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Fearless Rick's 2016 College Football Picks - Week 14 late games

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WEEK 14 NCAA Footall Picks - late games

All times Eastern

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4:00 pm Alabama (-24, 41) vs. Florida at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA - This is a neutral venue, upon which both teams have had success, but none more than the Crimson Tide, seeking yet another national championship under coach Nick Saban. Alabama, even with a loss (unlikely) will advance into the national championship playoff. They have been decimating opponents all season long and the Gators are simply another squad lying in the bayou waiting to be washed away as the Tide rolls out.

Not that Florida is a pushover. It's just that Alabama is such a powerhouse. And they've gotten better and better as the season has worn on. Credit that to Saban and his coaching staff. They have the Alabama players at such a high level of accomplishment and attitude that they will be nearly impossible to stop as they roll toward their date with destiny in January.

The Gators will be fortunate to leave the game upright. Alabama has made a habit of beating others into abject submission. They're really solid and virtually unbeatable in the college ranks, so, even though the Gators have been awarded three TDs and a field goal by the Las Vegas braintrust, it's probably not going to be enough. Florida's defense is one of the best in the nation, but so is Alabama's. In fact, Alabama leads the country in points allowed at a very stingy 11.4 per game. Florida is 5th, allowing 14.6. Offensively, Florida will be lucky to find the end zone more than once. They only score, on average, 24.1 points per outing, 104th in the country. The math says the Tide will roll big time.

Coin Flip: Alabama

Rick's Pick: Crimson Tide 38 Gators 10


8:00 pm Clemson (-10, 58) at Virginia Tech - The ACC championship will produce one of the entrants into the NCAA four-team national championship playoff, if the winning team is Clemson. Should the Hokies pull off the upset, it's unlikely that they'll be invited into the playoff because their 9-3 record is not as good as some other, higher-ranked teams.

So, can the Hokies whip the Tigers? Considering that the only team to emerge victorious over Clemson this season is Pitt, who won a one-point game, 43-42, the chances for Virginia Tech are somewhat slim. Tech has had a solid season, but they're prone to stumble defensively, as they did in one notable loss, at Syracuse, 31-17. For the record, Clemson put a 54-0 whipping on the Orange.

After their loss to Pitt, the Tigers went to Wake Forest and whipped the Demon Deacons, 35-13, and finished up the regular season taking apart South Carolina with a 56-7 thumping of the Gamecocks.

Clemson is the elite team here and they should have more than enough offense to carry the day. If they aren't sharp, the defense is likely to be stern and stingy.

Coin Flip: Clemson

Rick's Pick: Tigers 38 Hokies 21



8:00 pm Wisconsin (-2 1/2, 47 1/2) at Penn State - CORRECTION: from last week, wherein we uncorrected stated that if Michigan beat Ohio State and the Nittany Lions beat Michigan State (which they did, 45-12), then Penn State would play for the Big Ten championship. It should have read that if Ohio State (whom Penn State beat earlier in the season) beat Michigan (which they did, in double overtime, 30-27), then Penn State would play for the Big Ten title and here they are.

The Nittany Lions possess one of the more explosive offenses in the country. In their last five games they've scored 62, 41, 45, 39 and 45 points, all wins, with the best a 39-0 whipping of Rutgers. Penn State is ranked 25th nationally, scoring on average 36.6 points per game, though they've been on a tear in the latter stages of the season. They're 10-2, having lost at Pitt, 42-39, on September 10, and at Michigan, 49-10, September 24. Their 24-21 win over the Buckeyes on October 22 put them on the national map.

Wisconsin is a team with an imposing defense, allowing just 13.7 points per game (3rd). Penn State gives up much more, 22.8 per game, though the Badgers don't score as often as the Lions. Wisconsin averages just 28.5 points per game, but, at 9-2 and with their only losses back-to-back defeats to Michigan (14-7) and Ohio State (30-23 OT) in early October, they're a threat any time they take the field. With the game at Penn State, that's a real advantage for the offense. Wisconsin will be stout, but this game will be about grit and determination, two elements the Nittany Lions have in abundance.

Coin Flip: Wisconsin

Rick's Pick: Nittany Lions 27 Badgers 23

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