NCAA Football

Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Odds, College Football Pick

Starting 10 years ago, Ohio State grabbed the upper hand in its heated rivalry with Michigan, and after last year's crazy win in Ann Arbor the Buckeyes are now 9-1 straight up and 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 meetings with the Maize and Blue.

To reach the College Football Playoff Ohio State needs to take care of business twice more, beginning with Saturday afternoon at the Horseshoe against the 5-6 Wolverines.

It's just the third time in 20 seasons that the Wolverines have been underdogs by such a wide margin, and the last two times (in 2008) they lost badly each time.

 

Point spread: The Buckeyes opened as 20-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

 

College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 47.7-19.6 Buckeyes

 

Why the Michigan Wolverines can cover the spread

The Wolverines had won three of four games, playing some decent defense in the process, but lost last week to Maryland 23-16. Michigan led that game 16-9 through three quarters, but allowed the Terrapins to score the last two touchdowns of the game.

The Wolverines outgained Maryland 398-312 and outrushed the Terps 292-147, but couldn't convert those advantages into enough points, settling for two short field goals. Michigan doesn't scare anybody offensively, however, the team ranks ninth in the country in total defense and run defense.

Finally, in last year's game against the Buckeyes, as 16-point home dogs, the Wolverines scored with 30 seconds to go to get within one point at 42-41, then boldly went for two, but came up empty.

 

Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread

The Buckeyes' national championship aspirations seemed to take a near-fatal blow when quarterback Braxton Miller was declared lost for the season before the games even started.

But as quarterback J.T. Barrett has played himself into the Heisman conversation following a hiccup back in Week 2, Ohio State has climbed the ranks and now sits just outside the four-team playoff field. The Buckeyes have reeled off nine victories in a row after outlasting Indiana last week 42-27, as Barrett threw four touchdown passes and ran for 78 yards.

Ohio State ranks 10th in the nation in total offense, 19th in total defense and has already won five games by at least 20 points.

 

Smart Pick

Ohio State owns a big edge on offense, but Michigan owns an edge on defense. The line on the Buckeyes is probably a bit inflated with the game being played in Columbus.

Who knows what the future holds for Brady Hoke and the Wolverines, but if they can't get up for at least this game, there should be a change. So the smart money resides with Michigan and the points, but beware of the fact they lost badly the last two times that Vegas gave them so many points.

 

Betting Trends

  • Michigan is 1-9 SU in its last 10 games when playing Ohio State.
  • Ohio State is 5-0 SU in its last five games at home.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

California vs. BYU: Complete Game Preview

For the second consecutive year, BYU will end its regular season with a late-November road trip. This time, though, the Cougars are riding a three-game winning streak and are hoping for a huge win.

The Cougs beat FCS foe Savannah State by 64 last week but have not faced a team of Cal's caliber since October. The Bears have won only one of their previous six games and are playing for bowl eligibility on Saturday.

Cal's offensive firepower could be tough for the Cougs to handle, but what does BYU need to do to win? Here is a complete game preview.

Date: Saturday, November 29

Time: 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET)

Place: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA

TV: PAC 12 Network

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

Spread:Cal, -4.5 (per Odds Shark)

Begin Slideshow

Ohio State's Kosta Karageorge's Mom Announces Son Is Missing, Police Searching

The mother of Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge has reported her son missing.

Eleven Warriors' Twitter feed passed along a snapshot of the Facebook message sent out by Susan Karageorge, who wrote that Kosta has not been heard from since early Wednesday morning:

There was also a message sent out via Kosta's Twitter feed:

NBC4 News' Jerod Smalley provided more details and confirmed that police are searching for the student-athlete:

Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com provided a synopsis of Karageorge's sister, Sophia, speaking about her brother:

[Kosta Karageorge] was upset about something Tuesday night. His roommates, who are also Ohio State wrestlers, said he went for a walk from their apartment on East 7th Avenue in Columbus around 2 a.m.

She said his cell phone was last pinged around 2:30 a.m. about 10 miles from his apartment, in Grandview, near 3rd Avenue and Elmwood Avenue.

Karageorge missed Ohio State's football practice at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning and Sophia said his friends became concerned as they realized no one had seen him since he left the apartment. The family said he was reported missing to Columbus police around 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Karageorge, a fifth-year senior, is an Ohio State wrestler who walked on to the football team as a defensive lineman. He has appeared in one game this season.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Georgia Bulldogs Betting Odds, Analysis, Pick

Georgia owns the recent Hated rivalry with Georgia Tech, with 12 wins in the last 13 meetings, including 10 spread covers.

The 9-2 Bulldogs also think they might still have a chance at making the College Football Playoff field, so they can't afford a let-up when they host the 9-2 Yellow Jackets Saturday afternoon between the hedges.

 

Point spread: Bulldogs opened as 14.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

 

College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 40.9-33.8 Bulldogs

 

Why the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets can cover the spread

The Ramblin' Wreck lost back-to-back games back in October to Duke and North Carolina, but since then they've gone 4-0 both straight up and against the spread, after beating Clemson two weeks ago, 28-6, winning straight up as two-point home dogs.

Georgia Tech outgained the Tigers 353-190 and outrushed them 251-125, and has now outgained and outrushed each of its last seven opponents. The Yellow Jackets have already clinched a spot in the ACC Championship Game, and while they don't have the resume to make the College Football Playoff, they'd love to deny the Bulldogs that honor.

 

Why the Georgia Bulldogs can cover the spread

Even though they own the same record as Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs still have a chance to make the four-team playoff. They need a victory Saturday, a Missouri loss (the Tigers host a hot Arkansas team) and then a victory in the SEC Championship Game just to have a sniff, but a sniff it could be, considering there's a decent chance at least one two-loss team will make the playoff.

Georgia is 3-0 both SU and ATS in its last three games, after a 55-9 victory over Charleston Southern last week, covering as a 43-point favorite.

And remember that 10-3 ATS run against their state rivals.

 

Smart Pick

The Yellow Jackets outgained and outrushed the Bulldogs last year but blew a 20-point lead and lost 41-34 in double-overtime. At the moment, Georgia Tech is a better team than it was that day.

