College Football Preview (Nov. 23-24)
The last week of the regular season is upon us in the college football world and that means rivalry week. That also means we will have much better match-ups this week than we did last week. With this being Thanksgiving weekend, we have games all day today, with a couple of big match-ups tonight. I will go through this weekend’s schedule and preview the games that should be on your tv. Here we go:
#6 Oklahoma at #13 West Virginia, 8:00 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23
What a match-up we have here on this Black Friday. Let the women go out shopping so the men can enjoy this one. Oklahoma comes into this game at 10-1 and the leader in the Big 12, but can lose that conference lead with a loss tonight to the Mountaineers, who will be extra hungry after a tough loss last week to Oklahoma State. Expect this one to be a shootout, like pretty much all Big 12 games. We know that Morgantown is a tough place for visiting teams to play, but I still think Oklahoma is the better team and will come out on top in this one, and win the conference yet again.
Prediction: Oklahoma 44 West Virginia 38
#16 Washington at #8 Washington State, 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23
We have the battle for the state of Washington here, along with the battle for the Pac 12 conference. Both teams are in the North division, and the winner of this one will go on to play in the conference championship. Most people have agreed all year that Washington State is the team to beat in the conference, with college football coaching genius Mike Leach calling the shots. Washington State has only lost one game all year, and that was to USC. I think this will be a very good match-up, but I give the edge to Washington State since they are playing at home. I also think this just feels like their year.
Prediction: Washington State 27 Washington 26
#4 Michigan at #10 Ohio State, 12:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
Oh man what a dandy we have here. This is the best rivalry in college football and one of those games where every college football fan in the country will be watching to see who wins. With Michigan finally relevant again the last few years, this match-up is once again as special as it used to be. The Wolverines come into this one undefeated in the conference and leading the Big Ten, while Ohio State is just one game back and can steal the top spot with a victory. With both teams in the top 10 in the nation, this game is set up perfectly to be the game of the weekend. Michigan has been cruising lately and hasn’t lost since week one. Ohio State has been shaky the last several weeks, but has found ways to get the job done. This one will no doubt be a close game that could go either way, but something tells me Ohio State pulls this one out at home. Urban Meyer has a knack for winning the big games, while Jim Harbaugh hasn’t proved yet that he does. I think that will be the difference.
Prediction: Ohio State 33 Michigan 31
#11 Florida at Florida State, 12:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
This game doesn’t have near the appeal that it usually does, but it’s still a big time rivalry that I will preview. Florida State is having a really down year by their standards at 5-6 overall. Florida is finally good again after several rough years, and even though the game will be played in Tallahassee, should win pretty easily. Since this is a big rivalry, the Seminoles will hang around for a little while and it might be a one-touchdown game at halftime, but the Gators will pull away in the second half showing the state of Florida who is the better team. I’d much rather see a Florida-UCF game instead of this one.
Prediction: Florida 23 Florida State 10
N.C. State at North Carolina, 12:20 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
The only reason I’m previewing this game is because The Sports Chief is a Charlotte-based company, with a LOT of people around here invested in this game. I am a Carolina fan, and am usually excited to watch this game, however, this year has been so bad for the Tar Heels that I don’t think I’ll even watch. I’m fully in basketball mode when it comes to UNC. The Wolfpack are having a pretty good year at 7-3 overall and should have no problem with the Tar Heels. Expect for them to come into Chapel Hill and make quick and easy work of the Heels. Also expect this to be Tar Heel coach Larry Fedora’s last game before he is fired because he has underperformed year after year, with this year being his most poor yet. The Tar Heel football team has a lot of problems, but the main one starts with finding a new coach.
Prediction: N.C. State 38 UNC 22
Auburn at #1 Alabama, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
While Auburn is a very solid football team this year, the question we should be asking here is, “Can anyone in the country actually beat Alabama?” The Crimson Tide have just been rolling all year long, and it’s clear they are the best team in the country. Clemson is very good too, but Alabama is on a different level. They seem to play with a different tenacity. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been really good all year long and could solidify his spot as a Heisman finalist with another good game here. I fully expect him to have one and for the Tide to beat their hated rival Auburn fairly easily.
Prediction: Alabama 33 Auburn 17
# 7 LSU at #22 Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
Another good SEC match-up right here as the Tigers visit the Aggies on Saturday night. LSU is 5-2 in the SEC and the Aggies are an ordinary 4-3 in the conference. While this A&M team is good, they have had better teams in recent years than this one. Kyle Field is a very tough place to play for visitors, but this LSU squad is very good and more than capable of handling it. This will be a close game, but LSU under coach Ed Orgeron will separate themselves in the 4th quarter and leave College Station with a victory. Then Orgeron will have himself a big bowl of gumbo (or five).
Prediction: LSU 28 Texas A&M 24