Week 10 Top 25 Forecasts!

Every week I 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 12-6 picking the winners of each game and have gone 144-34 (81%) so far this season! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week.

#1 OREGON VS WASHINGTON

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
WASH 112
180
12
2.7
-
OREGON
353
255
55
2.1
••••
The Ducks have started 8-0 for just the second time in 115 seasons (1933). Washington will be playing this one with out QB Locker and even with him at QB the Huskies come into this meeting with a sputtering offense that hasn’t scored in nearly 98 minutes including being shutout at home for the 1st time S/’1976 LW vs Stanford, 41-0 (Stanford 22-7 FD, 470-107 yd edges!!). Oregon meanwhile may have faced its biggest challenge of the season in LW’s visit to USC (off a bye) where despite going back and forth for the 1st 3Q’s, UO scored the final 24 pts in the 21 pt win. The Ducks move so quickly through their plays that they rank last in the conference and 114th in the nation in time of possession, at 26:44 per game. The Ducks have won a school record 6 consecutive meetings vs the Huskies by an avg 42-17 while outgaining them by 285 ypg over the L/2. The Ducks have my #1 offense and #16 D and faced a backup QB in their last home game vs UCLA and won 60-13. Look for more of the same here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OREGON 55 WASHINGTON 13

#2 BOISE ST VS HAWAII

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
HAWAII 12
290
24
2.9
-
BOISE ST
198
310
42
2.2
••
This is a showcase of the lone undefeated teams in the WAC and the winner here is in the driver’s seat for the conf title. The Broncos maybe starting to feel some BCS pressure as they were jumped by TCU in the BCS standings this week and HC Petersen did address the question of having to blow teams out regularly in his press conference. Boise has won 8 of 9 in this series and are 4-0 outscoring Hawaii by 30 ppg on “The Blue.” This game features two of the NCAA’s top 10 offenses (BSU #5, UH #7). While BSU also boasts the NCAA’s #3 D, this is an area where UH has made strides with their #39 unit TY. UH QB Moniz leads the NCAA in ttl off. Boise QB Moore is avg 266 ypg (70%) with an 18-2 ratio (#1 NCAA pass eff). UH is playing for a 10th str wk (3rd trip to the mainland in 5 wks) but has won 6 consecutive games and LW accepted an invitation to the Hawaii Bowl. Boise is off a Tues night gm with extra days to prepare but the Warriors are a legitimate threat to keep this one close well into the 2H before the Broncos pull away.

PHIL’S FORECAST : BOISE ST 41 HAWAII 27

#3 AUBURN VS CHATTANOOGA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
CHATTANOOGA 40
233
18
2.9
-
AUBURN
391
243
54
3
-
Last week the scene was set for Auburn to go down. The #1 team had gone down 3 straight weeks and Auburn had to travel on the road on Halloween weekend to face Mississippi and Houston Nutt, a coach that had knocked off 3 Top 5 teams the last 4 years. Also AU was coming off a huge game vs LSU and playing yet another tough one. In the previous 2 weeks, Wisconsin and Mizzouri both got a KR TD at the start of the game to put Ohio St and Oklahoma in holes which were key to establishing momentum. Here, it took 2 plays for Mississippi to get an 83 yd TD run to take a stunning 7-0 lead. Auburn battled back though and led 34-17 at HT and cruised in the 2H. This week they get a breather in FCS Chattanooga who has Tennessee transfer BJ Coleman (PS#65) at QB but the Mocs are sitting at 5-3 with losses to FCS #1 Appalachian St and #2 Jacksonville St. While the Tigers will want to showcase Heisman frontrunner QB Newton early, I expect to see the backups get significant minutes in the 2H as the Tigers move to 10-0 with big games against rivals Georgia and Alabama on deck.

