Doc's College Football Insider: Week 11
by Jordan Adams and Drew Mangione - 11/16/2006
Who's injured? Who's streaking? Who has the advantage in this weekend's games? What tips and trends are out there that could sway your plays? Here's an underground look at what's going down in the World of College Football:
Key Games: No. 19 Virginia Tech (-2) at No. 14 Wake Forest, noon, Saturday
No. 21 Maryland at No. 20 Boston College (-7.5), 7 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Virginia Tech starting tight end Greg Boone is doubtful for Saturday's game with a sprained left ankle, starting cornerback Victor Harris is questionable with a separated right shoulder, and free safety Cam Martin is out with a sprained left foot. They suffered their injuries in the team's 23-0 win over Kent State. Left tackle Brandon Frye sat out last week and should be ready to return…The Demon Deacons may be the third-smallest school in Div. I-A, but with wins this week and next against Maryland, they'll have their chance to play Georgia Tech for a slot in the Orange Bowl, even if the BCS balks at the potential lack of ratings. Wake is 5-1 straight up as an underdog this year and undefeated against the spread…Boston College has given up 10 points in its last four home games including Virginia Tech, but the first two saw the team give up 56 points in shootouts with BYU and Clemson…Miami junior quarterback Kyle Wright is out for the remainder of the season and coach Larry Coker has named sophomore Kirby Freeman to start as the Hurricanes battle to keep bowl hopes alive… Florida State will go back to sophomore Drew Weatherford for Saturday's game against Western Michigan after Xavier Lee started three games.
Key Games: No. 8 West Virginia (-11.5) at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., Thursday
No. 7 Rutgers (-6.5) at Cincinnati, 7 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Cincinnati's rushing defense dropped from 13th to 30th after Steve Slaton and the West Virginia Mountaineers shredded them last week for 313 yards. Now its Ray Rice's turn and the sophomore racked up 195 yards in last season's 44-9 victory over the Bearcats. Fullback Brian Leonard tacked on another 79 of the team's 337 yards last year and both studs had a pair of touchdowns…West Virginia's second-ranked rushing attack at more than 318 yards per game versus Pittsburgh's 90th ranked rush defense allowing 157.6 yards per game. Place your bets. Last year the Mountaineers racked up 451 rushing yards in a 45-13 win against embattled defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads' defense…The under is 4-0 in the last four games following a 40 point outburst by the Connecticut Huskies and 13-3 after the Syracuse Orange scores less than 20. This week's number is 39.5.
Key Games: No. 5 Arkansas (-14) at Mississippi State, 2:30 p.m., Saturday
No. 15 Auburn (-3) at Alabama, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Mississippi at No. 9 Louisiana State (-27.5), 8 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Tennessee's starting running back and quarterback could be back in the lineup against Vanderbilt. Volunteers coach Phillip Fulmer said redshirt freshman LaMarcus Coker may get his job back and junior Erik Ainge has a realistic chance of playing…It seems there will be no line in the Western Carolina/Florida game…Auburn has won the last four intrastate match ups against Alabama, but the Tigers have gone 2-3 ATS in that span and are 0-6 in the team's last six as a favorite. The Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in both the team's last five against a team with a winning record and the last five as an underdog.
Key Games: Utah State at No. 13 Boise State (-37.5), 3 p.m., Saturday
San Jose State at Hawaii (-24), 11:05 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: The nation's leading scorer, Boise State running back Ian Johnson is doubtful after suffering a collapsed lung in the team's 23-20 win at San Jose State last week. The Broncos have their eyes on a BCS bowl, but have failed to cover in three of their last four games as favorites of 13 to 27.5 points…Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan added another four touchdowns to bring his nation-topping total to 43. The Rainbow Warriors covered a spread of 38 against Louisiana Tech last week, bringing the standout quarterback's record to 5-0-1 ATS when the spread is greater than 18 points.
Key Games: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (-6), 2 p.m., Saturday
Kansas State Kansas (-2), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Oklahoma is on the road to face the Baylor Bears, a team they've beaten the last ten meetings. Sooner quarterback Paul Thompson has been a pleasant surprise, throwing for 15 touchdowns this year. Baylor will continue to start backup Blake Szymanski as Shaun Bell is out for the season…7-3 Missouri travels to play Iowa State but are just 2-2 on the road. The Tigers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight away from home. Missouri has won the last three…An entertaining game is set for Lubbock when Oklahoma State plays Texas Tech. One the biggest surprises has been the Cowboys and their dynamite quarterback Robert Reid. He has thrown for 21 touchdowns and leads an offense scoring over 37 a game. The Red Raiders are 2-6 ATS vs. a team with a winning record…One week after beating Texas at home, Kansas State gets in-state rival Kansas. Despite last week's upset the Wildcats are still underdogs in this game. Kansas State has won nine of the last ten meetings.
