Week 11 Predictions – 2022
Last Week: The Windy City was windy indeed on Northwestern campus. The rain added yet another element that the players had to endure but in the end the Buckeyes once again prevailed with a 21-7 victory over the Wildcats. The press wants to punish Ohio State for not winning by 40 but in the end, they are still #2 in the College Football Playoff rankings and that is all that matters at this stage. They need to just get healthy and move on to the Indiana Hoosiers. For our staff picks, we have ten members within in three games of each other so it should be a fun final four weeks.
This Week’s Games: Ohio State returns home to take on the Hoosiers, who have not beat the Buckeyes since 1991. There are weather reports that say it could snow so hopefully Ohio State performs better than they did last year in Ann Arbor. …. Illinois was sitting in the driver seat of the Big 10 West and then an average Michigan State team took some of the fight out of them. Can they rebound this week and defeat Purdue and stay on top the standings? …. Oregon and Washington are squaring off in Eugene in a key Pac-12 match-up. Oregon still has hopes for the playoffs, the question may come down to how much weight the playoff committee will put on the Duck loss to Georgia to start the season. …. Alabama should be eliminated from playoff consideration but the committee still has them in the top 9. They will have another challenging game this week when they head to Oxford to take on Ole Miss. Can Lane Kiffin find a way to give the Tide their third loss of the season? …. TCU on the other hand is getting no respect from the committee. Can they earn some with a victory over the Longhorns this week in Austin?
Buckeye Greats: As in the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the eighth straight year.
Here we go with our Week 11 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
Indiana @ (2)Ohio State
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Ohio State hoses Indiana 54-17
Coach Rick: Ohio State
Cory: Indiana has struggled this season with the one thing they’re traditionally good at – offense. It’s not going to get any better for the Hoosiers. Connor Bazelak, who was the original starter, is out with an undisclosed injury, and backup Jack Tuttle got hurt in last week’s loss to Penn State. That leaves Brendan Sorsby and Dexter Williams, who combined to throw three interceptions against the Nittany Lions. Ohio State is coming off an uninspired win over Northwestern. The Buckeyes struggled to run the ball and dropped a lot of passes. Hopefully that is the wake up call they need to start getting things back on track against a banged up Indiana squad this week. Ohio State 52, Indiana 17
Dave: Ohio State 42 Indiana 14
Gregg: The Buckeyes will be happy to get back home and the combination of playing at the ‘Shoe and going up against the Hoosiers should be the perfect combination to find cure for whatever it is that is wrong with the offense. Particularly the running game which is on three game slide and is making the team one dimensional. Perhaps it is the simple fact that we are trying to play our top two running backs on the depth chart even though they have been hurt off and one all year. I would love to see what would happen if we play some frosh backs for a change of pace. CJ Stroud started his running skill demonstration against Northwestern last week, maybe we will see more of that this week. A solid victory will likely cement their place as #2 in the playoff ranking and continue the Buckeyes on the collision course with the Wolverines for the East title. Ohio State 45 Indiana 10
Jason: The only thing slowing the Buckeye offense is a 50mph wind. Even though it was difficult to throw the football a week ago in Evanston, Ohio State set an FBS record for consecutive games of 20 points or more in the 21-7 win. The Hoosiers won’t get the benefit of a tropical storm, so look out. The Hoosiers only hope is to grind it out, move the chains and keep the Buckeye offense off the field. Unfortunately for Indiana, they really struggle to run the football and sit last in FBS in time of possession. That’s bad news for the Hoosier faithful looking for an upset. The Buckeyes will open it up this week, while at the same time making a concerted effort to run the football. It’s going to get ugly early and stay that way as Ohio State races out to a quick start and won’t look back. All Buckeyes in this one as Ohio State moves to 10-0 and moves one step closer to the CFP. Ohio State 56 Indiana 10
Joe-S-U: Ohio State
John: The forecast for Saturday is for a little rain, but no 80 MPH wind gusts, so the Ohio State passing attack should be good to go. I think the Bucks score early and often, but not sure they cover a 40.5 point spread. Ohio State 48 Indiana 14
Josh: After two straight weeks on the road, playing at home should be a shot in the arm for the Buckeyes to help get them ready for the last quarter of the season. Hopefully the weather conditions in Columbus are much better than they were in Evanston, but the Buckeyes issues will need to be fixed if they want to compete for a National Championship. The biggest concern is getting push at the line of scrimmage in the run game, and last week the Buckeyes had Miyan Williams as the only running back who took carries. Hopefully TreVeyon Henderson is back this week after getting some rest for a foot injury that was aggravated against Toledo, as all the weapons will need to be healthy. On defense, they are going against Indiana’s third strong quarterback, but he is not Cardale Jones. This will be a good game for the Buckeyes to get a win, get some style points, and work on their run game. Ohio State 49 – Indiana 10.
