Monday, January 4, 2016

CFB Playoff National Championship Game: Pick/Predictions

There is one more game left in this college football season and it's the biggest one of them all, the national championship game between #1 Clemson and #2 Alabama.  Both of these teams will be ready to play, and motivated, but whoever goes out there and executes the most will likely be the winners.  Here are my CFP National Championship game pick/predictions:


National Championship Game
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#2 Alabama (13-1) vs #1 Clemson (14-0) (8:30 PM ET, on ESPN, in Glendale, Arizona)

My pick: #2 Alabama defeats #1 Clemson 27-13

Watch to watch for: Alabama's defense.  Alabama's defense played great vs Michigan State in their last game, but they'll face a tough challenge vs #1 Clemson who has a very talented and well coached offense.  But, I think that the Tide defense will show up and play well, and I see their defense being a large part in a game I think they'll win to secure their 16th national championship.

My thoughts/reasons: Both of these teams have had great seasons, and they're both very deserving.  But either Bama's gonna win their 4th national championship in 7 seasons, or Clemson will complete the first undefeated season in the CFP era, and get their second ever national championship.  So something's gotta give, and I see Bama ending up with the victory in the end to complete their national championship run.
Photo credit: Smiley N. Pool - Dallas Morning News
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This college football season has been a fun one, and it'll come to an end when Alabama-Clemson is over on the night of January 11th.  I hope you've enjoyed the CFB season so far, and you continue to enjoy it in the last game of the CFB season between Alabama and Clemson!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

College Football Playoff 2015: Picks/Predictions

This CFB season has been really fun, and it's about to get even better.  Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma have all had very, very successful seasons.  But these teams aren't done yet, there's still some work to do if they want to become the second ever CFP National Champions.  Here are my CFP 2015 picks/predictions.








ORANGE BOWL

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#4 Oklahoma (11-1) vs #1 Clemson (13-0) (4:00 PM ET, on ESPN, in Miami Gardens, Florida) UPSET

My pick: #4 Oklahoma defeats #1 Clemson 38-35

What to watch for: Oklahoma's running game.  Oklahoma has a very talented QB in Baker Mayfield, that can pass, but also run the ball very well, along with RBs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon who are very talented also.  In this game, I think it'll be important for the Sooners to run the ball against Clemson, not that passing isn't important in this game for Oklahoma, but because Clemson is ranked 11th in the FBS in stopping the pass, and 32nd (which is still good, but not as good as their rank in stopping the pass) in stopping the run.  So, I think it'll be important for the Sooners to get their yardage on the ground in this one instead of in the air because it'll probably be harder for Oklahoma to have success in the air (not that they can't, though).  In the end, I see Oklahoma pulling out the victory in a close one to advance to the 2015 National Championship game.

My thoughts/reasons: Clemson and Oklahoma have both had very good seasons, this season.  But someone's obviously gotta win in this game, and someone's obviously gotta lose, and as tough as it is for me to pick against Clemson again after I have multiple times this season.  I think Oklahoma will come up big to keep their championship hopes alive.

Photo credit: Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports
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COTTON BOWL                                                                                                              

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#3 Michigan State (12-1) vs #2 Alabama (12-1) (8:00 PM ET, on ESPN, in Dallas, Texas)

My pick: #2 Alabama defeats #3 Michigan State 31-14                                                      

What to watch for: Alabama's defense.  Anyone who follows college football should know that Alabama has a very good, and talented defense.  Although Bama has a very talented defense, they will be facing a pretty good Michigan State offense who will pose a challenge.  But I think in this game, Bama's defense will be too much for the Spartans to handle, and I see the Tide getting the victory to advance to the National Championship game.

My thoughts/reasons: Bama and Michigan State have both had very successful seasons so far, but I'm sure both of these teams are looking for more than what they currently have in terms of accomplishments this season.  But in this game, I see Alabama getting their redemption and winning over Michigan State after losing to a Big-10 team last season in the CFP semifinals.

Photo credit: Marvin Gentry - USA Today Sports
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There are many college football bowl games that should be fun, and these two CFB playoff games are the biggest of them all, and they should be lots of fun.  So enjoy!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Notable 2015 College Football Bowl Games: Picks/Predictions (Non-CFP games)

After another exciting college football regular season, we head into bowl season where teams are trying to get that extra victory, and teams that got left right out of the CFPs are trying to make a statement, and the teams that did make it are trying to win it all.  Here are my 2015 College football bowl game picks/predictions.

