It is the last weekend of the regular season and our free College Football picks have you covered! We have found the five best and most important games of the weekend, previewed them and found our best bets!
Don’t miss out on our preview of our College Football Picks for the five best games of this week’s schedule!
Friday, November 26th
#4 Cincinnati @ East Carolina – 3:30pm ET
Can the Cincinnati Bearcats end the regular season with an unbeaten record, set up an AAC Championship game with Houston and strengthen their claim for a spot in the College Football Playoff? They get on the road to take on the East Carolina Pirates with an opportunity to do that, however the Pirates are the third-best team in the conference and are 4-1 at home this season.
The Cincinnati Bearcats will continue their run to a College Football Playoff as they take on an East Carolina Pirates team that are winners of four straight. The Bearcats can taste their opportunity to play at the sport’s biggest level, but they’d be wise to not overlook this Pirates team—especially on the road. East Carolina is known for their attack through the air, as they sit in the top 25 for passing yards per game. Quarterback Holton Ahlers has had his inconsistencies, but he’s more than capable of picking up big chunks of yards through the air.
On the ground, the Pirates are led by Keaton Mitchell, who has over 1,000 yards on the year and is averaging an impressive 7.0 yards per carry. These two will have to be on their “A-game” as the Pirates face a Bearcats team that’s sixth in DI in least points per game. They’re led by a fierce linebacking core that includes Joel Dublanko and Deshawn Pace. I expect a Wildcats team that’s so balanced while playing with a constant chip on their shoulder to prevail on the road, but East Carolina shouldn’t be a walk in the park—I expect them to cover.
Michael’s College Football Pick: East Carolina +14.5 (-114)
Last Tuesday the Cincinnati Bearcats became the first Group of five team to ever crack the College Football Playoff rankings top 4. Now they will look to cap off their undefeated season this Friday against the East Carolina Pirates. Despite the season they have had, Cincinnati cannot afford to look ahead to the American Conference Championship game next week and slip up in this one. If they do get caught looking ahead they may end up falling to a decent East Carolina team.
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) November 26, 2021
As for the previously mentioned East Carolina Pirates, they aren’t having the season they were hoping for as they currently sit at 7-4, they could easily be better as they’ve dropped some close games to Central Florida and South Carolina earlier on in the year. However it is a huge improvement from the past few seasons, where they have gone 4-8 and 3-9, not including the 2020 Covid season. They have also earned bowl eligibility for the first time in 7 years so the program is trending in the right direction. As for the results of this game, I look for the Cincinnati Bearcats to cap off their 12-0 year and continue to march towards the College Football Playoff before heading to the Big 12 in the coming seasons.
Tony’s College Football Pick: Cincinnati (-700)
Can Cincinnati do the impossible and actually become the first Group of 5 team to make the College Football Playoff? They’ve already become the first non-Power 5 school to crack the top-4 at all, and now they look to hold off Notre Dame and either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State to get that berth. If they want to do so, they can’t afford to slip up against an East Carolina team that’s decent, but certainly nowhere close to the level that Cincy is on. For the Bearcats, the question is the offense. The defense has been consistently one of the best in the country this year, but at times the offense has slowed down a bit, which is going to be problematic if it occurs as we get later on in the year.
For East Carolina, the offense has shown the ability to put up points on virtually everyone, especially in-conference, but it remains to be seen as to whether they can do the same against a top-4 team. I think the answer to that question is probably no, as I fully expect Cincinnati to cap off an undefeated regular-season in this one. The one question I do have is how much do they look forward to next week’s AAC Championship Game against Houston. While I do think they eventually win, I think they potentially come out more interested next week, giving the Pirates the chance to get the cover.
Noah’s College Football Pick: East Carolina +14.5 (-114)
Saturday, November 27th
#2 Ohio State @ #5 Michigan – 12pm ET
This has got to be the biggest and best game of the weekend. This Big 10 East showdown will determine who wins the division and likely who ends up making the College Football Playoff, assuming they go on to win the Big 10 Championship. Can Ohio State continue their onslaught or is it finally Michigan’s time to shine on the biggest stage?
One of college football’s biggest rivalries is back at it again, as Ohio State travels to the Big House to take on Michigan in what will be the 117th edition of “The Game.” Ever since an early season loss to Oregon, the Ohio State Buckeyes have showed no remorse for their opponents; this couldn’t have been more evident then last weekend when they beat #7 Michigan State 56-7. Now they’ll head to Ann Arbor to take on a Michigan program they’ve beaten in eight straight meetings.
This Michigan team might be the best one the Buckeyes have faced in recent history. Ranked #6, the Wolverines sit just outside the College Football Playoff standings; with a big win over Ohio State likely pushing them in. Michigan’s lone loss on the year came against Michigan State—the same team Ohio State decimated by 49 points last week. Michigan plays a classic Big Ten style of football: a powerful run game (ranked 15th in the nation) and a hard-nose defense (ranked seventh in points against).