Steven: Ohio State might have a running game problem. It may be the health of both Trayveon Henderson and Miyan Williams, but what really is more concerning is the lack of fight coming off the ball from our front 7. The Northwestern game may have been played in gale force winds, but there’s no excuse for us to bend to the line of a 1-7 team. Hopefully, this week will be better. The winds will not be half as bad as they were in Evanston, so the Bucks will probably pass all over the Hoosiers who are currently out of the top 100 in pass and total defense, and only slightly better against the run. The emphasis, though, should be on getting the offensive line back on track. Even with the ugly game at Northwestern, OSU is 32nd in rushing and still top in the nation in scoring offense, and coincidentally, top in the nation in yards per play. They shouldn’t be tested too much Saturday. IU QB Connor Bazelak has thrown almost as many picks this year as touchdowns, so it may be a target rich environment for the defense. Ryan Day couldn’t have been pleased with the performance in Evanston and should be looking to make a statement, so look for a blowout. OSU 66-10.
Trout: The Buckeyes should win this game and win it comfortably. They are clearly the better team between the two. The Hoosiers have been feisty the last few years, but as of now ,they are sitting at 3-6. It’s clear they are starting to trend downwards and will head back into the bottom rungs of the Big Ten. I am worried about Ohio State’s running game. I know the weather played a major factor in their performance last Saturday, but consistent running has been an issue for the last three weeks. It doesn’t help that the two starting backs are both dealing with injuries. Even though that is a concern I don’t think this game will be as close as it was with Northwestern. I think Stroud should be able to get the passing game back on track, and put up some points. Indiana may get a couple scores, but they will not be able to consistently hang with the Buckeyes. I could even see the game being close for the first quarter. The Bucks have been slow starters this whole season. However, the game will be firmly in Ohio State’s hands by the fourth quarter. Ohio State wins with relative ease. (Ohio State, 38-10)
Final Score: Ohio State 56 Indiana 14
Purdue @ (21)Illinois
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Illinois runs past the passing of Purdue 31-27
Coach Rick: Illinois
Cory: Illinois was in the middle of a dream season – that is until they lost to an under-manned Michigan State team last week. Now the Fighting Illini have to rebound against an intriguing, yet inconsistent, Purdue team. The Boilermakers are coming in with back-to-back losses to Wisconsin and Iowa. In the loss to the Hawkeyes, Purdue managed just three points. Boilermakers quarterback Aidan O’Connell, who was pretty good last season, has struggled this season. He’s got 15 touchdowns, but that comes with 10 interceptions, as well as 14 sacks. Purdue can move the ball, but I like Illinois to get back on track this week. Illinois 27, Purdue 21
Dave: Illinois 32 Purdue 28
Gregg: Illinois bounces back from and embaressing lose to Sparty and gets back on track for Indy and the right to get beat by Ohio State in Indy. Illinois 24 Purdue 17
Jason: llinois had it all in front of them, and they still do, but a loss to Michigan State last week may have exposed the Illini defense that’s been very good thus far, allowing 23 points to the Spartans with most of the damage being done through the air. The Illini doesn’t have the offense to get into a shootout with Purdue and that’s exactly what the Boilers will try to make this. Purdue’s offense struggled last week, only mustering a field goal in a loss to Iowa, but QB Aidan O’Connell has been good save for that game. They definitely watched what the Spartans did to the Illini and will try to duplicate that formula. If they are unable to throw the ball on Illinois, it could be trouble for the Boilers. Illinois doesn’t have an offense that will run away with it, so Purdue will have their chances. Purdue will hit on a few big passes and in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, the Boilers, behind O’Connell come up with a big TD pass and puts Illinois away to take control of the B1G West. Pur 27 Ill 14