And while Georgia has weathered the Todd Gurley situation well, it might be a bit overrated on this spread, playing at home. So the smart choice in this spot appears to lie with the Wreck, and the points.

 

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone over in eight of Georgia Tech's last nine games on the road
  • Georgia is 6-1 SU in its last seven games at home

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

LSU vs. Texas A&M: Live Score and Highlights

The LSU Tigers and the Texas A&M Aggies are getting ready to do battle at Kyle Field this Thanksgiving. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and air on ESPN.

LSU is coming off a bye week and will be looking to bounce back after a 17-0 loss to Arkansas. A win would give the Tigers their 15th consecutive season of eight wins or more, which is the longest streak in college football.

However, the Aggies are also coming off a bye week after coming up short against Missouri. On Thursday, wide receiver Speedy Noil gets a chance to have a big game against his hometown team and second choice to play football.

Be sure to come back here as soon as the game kicks off for the latest scoring updates, highlights and analysis.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Georgia Football: How the Bulldogs Can Slow the Potent Georgia Tech Ground Game?

The Georgia Bulldogs have one of the most potent offenses in the country, and the reason for that is because they know how to run the ball. The Bulldogs are second in the SEC with 260 rushing yards per game, lead the conference with 34 rushing touchdowns and lead the SEC with 6.1 rushing yards per carry.

However, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets run the ball just a little better than the Bulldogs.

Powered by their option offense, the Yellow Jackets are fourth in the country with 327 yards per game, have also scored 34 touchdowns on the ground and also average around six yards per carry.

It’s safe to say the Bulldogs will have their hands full against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, and in order to win, they will need to slow down Georgia Tech's ground attack.

How will UGA do it?

They most likely won’t completely shut down the ground game. The Yellow Jackets have had regular success running against Georgia since Paul Johnson took over in 2008. In fact, in the last two games these teams played against each other, Georgia Tech has rushed for over 550 yards.

National rank for rushing offense: No. 1 - Georgia Southern No. 4 - Georgia Tech No. 13 - Georgia pic.twitter.com/L0sjpilwbf

— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) November 23, 2014

The problem the Bulldogs have with the offense is that the triple-option offense commands defenders to stay with their responsibilities. The fact that the Bulldogs don’t see this offense all season long will have linebackers and defensive backs maintaining gaps and holding each offensive skill player in check.

The linebackers for Georgia have to be as sharp as they were against Auburn. The Tigers run more of a spread option, but both offenses can burn opposing defenses if a defender doesn’t play their responsibility.

The Bulldogs held the Tigers to only 150 rushing yards, and they average 260 yards per game, which ranks first in the SEC. Linebackers Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson were all over quarterback Nick Marshall and running back Cameron-Artis Payne all game long, and the Tigers never could get anything going on offense because of it.

However, the Yellow Jackets will have four players that will be able to run the ball at any given point. The three players the Bulldogs will focus on are quarterback Justin Thomas and B-backs Synjyn Days and Zach Laskey. All three players average five yards per carry, and they have scored a combined 15 touchdowns this season.  

The biggest thing the Bulldogs need to do is keep Thomas in front of them. As good as the other running backs are, Thomas is a playmaker and can make the big runs and complete key passes. Not only is he fourth in the ACC in rushing yards, he also has thrown for 15 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

The Bulldogs defense has improved since it lost to Florida, but the offense will play the biggest role in the team's success in stopping the Yellow Jackets' ground attack. The Bulldogs lead the SEC in scoring offense, and they are the only team in the conference to score over 400 points. The ground attack led by Nick Chubb has been strong, but Hutson Mason can throw when he needs to.

In fact, he leads the SEC in QB rating at 158.13. What's more, he has only thrown three interceptions, which also leads the conference.

The Bulldogs know that the Yellow Jackets will bring everything they have on Saturday, and they will be hit with some big runs. As long as they don’t make any mental mistakes on defense and play efficient on offense, the Bulldogs will come away with a win for the sixth consecutive year.  

 

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College Football Picks Week 14: B/R's Expert Predictions for Top 6 Games

Rivalry Week is finally here!

The season is winding down, which means we're inching closer and closer to the College Football Playoff.

Several games this weekend have major playoff implications, but none is bigger than the 2014 Iron Bowl. Will Alabama get revenge from the crushing defeat a season ago, or can Auburn build a win streak over Nick Saban and Co.?

Another top SEC showdown this Saturday is the 2014 Egg Bowl. Ole Miss was shut out a week ago versus Arkansas, so look for the Rebels offense to try to bounce back in this heated rivalry game. Can Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen make it two years in a row with a victory over the in-state rival Rebels?

Georgia Tech hasn't beaten in-state rival Georgia since 2008, but this weekend, the Yellow Jackets have a great opportunity to show the committee they're a legitimate playoff dark-horse team. With a win over the Bulldogs and a win in the ACC title game against Florida State, the Yellow Jackets would have an outside shot to sneak into the Top Four.

Speaking of FSU, the Seminoles need a great four-quarter showing against in-state rival Florida. Jimbo Fisher’s squad has struggled to start games strong, but it certainly knows how to finish, as evidence by its undefeated record.

And the final two rivalry games our experts will pick this week are two of the best in the sport. Notre Dame vs. USC and Michigan vs. Ohio State have played some of the greatest games in college football history. While this year’s games don't have as much hype as previous seasons, they are still intense rivalries, so expect a good fight.

Ben Kercheval remains the leader among our experts, but rivalry week could change all of that. Who will come out on top?

Let us know your picks in the comments below!

 

Reminder: Our experts are picking the top Saturday games against the spread.

Odds via opening lines at Odds Shark.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Florida Gators vs. Florida State Seminoles Betting Odds, Analysis, Pick

The Florida State Seminoles will put their 27-game winning streak on the line when they host the Florida Gators in their annual intrastate rivalry game Saturday.

The Seminoles continue to find ways to win after they pulled off a 20-17 victory against the Boston College Eagles in the final seconds last week yet failed to cover the spread for the ninth time in 12 games as 16.5-point favorites.

 

Point spread: Seminoles opened as 10-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).

