Week 6 Top 25 Forecasts

Every week we will post my Forecasts of all the games involving Top 25 teams. As usual, it includes my computer’s projected box score for each game.

Last week the Top 25 Forecasts went 14-1 (93.3%) picking the winners of each game and have gone 90-11 (89.1%) so far this season! On the bottom of the forecast, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week.

# 1 ALABAMA AT #19 S CAROLINA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ALABAMA 198
200
27
1.5
-
S CAROLINA
127
215
16
3.1

This is a tough spot for the defending champs as they play their 3rd road game in 4 weeks and also their 3rd straight Top 20 team while South Carolina is off a bye and playing in front of their home crowd where they had two upsets over ranked teams last year in #4 Ole Miss and #15 Clemson. LY RB Ingram ran for a career-best 246 yds as QB McElroy struggled hitting only 10-20 for 92 yards with an 0-2 ratio in the Tide’s 20-6 win over the Gamecocks. 2 weeks ago SC QB Garcia was benched after 2 fumbles but HC Spurrier says he will start here. He does have plenty of weapons with RB Lattimore (PS#1) 366 (4.4) and WR Jeffery who leads the SEC in rec ypg (125, 8.4). Naturally Alabama is led by the 1-2 punch of Ingram (355, 7.9) and Richardson (419, 7.4). LW the Tide’s #2 D held Florida without a TD for the first time in 61 games and I look for them to make a critical play late as the Tide continue to roll on to the SEC champ game and possibly a second straight national title appearance.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ALABAMA 24 S CAROLINA 21

# 2 OHIO ST VS INDIANA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
INDIANA 14
243
16
2.4
-
OHIO ST
292
283
48
1.3
-

Buckeye fans had to hold their breath when they saw QB Pryor miss parts of the game with a leg injury last week at Illinois. Pryor did return but HC Tressel played it conservative as they “only” won 24-13. The Hoosiers meanwhile lost a heartbreaker to Michigan last week as UM QB Robinson scored a TD with less than 30 seconds remaining in the 42-35 final. The bright spot for IU was the play of their QB Ben Chappell who threw for a school record 480 yds. WR Doss had 15 rec for 201 yds but the IU defense which is allowing 207 rush ypg (6.3) was not strong enough in the end. The Buckeyes should be extra focused here after their less than impressive performance last week but do have a big road trip to Wisconsin on deck. Nonetheless the Bucks offense should put up great numbers and their defense will be able to handle the one dimensional Hoosiers.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OHIO ST 48 INDIANA 13

# 3 OREGON AT WASHINGTON ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OREGON 388
238
59
2.4
•••
WASH ST
108
253
17
3.5
-

After falling behind 21-3 in the 1H LW to Stanford, the Ducks offense took over and they outscored the Cardinal 49-10 the rest of the way as they rolled up 625 yards. RB James made his case to be included in Heisman talk with 257 yds. Washington St was “scrappy” LW against UCLA as they had a chance to take a lead in the 2H but were stopped at the one-inch line only to see the Bruins march 99+ yds down the field to take a 35-28 lead in the 42-28 loss. Oregon has been piling up incredible numbers this year on offense and should easily cruise here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OREGON 59 WASH ST 17

# 4 BOISE ST VS TOLEDO

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TOLEDO 52
125
11
3.6
-
BOISE ST
223
360
47
2.0
••••
LAST 13 YEAR MATCHUPS

Boise St did everything they could last week to hold onto the #3 spot in the AP poll but their 59-0 win over New Mexico St was not enough as Oregon passed them thanks to their 52-31 win over #9 Stanford. The Broncos will still have to continue to win impressively each and every week and even then it may not be enough. This week they take on a Toledo team that has already upset Purdue earlier this year. These two teams while they have never met, do have one opponent in common this year in Wyoming. While Toledo lost at home to the Pokes last week 20-15, the Broncos beat them 51-6 in Laramie. This one will be played on the Blue Turf and QB Moore is avg 267 ypg (66%) with an 11-1 ratio. Nuff said.

