N2K CFB Pick ‘Em – Week 11

Several lessons were learned last week. First – the criticism surrounding Texas A&M being fourth in the first College Football Playoff looked real, as they dropped one to Mississippi State. Second – never doubt Kevin when he’s positive TCU will win, no matter how bad they look (he’s the only writer to pick the Horned Frogs over Baylor). Third – if I want Notre Dame to win this season, then I absolutely have to pick against them in these articles.

We’re through 10 weeks, we’re getting into the heart of the season, and we have our updated records:

Tyler: 20 – 5 (149 – 39, 79.3%) Gabe: 17 – 8 (158 – 54, 74.5%) Sean: 18 – 7 (161 – 51, 75.9%)   TJ: 18 – 7 (129 – 53, 70.9%) Will: 16 – 9 (155 – 57, 73.1%) Mikey:  20 – 5 (156 – 56, 73.6%)  Kevin: 18 – 7 (91 – 32, 74%)

NOTE: Rankings are based upon the AP Top 25 Poll. To see the College Football Playoff Standings, check it out here.

Kevin is out this week because he’s concussed. Follow that protocol Kev.

 

BYE: UMass (unranked)

 

THURSDAY

 #15 UNC v. Duke

Tyler: UNC has played well all year long. They have more talent, and they’re a better coached team. Tarheels by 28.

Gabe: UNC by 14.

Sean: There’s not a cell in my body that wishes this wasn’t a basketball game. For as competitive as these teams are on the hardwood, the football rivalry lags well behind. Anyways, Mitch Trubisky leads the Tarheels to victory. UNC by 17.

TJ: UNC’s offense is far too strong and explosive for Duke and their 0-5 record within the ACC. There is hope for Blue Devil fans though, it is almost basketball season. Tarheels by 20.

Will: UNC continued their climb up the ACC ranks with a win against Georgia Tech. Not much will change against Duke. UNC by 10.

Mikey: I hate Duke. UNC by 28.

#13 Utah v. Arizona State

Tyler: Arizona State isn’t bad, but their defense is useless. Utah by 17.

Gabe: Utah by 7.

Sean: I really wanted to pick an upset here and take the Sun Devils, but then I saw their defense gives up 513 yards per game. That’s not good. Utes by 24.

TJ: Arizona State has surprised a lot of people this season, and Utah should be walking into enemy territory since the Sun Devil crowd will be rocking. If ASU can pull off this upset it will be a program sparking win. Sun Devils by 3.

Will: Utah has had two weeks to stew on their close loss to Washington, and I’m sure that’s all they’ve been able to think of. Expect Arizona State to sneaky get smashed. Utah by 20.

Mikey: Football school beats party school at football; at least ASU’s players get a nice after-party though. Utah by 45.

  

FRIDAY

Boston College v. #20 Florida State

Tyler: BC got embarrassed by Louisville at home last week. Expect much of the same on the road in one of the most hostile college football environments out there. ‘Noles by 22.

Gabe: FSU by 13.

Sean: What cruel person put together the BC schedule where they play Louisville and Florida State back to back? Also, when will Steve Addazio finally get fired? Seminoles by 30.

TJ: Sorry Eagles fans (myself included). Seminoles by 24.

Will: If BC only lost by 30 to Louisville, I’d give them a better chance in this one. FSU by 30.

Mikey: You know why. FSU by 31.  

 

SATURDAY 

#25 Baylor v. #9 Oklahoma

Tyler: Baylor got EXPOSED by TCU. I think that Oklahoma’s having an excellent run down the stretch, and if it wasn’t for a rough opening three weeks, we’d be looking at the Sooners for a potential playoff berth. Expect Baker Mayfield to continue his quest as a darkhorse Heisman candidate to get to a New Year’s Six bowl with his boys. Sooners by 12.

Gabe: Oklahoma by 13.

Sean: There once was a time where Baylor looked to try and make a move towards the College Football Playoff. Then, they lost in heartbreaking fashion to Texas and got blown out by TCU. Oklahoma, on the other hand, hasn’t lost in two months and has re-established themselves as the best team in the Big 12. Baker Mayfield is putting up huge numbers once again with the help of DeDe Westbrook. Sooners cruise by 26.

