King of the Frogs plus college football predictions in week 11

11/8/21   at 5:01pm PST


College football programs are getting early starts on their Christmas shopping by firing their coaches before we’ve even reached Thanksgiving.  Nothing says “thanks” quite like a holiday pink slip.

Jumping Black Friday worked well for Georgia Southern as it hired former USC coach Clay Helton and it should have worked better for Texas Tech except that the Raiders hired a guy who has never been a college head coach.

TCU got rid of Gary Patterson and there were rumors that Sonny Dykes would leave SMU in a rush to seize the title as King of the Frogs. Don’t be fooled. Dykes is only huckstering. But can you blame him for trying to make his own Christmas better?

And now I wonder if former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich might be spending his Thanksgiving in Texas. 

Further west, Oregon State decided it was time to part ways with defensive coordinator Tim Tidesbar at a critical point of trying to get a bowl berth. Apparently, taking the Beavers from 106th in yards per play last year to 77th this year just wasn’t good enough.

And, Washington finally lowered the boom on John Donovan after just 13 games as offensive coordinator. Unfortunately, the move came 13 games too late. As I mentioned at the time, his hiring made no sense because candidates with better credentials were available, Donovan had been fired after being a bust at Penn State, he himself said he knew nothing about UW, and I never did hear him deny he wasn’t actually the famous game show host. 

UW head coach Jimmy Lake was also suspended after a sideline altercation with his own player during the Huskies’ game with Oregon.

Florida coach Dan Mullens fired his defensive coordinator and offensive line coach over the weekend. It’s a stop-gap but probably not one that will extend Mullens’ tenure.

UMass got rid of Walt Bell after the Minutemen lost to FCS Rhode Island over the weekend, an upset we predicted. That loss reminds us that the “Minute” part of their nickname has less to do with an element of time and more to do with the characteristic of being tiny.

And what winter gathering would be complete without talk of biting Frost in Nebraska?

Last summer, I pondered two questions concerning Hawai’i and I didn’t come up with an answer to either of them. First, I wondered how Todd Graham would do in his first full season as coach of the Rainbows. And second, I wondered how the island of Oahu could have interstate hiways.

This week will be so much fun because we are likely to see more coaches packing their bags for unexpected vacations and we are going to see more upsets than we have all season.

Three games match ranked teams led by #9 Michigan (8-1) at #10 Penn State (6-3). Neither has been impressive when facing ranked opponents but Michigan gets our nod as a two-point favorite because the Nittany Lions can’t get much going on the ground. PSU’s primary ball carrier is Noah Cain who has needed 93 carries just to get to 290 yards.

In another battle of ranked teams, #20 Texas A&M (7-2) is favored 28-25 to take down #13 Mississippi (7-2). I think Mississippi should be given more consideration since it has an undefeated home record, the nation’s third-best turnover margin, and is coached by Mr. SuaveHair. Also, this is only the second time all season that A&M is truly a visiting team.

Two of the flashiest passing attacks get together as #19 North Carolina State (7-2) visits #24 Wake Forest (8-1). The battle of the starting sophomore quarterbacks will be spectacular as Devin Leary of NCSU and Sam Hartman of WF have already combined for more than one mile of passing yardage. Both are completing better than 60% of their passes while combining for just eight interceptions in 619 passing attempts. Hartman leads the nation in average yards per play (8.7).

Our Index is going against the betting lines to predict upset wins for Boston College over Georgia Tech, West Virginia over Kansas State, Syracuse over Louisville, LSU over Arkansas, Maine (FCS) over Massachusetts, Missouri over South Carolina, Nevada over San Diego State, San Jose State over Utah State, and Georgia Southern over Texas State.

Last week, the Index was three games worse than the betting lines in predicting over/under point spreads but three games better in predicting winners. For the season, the Index is 4% better in predicting winners and 50 games better in predicting over/under total game points.

In the PAC-12 . . .

Two weeks ago, Arizona State faced Washington State but not its head coach because Nick Rolovich had been fired.

