Tip Sheet - National

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Last updated: 11/14/2013 11:47 AM
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Football
Tony's Tip Sheet – National Edition
by Tony Gerdeman

It's a pretty disjointed week for college football, as there are interesting games scattered throughout the week, but not necessarily any one great game. The Stanford at USC game is ABC's national game on Saturday night, so that tells you all you need to know about this week's slate.

For Ohio State's concerns, Alabama travels to Mississippi State and Florida State will be enjoying Syracuse with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Thursday November 13

Teams: Georgia Tech (6-3) at #8 Clemson (8-1)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Georgia Tech

Remember Clemson? I know you may not believe it, but they were once thought of as a national title contender. Unfortunately, they lost to Florida State, which has ruled them out of any further discussion. If only they had lost to Utah, then they'd still be in the picture. Alas, their season is pretty much over because they're out of the ACC title hunt. As such, a game against Georgia Tech's option game could not come at a worse time. Clemson has had a few issues against the run this year, giving up 222 yards to Georgia and 323 yards to Syra-freaking-cuse. I expect Tech to hit some big runs, and put up close to 300 yards on the ground. It won't be enough, however, because the Tigers still have Tajh Boyd, and Georgia Tech's pass defense has been victimized by lesser teams this year. Clemson 51 – Georgia Tech 34

Friday November 14

Teams: Washington (6-3) at #13 UCLA (7-2)
Time (TV): 9:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Washington

Washington has put up 635 yards of total offense per game against California and Colorado in their last two outings, but only 588 yards total in their two games prior to that against Oregon and Arizona State. I'm assuming this game will side towards the two rougher matchups, both of which were losses by three touchdowns or more. In those two games, the Washington defense gave up over 600 yards of total offense per game. Nothing here points to a win for the Huskies other than the fact that UCLA football isn't exactly tearing things up right now. UCLA is barely a field goal favorite in this one, and I can kind of understand why. I'll go ahead and go with Washington running back Bishop Sankey in this one. Washington 31 – UCLA 27

Saturday November 15

Teams: West Virginia (4-6) at Kansas (2-7)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (FSN Affiliates)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Kansas

If you have kids who always get on your nerves and you're not allowed to spank them, make them sit down and watch this game for three hours and I guarantee you it will do more good than a week at a prison camp. “Please Father, I'll be good. Just no...more...Charlie Weis.” West Virginia 24 – Kansas 23

Teams: #25 Georgia (6-3) at #7 Auburn (9-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (CBS)
Interest: 4
Cheer For: Georgia

Hey guys, it's Georgia! Remember that time they were in that important game that once? Man, that was crazy. Auburn comes into this game on a surge, running the ball at will on opponents. Georgia is better than those opponents, but does that mean they can hold the Tigers under 300 yards rushing? I think Auburn will be able to spread the ball out and find the weaknesses in the Georgia defense, and while the Bulldogs will score, it won't be enough. Auburn 34 – Georgia 31

Teams: #12 Oklahoma State (8-1) at #25 Texas (7-2)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (FOX)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Texas

Even though this is a matchup of ranked teams, I really can't take either of these teams seriously. Oklahoma State lost at West Virginia, and Texas doesn't have Vince Young. You're rooting for Texas here because you want Oklahoma State to drop. They play Baylor next week, and a win over a nearly top 10 team would only hurt Ohio State's chances of keeping Baylor behind them. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the Texas roster is depleted, and even if it wasn't, it would still be full of Texas players. I have no respect for the Cowboys, so I'll take the Longhorns, who are a home underdog. I hate everything about this game. Texas 33 – Oklahoma State 28

Teams: Syracuse (5-4) at #2 Florida State (9-0)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC/ESPN2)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Syracuse

This game is going to be as unappealing as a January weekend in Syracuse. Even though the Jameis Winston controversy is hanging over Florida State's head, I don't see that mattering much in this game. After all, there's no way anything will happen soon enough to remove Winston from the game. Could he be distracted enough to struggle? Absolutely. Would it matter against Syracuse? Not enough to get your hopes up. Florida State 38 – Syracuse 17

Teams: #23 Miami (FL) (7-2) at Duke (7-2)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPNU)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Duke