TJ: On paper, this will a marquee matchup but Baylor’s defense is terrible and their offense hasn’t been playing much better so they’ll be running into a brick wall at Oklahoma. Sooners will take this one by 15.

Will: Baylor is on such a skid that in a big game like this, Oklahoma will be far too much for them to handle. Oklahoma is on the opposite side of Baylor, they’ve been surging recently and along with having home field advantage, Oklahoma has the upside.  Oklahoma by 10.

Mikey: Team trending down vs. team trending up; I’ll take the one on the come-up. Oklahoma by 14. 

Mississippi State v. #1 Alabama

Tyler: Mississippi State played a complete game against Texas A&M. I think that, emotionally speaking, they’ll be ready for Alabama. However, the Tide’s talent is simply too great. The Bulldogs successfully contained Trevor Knight and Jake Hubenak, but Jalen Hurts is more dynamic than both of them. Expect the better ‘Bama defense to suffocate the Mississippi State offense. Tide by 17.

Gabe: ‘Bama by 20.

Sean: Mississippi State ended Texas A&M’s CFP hopes last week with a shocking upset over the Aggies. Back to reality against the Tide, who completely shut down Leonard Fournette for the second straight season. ‘Bama by 28.

TJ: ‘Bama by 40.

Will: Is there any question that Alabama won’t win by 40? Alabama by 40.

Mikey: Conference game keeps the point differential lower than the talent differential in this one. Alabama will dominate again. Tide by 24.

 South Carolina v. #22 Florida

Tyler: South Carolina sucks offensively, and Florida’s defense is elite, even if they got embarrassed. Florida will bounce back. Gators by 10.

Gabe: Florida by 13.

Sean: Florida got dominated for a whole 60 minutes by Arkansas last week. South Carolina has an anemic offense, while Florida has a defense with NFL caliber athletes all over it. In The Swamp, the Gators shouldn’t have a problem. Florida by 20.

TJ: Florida by 22.

Will: Florida has to bounce back after a tough loss to Arkansas. Florida by 20.

Mikey: Florida by 21.  

#11 West Virginia v. Texas

Tyler: I don’t care if this is a home game for the Longhorns. West Virginia has scored 24 or more points in all but two games this season. Texas’ defense can’t stop a nosebleed, much less a Mountaineer offense. WVU by 24.

Gabe: WVU by 3.

Sean: This should be one of the better games of the weekend. Last time West Virginia went out of Morgantown, they lost to Oklahoma State. Charlie Strong and his Texas team seem to be building momentum following a win over Baylor. I chose OSU to beat West Virginia two weeks ago, and they came through for me. I hope Texas does the same this weekend. Longhorns by 7.

TJ: The Longhorns have been very streaky this season, almost as though they have two different teams. The outcome of this matchup depends on which Texas team shows up. I’ll roll with the Mountaineers by 3.

Will: This is tough one considering how up and down Texas has been all year. On the other hand, West Virginia hasn’t had a standout win this year that leads me to believe they can come out of Texas with a win. Texas by 3. 

Mikey: The Longhorns are starting to look really good again as of late, and I think Strong will keep them especially motivated against a ranked conference opponent. Texas by 7.

 #12 Penn State v. Indiana

Tyler: Penn State is rolling, and they’ll show out for TJ. Nittany Lions by 10.

Gabe: Penn State by 20.

Sean: I’m very jealous that TJ is going to this game. Penn State is one of the hottest teams in the country, relying on their defense and future NFL star running back Saquon Barkley. Indiana has won two straight… against the worst teams in the Big 12. Nittany Lions by 27.

TJ: I’ll actually be attending this game in Indiana and it should be one hell of a matchup. I expect this to potentially be the game of the season because Indiana is extremely underrated and Penn State has been climbing the AP Poll ranks quickly over the last few weeks. Will the Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow be able to outshine the Nittany Lions’ running back Saquon Barkley? I don’t know who give the edge to, so I’ll just guess Penn State by 4.

Will: Shoutout to TJ driving 15 hours to see Penn State whoop Indiana.  Penn State by 20.