PHIL’S FORECAST : BOISE ST 48 TOLEDO 6

#5 TCU VS WYOMING

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
WYOMING 45
105
5
2.2
TCU
325
225
39
1.4
••

The Horned Frogs continue to in unimpressive fashion and last week led just 6-0 at HT over a Colorado St team that was 1-12 in their previous 13 games (27-0 final). Each of the last two weeks, they have lost votes in the polls to Boise and if they want to be considered the “best” non-BCS team they will have to start putting the hammer down. This week they will get that opportunity vs a Wyoming team that did already play Boise (lost 51-6). Wyoming HC Christensen has gotten his team ready to play on the road and last week traveled all the way to Toledo and got the 20-15 upset win. Toledo is not TCU and the Horned Frogs sooner or later will have to make a statement.

PHIL’S FORECAST : TCU 45 WYOMING 3

# 7 NEBRASKA VS KANSAS ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NEBRASKA 243
135
29
2.6
KANSAS ST
202
95
18
2.5
-

PHIL’S FORECAST : CHECK BACK THURSDAY AT 5:00 PM ET

# 8 AUBURN AT KENTUCKY

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
AUBURN 230
178
39
2.2
-
KENTUCKY
156
273
27
2.0
-

LY a 21-14 Kentucky win ended a 15 game Auburn win streak in the series. The amazing thing was the Cats were playing without their QB Hartline and their top two CB’s. Another amazing stat in the game was the fact that Kentucky had 18 games without having a 100-yd rusher but had two in the game vs the Tigers. Auburn QB Newton has been terrific avg 186 pass ypg (66%) with a 12-4 ratio and is the team’s leading rusher with 474 (6.2). Auburn has not lost at Kentucky since 1966 (7 str) and should be able to exploit the Wildcats’ rush D which is allowing 166 ypg (4.5).

PHIL’S FORECAST : AUBURN 43 KENTUCKY 27

#9 ARIZONA VS OREGON ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OREGON ST 120
163
20
1.5
-
ARIZONA
146
248
27
2.4
••

While Arizona is coming off a bye and should be well rested they have struggled vs the Beavers in the past (just 2-9 in their L/11 meetings). Arizona is outgaining foes by 192 ypg while OSU is being outgained by 135 ypg this year. LW OSU QB Katz did throw for 260 yds (66%) with a 2-0 ratio in the 31-28 win over Arizona St.  The Wildcats have just Washington St on deck and despite their recent struggles with the Beavers, should win by at least two scores.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ARIZONA 34 OREGON ST 17

#10 UTAH AT IOWA ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
#10 UTAH 200
208
33
2.5
IOWA ST
166
178
27
1.7
-
LAST 13 YEAR MATCHUPS

The Utes are off a bye while Iowa St is in a Big 12 Texas Tech/Oklahoma sandwich. LW the Cyclones jumped out to a 24-0 lead over Texas Tech and had to hold off a late rally in their 52-238 win. It was their most points scored ever vs a Big 12 opponent. Utah has made a ton of plays on ST’s this year and both QB Wynn (204 ypg, 5-1 ratio) and QB Cain (#1 NCAA pass eff) have played great. To win consistently on the road you always want to get good QB play with limited turnovers along with a solid defense (Utah #40) and be able to make a play or on ST’s and the Utes have all those ingredients to move to 5-0.

PHIL’S FORECAST : UTAH 30 IOWA ST 23

#11 ARKANSAS VS TEXAS A&M

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TEXAS A&M 155
275
26
3.2
-
ARKANSAS
110
345
34
2.1
-

This is the second straight year for this game in Arlington as Dallas Cowboy owner Jones is an Arkansas alum. LY Arkansas won 47-19 as QB Mallett hit 17-27 for 271 yds with a 4-1 ratio while Texas A&M QB Johnson went 30-56 for 345 yds and 2 TD. Arkansas used the bye to recover from their heartbreaking loss to #1 Alabama as they blew a 20-7 2H lead. A&M is also off a heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma St last Thursday as QB Johnson had 5 TO’s including a late int that led to the game-winning FG for a 38-35 final. While this year’s game will be much closer, the Razorbacks defense is improved and QB Johnson’s psyche will be put to the test.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ARKANSAS 34 TEXAS A&M 24

