Auburn QB Nick Marshall led the Tigers to a win over Alabama that led to a National Title game last year. He will have a much harder task on the road today.
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Of all the rivalries in college football and sports around the world, few if any are more aggressive, important and sometimes downright criminal than Alabama vs. Auburn, which culminates in the annual Iron Bowl. In the last five years, the winner of the Iron Bowl has won the SEC Championship and then competed for the National Championship, with Alabama and Auburn collectively going 4-1 in those National Title games.
While Auburn is no longer eligible for the College Football Playoffs, the hatred for Alabama could very likely propel them to play spoiler and ruin Alabama’s playoff chances – while Alabama does have the second best record on the country, they will almost assuredly be eliminated from the College Football Playoffs with a loss, even if they do manage to get to the SEC Championship.
No game is quite like the Iron Bowl, and it is likely that none will reshape the College Football Playoffs as strongly.
Here are the picks for Week 14 of College Football:
#9 Georgia over #16 Georgia Tech – The Bulldogs are 12-1 against Georgia Tech since 2001. Expect that trend to continue as the Bulldogs pick up a home win over their in-state rivals.
Michigan over #6 Ohio State – In the last 45 years, the Buckeyes have never lost to their hated Wolverine rivals when Michigan has been unranked. But the Wolverines have their pride and bowl eligibility at stake and will finally buck the trend with an upset win over Ohio State.
Kentucky over #22 Louisville – The Wildcats need this win to become bowl eligible. The Cardinals barely need the win at all – and unlike their last two years, they don’t have star QB Teddy Bridgewater. There is also the fact that Kentucky hasn’t lost to a non-SEC team this year going in their favor too. That’s why Kentucky will steal the upset win.
South Carolina over #21 Clemson – South Carolina’s season hasn’t gone as expected, but the Gamecocks have shown more resilience than many other middle-of-the-pack SEC teams. Even though they lost the last game they played against a #21 team, South Carolina’s edge comes from the fact that Clemson has not beaten their only other SEC challenger (Georgia) this season
#25 Utah over Colorado – The Utes may be out, but they are not down. Colorado doesn’t stand a chance.
#10 Michigan State over Penn State – The Spartans will feed on the Nittany Lions as they continue their warpath to the At-Large bowls.
#18 Minnesota over #14 Wisconsin – In back-to-back weeks Minnesota and Wisconsin beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but after seeing Wisconsin barely get by the Iowa Hawkeyes, it’s clear that the team as a whole is not ready to take on a contender like Minnesota.
#3 Florida State over Florida – In any other year the Gators would look like the favorite, but Florida State has shown an uncanny knack for coming back from any deficit and doing just enough to win. That should be enough against a Florida team that rarely closes out the game.
#19 Ole Miss over #4 Mississippi State – Ole Miss has gone from a top contender to a pretender, but they still plan to avenge their losses by ruining the Bulldogs’ season and knocking them out of the College Football Playoffs.
#7 Baylor over Texas Tech – TCU dropped 82 points on Texas Tech without even breaking a sweat. The Bears offense could get tired of running all the way up and down the field all day.
#12 Kansas State over Kansas – Much like Texas Tech, Kansas is an unmitigated disaster. And that’s exactly what Kansas State needs to keep them fresh as they prepare for their final game against Baylor next week.
#1 Alabama over #15 Auburn – The state is set, but last year Auburn barely won at home. This year’s Auburn team isn’t nearly as good as last year’s and Alabama gets the home-field advantage this time.
#2 Oregon over Oregon State – There will be no upset for the Beavers this year as Oregon continues to roll on to the PAC-12 championship game against Arizona.