Daily Blog • Thursday, December 5th


Welcome back to my Top 25 Forecasts. In the past several years, I have given you my complete forecasts for every game involving Top 25 teams. This year I am going to give you my forecasts that include just the Top 5 teams as you need to become an Inside the Pressbox subscriber to get all of my forecasts for not only the games involving the Top 25 teams but also any FBS vs FBS game.

 

#1 FLORIDA STATE vs #20 DUKE
Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
#20 DUKE 126
180
18
0
#1 FLORIDA STATE
217
339
49
+8
••
xFSU has never lost to Duke (18-0) w/an avg score of 50-15 (closest gm was 19 pts). Both tms come in off wins over their archrivals as FSU pulled away from UF 37-7 with 20-8 FD and 456-193 yd edges. Duke, meanwhile beat NC 27-25 as they can thank DB/KR DeVon Edwards again as he had a 99-yd KR td and a game-clinching int. They now have a schl-rec 10 wins. There also hasn’t been a bigger disparity in a conf champ gm in yrs as FSU outscored their ACC opp by an avg of 51- 12 (+231 ypg) while Duke is only outscoring their ACC opp by an avg of 32-28 (-41 ypg). Noles have huge talent edges across the board and easily book their ticket to Pasadena.
PHIL’S FORECAST: FLORIDA ST 49 DUKE 17
#2 OHIO STATE vs #10 MICHIGAN STATE
Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
#2 OHIO STATE 237
166
31
+19
••
#10 MICHIGAN STATE
110
211
20
+6
A win here puts the Buckeyes in the BCS Champ gm while MSU looks to be in good shape for their 1st Rose Bowl appearance s/’87 win or lose. The Buckeyes come in winners of 24 str gms (longest streak s/USC ‘03-’05). It will be Irresistible Force vs Immovable Object here as the Buckeye ground gm is arguably the best in the ountry avg 321 ypg (7.0) and will be taking on a MSU rush D that is all’g just 65 ypg (2.2). The Spartans finished an unbeaten B10 season for the 1st time s/’66. While they have held 5 of their L/6 opp w/o a td, that one opp, Neb had 28 pts and 392 yds and MSU won the gm due to 5 Husker TO’s. Now they face an OSU offense that is avg 48 ppg and 531 ypg.
PHIL’S FORECAST: OHIO ST 30 MICHIGAN ST 20
#3 AUBURN vs #5 MISSOURI
Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
#3 MISSOURI 193
271
30
+15
#5 AUBURN
258
208
30
+2
The AU Tigers have certainly lived a charmed life TY winning 6 gms by 8 pts or less incl 2 miracle wins in each of their L/2 gms. While they did benefit from 4 missed Bama FG’s LW, their run gm did amass 296 yds against that vaunted Bama D. These 2 have played 5 common foes (Ark St, UGA, Tenn, Miss and A&M). Both tms are 5-0 w/Aub outscoring those foes by an avg of 42-27 (+26 ypg) while Mizzou is outscoring those foes 33-16 (+68 ypg). The talk all week has been on Auburn’s win and great play LW while debating whether or not they should be ranked ahead of OSU (Aub had 2 AP #1 votes). These tms are evenly matched but MU does have a more proven passer at QB and has the better D.
PHIL’S FORECAST: MISSOURI 31 AUBURN 30
#6 OKLAHOMA STATE vs #18 OKLAHOMA
Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
#18 OKLAHOMA 189
187
20
+3
•••••
#6 OKLAHOMA ST
141
272
34
+10
OU has won 9 of the L/10. Since OU QB Knight took over the duties mid-2Q vs ISt (Bell inj’d) OU has scored a combined 79 pts while piling up 706 rush yds in the L/2 gms (7.4). In B12 play, OU is actually +50 ypg while OSt is +40 ypg. The Cowboys have won 7 str gms and with a win here will wrap up their 3rd 11-win ssn in 4 yrs. In their L/gm they dominated prev unbeaten Baylor 49-17. QB Chelf, in each of the L/2 gms, has arguably played the game of his life incl a 19-25-370-3-0 performance vs the Bears. While it’s tough to go against a team that is so dominating at home, LW proved to me that you need to be wary of the dog in a big rivalry gm (see Auburn, Michigan, Oregon St).
PHIL’S FORECAST: OKLAHOMA ST 34 OKLAHOMA 27
#7 STANFORD vs #11 ARIZONA STATE
Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
#7 STANFORD 175
175
27
0
#11 ARIZONA ST
99
265
30
+6
This is the only rematch this year in a champ gm as Stanford beat Arizona St 42-28 back in mid-Sept on the Farm. SU absolutely dominated and led 29-0 at the half. This is Stanford’s 2nd str P12 Champ gm as they beat UCLA 27-24 LY. LW they beat ND 27-20 as they dominated the LOS w/a 261-64 rush yd edge. Speaking of domination, the Sun Devils turned LW’s Territorial Cup into a run away w/a 58-21 win over Arizona. However, it should be noted that ASt only had 22-20 FD and 478-424 yd edges as they benefited from 4 UA TO’s. Stanford does have more exp in big-time gms, has the defensive edge and will benefit from ASU RB Grice not playing. Also, can’t forget their domination earlier this year.
PHIL’S FORECAST: STANFORD 31 ARIZONA ST 28