Week 7 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 14-5 picking the winners of each game and have gone 104-16 (86.7%) so far this season! On the bottom of the forecast, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week.

# 1 OHIO ST AT #18 WISCONSIN

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OHIO ST 170
215
32
1.4
-
WISCONSIN
185
155
24
2.2
••

The #1 team has a stiff task this week and even though Ohio St beat Wisconsin by 18 pts last year, the final was misleading as UW had 22-8 FD, 368-184 yd and 42:47-17:13 TOP edges but the Buckeyes had 2 IR TD’s and 1 KR TD. This year the Buckeyes are rolling along with all their wins coming by double digits and last week despite a thigh injury QB Pryor threw for a career-high 334 yds and 3 TD’s in the 38-10 win over Indiana. Naturally the Badgers have a very good running game behind two RB’s in Clay (692, 6.0) and White (485, 7.7) and will try to keep the high-powered Buckeye offense off the field. This will be OSU’s only game vs a ranked team in October and unlike Alabama last week, the Bucks will play their “A” game as they move to 7-0.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OHIO ST 31 WISCONSIN 21

#3 BOISE ST AT SAN JOSE ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BOISE ST 231
265
42
1.0
SAN JOSE ST
44
125
2
3.4
-

Thanks to South Carolina’s upset, the Broncos move back up to #3 this week and for the third consecutive week take on a clearly “overmatched” opponent. San Jose St meanwhile is facing its 5th ranked team already and were competitive with Nevada last week before giving way in a 35-13 loss. Boise has the #4 scoring offense in the country (47 ppg) while San Jose St is dead last avg 10 ppg. The Broncos are a perfect 10-0 in this series and the avg MOV has been by 29 ppg. Boise owns the nation’s longest winning streak at 19 games and should name the score here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : BOISE ST 55 SAN JOSE ST 3

#4 TCU VS BYU

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BYU 100
115
6
2.5
-
TCU
280
205
39
1.6
••

TCU has dominated BYU recently outscoring the Cougars 70-14 the last two years and are coming off their first back-to-back shutouts in the last 55 years with wins over Colorado St and Wyoming. BYU is also off an impressive win as they snapped their four game losing streak by beating a much improved San Diego St team 24-21. The Cougars fired their DC after the Utah St loss and held the Aztecs to just 53 rush yds but they are still allowing 225 ypg (5.1) and will be taking on a TCU run game avg 279 ypg (5.9). The Horned Frogs have won 11 str MWC HG’s by an avg of 36 ppg and this one will be no different.

PHIL’S FORECAST : TCU 41 BYU 10

#5 NEBRASKA VS TEXAS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TEXAS 102
158
13
3.1
-
NEBRASKA
244
108
31
2.6
••

There may be no game this past offseason that got more press than this Big 12 Title game rematch as Nebraska left the Big 12 because of Texas. The Huskers will be looking for revenge from last year’s 13-12 loss where the officials put :01 back on the clock that allowed the Horns to kick a 46 yd game-winning FG. UT did hold NU to just 106 total yds but this year may be a different story as the Huskers offense is much improved thanks to their talented young QB Taylor Martinez. “T-Magic” last week had 241 rush yds (a Neb QB record) and 4 TD’s and already has 737 rush yds (10.8!) and 12 TD’s on the season! Texas is off a bye and is a perfect 11-0 the L/11 yrs following the Oklahoma game. The last time the Horns lost 3 consecutive games was in HC Brown’s first season in 1999 and while I expect a great effort here, Nebraska is just too good at home.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NEBRASKA 27 TEXAS 13

#6 OKLAHOMA VS IOWA ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
IOWA ST 139
138
19
2.6
-
OKLAHOMA
217
373
42
2.0
••

The Sooners are off a bye following their 28-20 win over Texas and are 13-1 the last 14 years following the Red River Rivalry. This week they get an Iowa St team that has beaten them just one time since 1961 and are coming off a 68-27 loss to Utah a game in which they led 14-10. It was the most pts ever scored by a visiting ISU opponent. While the Sooners may not reach 68 pts, they do have plenty of weapons in QB Jones (291, 64%, 11-3 ratio) RB Murray 551 rush yds (4.2) and the NCAA #2 rec in Broyles (46 rec, 11.3) and easily move to 6-0.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OKLAHOMA 49 IOWA ST 13

#7 AUBURN VS #12 ARKANSAS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ARKANSAS 72
343
27
2.1
-
AUBURN
244
218
30
3.0
-

With Alabama’s loss last week, this one has even more significance with the winner having a solid shot at the SEC West title. Arkansas has pulled upsets in this series the last two years and LY jumped out to a 34-3 lead and held on for a 44-23 win. The last time here Arkansas had a 428-185 yd edge and knocked off the #20 Tigers. This year the teams are closely matched despite their contrasting styles as the #5 Tiger offense prefers to run behind QB Newton 672 rush (6.5) and the #10 Razorback offense prefers to throw with QB Mallett who is avg 350 ypg (69%) with a 13-6 ratio. While the Razorbacks have the defensive edge (#13-34) Auburn is at home playing with legitimate revenge from last year and get the win in what should be an entertaining game.

