stay competitive in a hostile Death Valley atmosphere. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger played his best game of the season last week against Alabama by passing for 298 yards and one touchdown. The Bulldogs offense is going to have to score on the 2nd best defense in the country and they only put up seven points on Alabama. It could be another long game for the Bulldogs. 

Prediction: LSU 35, Mississippi State 14

8. #2 Kansas State @ TCU  7:00 PM ET FOX

- The real question coming into this game will be if Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein will be the starting quarterback when the Wildcats take the field. The Wildcats have taken care of business all season long on offense and defense. If Collin Klein is not able to go it will be up to redshirt freshman Daniel Sams to run the offense. Sams was five of six for 45 yards last week when he came in for Klein against Oklahoma State. Sams is unfortunately very inexperienced in game situations. The TCU Horned Frogs come off a big double overtime victory at West Virginia and look to make it two in a row. The Horned Frogs are currently averaging 33.9 points per game and the tough Kansas State defense will need to shut them down, especially if Klein is not able to go. Will this finally be the week the Wildcats fall?

Prediction: Kansas State 40, TCU 28 (If Collin Klein starts)
                    TCU 34, Kansas State 26 (If Collin Klein is out)

9. #4 Notre Dame @ Boston College  8:00 PM ET ABC

- This game should be easy for the Irish as the Eagles are just 2-7 on the season, right?  Did anyone see the Irish struggle to beat Pittsburgh at home last weekend? You can't count any team out against the Irish now. The Irish defense, which is led by linebacker Montee Te'o, continues to be the heart and soul of this team. The offense struggled for a majority of the game last week and finally clicked in the remaining minutes of the fourth quarter. Boston College has been terrible this season with their only wins coming against FCS-Maine and Maryland. An interesting fact about the Eagles is that they are currently averaging 289.2 passing yards per game. The Boston College passing game led by Chase Rettig is the only thing that will give them a chance of upsetting the Irish.

Prediction: Notre Dame 27, Boston College 12

10. #3 Oregon @ Cal  10:30 PM ET ESPN

- The Ducks are coming off a crazy and emotional victory over USC. Most teams come in hungover after a game of that magnitude, but not these Ducks. In recent years, The Ducks have struggled against the Golden Bears in Berkeley. A disadvantage that Cal has going into this game is that starting quarterback Zach Maynard will most likely be out. This Cal team is also probably the worst they have had this decade. Look for Heisman candidate Kenjon Barner to run all over this Golden Bear defense and put on another huge performance. You also can't say enough about redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota, who continues to put up solid performances each game and is not fazed by anything. This game might be over by halftime. I just can't see the Cal defense playing like they did two seasons ago.

Prediction: Oregon 48, Cal 21

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