NON-PLAYOFF BOWL GAMES

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL
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#10 North Carolina (11-2) vs #17 Baylor (5:30 PM ET, on ESPN, in Orlando, Florida)

My pick: #10 North Carolina defeats #17 Baylor 34-20

What to watch for: North Carolina's defense.  North Carolina has made a big improvement on the defensive side of the ball from last season to this season, and I think in a game vs a Baylor offense that was explosive but now beat up, I think the UNC defense will show up a play well enough to get the victory in the Citrus Bowl.

My thoughts/reasons: I think that North Carolina will come into this game looking like a team that has something to prove, while I think Baylor will look a little deflated because of where they were and where they are now.  So I see North Carolina getting the victory in the end to finish off the season strong.
Photo credit: Gerry Broome - AP
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CHICK-fil-A PEACH BOWL                                                                                   

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        #18 Houston (12-1) vs #9 Florida State (10-2) (12:00 PM ET, on ESPN, in Atlanta, Georgia)

        My pick: #9 Florida State defeats #18 Houston 38-24

       What to watch for: Florida State's running game.  Florida State has one of the best running backs in the nation in RB Dalvin Cook, who has had a tremendous season.  I think that Houston will try to do their best slowing down Cook and that FSU running game, but I think the Seminoles will be too much for the Cougars to handle, and I see Florida State getting the win to win the Peach Bowl, and get to 11 wins on the seasons.

My thoughts/reasons: Houston has had a great season under first-year head coach Tom Herman, and I think they'll continue to build off of this great season that they have had, but I think Florida State's talent and physicality as of right now will get the Seminoles the win in this game.

Photo credit: Mark Wallheiser - AP
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      OUTBACK BOWL


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       #13 Northwestern (10-2) vs #23 Tennessee (8-4) (12:00 PM ET, on ESPN2, in Tampa, Florida) 
     UPSET

My pick: #23 Tennessee defeats #13 Northwestern 27-10

What to watch for: Tennessee's defense.  Tennessee's defense has played really well at some points of the season, and they've struggle at other points.  But I think in this game, their defense and their physicality will wear down Northwestern, and give the Wildcats a hard time on offense.  So I see the Vols' defense being a big part in a win to get them to 9 wins on the season and to get them an Outback Bowl victory to end their season on a good note.

My thoughts/reasons: Northwestern has been one of the surprise teams of the season, but I think in this game they'll fall short, and suffer their third loss of the season, this time to Tennessee who I think will be just to strong and tough for Northwestern to handle in the end.

Photo credit: Adam Lau - News Sentinel
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CITRUS BOWL

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#14 Michigan (9-3) vs #19 Florida (10-3) (1:00 PM ET, on ABC, in Orlando, Florida) UPSET

My pick: #19 Florida defeats #14 Michigan 17-14

What to watch for: Florida's defense.  Florida has needed as much help as they could possibly get from their defense ever since their offense started going down hill, and in this game, I see their defense playing well, and executing the way they need to.  Also, Michigan hasn't really looked like the same team ever since their 27-23 loss to Michigan State on October 17th, and I think that they'll continue to struggle to hit their stride in this game as well, and although Florida hasn't looked great at all either recently, I see Florida pulling off the Citrus Bowl victory to improve to 11-3 on the season.

My thoughts/reasons: These are two teams who have done great under first year head coaches, and I think they'll continue to build their programs off of this season, but somebody's gotta win, and somebody's gotta lose, and I see Florida being the team getting the win and Michigan being the team that falls short in a game that I think will be close and low scoring.

Photo credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
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FIESTA BOWL                                                                                                         

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       #8 Notre Dame (10-2) vs #7 Ohio State (11-1) (1:00 PM ET, on ESPN, in Glendale, Arizona)

      My pick: #7 Ohio State defeats #8 Notre Dame 31-24

     What to watch for: Ohio State's running game.  Ohio State has one of the best running backs in college football in RB Ezekiel Elliott, and I think they'll use him and the rest of the Buckeyes' running game successfully in a game I think the Buckeyes will come out victorious in.  Also, The Fighting Irish's running defense (62nd in the FBS) isn't as good as their passing defense (26th in the FBS), so I think Ohio State will find a way to get the victory, mainly behind their running game.