 

College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 40.0-31.3 Gators

 

Why the Florida Gators can cover the spread

The Gators have played fairly well lately outside of a surprising 23-20 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks and former head coach Steve Spurrier as 6.5-point home favorites two weeks ago. They are 3-0 straight up and against the spread in three other games over the past four weeks, including a 52-3 rout of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels last Saturday as 30.5-point favorites.

Let’s be honest, covering the spread against Florida State has not been terribly difficult this season as Boston College proved last week. The Seminoles play to the level of their competition and might be overlooking Florida here.

 

Why the Florida State Seminoles can cover the spread

Florida State has not covered many games this year, but when motivated, this is a team that can certainly turn it on. The last seven meetings between these rivals have all been decided by double digits, with 14 points the smallest margin of victory during that stretch.

The Seminoles have won three of the last four games against the Gators both SU and ATS, and six of their 11 wins this season have been decided by 11 points or more. While that might not sound like a lot, it backs up the point that Florida State is still capable of winning big when needed, and this might be one of those games.

 

Smart pick

Has Florida been playing hard for outgoing head coach Will Muschamp down the stretch? That argument may have been a bit more valid had the Gators beaten the Gamecocks and entered this matchup on a four-game winning streak. Instead, you could argue the only impressive win they have all season came against the Georgia Bulldogs, which happened two weeks before Muschamp was fired.

In other words, that theory does not hold true. Ironically, losing at home to their former coach was the final straw, and now Florida is just riding it out. The Seminoles cannot afford to mess up here and could use an impressive victory. Bet on Florida State to cover this one easily.

 

Betting trends

  • Florida is 4-1 ATS in its last five games on the road
  • Florida State is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Heisman Watch 2014: Exploring Latest Twitter Buzz and Speculation on Race

Who will be crowned college football's greatest player when the Heisman Trophy winner is announced in New York? Everyone around the Web has an opinion on the matter, and with the regular season winding down, the race's front-runners are beginning to emerge.

So, here are the burning questions. How do expert rankings look heading into Week 14? Who is garnering the most buzz? Are there any dark horses who might be considered? These are all legitimate questions. They're also easily answered with a quick glance around the Internet.

Let's take a look at some recent buzz and speculation surrounding the Heisman race by providing answers to those three aforementioned inquiries.

 

Expert Rankings

What would expert rankings be without Bleacher Report's own Barrett Sallee's opinion? The college football guru recently released his updated top five following Week 13. Here's a look at his selections:

While Sallee's top two selections, Marcus Mariota and Melvin Gordon, are expected, his No. 3 pick is rather intriguing.

TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin has been very good this season, especially considering his seven-touchdown performance against Texas Tech; however, he's been average over the last three weeks. If he's going to have any shot in New York, Boykin will need a huge game against Texas this week.

Six CBS Sports experts weighed in with their Heisman thoughts following Week 13. Unsurprisingly, all six ranked Mariota first; however, Dennis Dodd pegged Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett as his No. 2 selection over Gordon. Here's a look at their consensus rankings:

Finally, we have ESPN's rankings, via ESPN College Football:

ESPN goes a little more in-depth with its rankings, as every expert selects five players in order. Those votes are tallied, and a top-10 list is created as a result. This list is intriguing simply because of its depth. After Week 13, there's even a defensive player on the board. Take a look:

Mariota and Gordon are within just four votes of each other, making Week 14 very interesting.

 

Garnering Buzz

Of course, Mariota is the talk of the town right now—he has been all season. Recently, analysts have been tweeting about some of the incredible numbers posted by the quarterback, which we could certainly deem Heisman-worthy.

The Oregon quarterback has been tremendously efficient this season, completing 68.0 percent of his passes for 3,103 yards and 32 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions. Those stats become even more impressive when you factor in his 597 rushing yards and nine scores.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports tweeted about Mariota's torrid pace over the last two seasons:

Gordon is setting impressive marks of his own. ESPN Stats & Info tweeted a telling statistic regarding Wisconsin's running back:

If we're calling Mariota an efficient quarterback, we better be calling Gordon an efficient ball-carrier as well.

Ohio State's Barrett has been the talk of the town in recent weeks. He's setting all sorts of school records, and ESPN College Football tweeted a summary of what he's done so far this season:

Some of the school's broken records were formerly owned by Heisman-winning quarterback Troy Smith. Well, Smith likes what he sees in Barrett, according to ESPN Big Ten:

While Barrett is a long shot to win the prestigious award this season, he's only a freshman. Expect to hear his name mentioned in Heisman circles for a couple of years to come.

 

Dark Horse

There's one dark horse who has popped up on several expert rankings recently: Indiana running back Tevin Coleman. The junior ball-carrier is putting up some monster numbers with the Hoosiers, rushing for 1,906 yards on 241 carries—an average of 7.9 yards per rush—and scoring 15 touchdowns.

Unfortunately, he isn't being considered as much as he should be, due to the Hoosiers' lackluster 3-8 record. If the school isn't producing wins and Coleman isn't displaying his prowess in front of a larger audience, votes will be tough to come by.

College Football 24/7 tweeted that he should be considered in the Heisman race due to the lack of top-notch talent around him:

Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer weighed in on the running back:

Mike Wells of ESPN may have summed it up best:

We can consider Coleman a dark horse for the Heisman simply because analysts are really beginning to take notice. Unfortunately, it's probably a little too late. However, all is not lost for the junior running back, as this late attention will surely be noticed by NFL scouts.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan vs. Ohio State: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

The Game projects to be not much of one at all this season.

Ohio State is 10-1, has won nine in a row, replaced a Heisman-contending quarterback with another and is a serious threat to spoil the party that is the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Michigan is 5-6, has no offense, enters Saturday off a loss and coach Brady Hoke's hot seat is in ashes.

Yet, this was the tune similar to last year's encounter, one that Michigan lost by a single point after a failed two-point conversion.

Things look lopsided this year, but try not to take it for granted. The Game has a way of birthing something special no matter what.

 

Keeping Cool

A favorite that buys into its own hype is dangerous to itself more than anything else.

J.T. Barrett looks great. The freshman has 2,658 yards and 33 touchdowns to 10 interceptions with another 849 yards and nine scores on the ground. His complement in the backfield, Ezekiel Elliott, averages 5.9 yards per carry and has 1,061 yards and eight scores as a result.