John: Does anyone want to win the B1G West? Illinois appeared to be in control then inexplicably lost at home to a horrible Michigan State team. I think they right the ship this week, but I won’t bet the mortgage on it. Illinois 23 Purdue 17
Josh: Illinois suffered its second loss of the season surprisingly against Michigan State, who has several players out due to the brawl in the Michigan tunnel from the previous week. Illinois is still a solid defensive team, and their challenge will be now if they can slow down the passing attack of Purdue, who lost last week to a resurgent Iowa. The chase for the Big Ten West will be interesting, as the winner might have 3 or more in conference losses, and could ultimately be rewarded with a loss to the Ohio State/Michigan winner. In this one and at home, I think Illinois gets the job done, and eliminates Purdue from Big Ten contention. Illinois 24 – Purdue 14.
Steven: For those who actively follow the Big Ten west, this is a big game. The remaining 99.99% of the football watching world just sits and wonders “Why do you people torture yourselves like that?” This game will likely decide which team represents the West in the Big Ten title game, and therefore has the pleasure of getting bludgeoned by either Michigan or Ohio State. It may also determine coach of the year in the Big Ten. If Illinois get to the Title game, coach Bielema is most assuredly going to win it, because there’s no way Ohio State’s head coach, National Title or not, gets it. All snarkiness aside, taking Illinois to the Big Ten title game might be a steeper climb than getting the Buckeyes to the playoff, so if it were to come to pass, be sure to cut ol’ Bert some slack. This year, the Illini are winning with defense and execution. Overall, Illinois is just the better team this week, despite their dreadful choke job last week against MSU. They are allowing over a hundred yards less per game than the Boilermakers. Purdue’s QB Aiden O’Connel passes a lot, but not for a great percentage, (60.4%, his worst completion percentage out of the 4 years he’s played) and already has 11 interceptions on the year. This adds up to a solid win for the Illini. Bert should have them turned back around. Illini 29-17.
Trout: The FIghting illini should win this game, but I think it will be a nailbiter until the end. Purdue isn’t a great team, however, they have the ability to move the ball. O’Connell has the ability to be a good quarterback. He has shown that in flashes throughout his career. However, Illinois is still the better team. Their offense isn’t great, but they have a very stout defense. That is the main reason why they are currently 7-2. I see the game being low scoring. Both teams average less than 30 points a game. The game will most likely end in a last second field goal. The Boilermakers put up a big fight, but DeVito and the Illini offense come through at the end to pull off the victory. Illinois wins and remains in the driver seat for the Big ten West. (Illinois, 21-17)
Final Score: Purdue 31 Illinois 24
(25)Washington @ (6)Oregon
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Oregon over Washington 37-28
Cory: Bo Nix for Heisman? It’s not so far-fetched. The Auburn transfer has been on fire this season, especially in his last three games in which he’s combined for 969 yards with 15 total touchdowns and just two interceptions. It will be fun to watch a quarterback duel between Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix. Penix has helped the Huskeis rebound to three straight wins after back-to-back losses to UCLA and Arizona State. While Penix has similar numbers to those of Nix, I am going with the Ducks in this one. They’ve been so impressive recently and it’s hard to see Washington stopping that offense enough to pull out the road upset. Oregon 42 Washington 35
Dave: Oregon 38 Washington 21
Gregg: Oregon is tough to beat in Eugene, disappointed Ohio State didn’t get thier chance to go there in the COVID year. SInce their opening loss to Georgia, the Ducks have played very well and are in an intense battle with USC and UCLA as to who will be playing in the Pac-12 Championship. Oregon survives this test and lives to play another day. Oregon 40 Washington 34