Mikey: They are riding high off that big win over OSU and will just maintain the momentum this week against the Hoosiers. PSU by 10.

 #8 Auburn v. Georgia

Tyler: There’s just no chance Georgia will stop Auburn, the hottest team in college football. War Eagle by 21.

Gabe: Auburn by 17.

Sean: The Tigers are absolutely cooking. Sean White should be just healthy enough to give it a go against Georgia, and that’s all they should need. Carl Lawson and the rest of the Auburn front seven will be asked to both get after Jacob Eason and stop Nick Chubb on the ground. I think they’ll do that and then some. Auburn by 13.

TJ: Running back Kamryn Pettway will carry the load for Auburn and I expect the them to trump the Bulldogs behind a stellar performance by the Tigers’ star. Tigers by 10.

Will: Auburn is on the type of streak where it’s real tough to find a matchup where they are the underdogs. Even on the road, Auburn will handle Georgia fine. Auburn by 14.

Mikey: There isn’t a hotter team right now than the Auburn Tigers, and Georgia won’t be able to do anything to stop them. Auburn by 21.

 Pittsburgh v. #3 Clemson

Tyler: Pittsburgh is solid. Clemson is the best damn team in the country. Clemson by 24.

Gabe: Clemson by 18.

Sean: Clemson seems to be getting better as the year goes on, while Pittsburgh has lost two straight. DeShaun Watson continues his quest to hunt down Lamar Jackson for the Heisman. Tigers by 38.

TJ: Clemson by 24.

Will: On to the next one. Clemson by 50.

Mikey: Pitt isn’t bad, but c’mon. Clemson by 38.

 Georgia Tech v. #18 Virginia Tech

Tyler: Jerod Evans is playing as well as any quarterback in the ACC, if not the entire country. Expect that to continue at home. Hokies by 14.

Gabe: VA Tech by 7.

Sean: Jerod Evans is getting absolutely no respect. 21 touchdowns to two interceptions is remarkable in a tough ACC with a couple of great defenses. The Hokies defense is very stingy, especially against the run. VT by 15.

TJ: I liked Georgia Tech before the season but I’m not too convince in their football team at this point, at least not as impressed with them as I have been with Virginia Tech. VT by 9.

Will: Virginia Tech has been streaky lately, but Georgia Tech is not the team I expect to disrupt them even more. V-Tech by 7.

Mikey: The Hokies are the most underrated team in the nation, and they should have a chance at a New Year’s Six Bowl. Easy win here. Hokies by 27.

 #6 Ohio State v. Maryland

Tyler: Did last week’s win against a 9th ranked- Nebraska tell you Ohio State still has one of the most complete teams in the country? Bucks by 22.

Gabe: Ohio State by 24.

Sean: Aw… Maryland… Michigan and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks? Buckeyes by 54.

TJ: Ohio State just missed out on the playoffs last year, and they are on pace to barely miss out on the playoffs this year so I expect this to be a huge statement win. Buckeyes by 49.

Will: After this one, I don’t think Maryland will be able to recover from the past two weeks. Ohio State by 30.

Mikey: Urban Meyer > MD’s coach. OSU by 35.

 Texas Tech v. #17 Oklahoma State

Tyler: I’m feeling this upset, mostly because I’ve gone against Patrick Mahomes II several times this season. He’s too good to ignore, and in these Big XII shootouts, anything can happen. I’ll go with the Red Raiders by 3.

Gabe: Texas Tech by 14.

Sean: If you don’t like defense, tune into this game at 3:30 on Saturday. Texas Tech has lost four out of five and Oklahoma State hasn’t lost in over a month. Oklahoma State gest in done at home. Cowboys by 24.

TJ: Red Raider quarterback Patrick Mahomes II is the best Heisman candidate you don’t know about. Oklahoma State’s offense is strong but their defense is not. Mahomes II will shred the Cowboys’ secondary so I’m picking Texas Tech by 12.

Will: As long as Oklahoma State keeps scoring plenty of points, like they have, Texas Tech won’t be able to outscore them.  Oklahoma State by 20.

