Thursday, November 29, 2007

Week 14 Predictions, Dec. 1

Just a few quick words about upcoming posts: I'm thinking the rankings updates on Saturday are going to be at around 4pm (after the ACC Championship), 7pm (after the SEC Championship), and around 11pm (after the Big 12 Championship). Hawaii & Washington is late, so I'll add that one in to the final regular-season rankings on Sunday.

Depending on how quick I can get the math worked out, I'm hoping to have the Versions of the BCS: 2007 post up by Sunday night, probably late. If it doesn't happen until Monday, then the predictions are a bit harder than I thought. Also coming up in the next few weeks are posts about the non-conference matchups this year, bowl analysis & predictions, and a few other goodies. So stay tuned in!

Rutgers (+2.5) @ Louisville
The Scarlet Knights are headed to a bowl game no matter what happens tonight, while the Cardinals are staying home this season. Both teams have had a disappointing year, considering they were supposed to be near the top of the Big East, if not the rankings. Rutgers still has Ray Rice, while Louisville still doesn't have a D.

Rutgers by 10

Army (+14.5) @ Navy
This one's always big, and though the Midshipmen are 7-4 and the Black Knights are 3-8, this is a game where records go out the window. Well, they at least lean out of it. Maybe.

Navy by 17

UCLA (+20) @ USC
Conventional wisdom says that the Trojans are looking for some major revenge against the Bruins, who ruined their trip to the national championship last season. Conventional-er wisdom from this season says that the Trojans 1) usually have unnecessarily high spreads to cover, and 2) rarely cover them.

USC wins, but UCLA covers the spread

Oregon State (+0) @ Oregon
No line on this one? Well, how can you not call a rivalry game called the Civil War? The Beavers are 5-1 in the last two months, their only loss coming to USC, while the Ducks are falling, having lost their last two. Any ranking that has Oregon in the top 25 is awfully kind - everyone knows they're not the team they were a month ago.

Oregon State by 10

California (-13.5) @ Stanford
The Golden Bears have been rather sad the second half of the season, while the Cardinal have been pretty sad for most of it. Even though they're bowl eligible, the Bears need this one to stop their horrendous slide. DeSean Jackson might not play? C'mon, it's the Big Game - he's gonna play. (How well, who knows...)

California wins, but Stanford covers the spread

Pittsburgh (+28.5) @ West Virginia
This one's tricky. No really it is, mainly because of the high spread. The Mountaineers don't need style points anymore - win and they're in the title game. So it would be smart of them to pull their starters to make sure they don't get injured once the game is in hand, yeah? This is the Backyard Brawl, remember. That's how I see it going - WV builds a big lead, the Panthers come back to make it semi-respectable at the end.

West Virginia wins, but Pittsburgh covers the spread

Arizona (+6.5) @ Arizona State
This one's for a trip to the Fiesta Bowl for the Sun Devils (most likely), while the Wildcats need it to become bowl eligible. Recently, the Sun Devils got spanked by USC, while the Wildcats had solid wins over UCLA & Oregon. But Erickson (and the Pac 10) have too much on the line here.

Arizona State by 7

Washington (+14) @ Hawaii
Unlike the Mountaineers, the Warriors could still use some style points - a weak showing against the Huskies, even with a win, puts their BCS bowl hopes in jeopardy. They need to win big, and they will.

Hawaii by 21

Virginia Tech (-5) vs Boston College
The Hokies are finishing up another solid season, and their theme for this game is FINISH. If they Eagles don't beat them in the last 2 minutes in October, Beamer's boys are 11-1 and in the title conversation. Can the Eagles pull off the upset again, this time on neutral field? I think the Hokies will be ready for Ryan this time - look for the D & Special Teams to be flying all over the field.

Virginia Tech by 10

Tennessee (+7.5) vs LSU
The Vols have been hanging by a thread their last two games, but they are 5-0 since the last part of October. The Tiger's seem a little shaken - losing last week, Miles going to Michigan, Flynn possibly not playing... can the Vols stun them? It's possible, but unlikely.

LSU by 10

Oklahoma (-3) vs Missouri
The other title game this week, this time involving the Tigers. They'd love to be able to avenge their only loss this season, while you can bet the Sooners are still looking to proclaim their mastery over the Big 12. Of all the picks this week, this one really could go either way - I don't know that I'd be surprised by a blowout either way, which makes picking the thing tough.

Oklahoma by 7

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