Jason: The best game of your college football Saturday could very well be this one. Two offenses that are playing at an extremely high level and both still have a lot to play for. The Huskies lead the nation in passing, averaging over 370 yards per game and Michael Penix is a darkhorse Heisman candidate. The Oregon defense better buckle up the chin straps and play much better than they have all year or the Oregon offense is going to have to score with the Huskies. Washington just doesn’t get tackled behind the line of scrimmage, leading the nation in that category, so they will move the chains. Can the Ducks keep up? Enter Bo Nix, a darkhorse Heisman candidate in his own right. He has been on fire of late and has hit nearly 80% of his throws in the last several games. Oh yea, he can run too…a big game in this one and his name will be mentioned beside Stroud and Hooker for a trip to NYC. Both teams are likely to put up big numbers in this game. Both Penix and Nix will get theirs and it will be a shootout. Thankfully for the Ducks, this one is in Autzen and that will be the difference. Washington has not been the same football team away from home. There will be a lot of points scored, but Oregon will score more and stay alive for a potential spot in the CFP. Oregon 51 Washington 42
John: If only football teams were allowed a mulligan. After getting destroyed in week 1 by Georgia, the Ducks have quietly put themselves back into the playoff conversation. Should they win out and get just a little help they could find themselves in a rematch with the Dawgs. Oregon 42 Washington 27
Josh: This should be a really high scoring game, as both defenses are giving up over 26 points a game, but you have two of the more prolific passers in Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr running their respective offenses. Oregon is surging after their 40 point loss to Georgia in week 1, and have made easy work of the teams on their schedule, including a 15 point win against UCLA. The Ducks are entering the game as a nearly 14 point favorite, but I anticipate this game being a little closer than the spread. I think Oregon still gets the one, but it will come down to the last quarter. Oregon 41 – Washington 38
Steven: The way Oregon’s Bo Nix has revived his career in Eugene is amazing, and a pretty strong indictment of the talent and coaching he left at Auburn. Is this the new Bo Nix, that looks like a cross between Justin Herbert and Marcus Mariota, or will he revert back to the shaken and cowed QB we saw in the SEC? Possibly the defenses on the west coast have a bit to do with it. Washington, a prime example, despite being 7-2 and #25, they are still giving up close to 500 yards per game. That does not bode well when you have to face a top 5 offense on the road. This has the markings of a rough one for the Huskies. The Dub takes an L. Oregon wins 31-27.
Trout: Since their humiliating defeat against Georgia, Oregon has looked really good. They have managed eight straight wins and have been able to score 40+ points in all of those games. They are the Pac-12’s best shot to make it to the playoffs. They should and they will win this game, but I think it’ll be a battle. The Huskies aren’t great, but they are still a decent team. They have shown the ability to put up some points, albeit not as consistently as the Ducks have. Washingto nalso has a season quarterback in Michael Penix Jr. He was able to put up some numbers and cause some trouble in the Big Ten when he played for the Hoosiers. In fact, as of right now, he is having a better year statistically than Bo Nix for Oregon. SO I think the game is going to be very close. It should be a fight, with both teams going back and forth. I imagine there will be a lot of lead changes throughout. However, towards the end of the game, the Ducks are able to get ahead, and maintain that lead until the end. The Huskies put up a fight, but it won’t be enough. Ducks win and keep their playoff hopes alive. (Oregon, 42-35)
Final Score: Washington 37 Oregon 34
