Week 11 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 13-5 picking the winners of each game and have gone 157-39 (80%) so far this season! On the bottom of the forecasts, I have also listed some Upset Specials for this week.

#1 OREGON at CALIFORNIA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OREGON 242
178
43
2.2
••
CALIFORNIA
144
208
22
2.8
-

Oregon got off to a slow start last week by managed to score 53 points in the final 3Q’s to rout a beat-up Washington team. This week they face a Cal team who is also without their starting QB Riley who is out for the year and last week Mansion hit just 50% of his passes with an 0-2 ratio but they were able to beat Washington St 20-13. LY Cal came into this game avg 49 ppg but were held to just 3 pts in the 42-3 loss. Cal has won 3 str in this series at home by 11 ppg and four of the L/7 have been decided by a TD or less but its tough to go against a Duck team that has been so prolific.

PHIL’S FORECAST : OREGON 41 CALIFORNIA 27

#2 AUBURN VS GEORGIA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
GEORGIA 137
238
35
1.7
••
AUBURN
289
243
41
1.8
-

Auburn can clinch a spot in the SEC title game with a win here and it will be interesting to see how QB Newton and the Tigers respond to all the off-the-field issues that have been reported in the past couple of weeks. UGA has won 4 in a row in the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” for the first time S/’’44-’48 and needs to win 1 more game to clinch a bowl bid. Both teams dominated FCS teams last week and a match-up to keep an eye on here will be UGA WR Green going up against my #76 pass D. I think the Bulldogs keep it close until late but like many times this year Newton and the Auburn offense makes a key play late to move to 11-0 which I predicted on pg 34 in my preseason magazine this year.

PHIL’S FORECAST : AUBURN 34 GEORGIA 31

#3 TCU VS SAN DIEGO ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SDST 40
170
9
2.8
-
TCU
245
285
46
1.4
•••

The Horned Frogs made their case last week to be included in the national title game should Auburn or Oregon lose a game down the stretch as they dominated Utah 47-7. The Frogs built a 23-0 HT lead with a 328-72 yd edge and silenced the “blackout” crowd with ESPN Gameday on hand. This week they do face a much improved San Diego St team that is led by QB Lindley who is avg 270 ypg with a 16-9 ratio but going up against a TCU defense that has not allowed a 200-yd passing game yet by any team this year (only team in FBS) will be a different animal. The Frogs move to 11-0 and with two weeks to prepare for a 1-8 New Mexico team and should be punching their tickets to the BCS for a second straight year.

PHIL’S FORECAST : TCU 41 SAN DIEGO ST 13

#4 BOISE ST at IDAHO

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BOISE ST 251
350
53
1.8
IDAHO
44
255
15
3.6
-

PHIL’S FORECAST : Check Back FRIDAY at 5:00

#5 LSU VS ULM

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
ULM 45
170
3
2.3
-
LSU
235
190
37
1.3
•••••

All those fans that wanted Les Miles fired a few weeks ago have to be eating some crow after his Tigers beat former LSU coach Saban and Alabama last week 24-21 ending the Tide’s chance at repeating as champs. As usual Miles had some trick plays including a 4th and 1 reverse off a toss sweep that led to their final TD. Also backup QB Lee hit a crucial 47-yd pass on 3rd and long late in the 4Q which sealed the Tide’s fate. This week they get a breather with ULM who is off a heartbreaking loss to FIU in 2OT. Keep in mind the last two times LSU was in a sandwich game they had to rally back big to win against Troy and LY only beat La Tech by 8. This one won’t be as close though as the Tigers keep their BCS hopes alive.

PHIL’S FORECAST : LSU 34 ULM 6

#6 WISCONSIN VS INDIANA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
INDIANA 70
250
15
1.9
-
WISCONSIN
235
235
39
0.9

Wisconsin still is in great position to grab a BCS bowl berth (possibly the Rose) if they continue to win out as they are still the highest ranked Big 10 team in the BCS thanks to their impressive wins over Ohio St and Iowa. Last week was not one of their best performances as they had to rally from a 10-6 HT deficit without their top 2 RB’s to beat Purdue. Their opponent this week Indiana is off a near upset of Iowa but WR Belcher dropped a TD pass on 4th Dn with :35 left and the Hoosiers lost 18-13. While Indy maybe playing for their coach’s job here UW has rushed for a combined 735 yds the L/2 yrs against the Hooisers and will control the LOS here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : WISCONSIN 41 INDIANA 17

#7 STANFORD AT ARIZONA ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
STANFORD 158
215
32
1.7
-
ARIZONA ST
102
275
26
3.1
••

The home team has won nine of the last ten in this series but this one maybe tough on the home Sun Devils who face a Stanford team who is fresh off an impressive 42-17 win over Arizona as the Cardinal are thinking BCS if they are able to win out. ASU meanwhile is off a heartbreaking loss to USC by 1 pt as they missed a GW FG with under 2 minutes remaining and also had a blk’d XP returned for 2 pts. Keep in mind ASU was able to hold powerful Oregon to just 380 yds earlier this season and while I think they keep it close, QB Luck and the strong Cardinal running game will prove too much.

