While we didn’t have many big games last week, that is certainly not the case here in Week 11 where the top-ranked team in the AP Poll is on the road against the defending National Champs and top team in the Coaches’ Poll.
LSU at Alabama could be the game of the year in college football. We also get to find out if Minnesota is for real or a pretender as the Gophers will face another undefeated team in Penn State. Staying in the Big 10, Wisconsin and Iowa battle for positioning in the Big 10 West.
We are into November and that means the end of the regular season is quickly approaching and teams don’t have time to make up for a bad loss. Everything gets intensified.
CFB Top 25 Week 11 odds
Saturday, Nov. 9
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama
Welcome to the game of the year in College Football. What is different for this game is that Alabama is not the higher-ranked team in this game. LSU is ranked number 1 in the AP Poll and that might be all the bulletin board material Nick Saban needs — not that Alabama needs much to get up for a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. If Joe Burrow can win in Tuscaloosa, the Heisman Trophy is all but his. However, if the Crimson Tide can win their 9th straight against the Tigers, they should be back in the SEC Championship for the fifth time in six years.
Maryland at No. 3 Ohio State
The Terrapins were once 2-0 and ranked, but since then they have been dominated in games against Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers, and Penn State. Now, Maryland has to travel to Columbus to try and stop a team that is averaging 514.8 yards per game on offense. Ohio State is ranked No. 3 in the country in points per game (48.3) and No. 1 in the country in points per game allowed (7.9). If we’re being honest, this line can’t be big enough as the Buckeyes should be able to name their score in.
No. 4 Clemson at NC State
After an easy win against Wofford, the Tigers now go back on the road against a team that would love to derail Clemson’s undefeated season. NC State has lost three of four and lost on the road last week at Wake Forest 44-10. Clemson’s defense has yet to give up more than 20 points in a game this season and it’s hard to see the Wolfpack being the first team to do it. Last year, the Tigers won this game 41-7, but two years ago in Raleigh, the game was much closer.
No. 5 Penn State at No. 13 Minnesota
Both these teams were off last week to prepare for the game of the week in the Big 10. We are going to find out if these Gophers are for real and if they are going to be a legit player for the Big 10 title. Penn State has defeated Michigan, Iowa, and Michigan State already, so we know that the Nittany Lions are a problem for anyone they face, but we can’t say that about Minnesota. This is the first ranked opponent of the year for the Gophers.
Missouri at No. 6 Georgia
Georgia was cruising last week until the fourth quarter when Florida attempted to make a major comeback in its annual game in Jacksonville. Fortunately for the Dawgs, they were able to hold and cover the 6.5-point line. Everything is still right in front of Georgia including a National Championship as long as it keeps winning games. Missouri has lost two straight and has only scored 21 points combined in those losses.
Iowa State at No. 9 Oklahoma
The Sooners had extra time to think about what happened at Kansas State and the game that ended in their first loss of the season. Iowa State will be facing an angry bunch on Saturday as it heads to Norman but the Cyclones have been a tough out for OU lately. The last two games between these two have been really entertaining contests. Iowa State has won three of four but will need to play its best to beat Oklahoma on the road.
Vanderbilt at No. 10 Florida
Florida has lost two games this year and both losses were to teams ranked the top 10. The Gators are a solid team but they aren’t among the elite of college football this season. However, games against Vanderbilt are normally the perfect remedy to make up for a losing performance the week prior. Vandy has lost three of four and lost last week 24-7 at South Carolina.
No. 11 Baylor at TCU
The magical run continued last week for Baylor on Thursday night as the Bears survived at home against West Virginia to stay unbeaten. Now, they have to go on the road to in-state rival TCU which has lost three of four and is coming off a loss at Oklahoma State. Baylor QB Charlie Brewer has thrown 13 touchdowns to only three interceptions and will face a TCU defense that is giving up more than 26 points per game.
No. 15 Notre Dame at Duke
Notre Dame got things back on track against Virginia Tech last week following the loss to Michigan. The Irish still can play in a big bowl game as they only have two losses, so they have a lot to play for in 2019. Duke has lost back-to-back road games at Virginia and North Carolina and now returns home to face the team they beat in 2016 in South Bend.
No. 18 Iowa at No. 16 Wisconsin
This game was supposed to be for the Big 10 West crown but the loser of this one will have 3 Ls in the conference and will be out of the race for the Big 10 Championship game. Wisconsin lost to Illinois and Ohio State going into their open week, and did they ever need the break. Iowa lost back-to-back games early in October but closed the month out with wins over Purdue and Northwestern. These teams are near mirror images of each other in style and approach, but Wisconsin has won six of the last seven games for the Heartland Trophy.
UConn at No. 17 Cincinnati
The Bearcats are undefeated in the American while UConn is winless in conference play so far this season. The Huskies have been blown out in nearly every loss but did manage to beat UMass two weeks ago. Facing a Bearcats defense that is giving up less than 24 points per game, it’s hard to see how UConn scores much in this one. Cincy has won six straight after losing at Ohio State and it’s hard to see them not running that streak to seven games this week.
No. 20 Kansas State at Texas
This is the story of two teams going in different directions, but the home team is the favorite. KSU beat in-state rival Kansas last week like it was supposed to, but coming off a monster win over Oklahoma, some thought it could be a letdown spot for the Wildcats. It wasn’t; Kansas State won 38-10.
Texas has lost two of three, including a really surprising defeat to TCU last time out. The Longhorns had high expectations heading into this year but their tackling has been awful on defense. They will have their hands full with an offense that averages over 217 yards per game on the ground.
Wyoming at No. 21 Boise State
The Broncos’ loss to BYU has most likely eliminated them from New Year’s Six Bowl game consideration, but the Mountain West title is still very much on the table. Boise is 4-0 in conference while Wyoming is 3-1 and would very much like to join BSU atop the Mountain Division. Wyoming is coming off a big 31-3 win over Nevada but the Cowboys have lost both road games they have played this season.
No. 22 Wake Forest at Virginia Tech
The Hokies lost last week at Notre Dame but it was an out-of-conference game. Now, Va Tech returns home to face one of the best offenses in the ACC and all of college football. Wake Forest is averaging over 510 yards per game and the Demon Deacons have won four of their last five games. While Clemson will win the ACC Atlantic Division, Va Tech isn’t out of the ACC title game race in the Coastal Division just yet. The problem is the Hokies have to win games like this one.
Eastern Carolina at No. 23 SMU
It will be interesting to see how the Mustangs respond to their first loss of the season. SMU wasn’t able to win at Memphis last weekend. However, even with the loss, the race for the American Conference West Division is still very much alive as Navy and Memphis also just have one loss in conference. ECU has yet to win a game in conference play this year.
Nevada at No. 24 San Diego State
Opening line: SDSU -17
Riding a four-game winning streak, the Aztecs are back in the Top 25 this week. SDSU survived a road trip to UNLV last week and now faces the other MWC team from Nevada in the Wolfpack. At 4-1 in the conference, San Diego State leads the West Division over 2-2 Fresno State. Nevada beat New Mexico last week 21-10 snapping a two-game losing streak.