It is Week 11 in the 2019 NCAA Football season. Three more “real” weeks to go for most teams unless they make it to conference title games.
Now the fun begins! We get to see the games that will decide who the Final Four teams in the playoffs will be.
On the subject of playoffs, here are the initial rankings for the College Football Playoffs.
- Ohio State (8-0)
2. LSU (8-0)
3. Alabama (8-0)
4. Penn State (8-0)
5. Clemson (8-0)
6. Georgia (7-1)
7. Oregon (8-1)
8. Utah (8-1)
9. Oklahoma (7-1)
10. Florida (7-2)
One can certainly start an argument with the initial rankings. But any arguments will tend to clear up rather quickly as the final games progress.
Now, onto the picks for Week 11.
No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama (-6)
Here we go! This is the biggest conference game of the 21st Century to date, and just like the 1971 Oklahoma versus Nebraska game.
Forget about Tua Tagovailoa’s status for the game. He will play. It will be two Heisman Trophy candidates battling it out on the field, with Joe Burrow at the reins for LSU.
Both teams feature strong passing games and solid rushing games. Defenses are just as strong.
Odds makers are picking Bama to win. PU cannot fault that. The Saban “force” is strong, especially when playing at home.
Alabama wins but DOES NOT COVER the spread.
Maryland at No. 3 Ohio State (-42.5)
Ohio State has its last really weak team to play on Saturday, before the run for the Playoffs begin.
Maryland has lost four games in a row, and this makes number five. Ohio State prepares for the final by running up the score.
Ohio State wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 4 Clemson (-32.5) at N.C. State
In another boring game, Clemson continues to roll on in its undefeated season. There is no one left on the schedule to stop the Tigers until the Playoffs.
The only question is how Trevor Lawrence plays. Which version shows up will determine whether the Tigers cover the spread or not.
Clemson wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 5 Penn State (-7) at No. 13 Minnesota
This is another interesting game on tap for Saturday. The game will tell us whether each or both teams are for real this year.
Penn State has a tendency to be over ranked most seasons. Minnesota is the upstart that could turn the conference upside down.
Though the odds makers say Penn State by 7, PU does not believe. It is very conceivable the Golden Gophers could have the Nittany Lions break a leg in a gopher hole.
PU steps out on a very small limb and gives this one to Minnesota. The Gophers UPSET Penn State.
Missouri at No. 6 Georgia (-17.5)
Georgia turned in a solid performance in a tough fought game last week with Florida. Jake Fromm played well and is ramping up his game for the run at a conference title.
Missouri has little to play for this season after being ruled ineligible for a bowl game this year. They want to play spoiler, but have not the talent.
Georgia wins and COVERS the spread.
Iowa State at No. 9 Oklahoma (-14.5)
Oklahoma entertains Iowa State at home after a bye week and a previous week loss to Kansas State. The Sooner hopes for a Playoff spot dimmed considerably, but a string of blow out games is needed to provide any hope of consideration.
For Jaylen Hurts, his Heisman chances dimmed with the OU loss, but he is not out of the running. He needs big games to stay a contender.
Oklahoma wins and COVERS the spread.
Vanderbilt at No. 10 Florida (-26)
Florida is coming off another disappointing loss in the SEC, this time to Georgia. Both losses for the Gators have come from SEC Top 10 teams.
Vanderbilt struggles on offense, and their defense appears non-existent.
The Gators cannot be blamed for a letdown this week against this weak Vandy team.
Florida wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 7 Oregon – Bye Week
Oregon gets a well deserved rest after defeating USC in the Coliseum. The next three games will be nothing more than a tune-up for the Conference Championship to come.
No. 9 Utah – Bye Week
Utah gets a bye week before taking on UCLA at home. Normally, UCLA would be an easy win, but if that “other” Bruin team shows up, Utah could be in for a long game.
If Utah wins out, they play Oregon in the Conference Title game.
No. 11 Auburn – Bye Week
Auburn is another SEC two loss team, having lost both games to SEC Top ranked teams. Now they get a rest before resuming conference play with Georgia and Alabama looming.