PHIL’S FORECAST : AUBURN 55 CHATTANOOGA 17

#4 TCU AT #6 UTAH

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TCU 187
193
28
1.9
-
UTAH
139
218
30
2.0
The game of the week in College Football this week as ESPN GameDay will be on hand and this is a national title elimination game. At least one of these teams has come into the matchup undefeated with BCS aspirations the L/3 yrs. Both are undefeated and blowing out foes with TCU winning on avg 41-9 (+268 ypg) and UT winning 45-14 (+182). TCU’s Dalton is avg 210 ypg (66%) with a 16-5 ratio and RB Wesley leads with 937 (6.8). UT’s QB Wynn is avg 239 ypg (69%) with a 13-6 ratio but faces his toughest test yet vs my #4 pass eff D (119 ypg, 50%, 7-7). RB’s Wide (491, 5.0) and Asiata (488, 4.7) also run up against the NCAA’s #9 rush D all’g 98 ypg (3.3). TCU has a slight edge on (#12-17) while Utah has PR Smithson and the slight ST’s edge (#1-6). Both rank high on D across the board. Two years ago TCU came into Salt Lake City and had a 416-275 yd edge but missed a couple of key FG’s in the loss. LY TCU scored 3 TD’s in 2:30 early 2Q to break it open in front of a record home crowd as they won by 4 TD’s. The Frogs have a more veteran team have played a much tougher schedule and keep their national title hopes alive.

PHIL’S FORECAST : TCU 30 UTAH 20

#5 ALABAMA AT #12 LSU

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ALABAMA 185
170
21
1.1
-
LSU
160
120
15
2.3
x
This is the 4th year of the “Saban Bowl” as Alabama HC Nick Saban is 2-1 vs his former tm. The winner of this gm has represented the West in the SEC Title game in each of the L/3Y. Both teams are off much needed byes and the Tide are lucky to avoid Death Valley at night (27-1 in Sat night home games, 6-4 in afternoon home games under Miles). Both teams have top 10 D’s (AL #2, LSU #8) but AL has a large edge on off (#11-58) while LSU has a ST edge (#3-33). LSU’s QB tandem of Jefferson and Lee is avg only 142 ypg (58%) with a 4-9 ratio while UA QB McElroy is avg 223 ypg (71%) with an 11-3 ratio. Both have strong lines and good running games but the difference is Tide QB McElroy (37-1 as a starter in HS/college) and Alabama continues their march to a huge Iron Bowl game in three weeks.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ALABAMA 20 LSU 13

#7 WISCONSIN AT PURDUE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
WISCONSIN 198
190
37
1.3
PURDUE
147
175
16
2.0
-
Wisconsin has won 4 str in this seriers and LY held Purdue to a ssn low 141 yds (next lowest was 329) and it was Purdue’s 1st B10 road shutout S/’95. UW has outgained PU by 198 ypg the L/2 (avg score 31-2). LY the Badgers were off a bye and dominated with their size edge and TY are off a bye again. UW used to bye to heal inj’s to multiple starters after the 2 biggest wins in the Bielema era over #1 OSU and at Iowa. Led by Clay (887, 5.5) and White (570, 6.6) UW ran for 163 ypg vs the B10’s top 2 rush D’s and Iowa’s Ferentz later said the Badger OL was the best he’d seen in his 12 yrs as HC. Meanwhile Purdue was forced to start its 3rd diff QB vs Illinois last week (1st time S/’96) as true Fr Robinson hit just 7-20 for just 52 yd in a dismal 44-10 loss. Ohio St and Illinois have run right at the NCAA’s tfl leader DE Kerrigan avg 186 ypg (3.9) limiting his effectiveness. The Badgers keep their Big 10 title hopes alive with a comfortable win here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : WISCONSIN 37 PURDUE 16

#9 NEBRASKA AT IOWA ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NEBRASKA 290
193
39
2.0
••
IOWA ST
211
123
19
1.7
-
If you look up the definition of revenge in a college football dictionary last year’s Nebraska/Iowa St game would be pictured. Nebraska’s 8-0 TO deficit gave ISU its 1st win at Lincoln S/’77. Twice NU fmbl’d into the EZ for a TB as the Huskers lost despite a 362-269 yd edge. Last week Nebraska took a different approach to their home game (were just 5-3 previous 8) and took the B12 North lead throttling unbeaten Missouri after jumping out to a 24-0 1Q lead thanks to big plays. Helu had a school record 307 yds with TD runs of 66, 73 and 54 yd. QB Martinez (leg) didn’t play in the 2H but is expected to return for this. The Blackshirts do have my #1 pass eff D and Iowa St QB Arnaud is just #92 NCAA pass eff (152, 57%, 10-8). I look for the Huskers to get some revenge from last year as they win comfortably and continue their march to the Big 12 title game in their final year.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NEBRASKA 41 IOWA ST 13

