Week 11 College Football Tips

The Johnny Manziel-led Texas A&M Aggies will be looking to keep their SEC West title hopes alive with an upset win over #1 Alabama.

It feels like just yesterday we were preparing for Alabama’s showdown with Michigan at Cowboys Stadium, but believe it or not, it’s only a few short weeks until we reach championship and Bowl season.

A number of big games take place this week that could decide, or at least go a long way to deciding, who represents the various conferences at their respective championship games. There’re also a few games that might have some influence on the National Championship picture.

While Oregon heads to California, Notre Dame challenges Boston College and Kansas State takes on TCU – all games that should go with the formbook – let’s take a look at this weekend’s ranked matchups and see how they might impact the final standings.

 

#15 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s set a scenario. If Alabama was to close out the season with losses to both A&M and Auburn, and the Aggies knocked off Mizzou in the last week of the regular season, Texas A&M would head to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. How would that be for an SEC debut?

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, nobody believes that Alabama is going to lose one game, let alone two, but, whilst there’s a possibility, maybe it’s worth a gamble?

The clash on Saturday will mark only the fourth encounter between the two sides, the last one coming in 1988. Alabama won that game and is 3-1 overall. Alabama had a tough outing against LSU last week, and showed for the first time that it may well be beatable. It’s up to Johnny Manziel and the Aggies to try and prove that the Tide is beatable.

Odds: Alabama opened as 15½-point favorites but that number has fallen to 14 ahead of kickoff. The over/under is 56.

Take: Alabama – Aside from slipups to Florida and LSU, Texas A&M has looked good this season, just not good enough to head Alabama off at the pass. The best the Aggies can hope for is to cover the spread, which is a good bet. Take the under on 56 points; both teams will be relying on defense on Saturday.

 

#11 Oregon State @ #17 Stanford

Oregon has all but been awarded the Pac-12 North title, and a place in the BCS Championship game, but in reality, were the Ducks to slip up, it’s possible that either the Cardinal or the Beavers could leapfrog the team from Eugene.

The team that stands a chance of doing just that will be decided this weekend at the Farm. Neither team will be mathematically eliminated this weekend, but the winner looks likely to have the best advantage heading into the final two weeks of the season.

Stanford convincingly leads the all-time head-to-head 50-25-3 and has won two on the bounce. However, Oregon State has won seven of the last 11.

Odds: Stanford is favored at home but an opening 5½ spread has fallen to four. The over/under is 45.

Take: Oregon State – This is a perfect opportunity to take the underdog. The Beavers have looked solid all season, while Stanford has had a few questionable moments. A win for Oregon State sets up a Civil War game for the North title. Take the over.

 

Arizona State @ #19 USC

Remember in the preseason when pundits and bookies had USC to win it all? Things haven’t exactly panned out that way, have they?

This weekend, Arizona State travels to Los Angeles knowing that a win will leapfrog the Sun Devils over the Trojans into second place in the Pac-12 South or, even better, first if UCLA loses to WASU later in the day.

USC meanwhile will be looking to right an unsteady ship and begin a charge to the title, thus making amends for a disappointing season. A win on Saturday, coupled with a UCLA loss would put the Trojans at the top of the table. Even if UCLA defeats the Cougars, a showdown with USC lies in wait next weekend.

USC is 18-10 all-time against Arizona State. However, the Trojans has an 11-game win streak shattered last season when the Sun Devils took a 43-22 victory in the desert. Arizona State has not won at the Coliseum since 1999.

Odds: USC opened as 10-point favorites, but action has seen the spread drop to nine. The over/under is 65.

Take: USC – The Trojans have not lost three straight since 2001 and look to have an offense strong enough to handle the Sun Devils, who have lost three straight themselves. Take USC to cover the spread and the total to go over.

 

BCS Top 25 Schedule (Week 11)

Ball State 34-27 #25 Toledo (Tuesday)

#10 Florida State 28-22 Virginia Tech (Thursday)

#15 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama

#2 Kansas State @ TCU

#3 Oregon @ California

#4 Notre Dame @ Boston College

#5 Georgia @ Auburn

Louisiana-Lafayette @ #6 Florida

#21 Mississippi State @ #7 LSU

Arkansas @ #8 South Carolina

#9 Louisville @ Syracuse

#11 Oregon State @ #14 Stanford

Baylor @ #12 Oklahoma

Maryland @ #13 Clemson

Penn State @ #16 Nebraska

Iowa State @ #17 Texas

#18 UCLA @ Washington State

Arizona State @ #19 USC

#20 Louisiana Tech @ Texas State

Kansas @ #22 Texas Tech

Army @ #23 Rutgers

#24 Northwestern @ Michigan

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