Sometimes, things just work out. Every light is green as you navigate through traffic on the way to feed a coffee addiction that only Starbucks will cure. Then, you find that the drive-thru line is empty. Your order is handled without error, and to top it all off, a stranger pays for your coffee. Good times! Okay, so maybe I am the only one who equates incredible fortune to a timely, free latte. The point is that my predictions from last week were just as fortunate as I went 5-1-0 (W-L-Push), dominating the computer’s 3-3-0 (W-L-Push) effort. This means that I am now back on top of the overall scoreboard 23-20-5 to 22-21-5. Since my lead over the computer is by the slimmest of margins, though, there is no time to bask in the glow of a great week’s results. There are more games to predict as college football week 13 is here – the Rivalry Edition. Even though rivalry games usually bring out the worst of my predictions, I hope to produce better results this year. Prognosticator hat on. It’s game time.
LSU (- 4.5) at Texas A&M
LSU is trying to salvage a season that was supposed to end in contention for a title, and the same goes for Texas A&M as their promising start turned to fool’s gold. Which team has earned more trust during the year? The answer is LSU’s defense. While the defense holds A&M’s offense in check, LSU will muster enough offense to score on Texas A&M. Just stop turning the ball over, LSU, and things will all work out.
Winner: LSU (-4.5)
Computer prediction: LSU
Washington (-6) at Washington State
After a hot start that garnered some Heisman consideration, Washington quarterback Jake Browning has cooled off. The Huskies will need his “A” game to beat Washington State, because we all know Washington State will throw the ball all over the field and score points. Washington State coach Mike Leach and his team deserve some praise, because after watching them struggle early in the year, the odds that they would contend for a conference title at the end of the year were not good. Congratulations, coach Leach. College football is definitely more fun with your participation, but I think Washington is better this year.
Winner: Washington (-6)
Computer prediction: Washington
Florida at Florida State (-7)
The Seminoles have the weapons on offense to solve Florida’s defense. Can they avoid the type of mistakes that LSU committed last week? Is FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher concentrating on preparing his team for the Florida Gators, or is his mind contemplating other job opportunities? Florida is a tough team – they will definitely make the opposition earn the victory. This game will feature lots of speed and good old-fashioned hittin’. The bottom line is that Florida just doesn’t have enough on offense to win this game.
Winner: FSU (-7)
Computer prediction: Florida
South Carolina at Clemson (-23.5)
Clemson will make this one of their “statement games” as they will dominate this game. They have too much offensive firepower with DeShaun Watson, Mike Williams, Wayne Gallman, etc. The lone bright spot for the Gamecocks is that they have resurrected their running game, but it won’t keep this game from getting away from them.
Winner: Clemson (-23.5)
Computer prediction: South Carolina
Michigan at Ohio State (-6.5)
Ohio State did not set the world on fire last week as they escaped with a one point win against a team that has only won three games. Even though I predicted early in the year that Michigan would win this game and represent the Big 10 in the college football playoff, it’s clear that Ohio State is the better team at the moment due to Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight’s injury. Michigan’s defense is incredible; however, unless they score points for their offense, Ohio State will eventually get it done. Just like the Florida – FSU game, get ready for players running to the ball carrier with lightening speed and doing some hittin’.
Winner: Ohio State (-6.5)
Computer prediction: Michigan
Auburn at Alabama (-17.5)
Another Iron Bowl and another chance for the Auburn Tigers to spoil Alabama’s championship run. Sure, even with a loss, Alabama could still get one of the top four playoff spots but losing to Auburn would give decision makers something to think about. The key to predicting the Iron Bowl is that under normal circumstances, Auburn plays 10 points better against Alabama than any other team. This particular game features talented defenses; especially, the defensive lines. Both teams’ defensive lines will give the opposing offenses trouble. Assuming Kamryn Pettway and Sean White will play, Auburn will the move the ball better than most people expect. Alabama’s offense relies on Jalen Hurts running the ball. Part of the reason is due to Hurts’ dynamic running ability, but the underlying truth is he turns down open receivers in the middle of the field – the crossing patterns that Alabama has run effectively the past years. Force Hurts to roll to his left on passing downs, play off the deep threat receivers, and limit his running options with a “spy”are all in play here as Auburn has the talent to execute that game plan. Alabama may win this game, but they won’t cover the spread, or at least, there are way more scenarios of a close game than a Tide blowout victory.
Winner: Auburn (+17.5)
Computer prediction: Alabama
Well, that’s this week’s “Six Pack” of game predictions. Enjoy the games and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Categories: College football