#10 STANFORD VS #13 ARIZONA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ARIZONA 110
233
21
2.5
STANFORD
166
258
31
2.4
-
This is a pivotal game in the Pac-10 between 2 tms chasing Oregon for the top spot. Last week the Cardinal were very impressive as they scored on 5 of their 1st 6 drives running away with a 41-0 win in Seattle. Arizona despite having a ssn-best 583 yds had some difficulty shaking off a pesky Bruins team. The Wildcats should have 2 healthy QB’s here as despite have 2 consec successful starts, QB Scott (390 ttl yds LW) will likely turn the team back over to Foles (267 ypg, 75%) who missed the L/2 (knee). LY Stanford blew a 15 pt lead as AZ RB Grigsby scored on a 57 yd TD run w/2:57 remaining. Stanford has scored 30 or more points in eight straight games, the longest streak in school history, and has averaged 42.4 points, the fifth most in the nation. Stanford still has hopes of playing in the Rose Bowl this year if Oregon plays for the national title and get a crucial home win if they want to achieve that goal.

PHIL’S FORECAST : STANFORD 27 ARIZONA  24

#11 OKLAHOMA AT TEXAS A&M

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OKLAHOMA 147
308
33
1.7
••
TEXAS A&M
149
318
27
2.6
-
Last week Oklahoma rebounded from the Missouri loss with a 43-10 Colorado demolition of Colorado as OU had 635-263 yd and 31-12 FD edges. QB Jones (318, 67%, 21-5) bounced back from a disastrous 4Q vs Mizzou with a career high 453 yd and 4 TD incl an OU record 208 yd to WR Broyles. Texas A&M beat rival Texas Tech 45-27 as the Ags had 623-452 yd and 35-24 FD edges. QB Tannehill hit 36-50 for 449 with a 4-1 ratio in his starting debut and preseason B12 OPY Johnson didn’t even see the field. Despite the Sooners struggles on the road the L/2Y they need to win here to keep pace in the South with Baylor. A&M has faced exactly one above-average D this year and they struggled scoring 9 at Mizzouri but with new life at QB should be able to put some points on the board but not enough to keep up with the high-powered Sooners.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OKLAHOMA 44 TEXAS A&M 27

#14 MISSOURI AT TEXAS TECH

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MISSOURI 130
335
36
1.9
-
TEXAS TECH
120
350
25
2.8
Last week Missouri’s national title hopes were crushed in Lincoln as the Huskers used big plays to roar out to a 24-0 1Q lead and held on. Despite the team’s hot start Gabbert (262, 64%, 12-4) has been inconsistent at times ranking just #7 among B12 pass eff leaders (#55 NCAA). The Tigers D has been the story for all the right reasons until getting shredded for big plays by NU’s run gm (328, 7.0) LW. Texas Tech meanwhile lost 45-27 at College Station for its 1st 4-4 start S/’99.The Raiders were outgained 623-452 but also lost 2 fmbl’s on the goal line. Tuberville said after the gm that they may be forced to go to more of a run gm to help out the struggling D which is allowing a B12 worst 450 ypg (#113 NCAA). This should be another high-scoring affair but the Tigers defense gets a stop late and Mizzou gets the win.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MISSOURI 38 TEXAS TECH 35

#15 IOWA AT INDIANA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
IOWA 141
240
39
1.1
••
INDIANA
29
320
13
3.0
-
Last year’s game was memorable as the Hoosiers led 21-7 at HT but the key play came in the 3Q when officials wrongfully called a TD pass incomplete which would’ve put Indy up by 2 scores and Indy missed the ensuing FG as Iowa won 42-24. The Hawkeyes did destroy unbeaten MSU last week with a 30-0 HT lead picking off 3 Cousins passes incl a 66 yd IR TD as they got right back into the thick of the Big 10 race. QB Stanzi (240 ypg, 69%, 19-2 ratio) is #2 NCAA pass eff. Indy lost 20-17 to NW to fall to 0-4 in conf play. The Hoosiers have been outscored by 58 on the B10 road but just by 10 (-13 yd comb) at home. Big 10’s #1 passer Chappell (306 ypg, 65%, 18-7) has thrown all of his int in conf play (5-7 ratio). Iowa may be a little flat in this game but in the end keep their Big 10 title hopes alive.

