2014 NCAA College Football Week Fourteen Picks
Last week’s 5-2 record against the spread raised my record for the year to 77-56-4. I will be picking ten games in college football’s last full weekend of games, mainly focusing on those teams that still have something to play for such as spots in conference championship games or getting into a good bowl. Before getting into this week’s selections, here is a quick rundown of how my picks in week twelve went -
Northern Illinois -1 at Ohio
Don Beebe’s son Chad scores on a touchdown pass with six minutes remaining, lifting Northern Illinois to a 21-14 road win against Ohio. (W)
Utah State -12.5 San Jose State
Third string quarterback Kent Myers runs for three touchdowns and throws for another as Utah State dominates at home against a hapless San Jose State squad, 51-7. (W)
Western Kentucky -7 UTSA
Brandon Doughty, who will end the season as the NCAA leader for passing touchdowns and yards, throws for 346 yards and five touchdowns as Western Kentucky blows out UTSA, 45-7. (W)
Western Michigan +1.5 Central Michigan
Western Michigan covers for the tenth game in a row, outscoring Central Michigan 32-6 after the first quarter and winning 32-20 on the road. (W)
Louisiana Tech -11.5 Old Dominion
La. Tech leads 24-14 at the half and then falls apart, eventually losing in overtime 30-27. (L)
UCLA -3 USC
With the game tied in the second quarter UCLA scores on four straight possessions, as Brett Hundley throws for three touchdowns and rushes for another, leading the Bruins to a strong 38-20 win at home against rival USC. (W)
Nevada -7 Fresno State
The Wolfpack of Nevada ruin my perfect Mountain West record for the season, now 16-1-1, as Fresno State gets a big road win 40-20 thanks mostly to quarterback Brian Burrell’s five combined touchdowns. (L)
Week 13 Record 5-2
Season Record 77-56-4
THIS WEEK'S PICKS-
Central Florida Knights (-12) at South Florida Bulls Friday, Nov. 28th 12:00 PM
UCF enters the game having won seven of their last eight games, while also covering in six of those. With an opportunity to take home the American Athletic Conference title if they win out, the Knights should be motivated enough to win by at least two touchdowns against South Florida, who has only covered the spread in seven of their last thirty home games and have beat the spread only twice in their last eleven games in November.
PICK Central Florida -12
UCLA (-4) vs. Stanford Friday 3:30 PM
The Bruins continued their end of season resurgence by winning their fifth game in a row last week in impressive fashion against USC, and can clinch the Pac 12 South crown with a win this weekend against Stanford. Stanford has struggled recently on the road, going 1-5 against the spread in their last six away contests and has also struggled putting together back to back quality performances, going 0-6 against the spread in their last six games following a win (UCLA on the other hand is 8-3 vs. the line after a win). Stanford has won the last six matchups between the two teams, that streak ends this weekend in Pasadena.
PICK UCLA -4
Colorado State (-7) at Air Force Friday 3:30 PM
Colorado State is the third team on Friday I’ll be taking that has a possible conference title game spot on the line as they still have a good shot at playing for the Mountain West Conference championship if they win out. The Rams have won their last nine games and have covered in ten of their last twelve and are going against an Air Force team that has recently struggled against quality, having covered in just two games in their last nine against teams with a winning record. They may not match last year’s margin of victory of 45 points, but take Colorado State with confidence giving a touchdown against Air Force.
PICK Colorado State -7
Cincinnati Bearcats (-5) at Temple Owls Saturday 12:00 PM
The Bearcats going to Philly to play Temple, having won and covered in each of their last five games with an average winning margin of 27 points per game, while the opposing Owls have struggled mightily of late, having only covered once in their last five games. Cincinnati has won the last four matchups between the two teams and shouldn’t have much of an issue adding another win in their recent dominance of Temple.
PICK Cincinnati -5
Utah Utes (-9) at Colorado Buffaloes Saturday 1:00 PM
Utah started the season with a record of 5-1, but since has gone 1-3. They should be able to get the ship righted this week against Colorado, who is currently riding a losing streak of seven straight games. The Utes have covered in their last five road games are 8-3 on the year against the spread and will win easily on the road in Boulder.
PICK Utah -9
Mississippi State Bulldogs (-1) at Mississippi Rebels Saturday 3:30 PM
The Egg Bowl has been one sided the last few years, with Mississippi State having won and covered in four of the last five games and they catch a struggling Ole Miss team this week who has won only one of their last four games, and that was against lowly Presbyterian and has struggled mightily on offense since the season ending injury to wide receiver Laquan Treadwell. The Rebels have only covered in four of their last twenty one November games, while Mississippi State has dominated the number of late, having gone 12-4 in their last sixteen games, 5-1 in their last six road games and 9-2 in their last eleven SEC games. The Bulldogs win the battle of Mississippi.
PICK Mississippi State -1
Michigan State Spartans (-13) at Penn State Nittany Lions Saturday 3:30 PM
Michigan State visits Penn State with an 9-2 record and a chance at securing a birth in a major bowl, possibly Fiesta, with a strong showing against the Nittany Lions. The Spartans average margin of victory this season has been over 28 points per game and have an impressive 12-4-1 record against the spread in their last 17 games against teams with a winning record. And while Sparty played well in Big 10 games this year, 4-1 against the line, Penn State has only covered once in their last seven conference matchups. Penn State has already clinched a bowl berth, which they will disgracefully be allowed to play in this year as the NCAA moronically decided to lift their ban for their downright criminal handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Like a number of picks in this week’s column, go with the team that needs the game more.
PICK Michigan State -13
Georgia Southern Eagles (-14) vs. UL Monroe Warhawks Saturday Nov. 29th 6:00 PM
I have picked Georgia Southern and their dominant running attack more than any other team this year, so it only makes sense to take them in their final game of the season, especially against a UL Monroe team that has only won once in their last seven games. The Eagles have won seven of their last eight and have covered in twelve of their last fifteen games. The trends continue.
PICK Georgia Southern -14
Fresno State Bulldogs (-10) vs. Hawaii Rainbows Saturday Nov. 29th 7:00 PM
With a chance at clinching a spot in the Mountain West conference championship game on the line, Fresno State will try to extinguish the Rainbows in California and continue their recent success against the line, having covered in six of their last eight games. Hawaii ended their three year road losing streak a couple weeks ago and usually don’t respond well to success, having covered just once in their last eight games following a win. The Bulldogs need a win and they will get it and secure their spot in their conference title game.
PICK Fresno State -10
Washington Huskies (-3) at Washington State Cougars Saturday Nov. 29th 10:30 PM
This is more of a pick against Washington State than anything else, as the Cougars have had major issues on offense since losing their best player, starting quarterback Connor Halliday. Last week backup Luke Falk accounted for five turnovers, and with him at the helm Washington State face to great of a challenge against in state rival Washington. The Huskies have covered in four of the last five games between the two teams and will continue that success in one of Saturday’s finals games.
PICK Washington -3
I hope all have a great Thanksgiving. I am forever thankful to the weekly readers of the column and especially to those who helped spread the word by forwarding it out to other and posting links on Facebook. Enjoy a great slate of games and best of luck in all your picks.