That defense will have its hands full against an offense that’s fourth in college football in points for and sixth in passing yards per game. That offense is led by freshman quarterback, and Heisman hopeful, CJ Stroud who will look to further make his mark on the program against the school’s biggest rivals. I expect Michigan to keep it close, but for the Buckeyes to tack on another to make it nine straight wins.
Michael’s College Football Pick: Ohio State (-300)
Every time Ohio State and Michigan step on the field together you can expect a game full of hatred and competitiveness. This year‘s edition of the rivalry is the most important one since they were number one and number two in the country going into their game all the way back in the mid two thousands. Not only is an appearance in the Big Ten championship game on the line but the winner of the Big Ten East division and the potential college football playoff spot are also up for grabs.
Both Ohio State and Michigan come into this game with identical records of 10-1 as the Buckeyes fell to the Oregon Ducks all the way back in week 2 and Michigan lost to in-state rival the Michigan State Spartans a couple weeks ago. Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud is the Heisman Trophy front runner at the moment and this is another opportunity for him to cement his award winning season.
Ohio State has beaten Michigan every year since 2011 and this year is even more important as the entire season is on the line only time will tell if Michigan will finally be able to vanquish the demon that has haunted them every year for the last decade. As for the result of this game, unfortunately for the Wolverines I expect more of the same as I look for the Buckeyes to pick up a big victory here and clinch their spot in next week’s Conference Championship game against either Wisconsin or Iowa.
Tony’s College Football Pick: Ohio State (-300)
This is a matchup that has the potential to be arguably the best game of the year. Ohio State, after an early season loss to Oregon, has been absolutely destroying anyone in their way, led by quarterback and current Heisman favorite CJ Stroud. However, this is almost certain to be their toughest test to date, as Michigan has been playing just as well as the Buckeyes.
If it weren’t for a fourth quarter collapse against in-state rival Michigan State, the Wolverines from Michigan would be undefeated right now and be sitting squarely in the College Football Playoff. However, due to that unfortunate implosion, they sit at fifth in the newest poll, one spot out of those coveted Top-4. They do control their own destiny, however, as a win over OSU, and a win in the Big Ten Championship would absolutely get them in. The question I have for this one is how does this UM secondary hold up against a Buckeye passing attack that has been unstoppable.
Against MSU, their defensive line struggled, but the secondary played reasonably well. In this one, I think the same thing has to happen. I don’t think the Buckeyes have the rushing attack to beat UM solely on the ground, but they do have the passing game to do so. I still have questions about Jim Harbaugh beating Ohio State, seeing as he’s struggled to win big games before, and he’s never taken down the Buckeyes, but I like what I’ve seen from Michigan so far this season, as they’ve been just as dominant as OSU has.
This year feels a little different than years past for this Michigan team, and with the game being played in Ann Arbor at “The Big House”, I like the Wolverines to keep it extremely close, if not pull off the upset late. Sprinkle a bit on the moneyline if you want to, but be confident in taking them to at least cover the 7.5.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Michigan +7.5 (-110)
#3 Alabama @ Auburn – 3:30pm ET
The Iron Bowl is finally here as Auburn hosts Alabama in the last game of the regular season. This SEC West showdown means nothing more for Auburn than potentially spoiling Alabama’s season, while the Crimson Tide need to win to ensure they remain on top of the division and set up a showdown with Georgia for the SEC Championship.
The Iron Bowl is another one of football’s greatest rivalry games, as the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers have provided some unforgettable matchups over their 85 meetings. Now for 86, the Alabama Crimson Tide must bring their best football before a likely matchup against Georgia in the SEC Championship.
Auburn got off to a pretty decent start under new coach Bryan Harsin as they were 6-2 through eight games. Then they started to crumble: they’ve lost their last three to sit at 6-5 and now just barely clinging to bowl eligibility. Still, crazy things can happen, especially in this age-old rivalry.
Alabama has been far from perfect this year; aside from losing to Texas A&M back in October they’ve had some recent close calls with LSU and Arkansas. Still with Heisman candidate Bryce Young at the helm, the Crimson Tide have an offense that’s always ready to inflict damage on their opponents. The bigger question has been the normally reliable defense which has given up some big scores to opponents so far. Luckily for them, Auburn isn’t even in the top-100 for points per game. I think ‘Bama will be able to breathe easy ahead of their showdown against Georgia.
Michael’s College Football Pick: Alabama (-1400)
The Iron Bowl always delivers every year when we’re looking for a competitive primetime college football matchup going in the last week of the season. Most years this game has that much more meaning to it for both teams. However so far this season, Auburn is experiencing somewhat of a down and Alabama has not truly looked like Alabama, but they are still in a position to win a title like usual. Alabama heads into this one as the third ranked team in the country and as they only have one loss to their first 11 games and with a victory will head to the SEC title game next week with a chance of the college football playoff again.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 26, 2021
However, unlike almost every other year, this is not going to be a game where Alabama is going to be favored as across from them in the SEC title game will be the Georgia Bulldogs who are the number one ranked team in the country. Auburn comes into this one with a 6-5 record as they have lost some very winnable games and just have not looked like themselves this year.