PHIL’S FORECAST : IOWA 31 INDIANA 21

#16 MICHIGAN ST VS MINNESOTA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MINNESOTA 100
193
16
2.2
-
MICH ST
201
298
42
2.1
•••
Last week MSU’s unbeaten bubble burst in a big way at Iowa as the Spartans trailed 30-0 at the half as Cousins threw 3 int incl the gm turning 1Q 66 yd IR TD. After running for 175 in each of the 1st 6, MSU’s run gm has been slowed to just 76 ypg (3.0) the L/3. Minnesota was pummelled by OSU 52-10 as the Bucks had 24-10 FD and 507-232 yd edges but also scored TD’s via a blk’d P and a fmbl return. Weber is UM’s all-time passing leader and the offense seems to have finally found a TB in Eskridge (523, 3.7). The Gophers are last in the NCAA in ypp all’d (6.97) and sks (3). This should be a high scoring game but the Spartans get the bounce back win.

PHIL’S FORECAST: MICHIGAN ST 40 MINNESOTA 20

#17 ARKANSAS AT #18 S CAROLINA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ARKANSAS 68
355
29
2.1
-
S CAROLINA
162
260
29
2.4
-
SC HC Spurrier said in his press conference that if they are going to beat Arkansas, they better play better pass defense as they gave up 300 yds to Tennessee last week and are allowing opposing QB’s to complete better than 65% against them. SC does control its own destiny in the SEC East, but has the “SEC East Championship” on deck (at FL). SC RB Lattimore rushed for a career high 184 rush yds LW (722, 4.8) after returning from inj and QB Garcia is avg 238 ypg (71%) with a 13-7 ratio and WR Jeffery leads the SEC in receiving (52, 18.0). Ark QB Mallett is avg 306 ypg, 66%, 18-7) and the Razorbacks are off a 49-14 win over Vandy in which Mallett set a UA record with 409 pass yds. Points should be plentiful in a close gm but I will go with the home team.

PHIL’S FORECAST : S CAROLINA 38 ARKANSAS 35

#19 OKLAHOMA ST VS #22 BAYLOR

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BAYLOR 148
320
32
2.2
-
OKLA ST
172
355
38
2.6
-
Oklahoma St hasn’t lost to BU in Stillwater S/’39 and has won 13 of their L/14 games in the series. NCAA’s #1 WR OSU’s Blackmon (1112, 17.9, 14 TD) is exp to return here after being susp’d for the Cowboys 24-14 win at K-St. OSU surprisingly scored just 17 off pts despite a 511-289 yd edge as they fmbl’d twice at the 38 and were SOD at the Cats 28. QB Weeden is #8 NCAA passing (318, 65%, 23-9) and the NCAA’s #3 rusher Hunter (1174, 6.2) leads a potent offense. Baylor leads the B12 South after its 1st win in Austin S/’91. QB Griffin (288 ypg, 67%, 20-5, 401 rush) leads the NCAA in pts responsible for and is #3 NCAA in ttl off. The battle between the B12’s most surprising teams could come down to who has the ball last.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OKLAHOMA ST 37 BAYLOR 34

#20 VA TECH VS GA TECH

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
GA TECH 287
45
19
2.1
-
VA TECH
248
230
39
1.7
x
Virginia Tech has won six straight games by double digits since their loss to FCS James Madison. They have done it with a balanced attack avg 215 ypg on the ground and 210 thru the air. QB Taylor is avg 200 pass ypg (64%) with a 15-3 ratio and also leads with 527 rush yds (6.2) and 3 TD’s. The GT ground game is avg 317 rush ypg (5.7) led by RB Allen (692, 6.0) and QB Nesbitt (651, 4.1) but did have their worst performance of the season in their last game against Clemson with 242 rush yds (4.9). The Hokies do have extra time to prepare against Georgia Tech’s option and my computer calls for the Hokies to have a huge 478-332 yd edge and a 20 pt victory as VT makes it 7 str wins by DD’s here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : VIRGINIA TECH 37 GEORGIA TECH 20

