Week Eleven College Football 2021 Preview

College Football Week 11. Oklahoma vs. Baylor
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Week Eleven of the College Football season is here! This should be another fun week of College Football with some great matchups and playoff implications all around.

Here is your Week Eleven College Football 2021 preview.

Week Eleven College Football Top Matchups

No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 18 Baylor

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (Fox)
  • Prediction: Baylor 31, Oklahoma 27

Is a rested Oklahoma ready to finish this season. No, the schedule hasn’t been all that amazing so far, but it hasn’t been totally awful. Even so, a team in the hunt for the College Football Playoff should be a whole lot stronger than it’s been. However …

There’s a scoreboard for a reason. OU was awful against Kansas – for a half. Lost in the miserable performance were the 35 points scores in the second half. Also lost is how Oklahoma won their last three games by double-digits and have now scored 52 or more in three of the last four games.

No, the defense hasn’t been strong enough overall, but it takes the ball away and is good at buckling down in the red zone. Yes the team has been wildly inconsistent, but it’s also among the best teams in the country offensively, in passing, on third downs, and there are few attacks with more explosion.

For Baylor, the running game has to be rolling from the start.

Teams tend to get away from grinding it out against Oklahoma because games start to get into shootouts, but it’s possible to run on this group. Baylor is getting a monster season out of the running back combination of Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner, with Smith on fire with three straight games of 125 yards or more while averaging over seven yards per carry.

The Bears are great against the run, the offensive line has been great, and at home, it should have the consistency and pop to pounce when Oklahoma takes its weekly nap for about 12-20 minutes.

I think this is a close one and that the Bears find a way to pull out the upset.

Michigan at Penn State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Prediction: Penn State 32, Michigan 29

Sean Clifford has found his groove.

Banged up against Iowa, the Penn State quarterback didn’t do much over a three-game stretch, but he bounced back to ball out against Ohio State, and followed up his 361-yard day with 363 yards and three touchdowns against Maryland.

Statistically, the Michigan pass defense has been fine – it hasn’t allowed a touchdown pass in three games – but it hasn’t gone against anyone who can throw. Clifford isn’t Matthew Stafford or anything, but he should press the Wolverine secondary.

On the other side, the run defense has held up well against everyone but Illinois. At home, the combination of a good D on third downs and a strong punting game should keep the field tilted a bit.

Penn State will feed off the home energy and come up with a few big plays and nice drives and pull off the upset here.

No. 1 Georgia at Tennessee

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
  • Prediction: Georgia 42, Tennesse 14

The Georgia defense is really that amazing.

No, it’s not technically the No. 1 D in college football – Wisconsin holds that distinction – but this thing really is special.

No one has scored more than 13 points on the Dawgs, the pass defense isn’t allowing a thing, and the defensive line is playing like it was rudely insulted.

It’s not just that the defense holds up against everyone and takes over games. It’s amazing at stuffing teams that get into the red zone, it forces everyone to press, and it takes all the pressure off the offensive side.

As amazing as the Tennessee offense has been, the defense can’t get off the field. Teams are converting close to half of their third down tries against the Vols – the Georgia formula will work just fine.

No. 19 Purdue at No. 4 Ohio State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Prediction: Ohio State 42, Purdue 28

Purdue hasn’t played anyone with a passing game like Ohio State is going to bring.

It might take a little time to warm up, and it might not be as consistent as it should be, but Stroud has been fantastic, he’s connecting on a whole lot of big plays, and the O is second in the nation averaging 45 points per game.

Purdue’s secondary is statistically okay, but who’s the great passing quarterback on the schedule so far? Graham Mertz of Wisconsin? Iowa’s Spencer Petras? Notre Dame’s Jack Coan? They’re all good, but none of them are making big things happen like Stroud is.

Yes, the Ohio State defense will give up plenty of yards in this, but there won’t be any Purdue running game and the offensive front will allow just enough plays in the backfield to stall on a few key drives.

Purdue will get its yards, but the Ohio State offensive machine will ramp up with good balance and more big plays down the field.

No. 11 Texas A&M at No. 15 Ole Miss

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Ole Miss 45, Texas A&M 42

Can the Rebels crank up the explosion and the tempo to make A&M work a bit?

Control, control, control. Texas A&M was able to beat Alabama in a bit of a shootout, but that’s not how this team works. It’s not built to start bombing away – even when it lost, the games against Arkansas and Mississippi State were low-scoring fights.

At home, Ole Miss has to strike quickly, use its offensive balance and deep passing game, and it has to make A&M press. For all of the problems, the Rebels won’t lose the turnover battle – they’re third in the nation in turnover margin.

I think this is a high-scoring game that the rebels pull out the upset.

