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NCAA College Football 2010-11 Week 13 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2010-11 College Football Week 13 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | November 23-27, 2010

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Tuesday, Nov. 23

Temple (-6 1/2, 44) at Miami (Ohio), 7:00 pm - An intriguing set-up as Miami is actually an underdog at home despite having a better record than the Owls and coming off a win, whereas the Owls were beaten at home, 31-23, by Ohio University.

Now, the Redhawks have already lost to Ohio, 34-13, back in October, so unless Ohio loses to Kent State this weekend, Miami can't win the East division of the MAC and play in the championship game (probably just as well, as Northern Illinois will probably slaughter whomever they play). Despite the disparity in scores against Ohio, Temple wasn't really that close last week. A late TD made the score seem better than it was. Ohio led 31-10 in the 4th quarter. Redshirt freshman Austin Boucher starts his second straight game for the Redhawks, while the availability of RB Bernard Pierce is still up in the air. He didn't play against Ohio and is questionable against Miami.

Prediction: Redhawks 26 Owls 24


Thursday, Nov. 25

Texas A&M (-3, 47) at Texas, 8:00 pm - Ever since the Aggies moved Ryan Tannehill from wide receiver to quarterback, A&M has won five straight, scoring more than 32 points in four of those games before running into the Cornhusker defense last week. Coming away with a 9-6 win, the Aggies have a shot at the Big 12 South division and a likely rematch with Nebraska should Oklahoma defeat Oklahoma State in their bedlam match-up on Saturday night.

Beating the Longhorns may prove a tall order, but Texas is having a down year while the Aggies are soaring on the field and in the polls. Look for A&M to empty the playbook in a must-win situation. The Aggies have actually covered ATS in four of the last five meetings, and arguably have a better chance of winning this outright than in previous encounters.

Prediction: Aggies 31 Longhorns 17


Friday, Nov. 26

West Virginia at Pittsburgh (-2 1/2, 41), 12:00 pm - After all of the madness in the Big East, this game, which was circled by both teams pre-season, looms as the one which may decide who wins the conference title, earning the right to a BCS bowl game. Pitt leads the conference at 4-1, but the Mountaineers are right there at 3-2, and are coming off consecutive wins over Cincinnati and Louisville.

West Virginia's strength is on the defensive side of the ball. No team has scored more than 21 points against them all season, and their three loss margins have been narrow: 6 points at LSU, 5 against Syracuse and 3 at UConn.

Pitt's lost four games, the biggest blowout being a 31-3 home loss to Miami, though that was back in September. QB Tino Sunseri will have to play better than he has all season for the Panthers to come out of this victorious, and that's asking too much of the sophomore signal-caller.

Prediction: Mountaineers 21 Panthers 17


Auburn at Alabama (-4 1/2, 58), 2:30 pm - Quite a surprise to see the 9-2 Crimson Tide actually favored over the 11-0 Tigers, as no team has been able to blunt the thrust of Cam Newton and the Auburn offense thus far though the Tide does have the most dominant defense in the conference, allowing just 12.8 points per game. Judging by the O/U line, defense may not be as important here as ball and clock control, which both teams will seek to establish.

The Auburn defense is notorious for allowing long drives and multiple scores, putting excessive pressure on the offense to deliver every time they have the ball. Alabama will likely seek to own the clock and try to stop the Tigers on multiple possessions. Should they manage that, Alabama will win one of college football's fiercest rivalries and send the BCS into immediate panic mode. The difference could be turnovers or defensive pressure, two areas favoring the Crimson Tide.

Prediction: Crimson Tide 38 Tigers 31


Southern Miss at Tulsa (-3, 67), 6:30 pm - A pretty major game in Conference-USA, as these two both have 8-3 records and chances to win their respective divisions. Both teams have suffered close losses in the conference and elsewhere and were blown out by higher-class competition earlier in the year (Southern Miss lost its opener at South Carolina; Tulsa was hammered, 65-28 at Oklahoma state in week three.).

Tulsa has won five straight, though the last two were narrow, 3-point victories, while the Golden Eagles has won three in a row, and if not for one-point losses to UAB and East Carolina, would be 10-1. Southern Miss has been rolling over opponents with consistency, and they're getting some points in a game they can obviously win.