Key Games: Iowa at Minnesota (-3), 12 p.m., Saturday
No. 2 Michigan at No. 1 Ohio State (-6.5), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: A true disappointment this year, Iowa is not only 6-5 but also 1-9 ATS. The Hawkeyes have struggled to score and now face a Minnesota team deadly in their dome. Iowa, however, is 10-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings with the Gophers…4-7 Sparty needs a good win to cap a dreadful season. They travel to Happy Valley and play Penn State who is 5-1 at home. The home team is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings…Purdue looks for its third straight victory while Indiana has lost three of its last four. Over the last 21 games the Hoosiers are 5-16 ATS vs. a team with a winning record…Illinois looks for its third win of the year in Evanston against Northwestern. The Illini are 5-5 against the number this year but are 1-8 ATS vs. a team with a losing record…The showdown in Columbus goes down this Saturday and it could be the most hyped game of the year including the future National Championship. Ohio State is 9-2 ATS this year but Michigan has covered its last seven road spreads.
Key Games: Arizona at Oregon (-13), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
No. 17 California at No. 4 USC (-6), 8 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: The day has come where we no longer speak of a winless streak for Stanford. The Cardinal now looks for their first win in Palo Alto and face an Oregon State team that is 2-2 on the road. Stanford has only scored double digits just once this at home. Oregon State is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings…Back at home and nearly unbeatable in the Autzen Zoo, Oregon will look to resume its dominance over Arizona. The Ducks have won the last seven meetings and have covered six of their last eight home spreads…Washington and Wazzou continue their Apple Cup rivalry this Saturday. UW is just 1-4 away from home while Washington State continue to be a much better team at home. The underdog in this series is 9-2 ATS over the last eleven. Overshadowed by Michigan/Ohio State however the Cal/USC game has just as much BCS implications. The Trojans remain perfect at home but it is Cal who is 6-2 ATS in the last eight. The underdog too has covered six of the last eight.
Key Games: Houston (-16.5) at Memphis, 2 p.m., Saturday
UAB at Southern Miss (-14.5), 8 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: UCF looks for back-to-back wins for the first time all year and will attempt to do so in the Superdome against Tulane. Both teams are allowing over 30 points on defense while the Green Wave are 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten games at home…Houston looks to continue its run towards to C-USA crown and will face Memphis on the road. The Tigers have yet to win against a D-I A team, its lone win this year I-AA Tennessee Chattanooga…Tulsa has dropped two in a row and now might be in trouble to defense their C-USA title in the conference championship. At 7-3 they face a feisty SMU team that is 4-1 at home. The Golden Hurricane are 2-6 ATS in their last eight meetings. UTEP goes on the road and are 2-7 in their last nine conference games. They face Marshall who is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games… UAB has yet to win on the road but will be away from home against Southern Miss this Saturday. UAB has lost the last six meetings but has covered three of those games.
Key Games: San Diego State at TCU (-17.5), 4 p.m., Saturday
New Mexico at No. 24 BYU (-26.5), 4 p.m., Saturday
Conference Notes: Defending MWC champ TCU continues to chase BYU and now needs to win out and get help to win the title for a second straight year since coming over from Conference USA. TCU is 3-1 at home and hosts San Diego State, a team that is 2-7 and winless on the road this season…Finally ranked in the top 25, BYU is 8-2 this year and 9-1 ATS. They are perfect at home and are scoring 36 a game. The Cougars have covered eleven of their last twelve conference games but New Mexico is 3-1 away from home this year…1-9 UNLV is at home against Wyoming. The Cowboys are 5-6 but have won only one of their five games on the road this season. Wyoming is also 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games. The Utes are on the road to face Air Force and look for their seventh win of the season. Only 6-4, it has been a down year for Utah but they can pretty much secure a bowl birth with a quality win over the Falcons on the road. Utah has won the last three meetings but is 0-3 ATS in those games.