Last week, the Sun Devils faced USC but not its head coach because Clay Helton had been fired.

This week, the Sun Devils (6-3) visit Washington (4-5) but not its head coach because Jimmy Lake has been suspended.

Coaching chaos isn’t anything new to the folks in Tempe since ASU coach Herm Edwards and much of his staff is under investigation for alleged recruiting violations which may lead to more terminations in Tempe.

If you consider penalties and turnovers as indicators that coaches aren’t emphasizing discipline, then you might like to know that ASU is #1 in the nation for fumbling the ball and #5 in the nation for committing the most penalties per game.

Our system (Savvy Index) says ASU should prevail by four points over Washington but I wonder when coaches on either side of this game will demonstrate the measure of behavior they demand of their players. If teenage students can do it then certainly adult coaches can.

Utah (6-3) has returned to the national rankings and is favored 39-14 over Arizona (1-8) to post its sixth win in the past seven games. Arizona’s rush defense is pretty good but Utah’s top three ball carriers all average better than six yards per carry. We said in the preseason that the Ute’s offensive line would run block with the best in the nation and that is indeed what we are seeing.

This game will be out of reach for the Wildcats but it’s important to note that UA’s trend lines on Savvy have been shooting upward rapidly for the past five weeks.

The last time California (3-6) played USC (4-5), the Bears lost 41-17 at home. The margin will be closer but the result will be the same. Both of these programs have performed below expectations and both must win all of their remaining games to avert losing seasons.

We said before the season started that UCLA (5-4) would make it to its first bowl game under head coach Chip Kelly. We projected seven wins for the Bruins and with three vulnerable opponents remaining on the schedule (Colorado, USC, and Cal), getting to seven wins seems like a certainty.

UCLA’s defense has been awful against top-tier opponents but it will have no problem dealing with Colorado (3-6) this week. The last time UCLA had a week off, it lost its next game. The Bruins had last week off but are favored to win this one, 31-21.

Colorado’s offense is improving now that quarterback Brendan Lewis has been turned loose, but that won’t be enough to win this week.

Stanford (3-6) takes its last place selves to Oregon State (5-4) with the hope of escaping the PAC-12 North basement. The Cardinal have lost five of their last six games and seem to have no idea what they want to do when they have the ball.

The Beavers don’t have that problem. They know exactly what they want to do and that is run the ball 40 times a game, ring up 230 yards on the ground per game, and score nearly three rushing touchdowns per game.

OSU’s issues have been on the defensive side of things where they have given up more than 30 points in four consecutive games to teams that were not ranked at the time. Perhaps the change to a new defensive coordinator will help.

The Beavers are favored 32-27 over Stanford and will become bowl eligible with the win.

Washington State (5-4) travels to #11 Oregon (8-1) as a 31-24 underdog.

The Cougars underperformed early in the season but have posted six straight weeks of positive metrics in our system. Oregon has been mostly negative although the past two games have produced some positives lines.

Behind starting quarterback Jayden de Laura, Washington State is 11th worst in the nation for throwing interceptions while Oregon is in the top 10 for collecting interceptions.

Oregon’s offensive line will be the primary reason that Oregon wins. The Ducks’ wide waddlers are in the top 30 in four significant areas: opening holes for running backs, protecting the quarterback, not allowing runs to be stopped behind the line of scrimmage, and keeping their pants above their crack lines.

Washington State’s defense is ranked between 82nd and 97th in three of those.

But that doesn’t mean this game is a “lock” for Oregon. Keep in mind that the Ducks lost to Stanford and struggled with California, the two teams that right now are at the very bottom of the PAC-12 North standings.

If you’re looking for more sports in the PAC-12 or Northwest, please visit our friends at Oregon Sports News.

Here are all 64 of our college football predictions for week 11: 


  Savvy Index   2021      
  predictions week 11      
  last week: 37-16 vs Vegas: total game points: +7 spreads: -2 Nov 13      
top 25 Season: 439-144 75% wins losses game rating notes final
25 Utah 7 3 39 38 Utah has won five of
  Arizona 1 9 14 36 its last six.
             
