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What We Learned in NCAA Football Week 11

A Couple of Pac-12 Favorite Hit the Canvas

It was another wild and crazy weekend of college football action with four ranked squads falling to unranked teams and the College Football Playoff ranking likely to see some movement.

The Pac-12 saw two of the top teams suffer stunning and potentially damaging losses while the Big Ten West Division race got more interesting.

Pac-12 Favorites
Tim Warner/Getty Images/AFP

One number that jumps out when looking at the previous week is that of the top six rushing performances, five came in losing causes with only Central Michigan’s Bert Emanuel Jr.’s 293-yard effort in a win over Buffalo coming in a victory.

When looking at the college football playoff odds, Georgia (-125) is the clear leader in the odds to win the national championship followed by Ohio State (+225) and Michigan (+700).

Let’s check the latest NCAAF picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAF predictions. We’ve plenty of NCAAF expert picks for you to consider.

Horned Frogs Punch Their Big 12 Ticket

Since joining the Big 12, TCU has certainly enjoyed playing the Texas Longhorns.

TCU improved to 8-3 in its last 11 games against Texas. The undefeated Horned Frogs were listed by the Las Vegas odds as a 7½-point underdog against a Texas team that had lost its last six games against teams ranked in the top 10.

The TCU defense did not allow a touchdown and held Heisman Trophy candidate Bijan Robinson to 29 yards on 12 carries while Kendre Miller had a 75-yard scoring run and finished with 138 yards.

TCU secured a spot in the Big 12 championship game for the first time since 2017.

Those who bet online and went with the Horned Frogs to win the conference title are loving life right now since five teams had better Big 12 championship odds than the Horned Frogs when the season began.

Favorites Tumble in Pac-12

The race in the Pac-12 was already pretty interesting with five ranked teams hoping to land in the conference title game.

Things are all the more intriguing following  Washington’s win over Oregon and Arizona’s stunning victory against UCLA. Arizona was 0-15 over the last three seasons when listed by the college football spreads as a double-digit underdog.

Washington led twice in the third quarter. However, it was looking like a spirited effort would not be enough when Bo Nix connected with Troy Franklin on a 67-yard touchdown to give Oregon the lead.

Oregon was up by seven points with less than four minutes to play before the Huskies took a major bite out of Oregon’s national title hopes with a long TD pass and then a field goal with less than a minute to play.

The 37-34 victory combined with Arizona scoring the final 10 points in a 34-28 win over UCLA means that five teams have either one or two conference losses.

Utah and USC took care of business as the Utes rolled to a 42-7 win over Stanford while USC had no trouble with Colorado. That has set up some fun matchups in Week 12 with USC making the short trip to meet up with UCLA and Utah playing at Oregon.

Crimson Tide Bounce Back

Alabama hasn’t lost back-to-back regular-season games since Nick Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa in 2007. The Crimson Tide haven’t lost three games before the start of the bowl season  dating to 2010. Both of those streaks were on the line when  Alabama headed to Ole Miss.

After trailing by 10 points twice in the first half, Alabama escaped with a hard-earned 30-24 win as Bryce Young threw three touchdown passes and Byron Young had two sacks.

Ole Miss outgained Alabama 403-317. Alabama scored on all of its drives reaching the red zone while Ole Miss came up empty on two of its red zone possessions.

ACC Title Game Matchup Set

After a one-year absence, Clemson is back in the ACC Championship Game.

DJ Uiagalelei threw for one score and ran for another as the Tigers never trailed in a 31-19 win over Louisville. It was the 39th straight win at home for Clemson. The last FBS team to win 40 consecutive home games is Nebraska which won 47 in a row from 1991-98.

The Tigers allowed 400 yards to a Louisville offense that saw quarterback Malik Cunningham knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury and lost three fumbles. However, that didn’t stop Clemson from wrapping up the ACC Atlantic Division title.

North Carolina will be the opponent in the ACC title game. The Tar Heels needed a late field to edge 2021 ACC finalist Wake Forest 36-34.

Freshman quarterback Drake Maye threw for 448 yards and three scores to go with 71 yards and another TD. Maye is tied for the national lead with 34 touchdown passes and is in the top three with 3,412 passing yards and a passer rating of 178.9.