PHIL’S FORECAST : AUBURN 33 ARKANSAS 27

#8 ALABAMA VS MISSISSIPPI

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OLE MISS 127
108
14
3.1
-
ALABAMA
199
323
42
1.4

It will be interesting to see how the Crimson Tide respond to their first loss in the regular season the 2007 season finale to Auburn. Last week RB’s Ingram and Richardson were held to a combined 64 yds and QB McElroy lost his first game since grade school (35-1). This week they get an Ole Miss team fresh off a bye while Bama plays for the 7 str week. UM QB Masoli upset two top 6 teams at Oregon and HC Nutt has a great track record against Top 10 teams including a win over #1 LSU on the road in 2007 and a win over #4 Florida on the road in 2008. I won’t call for the upset here but I do think the Tide will be a little flat early on before their experienced playmakers take over late.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ALABAMA 31 MISSISSIPPI 17

#9 LSU VS MCNEESE ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
MCNEESE ST 15
80
0
2.8
LSU
250
250
46
2.1

Despite these two teams being in the same state, this is the first meeting. The “Mad Hatter” strikes again as last week LSU HC Miles called for a fake FG with less than a minute remaining that set up the game-winning TD 3 plays later in their 33-29 win over Florida in the Swamp. While LSU made of habit of winning games last year despite being outgained, this year they are outgaining foes 336-246 and in their last two games they have outgained their opponents by a combined 360 yds. This week they take on FCS McNeese St (2-3) who last week lost to Stephen F. Austin 32-27 in the final minute. The Cowboys do have some injury concerns at the skill positions with their RB out and their QB ?. The past two weeks LSU fans have had to sweat out exciting come-from-behind finishes and this week will breathe a little easier as they move to 7-0.

PHIL’S FORECAST: LSU 42 McNeese St 0

#10 S CAROLINA AT KENTUCKY

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
S CAROLINA 165
195
36
1.6
-
KENTUCKY
125
260
24
1.9
-

The Gamecocks are off their biggest win in school history last week as they beat defending champ #1 Alabama 35-21. The outcome was no fluke as they jumped out to an early 21-3 lead and QB Garcia played the game of his life completing 17 of 20 passes for 201 yds and 3 TD’s. This week they get a Kentucky team who is off 3 str SEC losses and last week lost a heartbreaker to undefeated Auburn 37-34. SC has won 10 in a row over UK and HC Spurrier is a perfect 17-0 but the Wildcats do have plenty of weapons on offense in RB Locke 574 (5.3) and WR Cobb 571 combined rush/rec. QB Hartline is much improved this year avg 240 ypg (67%) with a 9-3 ratio. The problem is their defense is allowing 190 rush ypg which means SC RB Lattimore 459 rush should have a solid day as the Gamecocks get the close win.

PHIL’S FORECAST : S CAROLINA 37 KENTUCKY 33

#11 UTAH VS WYOMING

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
UTAH 216
235
41
1.4
••
WYOMING
84
190
14
1.6
-

While Boise St and TCU have grabbed many of the headlines for non-BCS teams, the Utes have been very impressive at 5-0 and have outscored their opponents by an avg of 49-16 and have outgained them by an avg of 438-267. Last week they fell behind Iowa St 14-10 on the road before exploding for 31 unanswered pts and cruised to a 38-27 win which was the most pts scored ever against ISU at home. Wyoming is off a 45-0 loss to TCU where there QB Carta-Samuels was a late scratch. This week he should get the start but Utah has outscored Wyoming 112-17 the last 3 years and Utah has scored 50+ pts the last three games and HC Whittingham will take no prisoners in this final MWC season.

PHIL’S FORECAST : UTAH 41 WYOMING 13

#15 IOWA AT MICHIGAN

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
IOWA 163
280
33
1.7
MICHIGAN
192
230
25
2.6

The Hawkeyes are fresh off a bye after beating Penn St by their largest margin ever (24-3). QB Stanzi is #3 in the NCAA in pass eff with a 10-2 ratio and Iowa has the #1 scoring defense (only 4 TD’s allowed). They will get tested here as they face the Big 10’s #1 total offense led by QB Robinson who “only” had 301 total yds last week in their loss to Michigan St. Robinson is #12 in the NCAA in pass eff and is #2 in rushing with 991 yds (8.3). The Wolverines defense however is last in the Big 10 and has allowed 500 yds 3x this year and are #119 NCAA in pass D. This will easily be the best defense Robinson has face this year and despite being on the road, I’ll side with the more veteran balanced team.