  Washington St. 5 5 24 24 Oregon is finally beginning
11 Oregon 9 1 31 38 to show decent up-trends on Savvy.
             
  Stanford 3 7 27 14 Between them, these two teams
  Oregon St. 6 4 32 35 have lost six in a row.
             
  Colorado 3 7 21 20 CU coach Karl Dorrell going against
  UCLA 6 4 31 44 the team he used to coach.
             
  Arizona St. 7 3 25 35 ASU’s defense is in the national
  Washington 4 6 21 30 top five for intercepting passes.
             
  New Mexico St. 1 9 13 3  
3 Alabama 9 1 53 59  
             
  S Alabama 5 6 18 7  
23 App State 8 2 37 31  
             
fcs Bucknell 1 9 3 10 Bucknell is ranked 131st in
  Army 6 3 48 63 the FCS.
             
  Mississippi St. 6 4 24 43  
12 Auburn 6 4 30 34  
             
5 Oklahoma 9 1 34 14 Baylor should win the next
  Baylor 8 2 28 27 two after this loss.
             
  Wyoming 5 5 14 13 Boise State won’t finish the season well
  Boise St. 6 4 34 23 if it doesn’t rush better than 2.78 ypc.
             
  Toledo 5 5 34 49 Bowling Green plays way above expect-
  Bowling Green 3 7 21 17 ations one week and way below the next.
             
  Connecticut 1 8 7 7  
  Clemson 7 3 40 44  
             
  Kent St. 5 5 28 30  
  C Michigan 6 4 34 54  
             
  Georgia St. 5 5 17 42 CCU’s Grayson McCall is America’s
18 Coastal Car 8 2 37 40 top passer but is out indefinitely.
             
  Air Force 7 3 27 35  
  Colorado St. 3 7 21 21  
             
  Ohio 3 7 24 34 EMU has won three of
  E Michigan 5 5 32 26 its last four games.
             
fcs Samford 4 6 14 52 Samford qb Liam Welch has 2700
  Florida 5 5 41 70 passing yards and 17/13 td/int ratio.
             
  Miami Fl 5 5 32 28 Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke has
  Florida St. 4 6 27 31 quickly become a qb with a top 10 rating.
             
  New Mexico 3 7 14 7 Fresno State has yet to
  Fresno St. 8 3 32 34 lose a home game.
             
  Boston Col 6 4 27 41 Oddsmakers say Georgia
  Georgia Tech 3 7 25 30 Tech will win by 2.
             
  Rutgers 5 5 21 38 Indiana has played one of the
  Indiana 2 8 30 3 three toughest schedules in America.
             
  Minnesota 6 4 17 22 Iowa should win this and the next
7 Iowa 8 2 24 27 two to finish 10-2 in the regular season.
             
  W Virginia 4 6 26 7 Upset. Betting lines have
  Kansas St. 7 3 24 35 KSU by a touchdown.
             
  Arkansas St. 2 8 31 27  
  LA Monroe 4 6 32 24  
             
  Charlotte 5 5 24 32  
  LA Tech 3 7 31 42  
             
  Syracuse 5 5 28 3 Syracuse has won 2 in a row.
  Louisville 5 5 27 41 Vegas says Louisville will win.
             
  Arkansas 7 3 26 16 Betting lines favor
  LSU 4 6 31 13 Arkansas by about 2.
             
  UAB 7 3 21 21  
  Marshall 6 4 31 14  
             
fcs Maine 5 5 32 35 The UMass defense gives up
  Massachusetts 1 9 28 10 7.5 yards per play.
             
  E Carolina 6 4 29 30 Vegas and Savvy both call it for
  Memphis 5 5 30 29 Memphis but I personally think it’s ECU.
             
  Buffalo 4 6 24 18 Jack Sorenson of Miami O
  Miami Oh 5 5 27 45 has 986 receiving yards.
             
  Maryland 5 5 21 21 MSU’s weakness is its defense that can’t
21 Michigan St. 9 1 34 40 get stops on critical downs.
             