Mikey: This screams shootout, so I’ll give the edge to the home squad. OKSU by 10.

 Illinois v. #7 Wisconsin

Tyler: Very real chance Illinois gets shut out in this one. Badgers by 17.

Gabe: Wisconsin by 20.

Sean: You wont find a tougher team in all of America than the Wisconsin Badgers. They play gritty and tough for four quarters every Saturday. Big boy football lives in Wisconsin. Badgers by 20.

TJ: Badgers by 28.

Will: People forget that Lovie Smith coaches for Illinois. Wisconsin by 24

Mikey: 3-6 vs. 7-2 – that’s reason enough. Badgers by 30.

 #24 Boise State v. Hawaii

Tyler: Boise State should enjoy a win and some Hawaiian sunshine this Saturday. Broncos by 10.

Gabe: Boise State by 7.

Sean: The Rainbow Warriors might have the best team nickname in all of sports. But team names don’t lead to wins. Boise State by 31.

TJ: Boise State Broncos by 22.

Will: That blue turf baby!!  Boise State by 23.

Mikey: Just doesn’t feel like an upset to me. Boise State by 25.

 Wake Forest v. #5 Louisville

Tyler: Tim Duncan went to Wake Forest. Except he was a basketball player. Louisville by 44.

Gabe: Louisville by 30.

Sean: Bruh. Louisville by 52.

TJ: Lamar Jackson. Cardinals by 42.

Will: Wouldn’t be shocked if Lamar Jackson reached 50 total TDs by the end of this game. Louisville by 35.

Mikey: I seriously believe Harambe is Lamar Jackson’s spirit animal considering his play this season. Louisville by 49.

 #19 LSU v. Arkansas

Tyler: Arkansas got themselves back on track with a complete victory over the Gators last week by holding Florida to 12 (!!!) rushing yards on 14 attempts. Granted, no one on Florida’s offense is as good as Leonard Fournette, but the key was to start hot. If Arkansas can go get a lead after the first quarter, it puts pressure on the Tigers to throw the ball. While their passing offense isn’t as inept as it was at the beginning of the season, it still isn’t where it needs to be. Razorbacks by 3.

Gabe: Arkansas by 4.

Sean: Leonard Fournette got shut down by a dominant Alabama team for the second straight year. The LSU defense really stepped up for the first 50 minutes, but you can’t blame them for the loss. Arkansas is a tough team to pick because of their inconsistencies the last month or so. Fournette has a big bounce back game this weekend. Bayou Bengals by 21.

TJ: Arkansas has been playing spoiler all season it seems, and I predict them to play it once more against LSU. Razorbacks by 2.

Will: Coach O exceeds past Bret Bielema by a mile. LSU by 6.

Mikey: Fournette is a machine, and I can’t see how Arkansas stops him. LSU by 3.

 Minnesota v. #21 Nebraska

Tyler: Regardless of if Tommy Armstrong Jr. is in this one or not, he won’t be 100%. I’m leaning towards the Golden Gophers in this one. Minnesota by 6.

Gabe: Minnesota by 3.

Sean: I’m floored how Tommy Armstrong Jr. isn’t being held out of this one. It hasn’t been said whether he’ll suit up and play or be held out after getting knocked out cold last week. You can’t question his toughness. One thing you can question is the level of legitimacy for this 7-2 Minnesota team. They’ve won four straight, but have faced the four worst teams in the Big 12. Tommy Armstrong or no Tommy Armstrong, the Cornhuskers win this game by 10 without Armstrong and 30 with him.

TJ: Minnesota has been sneaky good this year but the Cornhuskers of Nebraska have been just plain good. I’ll pick the Cornhuskers in a tight matchup, Nebraska by 3.

Will: After a debilitating loss to Ohio State, Nebraska can easily bounce back against Minnesota.  Nebraska by 17.

Mikey: Minnesota just doesn’t really have much of a chance in this one. Nebraska by 20.

 Ole Miss v. #10 Texas A&M

Tyler: Was going to be a good game until Chad Kelly (Swag) and Trevor Knight both got hurt. The Rebels, at this point, are in complete disarray. Aggies by 14.

Gabe: Texas A&M by 3.