PHIL’S FORECAST : IOWA 27 MICHIGAN 24

#13 MICHIGAN ST VS ILLINOIS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ILLINOIS 185
183
22
2.0
-
MICH ST
151
243
27
2.0
••

The Spartans are coming off their 3rd straight win over Michigan (first time since ’65-’67) as they dominated the 2H with a 276-115 yd edge in the 34-17 win. The Illini are also off an impressive road win as they won for the first time in Happy Valley and dominated rolling up 23-7 FD and 282-62 rush yd edges. QB Scheelhaase has not been spectacular avg just 128 ypg (59%) with a 4-4 ratio but does have the Big 10’s #2 rusher in in RB Leshoure 597 (5.7) to lean on. The Spartans QB Cousons is #9 in the NCAA in pass eff and has two very good RB’s in Baker 683 (7.0) and Bell 549 (7.7), With both teams off “A” performances last week I’ll side with the home team that has the better QB and more weapons at his disposal.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MICHIGAN ST 28 ILLINOIS 20

#16 FLORIDA ST VS BOSTON COLL

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BC 70
183
9
3.2
-
FLORIDA ST
196
268
39
2.5

The Seminoles are coming off a big win as they beat rival Miami, Fl 45-17 on the road. The Noles gained 291 rush yds (7.1) thanks in large part to a 90 yd run late in the game and finished with just a 467-421 yd edge and were out FD’d 27-22 but did harass UM QB Harris (5 tfl, 8 pbu). BC is coming in with 3 str losses and have been outscored by a combined 94-30. Their problems start at QB where last week Shinskie was forced to start with Rettig injured and he completed just 7 of 24 for 89 yds with 2 int’s. Florida St has outscored their two FBS opponents at home this year by a combined 65-10 and I expect more of the same here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: FLORIDA ST  34 BOSTON COLL 10

#17 ARIZONA VS WASHINGTON ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ARIZONA 203
303
36
2.5
••
WASH ST
83
243
19
2.4

The Wildcats disappointed me last week as they were coming off a bye and playing at home but still lost to Oregon St which dropped them out of the Top 10. This week they get a Washington St that has actually been relatively competitive the last two weeks vs UCLA and Oregon. Like the rest of the Pac-10, Arizona has owned their series against Wazzu as of late winning their last 4 by 25 ppg. Last year they scored on their first 7 possessions in their 48-7 win. I expect Arizona to come out hungry this week as they should blowout the overmatched Cougars.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ARIZONA 51 WASH ST 16

#19 NEVADA VS HAWAII

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NEVADA 315
190
38
2.2
-
HAWAII
80
440
37
2.6
-

This has the makings of being the most exciting game of the entire weekend as two formidable offenses collide. While Nevada is #2 in total offense avg 545 ypg Hawaii is #6 avg 497 ypg. Last week Hawaii went on the road and dominated Fresno 49-27 and are led by the nation’s leading passer in QB Moniz who is avg 388 ypg. Nevada is off to their best start since becoming a IA team in 1992 and naturally are led by QB Kaepernick who is #6 in the NCAA in total offense. While UN’s pass defense is improved they have not faced an offense like this to date.  This is a dangerous spot for the #19 Wolfpack as they have not won in Honolulu since 1948 are playing their 3rd away game in 4 weeks. I’ll call for this to come down to the wire with QB Kaepernick making a key play late to keep his team undefeated barely.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NEVADA 42 HAWAII 41

#20 OKLAHOMA ST AT TEXAS TECH

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OKLA ST 115
295
39
3.1
-
TX TECH
110
415
44
3.2

Last week the Raiders jumped out to a 45-28 mid 3Q lead and held on for a 45-38 win over Baylor at the Cotton Bowl. The offense piled up 635 total yds but the defense did give up 507 yds and on the season allow 406 ypg and a Big 12 worst 32 ppg. Oklahoma St is built similarly as they are averaging 526 ypg on offense thanks to their trio of QB Weeden, WR Blackmon and RB Hunter. However, their pass defense is allowing a Big 12 worst 291 ypg but they have forced 16 TO’s. This has all the makings off a shootout and I’ll side with the home team.

