Week 11 came and went without much in terms of action. As I shared earlier in the week, SMU was the only ranked team to lose and there were only 4 games that ended within a 1 possession game. Luckily, we won’t have that problem 2 weeks in a row. 3 matchups between ranked opponents make for a very intriguing weekend. Along with those games, we have several other matchups to watch for. Outside of the 4 games we’ll discuss in this article, look out for Iowa State hosting Kansas State. Both teams are currently fighting for a chance to stay in the Big 12 championship discussion. Iowa State currently sits in first place, tied with Oklahoma State. While Iowa State hosts Kansas, Bedlam will also be going on between between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. We could see a 5 way tie for first place if Texas can take care of business against bottom dweller Kansas. The last few weeks of the Big 12 schedule could be very interesting with these 5 teams and West Virginia only 1 game behind in that scenario.
Coastal Carolina, Cincinnati, and BYU all try to continue with their undefeated seasons this week. Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati both have what will probably be their toughest games left on the schedule. Coastal welcomes Appalachian State to town while Cincinnati will travel Orlando to take on UCF. Which one of these 3 teams do you think has a shot at getting into the playoff?
For our first big game of the week, we go to Columbus where the Buckeyes will take on the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana continues to prove they are legit this year with a beatdown of Michigan State last week. Michael Penix has thrown for over 1,000 yards already in 4 games and has thrown for 9 touchdowns. After having last week’s game cancelled due to contact tracing, Ohio State will look to continue their dominance in the ground game. This is the focal point of the game as Ohio State is averaging over 200 yards/game but Indiana has a front 7 that can slow this attack down. I think if Ohio State wants to win easily and cover this spread, they have to be able to run. If this game is close in the second half, it will be due to Indiana’s ability to slow them down and make Justin Fields throw the ball. Either way, I think Ohio State pulls this one out as Fields is still able to complete big plays on third down and get the Buckeyes into the end zone. This game will feel closer than it actually ends up being.
Spread: Ohio State -20.5
Total: O/U 66.5
Prediction: Indiana 27 Ohio State 41
This is my upset special of the week. Northwestern is a ranked team that isn’t getting the respect they deserve. The Badgers have looked great in the first 2 games of the season. Graham Mertz has looked unlike any other quarterback Wisconsin has had in a long time. But he was going up against a Michigan team that looks like they’ve quit through the first few weeks. He has not seen a defense like Pat Fitzgerald has this year. What will happen if he has to make big throws in the fourth quarter? This is Northwestern’s Super Bowl as they have an easy back end of the schedule. They will welcome Wisconsin to Evanston and send them home with a loss.
Spread: Wisconsin -7.5
Total: O/U 44
Prediction: Wisconsin 17 Northwestern 20
We go from a game where the total score might not hit 40, to a game where both teams could. That is a bit of a joke but you never know what will happen in the Big 12. Oklahoma State has shown this year that they put a lot of work in this offseason in improving that defense. They’ve allowed the second least amount of yards and tied for first in points scored per game in the Big 12. Oklahoma will come in trying to break that defense with their top ranked passing attack. Since being benched in the Texas game, Spencer Rattler has looked like a different quarterback. He has accounted for 9 touchdowns while only throwing 1 interception since halftime of that Texas game. This is where I think the chaos of the Big 12 begins. The trend continues as Oklahoma wins Bedlam for the sixth year in a row.
Spread: Oklahoma -7.0
Total: O/U 59.5
Prediction: Oklahoma State 31 Oklahoma 41
I left Liberty out of the discussion earlier because I think this is a game that everybody should be watching. This game kicks off at 7:30 so it goes right up against the Bedlam game. But if you don’t already, go buy a second TV, set it up in your living room, and you’re set for life. People should not be shamed for having a lot of TVs (this is a normal occurrence in my life). Malik Willis leads Liberty in passing and rushing and will look to continue his performance of 400 yards of all purpose yards and 5 touchdowns from last week. Even against another ACC opponent a few weeks ago, Willis put up 325 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is much watch TV. On the other side, N.C. State really impressed me the last few weeks. They followed up tough matchups against UNC and Miami with a good performance against a struggling FSU team. Even against Miami, they had the lead late in the game and just couldn’t hold on. I expect them to be able to get into the 40’s for the third game this season as Liberty hasn’t shown they know what defense is and Malik Willis and Hugh Freeze are handed their first losses of the season
Spread: N.C. State -3.5
Total: O/U 67
Prediction: Liberty 41 N.C. State 48