Sean: Chad Kelly (swag) and Kenny Trill Hill are both hurt for this one, and as a fan of college football I feel jipped of what would be matchup of a highlight filled football game. TAMU can rely on future #1 overall pick Myles Garrett to carry them to victory. Aggies by 18.

TJ: Texas A&M’s playoff dreams were shattered last weekend so they’ll either be optimistic or pessimistic this week. Their attitude will determine the outcome of the game. Aggies by 14.

Will: No Chad Kelly, not shot for Ole Miss. Texas A&M by 28.

Mikey: Both teams might be without their starting QBs, but across the board, A&M just has too much talent. Aggies by 28.

 USC v. #4 Washington

Tyler: USC has talent and I don’t think Washington is real. I’m running out of time before it’s playoff time, and if it’s going to happen, it’ll happen when it’s least expected. Trojans by 3.

Gabe: Washington by 24.

Sean: Washington is one more win away for quieting the haters about whether they belong in the playoffs. Tell that to an offense that puts up almost 50 a game and 500 yards a game with a quarterback like Jake Browning, and watch them go to work. Sam Darnold has been excellent for USC since he took over, but Jake Browning is on a different level than just about anyone else. Huskies by 28.

TJ: Washington just has no slowing down in their sights. They need to be careful against the Trojans though because they have the talent to upset them. Although USC has the talent I don’t think they have the execution. Huskies by 20.

Will: With no more Texas A&M to worry about, Washington controls their own destiny in making the College Football Playoff.  Washington by 17.

Mikey: UW is for real, and they’ll get to show it this week against the Trojans in a primetime game. Huskies by 17.

 #2 Michigan v. Iowa

Tyler: I thought Iowa was going to upset Penn State last week. Oops. Michigan by 30.

Gabe: Michigan by 7.

Sean: Almost 500 yards of offense and allowing less than 250 yards a game, how do you beat this Michigan team? You don’t. Jabrill Peppers won’t let it. Wolverines by 33.

TJ: Wolverines by 24.

Will: If I were Iowa, I would just fast forward to next week. Michigan by 30.

Mikey: It may seem bold to pick them by so much, but the Wolverines are just on a tear right now and are clicking in all phases of the game; good luck, Iowa. Michigan by 38.

 #16 Colorado v. Arizona

Tyler: Colorado is a better team than Arizona. Buffs by 17.

Gabe: Colorado by 18.

Sean: Buffaloes are one of the feel good stories of the year. Arizona is not. Colorado by 25.

TJ: Colorado by 22.

Will: Hopefully Colorado can pull this one out, because next week would be an awesome Pac-12 matchup against Washington State. Colorado by 10.

Mikey: Arizona sucks. Colorado by 28.

 California v. #23 Washington State

Tyler: Washington State’s offense is STRONG. Coming home against a relatively suspect Cal D is ideal for them. WSU by 17.

Gabe: Washington State by 21.

Sean: The over/under on the amount of times the ball will be run in this game is probably 15. I’ll take the under and the Cougars over the Golden Bears at home. WSU by 29.

TJ: Who would have thought that the state of Washington would a titan for college football this season? I’ve always liked Washington State, they have a good story and a great AD that worked his magic at Oregon and now at WSU. Cal is strong but not strong enough to beat Washington State. Cougars by 30.

Will: Washington State and Mike Leach about to take the country by storm. Washington State by 14.

Mikey: Surprised to see WSU up this high; I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt against a sub-.500 team. Washington State by 16.

 BONUS – Army v. Notre Dame

Tyler: I do think the Irish will win this game. But if I pick them, they won’t win. I’ll let my winning percentage take a minor dive. Army by 1.

Gabe: Notre Dame by 14.

Sean: Notre Dame by 14.

TJ: The Fighting Irish are favored in this game but Army has been very formidable this season and I have zero faith in ND to win games that they should. The Black Knights from West Point by 5.

Will: Notre Dame just lost to Navy last week, so I’m going with the military sweep. Army by 10.

Mikey: It’s Veterans’ Day this weekend, so go Army! Army by 10.

 

Cover Photo from Football Scoop

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