Week 14 CF Picks
The 2008 College Football Season is wrapping up as we’ve reached rivalry week. Our writers and handicappers hand out six predictions for Saturday’s games.
Baylor at Texas Tech, 3:30 PM ET
With a win over the top-ranked team in the country at the beginning of the month, Texas Tech took control of its own destiny in a bid for its first trip to both the Big 12 and national championship games.
A loss last week, however, has the Red Raiders battling for position again.
The seventh-ranked Red Raiders look to improve their suddenly slim chances of a trip to the Big 12 championship game - and perhaps even the BCS title game - Saturday when they host Baylor in both teams' regular-season finale.
Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell connected with fellow Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Crabtree on a 28-yard touchdown pass with one second left to lift the Red Raiders (10-1, 6-1) to a 39-33 win over then-No. 1 Texas on Nov. 1.
That victory left the Red Raiders as the Big 12's only unbeaten team, lifted them to No. 2 in the AP poll and put them in control in the race for the Big 12 South title and a shot at the national championship.
Things aren't as clear cut after Texas Tech was blown out 65-21 on the road against then-No. 5 Oklahoma last Saturday. The Red Raiders, Longhorns and Sooners now all have identical overall and conference records.
If the three teams finish tied, the Big 12 South champion will be determined by the BCS standings, meaning Texas Tech - seventh in the BCS - would need to pass both Texas (second) and Oklahoma (third) this week. Texas hosts unranked Texas A&M on Thursday night, while Oklahoma visits No. 11 Oklahoma State on Saturday night.
The Bears have lost their last 12 games in the series to fall to 32-33-1 all-time against the Red Raiders, including a 14-21-1 mark in Lubbock, where they've dropped eight straight since 1990. Overall, Baylor has lost 10 straight conference games on the road since Oct. 7, 2006.
Kansas at Missouri, 12:30 PM ET
Last year's Missouri-Kansas matchup not only decided the Big 12 North, it gave the winner the inside track in the race for the BCS title game.
This season's meeting won't even have the division title at stake.
With No. 12 Missouri having wrapped that up two weeks earlier, the teams meet Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium with considerably less on the line than last season.
Both schools rose to national championship contender status last season, but they've been unable to stay at that level this year. Although Missouri (9-2, 5-2) will return to Arrowhead next week for the Big 12 championship game, it will be relegated to a spoiler role against Oklahoma, Texas or Texas Tech - teams battling for a spot in the BCS title game.
With 116 meetings, Missouri-Kansas is the nation's second most-played rivalry, but there's controversy over who holds the 54-53-9 edge.
Kansas counts its 23-7 upset of then-No. 1 Missouri in 1960 as a victory, but that win was later forfeited due to ineligible players. The Tigers regard it as a victory, giving them the edge.
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, 8:00 PM ET
It seems only fitting that a rivalry called "The Bedlam Series" will contribute heavily in determining this year's Big 12 South champion and perhaps a spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game.
Oklahoma tries to do what it can to reach the conference title game Saturday when it travels to Oklahoma State, which would like nothing better to spoil the grand plans of its archrival.
The third-ranked Sooners (10-1, 6-1) forged a three-way tie atop the South Division with No. 4 Texas and No. 7 Texas Tech with a 65-21 dismantling of the Red Raiders on Saturday. The win moved Oklahoma up to third in the most recent BCS standings - but it remained behind the Longhorns, whom the Sooners lost to 45-35 on Oct. 11.
The two were non-factors in the loss at Oklahoma last year, with Hunter gaining just five years on two carries and Bryant limited to five catches for 69 yards.
Oklahoma leads the all-time series 78-17-7.
Georgia Tech at Georgia, 12:00 PM ET
The biggest game of the season for Georgia Tech is approaching, but it won't scout, game plan or practice for it.
With their ACC title hopes to be decided nearly 400 miles away, the 18th-ranked Yellow Jackets will try to focus on gaining state bragging rights from No. 13 Georgia for the first time in eight years as the area rivals wrap up the regular season Saturday.
The Bulldogs' preseason No. 1 ranking is long gone and they have no shot at winning an SEC title, thanks to lopsided losses to Alabama and Florida. So Georgia (9-3) is left to try and strengthen its BCS standing as it goes for its first eight-game winning streak against Georgia Tech (8-3), a run that would match the Yellow Jackets' streak from 1949-56 as the longest in the series.
Georgia has won 33 of the last 44 matchups and leads the series 59-38-5.
Oregon at Oregon State, 7:00 PM ET
Oregon State has already bounced back from an 0-2 start, knocked off the nation's top-ranked team and in its most recent game kicked a last-second field goal to secure first place in the Pac-10.
Now, it looks like it'll enter one of the biggest games in school history without perhaps its best player.
The No. 17 Beavers can clinch their first Rose Bowl trip in 44 years with a win Saturday in Corvallis, but they'll likely have to get past bitter rival and No. 19 Oregon without the help of star freshman tailback Jacquizz Rodgers.
Oregon State (8-3, 7-1) was projected to finish fifth in the Pac-10 before the season, and after its first game - an August loss to Stanford - that looked optimistic. The Beavers' chances of being competitive looked even slimmer a week later, when they were throttled 45-14 at Penn State.
Prior to Oregon State's victory in Eugene last season, the home team had won the previous 10 meetings in this rivalry. Oregon leads the overall series 55-46-10.
Florida at Florida State, 3:30 PM ET
It may not have guaranteed him the Heisman Trophy, but Tim Tebow's outstanding performance against Florida State last season certainly didn't hurt, as two weeks later he became the first sophomore to win the prestigious award.
For Florida's star quarterback, though, this season's intrastate showdown carries much higher stakes.
The second-ranked Gators have wrapped up the SEC East but are playing to stay in the hunt for the BCS championship Saturday in Tallahassee, as they'll look to make it five straight wins over the No. 23 Seminoles, who need help to make the ACC title game.
Florida is ninth in the country in total defense (278.7) and third in scoring defense (12.0). The unit is a bit banged-up, though. Defensive lineman Matt Patchan is out and starting tackle Lawrence Marsh is questionable with both dealing with knee injuries.
Florida State has averaged 11.5 points in its last four games against the Gators, who lead the all-time series 31-19-2.
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Posted: 11/28/08 9:00 PM ET