PHIL’S FORECAST : STANFORD 31 ARIZONA ST 27

#8 OHIO ST VS PENN ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
PENN ST 94
113
13
2.4
••
OHIO ST
212
233
37
1.6

It was quite a scene last week as Penn St rallied from a 21-0 deficit to score the game’s final 35 pts giving Paterno his 400th win as head coach. This maybe a different story as Ohio St has held PSU to no more than 20 pts in their last 8 meetings and the Lions are just 2-16 on the road vs ranked teams. The Bucks are off a bye and you have to think Pryor who has avg 222 pass ypg (68%) with a 20-7 ratio will be as healthy as he’s been in several weeks with the added rest. His counterpart PSU QB McGloin has a 7-1 ratio in the L/3 gms and will get the start here but the Bucks have outscored their opp’s by 36 ppg at home this year and should pull away in the 2H as they get ready to go to Iowa City next week for a B10 showdown with Iowa.

PHIL’S FORECAST :OHIO ST 34 PENN ST 13

#9 NEBRASKA VS KANSAS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
KANSAS 127
98
11
2.5
-
NEBRASKA
309
213
49
1.2
•••

The Cornhuskers were lucky to come out of Ames with a win last week in OT as ISU’s 2 pt conv failed as the holder underthrew a wide open rec in the EZ and was int’d. Neb was playing with their 3rd string QB who attempted only 12 passes. Kansas is also off an exciting win as they scored 35 4Q pts to stun Colorado 52-45 and it was the largest comeback in KU history. One of the more interesting stories to this game will be KU HC Gill returning to his alma mater where he played QB and was an asst cch for many years. As for the game the Huskers haven’t lost at home to the Jayhawks S/’68 and its hard to imagine them keeping this one close as NU continues their march back to the Big 12 title game.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NEBRASKA 48 KANSAS 13

#11 ALABAMA VS #17 MISS ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
MISS ST 162
68
9
1.8
-
ALABAMA
149
263
25
1.7
-

The Crimson Tide’s national title hopes were dashed last week as they fell to LSU while Miss St is 7-2 with 6 str wins and are coming off a bye in which they had to deal with the death of DE Nick Bell to cancer. LY Alabama controlled this game with a 31-3 win as MSU unveiled black jerseys before a stadium record crowd. The Tide OL has been a disappointment this season as they have allowed 25 sacks but QB McElroy has been able to complete 69% of his passes with a 13-4 ratio. The DL last week also allowed 225 rush yds (5.0) which were the most allowed since ’07. They will be tested again here against a MSU rush off that is avg 217 ypg (5.0) and QB Relf has a 7-3 ratio to go along with 507 rush (4.1). You have to wonder what type of mental state the Tide will be in this one but playing at home will help as they keep their faint BCS bowl hopes alive.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ALABAMA 23 MISS ST 16

#12 OKLAHOMA ST AT TEXAS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
OKLA ST 144
193
32
2.5
TEXAS
127
283
23
3.5
-

Who would have thought before the season that Oklahoma St who was ranked #120 in my experience ratings (pg 311 of the magazine) would come into this game as a sizeable favorite against defending B12 champ Texas. However that is the case here as the Horns are reeling off another disappointing loss as they actually trailed KSt LW at one point 39-0 despite having a 412-270 yd edge but had 5 TO’s. QB Gilbert has just a 7-14 ratio and the Horns have yet to find a reliable RB. OSU meanwhile is off a 55-28 demolition of Baylor as they outgained the Bears 725-464 thanks to WR Blackmon’s 242 ttl yds (fresh off suspension). The Horns have won 12 str in this series and have only lost one time at home to OSU all the way back in 1944! Sooner or later you have to think UT will play up to their potential like they did on the road at Nebraska and I’ll call for them to get the win here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : TEXAS 31 OKLAHOMA ST 28