My thoughts/reasons: Both teams have fell short of their goal this season, so both of these teams could come into this game deflated or motivated, and I think both of these teams will come in pretty motivated.  But I think that Ohio State will find a way with their experience to pull out a close victory to win the Fiesta Bowl.

Photo credit: Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports
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ROSE BOWL                                                                                                            

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#6 Stanford (10-2) vs #5 Iowa (11-1) (6:00 PM ET, on ESPN, in Pasadena, California) UPSET

My pick: #6 Stanford defeats #5 Iowa 24-17                                                                        

What to watch for: Stanford's defense.  Stanford's defense has had some really good moments this season, and some not so good moments this season.  In this game, they'll face a smash-mouth offense in Iowa, who has a really good running game, and a passing game that doesn't make many mistakes.  So although they're facing an offense that can wear teams down, I think they'll play well enough to get the win.

My thoughts/reasons: Both of these teams have had very successful seasons, and both of these teams very well could've been in the CFP right now, but even though I think both of these teams are happy to be in the Rose Bowl, I'm sure they aren't completely satisfied with the way things turned out.  In terms of the game, I think it'll be a pretty close game, but I see Stanford pulling out the win in the end to finish their season off strong.

Photo credit: David Zalubowski - AP
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SUGAR BOWL                                                                                                           

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#16 Oklahoma State (10-2) vs #12 Ole Miss (9-3) (8:30 PM ET, on ESPN, in New Orleans, Louisiana) 

My pick: #12 Ole Miss defeats #16 Oklahoma State 45-31                                               

What to watch for: Ole Miss' passing game.  Ole Miss has a very, very talented WR corp, and they also have a pretty good QB in Chad Kelly who has played well as of late.  In this game, vs a defense in Oklahoma State who has struggle this season, I see the Rebels having their way with the Cowboys' defense, and I see that being a big part in a game I see Ole Miss getting the victory in.

My thoughts/reasons: Both of these teams have had pretty good seasons, and both obviously want to end it on a good note, and since Ole Miss lost 42-3 last season to a BIG-12 team, I see them getting their redemption in this game because of that and other things.  I think Ole Miss will start the game off right, and cruise to the victory in the end.

Photo credit: Justin Ford - USA Today Sports
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ALAMO BOWL                                                                                                           
                                                             
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#11 TCU (10-2) vs #15 Oregon (9-3) (6:45 PM ET, on ESPN, in San Antonio, Texas) UPSET

My pick: #15 Oregon defeats #11 TCU 48-41                                                                     

What to watch for: Oregon's offense.  Oregon's offense has played really well in the month of November, and I think they'll play well again vs the Horned Frogs in this game.  I don't just think Oregon will play well on the offensive side of the ball because of their offense, I also think that TCU's injuries have also really limited TCU's ability to stop other teams.  TCU's defense is a pretty good defense when they're healthy, but vs this offense with all the unfortunate injuries TCU has suffered on the defensive of the ball.  Oregon has suffered injuries as well, just not as much and extreme as TCU has.  So in the end, I see Oregon pulling off the win in a shootout to get to double-digit wins in their 8th straight season.

My thoughts/reasons: Both Oregon and TCU are very talented teams, and they are both obviously hoping to get another win to finish off this season strong.  But I think that Oregon, with all the momentum that they have right now after winning six straight games, will come up big to get another victory in a close entertaining game to watch.

Photo credit: Ross D. Franklin - AP
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HOLIDAY BOWL                                                                                                      

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#25 USC (8-5) vs Wisconsin (9-3) (10:30 PM ET, on ESPN, in San Diego, California) UPSET

My pick: Wisconsin defeats #25 USC 24-19                                                                        

                 What to watch for: Wisconsin's defense.  Wisconsin's defense has played really well this season, they've been pretty consistent in playing well, and they've also held five opponents under ten points this season.  But they will face an offense in USC's that has a lot of talented players, and an experienced QB.  I think that Wisconsin's defense will play well enough in this game to get the victory and to reach 10 victories on the season.