#12 LSU AT #14 FLORIDA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
LSU 114
78
14
2.8
-
FLORIDA
137
248
27
2.4
-

LSU HC Les Miles must have a good supply of horseshoes and rabbit’s feet as his Tigers continue to win games in “lucky” fashion. Last week they trailed Tennessee 14-10 and had mass confusion on the final play and the center snapped the ball between QB Jefferson’s legs. The Tigers were “bailed” out by UT having 13 men on the field and got the game-winning 1 yd TD on the final play. This week they take on a Florida team that should be motivated after last week’s 31-6 loss to Alabama. The game was not as lopsided as the final indicated as the Gators actually outgained Bama 281-273 but missed several opportunities in the red zone. They did suffer a 4-0 TO deficit. The Gators are 17-5 in this series and LY snapped LSU’s 32 game home streak on Saturday night. This year both team feature top defenses but the Gators have the large edge on offense (#18-53) and get the bounce back win here in comfortable fashion.

PHIL’S FORECAST : FLORIDA 24 LSU 10

#13 MIAMI, FL VS #23 FLORIDA ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
FLORIDA ST 135
178
21
2.9
-
MIAMI
121
303
29
2.6
-

While this game is not as big as it once was back in the late 80s and throughout the 90s, the rivalry has been very competitive with the last 9 games each being decided by 8 points or less. LY Miami went into Tallahassee and won 38-34 as Florida St’s last second pass was dropped in the end zone. This year both teams are improved and it’s the first time since 2006 that both are ranked coming into the game. This will be the Hurricane’s first home game since September 2nd as they went 2-1 on the road including impressive victories against Pittsburgh and Clemson with the only loss coming at the hands of #2 Ohio St. QB Harris is avg 224 ypg (57%) but just a 10-8 ratio. On the other side FSU QB Ponder is avg just 169 ypg (61%) but has a 8-1 ratio. Both teams are evenly matched but the Hurricanes have my #1 defense and the home crowd edge will be the difference.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MIAMI 31 FLORIDA ST 21

# 16 STANFORD VS USC

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
USC 185
188
24
2.7
-
STANFORD
191
308
40
1.8

Both teams are off heartbreaking losses as Stanford blew a 21-3 1H lead as Oregon outscored them 49-10 the rest of the way and USC dropped another last second game to Washington by a FG 32-31. This is the first time Stanford will be favored in this game since 1986 but the home team has lost 4 straight in this series. The Cardinal and HC Harbaugh were a thorn in former USC HC Pete Carroll’s side as they upset them in ’07 as a 41 pt underdog and last year scored 55 points (the most ever against USC) and went for two late in the game. Even though Carroll is no longer there I expect there will be no love loss between the two teams. It will be interesting to see how both teams react to the losses last week but Stanford has clearly been more impressive to date.

PHIL’S FORECAST : STANFORD 30 USC 24

#17 MICHIGAN ST AT #18 MICHIGAN

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MICH ST 168
270
31
2.4
MICHIGAN
257
265
37
2.0
-

This is the first time both of these teams come into the matchup undefeated since 1999. Michigan St has won the last two meetings and will try to make it three in a row for the first time since 1965-’67. The Spartans have been fueled the last couple of years by the “little brother” comments made by former UM RB Hart after the ’07 game and have outgained the Wolverines by 166 ypg the last two years. This year maybe a different story as UM is 2nd in the country in total offense avg 565 ypg. They are led by the nation’s #1 rusher in QB Robinson (905, 9.2!) who scored the game-winning TD w/:17 left over Indiana last week. MSU was impressive in their 34-24 win over #11 Wisconsin as they won their 2nd str game w/out HC Dantonio on the sidelines. Dantonio has said he will be at the game this week and that should give the Spartans some extra motivation. However, the Wolverines are playing at home and desperately need to regain the upper hand in the series.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MICHIGAN 38 MICH ST 31

