NCAA Football Week Eleven ReportThe eleventh week of the college football season got off to an early start, with Tuesday and Wednesday night games, but things don't really start to kick into action until Thursday, when Florida State visits Virginia Tech in a decent game. The other Thursday game, Monroe at Arkansas State, lost a bit of its luster with the injury to Monroe's Kolton Browning. Browning's loss could knock Monroe out of a bowl game, which would be a shame as the Warhawks have been enjoyable to watch and have become a favorite of those rooting for the underdog after their performances against the SEC earlier this year.
This week lacks the marquee games of last week, although there are still some solid contests with alabama vs. Texas A&M, West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State, Kansas State vs. TCU and Oregon State at Stanford, while others have the potential to be good match-ups.
The college football power ratings have been updated and here are this week's power rating plays. A 5* means the difference in power ratings and theodds are 5 to 6.5 points, while a 7* means the difference is seven points or more.
5* Illinois+3, USC-9, Stanford-4.5.
7* Monroe+7, Maryland+31.5, Louisville-3, Miami, Fla.+1, Wisconsin-7, Vanderbilt+3, New Mexico State+22.5, California+28, Colorado State+2, Kansas+25, Baylor+21.5.
The first thing you'll notice is there are far more 7* plays than 5* plays this week, which is a bit unusual, as they have been fairly close in previous weeks. The second thing you'll note is that a number of teams that qualify as 7* plays have serious injury problems, including the previously mentioned Monroe Warhawks, Maryland, Colorado State and California.
Other power rating plays that I'm not enamored with would be Stanford, Louisville and Miami, Fla., as I'd lean towards the other side in each contest.
Since there were quite a few marquee games last week, that means there are some letdown possibilities this week, which is something to consider in your handicapping.
The GamesFlorida State at Virginia Tech: The Seminoles come into this game as 14-point favorites, which is right where the power ratings have the game. While this isn't the Hokies of year's past, Virginia Tech is still a decent team with some good athletes. Frank Beamer has been great as a home dog off a loss and believe Va. Tech can keep this one within the generous number.
UNLV at Colorado State: Much has been made of the Runnin' Rebels and their 20-game road losing streak, so what are the boys from Sin City doing being favored in this game? It's one of those lines that makes you scratch your head, even with the injury to QB Garrett Grayson-who isn't much better, if at all, than backup Conner Smith-so I'll lean to the Rebels in this one and believe the oddsmakers know something more than I do in this case.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina: North Carolina continues to cruise along under the radar with its 6-3 record. A revenge game for the Tar Heels, who are also coming off a bye, which gave them an extra week to plan for the option.
Possible LetdownsAs mentioned earlier, there are some real letdown possibilities this weekend, beginning with LSU, which let one get away last week. While Mississippi State hasn't handled the SEC's top-tier opposition, they may be worth a look.
The Oregon Ducks are another squad, although it may not matter against a California team that is battling some injury problems.
USC's big game of the year was last week and we all saw what happened. While you would expect them to bounce back, it's easier said than done after such a dismal defensive performance.