Philadelphia, PA – Two Atlantic Coast Conference games stand as top plays in Week 11. The first one pits Miami (Fla.) at Virginia, while the second contest sees North Carolina State hosting Wake Forest.
Virginia, a slight one-point favorite in Charlottesville against Miami, comes into this game off an easy, 33-6 romp over North Carolina State. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak, which included home losses to Louisiana Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest.
Still, the win over the Wolfpack might not be as impressive as one might think. Coach Tom O'Brien's squad was due for a letdown after the devastating loss to arch-rival North Carolina the previous Saturday.
Miami is barely above .500 at 5-4, but the Hurricanes are currently leading the ACC's Coastal Division at 4-2. Not only have they won two conference road games this season (by nine at Boston College and by six at Georgia Tech), they also snapped a three-game losing streak with an 18- point decision over Virginia Tech last Thursday.
Moreover, if one takes away losses to three Top 10 teams (Kansas State, Notre Dame and Florida State). the Hurricanes are an impressive 5-1. Add in the fact they get a couple of extra days rest to prepare for a Virginia squad that is 3-6 and Miami (Fla.) has a decided edge.
Take the Hurricanes plus one point in this week's lone five-star play.
I already mentioned how North Carolina State was up against it in its battle with Virginia, so I personally don't hold the Wolfpack accountable for the loss. Look for them to rebound versus Wake Forest. They had another brutal defeat earlier in the year at Miami (Fla.) and bounced back with a home victory over then-third-ranked Florida State.
Wake Forest lost at home to the Seminoles, 52-0, back in September and was defeated at Maryland a few weeks later. The Demon Deacons' only road win of the year came against Virginia after the Cavaliers had dropped five consecutive games.
North Carolina State blew out Wake Forest, 38-3, the last time these two teams met at Carter-Finley Stadium. Look for another blowout on Saturday.
Take the Wolfpack minus eight points in the first of three three-star plays.
TWO OTHER THREE-STAR SELECTIONS
Nebraska looks for its fourth straight win when it hosts Penn State. The Cornhuskers are 4-1 in Big Ten play, but three of the victories came by a combined eight points. The lone victory by more than four came against a Michigan team that was forced to play its backup quarterback after Denard Robinson was injured in the first half.
Penn State has played only one bad conference game and that was against Ohio State. The Buckeyes rolled to a 35-23 win. However, Nebraska didn't fare too well against them either as coach Urban Meyer's squad destroyed the Cornhuskers, 63-38.
Take Penn State plus seven points.
Air Force takes on San Diego State just one week after the Aztecs upset Boise State in Idaho. Expect the Aztecs to have a letdown at home against the Falcons, who come to San Diego a very hungry squad.
Air Force was surprised by Army last week even though Cody Getz saw his first action since the Wyoming game. Look for him to be much healthier in his second game back from a leg injury and lead the Falcons to the upset win.
Take Air Force plus 9.5 points.
Go with BYU -38 (Idaho), New Mexico State +22.5 (San Jose State), Kansas +25.5 (Texas Tech), Stanford -4 (Oregon State) and Florida Atlantic +17 (Western Kentucky).
Take Virginia Tech +14 (Florida State), Army +17 (Rutgers) and UAB +3 (Marshall) and over 60 in the Kansas State-TCU game. . AFTER TEN WEEKS
My overall record through Week 10 is now 75-62 after an 8-7 week. The five-star plays are 10-7, the three-star selections are 17-16, the two-star picks stand at 29-25 and the one-star plays are 19-14.
As a reminder, the five-star plays are when my personal plays coincide with my power rating plays (games with at least a five-point differential between my line and the actual line). The three-star choices are my personal picks, the two-star plays are the games the power rating system picks and the one-star plays are my personal secondary selections.
THIS WEEK'S JEFF FRANK "DIRTY DOZEN"
1) Alabama, 108.5; 2) Oregon, 108; 3) Florida State, 104.5; 4) Oklahoma, 101; 5-T) Clemson and Texas A&M, 100.5; 7) Kansas State, 100; 8-T) LSU and Georgia, 99.5; 10) USC, 98; 11) Notre Dame, 97; 12) Florida, 96.5
(The Top 12 is not a reflection of a given team's won-loss record. It is based on power ratings used to predict spreads for the upcoming week. At the beginning of the season, all 124 FBS teams are assigned a power number, which changes on a week-to-week basis depending on the results of the previous week.)