Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hobbitcore's College Football Corner (Week 11--THURSDAY EDITION)

So I've really been trying to avoid covering Thursday games this year because, frankly, as you've seen, it's hard enough to get this thing done by Saturday morning. This week, however, it was unavoidable as the two biggest games of the week are BOTH Thursday night games--one of them a matchup of two top ten teams and the other a meeting of two top five teams. Not including these would kinda defeat the purpose of this column so I'm coming at you early this week because I love you all and want you to be happy (or something).

ALSO THIS WEEK: I will be tweeting LIVE from the Miami/Virginia Tech game at Sun Life Stadium

Last Week
Overall: 4-0
Upsets: 0-1

Season
Overall: 46-11
Upsets: 9-6

THURSDAY

7:30pm -- #10 Oklahoma @ #6 Baylor -- FOX SPORTS 1

Baylor has been mighty impressive so far this year, averaging nearly 64 points PER GAME. But they still have yet to play a team with anything resembling a pulse and will now spend the next five weeks in the states of Oklahoma and Texas figuring out who they really are. As much as I would LOVE to see Baylor pull off this incredible dream season, they haven't faced anyone like the Sooners. Not even close. In fact, they struggled to put away an unranked Kansas State team that held onto the ball almost twice as long as the Bears. Not only is Oklahoma much better at ball control offense than anyone the Bears have faced, but their defense is holding opponents under 20 points per game. My heart says Baylor but my head is screaming Oklahoma.

Hobbitcore sez: Oklahoma

GAME OF THE WEEK

9:00 -- #3 Oregon @ #5 Stanford -- ESPN

I wanted so badly to pick Stanford in this game. I actually picked them to face Alabama in the national title game this year because the schedule lined up and Oregon had just lost Chip Kelly. Sadly, that has not been the story this year. Oregon has been scorching everyone on their schedule while Stanford has struggled to hang on against teams like Arizona State, Washington, UCLA, and Oregon State, even losing a game to Utah. On offense, they may actually be better than last year with the deep threat of Ty Montgomery but the defense at times this year has looked like a shadow of its former self. Oregon, on the other hand, has somehow improved in all aspects of the game, especially defense, where they've been holding opponents under 17 points per game. As tempting as it is to pick the Cardinal at home, I just can't do it.

Hobbitpick: Oregon 31, Stanford 23


SATURDAY

7:00pm -- Virginia Tech @ #11 Miami (FL) -- ESPN

THIS IS WHERE WE PRETEND LAST WEEK DIDN'T HAPPEN. No but seriously. None of us didn't see that coming. The Canes are a young team and the Noles are outrageously talented. Still, as much as that one hurt, the outcome of that game meant very little in the Coastal Division standings compared to this one. The team that wins this controls their destiny in the Coastal and has the inside track to get to the ACC championship game (to borrow a few tired old sports cliches). The Canes may be down after a blowout loss to their biggest rival but Virginia Tech appears to be coming apart at the seams with back-to-back losses to Duke and Boston College following six consecutive wins. The Canes might have some trouble bringing Logan Thomas down but the secondary will have no trouble keeping up with VT's receivers and the Hokies' mediocre ground game will be a non-factor. The VT defense will keep them in it for a while and the lack of Duke Johnson will hurt a lot but the Canes will make enough big plays with a healthy Stephen Morris behind center and Dallas Crawford behind him to pull off the win.

Hobbitcore sez: Miami

8:00pm -- #13 LSU @ #1 Alabama -- CBS

Maaan this is a tough one. Last time Bama faced an elite QB, Johnny Football lit them up for 464 yards through the air, 279 of which were accounted for by Mike Evans on all of seven catches. Now they face a guy in Zach Mettenberger who is a much better pure passer, has several dangerous weapons at WR and Jeremy Hill to hand the ball to. If anyone is up to the task, it's the Tide defense who are flush with future pros (especially in the secondary) and holding opponents under 10 points per game. And that's with the 42 they gave up to Johnny Football and co. factored in. They've given up a grand total of 36 points in their other seven games combined. It's going to be really interesting to see how these two units match up. On the opposite side of the ball, Alabama's offense hasn't really lived up to expectations but then neither has LSU's defense which has struggled to contain some of the better running teams they've faced like Georgia and Ole Miss. If Bama can pound the ball on the Tigers, they should win. That plus the fact that it's at home and Nick Saban is like ten times the coach Les Miles is makes it almost impossible for me to pick LSU in this one as much as I'd love to.

Hobbitcore sez: Alabama