Should Urban Meyer's impressive offense jump out to an early lead, Michigan likely cannot keep up. That said, an early lead must come against what is a very underrated Wolverines defense that even held Penn State to 18 points, a team that scored 24 on Ohio State in double overtime.

Meyer is stressing this cool-headed approach in more than one way, though. After last year's game saw fights get some of his players ejected and miss the Big Ten championship, Meyer is taking a zero-tolerance policy toward that same behavior this year.

"He wants the game to be very intense, but if anybody throws any punches this year, we're dismissed," linebacker Curtis Grant said, per Austin Ward of ESPN.com. "You know he pretty much put it out there [Sunday], so there's no telling what will happen if you get into a fight this year. We've got to be on our best behavior."

As trivial as it sounds in comparison, keep in mind that undisciplined football in the heat of a rivalry game breeds unnecessary flags on the field. This impedes an offense in the face of a quality defense or gives Michigan more opportunities to stay in the game. 

In more ways than one, the Buckeyes need to take care of business in a calm manner. If not, well, Michigan has nothing to lose.

 

The X-Factor

Remember Devin Gardner?

Michigan's senior quarterback has taken a nosedive in play this season. A measly 1,663 yards and eight touchdowns to 14 interceptions can attest to that. Another 237 yards and four scores on the ground does not make up the difference, either.

But recall that Gardner is the guy who carried the Wolverines on his back last year. Not only that, he threw for 451 yards and accounted for five total touchdowns in The Game last season.

A jarring note from Nick Baumgardner of MLive Media Group really puts things into perspective:

As unlikely as it is, a return to form for Gardner could propel the Wolverines.

That is obviously a big "if." After all, a touchdown pass by Gardner Saturday would mark the first time he has thrown for a score on the road all season long.

Against a defense that has allowed seven opponents to score 24 or more points this season, anything is possible. Crazier things have happened. Crazier things will happen. Especially in The Game.

 

When: Saturday, November 29, Noon ET

Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

Television: ABC

Betting Lines (via Odds Shark):

  • Over/Under: 52.5
  • Spread: Ohio State (-21)

 

Team Injury Reports

Injury reports per The Sports Network, via USA Today.

 

Prediction

One of the sporting world's most prolific rivalries will continue to suffer Saturday.

Make no mistake, Michigan is going to put up a much better fight than most would predict. Gardner might just bust out for his best game of the season and his defense will not simply break time after time.

But by the time four frames have come to pass, Barrett and Co. will have distanced themselves enough to send the Michigan program back to the drawing board in the hopes of a fresh start.

Prediction: Buckeyes 38, Wolverines 28

 

Statistics and info courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise specified.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Georgia Tech vs. Georgia: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate has never looked so great.

The Georgia Bulldogs predictably enter the 2014 edition of the instate rivalry with a 9-2 mark and dreams of an SEC East title. As an added bonus, the Bulldogs have won the last five games in this particular series.

The Yellow Jackets are more game than usual, though. Paul Johnson's team is ranked and touts the same record with an ACC Coastal title within grasp.

Not that either team needs motivation to play one another, but both enter on lengthy winning streaks with plenty to lose.

Rivalry week to close the season could not start on a better note.

 

Brute-Force Tactics

There is no sugar coating what the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets do offensively.

The Bulldogs have a top-15 rushing attack thanks to the duo of Nick Chubb and Todd Gurley. Of course, the latter will be missing in action due to a knee injury, but the freshman Chubb has stepped up big this season when called upon with 1,152 yards and 11 touchdowns on a 7.2 per-carry average.

As ESPN CollegeFootball illustrates, Chubb has been good enough to hear his name whispered when it comes to a certain individual award:

The Yellow Jackets are much of the same and actually rank better than the Bulldogs this season thanks to a bevy of names that are proficient with the ball in their hands, including starting quarterback Justin Thomas:

To be blunt, there seems to be no stopping the Georgia Tech option attack.

Even in losses the offense puts up gaudy numbers. In a 48-43 loss to North Carolina, the team still rumbled for 376 yards and three scores on the ground. A 31-25 loss to Duke still birthed 282 yards and three scores.

Georgia does seem perfectly built to counter this attack, though.

The Bulldogs allow just 20.5 points per game on average, good for 18th in the nation. Chubb and a number of other backs can help the team grab the lead and keep the complementary defense off the field.

This, of course, relies on the notion that the Bulldogs can get out to an early lead.

 

Surprise Flights

The aforementioned Thomas in no way gets the respect he deserves as a passer.

Those 827 yards and five scores on the ground are nice, but the sophomore has shocked the globe this year with his 1,396 yards and 15 scores to four interceptions through the air.

Even Johnson admits that there was a time he considered getting Thomas off the bench as far back as last season, as captured by ESPN.com's Matt Fortuna:

We did but he wasn’t quite ready I don’t think. He’s gotten better as the year has gone on, too. He’s more confident. He’s starting to get a really good understanding of what we’re trying to do. Just like (against Clemson), he came over and before I even talked to him and he told me exactly what they were trying to do to him on the option. He’s got a pretty good understanding, pretty calm. He’s a good leader.

Thomas has the arm to go over the top of defenses focused on the run and do major damage.

Some of his success can certainly be accredited to leading wideout DeAndre Smelter, who has 671 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Mired in a run-first attack, those are great numbers.

Smelter torched the Bulldogs in an overtime loss last year to the tune of two grabs for 33 yards and a pair of touchdowns, a clear signal that the deep ball can and will catch the Bulldogs off guard with Thomas under center.

 

When: Saturday, November 29, Noon ET

Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia

Television: SEC Network

Betting Lines (via Odds Shark):

  • Over/Under: 65.5
  • Spread: Georgia (-13)

 

Team Injury Reports

Injury reports per The Sports Network, via USA Today.

 

Prediction

Georgia is more than ready for the challenge its instate rival presents. 

This is a Bulldogs team that silenced an elite Auburn attack a few weeks back, holding the Tigers to seven points and 292 total yards.

