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November 10, 2011

Week 11 primer: Huguenin picks them all

WEEK 11 PREVIEWS: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | MWC | Pac-12 | SEC

Well, there's no "Game of the Century" this week, but there still are some games that will shape the national title race.

The biggest will be the Pac-12 showdown in Palo Alto, with Oregon visiting Stanford. A Ducks victory helped propel them to the national title game last season, and Andrew Luck and Stanford are looking to follow the same blueprint this season.

[Heisman Watch: Andrew Luck leads the way | Video: Luck's to lose?]

Boise State tries to stay unbeaten when TCU comes calling; it's the last real test for the Broncos.

There also are some big games in the Big Ten, most notably Iowa-Michigan State and Nebraska-Penn State.

The weekend kickED off with a big Thursday night game in the ACC, with Virginia Tech topping Georgia Tech, eliminating the Yellow Jackets from any title discussions with a win.

Here's a look at each game involving a FBS team this weekend.


USF (4-4) at Syracuse (5-4), 8 p.m., ESPN2
THE BUZZ: USF has lost four in a row and gone from being ranked to being worried about whether it can become bowl eligible. Syracuse is 4-1 at home this season, but it, too, needs to be worried about bowl eligibility.
THE LINE: USF by 3.5 THE PICK: USF 26-24


Nebraska (7-2) at Penn State (8-1), noon, ESPN
THE BUZZ: This is the most important game in the Big Ten this week, but its importance has been vastly overshadowed by what is happening off the field with the Jerry Sandusky case. As insignificant as it might sound, the Huskers basically are in a must-win situation if they want to win the Legends Division.
THE LINE: Nebraska by 3.5 THE PICK: Nebraska 16-10

Oklahoma State (9-0) at Texas Tech (5-4), noon, ABC regional/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: Texas Tech shocked Oklahoma in Norman on Oct. 22, but the Red Raiders have lost their past two. Can they rise up and stun Oklahoma State, which will play for the national title if it wins out? Oklahoma State has won three of the past four in the series, and the Cowboys' win in Lubbock last season was their first since 1944.
THE LINE: Oklahoma State by 17 THE PICK: Oklahoma State 53-42

West Virginia (6-3) at Cincinnati (7-1), noon, ABC regional/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: One team can take a big step toward locking up the Big East title - and it's not preseason favorite West Virginia. The Mountaineers' defense has been inconsistent, and Bearcats QB Zach Collaros could have a big game. Cincinnati is riding a six-game winning streak, but the Bearcats are 1-6 against WVU at home.
THE LINE: Cincinnati by 3.5 THE PICK: WVU 35-31

Michigan State (7-2) at Iowa (6-3), noon, ESPN2
THE BUZZ: This is a big one in the Big Ten's Legends Division race. A loss basically eliminates Iowa. The Hawkeyes hammered the Spartans last season, winning by 31; that was Michigan State's only regular-season loss. Michigan State has lost in each of its past seven trips to Iowa City.
THE LINE: Michigan State by 3 THE PICK: Iowa 24-20

Florida (5-4) at South Carolina (7-2), noon, CBS
THE BUZZ: The health of both starting quarterbacks bears watching. South Carolina's Connor Shaw suffered a concussion in last week's loss to Arkansas but seems likely to play. Florida's John Brantley has been dealing with an ankle injury since Oct. 1 and hurt his wrist in last week's victory over Vanderbilt.
THE LINE: OFF THE PICK: South Carolina 20-17

Texas (6-2) at Missouri (4-5), noon, FX
THE BUZZ: Mizzou needs two more wins for bowl eligibility, and this is the Tigers' toughest remaining game (Texas Tech and Kansas are left after this one). Texas leads the series 17-5, and has won 15 of the past 16 meetings. In addition, the Longhorns are ranked this week and are 11-0 vs. Mizzou when ranked.
THE LINE: Texas by 1 THE PICK: Texas 30-24

Wake Forest (5-4) at Clemson (8-1), noon, ESPNU
THE BUZZ: A Clemson victory clinches the ACC Atlantic Division title. After a 4-1 start, Wake has lost three of four, with the only win coming by one point over Duke.
THE LINE: Clemson by 16.5 THE PICK: Clemson 45-27