North Carolina has a two-game lead on Duke in the Coastal Division with two games left. With a win against the Blue Devils, UNC would win the division even if it drops the final two games against Georgia Tech and North Carolina State and Duke wins its final two contests.

While Clemson came into the season as the favorite to win the ACC title, five teams had better odds to win the ACC than North Carolina per the sportsbook.

Heisman Trophy Front-Runners Don’t Disappoint

Coming into this week, quarterbacks C.J. Stroud of Ohio State, Hendon Hooker of Tennessee, Caleb Williams of Southern California and Michigan running back Blake Corum were the top Heisman Trophy candidates according to the sportsbook.

They didn’t hurt their chances of winning the most prestigious individual award in college football.

Stroud threw for five touchdown passes in a 56-14 win over Indiana as he remains the top-rated quarterback at the FBS level. Per the college football betting line, he is priced at +150 to win the Heisman.

Hooker had three TD passes and a scoring run in a 66-24 victory against Missouri. Williams ran for two scores and threw for three others in a 55-17 win over Colorado while Corum rushed for 162 yards as he is closing in on becoming Michigan’s first 1,500-yard rusher since Denard Robinson in 2010.

Commodores Get it Done

Vanderbilt’s Mike Wright threw an eight-yard scoring pass to Will Sheppard with 32 seconds left to play to lift Vanderbilt to a 24-21 win over Kentucky to snap the Commodores’ 26-game losing streak in the SEC.

Vanderbilt had been outscored 162-31 in three games this season against ranked teams before taking down a Kentucky team that was 24th in the College Football Playoff and American Football Coaches Association rankings.

The worst passing defense in the SEC held potential NFL first-round draft pick Will Levis to 109 yards.

Tigers Continue to Roar

There were those who wondered if Brian Kelly was making a wise decision leaving a Notre Dame program that was in contention for a College Football Playoff spot more years than not to take over at LSU.

Well, LSU is a win away from winning the SEC West Division title after a hard-earned 13-10 win against Arkansas.

Freshman linebacker Harold Perkins had a strip sack with 1:17 left to play as the Tigers held on.

LSU was seventh in the College Football Playoff rankings and should move up following a loss by No. 6 Oregon.

Welcome to the Wild, Wild West

The Big Ten East Division title was expected to come down to a Week 13 matchup between Michigan and Ohio State and that is still likely to happen.

Good luck figuring out the West Division race. Illinois seemed to be in control of things before losing to Michigan State and Purdue in the last two weeks. Suddenly Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue are all 4-3 in the Big Ten.

Illinois plays Michigan on Saturday so barring a major upset, the Fighting Illini’s hopes of reaching the Big Ten title game are not promising.

The week’s Iowa-Minnesota game can be viewed as an elimination contest while Purdue only has to beat 1-9 Northwestern and 3-7 Indiana to guarantee itself at least a share of the division title. The Boilermakers will be pulling for Minnesota to beat Iowa since Purdue won against Minnesota but lost to Iowa.

Aidan O’Connell hooked up on a pair of TD passes to Payne Durham in the 31-24 win against Illinois as the Boilermakers became just the second team with more than 300 yards of offense against the tenacious Illinois defense.

McConkey Delivers for No. 1 Georgia

Mississippi State only trailed top-ranked Georgia by five points at halftime and there were thoughts that Mississippi State might stun the nation as a 16-point underdog.

Ladd McConkey changed that with a 70-yard run and 17-yard reception in a span of five minutes as Georgia won 45-19 to clinch a spot in the SEC title game.

Georgia wraps up conference play against Kentucky on Saturday before ending the regular season with Georgia Tech as the Bulldogs have covered against the college football spreads four times in the last five games.

Huskies Going Bowling

There are 61 teams already bowl eligible and it isn’t too hard to figure out what team is the most surprising.

UConn hasn’t had a winning season since 2010 and hasn’t won more than three games in a season since 2015.

The Huskies had lost 14 games in a row to ranked teams before Saturday’s 36-33 win over Liberty. The Huskies’ margin of defeat in those 14 contests was more than 38 points. UConn was 1-11 a season ago, 0-10 against FBS teams and now are 6-5 heading into the regular-season final against Army.

The only team to improve more among FBS teams from the 2021 to 2022 season is Tulane that went from 2-10 to 8-2 while TCU and USC have five more wins than a season ago.

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