My thoughts/reasons: These two teams are pretty solid teams, and you can make an argument that both of these teams should be ranked in the top 25.  But in this game, I see Wisconsin coming out victorious in the end with a victory to finish off the season strong because of multiple reasons, but especially their defense that I mentioned earlier. 

Photo credit: Hannah Foslien - Getty Images
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This bowl season should be very, very exciting.  There are a lot of matchups that should be fun, and entertaining.  So enjoy CFB bowl season!

Here are some other good bowls that should be on your game radar:
MILITARY BOWL: Pitt (8-4) vs #21 Navy (10-2)
TEXAS BOWL: #20 LSU (8-3) vs Texas Tech (7-5) 
BELK BOWL: NC State (7-5) vs Mississippi State (8-4)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Army vs Navy 2015 Picks/Predictions

It's that time of the year again, when Army and Navy face off in the last game before bowl season, and no matter what these two team's records are, it almost always seems to be a fun game to watch.  Here are my picks/predictions for Army vs Navy.

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Army (2-9) vs #21 Navy (9-2) (3:00 PM ET, on CBS, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

My pick: #21 Navy defeats Army 24-16

What to watch for: Navy's QB play.  Keenan Reynolds could've gotten a Heisman invite this season, he's just that good, and in this game, the Army defense will have their hands full.  I see Reynolds and the rest of the Midshipman offense playing well enough and coming up big in the big moments of this game to secure a Navy victory.  But, although I think Navy will get the victory, I see Army playing them tough and making it a game, but I think Navy will be too much for the Black Knights to overcome in the end.

My thoughts/reasons: Regardless of the records for both of these teams, Army's gonna be motivated to beat Navy, and Navy's gonna be motivated to beat Army, so expect this game to be a pretty entertaining game to watch on Saturday.  In terms of the game, I think that Army will play Navy tough but the Midshipman will come away with the victory in the end.

Photo credit: Nick Wass - AP
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This should be another fun Army-Navy football game to watch, so enjoy!

You can follow me on twitter: @Footballfile

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Who I'd Give It To: Heisman Trophy 2015

The Heisman Trophy will have three candidates this season...
Alabama RB: Derrick Henry (339 attempts, 1,986 rushing yards, 23 TDs)
Stanford RB: Christian McCaffrey (3,276 all-purpose yards, 13 TDs)
Clemson QB: Deshaun Watson (287-413 completions/attempts, 3,512 passing yards, 41 total TDs, 11 interceptions)

All three are very deserving, and are both great players and people.  But, someone's gotta win it and here's who I'd give it to.

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Who I'd give to: Alabama running back Derrick Henry.  You can make very valid arguments for all three of these Heisman candidates, but I think that Bama running back Derrick Henry has played the best in their biggest games, and there hasn't been one game where a defense has been able to just shut him down, and in a physical conference like the SEC, that's pretty impressive.  He has also not only been able to put up great stats, he's also helped lead his team to a 12-1 record and the SEC championship along with a berth in the CFB Playoff.  Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey has great stats but his team's success is less than Henry's, and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson's team has had great success, and his numbers are very good, but his numbers at the QB position aren't as eye-popping as Henry's numbers at the RB position, and I don't think you can make that same argument for any other Heisman candidate this year except Derrick Henry.

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
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So that's my case for my pick for this year's Heisman trophy, but I don't think you can go wrong with any of these three Heisman candidates.

                                      You can follow me on twitter: @Footballfile
                                          
                                                       Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My College Football Week 14 Picks/Predictions (Conference Championship Week)

After another exciting week of college football.  We now head into "Conference Championship Week", where there is going to be multiple really good matchups, and teams are trying to get not only their conference crown, but also some teams are fighting for playoff spots.  Here are my week 14 picks/predictions:


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#18 Florida (10-2) at #2 Alabama (11-1) (4:00 PM ET, on CBS, in Atlanta, Georgia)

My pick: #2 Alabama defeats #18 Florida 27-0

What to watch for: Alabama's defense.  Florida's offense has struggled mightily in recent games, and the only points they could put up against Florida State in their most recent game was on defense, and it won't get any easier for them vs Bama in the SEC Championship game.  I think that Alabama's defense will be too much for the Gators' offense in this one, and I see Alabama's defense being a huge reason why Bama gets the win and gets their 3rd SEC championship in 4 seasons.