  Florida Intl. 1 9 21 10 Middle Tenn is 4th in the nation
  Middle Tenn 5 5 38 50 for intercepting passes.
             
20 Texas A&M 7 3 28 19 As stated in our story line,
13 Mississippi 8 2 25 29 I think Ol’ Miss wins.
             
  S Carolina 5 5 27 28 Betting lines favor
  Missouri 5 5 28 31 South Carolina.
             
  Ball St. 5 5 31 29 BSU has won this matchup
  N Illinois 7 3 27 30 in both of the last two years.
             
  UTEP 6 4 28 17  
  N Texas 4 6 23 20  
             
  Purdue 6 4 17 31 Purdue averages just 2.39 yards per
2 Ohio St. 9 1 38 59 rush. That won’t win in Columbus.
             
  TCU 4 6 21 16 Can TCU get two upset wins in a
8 Oklahoma St. 9 1 33 63 row under its interim coach?
             
  Florida Atl. 5 5 31 16  
  Old Dominion 4 6 21 30  
             
9 Michigan 9 1 23 21 As of Sunday p.m., oddsmakers
10 Penn St. 6 4 21 17 had no spread.
             
  N Carolina 5 5 32 23 Something every fan should know is that
14 Pittsburgh 8 2 37 30 UNC’s 21st best tackler is Storm Duck.
             
  W Kentucky 6 4 41 42 WKU hasn’t had a single negative
  Rice 3 7 21 21 mark on Savvy all year.
             
  Nevada 7 3 28 21 Vegas thinks SDSU will win this
  San Diego St. 8 2 23 23 but Nevada will win.
             
  Utah St. 8 2 30 48 Betting lines favor
  San Jose St. 5 6 24 17 San Jose State.
             
  UCF 6 4 30 28 Both of SMU’s top running backs
  SMU 8 2 32 55 are questionable (as of Sunday pm).
             
22 Houston 9 1 42 37 Houston’s Clayton Tune is
  Temple 3 7 17 8 completing 71% of his passes.
             
1 Georgia 10 0 38 41 Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker has
  Tennessee 5 5 16 17 21 td passes and just 2 interceptions.
             
  Kansas 2 8 17 57  
  Texas 4 6 46 56  
             
  Georgia So. 3 7 28 38 Betting lines
  Texas St. 3 7 26 30 favor Texas St.
             
  Iowa St. 6 4 38 38 Texas Tech’s defense has given
  Texas Tech 6 4 20 41 up 22 touchdown passes.
             
15 Louisiana 9 1 30 35  
  Troy 5 5 22 21  
             
  Tulsa 4 6 35 20 Tulane recruiting is better every year
  Tulane 1 9 28 13 but results are getting worse.
             
  Hawai’i 5 6 30 13  
  UNLV 2 8 27 27  
             
6 Cincinnati 10 0 42 45 UC continues to post negative trends
  USF 2 8 14 28 with SMU coming in next week.
             
  S Miss 1 9 7 17 SoMiss has been struggling at qb
17 UTSA 10 0 40 27 with Ty Keyes and Trey Lowe out.
             
  Kentucky 7 3 34 34 Predicted margin is surprisingly low
  Vanderbilt 1 8 17 17 for a formerly ranked team vs Vandy.
             
4 Notre Dame 9 1 33 28 Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong has
  Virginia 6 4 24 3 passed for the 2nd most yardage in FBS (3557 yds).
             
  Duke 3 7 17 17 VaTech may be without starting
  Virginia Tech 5 5 32 48 qb Braxton Burmeister.
             
19 N Carolina St. 7 3 28 42 The battle of two of
24 Wake Forest 9 1 30 45 the nation’s best qbs.
             
  Northwestern 3 7 10 7 Wisconsin has won five
25 Wisconsin 7 3 33 35 in a row including over Iowa.
             
  Akron 2 8 20 40 Akron lost its head coach.
  W Michigan 6 4 38 45 WMU has lost 3 of its last 4 games.
             

 

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