Last week featured not one, but two of top 25 Pac-12 games and a top 10 SEC West showdown. Thanks to the NCAAF schedule makers, Week 11 will trump it with a Saturday that features six top 20 matchups.
Notre Dame travels to the Valley of the Sun to battle Arizona State in a game that could very well decide which team gets into position for a Selection Committee, College Football Playoff, berth. Alabama takes on LSU in one of the biggest games of the season in the SEC. Also on Saturday, Michigan State hosts Ohio State in the absolutely most important game of the season in the Big Ten.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 4, 2014
No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at No. 12 Arizona State Sun Devils
When: Saturday, Nov. 8 at 3:30 pm ET
Betting Line: Arizona State -2
Analysis: The Sun Devils are turning into the best team in the Pac 12 South. Arizona State versus Oregon looks like a foregone conclusion after Arizona State beat Utah 19 to 16. If ASU gets past Notre Dame with a victory and goes undefeated the rest of the way, including beating Oregon in the Pac 12 Championship game, it’s going to be very difficult for the Selection Committee to keep ASU out of the playoff.
Notre Dame lost Joe Schmidt, the heart and soul of their defense, in their last game. Notre Dame still feels that it can get enough votes from the Selection Committee for a spot in the College Football Playoff. In order to do that, Florida State will need to win out and they’ll have to beat ranked teams like ASU on the road.
This game could come down to coaching. In that respect, nobody is better than the Irish’s Brian Kelley. He’ll be the difference for Notre Dame.
NCAA Week 11 Lock Pick: Notre Dame +2
If you didn't already know, this is what Arizona State is wearing Saturday vs Notre Dame. pic.twitter.com/YcGrIHJqsB
— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) November 4, 2014
No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide at No.15 Louisiana State Tigers
When: Saturday, Nov. 8 at 8:00 pm ET
Betting Line: Alabama -6
Analysis: How important is this game to Alabama and its fans? If the Crimson Tide beats LSU on the road, that’s the statement game. Alabama takes on Mississippi State next week and then Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Therefore, after this battle against rival LSU, the Crimson Tide pretty much controls their fate.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 4, 2014
LSU was absolutely terrific versus Ole Miss two weeks ago in the stunning 10 to 7 win when Ole Miss was undefeated. But LSU really doesn’t pass the ball very well and if there is an issue with the Alabama defense it is in the secondary.
The Crimson Tide should roll in this game. LSU might keep it close into the fourth quarter where Alabama will pull away for a 10 to 14 points victory.
NCAA Week 11 Lock Pick: Alabama -6
No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 6 Michigan State Spartans
When: Saturday, Nov. 8 at 8:00 pm ET
Betting Line: Michigan State -3.5
Analysis: There is still a chance for either one of these teams to put itself into the sights of the Selection Committee. In order to do that, winning this contest is an absolute must. Michigan State has the upper hand just because they’ve been impressive all year save for the 19 points loss to Oregon in Week 2 where the defense just imploded for no apparent reason.
Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett has turned into a viable signal caller filling in for the injured Braxton Miller, but Barrett is still a freshman. Beating up Illinois is a lot different than facing the ferocious Michigan State defense on the road.
The Spartans are the pick.
NCAA Week 11 Lock Pick: Michigan State -3.5
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 4, 2014