My thoughts/reasons; Alabama is coming off of defeating Auburn 29-13, while Florida is coming off of getting beat by Florida State 27-2, so both teams are coming into this game off of totally different results.  Both teams will obviously come into this game wanting to get the victory, but I think Alabama will come into this game more prepared, and I see Bama eventually getting the victory to clinch their spot in the CFB playoff and to win their second straight SEC championship.

Photo credit: Vasha Hunt - AL.com
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      #20 USC (8-4) vs #7 Stanford (10-2) (7:45 PM ET, on ESPN, Santa Clara, California)

     My pick: #7 Stanford defeats #20 USC 37-24

    What to watch for: Stanford's defense.  USC has a very talented offense, who can score with the best of them, so Stanford will have their hands full vs the Trojans' offense in this game.  But, I think that although Stanford has struggled at times this season, I think they'll make the plays needed to be made to pull off the victory over USC to become this season's PAC-12 champions.

My thoughts/reasons: This is a rematch between these two teams, Stanford beat USC in their first meeting of the season, and their may be some incentive for the Trojans in this game since Stanford beat them the first time.  But, I think that Stanford is playing too well right now for USC to handle, and I see Stanford out-executing USC in the end to come up with the victory.

Photo credit: Kelley L. Cox - USA Today Sports
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#10 North Carolina (11-1) vs #1 Clemson (12-0) (8:00 PM ET, on ABC, in Charlotte, North Carolina)

My pick: #1 Clemson defeats #10 North Carolina 38-34                                                    

What to watch for: Clemson's rushing game.  Clemson has one of the best QBs, if not the best QB in college football in Deshaun Watson, but the reason I think they should try to take advantage with their running game is because North Carolina is ranked 107th in the nation in stopping the run, while North Carolina is 23rd in stopping the pass.  I'm sure Watson and the Tigers' passing game is capable of passing the ball effectively in this game, but I think it'll be easier for Clemson to try and run the ball.  In the end, I see Clemson taking advantage with their rushing game en route to a victory to become ACC champions.

My thoughts/reasons: North Carolina has played great since their opening season loss to South Carolina in week 1.  I think that they'll play well in this game vs #1 Clemson, and I think they'll give Clemson a run for their money, but I see them falling just short because of their lack of being battle tested among other things, and I see Clemson becoming the ACC champions and improving to 13-0 by the time this game is finished.

Photo credit: Tyler Smith - Getty Images
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#5 Michigan State (11-1) vs #4 Iowa (12-0) (8:17 PM ET, on FOX, in Indianapolis, Indiana)
UPSET

My pick: #5 Michigan State defeats #4 Iowa 31-24                                                             

What to watch for: Michigan State's passing game.  Michigan State has a very talented, experienced QB in Connor Cook who played well last week after not playing the week before with a shoulder injury.  He and the rest of the Spartans' offense will face a pretty tough challenge in an Iowa defense who has played pretty well recently and forced four interceptions in their 28-20 win over Nebraska last week.  Michigan State's running game will need to do their part in this game, but I think it'll be even more important for Michigan State to get their passing game going since I think this game will be a pretty close one.  I think that Michigan State will make the big plays in the pass game that they have to make to come up with the victory when this game comes to an end.

My thoughts/reasons: Iowa has been one of the surprise teams of the season, they are undefeated and currently ranked #4.  Michigan State has had a great season as well, they are ranked #5 and 11-1 coming into this game.  Both teams are trying to make it to the CFP playoff, and this is most likely if not surely a CFP quarterfinal matchup between these two teams.  So there is a lot to play for in this game for both sides.  As for how I think the game will go, I think that this will be a pretty close game the whole way through, but I think Michigan State will come up big when they have to mainly because they've been in those situations more than Iowa has this season, and because of their experience at QB.  I see Michigan State getting the victory, and becoming BIG-10 champions in the end.

