Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

Early Predictions of the Top 50 Games, 11-20

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 5, 2007


Early Predictions of the 50 Biggest Games of the 2007 Season ... No. 11 to 20

Quick Predictions for the Biggest Games of 2007

Early picks for the season's most important, must-see battles

Here's a countdown of the biggest, most important, most interesting games going into the 2007 season, and the early July calls for each. Some predictions will change by game time, but until then, here are our off-the-cuff, very rudimentary picks with the season starting up in two weeks. Some are obvious rivalry games that everyone looks forward to each season, and some are new matchups with good storylines. In any event, these are the games you'll care about.  The detailed predictions and breakdowns will come over the course of the year.

50 Biggest Game Predictions
- No. 1 to 10 | No. 21 to 30 | No. 31 to 40 | No. 41 to 50 

20. Boston College at Virginia Tech, Oct. 25
In a possible ACC title preview, Virginia Tech will look to avenge an ugly 22-3 loss lowlighted by a general team meltdown. As bad as the loss was, the Hokies rallied to win six straight thanks to a stifling defense, before losing to Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The key here will be rest and time to prepare. Both teams will get two weeks off, but BC will be coming off a trip to Notre Dame while Tech will have a relative layup against Duke. BC is really, really good, but the Hokie defense will be a brick wall, led by a secondary that'll all but shutdown Matt Ryan and the Eagle passing game. Tech might not get much going offensively, but it won't have to.
Predicted score in July: Virginia Tech 19 ... Boston College 10

19. Texas at Texas A&M, Nov. 23
Texas owned the rivalry with six wins in a row, and then A&M dealt a crushing blow to the Longhorn faithful with a stunning 12-7 win to give Oklahoma the 2006 Big 12 South title. Now the Aggie fans want more, and they want the first home win over Texas since 1999. Each team will have had two weeks off to prepare with the hype certainly to be growing over the course of the season after what happened last year. A&M will make it two in a row for the first time since 1993 and 1994, the old Southwest Conference days, as the Aggie offensive line will pave the way for just enough of a running game, and the defense will do just enough to keep the Texas receiving corps under wraps, to save what'll likely be a disappointing season (look at the schedule).
Predicted score in July: Texas A&M 20 ... Texas 17

18. Penn State at Michigan, Sept. 22
These two have played a pair of whoppers over the last two years with Michigan beating Penn State 17-10 last season and 27-25 in an all-timer in 2005. The Wolverines have owned the series with eight straight wins going back to 1996, and it'll be nine in a row in what should be a wildly fun shootout. Penn State might have one of the best defenses in the Big Ten, but it'll have a hard time handling the Michigan ground game. The Nittany Lion offense will get its licks in, with a few big pass plays to burn the Wolverine secondary, but it'll come down to the Michigan offensive line vs. the Penn State defensive line. Michigan will win that battle.
Predicted score in July: Michigan 27 ... Penn State 23

17. Florida vs. Georgia, Oct. 27
Georgia has been tremendous under head coach Mark Richt, but the program hasn't been able to figure out Florida on a regular basis losing eight of the last nine cocktail-don't-call-it-a-cocktail party. For Urban Meyer's club, the Georgia rivalry represents the end of a brutal stretch playing Tennessee, at Ole Miss, Auburn, at LSU and at Kentucky. On the flip side, Georgia will get two weeks off after playing at Vanderbilt. Each team will have played Tennessee, and Georgia will have played South Carolina, so this might determine the SEC East champion. Florida might be a bit beat up at this point, but you never screw with a streak. In a battle of two of the nation's most promising, exciting quarterbacks, Tim Tebow will get the better of Matthew Stafford with his arm, and not necessarily his legs. The Bulldog secondary should have the holes patched by this point, but it won't be able to handle the Gator receivers.
Predicted score in July: Florida 23 ... Georgia 17

16. West Virginia at Rutgers, Oct. 27
A banged up West Virginia team broke Rutgers' heart with a 41-39 win in the regular season finale to send Louisville to the Orange Bowl instead of the Scarlet Knights. This year's team will be just as vital to the Big East title chase, and the national championship hunt. Rutgers has tough home games against Maryland and South Florida, while West Virginia has to go on the road to play those two, but even so, this might be a battle of unbeatens. If Rutgers is 7-0 and pulls off the victory, the national championship talk will star with relative road breathers against Connecticut and Army to deal with before closing out with Pitt and Louisville. It'll be every bit the thriller of last year's game with it likely to come down to the team with the ball last getting the win. Rutgers won't outrush the Mountaineers, but it'll come up with just enough balance, and get just enough of a push from the home crowd, to pull it off.
Predicted score in July: Rutgers 38 ... West Virginia 34