Last year in this scenario, the Bulldogs fell behind by 20 on the road with Hutson Mason getting his first start in the rivalry and still won. It would be unwise to expect this one to be as close thanks to Chubb's emergence and an elite defense firing on all cylinders.

Prediction: Bulldogs 34, Yellow Jackets 24

 

Statistics and info courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise specified.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Notre Dame vs. USC: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

Notre Dame and USC have one last chance to end things in a positive light.

It has been a trying season for both programs, to say the least. The Fighting Irish cannot help but shoot themselves in the foot each week and rest at 7-4 and losers of three straight.

The first year under the guidance of Steve Sarkisian has been and up-and-down affair that has the Trojans at the same mark and coming off a blowout at the hands of UCLA. 

Saturday, outside of being a notable rivalry, is a battle of pride and bowl positioning as two programs begin to turn an eye toward the future.

 

Grounded to Reality

The play for both teams as of late reflects the state of the programs from start to finish this year.

USC has suddenly been unable to rush the football despite the presence of tailback Javorius Allen. The junior has 1,244 yards and nine scores on the season but has broken the 100-yard mark just once in his last three outings and has one total touchdown.

That speaks well to how much the Trojans have struggled on the ground in that span, rushing for 127, 79 and 62 yards.

If there is going to be a turnaround, though, it will come against Notre Dame.

Brian Kelly's defense has careened off the side of a cliff along with the team's fortunes. Things looked great for just a second as the unit held Florida State to just 50 rushing yards in a 31-27 loss.

Fast forward one week, and there was Navy rushing for 336 yards as the Fighting Irish held on for a 10-point win. Arizona State rushed for 188 the week after in a rout. Northwestern won by three in overtime after that with 263 yards on the ground. Last week Louisville found room for 229.

USC finds itself in a situation to get back to that ground-based attack that gave defenses fits earlier in the season. Remember, it was not too long ago that the Trojans went to Stanford and downed an elite Cardinal defense by way of 156 yards and a score on the ground.

On the flip side, Notre Dame finds itself in a position to thump its chest one last time and prove it has not thrown in the towel.

 

Self-Inflicted Wounds

The above has been the name of the game for both programs this season.

USC is just not winning at the point of attack. In the embarrassing loss to the Bruins a week ago, quarterback Cody Kessler (3,133 yards, 30 touchdowns, four interceptions) took six sacks. Even he admits a handful of those were on him, not the line.

"Some of the sacks, I was trying to hold the ball a little longer, make things happen because we were down,” Kessler said, per Michael Lev of theOrange County Register. “My competitive spirit took over.”

Everett Golson and the Fighting Irish are no strangers to such problems. 

For as great as Golson was to start the season, he has now thrown 13 interceptions this year with plenty of fumbles to boot. Nine of his picks have come over the course of the team's last five games, including a dumbfounding four in the loss at Arizona State.

The issues are certainly not enough to get Golson benched at this point, though.

“There’s a lot of room for development, and we hope that his experience that he got this year and going into USC and in a bowl game that we continue to see development,” Kelly said, per Douglas Farmer of 247Sports. “He could be one of the top quarterbacks in the country, no question.”

How great the Fighting Irish can truly be is hard to discern with so many issues as Golson and the team continue to develop.

 

When: Saturday, November 29, 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Television: Fox

Betting Lines (via Odds Shark):

  • Over/Under: 62.5
  • Spread: USC (-7)

 

Team Injury Reports

Injury reports per The Sports Network, via USA Today.

 

Prediction

It is quite apparent that Notre Dame is a work in progress at this point. 

The Fighting Irish are at the lowest point of the season right now. Not much works offensively and the defense continues to see young players struggle to wrap up and make plays. 

In other words, Allen and the Trojans are going to have plenty of room to operate on the ground at home. 

One of Notre Dame's biggest faults this season has been its propensity to stumble out of the gates and never recover, which sounds about right after traveling across the country to face a strong offense. 

Prediction: Trojans 34, Fighting Irish 24

 

Statistics and info courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise specified.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss: 2014 Egg Bowl TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates

While no longer the biggest game of the weekend, the 2014 iteration of the Egg Bowl between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Ole Miss Rebels has national championship implications swinging in the balance.

Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs are 10-1 and hanging by a thread in the race to the College Football Playoff. A loss at Ole Miss ruins everything, as may an iffy performance in tandem with another contender winning a conference championship.

As ESPN Stats & Info reveals, other things outside of postseason implications make this a historic moment for the epic rivalry:

Ole Miss is ranked, but things have come fully unraveled, as the team has lost three of its last four. Saturday is a chance to play the spoiler in the greatest way imaginable, though—against an in-state rival.

 

Strengths Collide

This one has a different feel to it than in past years. As ESPN CollegeFootball illustrates, the last five meetings have been mostly comfortable final margins:

At face value, another large victory seems likely for the Bulldogs.

After all, the Rebels have the look of an absolute mess as of late. Mississippi State is still led by Dak Prescott, who owns 2,714 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air and another 891 yards and 12 scores on the ground.

Somewhat lost from the spotlight is junior back Josh Robinson, who has 1,084 yards and 11 touchdowns on a smooth 6.6 per-carry average.

Despite gaudy numbers, recent success and the reeling nature of the opposition, Prescott is not one to take his rivals lightly.

"They're good up front and they're good all the way around," Prescott said, per The Associated Press, via ESPN.com. "We just have to worry about staying sound on offense and taking care of what we've got to do."

It is quite the sage approach. For all of its faults and negative publicity as of late, the Ole Miss defense still ranks tops in the nation with an average of just 13.5 points allowed per game. 

A loss to LSU in Death Valley hurt, but the unit gave up just 10 points. A four-point loss to Auburn is rough but understandable given the level of competition. The only real major complaint on the resume is a 30-0 loss to Arkansas last time out, but the Razorbacks are quietly one of the best teams in the conference.

Really, the struggles of the defense are overexaggerated at best, and it can certainly keep pace with Prescott. In fact, the common theme that should have stuck out more than anything was offensive woes against top competition.

 

Counterpunch with Efficiency

Those woes fall directly on the shoulders of senior quarterback Bo Wallace.