(9)Alabama @ (11)Ole Miss
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Ole Miss lays a death knell into Alabama’s playoff hopes 37-34
Coach Rick: Alabama
Cory: You’ve got to feel for Ole Miss here, at least a little bit. Alabama is coming off an overtime loss to LSU last week, and you know head coach Nick Saban ain’t happy. After the Crimson Tide lost to Tennessee, they routed a ranked Mississippi State team and held them to six points the following week. The Rebels have a good team but quarterback Jaxson Dart struggles with his accuracy and throws more interceptions than Ole Miss is comfortable with. You can’t be inefficient against an Alabama team that will be out for blood this week. Alabama 31 Ole Miss 20
Dave: Alabama 38 Ole Miss 32
Gregg: Alabama is the only team in the country that can lose two games, probably not play in their conference championship game and still be considered in the runing for a top four spot. Shame on you playoff committee for this oversight. Alabama has lost to an 8-1 team and a 7-2 team, yet they are ahead of Penn State who has last to two 9-0 teams. The Tide is also ahead of the UCLA Bruins who are 8-1 with it’s lone lose to Oregon. Enough about that injustice. I am confident that Alabama will find a way to win this one and then move into the top 4 again. As we all know, none of this former assistant coaches are allowed to beat him. Alabama 24 Ole Miss 22
Jason: Bama all of a sudden is all but out of the CFP, but still has a slim shot at the SEC West if they win and get help. They will be motivated if not for anything else, just to keep this season from going completely off the rails. The Tide still has Bryce Young and he can still fling it around and the Rebels are really struggling defensively, allowing over 300 yards through the air to Texas A&M last week in the MSU win. However, Ole Miss absolutely has something to play for. They are sitting in prime spot to win the SEC West and sneak into the CFP if they win out and LSU falls. The Rebs can run the football, leading the conference in rushing and they have the ability to crank out first downs and make this a four-quarter football game. This isn’t the Tide defense we are used to, but they can stop the run. Ole Miss will try to throw the ball and keep things balanced and will have some success despite that not being the Reb’s bread and butter. A late score will put Ole Miss ahead, but back will come Young and Bama wins it with Young making a play to get it done and Bama’s season hanging by a thread. Bama 34 Ole Miss 28
John: This is the second road game in a row against a ranked opponent for the Tide. Fortunately for them, I don’t think Ole Miss is quite as good as LSU. If (and it’s a surprisingly big if) the Tide can cut down on penalties, they should get back in the win column. Alabama 30 Mississippi 21
Josh: Is the Alabama Dynasty done? Probably not, but to go into the second week of November, and Alabama being eliminated from the playoff is a strange feeling. Lane Kiffin will want to strike while the iron is hot and try and give Alabama their rare 3rd regular season loss. For the Rebels also, they are still hoping to represent the SEC West in the SEC Championship game, but will need LSU to lose 1 more game to get there. The health of Young could be in question, and with the Tide eliminated from the playoff, all they are playing for at this point is pride. I think Ole Miss gets the win with ball control, and matching up with what LSU was able to do in spying Young. He he or Gibbs don’t play, this will be more of a win, for Ole Miss. Ole Miss 35 – Alabama 28.
Steven: Can we just let the ghost of Darth Saban fade away for one season? The Tide have lost 2 of their last 3 games, yet are still ranked above the Rebels who have only one loss. Based on talent across the board, Alabama should win this one. If they do, they keep their hopes for a road back at least to the SEC Championship game. If Bama’s defense comes to play, they should win handily. Crimson Tide QB Bryce Young has been playing his heart out this year and in these last couple of games will need to lead the team if they are going to get back to Atlanta. The march starts here. Tide wins a close one 42-33.