# 20 WISCONSIN VS MINNESOTA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MINNESOTA 115
190
20
2.0
-
WISCONSIN
280
245
42
2.0
-
The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Wisconsin has won 9 of the last 11 in this series but the last three have been competitive with the Badgers winning by just 7, 3, and 3 points. Minnesota last week lost their fourth straight home game for the first time since 1983 and there are questions surrounding HC Brewster’s job security. Wisconsin is off a disappointing loss to Michigan St last week which saw RB John Clay’s streak of 10 straight 100-yd rush games snapped. Clay and the Badgers should get back on track this week as my computer projects 280 rush yds and 525 total yds as they keep the Axe for another year.

PHIL’S FORECAST : WISCONSIN 45 MINN 28

# 21 NEVADA VS SAN JOSE ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SAN JOSE ST 48
150
5
2.3
-
NEVADA
342
185
44
1.3
•••

Nevada has won 7 of the L/8 in this series and in the 7 wins they avg’d 42 ppg and 505 ypg. LY Nevada tied an NCAA record with 4 players topping 100 rush yds as they administered the worst ever home loss for San Jose St 62-7. Last week San Jose St loss to FCS UC Davis as they blew a 13-0 HT lead while UN defeated rival UNLV for the 6th straight time 44-26. Nevada should continue to roll on to a possible undefeated matchup with Boise in November and as they roll this week.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NEVADA 51 SAN JOSE ST 6

# 22 OKLAHOMA ST AT LOUISIANA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OKLA ST 130
288
42
3.1
••
LOUISIANA
111
253
21
3.2
-

PHIL’S FORECAST : CHECK BACK FRIDAY AT 5:00 PM ET

# 24 MISSOURI VS COLORADO

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
COLORADO 148
190
19
3.4
-
MISSOURI
147
260
31
2.4

Missouri has outscored (149-27) and outgained (1489-571) Colorado the last three years. The last time here Colorado lost 58-0 and last year the Buffs were down 33-3 at HT. While the Tigers are off a bye, Colorado comes in off a home upset of Georgia as they forced a key TO late in the game with UGA driving for the game-winning TD. QB Hansen is avg 179 ypg (64%) with a 5-3 ratio and RB Stewart has had B2B 100 yd games. The Buffaloes have lost 9 str B12 away games by 16 ppg and it’s hard to ignore the Tigers recent dominance as MU goes to 5-0.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MISSOURI 30 COLORADO 20

# 25 AIR FORCE VS COLORADO ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
COLO ST 83
155
7
3.0
-
AIR FORCE
337
135
29
1.0
••

Air Force has strung together its longest streak vs Colorado St since the 1980s and they are off an exciting 14-6 win over Navy last week snapping their 7 game losing streak to them. The Falcons are ranked for the first time since 2002 and this week face a Colorado St team that gave TCU a good battle in the 1H (down 6-0) but eventually loss 27-0. Naturally the Falcon ground attack is rolling as they have 3 rushers with 300+ yds already and will be facing a Rams defense that has allowed both TCU and Nevada this year to top 300 yds. My computer calls for the Falcons to have 337 rush yds as they roll to 5-1.

PHIL’S FORECAST : AIR FORCE 34 COLORADO ST 10

Upsets of the Week:
TEMPLE OVER NORTHERN ILLINOIS
WAKE FOREST OVER NAVY
ARMY OVER TULANE
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  • Michael Laham

    Phil was wondering what you think of streaks? I can find the ATS numbers but I think if you posted the streaks it would be a nice addition to the greatest FB sight on the planet. I can see a team is 2-3 ATS but it would be nice and beneficial to know if they are on a 3 game cover streak.
    Thanks
    Michael Laham
    Ok. City

  • Tailgate & Cover

    Check out our weekend picks: http://bit.ly/bawwN5