Wallace has completed a career-low 62.8 percent of his passes this year with 22 scores to 10 picks. When he is off, though, it is quite difficult for the Rebels to overcome it.

Take last week's loss to Arkansas for example. Wallace went 16-of-31 for 235 yards and two picks. Really, think back to last year's overtime loss to these very same Bulldogs, when Wallace went 26-of-40 for 182 yards and a trio of interceptions.

Feel free to sprinkle in the fact that Wallace is dealing with an injury to boot, although it sounds as if he will play Saturday regardless, as captured by Hugh Kellenberger of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger:

Wallace has yet to truly overcome the loss of top wideout Laquon Treadwell. Since the season-ending injury to the offense's top weapon, running gaps have shrunk in size and passing lanes have been more clogged with defenses free to apply more resources throughout the field.

The Bulldogs certainly have the talent to make Wallace's life miserable, too. Not only does the defensive unit allow just 18.4 points on average, it has looked great against some of the SEC's best, including limiting Auburn to 23 points and Alabama to 25.

If Wallace is to have a defining moment, it will need to come in the face of unfavorable odds.

 

When: Saturday, November 29, 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field, Oxford, Mississippi

Television: CBS

Betting Lines (via Odds Shark):

  • Over/Under: 49.5
  • Spread: Mississippi State (-3)

 

Team Injury Reports

Injury reports per The Sports Network, via USA Today.

 

Prediction

Normally, it is safe to say prior performances, ranks and the like go out the window in a rivalry such as this.

But right now, it is just too difficult to ignore how much Ole Miss continues to struggle in all facets.

If a defense that was exploited on the ground one week ago cannot forget in a hurry, Prescott, Robinson and others are going to run wild in Oxford. Wallace is not a quarterback the Rebels want to ask to play from behind at the moment, either.

Look for Prescott to get his team an early advantage and then grind this one out. Were the Ole Miss offense fully healthy, this would be a different story. But teams have figured out how to make the Rebels a non-factor with the ball in their hands. Really, the Bulldogs got that started one year ago.

Prediction: Bulldogs 23, Rebels 17

 

Statistics and info courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise specified.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Florida vs. FSU: 2014 Florida Cup TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Time and More

Saturday's showdown between the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles has wildly different implications for both sides. 

For the 6-4 Gators this is about pride. The final game of the season and final send-off for coach Will Muschamp gives the team a chance to ruin an in-state rival's perfect season and national title aspirations.

Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles are at a point in the season where anything less than outright wins may very well send them careening out of the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Both teams have been down as of late, but the stakes could not be higher Saturday afternoon in the battle for the Florida Cup.

 

The Ground Grind

Florida makes no attempt to hide what it wants to do—the Gators want to cram the ball down a defense's throat and play great defense.

The Seminoles know this is coming. Florida touts a stable of impressive runners, which includes a pair of quarterbacks at the end of the list:

Speaking of quarterbacks, Florida will trot out freshman Treon Harris once again despite a slight injury scare last week in a rout over Eastern Kentucky. Clearly Harris is a talented runner, but he also takes good care of the football and has six touchdown passes to one interception on the season.

Still, the problems for the Seminoles come on the ground.

The fact the Gators rush for almost 200 yards per game on the ground is of concern for a Seminoles defense that most recently allowed Boston College to turn 51 carries into 240 yards and a score on a 4.7 per-carry average.

In that contest, Tyler Murphy did much of what Harris will do Saturday by way of being a serious dual-threat that gives the Seminoles fits. The Seminoles allowed him to throw for 73 yards and a score and rush for 48 and another score.

If Florida State does not shore up its defense in the face of a great rushing team, championship aspirations may fade in a hurry. A lack of discipline and physicality against the rush is why the Seminoles have been living on the edge as of late—and the Gators know it.

 

Getting Dramatic

Jameis Winston and the Seminoles sure love to put on a show. 

Winston has struggled at times to look like the player that took home the Heisman last season. He has completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 3,125 yards and 19 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, but time after time has needed late-game heroics for his team to win.

Fisher at least attributes part of this to the fact his team gets every opponent's absolute best shot.

"We're going into battle," Fisher said, per The Associated Press, via ESPN.com. "These games are going to be dogfights. People are going to try and be the one that knocks us out, knocks us off, got nothing to lose."

Not only is this a rivalry with all of the aforementioned implications, but these two simply have a habit of making things closer than they need to be. Just ponder a note from Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel:

Each and every possession is going to count Saturday. So is every time the chains actually move.

With Florida State's inability to get off the field, the few times Winston actually has the ball in his hands are going to decide the game.

So far this has worked out fine for the Seminoles. So far.

 

When: Saturday, November 29, 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida

Television: ESPN

Betting Lines (via Odds Shark):

  • Over/Under: 53
  • Spread: Florida State (-7.5)

 

Team Injury Reports

Injury reports per The Sports Network, via USA Today.

 

Prediction

The Seminoles are better than the Gators at most positions, but there is a big difference between talent and execution. 

It falls on the shoulders of the defense Saturday. So long as the unit can actually get a few stops and halt an elite rushing attack, Winston will once again be able to will his team to a win.

Look for this one to be close until the final frame. At home, Winston will be able to pull off a definitive drive late in the contest against a defense that is strong but certainly susceptible to exploitation through the air.

Prediction: Seminoles 24, Gators 20

 

Statistics and info courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise specified.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Bowl Predictions 2014: Updated College Playoff Projections Before Week 14

We are in unprecedented territory in college football, and the initial College Football Playoff is the overarching storyline hovering over every single game.

Questions about style points, strength of schedule, quality losses, the value of conference championships and more have framed the overall discussion about where teams should be ranked and when they should make a jump or take a fall. 

Now all that is left for playoff contenders is winning one or two more games before the real campaigning begins. With that in mind, read on for a look at the latest playoff projections from StatMilk, the updated national championship chances from Odds Shark and my own playoff picks before digging a bit deeper into the latest poll release.

(Note: As the table header indicates, the logo shown at the far right of each team's row is for that team's next opponent and not for the ranked team itself.)

 

StatMilk and Odds Shark Playoff Projections and Odds

*Odds to win national championship courtesy of Odds Shark, as of Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. ET.