Trout: It is almost inconceivable to think Alabama is in this position, but here we stand. Two losses, and just hanging on in the top 10. Even that ranking by the CFP committee is questionable. Alabama is clearly not top dog in the SEC this year and we may be seeing the beginning of the downward slope of Nick Saban’s coaching career. I think he will still coach for years to come and be successful, but his reign as king of the SEC may be over. The Crimson Tide are still extremely talented, but they are not the well oiled machine like in past years. However, I still think they will win this game. Mostly because I don’t think Saban would allow his team to lose two in a row. Also, I am very skeptical about Ole Miss. They always get hyped up at the beginning of the year, and end up not living up to it. The game will be very close. Alabama hasn’t been able to stop anyone on defense this year, so the Rebels should be able to match blow for blow for the majority of the game. But Bryce Young pulls off some last minute heroics, and the Tide narrowly escape with the victory. (Alabama, 45-42)
Final Score: Alabama 30 Ole Miss 24
(4)TCU @ (18)Texas
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Texas upsets TCU 38-35
Coach Rick: TCU
Cory: I have been bad at picking the Big 12 all year long and I think regardless of what I pick here, it’s going to be wrong. TCU is now in the playoff and controls its destiny. Win out and the Horned Frogs are in. The first obstacle on that road is a trip to Texas. The Longhorns held off a good Kansas State team last week to get a nice win on the road, but slowing down TCU’s offense will be another thing. That said, we know the Longhorns can move the ball and despite some inconsistency, quarterback Quinn Ewers looks legit. The other concern with TCU is they’ve had to come from behind in each of their last four games. Eventually that will catch up to them, and playing with fire on the road against a good Texas team could burn them. Texas 35 TCU 31
Dave: Texas 32 TCU 28
Gregg: TCU has beaten four teams with a winning record but still not getting respect. Sure they have had to come from behind for a few victories, but what team in the top ten has not had to win late. The Horn Frogs are one team that can keep us from having two teams from the SEC in the playoff, and no one wants that again. TCU gets the win stays in the top 4 and may move Texas out of the top 25. TCU 31 Texas 21
Jason: TCU is as steady as they come. They don’t do anything great, but they don’t beat themselves with penalties and turnovers either. They win with their defense and being efficient on offense. Texas is just the opposite. Sometimes they look great and other times they look awful. The Horns are a quick strike offense, but they are prone to mistakes. TCU has been the beneficiary of a schedule that isn’t strong and has ventured away from home in the conference only twice to Kansas, without their QB, and WVU. The question is how good is TCU really? Texas will be the best offense the Frogs have seen and if Longhorn RB Bijan Robinson gets off, TCU is in trouble. They have stopped the run very well thus far, but they haven’t seen a back like Robinson. This game will be all about two teams trying to run the football and controlling the TOP and moving the sticks. This game is in Austin, however, and the Horns have been good there. Texas, in a four quarter game, comes away with the win and sends the Horned Frogs down to their first loss of the season and effectively eliminates TCU from the CFP conversation. Texas 38 TCU 34
John: TCU has been playing with fire all season, as they have no margin for error as they go to Austin to play an improving Longhorn’s team that despite being the lower ranked team is the betting favorite. I think the Frog’s magic runs out this week. Texas 31 TCU 28
Josh: This game has big implications for a few reasons. If TCU wins they have clinched a spot in the Big 12 Championship game. If Texas wins, they keep their Big 12 Championship game hopes alive, as well as shake up the college football playoff landscape but potentially eliminating the Big12 from the Playoff entirely. TCU has had to bounce back in games to win, and they have not been bitten with a loss yet, but I think it happens this week, and Quinn Ewers will put on his best game yet. Texas 48 – TCU 44.
Steven: How can you not love TCU QB Max Duggan? If you look up “gamer” in the dictionary, you’ll see his picture. The guy just refuses to lose. Duggan and TCU have needed to pull their collective tails out of the fire multiple times this year, as the offense is getting little help from the defense. If the D keeps playing with fire, eventually bad things will happen. There are only so many rabbits, (or frogs) a team can pull out of their collective hat. If the TCU defense can key on stopping Texas running back Bijan Robinson, they should be able to limit Quinn Ewers’ ability to feel comfortable in the pocket. Not feeling confident, but we’ll go with the hot hand in Duggan, and figure the Horned Frog defense can get one more stop than the Longhorns. TCU 38-35
Trout: Strangely enough, a lot of people have the Longhorns winning this game. I don’t see that being the case. I believe the Horned Frogs should win this game. I do think Texas is on the right track, but they are far from being “back”. Ewers is clearly going to be in the conversation for the Hesiman trophy over the next few years. However, they are not there yet. I just think Texas is still too inconsistent. I see the game being a classic Big 12 shootout, with little to no defense from either team. Both teams should take the lead multiple times throughout the game. However, towards the end of the fourth quarter, TCU scores when they need to and stops the Longhorns from countering. The Horned Frogs of TCU hand Texas their fourth loss of the season, and keep the Big 12 in the playoff picture. (TCU, 48-45)