Week Ten Predictions
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In the blink of an eye we are already in week ten of the season. It seems like yesterday when it was 100 degrees outside and everybody was 0-0...Things are getting intense now as the teams at the top can begin to taste the College Football Playoff and dreams of a national title. The top-ranked game of the weekend is Ole Miss vs Auburn, but Georgia and TCU - two teams also near the Top 4 - face tough tests also in Florida (a rivalry game) and West Virginia (a very good team), respectively. With Florida State fighting for survival against Louisville as I type this, the weekend is off to an exciting start already! Here are my predictions for the games of week ten....
#18 Oklahoma (5-2) at Iowa State (2-5) - 12:00 - FOX Sports 1 - People would call me insane if I picked Iowa State to win here. I have been called worse, but at least this week I can keep "insane" off of the list as I will go with the visiting Sooners. Still, with ISU liking to pull upsets and shake things up from time-to-time, the thought crossed my mind. Fact is, though, as usual the Cyclones just aren't that good and Oklahoma has so many more players that will play on Sundays one day. Oklahoma is out of the CFP race, but a decent season can still be had so long as they don't cough up easy ones like this. Oklahoma 40-20.
North Carolina (4-4) at Miami (5-3) - 12:30 - ESPN3.com - The mystery of the ACC Coastal strikes hard here as I have absolutely positively no idea which of these two teams will show up. The Hurricanes are on a roll after traveling to Blacksburg and thumping the Hokies. North Carolina, meanwhile, has very near the worst defense in the NCAA giving up a 125th-ranked 41 points per game. That alone makes me want to pick Duke Johnson and crew. Miami, 35-26.
#7 TCU (6-1) at #20 West Virginia (6-2) - 3:30 - ABC regional - This matchup features two of the hottest teams in the country as the Horned Frogs have won their last two games by a combined 124-36 and West Virginia has won four-in-a-row, including a 24-point beat down of Oklahoma State on the road a week ago. I think both of these teams are legit Top 15 teams, but unfortunately one of them has to lose. I am going to go with West Virginia at home to set up a Big-12 Title Game in two weeks vs K-State, again in Morgantown. West Virginia, 37-30.
Florida (3-3) vs. #11 Georgia (6-1) - 3:30 - CBS - Will Muschamp knows he is as good as fired at the close of the season. It's over. But he could save his name a little bit in Gainesville if he can grab a win against the hated rival during his farewell tour. Things will be intense early, but Georgia is the better team - even with running back Todd Gurley out - and I think they keep their winning streak and CFP hopes alive with a win in Jacksonville. I still wish this game was a home-and-away type deal, but whatever. Georgia, 28-17.
USC (5-3) at Washington State (2-6) - 4:30 - PAC-12 Network - I never would have dreamed that the Mike Leach era would go so bad for Washington State. I had huge hopes for the Cougars with him coming aboard as coach in 2012, but none of what I was thinking would happen has happened. The Cougars are just not very good and they will most-likely lose again this Saturday to a pretty good - but not great - USC team. Woulda's and shoulda's and coulda's don't count, but the Trojans are about six or eight plays from being in the Top 4 or 5 in the country. All of their losses were close - an average of 4.33 points. They pick up a road win here. USC, 30-17.
#3 Auburn (6-1) at #4 Ole Miss (7-1) - 7:00 - ESPN - Very rarely do I pick against Auburn. Even on the road, the Tigers seem to find a way to scratch and claw their ways to wins as well as any team in America year-in and year-out. So in this one, even though I am leaning towards picking Ole Miss on their home field, I just cannot decide. The Rebels are having a special season and I would be surprised to see them fall apart now; the defense is too good and there are weapons on offense - namely LaQuan Treadwell at WR. But Auburn also has weapons and many of their players are used to big games like this. That said, with as sorry as I have picked this year, it might be a blessing to Ole Miss for me to pick against them again. Auburn, 30-24.
Stanford (5-3) at #5 Oregon (7-1) - 7:30 - FOX - Alright, Ducks. You're back in the hunt for the ever elusive "Natty" and most of America is ranking you in the Top 5. A trip to the playoffs is looking very real if you can just beat a team you should beat in your own crazy Autzen Stadium. The uniforms will be there. The fans will be there. The smokin' hot Oregon cheerleaders will be there. Samurai will probably be there...So Ducks, I ask you this: what do you do against Stanford? Do you drive one home with a big-time win? Do you get them off of your list with a thumping? Do you claim that the road for the Pac-12 title comes through downtown Eugene? Or do you fold to the pressure and see another year go by without a national title? We will soon see. Oregon, 28-17.
Tennessee (3-5) at South Carolina (4-4) - 7:30 - SEC Network - A Gamecock team with five losses hasn't been seen since 2010, and those in Columbia are going to do their best to keep it that way. After winning eleven games three years straight, Steve Spurrier and crew have their work cut out for them to go bowling in 2014. Tennessee comes into this game also needing a win to make this season more of a success. In Butch Jones' second season the Vols have suddenly stalled in the progress department. They have yet to win an SEC game after winning two a year ago, and the offense has really struggled (99th nationally at 24 points per game). I keep saying Jones will turn it around, but so far it looks like the same ole' Vols since Phil Fulmer stopped pacing the sidelines six years ago. South Carolina, 33-20.
#12 Arizona (6-1) at #22 UCLA (6-2) - 10:30 - ESPN - I have been told that my love for UCLA was "misguided" as I had them high in my preseason ranking only to see them lose back-to-back games in weeks five and six to Utah and Oregon. Turns out that the Utes and the Ducks are pretty decent teams, so my liking of UCLA isn't going out the window just yet. They can get me back on track with a nice win here over Arizona. The Wildcats have equally as bad of a defense as UCLA (81st and 88th nationally, respectively, in points given up), so look for a lot of points to be scored in this one. UCLA, 44-38.
#17 Utah (6-1) at #14 Arizona State (6-1) - I'm a fan of the Utes and pull for them when I can. I'd like to see them march on and move up the rankings, but I think this balanced Ute team (28th and 29th nationally in PPG offense and defense) hits a road block in Arizona State. The Sun Devils can play ball and they have home-field advantage. They also have a pretty good quarterback in Mike Bercovici, who has come alive since getting more action in the UCLA game. He has thrown for 1,245 yards and nine TDs in the last three games, and will look to guide ASU into the Top 10 after this weekend. Arizona State, 38-30.
* All rankings AP, All times EST
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