I hope all of the Rant Sports readers out there had a great Thanksgiving and all of you can look forward to cleansing your pallet this weekend with a nice helping of college football. It’s rivalry week and there are some excellent games for you to watch on Saturday.
I did really well with my picks last week, going 7-0 on my game predictions for the week 12 matchups. That perfect record boosted my season record to 70-21 (.769 winning percentage). My goal is to have winning percentage at over .800 at the end of the year, so I still have a lot of work to do.
Let’s get to the picks!
Both of these teams have a lot to play for in this one. The Hokies must win this game if they are going to extend their bowl streak to 20 years, and the Cavaliers would love to be the team to end that streak. Last week’s loss against North Carolina showed UVa to be a very mistake-prone team, but they will be ready to take down their in-state rivals. However, the Hokies will be the hungrier team in this one and I think that the defense will have an excellent game against Michael Rocco and Philip Simms, and that defense will be the difference. Pick: VT over UVa
This rivalry has been rather one sided in favor of the Bulldogs in recent history and I don’t think that is going to change on Saturday. Georgia is hoping to play for the BCS National Championship in January and they will be plenty motivated to take down their in-state rival in route to doing that. Georgia is the better team with the home field; the Jackets just don’t have much of a chance. Pick: Georgia over GT
A week ago this game was seen a deciding one in the ACC Coastal Division, but now that the Hurricanes have self-imposed a bowl ban for a second straight year it isn’t worth nearly as much. Neither of these teams play defense, so this should be an exciting, high scoring affair. Miami is the better team and I think they will get a go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter to get the road win. Pick: Miami over Duke
The Eagles finally showed some life in last weekend’s overtime loss to Virginia Tech, but it was too little too late. Boston College is a bad team this year, and they will probably be replacing their head coach at the end of the season. On the other hand, NC State has been one of the major disappointments in the ACC this year. After upsetting Florida State earlier this year, the Wolfpack has had a major letdown. However, State has the better quarterback and the better defense and that will be the difference in this one. Pick: NC State over BC
Maryland vs. North Carolina
This is the Terrapins first game since big announcement that they would be moving to the Big 10. Unfortunately for Maryland fans that announcement does not help their quarterback situation. I just can’t pick a team that is starting a true freshman linebacker at quarterback. Add that with the fact Larry Fedora’s high speed offense has run rampant on the ACC this year and you have the recipe for a blowout. Pick: UNC over Maryland
Florida vs. Florida State
This is one of the two marquis games in the ACC this weekend and also one of the more heated rivalries involving an ACC team. The Seminoles are severely underrated and the Gators are, in my opinion, overrated and I think that this is the game where FSU flexes it muscle. Florida is a poor offensive team and Florida State has the best defense in the country; this will be a tight, low scoring game but in the end the Seminoles will get the win. Pick: FSU over Florida
This is the third of four ACC-SEC matchups this weekend, but it also might be the least interesting. Vanderbilt is a solid SEC team and Wake is a just below average ACC team, which naturally means that the Commodores are a lot better. I think that the final score will show that fact. Pick: Vanderbilt over Wake
This is the second of those marquis games I mentioned earlier. This is a huge game for the Tigers for multiple reasons, the first of which is that they haven’t beaten the Gamecocks in a few years and the second is that if they win this game they have a very good shot of receiving an at-large bid to the BCS (probably the Sugar Bowl). South Carolina doesn’t want its current winning streak against its archrival to end, but I think it will. Clemson’s offense is just too good to be denied and if their defense can just hold USC to under 30 points then I think they will have a very good shot to win this game at home. Pick: Clemson over USC