15. Wisconsin at Ohio State, Nov. 3
It's the 2006 Big Ten showdown that didn't happen, but everyone wanted to see. Had Wisconsin pulled off a win at Michigan, this would've been the 2007 BCS Championship. Now it'll likely determine the Big Ten championship and set the tone for the Badgers. The schedule isn't all that bad, and if Bret Bielema's club can get by a trip to Penn State, it'll likely be 9-0 before facing Ohio State and Michigan in back-to-back weeks. Ohio State will be coming off a trip to Happy Valley and might be reeling if it loses. The Badgers might have won three of the last four in the series and four of the last six, but Ohio State will end the dream season with a stellar defensive performance that'll shut down the Wisconsin running game. For the first time all year, the Badger starting quarterback (whoever that ends up being) won't come through.
Predicted score in July: Ohio State 23 ... Wisconsin 10

14. Tennessee at Florida, Sept. 15
Always worth the price of admission, this is Tennessee's chance to show it's an SEC star again, and it might be a must-win if things don't go well in the season opener at California. Florida will have had two warmups against Western Kentucky and Troy to prepare, and that'll make all the difference. While Tennessee will be battle tested against the Bears and Southern Miss, it'll also be more beaten up and won't be able to work on the same things Florida will. In other words, the Gators will be better tuned up. Home field advantage hasn't always meant much in the series, but it'll make a difference in the first monster home game since winning the national title.
Tennessee's issues in the secondary, which will be exposed in Berkeley, will also be the major problem against the Gator receiver speed.
Predicted score in July: Florida 21 ... Tennessee 16

13. Miami at Oklahoma, Sept. 8
Fine, so Miami might not be Miami like it was a few years ago, but this is still one of the most interesting non-conference matchups of the year. Considering how good the two programs have been over the last few decades, it seems like they should've met up in a bowl game or two, but they haven't met since Miami won the 1988 Orange Bowl. The Canes have won three in a row over the Sooners, including the classic 1986 Vinny Testaverde game, and a 27-14 battle in 1985, when Miami defensive star Jerome Brown broke OU quarterback Troy Aikman's leg, leading to the emergence of option-wizard Jamelle Holieway, who led the team to eight straight wins and the national title. It'll be a tremendous battle of the fantastic OU offensive line and the great Miami defensive line, and the loaded Sooner receiving corps and the great Hurricane secondary, but it'll be the surprising play of a questionable OU defensive line that'll win an occasionally sloppy defensive game.

Predicted score in July: Oklahoma 19 ... Miami 13

12. Tennessee at California, Sept. 1
After a nightmarish 2005, Tennessee announced it was back with a 35-18 win over a great Cal team in last year's opener. Now the tables are turned, as the Bears can show they belong in the national title hunt, with a win in Berkeley. Cal finally, finally came up with a real, live big win in a spotlight game since coming to prominence with the 45-10 destruction of Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl, but that barely registered much more than a yawn nationwide. Now it has to show that it's the real deal, while Tennessee wants to erase the end of last year, when it lost three of its final five games. Unfortunately for the Vols, this is a horrible matchup for them in the season opener. Remember, college teams don't get preseason games like the NFL teams do, and they don't get a chance to work the kinks out. Tennessee has issues with its pass rush and secondary, and if it doesn't get to Cal's Nathan Longshore on a regular basis, it'll be a long, long day. The Cal speedsters at receiver will go ballistic.

Predicted score in July: California 28 ... Tennessee 17

11. Auburn at LSU, Oct. 20
The last three games between the two West superpowers have been decided by a total of eight points, and it's not a stretch to suggest the division title will be decided here. Each team will have played against several superstars in several national showcase games. LSU will have played Virginia Tech and Florida, while the Tigers will have traveled to Florida and Arkansas. This will be the game for Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox to come through with the performance of his career. LSU will shut down the Tiger ground game, and the secondary will prevent many big plays, so Cox will have to be efficient and effective on third downs. He won't be. LSU will will rattle the senior with consistent pressure with the defensive line dominating the Auburn O line.
Predicted score in July: LSU 14 ... Auburn 10

 


Related Stories
Early Predictions of the Top 50 Games, 21-30
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 3, 2007
Early Predictions of the Top 50 Games
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 5, 2007
Early Predictions of the Top 50 Games, 31-40
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 1, 2007