Marshall (4-5) at Tulsa (6-3), noon, Fox Sports Net
THE BUZZ: Marshall is tied for second in Conference USA's East Division, but the Herd is more worried about becoming bowl eligible. Tulsa, meanwhile, is unbeaten in league play and is tied with Houston atop C-USA's West Division.
THE LINE: Tulsa by 18 THE PICK: Tulsa 41-21

Ohio State (6-3) at Purdue (4-5), noon, Big Ten Network
THE BUZZ: The Buckeyes remain in the hunt for the Big Ten Leaders Division title and can't afford a loss to the Boilermakers. The Buckeyes are 18-1 in November since the start of the 2005 season and 9-0 on the road in November in that span.
THE LINE: Ohio State by 7.5 THE PICK: Ohio State 23-13

Rice (3-6) at Northwestern (4-5), noon, Big Ten Network
THE BUZZ: This is a big game for Northwestern as it attempts to become bowl eligible. The Wildcats beat the Owls by 17 last season.
THE LINE: Northwestern by 16.5 THE PICK: Northwestern 41-28

Pittsburgh (4-5) at Louisville (5-4), noon, Big East syndication/Sportsnet New York/MASN/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: These are teams going in opposite directions; Louisville has won three in a row and Pitt has lost three of four. Pitt is 0-5 when being held to fewer than 35 points, and Louisville has allowed more than 25 points once - 35 last week to West Virginia.
THE LINE: Louisville by 2.5 THE PICK: Louisville 23-17

Kentucky (4-5) at Vanderbilt (4-5), 12:20 p.m., SEC syndication/MSG network/Comcast Sports Net California/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: Just call this the "Trying to Stay Alive to Get the BBVA Compass Bowl Bid" matchup. UK has won six of the past seven in the series. An aside: When has Vandy ever been favored by 13 in a league game?
THE LINE: Vandy by 13 THE PICK: Vandy 28-17

N.C. State (5-4) at Boston College (2-7), 12:30 p.m., ACC syndication/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: NCSU has two wins over FCS teams, so the Wolfpack must win seven games to become bowl eligible. They will have a tough time getting to seven if they lose this. NCSU has won 10 of its past 13 games in November.
THE LINE: NC State by 2 THE PICK: NC State 24-17

North Texas (3-6) at Troy (2-6), 1 p.m., Sun Belt syndication/Comcast-Charter Sports Southeast
THE BUZZ: Troy comes in on a four-game losing streak. UNT has lost two of its past three.
THE LINE: Troy by 8 THE PICK: Troy 37-31

Buffalo (2-7) at Eastern Michigan (5-4), 1 p.m.
THE BUZZ: EMU has two wins over FCS programs, so the Eagles need to get to seven victories to become bowl eligible. Given that EMU's final game is at Northern Illinois, which looks to be the best team in the MAC, the Eagles had better win this game if they want bowl eligibility.

Wyoming (5-3) at Air Force (5-4), 2 p.m., The mtn.
THE BUZZ: Air Force has won five in a row in the series. The Falcons are fourth nationally in rushing offense, and Wyoming is 115th in rushing defense.
THE LINE: Air Force by 16 THE PICK: Air Force 44-24

Kent State (3-6) at Akron (1-8), 2 p.m., SportsTime Ohio/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: This is known as the "Wagon Wheel Game," presumably because the campuses are just 10 miles apart. Akron has won three of the past four, five of the past seven and 11 of the past 14 in the rivalry.
THE LINE: Kent State by 5.5 THE PICK: Kent State 21-10

Baylor (5-3) at Kansas (2-7), 2 p.m.
THE BUZZ: Baylor is one win away from bowl eligibility, and this is the Bears' best chance to get that sixth victory. Baylor beat KU 55-7 last season.
THE LINE: Baylor by 20 THE PICK: Baylor 45-28

Arizona (2-7) at Colorado (1-9), 2:30 p.m., Fox College Sports Pacific
THE BUZZ: Colorado has surrendered at least 500 total yards in each of its past five games. Arizona QB Nick Foles should set the school record for total offense; he is 87 yards shy of tying former QB Willie Tuitama's school record of 8,727 yards (2005-08).
THE LINE: Arizona by 10.5 THE PICK: Arizona 45-30

