It’s Week 11 in the College football season and it’s time to party like you are a Notre Dame fan storming the field in the middle of a pandemic.
The top contenders for the College Football Playoff (Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Clemson, Texas A&M, Florida) are beginning to pull away from the pack. There are a few surprise challengers as well (BYU, Cincinnati), and then there’s Indiana, who is miraculously 3-0 and #10 in the nation.
It’s going to be nearly impossible to beat the epic-ness of Notre Dame’s 47-40 double OT win vs. Clemson for Week 11, but there are still good games! College Football fans- rejoice! This is the second weekend of a full slate of games that you get to enjoy. Here’s some picks and the top games we think you should check out:
Side note: There were several games on the Week 11 slate that were cancelled due to Coronavirus implications.
East Carolina (1-5) at # 7 Cincinnati (6-0), 7:30 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN2
Why should I watch?: I’m going to keep this really simple: Cincinnati is good enough to crash the College Football Playoff. They have a weak sauce schedule moving forward however, which will not look great in the eyes of the committee. We need to see Cincy crush every team it faces starting this week against a 1-5 East Carolina team.
Prediction: Cincinnati 55, East Carolina 13
# 9 Miami (6-1) @ Virginia Tech (4-3), 12 noon EST, Saturday, ESPN
Why should I watch?: To see how the Hokies respond to their absolutely AWFUL last second loss to Liberty last weekend. Words can’t do justice to explain what happened, so lets check it out:
Miami is coming off a comeback win against at NC State where quarterback D’Eriq King was a monster, throwing the ball for 430 yards and rushing for 105. Does Virginia Tech have any hope of a recovery, especially after losing three starters last week?
Prediction: Miami 31, Virginia Tech 28 in Overtime
No. 10 Indiana (3-0) at Michigan State (1-2), Noon EST, ABC
Why should I watch?: Indiana is frickin’ 3-0 and number 10 in the nation. Did anyone ever consider this to be a minute possibility!? Tons of questions surround the Spartans despite a week two win against Michigan. Michigan State is coming off an incredibly awful 49-7 blow out at Iowa. Michigan State got blown out by Rutgers the week before they beat Michigan- can they do it again? I wouldn’t bet against these Hoosiers…
Prediction: Indiana 31, Michigan State 23
TCU (3-3) @ West Virginia (4-3), 12 noon, FOX
Why Should I watch?: The only reason I can think of is if you are a Big 12 fan since this is oddly the only game Saturday. TCU’s strength is running the ball while West Virginia counters with the Big 12’s best defense. Expect West Virginia to prevail rather easily, marching to 5-0 at home this season.
Prediction: West Virginia 31 TCU 17
Wake Forest (4-2) at North Carolina (5-2), Noon EST, ACC Network
Why should I watch?: This is an underrated match up. North Carolina has one of the best Quarterbacks in the nation in Sam Howell and their top two running backs (Javonte Williams, Michael Carter) are both averaging over 100 yards rushing per game. They take on a Wake team who has a stunning plus-14 turnover margin and is coming off a dominating win at Syracuse two weeks ago. While Wake’s defense is impressive, they haven’t faced a QB as good as Howell since their week one blow out loss vs. Clemson.
Prediction: North Carolina 23, Wake Forest 13
# 2 Notre Dame (7-0) @ Boston College (5-3), 3:30 pm EST, ABC
Why should I watch?: This is a huge trap game for Notre Dame. Last weekend the Irish proved they finally belonged when the beat #1 Clemson 47–40 in Double OT in possibly the game of the year. The Irish bullied the Tigers on both the offensive and defensive lines, ran the ball for 208 yards and quarterback Ian Book finally showed up on the big stage.
Boston College narrowly lost at Clemson two weeks ago and their 5-3 record is much better than many people expected. Boston College QB Phil Jurkovec is having a really good season with 2,083 pass yards, 62.1%, 15 TD and only 4 INT’s. Jurkovec gets to face the Irish, the team he wasn’t good enough to start for.
Prediction: Notre Dame narrowly survives 31-29
Lets just re-watch the Clemson @ Notre Dame highlights for fun:
#20 USC (1-0) @ Arizona (0-0), 3:30 pm EST, ABC
Why should I watch?: USC is coming off of a last second win last week and looks to build momentum. On the other hand, Arizona gets to face USC and star quarterback Kedon Slovis (381 yards passing) in their first game. The Trojans defense was on display last weekend, limiting Arizona State’s up and coming Quarterback Jayden Daniels to only 134 passing yards passing. Expect more of the same against new Arizona starter Grant Gunnell.
Prediction: USC 34, Arizona 10
Arkansas (3-3) @ #6 Florida (3-1), 7 pm EST, ESPN
Why should I watch?: Quarterback Kyle Trask. The Heisman contender Trask was awesome against rival Georgia, finishing the day 30-43 passing for 474 yards and 4 touchdowns. Arkansas may be a semi-worthy challenger coming off a 34-21 win against Tennessee. An interesting storyline to watch is Florida Quarterback Feleipe Franks returning home to Florida to face his former team. Franks apparently is doing some trash talking in hopes that they catch Florida in a trap game after the Georgia win.
Prediction: Florida 31, Arkansas 13
No. 19 SMU (7-1) at Tulsa (3-1), 7 pm EST. Saturday, ESPN2
Why should I watch?: The AAC Conference has more to offer than just unbeaten Cincinnati. #19 SMU has recovered nicely in their last two wins since their 42-13 beatdown a few weeks ago to Cincinnati. Their potent offense (40.5 PPG) is and led by QB Shane Buechele (Top passer in nation with 2,581 yards). Tulsa is undefeated in conference and will take the drivers seat to face Cincinnati in the AAC title game with a win here.
Prediction: SMU 37, Tulsa 31
# 13 Wisconsin (1-0) @ Michigan (1-2), 7:30 pm EST, ABC
Why should I watch?: This is Wisconsin’s first game back post a coronavirus outbreak forcing the cancellation of their last two games. Wisconsin’s Quarterback Graham Mertz was sensational against Illinois (5 TD’s, 1 incompletion) and he gets to go up against a terrible Michigan secondary who has given up over 300 passing yards in their last two losses. Michigan collapsed last week and has their back up against the wall. They can’t lose again in Ann Arbor, can they?
Prediction: Michigan 16, Wisconsin 14
#23 Northwestern (3-0) @ Purdue (3-0), 7:30 pm EST, Big Ten Network
Why should I watch?: Both teams are at 3-0 and the winner is the likely challenger in the Big Ten title game against Ohio State. Northwestern’s defense has been outstanding, only giving up 12 PPG. They will take on a dynamic Purdue offense led by star receivers David Bell and Rondale Moore, the latter returning from an injury. This is a low-key exciting Big 10 game which should take the place of the Maryland-Ohio State match up.
Prediction: Purdue 20 Northwestern 13
OTHER GAMES SADLY POST-PONED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS
#3 OHIO STATE @ MARYLAND (Projected Ohio State 44-27 win)
#1 ALABAMA @ LSU (Projected Alabama taking LSU to the woodshed 55-20)
# 5 TEXAS A&M @ TENNESEE (Projected Texas A&M 41-18 win)
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