If Auburn had been in any other conference than the SEC, they might have been undefeated at this point.
No. 11 Baylor (-1.5) at TCU
Baylor struggled badly last week against a lackluster West Virginia team. Now they get TCU, a team which plays better at home than on the road.
TCU has played solid teams well in losing efforts this season. This time, TCU exposes the weaknesses in a Baylor team that will be looking ahead to both Oklahoma and Texas.
TCU wins in an UPSET.
No. 14 Michigan – Bye Week
Michigan has performed better in the last couple of games, but not yet enough to keep Harbaugh as coach for another year. For Harbaugh to be safe, he has to win the only game which matters, the end of season match up against Ohio State.
Michigan uses the bye week to prep for the Buckeyes in three weeks time.
No. 15 Notre Dame (-8) at Duke
Notre Dame had another tough game, this time against Virginia Tech, where they won in the last minute. Now, they go on the road to Duke, in a game that can keep this Irish in hope for a New Year’s Day bowl game.
Notre Dame wins and COVERS the spread.
No. 18 Iowa at No. 16 Wisconsin (-9.5)
Both teams enter this week coming off bye weeks. Wisconsin needed the week off, especially after particularly devastating losses in previous weeks.
Iowa comes into the game with an identical 6-2 record, and the teams appear to be evenly matched.
Wisconsin gets the win in a close and hard fought game.
Wisconsin wins FAILS TO COVER the spread.
UConn at No. 17 Cincinnati (-35)
Cincinnati has quietly ascended the rankings, getting to #17 this week. They have done so, even with a humiliating loss to Michigan in the second game of the season.
UConn offers nothing to stop the Bearcats from obtaining another win, though the spread is a bit much.
Cincinnati wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No 19 Memphis – Bye Week
Memphis continues to impress with a resounding game against SMU, keeping their hopes for a New Year’s Day bowl game.
The bye week comes at an opportune time with Houston, USF and Cincinnati remaining to be played.
No. 20 Kansas State at Texas (-7)
Kansas State has been a nice surprise for the season. First year coach Chris Klieman has defeated Oklahoma to make a real statement on the season, and to defeat Texas would be the topping on the cake.
Texas needs the win badly and with home field advantage, it would be expected to prevail. But Kansas State has other ideas.
Kansas State wins in an UPSET!
Wyoming at No. 21 Boise State (-13)
Boise State continues its march to a conference title, this time entertaining 2 loss Wyoming as 13 point favorites. The losses for Wyoming had been for a combined 7 point deficient.
This game will test the Bronco’s talent, though it is a home game.
Wyoming wins in an UPSET!.
No. 22 Wake Forest (-2) at Virginia Tech
Wake Forest has been another pleasant surprise this year. They bring a 7-1 record to the home of the Hokies this week.
Virginia Tech has not had the season that they had hoped, carrying a 5-3 record to this point. But they play has been improving, leading to an almost win against Notre Dame, spoiled only by not scoring on a 2 point attempt in the last seconds of the game.
This time, with confidence increasing, Tech goes for the win.
The Hokies win in an UPSET!
East Carolina at No. 23 SMU (-21.5)
East Carolina impressed in an overtime loss to Cincinnati last week. SMU lost to Memphis at the same time in a shootout. Now these two meet in Texas.
Expect this game to be another shootout.
SMU wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Nevada at No. 24 San Diego State (-17.5)
San Diego State goes into this game with a 7-1 record, and with a bye week to prepare for Nevada, a 5-4 team with no signature wins and a blowout loss to Oregon.
The Aztecs have won seven games by an average of 9.6 points per game. Their season features a win against a scitzo UCLA team.
San Diego State wins but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No 25 Navy – Bye Week
Navy joins the Top 25 for the first time this year. They bring a 7-1 record into the bye week, where they prepare for Notre Dame on the 16th.
Unfortunately, this will be a short lived Top 25 stay, only lengthened by the bye week.
And there are the picks for the week. Enjoy the games and for those who bet, bet wisely and win.