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November 8, 2012

Weekend Forecast: Week 11

Untitled Document
Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham

There are several big conference games on the schedule this coming week and things start on Thursday night with Florida State and Virginia Tech meeting up in the ACC. But most people are more excited about what will come in the SEC and Pac-12.

And the Big Ten has several big games including a pivotal game between Indiana and Wisconsin? That's right, the winner of the game controls its own destiny to Indianapolis in the Leaders division with Ohio State and Penn State unable to go to the title game. Plus, if Penn State loses the Buckeyes win the Leaders division trophy during the bye week.

Game Noon
Texas A&M vs. Bama Bama Bama Bama Bama Bama Bama Bama
Ben's Pick: Having projected SEC games for the better part of the season, I have to admit that even I was caught off guard by how closely LSU played Alabama last weekend. And that's one of the biggest reasons why I don't see the Aggies being able to make it two consecutive close calls for the Crimson Tide. I look for 'Bama to take it early and often to Texas A&M, with A.J. McCarron building on last weekend's emotional win and Nick Saban flustering Johnny Football with the strongest defense that the Aggies have faced all season. I expect Alabama to roll, and keep on rolling, on its way to an SEC title game matchup with Florida in December. Alabama 42 Texas A&M 13
Noon's pick: LSU did everything but win last weekend when the Tiger took the Crimson Tide to the wire, only to come up short at the end. Mississippi State got beat soundly by Texas A&M. Now LSU is looking to see if it can continue with any offense behind quarterback Zach Mettenberg or if the lack of offense will come back against a Bulldogs team that is on the cusp of being a 'very good' team. But even with that being said, LSU's defense will keep the Bulldogs at bay (MSU has only scored 20 points combined in the last two games) and the Tigers will score (barely) enough points to win this one. LSU 17 Mississippi St. 13
Oregon St. vs. Stanford OSU Stanford Stanford OSU Stanford OSU Stanford
Jeremy's pick: Aside from each of these teams suffering a loss to Washington, there's not a whole lot about them that's similar, and that makes this weekend's matchup very intriguing. David Shaw has dealt admirably with the loss of Andrew Luck, and has turned to Stefon Taylor to take the pressure of Luck's replacement, Josh Nunes. Taylor is the offensive key for the Cardinal against the 4th ranked rushing defense of the surprise Beavers. Each of these teams has Oregon looming on the horizon and control their own destiny and a shot at a Pac-12 title. Destiny this week is wearing orange and black, and OSU quarterback Sean Mannion will lead the way to a Beavers' upset in Palo Alto. Oregon St. 31 Stanford 24
Penn St. vs. Nebraska Neb. Neb. Neb. Neb. Neb. PSU Neb.
Marc's pick: There are some good games this week in the Big Ten but to me this is the best of the group. Two tradition-rich programs and despite Penn State's sanctions there is still plenty on the line here as Nebraska is trying to earn a spot in the Big Ten championship game. The Nebraska offense has been humming behind Taylor Martinez but the defense at times has been shaky. Matt McGloin has had a strong senior season for Penn State and he will need to be on this Saturday as this is a game that the winner will likely need to score 30+ points to win. The home field and the motivation of a potential BCS bid should be enough for the Huskers to earn a tough win. Nebraska 34 Penn State 28
N'west vs. Michigan N'west UM UM UM UM UM UM
Doug's pick: The big question leading up to Saturday's Michigan-Northwestern game in Ann Arbor is the health of Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson. Michigan coach Brady Hoke has indicated that he expects Robinson (right elbow nerve) to play. If he doesn't, Michigan will go with Devin Gardner, who capably subbed for Robinson in last week's win over Minnesota. Northwestern, coming off a bye week, moved into the BCS rankings for the first time since 2008 at No. 24. Coincidentally, the Wildcats won that same year in Ann Arbor for the first time since 1995. Omen? If you're a Northwestern fan or a Michigan enemy, you'd like to think so. Both teams need a victory to keep pace with Nebraska in the Big Ten Legends Division race. The game looks pretty evenly matched on paper, but the Wolverines get the nod because they're at home. Michigan 28 Northwestern 27
Andy's pick: It's crazy to think that Virginia Tech could miss out on the bowl season. The usual steady hand of the ACC sits one game under .500 and needs to pick up two wins to get to six. They have the talent to upset a ranked opponent, especially with Logan Thomas at quarterback. The problem is Florida State possesses a fast, grueling defense that will keep Thomas on the run all game. The Seminoles should be smooth sailing till their showdown with the Gators. Florida St. 42 Va. Tech 24
Tom's pick: The third ranked and high Flying Kansas State Wildcats head into Fort Worth Texas to face the TCU Horned Frogs in what appears to be an offensive shootout. The Horned Frogs, coached by Gary Patterson are known for a wide open offenses highlighted by trick plays, but they will be no match for current Heisman Trophy frontrunner Collin Klein and running back John Hubert. The Wildcats rank first in the Big 12 conference in scoring offense and second in scoring defense. There is a slight chance that Klein may not play due to a head injury, but Bill Snyder seems confident that he will. I think Kansas State can win without him, but I think Klein will play and the Wildcats will overwhelm the very young Horned Frog defense and win comfortably. Kansas St. 49 TCU 24
Wisconsin. vs. Indiana Indiana UW UW UW UW Indiana UW
Purdue vs. Iowa Pur. Iowa Pur. Iowa Pur. Iowa Pur.
Minnesota vs. Illinois Ill. Minn. Ill. Ill. Minn. Minn. Minn.

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