Weekly Pick ‘Em: Celebrating the Season

Thanksgiving is Thursday, but the real holiday for college football fans comes on Friday. The day’s slate features three games (Auburn at Alabama, Arizona at Oregon, Boise State at Nevada) that have the potential to seismically shift the national championship race. Football Season Even if the Auburn, Oregon and Boise State win on Friday, Saturday offers plenty of intrigue. The Big Ten and Big 12 South have plenty of meaningful football left to play, with Michigan State at Penn State, and Oklahoma at Oklahoma State headlining the action in their respective conferences. And will also be plenty of interest in games that involve ranked teams that don’t have a chance to win their conference (Louisiana State at Arkansas), in-state rivals (Florida at Florida State) and long-time foes who have seen better days (Notre Dame at Southern California). It’s a holiday week, so take time to celebrate with perhaps the best weekend of the college football season.

No. 2 Auburn (11-0) at No. 9 Alabama (9-2), Friday

Pete: Alabama. Nick Saban has had a lot of time to prepare for Auburn, even if the Tide’s defense isn’t elite.
Fred: Alabama. Auburn has only played three road games so far this year and none have been as tough as Tuscaloosa is going to be.
Paul: Alabama. Maybe the N.C.A.A. will stop caring if Auburn loses a game?
Connor: Alabama. Cam Newton can’t do it all by himself.

No. 20 Arizona (7-3) at No. 1 Oregon (10-0), Friday

Pete: Oregon. The Ducks’ offense faces the toughest defense it has seen all season. This one will be close.
Fred: Oregon. Vegas has the Ducks as a 20 point favorites and I can’t find a reason to disagree.
Paul: Oregon. I can’t picture Arizona winning in Autzen Stadium.
Connor: Oregon. The Ducks looked vulnerable against Cal, but I still think they have the firepower to win this one.

No. 3 Boise State (10-0) at No. 19 Nevada (10-1), Friday

Pete: Boise State. No team in the county is playing more consistent football.
Fred: Boise State. Nevada is one of the best teams that the Broncos have played all season. This ought to be a good one.
Paul: Boise State. The only question is by how much.
Connor: Boise State. One of the best quarterback matchups of the season.

No. 6 Louisiana State (10-1) at No. 12 Arkansas (9-2)

Pete: L.S.U. Yes, it will likely come down to the final play and Les Miles will make a baffling decision that works.
Fred: Arkansas
Paul: L.S.U. If recent results are to be believed, L.S.U. has found an offense.
Connor: L.S.U. There’s no rhyme or reason to this, but that’s how Les Miles likes it.

Florida (7-4) at No. 22 Florida State (8-3)

Pete: Florida. Don’t expect a pretty game.
Fred: Florida State. The Seminoles are due for a win in this rivalry. This could be their best chance in some time.
Paul: Florida State. F.S.U. doesn’t control its A.C.C. destiny, but could make a claim to being the best team in Florida if it wins.
Connor: Florida. I don’t think the Seminoles have caught up to the Gators just yet.

No. 14 Oklahoma (9-2) at No. 10 Oklahoma State (10-1)

Pete: Oklahoma State. Landry Jones really struggles on the road.
Fred: Oklahoma State. Someone other than Texas or Oklahoma has to win the Big 12 South. It’s been a long time.
Paul: Oklahoma. More often that not, the Bedlam Game lives up to its billing.
Connor: Oklahoma State. Justin Blackmon has been one of the most impressive players in the country.

No. 11 Michigan State (10-1) at Penn State (7-4)

Pete: Penn State. Michigan State can’t maintain its charmed existence, can it?
Fred: Michigan State. I have very little confidence in this pick. I feel like this is going to be very close.
Paul: Penn State. The worst “rivalry” game in the Big Ten.
Connor: Michigan State. The Spartans haven’t done well in Beaver Stadium, but things are going their way this season.

Notre Dame (6-5) at Southern California (7-4)

Pete: Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are playing well and U.S.C. will have a backup quarterback playing.
Fred: U.S.C. So many good rivalries this weekend. This is not one of them.
Paul: U.S.C. Though the Trojans did look terrible against Oregon State.
Connor: U.S.C. The Trojans might struggle without Matt Barkley, but I still think they beat the Irish.


Paul: 39-21 (2-3 last week)
Pete: 38-22 (2-3)
Fred: 36-24 (3-2)
Connor: 35-25 (4-1)




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