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Fearless Rick's 2011-12 College Football Week 10 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | November 2-5, 2011

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Tuesday, November 1

7:00 pm Northern Illinois at Toledo (-9 1/2 69) - Tuesday action kicks off with a MAC match-up of traditional conference powers and this one should be worth watching as both teams are a win away from being bowl eligible at 5-3, and the outcome may determine the MAC West division champion.

Toledo leads with a 4-0 conference mark, with Northern Illinois right behind at 3-1. The Rockets are on a four-game winning streak, while the Huskies have prevailed in three straight games. Toledo has a 7-3 edge in head-to-head meetings, dating back to 2001, but Northern Illinois has won two of the past three, including last year's 65-30 thumping.

Toledo has a 6-1 record when playing the Huskies at home, a significant edge. while both teams can light up the scoreboard - Northern Illinois scoring at a 38.5 ppg rate to Toledo's 36.5 - the Rocket defense should prove the difference maker.

Prediction: Rockets 45 Huskies 31

Wednesday, November 2

8:00 pm Temple (-3 1/2, 47 1/2) at Ohio - More MAC action on Wednesday, as the East division-leading Owls visit the Bobcats, who are 1/2 game back at 2-2 in conference play. Both teams sport 5-3 records, though Temple's record includes a loss to Penn State and a whopping 38-7 win at Maryland, a bit more impressive.

However, Ohio is 3-1 at home, and the 37-20 win at Akron two weeks ago bodes well for their offense. Coming off a bye week, the Bobcats will be ready for Temple's grinding ground attack (252.1 ypg). Ohio also leads the head-to-head comparison, 3-1 in the short-lived rivalry.

Temple's defense is solid, but the Bobcats are 7-1 in their last eight home games, so getting a few points is a good thing in what should be a low-scoring, close call.

Prediction: Bobcats 20 Owls 17

Thursday, November 3

7:30 pm Akron at Miami (OH) (-14, 47 1/2) - Even more MAC action to open Thursday's festivities with the Zips visiting the Redhawks.

Akron actually hasn't had much in the way of zip, except for their zip for four record in the conference, which goes well with their 1-7 overall record. While Miami isn't much better, at 3-5, they are in a position to challenge for the East division lead, especially if Ohio knocks off Temple on Wednesday.

Akron is offensively-challenged, and the Miami defense should put the clamps down on them, big time.

Prediction: Redhawks 31 Zips 10

8:00 pm Florida State (-15, 44) at Boston College - 5-3 Florida State needs one more win to secure a bowl berth, but they are far from their goal of winning the ACC, having already dropped games at Clemson and Wake Forest by identical 35-30 scores.

The Eagles may have turned a corner in their 28-17 upset at Maryland, breaking a three-game losing skein and also ending three straight road games with a victory. The two teams have met every year since 2005, with a 3-3 split between them, neither team winning by more than 11 points, so why end the trend?

Florida State, winners of three straight, coming off a 34-0 throttling of NC State, may win the game, but they're just 1-2 on the road, so a major upset is possible.

Prediction: Seminoles 31 Eagles 27

8:00 pm Tulsa at Central Florida (-1 1/2, 48 1/2) - Tulsa's perfect record in Conference-USA play (4-0) will be put to the test against the staunch UCF defense which has yielded only 14.3 points per game, fifth best, nationally.

The Golden Hurricane relies on outscoring the opposition, but that may be a tall order on the road and without wideouts Damaris Johnson (suspension) and possibly Thomas Roberson (listed as questionable).

The two teams are 2-2 against each other, but the total has gone under in each of UCF's last five home games, which may be the best play here. UCF has won five straight at home while Tulsa has won their last four. Mixed signals.

Prediction: Knights 24 Golden Hurricane 20

Friday, November 4

9:00 pm USC (-21 1/2, 58) at Colorado - The Buffaloes have not won a PAC-12 contest yet, so adding them to the mix may not be viewed with much pleasure around the conference.

Colorado is just 1-8, and have lost six in a row, including some lopsided losses to Stanford (48-7), Washington (52-24) and Oregon (45-2), to say nothing of last week's disaster at Arizona State, 48-14.

The Trojans come off a tough, 56-48, triple overtime loss to Stanford, but they proved they are a worthy opponent at any level. This should be a complete rout.

Prediction: Trojans 48 Buffaloes 13

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Saturday, November 5

12:00 pm Louisville at West Virginia (-14, 51 1/2) - Things are really heating up in the Big East, despite the conference falling apart with multiple defections affecting next season.

Despite their 4-4 record, Louisville improved to 2-1 with a complete rip of Syracuse last weekend, topping the Orange, 27-10. They are within a half game of the Big East lead along with Pitt and West Virginia, all chasing Cincinnati (2-0).

While the Mountaineers get plenty of press, Louisville's defense has been outstanding, allowing a league-low 16.3 points per game and they match up well against the pass-happy West Virginia attack. Though the Cardinals are 1-5 all-time against the Mountaineers, they have never lost by more than 14 points to them, and the last two games (2009 and 2010) have been particularly low-scoring, with West Virginia prevailing 17-9 and 17-10. This game projects to be closer than the line indicates.

Prediction: Cardinals 26 Mountaineers 24

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12:00 pm Michigan (-4, 57) at Iowa - The Wolverines have rolled to an impressive 7-1 record, but the Big Ten road gets a little tougher with a trip to Ames, where the Hawkeyes have quietly built a 5-3 record and are 2-2 in the conference, last week dropping a tight, 22-21, decision at Minnesota.

Denard Robinson is having an outstanding season as the Michigan QB, but Iowa has a few offensive weapons of their own, including QB James Vandenberg (62.2 completions, 17 TD, 4 INT) and RB Marcus Coker (119.6 yards rushing per game).

While the Wolverine offense gets plenty of attention, their 14.6 yards per game is sixth-best in the country, though on the road they are allowing an average of 26, in two games. Robinson has thrown 11 TD passes and 11 INTs, so an errant throw or two could lead to an Iowa upset.

Prediction: Hawkeyes 27 Wolverines 24

12:00 pm Texas Tech at Texas (-12, 60 1/2) - A Lone Star state shoot-out is not likely to occur if the Texas defense comes ready to play. After losing badly to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in back-to-back defeats, the Longhorns put it to Kansas, 43-0 last week and have their fourth-straight home game here.

5-3 Texas Tech has been an up-and-down team, but last week's 41-7 home loss to Iowa State was an eye-opener in regards to the long-term viability of their offense. Even though the Red Raiders beat Oklahoma two weeks back, 41-34, they're just 2-3 in the conference having lost three of their last four.

The Longhorns are rounding into bowl game form and a win here makes either team eligible, but the chances for Texas appear much better.

Prediction: Longhorns 41 Red Raiders 21

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2011, 2012, 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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