Duke (3-6) at Virginia (6-3), 3 p.m., Sun Sports/Fox Sports South/NESN/Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: Virginia still has a shot at the ACC Coastal Division title. Duke has won three in a row over the Cavs for the first time since it won five in a row from 1974-78.
THE LINE: Virginia by 10 THE PICK: Virginia 34-21

San Jose State (3-6) at Utah State (3-5), 3 p.m.
THE BUZZ: Utah State's win at Hawaii last week gave the Aggies a legit shot at becoming bowl eligible, but they can't follow up that upset by losing at home to the Spartans. San Jose State has lost 10 consecutive WAC road games.
THE LINE: Utah State by 10.5 THE PICK: Utah State 38-24

Louisiana-Lafayette (8-2) at Arkansas State (7-2), 3 p.m.
THE BUZZ: This is the biggest game of the season in the Sun Belt. Arkansas State basically locks up the league title with a victory; a ULL victory makes it a three-way tie at the top, with Western Kentucky (which already has lost to Arkansas State) also involved. Both teams have first-year coaches, and ULL was picked to finish last in the league.
THE LINE: Arkansas State by 11 THE PICK: ULL 35-31

TCU (7-2) at Boise State (8-0), 3:30 p.m., Versus
THE BUZZ: This is the last real barrier between Boise State and a 12-0 regular season. The Broncos have won 35 in a row at home and are 71-2 on the blue turf since the beginning of the 2000 season.
THE LINE: Boise State by 15 THE PICK: Boise State 38-28

Auburn (6-3) at Georgia (7-2), 3:30 p.m., CBS
THE BUZZ: Georgia leads the SEC East race, and you have to like the Bulldogs' chances to win the division if they win this, considering their final league game is next week against Kentucky. This is the 115th meeting in the rivalry and there's a difference of just 38 points (Georgia has scored 1,809 and Auburn has scored 1,771).
THE LINE: Georgia by 13 THE PICK: Georgia 27-17

Miami (5-4) at Florida State (6-3), 3:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN
THE BUZZ: This is the first time this fierce rivalry has been played in November since 1991 - which was the first "Wide Right" game. The visiting team has won the past five meetings. FSU has scored at least 30 points in six consecutive games for the first time since 2000.

Michigan (7-2) at Illinois (6-3), 3:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: Michigan remains alive in the Big Ten's Legends Division race. Michigan won 67-65 in three OTs last season, and the Wolverines have won 40 of their past 48 meetings with the Illini.
THE LINE: Pick 'em THE PICK: Michigan 26-21

Texas A&M (5-4) at Kansas State (7-2), 3:30 p.m., ABC regional/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: The Big 12's biggest disappointment (A&M) meets the league's biggest surprise (K-State). K-State has surrendered 110 points and 1,022 passing yards in its past two games, but the Wildcats' rushing attack should have success against the Aggies.
THE LINE: Texas A&M by 4.5 THE PICK: Texas A&M 45-38

Navy (3-6) at SMU (6-3), 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net
THE BUZZ: SMU is unbeaten this season when it has scored at least 21 points; Navy is allowing 31.3 points per game. Navy must win out to become bowl eligible, and this is the Midshipmen's toughest remaining game.
THE LINE: SMU by 8.5 THE PICK: SMU 38-28

Army (3-6) vs. Rutgers (5-3) in New York, 3:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network
THE BUZZ: This game is at Yankee Stadium. This is the 38th meeting in a series that began in 1891. Rutgers has won seven in a row and 11 of the past 13 in the series. Scarlet Knights WR Mohamed Sanu needs 11 receptions to tie former Pitt star Larry Fitzgerald's Big East single-season record of 92.
THE LINE: Rutgers by 7.5 THE PICK: Rutgers 30-21

Wisconsin (7-2) at Minnesota (2-7), 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
THE BUZZ: Paul Bunyan's Axe is on the line. This is the 121st meeting in the most-played rivalry in the nation. The teams first met in 1890 and have played every year since except 1906. Wisconsin has won seven in a row (and 14 of 16) in the series, the Badgers' longest winning streak in the rivalry.
THE LINE: Wisconsin by 27 THE PICK: Wisconsin 54-24

