Just three weeks from today, Dan and I will be in Atlanta putting on a live show, celebrating the joys the 2022 college football regular season, and preparing for Conference Championship Week. Championship Week? Yes, it’ll be here before you know it.
The season moves quickly. With the shortest regular season of any “major” sport, college football is a prime example of how less can be more. This is often true of individual weeks as well. Sometimes, the best weeks of college football are the ones with the fewest marquee games. Upsets hide around every bend, and as the pressure ratchets up on the top teams, strange things tend to happen.
Week 11 feels like it could be one of those weeks. Let’s go 3-0…
Minnesota -17 vs. Northwestern
Northwestern is objectively terrible and projected to lose its final three games by at least 17 points. This week, the Cats are on the road against a solid Minnesota squad that is among the nation’s most efficient on the ground and, collectively, on defense.
Not every pick needs to be a thought experiment. Northwestern is going 1-11 this season and needs to take a good look in the mirror.
Bet Minnesota -17
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Louisville +7 @ Clemson
Since a catastrophic loss against Boston College in Week 5, Louisville’s defense has stepped up. Over its last four games, the Cardinals’ defense has overperformed projections by a sizable margin. It is a definitive trend and one I’ve been screaming out for the last three weeks. The defense is tough in the red zone, good at forcing teams to go three-and-out, and among the best at generating turnovers.
Meanwhile, Clemson comes back home after getting run off the field by Notre Dame. Between the slow starts, quarterback questions, and a strangely gettable defense, cracks had started to show in the Tiger foundation before the loss to the Irish. This is still an excellent, top 10 team. But they’re not bulletproof on either side of the ball.
This was a close football game in 2021. I expect another barnburner this year with a lot of hero plays from Malik Cunningham. If the Cardinals defense continues playing at a high level, an outright win is not out of the question.
Bet Louisville +7
Oregon -13.5 vs. Washington
Washington’s path to seven wins is paved with victories over a bunch of losing teams. The win over Oregon State last week was hard-fought and proved that the Huskies can win in variety of ways. The offense is solid and Michael Penix Jr. has an opportunity to rack up some passing yards on Saturday. All that said, I think Oregon is in a different stratosphere right now. The Ducks can kill you a thousand different ways with Bo Nix playing at a Heisman-caliber level. They seem to be getting better at the right time and clearly have Playoff aspirations.
Bet Oregon -13.5