Photo credit: Mike Carter - USA Today Sports
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#23 Temple (11-1) at #19 Houston (11-1) (12:00 PM ET, on ABC, in Houston, Texas)

My pick: #19 Houston defeats #23 Temple 31-20

What to watch for: Houston's passing game.  Houston is 13th in rushing offense, and 37th in passing offense.  From those stats you may think that Houston should try to run effectively instead of trying to pass, and I think that running the ball will still be important for Houston too.  But since Temple is ranked 13th in stopping the run, and 50th in passing.  I think that the Cougars should try to take advantage of that, and I think they will successfully.

My thoughts/reason: This game is probably the most under-looked conference championship game between ranked teams of this weekend, and because of that, it's this week's "Sneaky Good Game Of The Week".  This is also the first ever AAC Championship game, and both of these teams are gonna be hungry to be the first team to ever win in an AAC Championship game.  But, I think that Houston will come out a little more prepared, and I think they'll carry some of their momentum from their last game vs then-#15 Navy into this game as well.  Plus, I think having the home field advantage helps them too.  So, I see Houston pulling out the victory over #23 Temple to become AAC champions when this game come to a finish.

Photo credit: Bob Levey - Getty Images
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This week in college football should be as exciting if not more exciting than any other week there has been in college football so far this season.  Enjoy week 14 of the college football season!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My College Football Week 13 Picks/Predictions (Rivalry Week)

We are now heading into week 13 of this college football season, and as everyone who follows college football should know.  The week before Championship Week is Rivalry Week, and this week should be full of exciting games.  Here are my week 13 picks/predictions:

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#7 Baylor (9-1) at #19 TCU (9-2) (7:30 PM ET, on ESPN, in Fort Worth, Texas, FRIDAY NIGHT) UPSET

My pick: #19 TCU defeats #7 Baylor 34-30

What to watch for: TCU's running game.  We're still not sure yet if Trevone Boykin will start for the Horned Frogs vs #7 Baylor, he's listed as probable for now.  But regardless, they'll need to be able to put together a running game.  The Baylor defense is 40th in rushing defense, which isn't bad, but with the way TCU is running the ball, I think they'll run the effectively enough to pull off the victory over #7 Baylor.

My thoughts/reasons: Before the season, everybody it seems thought that this game would decide the BIG-12 race, but it turns out this game is not the biggest one of the weekend in the BIG-12.  But it's still very important, TCU's trying to get back at Baylor after their loss last season in Waco, and Baylor is still fighting for a playoff spot.  I think that TCU will pull off the win in the end, because not only are they at home, and that 2014 game could be in their minds, the Bears may have to start third-string QB Chris Johnson, and although Johnson did pretty well when he did play, he's still their third string QB starting a game for the first time and it happens to be on the road, and TCU had four turnovers in their game vs Oklahoma, I think they'll clean up their act in this one and get the victory.

Photo credit: Brandon Wade - Fort Worth Star Telegram
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#8 Ohio State (10-1) at #10 Michigan (9-2) (12:00 PM ET, on ABC, in Ann Arbor, Michigan) UPSET

My pick: #10 Michigan defeats #8 Ohio State 34-24

What to watch for: Michigan's running game.  Ohio State is ranked 34th in the nation in rushing defense, and like Baylor, that isn't bad.  But in this game, I think the Wolverines are gonna get back to what help them have so much success early in the season, and that's running the football.  Both teams need Michigan State to lose to get to the B1G championship game, and I don't think that's very likely.  But in rivalry games, no matter what circumstances, both teams are gonna be giving it their all.  After Ohio State's deflating loss, I see Michigan taking advantage of that and really taking to the Buckeyes through their running game.  So when this game's over, I think Ohio State's three-game winning streak over the Wolverines will be gone, and Michigan will improve to 10-2 on the season.

My thought/reason: This is one of the best rivalry games in college football, and I think both teams will come out trying to prove a point.  But, I think Michigan will come out more prepared, and get the early lead, and I think the Wolverines will hold on and eventually defeat the Buckeyes.

Photo credit: David Guralnick - Detroit News
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#13 Florida State (9-2) at #12 Florida (10-1) (7:30 PM ET, on ESPN, in Gainesville, Florida)

My pick: #12 Florida defeats #13 Florida State 16-13

What to watch for: Florida's defense.  The Gators' defense has been the strong point for them all season, while their offense has had struggles.  Their defense has remained solid, and vs Florida State they're gonna need their defense to play as well if not the best they've played all season to get the win, and it may be saying a lot, but I think they will, and I think their defense will play a huge part in getting them to the SEC championship game 11-1.