#13 IOWA AT NORTHWESTERN

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
IOWA 146
245
30
1.6
NWESTERN
94
255
15
2.3
-
LY in this game Iowa came in undefeated and led 10-0 before QB Stanzi was hurt and had just 121 ttl yds in the final 3Q’s in the loss as there have now been 5 str upsets in this series.  There were nearly two upsets last week in games involving these two teams last week as Iowa was fortunate that an IU rec dropped a TD pass with :35 left to preserve their 18-13 win while Northwestern led Penn St 21-0 on the road before allowing 35 unanswered pts in the loss. Earlier this year Northwestern nearly upset a highly-ranked MSU team at home and while Iowa has the big Ohio St game on deck I’ll call for them to escape here with a win.

PHIL’S FORECAST : IOWA 27 NORTHWESTERN 20

#14 ARKANSAS VS UTEP

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
UTEP 87
143
8
2.6
ARKANSAS
234
353
46
1.4
-

These two teams have met only one time before back in 1989 as the Hogs won 39-7. Ark is off a dominating 41-20 win over South Carolina on the road last week and Ark QB Mallett is avg 306 ypg (67%) with a 19-8 ratio. UTEP clinched bowl elig for the first time S/’05 with their 28-14 upset of SMU last week and their QB Vittatoe also has a 19-8 ratio. Arkansas’s only losses this year came vs then-#1 Bama and to current 10-0 Auburn and while they may not play their sharpest game, still have too many weapons on offense and their defense is much improved TY allowing nearly 75 ypg less than a year ago.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ARKANSAS 48 UTEP 17

#15 UTAH AT NOTRE DAME

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
UTAH 117
230
30
2.6
•••
NOTRE DAME
98
315
27
2.6
-

First meeting between these two schools and just the 6th time in the last 20 years that Utah will play on the Eastern Time Zone. Utah was embarrassed 47-7 to Utah last week with GameDay on hand and snapped their 21 gm home winning streak. This week they will be playing their 4th rd game in 6 weeks while ND is off a bye. The Irish will be starting true frosh QB Rees who does have some exp this year throwing for 413 yds (62%) with a 4-4 ratio as Crist is OFY with a knee inj. ND is also playing without RB Allen (hip) who is OFY and their #2 and #3 rec are both out as well. HC Kelly had 9 wins over ranked teams at Cincinnati but ND has not won a game against a ranked team since 2006 (0-10). Will the Utes suffer from BCS “Bubble Burst”?

PHIL’S FORECAST : UTAH 24 NOTRE DAME 23

#16 VIRGINIA TECH AT N CAROLINA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
VA TECH 170
178
29
1.8
•••
N CAROLINA
161
268
26
1.6
-

The Hokies have clearly rebounded from their 0-2 start with 7 str wins with QB Taylor leading the way avg 193 pass ypg (63%) with a 16-4 ratio and also leads with 584 rush yds (6.2). Last week they had to survive a GT team that jumped out to a 14-0 lead but lost their QB on a crucial int in the 2Q. VT also had a 90 yd KR TD after GT tied it at 21 late in the 4Q.  North Carolina is off a road upset of FSU last week as QB Yates threw for a school record 439 yds. While VT has won 9 of their L/10 Nov road games, NC should have some confidence as they upset #14 VT 20-17 LY on the road and have won 6 of their L/7 gms TY adjusting well to all the suspensions.

PHIL’S FORECAST : N CAROLINA 27 VA TECH 24

#18 ARIZONA VS USC

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
USC 125
248
28
2.4
-
ARIZONA
156
318
28
2.0
-

Arizona has played the Trojans very tough over the past 5 years and LY beat USC for the first time in 8 tries at the Coliseum as they grabbed a Holiday bowl bid and USC had to settle for the Emerald Bowl. AZ QB Foles will be making his first start here in 3 weeks and LW was harassed by a physical Stanford team on the road 42-17. USC was fortunate to come out with a W last week as they had a 74 yd IR TD and ret’d a block XP for 2 pts and ASU missed a GW FG with over a minute remaining in their 1 pt win over the Sun Devils. It will be interesting to see if Kiffin will be able to keep his players focused down the stretch here with not much to play for as the Wildcats still have aspirations of a Top 10 finish.