#23 NC STATE AT CLEMSON

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NC STATE 102
238
21
2.5
-
CLEMSON
174
208
26
2.1
•••
NCSt was lucky to get a win last week as the Pack was down 21-7 at half vs FSU on Thurs night. They battled back and on the GW drive conv 4D twice, incl 4&gl from the 1 when QB Wilson found a wide open TE Bryan in the back of the EZ w/2:40 left. NCSt had lost 2 of its L/3 on last-minute drives and it looked like it would happen again as FSU got to the 4 but LB Irving grabbed a Ponder fmbl to preserve the win. Wilson did become the 1st NCSt QB in 22Y with 3 rush TD in a gm. HC O’Brien is 0-3 vs Clemson being outscored by 20 ppg and outgained by 207. The Tigers are off a tough loss to BC, 16-10 as they missed two FG’s and had 3 trips inside BC terr but were SOD and int’d twice. QB Parker only threw for 176 with an 0-2 ratio. Top rusher Ellington missed the end of the gm (foot) and will be out a few wks. Clemson has won 6 str over NCSt by 16 ppg and over L/5Y has outgained them in each (+188 ypg) and keeps the trend going here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : CLEMSON 27 NC STATE 17

#24 FLORIDA ST VS N CAROLINA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
N CAROLINA 130
168
17
2.0
-
FLA ST
226
253
31
2.6
•••
The Noles are 15-1-1 in this series (7-0-1 in Tallahassee). LY FSU was down 24-6 early 3Q before mounting the comeback behind a career high 395 pass yds by QB Ponder. FSU is off a heartbreaking Thurs night loss to NCSt, 28-24. The Noles built a 21-7 1H lead but all’d NCSt to conv on 4D twice on the GW drive incl a 4&gl TD pass w/2:40 left. FSU had a chance to win it as Ponder drove them to the NCSt4 but he ran into his own RB which jarred the ball loose and NCSt fell on it. UNC is off a close 21-17 win over my pick to win the FCS, William & Mary. The Heels were outFD’d 20-19 and had to rally from a 17-7 deficit in the 4Q but finished with a 421-286 yd edge. FSU has the edges on both sides of the ball and has a big ST’s edge as well.

PHIL’S FORECAST : FLORIDA ST 27 N CAROLINA 20

#25 NEVADA AT IDAHO

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NEVADA 316
200
42
1.9
-
IDAHO
89
385
31
2.7
-
Idaho is happy to be back home as they’ve played their L/5 gms in 5 different time zones incl LW’s in Hawaii where 4 TO’s led to 28 pts in a 45-10 loss. QB Enderle is avg 285 ypg (59%) with a 16-12 ratio but was only 23-41 for 207 yds and 2 int LW. UN (#3 ttl off) is led by QB Kaepernick (209 ypg, 68%, 12-5 ratio, 771 rush yds) who is #10 in the NCAA in ttl off. Last week if you would have looked at the final score, you would have thought the game was close but Nevada actually had a 35-0 HT lead over USU before all’g 42 2H pts in a 56-42 win. In the Pack’s L/3 gms in the Kibbie Dome, UN has won by an avg of 51-14 outgaining UI by 250 ypg with 35, 38 and 35 pt wins! Look for the Pack to run their win streak to 4 in a row in the dome.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NEVADA 48 IDAHO 31

Upsets of the Week: 2-1 LW!
NAVY OVER EAST CAROLINA
LOUISIANA TECH OVER FRESNO ST
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  • andrewmartinez

    Stanford (or any Pac-10 team for that matter) can not play in the Rose Bowl if Oregon goes to the BCS title game, it’s in the BCS rules this season. The Rose Bowl must take the highest rated non-AQ… Boise State/TCU/Utah. Thus Stanford has no hope of playing in that bowl game unless they win the Pac10 and aren’t selected to the BCS title game.

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    Andrew,
    Yes I know the rule and currently have TCU playing Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. I just mentioned that Stanford still has slim hope of playing in the Rose Bowl but need a lot of help. Thanks, Phil