 

Scott Polacek Playoff Projections

Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State

Rose Bowl: No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Oregon   

Championship Bowl (in Arlington, Texas): TBD (semifinal winners)

 

Poll Breakdown

The new College Football Playoff poll was released on Tuesday, and the top seven remained unchanged.

One thing is abundantly clear, though. Alabama, Florida State and Oregon are all heading to the playoffs if they win their remaining games. It is also fairly clear that the Ducks and Seminoles are going to play each other in the semifinals in that scenario because the Crimson Tide aren’t giving up their death grip on that No. 1 seed if they win the SEC.

There was an important development lower in the poll when Ole Miss dropped all the way to No. 19. The Rebels are out of the playoff race, but they represent Mississippi State’s final opponent and a chance at securing a marquee win.

However, teams like Kansas State (No. 12), Michigan State (No. 10), Wisconsin (No. 14) and even Minnesota (No. 18) continue to rise in the rankings, which bolsters the chances of the other contenders for the No. 4 seed.

Kansas State is the carrot dangling at the end of the Baylor schedule, Michigan State is Ohio State’s best win (the argument can be made that is the best win for anyone in the country considering it came on the road at night by a multi-score margin) and Minnesota lost to both TCU and Ohio State.

What’s more, Wisconsin and Minnesota are even more important because one of those teams will be Ohio State’s opponent in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Meanwhile, Mississippi State will be left on the outside looking in at the SEC Championship Game, and that final potential win over Ole Miss will not look nearly as good as it would have earlier in the season. The Rebels have lost three SEC games, and that would mark four in this hypothetical.

To make matters worse, other marquee Mississippi State wins like Auburn (No. 15 now and will be lower after it loses to Alabama) and LSU (unranked) have lost much of their steam. In fact, both Tigers teams have lost their last four combined SEC games.

Despite the current No. 4 position, Mississippi State could be in the worst spot of all the contenders except TCU since the Buckeyes have the chance to be Big Ten outright champs, and the Bears have that game with Kansas State on the horizon and the head-to-head win over the Horned Frogs in their back pocket.

Future projections are more important than the current polls, and Jeff Long (chairman of the selection committee) hinted at that, via Ben Axelrod of Bleacher Report: "We try not to look into the future, but we've always said that championships won on selection weekend will have an impact. It will certainly add to [Ohio State's] body of work if they have that Big Ten championship."

Something else to watch out for on the bottom of the poll is the race between Marshall (No. 24) and Boise State (No. 23) for the designation as the highest-ranked team outside of the Power Five conferences. There is an automatic bid into a selection committee bowl game waiting for the highest one at end of season, and the two-loss Broncos are in an ideal spot.

Boise State lost to Air Force and Ole Miss but has been rewarded for playing a more difficult schedule than the undefeated Thundering Herd.

Another interesting development in the poll is the status of UCLA as the playoff dark horse. The Bruins are No. 8 and the highest-ranked of the two-loss teams, largely because of their schedule, as ESPN Stats & Info noted:

If the Bruins win out, that would mean a monster victory over Oregon in the Pac-12 title game. Depending on what happens with the rest of the one-loss squads, the Bruins could position themselves nicely for a playoff spot with wins over Oregon, USC, Arizona and Arizona State, and the boost that comes with being a major conference champion. 

It is not that difficult to envision a Kansas State win over Baylor, a Wisconsin win over Ohio State or even a Georgia Tech win over Florida State. If any of that happened, the playoffs could have a Los Angeles flavor at the end of the season.

 

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Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon vs. Oregon State: 2014 Civil War TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates and Time

The 2014 Civil War between the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis Saturday does not look like much on paper.

Then again, neither did the same showdown with a similar outlook one year ago. There, the Beavers lost by just one point on a touchdown pass from Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota with less than a minute left in regulation.

Still, the 10-1 Ducks are playing the best football of their season and want to rest up before the Pac-12 title game. The 5-6 Beavers are dangerous at home thanks to an explosive offense, though, so anything can and likely will happen once the two step on the field.

 

Aerial Warfare

The globe knows about Mariota but perhaps not so much when it comes to Oregon State senior quarterback Sean Mannion.

As Lindsay Schnell of SI.com breaks down, Saturday will be the most prolific quarterback duel in Civil War history:

Mariota and Mannion are both dramatically different and surprisingly similar. Mariota is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, a player lauded for his ability to keep drives alive and torch defenses with his legs. Mannion, a coach’s son praised for his football IQ and accuracy, is built for pro-style offenses.

Mannion leads the 24th-ranked passing attack in the nation this year. His 3,002 yards and 14 touchdowns to eight interceptions come by way of a 63.5 completion percentage.

Yet that still somehow pales in comparison to Mariota, who has completed 68.0 percent of his passes for 3,103 yards and 32 touchdowns to just two interceptions this year. Sprinkle in 597 rushing yards and nine scores, and it is easy to see why Heisman chatter continues to center on him.

Believe it or not, though, this is the exact game the Beavers want to play.

Mannion is certainly talented enough to enough to take advantage of wobbly pass defenses. The Ducks certainly qualify, ranking No. 117 in the nation against the pass this season.

Now, Oregon has yet to encounter a quarterback who can actually make this matter.

But for comparison's sake, the Ducks got a 42-30 win over UCLA back in mid-October, while allowing Bruins signal-caller Brett Hundley (who leads the 27th-ranked passing attack) to throw for 216 yards and a pair of scores. 

Mannion is certainly capable of similar production, especially at home. If the Ducks defense does not come prepared, this Civil War will prove to be much closer than anticipated.

 

Fast Out the Gates

Oregon wants this game to go away quickly.

No—it needs it to get out of hand fast.

All of the potential opponents for the Ducks in the Pac-12 championship play the day before Mariota and Co. take the field in Corvallis, meaning the opposition will have the upper hand when it comes to preparation.

Getting out to an early lead means allowing freshman back Royce Freeman (1,050 yards, 16 touchdowns) to pound the rock and eat the clock. 

Really, it also means a team that has lost a number of players such as Pharaoh Brown, Hroniss Grasu and Tyler Johnstone, to name a few, can increase the odds it stays healthy if the starters are hanging out on the sidelines while the backups nurse a lead.