Middle Tennessee (2-6) at Louisiana-Monroe (2-7), 3:30 p.m.
THE BUZZ: Middle Tennessee has won five in a row and nine of the past 10 in this series.
THE LINE: ULM by 5.5 THE PICK: ULM 33-34

Washington (6-3) at USC (7-2), 3:45 p.m., FX
THE BUZZ: Washington QB Keith Price has thrown 25 TD passes this season, three shy of tying the single-season school record of 28 held by Cody Pickett (2002). Washington has won two in a row over the Trojans, and both came down to a last-play field goal.
THE LINE: USC by 11.5 THE PICK: USC 41-33

UAB (1-8) at Memphis (2-7), 4:15 p.m., Comcast-Charter Sports Southeast
THE BUZZ: The hounds can get some barbecue, visit Graceland and hang out on Beale Street this weekend, as this is the dog of the week. These teams have been outscored by a combined 650-263.

Tennessee (4-5) at Arkansas (8-1), 6 p.m., ESPN2
THE BUZZ: The Vols are 0-5 in SEC play but have Vanderbilt and Kentucky after this, so a bowl bid remains probable. Arkansas, meanwhile, remains alive for the SEC West crown and it closes the season with a game against LSU.
THE LINE: Arkansas by 14 THE PICK: Arkansas 35-16

San Diego State (5-3) at Colorado State (3-5), 6 p.m., The mtn.
THE BUZZ: San Diego State has won five of the past six meetings in the series. Colorado State has two wins over FBS schools, and those wins have come by a combined five points.
THE LINE: San Diego State by 13 THE PICK: San Diego State 41-24

Florida Atlantic (0-8) at Florida International (5-4), 6 p.m.
THE BUZZ: Though this has been a disappointing season for FIU, which was the preseason favorite to win the league, the Golden Panthers are one win from bowl eligibility.
THE LINE: FIU by 17.5 THE PICK: FIU 27-7

UCLA (5-4) at Utah (5-4), 6:30 p.m., PrimeTicket/Fox College Sports Central
THE BUZZ: UCLA is the only team in the Pac-12 South that controls its own destiny in the division title chase. UCLA has won three of its past four; the loss in that span was a 36-point setback to an Arizona team that Utah beat by 13.
THE LINE: Utah by 7 THE PICK: Utah 34-24

Oregon State (2-7) at California (5-4), 6:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet California/ROOT Sports Northwest/Fox College Sports Atlantic
THE BUZZ: Cal needs one more win to become bowl eligible. Oregon State has won four in a row and 10 of the past 12 in the series.
THE LINE: Cal by 9 THE PICK: Cal 33-21

Western Kentucky (5-4) at LSU (9-0), 7 p.m., ESPNU
THE BUZZ: Hmm. Well, Western does come in on a five-game winning streak. The last time LSU started 10-0 was 1958 - which was the first season it won the national title.
THE LINE: LSU by 41.5 THE PICK: LSU 42-10

Maryland (2-7) vs. Notre Dame (6-3) in Landover, Md., 7:30 p.m., NBC
THE BUZZ: This is being played on the Washington Redskins' home field, and Maryland has won five games in a row played in NFL stadiums. This is the second of three consecutive games against ACC opponents for Notre Dame, which almost certainly will play an ACC team in a bowl game.
THE LINE: Notre Dame by 20.5 THE PICK: Notre Dame 44-21

Louisiana Tech (5-4) at Ole Miss (2-7), 7:30 p.m., Comcast-Charter Sports Southeast/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: This obviously has been a bad season for Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who has announced he would "resign" at the end of the season. Louisiana Tech is in the hunt for a bowl bid and still has a shot at the WAC title.
THE LINE: Louisiana Tech by 2 THE PICK: Ole Miss 31-27

Alabama (8-1) at Mississippi State (5-4), 7:45 p.m., ESPN
THE BUZZ: Will Alabama be feeling any hangover from last week's loss to LSU? Alabama is 15-4 all-time against the Bulldogs in Starkville and 27-7-1 against the Bulldogs in games played in the state of Mississippi. The Tide hasn't allowed more than 14 points in 10 consecutive games overall.
THE LINE: Alabama by 18 THE PICK: Alabama 34-14

