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College Football ’19: Week 14 Top 25 previews

Week 14 Top 25 previews

Each week, The Game Haus will preview every college football game featuring teams in The Associated Press Top 25. We’ll also give an expanded look at three Week 14 Top 25 matchups especially worth watching.

Here we go with our Week 14 Top 25 previews (all times Eastern):

Key Games

No. 18 Cincinnati (10-1) at No. 17 Memphis (10-1), 3:30 p.m., Friday

Scouting the Bearcats: Looking for a 10th straight victory, the Bearcats have already clinched the American Athletic Conference East Division title. However, a victory here would help their cause in earning the Group of Five New Year’s Six bowl berth.

Week 14 Top 25 previews
Photo courtesy of clickondetroit.com

Scouting the Tigers: Memphis is 18th in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, the highest of any Group of Five team. The Tigers win the AAC West with a victory on Friday. Which would set up a league title game matchup with Cincinnati.

Winner: Memphis

No. 2 Ohio State (11-0) at No. 10 Michigan (9-2), Noon, Saturday

Scouting the Buckeyes: It’s hardly news that Ohio State has recently dominated the series with its biggest rival. The Buckeyes have won seven straight and 14 of 15 versus Michigan, but they looked human against Penn State last weekend.

Scouting the Wolverines: Is this the year they finally end their struggles with Ohio State? Perhaps, considering Michigan owns a 166-45 scoring advantage during its current four-game winning streak.

Winner: Ohio State

No. 5 Alabama (10-1) at No. 16 Auburn (8-3), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

Scouting the Crimson Tide: The Iron Bowl without Tua Tagovailoa, but Alabama still has more talent up and down the roster. Plus, the Crimson Tide need to win for any CFP hopes to remain intact.

Scouting the Tigers: Since the 2008 season, Auburn has won the Iron Bowl just three times. The last two coming at home. It will be interesting to see how freshman quarterback Bo Nix (2,193 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, six interceptions) handles the pressure of this contest.

Winner: Alabama

The Rest

Week 14 Top 25 previews
Photo courtesy of sbnation.com
No. 23 Virginia Tech (8-3) at Virginia (8-3), Noon, Friday

The Skinny: The winner is crowned the champion of the ACC Coastal Division. For that, the victor gets to face Clemson in the league title game. Virginia Tech has won an impressive 15 straight over Virginia, but we think that run ends this year.

Winner: Virginia

No. 19 Iowa (8-3) at Nebraska (5-6), 2:30 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: Iowa will be looking for a fifth consecutive win over Nebraska, which is trying to avoid missing a bowl for the third straight year. The Hawkeyes have also allowed 19 or fewer points in three of their last four games overall.

Winner: Iowa

No. 20 Boise State (10-1) at Colorado State (4-7), 3:30 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: Looking for a fifth consecutive win, Boise State is already in the Mountain West title game, but is looking to go undefeated in the league. The Broncos still have a chance to be the Group of Five representative.

Winner: Boise State

No. 22 Appalachian State (10-1) at Troy (5-6), 6 p.m., Friday

The Skinny: Since becoming an FBS member in 2014, Appalachian State has won at least 10 games four times. The Mountaineers have totaled 91 points in winning their last two contests versus Georgia State and Texas State.

Winner: Appalachian State

No. 4 Georgia (10-1) at Georgia Tech (3-8), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: Georgia Tech has actually won this rivalry game twice over the last five seasons. However, we don’t see that being the case this weekend. Not against a Georgia defense that’s giving up 10.7 points per game.

Winner: Georgia

No. 3 Clemson (11-0) at South Carolina (4-7), Noon, Saturday

The Skinny: The Tigers might be No. 3 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, but no team is more dominant at the moment than the defending champs. Now, the ACC is quite down this season, but that doesn’t matter. That dominance should continue in this rivalry contest.

Winner: Clemson

No. 11 Baylor (10-1) at Kansas (3-8), 3:30 p.m. Saturday

The Skinny: A bounce-back win over Texas was enough for the Bears to move up to ninth in the CFP rankings. Whether that makes a difference in the big picture remains to be seen. For the moment, a 10th straight win over Kansas is Baylor’s focus.

Winner: Baylor

No. 13 Wisconsin (9-2) at No. 9 Minnesota (10-1), 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Week 14 Top 25 previews
Photo courtesy of gophersports.com

The Skinny: The Gophers ended a 14-game losing streak to the Badgers last season. A second consecutive win in this rivalry game will clinch the Big Ten West title and a spot in the league championship game for Minnesota. A victory for Wisconsin, and the division crown is back in Madison.

Winner: Wisconsin

Rutgers (2-9) at No. 12 Penn State (9-2), 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Nothing better to make a team regain some confidence and bounce back from a rough defeat, than playing Rutgers. The Nittany Lions have outscored the Scarlet Knights 135-26 while going 5-0 in the series since both teams became members of the Big Ten.

Winner: Penn State

Oregon State (5-6) at No. 14 Oregon (9-2), 4 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Oregon’s hope of making the College Football Playoff ended with that upset loss at Arizona State last weekend. Quarterback Justin Herbert was a mess. The Ducks are already in the Pac-12 title game, but could use some momentum going in.

Winner: Oregon

No. 15 Notre Dame (9-2) at Stanford (4-7), 4 p.m., Saturday
Week 14 Top 25 previews
Photo courtesy of si.com.

The Skinny: Will this be quarterback Ian Book’s final regular-season game with Notre Dame? That’s on the mind of enough Irish fans to make it the headline going into a game that they should have no trouble winning. By the way, Book has thrown 12 touchdown passes in the last three games.

Winner: Notre Dame

No. 24 Navy (8-2) at Houston (4-7), 4 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Midshipmen still have a chance to win the AAC West Division, but need to win and get some help elsewhere. Regardless, the fact Navy is in the hunt for a division title is a huge accomplishment after going 3-10 last season.

Winner: Navy

Texas A&M (7-4) at No. 1 LSU (11-0), 7 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Don’t expect another 74-72, seven-overtime game between these two teams. LSU is the much better squad as we know, even though it dropped to second in the CFP rankings. The Tigers are 3-0 at home versus Texas A&M as members of the SEC.

Winner: LSU

Florida State (6-5) at No. 8 Florida (9-2), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: The Gators ended a five-game losing streak to the rival Seminoles last season, and really should not have too much trouble making it two straight in the serious. Florida has allowed just six points in winning two in a row overall.

Winner: Florida

Colorado (5-6) at No. 6 Utah (10-1), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: With Oregon’s stumble, the Pac-12’s only hope for a CFP berth is Utah. That said, the Utes need an eighth consecutive to win the Pac-12 South Division and keep that playoff hope alive.

Winner: Utah

No. 7 Oklahoma (10-1) at No. 21 Oklahoma State (8-3), 8 p.m., Saturday

The Skinny: Oklahoma has won three in a row, but by a combined eight points. The Sooners have also won four straight in the Bedlam showdown with Oklahoma State. However, the Cowboys are aiming for their fourth consecutive victory overall while trying to improve to 5-1 at home.

Winner: Oklahoma State

 

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