Is this the most anybody has ever cared about Duke football in a single week? The Hurricanes are a three-point favorite, but they've never played in a crowd like what Duke's stadium will provide. You have to remember, they're used to playing in front of hundreds in their home stadium, and most of the time people are only there for the swap meet in the parking lots. They only find their ways into the game to use the bathrooms. But it's a major step up from the days of when people just squatted next to strangers' cars. Sure, that still goes on, but Rome's ability to get humans to act like humans wasn't built in a day. As for the game, I have no idea how Duke does what they do, so I'll go with them because I'm most sure of myself when I have absolutely no clue. Duke 34 – Miami 24

Teams: Utah (4-5) at #6 Oregon (8-1)
Time (TV): 4:00 pm (FS1)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Oregon

Imagine the fun we can have as Americans if Oregon puts the hammer on Utah, who gave Stanford their only loss. It would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Oregon is better than Stanford, aside from that time that Oregon didn't play “Oregon Football”. Oregon 51 – Utah 24

Teams: #5 Baylor (8-0) vs Texas Tech (7-3) (Arlington, TX)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (FOX)
Interest: 4.5
Cheer For: Texas Tech

You can go ahead and cheer for Texas Tech, but just remember, when Baylor loses this game, voters could push their Baylor votes to Stanford, and bring the Cardinal even closer to the Buckeyes. Unless Stanford also loses this week, then they'll go all-in with Oregon. Baylor has started slowly against Kansas State and Oklahoma, and I expect the same thing to happen in this game. The key to those two games was that KSU and OU didn't have the offense to capitalize. Texas Tech, on the other hand, absolutely does. The Red Raiders have lost three in a row, however, and have been crushed on the ground. While many think of Baylor as a passing team, they are also ninth in the nation in rushing, averaging 294.4 yards rushing per game. Even though Baylor has started slowly against other talented opponents, I'm not sure Texas Tech has the defensive ability to make that happen a third time. Baylor 63 – Texas Tech 38

Teams: Florida (4-5) at #10 South Carolina (7-2)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Florida

This game is going to be horrendously ugly to watch, but at least you'll get to see Jadeveon Clowney make plays when he is left completely unblocked for some reason. The bloom is finally off of Will Muschamp's rose, but to be fair to him, Urban Meyer left absolutely zero nutrients in the Gainesville soil.

Teams: Houston (7-2) at #20 Louisville (8-1)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (ESPNU)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Houston

Ha ha, just kidding. I'm not going to talk about this game. Nobody cares. When you're beneath Central Florida, you need to re-evaluate your life's journey. Louisville 35 – Houston 31

Teams: #1 Alabama (9-0) at Mississippi State (4-5)
Time (TV): 7:45 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Mississippi State

Just remember, if you do decide to cheer for Mississippi State, you have to remove any evidence of sleeves on your shirts. Alabama 35 – Mississippi State 17

Teams: #4 Stanford (8-1) at USC (7-3)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ABC)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: USC

Ed Orgeron is coaching for the USC job this week, which makes me think the Trojans will somehow blow a game that they can win. Stanford is favored by 3.5 in this one, which seems a little low for how amazing Stanford reportedly is. I bet if Vegas knew that Stanford was going to choose to play “Stanford Football”, they would be favored by six touchdowns easy. If USC can stop the run in this game, they'll win. They haven't been doing that very well this season, however. The Trojans will be able to score enough to get the win, I'm just not convinced they'll have the ball that much. That being said, USC owes Stanford for some past upsets. USC 27 – Stanford 26

Teams: Oregon State (6-3) at #19 Arizona State (7-2)
Time (TV): 9:30 pm (P12N)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Arizona State

This has the potential to be the most entertaining game of the weekend. Unfortunately, it's being aired on the Pac 12 Network, so you aren't allowed to watch it. Arizona State has given up just 257.3 yards per game over their last four games, all wins. Oregon State's offense is not the kind that typically gets stifled, but in their last two games, Stanford and USC have held them to 12 and 14 points, respectively. The Beavers have had a week off to get things righted and to prepare for this game, but I don't think it's going to be enough. Arizona State 31 – Oregon State 24

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