Week 11 Preview

The first week of November certainly did not disappoint. We only have three undefeated teams remaining and a ton of teams still have playoff hopes, and plenty of interesting conference races entering the final stretch. Week 11 has a lot of great games, featuring three between ranked teams.

Games of Note:

#8 North Carolina @ Pittsburgh

-Scott: Just a mere three weeks ago, Pitt was undefeated, and was demanding respect from the media. They have proved the media correct as of late. Pitt has lost three straight, including an absurd 20 point loss at Duke last weekend. While I think Pitt will be hungry enough for a win, they’ll be facing a Tar Heel team that is coming off their first loss of the season against Wake Forest. UNC will be determined to remain in the playoff picture, and they’ll have their chance, as they’ve clinched the Coastal. This will be a very tough test though. North Carolina 31, Pittsburgh 28

-Gavin: Pittsburgh 35, North Carolina 34

Purdue @ #5 Ohio State

-Scott: Despite OSU’s recent loss, here are the Buckeyes just one spot out of the Playoff. Although this is in large part due to multiple juggernauts losing, OSU also came away with an impressive win on the road against a ranked Nebraska. Although this is a vaunted letdown-lookahead spot, Purdue will have the Bucks’ attention. The Boilers are somewhat surprisingly 6-3 thus far in 2021, and it is very much in the Big Ten West race. Unfortunately, Purdue does have this game to get by. I think OSU starts to hit their stride. Ohio State 51, Purdue 23

-Gavin: Ohio State 45, Purdue 28

#17 TCU @ #10 Oklahoma State

-Scott: This is a massive showdown in Stillwater that will go a long way to deciding the Big XII race. Despite a letdown loss to WVU, TCU is rounding into form, winning 4 of 5, with Gary Patterson’s defense starting to flex its muscles. OK State has a little more margin for error in this conference race, having lost only once, as compared to TCU’s two defeats. The Cowboys avoided a scare last week against… You guessed it: WVU. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by both of these teams this year, and I have no idea who has the edge here. My only hunch is that Max Duggan is better than Spencer Sanders. Go Frogs. TCU 27, Oklahoma State 26

-Gavin: Oklahoma State 28, TCU 24

Georgia State @ Coastal Carolina

-Scott: Headed into the season, you probably wouldn’t have guessed this matchup would have been a game of note this late in the season. But GSU is having a whale of a season, by vastly outperforming preseason expectations. Now, the Panthers find themselves in the thick of the Sun Belt East race. These two squads are in a four way tie for the division lead, along with Troy and App State. This isn’t an elimination game mathematically, but it sure feels like it. The Panthers had a 4-game win streak snapped by Louisiana last week, but still sit at 5-4 overall, and they don’t fear anyone in this conference. Coastal survived a trip to Georgia Southern last week by a field goal, but this team has been a bit inconsistent as of late. They’re capable of blowing anyone off the field, as well. I’ll say this one ends up somewhere in between the two, with a relatively comfortable Chanticleer win. Coastal Carolina 43, Georgia State 30

-Gavin: Coastal Carolina 38, Georgia State 21

#2 Texas A&M @ Ole Miss

-Scott: A&M survived the battle for the top of the SEC West against Auburn last week, keeping their undefeated season intact. If TAMU wins this one, the division crown is theirs. But with the playoff on the mind, they’re trying for the #1 seed. This is a chance for a signature road win in a tough environment. Ole Miss has alternated wins and losses their last seven games, and this looks like just a good team, not a great one. However, they clearly have potential to knock off the big dog. I think they’ll put up a fight, but TAMU’s #1 ranked defense will be too much, even for Matt Corral. Texas A&M 26, Ole Miss 17

-Gavin: Texas A&M 31, Ole Miss 21

#20 Michigan @ #4 Penn State

-Scott: Let’s move to the headliner in the Big Ten, as Penn State has won 8 in a row following the season-opening debacle in Madison. The offense hasn’t been great by any means, but the defense has downright scary good. Michigan has struggled in the big game under Jim Harbaugh, but I won’t rule them out here. The Wolverines have a great defense as well, and they’ll need to force some turnovers to win this one in my opinion. Should Michigan win out, they’ll take the East. That might be enough to vault them into CFP talks, even with two losses. They’ll have to take it one at a time, but Penn State has those same goals too. Give me the home team, and frankly, the slightly better defense. Penn State 20, Michigan 10

-Gavin: Penn State 28, Michigan 21

#21 Northwestern @ Wisconsin

-Scott: This one features two great defenses, and the two squads who are tied with Purdue atop the B1G West. Similar to other games on the list, not an eliminator game, but pretty close to it. Wisconsin smoked Rutgers last week to snap a two-game skid. They’ll need to turn this into a run to finish out November. NU is coming off a couple impressive division home wins over Minnesota and Iowa. Unfortunately for the Cats, they’re 1-2 on the road, with two losses in hostile environments in Lincoln and Ann Arbor. Madison qualifies as just that. The home team has won four in a row in this series. Make it five. Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 7

-Gavin: Wisconsin 28, Northwestern 14

#9 Arizona State @ #16 Washington

-Scott: The playoff hopes of the Pac-12 lie in this singular game, with both programs coming off massive games in Week 10. ASU was tripped up at hope at the hands of the bad guy: USC. This gave the Sun Devils their first loss of the 2021 campaign, and a five spot slip in the playoff rankings. It seems warranted, as the strength of schedule hasn’t been great. But, I’m not writing them off just yet. UW is coming off a huge rivalry win over Oregon, as the Huskies move to 8-1, and have won 7 straight. They’re looking for a little more respect from the committee, and this would be a great spot to do it in yet again. Similar to the game above, the home team has won four in a row in the series. Although I don’t always pick games because of these trends, I want the home team one more time. Washington 34, Arizona State 28

-Gavin: Washington 42, Arizona State 38

Upset Picks:

-Scott: Maine @ UMass

While UMass’s losing margins haven’t always been pretty, I am buying stock in Walt Bell. This Minutemen squad has two wins already, and is coming off a win against Rhode Island. They’ve also beat UConn, so I’m predicting the Minutemen to upset FCS Maine to win the unofficial New England crown. UMass 37, Maine 30

-Gavin: SMU vs UCF

SMU 35, UCF 24

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