THE WORD -- Week 11
Cincinnati at No. 9 West Virginia, 12 p.m.
West Virginia has had nine days to seethe over their loss to Louisville, and then realize that they lost to a team that, turns out, couldn’t even beat Rutgers.
Little Cincinnati is in the way, kind of like the child whose ball bounces into the back yard of a neighbor who’s starving his pit bull. The result should be the same.
West Virginia 48, Cincinnati 10
No. 14 Wisconsin at Iowa, 12 p.m.
Is there a more disappointing team in the Big Ten than Iowa, or a more surprising team than Wisconsin? Or, for that matter, a more -- creatively coached team than Wisconsin.
Wisconsin badgers the Hawkeyes.
Wisconsin 20, Iowa 6
No. 16 Georgia Tech at North Carolina, 12 p.m.
You keep thinking there’s a Chan Gailey special somewhere with this team, a two-touchdown drubbing at the hands of a mediocre football team. But for some reason ...
... I don’t feel like this is the week.
Georgia Tech 24, North Carolina 10
N.C. State at No. 20 Clemson, 12 p.m.
Chuck Amato has pulled out some surprising wins this season. Tommy Bowden has always shown the ability to lose the gimme game.
But the game is in Death Valley, so Clemson comes out on top.
Clemson 21, N.C. State 3
Georgia at No. 6 Auburn, 12:30 p.m.
Who ever thought that the oldest rivalry on the South would end up as the Lincoln Financial game? But, then again, who ever thought that Georgia would lose to Vanderbilt and Kentucky in the same year?
Get some popcorn, South Carolina and Florida fans. This one we can both enjoy.
Auburn 35, Georgia 14
No. 1 Ohio State at Northwestern, 3:30 p.m.
I’m not sure Ohio State can pull this one out. Good quarterback, great wide receivers, strong running back … oh, sorry. It’s just Nov. 11.
Northwestern is the latest road kill on Ohio State’s drive to the Michigan showdown.
Ohio State 48, Northwestern 10
No. 2 Michigan at Indiana, 3:30 p.m.
Michigan almost got rocked last week in an unbelievable upset.
It won’t happen again.
Michigan 34, Indiana 10
No. 7 California at Arizona, 3:30 p.m.
This is largely a scene-setter for the rumble with the Trojans next week. But therein lies the trap: California can’t be caught looking ahead.
I think Arizona will scare Cal, but not upset them.
California 24, Arizona 23
Kent State at No. 18 Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m.
Why? Why would you do this?
You would think Frank Beamer would have a little more confidence in his team than this.
Virginia Tech 56, Kent State 0
!UPSET SPECIAL! Miami at No. 22 Maryland, 3:30 p.m.
This has been a turnaround year for the Refriedgenrator and his terrifying Terrapins. Larry Coker’s Miami, meanwhile, has ...
... struggled this year. But the death of Pata will have them keyed up, and there’s nothing like the memory of a fallen teammate to lead you to an upset.
Miami 21, Maryland 20
Nebraska at No. 24 Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.
It looks like Fran will hold onto his latest dream job for another year, at least. He could help his job -- and his ranking -- immeasurably by beating the Huskers.
This might actually be watchable Big 12 football. But it will be pre-empted by Miami-Maryland, so have at it, boys.
Texas A&M 20, Nebraska 13
No. 12 Notre Dame at Air Force, 4 p.m.
It’s been well-documented that Notre Dame hates the men and women of our military.
This is their latest attack.
Notre Dame 38, Air Force 14
No. 15 Boise State at San Jose State, 6 p.m.
I’m going to be honest with you. I honestly do not know enough about San Jose State to write much about this game. It will be weird to see Boise State away from the blue grass of Boise.
It won’t change the outcome.
Boise State 49, San Jose State 3
No. 8 Tennessee at No. 10 Arkansas, 7 p.m.
I have no idea why this isn’t seen as the game of the week. Two consensus top-12 teams facing off in a game where one is trying to shake off a tough loss and the other is fighting for a spot in the conference championship game.
In any case, it’s going to be a good, good game. And played in Fayetteville. With Erik Ainge probably not in the game. Edge to the Hogs in a defensive struggle.
Arkansas 17, Tennessee 14
Texas Tech at No. 17 Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
The Sooners aren’t the power team they once were. But Texas Tech is not quite as high-flying as it used to be.
Oklahoma shouldn’t have a big problem with this one, though the score will look close.
Oklahoma 21, Texas Tech 13
Duke at No. 23 Boston College, 7 p.m.
This is one of the bad things about getting into conference schedules. You don’t have the “eh, it’s early, let’s see what this team is like” excuse from the early, non-conference slaughter fests. It is what it is.
A terrible team facing a good one.
Boston College 35, Duke 13
Alabama at No. 13 LSU, 7:45 p.m.
This is the game. This is the week where Mike Shula pulls it off. Where he adds a signature win to his resume. Stay the course!
The Tide gets waxed in Baton Rouge.
LSU 34, Alabama 13
SPECIAL NOTE: I am not giving Alabama two field goals there. I’m giving them a missed extra point.
No. 4 Texas at Kansas State, 8 p.m.
Wow, how K-State has fallen. Suddenly, the formula of “weak non-conference schedule + getting through Big 12 = high ranking” isn’t working anymore.
The Longhorns aren’t really who you look to recover against.
Texas 31, Kansas State 14
No 21 Wake Forest at Florida State, 8 p.m.
This is a game that anyone would have called completely differently at the beginning of the year. But it is in Tallahassee. The problem is, Bobby Bowden might not have his mind on the game since his opponent isn’t on the field.
If Florida State hadn’t been so thoroughly unimpressive this year, I might call the upset. But no chance.
Wake Forest 24, FSU 21
Oregon at No. 10 USC, 10:15 p.m.
If this game were being played in Eugene, it would be easy to give it to Oregon. If nothing else, Oregon could wear their glow-in-the-dark uniforms and burn USC-West’s retinas.
But the game is played in LA. So USC-West escapes with a win.
Southern California 31, Oregon 24