TCU at No. 10 Oklahoma State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET (Fox)
  • Prediction: TCU 35, Oklahoma State 31

TCU had to try moving on after it parted ways with head coach Gary Patterson, and it managed to come up with its most amazing win of the season with a 30-28 shocker over Baylor.

QB Max Duggan couldn’t go, but Oklahoma transfer Chandler Morris went off with 461 passing yards and two scores with Quentin Johnston and Taye Barber combining for close to 200 receiving yards.

Oklahoma State’s defense has been incredible, but the lone loss of the season came the only time it allowed over 300 yards – Iowa State’s Brock Purdy went off in a 24-21 win.

TCU is going to bomb away to give it a shot and I think they will pull off the victory.

Other Week Eleven College Football Contests

North Carolina at No. 21 Pitt

  • Game Info: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: North Carolina 52, Pitt 49

Pitt has the highest-scoring offense in the country (45.0 ppg.), but the Tar Heels (38.9) are not that far behind. Kenny Pickett and Sam Howell should put on a show, and the over (74.5) is a good play here, too. The last nine meetings dating back to 2000 have been decided by seven points or less. I think Sam Howell does enough to pull off the upset here.

No. 5 Cincinnati at South Florida

  • Game Info: Friday, 6:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Cincinnati 49, South Florida 21

The Bearcats are being pressured to put up big numbers, and they have failed to cover each of the last three weeks. Jerome Ford’s leg injury is a concern. The Bulls are 2-2 against the spread when they are underdogs of more than 20 points. Cincinnati finally gets the blowout win. 

New Mexico State at No. 2 Alabama

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (SECN)
  • Prediction: Alabama 62, New Mexico State 9

Alabama has struggled a bit this season, but New Mexico State should give them an opportunity to right themselves and get the blowout victory.

Mississippi State at No. 17 Auburn

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Auburn 28, Mississippi State 24

It’s a good matchup between two inconsistent teams. The Tigers have won the last two at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and Auburn is 4-1 S/U and 3-0 ATS at home this season. Bo Nix gets back on track in another close one. 

Northwestern at No. 18 Wisconsin

  • Game Info: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Prediction: Wisconsin 42, Northwestern 14

Wisconsin is on a roll. The Badgers have won five in a row and have a shot at getting to the Big Ten championship game. Northwestern is 2-3 ATS as an underdog, and they have split the last six meetings with the Badgers.  

Southern Miss at No. 23 UTSA

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Prediction: UTSA 45, Southern Miss 21

Southern Miss is 1-8 S/U and 1-8 ATS for the season, and they are on the road against a prolific UTSA offense. That’s bad news against a Roadrunners offense that has put up 40-plus points per game the last four weeks. UTSA also is trying to get the New Year’s Day Six bowls’ attention. That requires style points. 

Minnesota at No. 20 Iowa

  • Game Info: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (BTN)
  • Prediction: Iowa 28, Minnesota 21

Minnesota is down to its third-string tailback and struggled on offense in a loss to Illinois. Iowa has won the last six meetings in the series, but the last three at Kinnick Stadium have been one-score games. I like the Hawkeyes’ defense at home.

Maryland at No. 7 Michigan State

  • Game Info: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET (Fox)
  • Prediction: Michigan State 31, Maryland 21

Michigan State is coming off a heart-breaking loss to Purdue, and they face another pass-happy offense in Maryland. The Terps haven’t fared well against the Big Ten East’s best teams, but they might be able to hang around in this one. 

No. 22 Iowa at Northwestern

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (BTN)
  • Prediction: Iowa 21, Northwestern 17

The Hawkeyes suffered back-to-back losses, but Northwestern has been in a tougher place. The Wildcats have been blown out in three of their last four games. Northwestern has won four of the last five meetings. At home, they find a way to hang around but ultimately fall.

No. 9 Notre Dame at Virginia

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  • Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Virginia 24

This should be an entertaining game. Both teams score a lot, but Notre Dame’s defense is better so I will take them for a nice victory.

No. 21 NC State at No. 12 Wake Forest

  • Game Info: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ACCN)
  • Prediction: Wake Forest 42, NC State 38

The winner will be sitting pretty in the ACC Atlantic race, but neither team can clinch. The Wolfpack has the best defense in the ACC at 16.0 points per game. Wake Forest averages 44.7 points per game. NC State won a 45-42 shootout last year. We’re going to flip the result, and the Deacons get a huge showdown with Clemson next. 

College Football – Upset Alert

Washington State at No. 4 Oregon

  • Game Info: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Prediction: Washington State 28, Oregon 20

My upset of the week is probably one most won’t be picking. But I think Washington State will pull off the shocker here as they have been playing good since the coaching change.

Should be another excellent week of College Football!

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