PHIL’S FORECAST : ARIZONA 38 USC 28

#19 OKLAHOMA VS TEXAS TECH

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TX TECH 104
273
23
2.7
-
OKLAHOMA
197
398
40
1.6
••

Oklahoma had their chances last week vs A&M but made way too many mistakes. On the first play a snap went over QB Landry’s head for a safety and in the 2H opeining KO they allowed a 100 yd KR TD. They were also stopped on 4th&gl from the 1 twice and on 4th&gl from the 2, missed a 36 yd FG and dropped a sure TD pass on a fake FG. The Red Raiders had much better luck last week as QB Potts came off the bench to lead a comeback in the win over Mizzou. The home team has won 6 str in this series and nine of the L/11 have been decided by 10+ pts. I’ll call for the Sooners to rebound in a big way here as they get back in the Big 12 title race.

PHIL’S FORECAST :OKLAHOMA 44 TEXAS TECH 23

#20 MISSOURI VS KANSAS ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
KANSAS ST 173
120
19
2.0
MISSOURI
237
285
29
2.3
-

KSt is bowl elig after their big win over Texas LW as they actually led 39-0 at one point as they capitalized off several UT miscues. After a 7-0 start MO has lost 2 str gms despite jumping out to a 17-3 lead last week on the road against Texas Tech. QB Gabbert has been inconsistent TY and last week hit just 12-30 for 95 yd in the 2H. Missouri has now won 4 str in this series by an avg score of 42-22 and I’ll call for them to continue the streak here.

PHIL’S FORECAST : MISSOURI 34 KANSAS ST 17

#21 NEVADA AT FRESNO ST

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NEVADA 283
225
43
1.2
-
FRESNO ST
167
230
32
2.2
••

Nevada had one of the most productive offensive performances in college football history LW as they racked up a tm record 844 ttl yds of off in their 63-17 win at Idaho as QB Kaepernick threw for a career-high 5 TD passes. Fresno St meawhile had to rally from a 14 pt 1H deficit to win 40-34 at La Tech as RB Rouse had 286 rush yds. Nevada has dominated the LOS the last couple of years in this series as they have outgained Fresno St by a comb 933-218 on the ground. I think TY will be much more competitive as Fresno St HC Hill and his teams thrive in the underdog role against ranked teams but in the end Nev has too many weapons.

PHIL’S FORECAST : NEVADA 36 FRESNO ST 30

#22 S CAROLINA AT #24 FLORIDA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
S CAROLINA 79
203
18
2.9
-
FLORIDA
152
283
35
2.5
•••

The SEC East Title is on the line in this one. Last week UF had a dominating 55-14 win over Vanderbilt and since they changed their offense to more of a hurry-up mode two weeks ago they have avg 465 ypg which is 136 ypg more than what they were avg the first 7 gms. On the other side SC comes limping into this one as QB Garcia was benched LW after throwing 2 int and RB Lattimore was not 100%. UF HC Meyer would like nothing more than to send the “Ol Ball Coach” to another disappointing finish and the Gators get their 5th str win over their former coach and head to Atlanta for the 3rd str year.

PHIL’S FORECAST: FLORIDA 31 SOUTH CAROLINA 17

#23 TEXAS A&M AT BAYLOR

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TX A&M 178
323
36
2.3
-
BAYLOR
183
318
31
2.3

The Aggies have been a different team since QB Tannehill took over as he is avg 276 pass ypg (68%) with  a 9-3 ratio. Last week A&M got back into the Big 12 South race as they capitalized on several Sooner mistakes. Meanwhile the Bears were brought down to earth against OSU LW as they allowed 725 yds and B12 ttl off leader Griffin was held to without a TD for the first time TY. While A&M has a huge def edge (#27-79) I’ll call for the Bears to get the bounce back win as they beat A&M the last time here 41-21 with Griffin at QB.

PHIL’S FORECAST : BAYLOR 37 TEXAS A&M 34

#25 UCF VS SOUTHERN MISS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
S MISS 130
183
24
1.9
-
UCF
161
208
38
2.3
•••

UCF has now won 11 str conf gms and remained the only team w/out a CUSA loss TY and are in the driver’s seat for a CUSA title gm berth with their win over Houston last week. Meanwhile SM took care of a feisty Tulane group LW and scored the game’s final 16 pts after it was tied at 30 going into the 4Q. A key match-up to keep an eye on here will be a SM offense that has scored 40 pts in each of their L/5 gms going up against a UCF def that is #1 in CUSA (#18 in NCAA) allowing just 308 ypg. While the Golden Eagles have won both of their games in Orlando UCF is the better balanced team and get another conf win.

PHIL’S FORECAST: UCF 37 SOUTHERN MISS 23

Upsets of the Week:
COLORADO OVER IOWA ST
USF OVER LOUISVILLE
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