Tailgate Pick ‘Em Week 11 Predictions Including Alabama vs LSU

Alabama LSU

Undefeated teams will put their records on the line with Penn State traveling to take on Minnesota and Alabama vs LSU clashing in the SEC. Steen Kirby and John Bava offer their predictions.

#4 Penn State at #17 Minnesota (Saturday in Minneapolis, MN)
Line: Penn State by 6.5

John: There probably aren’t many college football fans and pundits who are surprised Penn State’s undefeated at this point in the season. The same can’t be said for Minnesota. Not since 1941 have the Gophers started a season 8-0. It led to the program signing third-year head coach P.J. Fleck to a massive extension which was likely to ensure he isn’t tempted to bolt for a higher-profile job like Florida State. Their unbeaten start is a great story. But Penn State is, by far, their biggest challenge to date. And, unfortunately, they’re going to find it extremely difficult to score against the Nittany Lions’ top-10 defense. Penn State 30, Minnesota 16

Steen: Minnesota is one of the surprise teams of the season and this is the biggest game the Gophers have played in recent memory. The Penn State defense is their biggest advantage in this game, Minnesota hasn’t faced a defense this tough, and if they can’t score it’s going to be hard to pull the upset. Cold weather and the fact they are underrated makes me not write the Gophers off, but they should come up just short while still having the inside lane at reaching the BIG 10 title game. Penn State 24, Minnesota 14

#2 LSU at #3 Alabama (Saturday in Tuscaloosa, AL)
Line: Alabama by 6

John: The interest level for this game transcends which team you root for. Ever since LSU proved itself as a top-five team, their Week 11 clash against Alabama became one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. The intrigue was ratcheted up even further when the Tigers were ranked ahead of the Crimson Tide in the first CFP poll of the year. There’s no doubting we have a mouth-watering quarterback matchup with LSU’s Joe Burrow and Bama’s Tua Tagovailoa. The health status of Tua makes this an insanely tough game to pick. Still, it’s hard to go against the Tide at home. Alabama 24, LSU 17

Steen: The Tide have been unchallenged so far this season while facing a weaker schedule than LSU, who has surprised everyone with their offensive explosive. Heisman frontrunner Joe Burrow will (likely) go head to head with Tide QB Tua Tagovailoa who is returning from an ankle injury. I expect defense to rule this game regardless, with Alabama’s home field advantage and Nick Saban’s superior coaching winning the day. LS has accomplished a lot this season but they are still underdogs here. Alabama 28, LSU 24

#18 Iowa at #13 Wisconsin (Saturday in Madison, WI)
Line: Wisconsin by 9

John: If you’re looking for a matchup that hearkens back to the old school “three yards and a cloud of dust” Big Ten era, Iowa-Wisconsin is probably for you. The Badgers boast the nation’s top defense in terms of yards given up per game while the Hawkeyes rank sixth in that metric. The first name who likely comes to mind in this game is Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor. He’s currently one of three Big Ten backs averaging at least 100 yards per game. And even though Iowa’s defense is fairly stout against the run, Taylor should be able to impress in front of the home crowd at Camp Randall.  Wisconsin 23, Iowa 13

Steen: Two 6-2 teams with great defenses. The main difference is Wisconsin has a rushing game and Iowa struggles to score period. The home team has the advantage and should end a two game losing streak by breaking out at home. Wisconsin 21, Iowa 14

Iowa State at #9 Oklahoma (Saturday in Norman, OK)
Line: Oklahoma by 15

John: Jalen Hurts’ Heisman stock went a bit south after his Oklahoma team fell victim to the upset bug against Kansas State in Week 9. They had a bye week to reflect on that result and now welcome Iowa State to Norman. It’s an intriguing quarterback matchup with the Cyclones’ Brock Purdy averaging 320.9 yards per game which ranks third in FBS. The Sooners suddenly need a lot of help if they want to make the CFP. But if they run the table, they can at least give themselves a chance. That’s incentive enough for them to turn in a rebound performance. Oklahoma 45, Iowa State 20

Steen: Oklahoma should play angry in this game. Their playoff hopes hang in the balance and Jalen Hurts has something to prove after the shocking loss to Kansas State. This is a home game for OU, and though their defense will give up points, I expect the Sooners to put up some huge offensive numbers to secure the win. Oklahoma 52, Iowa State 35

Wyoming at #22 Boise State (Saturday in Boise, ID)
Line: Boise State by 14.5

John: Boise State’s hopes of representing the Group of Five conferences in a New Year’s Six bowl took a hit a few weeks ago when the Broncos fell to BYU. But there’s still hope should they win out and get help. After two straight road games, they welcome a Wyoming team that’s one game away from clinching bowl eligibility to Boise. The quarterback edge definitely goes to the Broncos’ Hank Bachmeier. But keep an eye on the Cowboys’ ground attack. They have a talented running back in Xazavian Valladay and a legitimate dual-threat signal-caller in Sean Chambers who already has 10 rushing touchdowns this year. Boise hasn’t been a reliable cover at home in recent years so take the points here. Boise State 38, Wyoming 27

Steen: This game has group of 5 NY6 bowl bid implications, Boise is favored at home and must avoid the upset to remain the favorites to win the Mountain West. Wyoming are underrated though and if their defense can slow down the Broncos this will be a game. I’ll pick Boise but Wyoming should beat the spread. Boise State 31, Wyoming 24