Prediction: Golden Eagles (Southern Miss) 41 Golden Hurricane (Tulsa) 38


Arizona at Oregon (-17 1/2, 61 1/2). 7:00 pm - The Ducks need to win here at home and next week at Oregon State to capture the PAC-10 title and play in the BCS championship game. Being one of only four undefeated teams, Oregon is a lock for the big event should they remain unbeaten, though both Oregon and Arizona has had an additional week of practice to prepare after tough games. Arizona comes off the 24-21 loss to USC, while the Ducks narrowly escaped Cal with a 15-13 victory.

Working in the Ducks' favor is their 15-game winning streak at Arizona, something that QB Nick Foles hopes to see come to an end. Foles missed a number of games earlier in the season, but will be at full strength after throwing for 353 yards and 3 TDs against the Trojans. The two teams have the top defenses in the conference, though Oregon's offense is second to none, scoring at 50.7 points per game. The Wildcats' 29.9 pales by comparison, so it's up to the defense to keep the Ducks in deep water, no simple task.

Arizona is capable of turning the upset, though that's a longshot. Covering the spread may be within the realm of possibilities. Who would have thought Cal would hold them to a season-low 15 points in their last outing?

Prediction: Ducks 38 Wildcats 24


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Boise State (-15, 68) at Nevada, 10:15 pm - Nothing to see here except the margin of victory for Boise. They proved all they needed to by whipping Fresno State, 51-0 last Friday and even though the Wolf Pack is 10-1 with home field advantage, the Broncos seem to be in a class all their own this season.

The last three meetings have produced relatively close calls for the Broncos, who have won them all, though Nevada has covered two times, in 2007, losing 69-67 in OT, and again losing 44-33 in 2009, when they were getting 13 1/2 points. The home team has not covered in four years, so when it comes to pressure, sure, there's plenty on the Broncos to extend their winning streak to 25 games, but Colin Kaepernick and the Nevada offense will be hard pressed to stop the Broncos. Also, scoring on the Boise State defense will be difficult. The Broncos are #2 in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 11.5 ppg.

Prediction: Broncos 45 Wolf Pack 24


Saturday, Nov. 27

Michigan at Ohio State (-17, 63), 12:00 pm - After a close call against Iowa, eventually pulling out a 17-14 win, the Buckeyes face their traditional rivals from Michigan, though this year the game may lack most of its usual luster.

Ohio State is among the top six to eight teams in the nation, while the Wolverines, hot early, have dropped four of their last six games and haven't come close to beating a ranked team. The best they've done was a 10-point home loss to Iowa, more than a month ago.

Ohio State simply has too much riding on this game to let the Wolverines even threaten them and Michigan has numerous players suffering from a variety of injuries. The Buckeye defense continues to improve and the offense is capable of running up the score here.

Prediction: Buckeyes 44 Wolverines 24


Northwestern at Wisconsin (-23, 57), 12:00 pm - The Badgers have won six straight, including wins over Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa, so, while Northwestern is a pretty good team, they're on another, lower plateau, and have dropped four of their last six, the most recent a 48-27 blowout by Illinois, in which the Fighting Illini's Mikel Leshoure rushed for a school record 330 yards. Wisconsin has one of the best running games in the nation, so the Wildcats need to fix that rushing defense quickly.

As is usually the case when a team suffers a record-breaking performance, the following week isn't quite as bad, though the line-makers are looking for another ground-game gusher here. Northwestern probably won't win, but they won't look that bad in losing either and should manage to cover.

Prediction: Badgers 41 Wildcats 24


North Carolina St. (-2 1/2, 51 1/2) at Maryland, 12:00 pm - For the Wolfpack, the ACC Atlantic division is theirs for the taking with a win at Maryland and they should come through with flying colors even though the Terps have a solid football team.

Maryland had a chance to compete for the division last week when they played at Florida State, but fell short in the second half, losing 30-16, making this game meaningless to them. A motivated Wolfpack against some less-than-inspired Terrapins seems to be an obvious choice.

Prediction: Wolfpack 31 Terrapins 20

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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