My thoughts/reasons: I think this game will be one of the closest games this week in college football, because both teams have had stretches where they haven't looked very good, but both teams are still ranked in the top-15.  But I see Florida pulling out the victory in a close one to keep their CFB playoff hopes alive.

Photo credit: Jeff Blake - USA Today Sports
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#6 Notre Dame (10-1) at #9 Stanford (9-2) (7:30 PM ET, on FOX, in Stanford, California) UPSET

My pick: #9 Stanford defeats #6 Notre Dame 31-24

What to watch for: Stanford's passing game.  Anyone who follows Stanford or knows at least a little about them this season, knows they have a really good running game, and a really good running back in Christian McCaffrey who has played a huge part in their success this season.  Their running game will be important, but I think their passing game will be also.  Kevin Hogan is an experienced QB, and he also has some very talented weapons in guys like WR Francis Owusu, and WR Michael Rector, and they'll be faced with a challenge because Notre Dame's strong point on defense is their pass defense where they rank 26th in the FBS.  Since I think that this game will be a pretty close one, I think it'll be up to the Cardinal's passing game at some points in this game, and I think they'll respond well.

My thoughts/reasons: This game is one of the most important games of the weekend, this is Notre Dame's last game of the season until the bowl season, and Stanford's looking to bring some momentum in to their PAC-12 championship game.  I think this game will be pretty close, but I see Stanford pulling out the win to get to 10 wins on the season.


Photo credit: James Snook - USA Today Sports
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#3 Oklahoma (10-1) at #11 Oklahoma State (10-1) (8:00 PM ET, on ABC, in Stillwater, Oklahoma)

My pick: #3 Oklahoma defeats #11 Oklahoma State 41-38


What to watch for: Oklahoma's passing game.  Oklahoma has one of the best offenses in the country, and I think that their ability to pass the ball plays a big part in that.  In this game, running the ball will also be important for the Sooners, but since Oklahoma State is worse at defending the pass than defending the run, I think Oklahoma will take advantage of that, and use their weapons in their passing game effectively enough to get the big win on the road to keep their playoff hopes alive.

My thoughts/reasons: This is one of the biggest games of the weekend, both teams were gonna come out motivated regardless because this is a rivalry game.  But since this game has playoff implications, both teams should come out even more motivated.  In terms of the game, I think that this game will be a pretty close one, but I think Oklahoma will come up big when they have to in order to get the win.

Photo credit: Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports
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My Sneaky Good Game Of The Week
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#18 Ole Miss (9-2) at #21 Mississippi State (8-3) (7:15 PM ET, on ESPN2, in Starkville, Mississippi) UPSET

My pick: #21 Mississippi State defeats #18 Ole Miss 31-27                                          

What to watch for: Mississippi State's QB play.  As everyone who follows CFB should know, Dak Prescott is one of the best QBs in the nation.  He's gonna face a very talented Ole Miss defense who is coming off of a good performance vs LSU, but I think that Prescott (with help from his teammates) will step up in this game, and help get the Bulldogs the win over archival Ole Miss.

My thoughts/reasons: This game was one of the biggest games in college football last season, but this season it's fallen behind because of there is so many important games this week, and because both teams are coming into this game having multiple losses, unlike last season.  But I think this game will be an entertaining one to watch, and I think both teams will come out prepared.  But, I see Mississippi State getting the win this time at home, in a close one.

Photo credit: Nelson Chenault - USA Today Sports
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These are just some of many games that have the potential to be great games this week, and on rivalry week, anything can happen.  Enjoy week 13 of the college football season!

Here are some other games to watch out for:
#15 Navy (9-1) at Houston (10-1)
#4 Iowa (11-0) at Nebraska (5-6)
#2 Alabama (10-1) at Auburn (6-5)
#14 North Carolina (10-1) at North Carolina State (7-4)
#22 UCLA (8-3) at USC (7-4)
Penn State (7-4) at #5 Michigan State (10-1)

You can follow me on twitter: @Footballfile