PHIL’S FORECAST : TEXAS TECH 47 OKLAHOMA ST 40

# 21 MISSOURI AT TEXAS A&M

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MISSOURI 122
218
26
2.5
-
TX A&M
159
318
26
3.4
•••

This is Missouri’s first true road game this season as they take on a reeling Texas A&M team off back-to-back losses. Texas A&M QB Johnson has been a disappointment this season as he has more interceptions (9) than he had all of last season but HC Sherman has stood by his QB. The Aggies do have my #3 pass eff defense and have a huge ST’s edge (#1-60). Last week Missouri beat Colorado 26-0 but it was misleading as the Buffaloes missed 2 FG’s and had 3 drives inside the MO22. QB Gabbert sat most of the 4Q due to a hip pointer but should get the start here. The Tigers have faced a very soft slate of QB’s this year and I’ll call for A&M Johnson to have one of his best performances as the Ags stop the slide.

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

#22 FLORIDA VS MISSISSIPPI ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MISS ST 114
88
16
2.7
-
FLORIDA
127
228
26
2.4
••

The Gators are off back-to-back losses for just the second time under Meyer and this week Meyer faces former OC Dan Mullen and an improved Miss St team. Last year the game was tied 13-13 all in the 3Q but UF scored 18 unanswered pts. Mullen criticized officials when a replay showed MSU WR McRae stripping the ball from a LB short of the GL on a 23 yd IR TD. It was the Gators 1st win in Starkville since 1985. Last week while the Gators lost a heartbreaker at home to LSU, MSU went on the road and dominated Houston 47-24 and had 409 rush yds. Meyer has struggled against SEC West teams with just a 12-11 record and QB Brantley and RB Demps are both banged up. While MSU has pulled several upsets recently, I think the Gators are desperate for a win and get it here, but it won’t be pretty.

PHIL’S FORECAST : FLORIDA 24 MISS ST 14

#23 AIR FORCE AT SAN DIEGO ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
AIR FORCE 281
93
26
1.6
SDST
168
248
28
2.2
-

Last year Air Force scored 23 of its 26 pts off TO’s in the win over the Aztecs but did not score an offensive TD. Last week San Diego St came in sluggish off a bye and fell behind 14-0 after 1Q vs BYU. They pulled within 3 when it looked they recovered a fumble at their own 25 w/1:21 left 3Q but the call was overturned due to a ? review. BYU would score 5 plays later to make it 24-14. Air Force is off a 49-27 win which was a bit misleading as CSU scored the final 14 pts when the Falcons put their subs in. SDSt’s DC is ex-New Mexico HC Rocky Long who is a master at stopping the option and has held AF under its season rush avg 9x in 10 years and I’ll call for the Aztecs to get their first win over a ranked team since 1996.

PHIL’S FORECAST : SAN DIEGO ST 31 AIR FORCE 24

#24 OREGON ST AT WASHINGTON

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OREGON ST 175
238
33
1.0
•••
WASH
201
293
31
1.4

It is that time of year again for Oregon St. Every year they start September slowly then turn it on in October and November and it appears Mike Riley is working his magic once again. Ryan Katz, who completed 43% of his passes on the road in the first 2 starts, hit 30-42-393 yds in their win over #9 Arizona last week. Meanwhile the Huskies suffered their 2nd consec home loss last week vs ASU and have loss 6 straight to the Beavers. Washington has been a Jekyll and Hyde team this year that shows up every other week and judging from their performance vs ASU, I expect to see a better Husky unit here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : WASHINGTON 38 OREGON ST 35

#25 WEST VIRGINIA VS USF

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
USF 107
133
12
2.5
-
W VA
209
203
27
1.7
-
USF has 3 upsets over ranked WVU teams in the last four years holding WV well below their season avg each time as USF’s speed on defense has neutralized WV’s big play ability. USF is travelling on a short week after a disappointing loss to Syracuse and QB Daniels is avg only 137 pass ypg (53%) with a 4-7 ratio. WV QB Smith is avg 228 ypg (66%) with a 12-2 ratio and has RB Devine who has 475 rush (5.3). Because of the recent history I’ll say the Bulls keep it close before the Mountaineers score a TD late to get the home win.

PHIL’S FORECAST: WEST VIRGINIA 21 USF 17

Upsets of the Week:
PITTSBURGH OVER SYRACUSE
COLORADO OVER BAYLOR
CALIFORNIA OVER USC
LOUISIANA TECH OVER IDAHO
SAN DIEGO ST OVER AIR FORCE
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  • Beavsfootball

    Got to be a typo Phil – Yesterday you had Washington 38-35 over Oregon State, now you throw up 38-3

    Note to Phil – Don James is not the coach at UW and it’s not 1983.
    Your disregard for Oregon State is transparent