Oregon (8-1) at Stanford (9-0), 8 p.m., ABC
THE BUZZ: This is the 13th meeting of two top-10 Pac-12 teams in the past 25 years. Stanford's national title hopes are on the line. Oregon has won 18 consecutive conference games, and the Ducks' last league loss came at Stanford in 2009. Stanford is 9-0 for the first time since 1951.
THE LINE: Stanford by 3.5 THE PICK: Oregon 43-38

UCF (4-5) at Southern Miss (8-1), 8 p.m., CBS Sports Network
THE BUZZ: Southern Miss is cruising along and is in excellent shape to win the East Division of Conference USA. UCF, on the other hand, has underachieved and may not become bowl eligible.
THE LINE: Southern Miss by 9 THE PICK: Southern Miss 34-17

Fresno State (3-6) at New Mexico State (3-6), 8 p.m., WAC syndication/ESPN GamePlan
THE BUZZ: There are rumblings about Fresno State coach Pat Hill's future. One thing he has been able to do, though, is beat New Mexico State: He is 6-0 against the Aggies and Fresno State is 17-0 all-time against New Mexico State.
THE LINE: Fresno State by 7.5 THE PICK: Fresno State 31-21

East Carolina (4-5) at UTEP (4-5), 8 p.m.
THE BUZZ: A huge game for both in terms of becoming bowl eligible. ECU is looking for its first three-game road winning streak since 2007.

Idaho (2-7) at BYU (6-3), 9:15 p.m., ESPN2
THE BUZZ: These schools haven't met since 1955. This is the third of five WAC opponents for BYU this season; the Cougars are 2-0 thus far.

UNLV (2-6) at New Mexico (0-9), 10 p.m., The mtn.
THE BUZZ: The hounds were thinking about going to this one, but they didn't want to travel that far. These are bad teams, but at least five of the past eight meetings in the series have been decided by seven of fewer points.

Hawaii (5-4) at Nevada (5-3), 10:30 p.m., ESPNU
THE BUZZ: Before the season, it was assumed this would be for the WAC title. Instead, Hawaii already has lost two league games and has been reduced to spoiler mode. Nevada has won 15 in a row at home, tied for the third-longest such streak in the nation.
THE LINE: Nevada by 15 THE PICK: Nevada 45-27

Arizona State (6-3) at Washington State (3-6), 10:30 p.m., Versus
THE BUZZ: Arizona State squarely is in the Pac-12 South Division title race, but the Sun Devils can't afford another league loss. Sun Devils starting DT Bo Moos is the son of Washington State athletic director Bill Moos.
THE LINE: Arizona State by 12 THE PICK: Arizona State 37-21


Ball State (6-4) at Northern Illinois (7-3), 8 p.m., ESPNU
THE BUZZ: NIU is in the driver's seat in the MAC West title race, and the Huskies can eliminate Ball State with a victory. This is the third consecutive Tuesday night game for NIU but the first one at home.


Ohio U. at Bowling Green (4-6), 8 p.m.
THE BUZZ: This will be the second of four consecutive non-Saturday games to end the season for Ohio, which plays tonight against Central Michigan. (That means Ohio is on this list twice. Sort of spooky, no?) Bowling Green has to win out to become bowl eligible.

Western Michigan (5-5) at Miami of Ohio, 8 p.m.
THE BUZZ: As with Ohio U., Miami is finishing up its regular season with four consecutive non-Saturday games. Western Michigan has three non-Saturday games in a row to end the season. Hey, that's MAC football, baby! Western has a legit shot at a bowl bid if it gets to six wins.
THE LINE: TBD THE PICK: Western Michigan 42-27


Ohio 43, Central Michigan 28
THE PICK: Ohio 34-17

Virginia Tech 37, Georgia Tech 26
THE PICK: Virginia Tech 27-24

Houston 73, Tulane 17
THE PICK: Houston 59-23


38-15 straight up, 25-27 against the spread.


437-146 straight up, 230-257-2 against the spread (no spread on games involving FCS schools)

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.

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