Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Key College Football Matchups For Week 11


I’d like to tell you that there is a huge game in college football, but there isn’t a single one that is appointment television. What there is this weekend is plenty of games that we should be keeping an eye on for the simple fact that they have conference title implications and will get some national title attention. Let’s take a look.

Saturday - Georgia Tech at Duke (ABC/ESPN, 12:00 p.m.)
Texas Tech
Texas Tech (5-4 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) is still a work in progress this year, but they have a chance to hurt Oklahoma's (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS) Big XII South dreams on Saturday. The Red Raiders have won two of their last three games. More importantly for Tommy Tuberville's team, they figured out they have a starting quarterback in Taylor Potts as he guided Tech to a 24-17 home win over Missouri. The Sooners are feeling a little dumstruck right now after getting schooled by Texas A&M last weekend in a 33-19 loss on the road. The most glaring issue from that contest that could affect Oklahoma this weekend is that they had three goal-line stands mounted by the Aggies. Despite that loss, the Sooners are still just one loss behind Oklahoma State in the Big XII South. Texas Tech has won two of the last three meetings agianst OU, but that was with Mike Leach running the show. Yet the Sooners are 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS. Plus, Oklahoma is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS when listed as home favorites after a loss as road faves over the last five years.
Saturday - Penn State at Ohio State (ABC/ESPN, 3:30 p.m.)
Penn State
Ohio State
This series has been one of the better matchups that the Big Ten has to offer, but only Ohio State (8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) has a chance to take home the conference title. The Buckeyes weren't on the field last weekend because of the bye, but they have rolled off two straight wins after the loss in Madison by the combined score of 101-10. The week off is more of a blessing for OSU's defensive line, who has been a bit banged up. Penn State (6-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) has won three straight games in large part to Evan Royster in the backfield and Matt McGloin under center. All McGloin has done in place of Robert Bolden is connect on 59% of his passes for 551 yards with 7 touchodwns and just one interception. Yet Penn State has had issues with QBs that can run or pass the ball this season. That spells good things for Terrelle Pryor, who has connected on 57% of his throws for 351 yards and two passing scores for his career against the Nittany Lions, with one rushing touchdown for good measure. PSU will have its work cut out for itself in this game as the Bucks are 3-1 SU and ATS in the last four meetings. Ohio State is also 3-1 SU and ATS when posted as a home favorite after a 14 days off, dating back to 1996.
Saturday - San Diego State at TCU (Versus, 4:00 p.m.)
San Diego State
You'd like the think that TCU (10-0 SU, 5-4 ATS) has done enough to put itself in the national title spotlight. And they really have as far as I'm concerned. Yet this weekend is a prime spot for the Horned Frogs to suffer a letdown against San Diego State (7-2 SU, 3-3-1 ATS). The Aztecs have quietly put together a quality campaign in Brady Hoke's second year running the program. SDSU did get lucky last weekend with a 24-19 home win over Colorado State. The Aztecs got 151 rushing yards and a touchdown from Ronnie Hillman, while Brandon Sullivan made his way into the end zone once via the ground and through the air. SDSU needed that effort because they turned the ball over five times against the Rams. It's a good thing that San Diego State's 33rd-ranked defense (336.3 YPG) was able to allow CSU to turn those into just 10 points. The Aztecs are capable of playing up to big challenges as they came very close to beating Mizzou earlier in the season. TCU has owned this series with a 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS mark since 2005. There is a reason to fade the Horned Frogs this week as they've gone 4-0 SU and 1-3 ATS in their last four as home favorites coming off of a 30+ point win.
Saturday - South Carolina at Florida (ESPN, 7:15 p.m.)
South Carolina
The SEC East crown is on the line in Gainesville this weekend when South Carolina (6-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) takes on Florida (6-3 SU, 4-4-1 ATS). The Gamecocks are entering this game licking their wounds after a 41-20 loss at home to Arkansas in which they were never in contention for the game. Carolina's secondary gave up 303 yards to Ryan Mallet, which has been a big issue for them in its last few games since beating the Crimson Tide. The Gators should consider themselves lucky to still be in this race after a three-game slide, the first of Urban Meyer's career. But UF picked up a big 34-31 OT win over the Bulldogs in Jacksonville that spilled over into its 55-14 win at Vanderbilt. John Brantley has been exceptionally sharp under center in these last two games for the Gators, completing 63% of his passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns. This could be just the game he was looking for to break out on national television. South Carolina beat the Gators 30-22 back in 2005. Since that game, Florida has gone 4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS. Plus, the home teams have gone 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings of this series.

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