Oregon's lone hiccup this season came against Arizona, a team that was able to grab the lead after the first frame and keep the game close before pulling away.

Should the Ducks provide Mannion and Co. that same comfort, there is no telling what the Beavers and a top-flight passing attack can do at home to spoil Oregon's season.

 

When: Saturday, November 29, 8 p.m. ET

Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon

Television: ABC

Betting Lines (via Odds Shark):

  • Over/Under: 67
  • Spread: Oregon (-20)

 

Team Injury Reports

Injury reports per The Sports Network, via USA Today.

 

Prediction

Sometimes games just play out as the numbers say they will. 

That should be the case for the 2014 Civil War. The Ducks are simply too hot at the right time to falter in a trap game against a rival. This is not the same Oregon team that has crumbled with pressure on its shoulders in the past.

Mariota and Co. conquered Stanford. Then took down ranked Utah. Do not forget wins over Michigan State and UCLA, either. The Ducks are going to jump out early, neutralize the crowd and set sights on the title game.

Prediction: Ducks 40, Beavers 28

 

Statistics and info courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise specified.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Auburn vs. Alabama: 2014 Iron Bowl TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time

The focal point of the Iron Bowl hinges around last year's shocking final moments, but it should be on an Auburn team with nothing to lose and an Alabama team on the hunt for revenge and placement in the College Football Playoff.

Chris Davis single-handedly took things into his own hands last year, which makes this year's rematch in Tuscaloosa the most-anticipated game of the year.

At 8-3, Auburn is not riding the wave of momentum most would have figured going into a game that has seen each of its past five winners play for the national championship. Alabama has not lost since early October, suggesting that two teams headed in different directions will birth a predictable outcome.

If only it were that easy.

 

Dual Threats

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall knows what it takes to upend the Crimson Tide.

Marshall is an elite dual-threat quarterback under center, the exact thing that tends to give Nick Saban-directed defenses fits. This year the senior has 1,859 yards and 15 scores through the air, with another 731 yards and 11 scores on the ground.

Last year he accounted for three total scores in the victory. As Bleacher Report's Marc Torrence captures, Saban is well aware that the versatility of Gus Malzahn's offense means his unit needs to play assignment-based football just about perfectly Saturday:

What makes Marshall even more dangerous is the fact senior back Cameron Artis-Payne (1,405 yards, 11 touchdowns) could break free at any moment for a big gain, too.

But just as Marshall can hurt the Crimson Tide in a number of ways, so too can Blake Sims damage the Tigers.

Saturday is Blake Sims' first foray into the historic rivalry, but as his 2,676 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air and 279 yards and five scores on the ground display, the senior can and will keep the Tigers honest.

"The quarterback doesn't carry it a whole lot, but when he does he's a threat to go the whole way," Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said, per The Associated Press, via ESPN.com. "He's big and fast. He can get the ball outside, whereas that was a play you didn't really worry about (in the past)."

Alabama has averaged 35.0 points per game behind the arms and legs of Sims this season, but the unit has come back down to Earth against top-tier SEC opposition. Sims and Co. did not score more than 25 points in matchups with Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU.

With that in mind, Marshall wants this to be a track meet. Whether he gets it may very well be up to his shaky defense.

 

Halting the Regression

Through the first five games of the season, a strong defense was one of the main reasons many were ready to consider the Tigers serious threats for the CFP.

Then it all fell apart.

The Tigers have allowed a minimum of 31 points in each of their last five SEC games, three of which have wound up as losses. So while many will point out that the team ranks second in red-zone defense in the conference, it means little in the grand scheme of things.

Especially against this Alabama offense that is so much more than just Sims. Backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry both average better than 5.0 yards per carry. Wideout Amari Cooper might just take home the Heisman and has 1,349 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

As James Crepea of The Montgomery Advertiser captures, Auburn is well aware of the challenge ahead:

The last time Auburn faced a run-first attack akin to Alabama's, it allowed 289 rushing yards and three scores on the ground in a 34-7 loss to Georgia just two games ago.

If there is not a dramatic turnaround, this one may get ugly on the road.

 

When: Saturday, November 29, 7:45 p.m. ET

Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Television: ESPN

Betting Lines (via Odds Shark):

  • Over/Under: 54
  • Spread: Alabama (-9.5)

 

Team Injury Reports

Injury reports per The Sports Network, via USA Today.

 

Prediction

At this very moment, Alabama is just too good.

The Crimson Tide have grown up before the eyes of the globe as this season has progressed. Meanwhile, Auburn has swung in the other direction mostly thanks to a defense that simply cannot hold up in the face of top-tier opposition.

Malzahn's offense will give the Crimson Tide plenty of problems, but that being a deciding factor hinges on the defense actually getting enough meaningful stops.

Against this Crimson Tide team, another miracle is a must for Auburn on the road.

Prediction: Crimson Tide 28, Tigers 24

 

Statistics and info courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise specified.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon vs. Oregon State: 2014 Civil War TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates and Time

The 2014 Civil War between the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis Saturday does not look like much on paper. Then again, neither did the same showdown with a similar outlook one year ago...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Pac-12 Football: Each Team's Best Prospect for the 2015 NFL Draft

For the next month and a half, all of the focus on the Pac-12 will revolve around rivalry weekend, the conference title game and bowl season. But merely hours after the national champion is decided, that focus will switch to the NFL draft, where the Pac-12 will have a chance to shine brighter than ever.

Every team in the league has players who could go on to star at the next level. It's no coincidence that the current standings reflect which teams will likely have the most players selected and moving on to play in the pros.

There are a couple of ways to look at the best prospects. You could go simply by draft positioning and think of it in terms of who will get picked the highest. You might also consider who will turn out to be the best pro regardless of what round he's picked in, and sometimes the two schools of thought have no correlation.

Using both of those as guidelines, let's take a look at every Pac-12 team's best prospect for the 2015 NFL draft.

Begin Slideshow

Pac-12 Football: Each Team's Best Prospect for the 2015 NFL Draft

For the next month and a half, all of the focus on the Pac-12 will revolve around rivalry weekend, the conference title game and bowl season...

Begin Slideshow

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