A loss for Auburn is not particularly damaging as they are already bowl eligible. However a victory would crash Alabama‘s hopes and dreams this season and that would be more important to Auburn fans than them winning a National Championship. As a result for this game, I look for Alabama to come in and handle their business as they get ready to play the Bulldogs next week in Atlanta with their season on the line.
Tony’s College Football Pick: Alabama (-1400)
This is a matchup that looked better three weeks ago than it does now. After having just come off a win against Ole Miss, in which the Auburn defense played extremely well, many people were looking forward to the Iron Bowl as being a premiere showdown of the college football season. However, with Auburn starting quarterback being out with a broken ankle (and poking the bear about SEC officiating favoring Alabama), I think the Tide come out in this one and look to make a point.
Alabama hasn’t looked good over the past few weeks, with tight wins over LSU and Arkansas, two teams that if they want to be a legitimate playoff team they shouldn’t struggle with. But in this game, against their in-state rival and one of the best rivalries in all of sports, I think they come out in full force, with Bryce Young putting up huge numbers in order to stay alive for the Heisman trophy. The line sits a little higher than it should, based on the Tide’s play over the past few games, but if they come out and play like they have at times this year, with Nix being out, I think this is a situation where you take ‘Bama and the points.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Alabama -20.5 (-106)
#10 Oklahoma @ #7 Oklahoma State – 7:30pm ET
The Bedlam Series continues and it has massive implications for how the Big12 standings will end up. An Oklahoma win would likely see the two sides meet each other again the next week for the Big 12 Championship, while an Oklahoma State win would see them make a claim for the College Football Playoff while allowing Baylor (if they beat Texas Tech) to jump Oklahoma in the standings. Can the Sooners keep their season alive or will the Cowboys add another win and make a statement on Saturday afternoon?
Another great matchup comes our way on Saturday, as the Oklahoma Sooners travel to Stillwater to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This should be a thrilling edition of the Bedlam Series as both these teams are ranked in the Top 10 nationally. Oklahoma started the season 9-0, but had a tough loss to Baylor on November 13th. Some had to see this coming, as Oklahoma had had too many close games that they’d escaped prior to this.
Still, the Sooners look to end things on a good note; they may have only beat the Iowa State Cyclones by seven last week, but they’ll be fully ready to take on their in-state rivals as their QB combo of Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler look to confuse a Cowboys defense that’s anchored by tackle machine Malcolm Rodriguez. Oklahoma State’s lone loss came in an upset against Iowa State, but it seems they’ve learned since that defeat, winning four straight by hefty margins. I never like to pick against Oklahoma in these types of games, but I have a good feeling about this Cowboys squad at home.
Michael’s College Football Pick: Oklahoma State (-205)
This is the most important Bedlam game in many years. A win for either team keeps their hopes alive for the College Football Playoff this season. More importantly a win for Oklahoma State, much like Michigan, will vanquish the demon that haunts them in the form of the Oklahoma Sooners every year. I would also set them up with the opportunity to make their first ever College Football Playoff. It would also keep OU out of the Big 12 title game, as they would face Baylor as long as Baylor wins on Saturday as well.
For the Oklahoma Sooners, a win would set up a rematch next week and Bedlam this time for the Big 12 title. As Oklahoma State holds the head-to-head victory tiebreaker over the Baylor Bears. Both of these teams got together pretty impressive seasons and head into this one with identical records of 10 wins and one loss. Oklahoma State fell to the Iowa State Cyclones a handful of weeks ago while the Oklahoma Sooners lost to the Baylor Bears a couple weeks back.
It has been an unusual year for the Sooners; they have had way more close games than anyone would’ve expected and possibly should’ve lost to Kansas and Texas among other teams. However, what matters is they came out of those games victorious and now they’re in a position to make yet another College Football Playoff and another run at the National Championship.
This will be in the process vanquishing some demons of their own, as they have never made it past the first round of the College Football Playoff. That’s the result of this game, I think this is the year the Cowboys finally do it. I think they get a victory here at home in Stillwater and clinch their place in the Big 12 title game against the Baylor Bears with a shot at the College Football Playoff on the line.
Tony’s College Football Pick: Oklahoma State (-205)
With a berth in the conference title on the line for Oklahoma, as well as these two being major rivals, Bedlam is always sure to be entertaining. Oklahoma benched Spencer Rattler roughly halfway through the season, in favor of Caleb Williams, and have since seen a resurgence in the offense (despite a loss to Baylor). The Sooner defense has also been better this year than in recent years, which is virtually the only reason they managed to stay unbeaten for so long throughout this year.
Oklahoma State comes into this one with the same record, but they’ve done so in a much quieter manner than their counterparts, with the only slip up coming in a three point defeat to Iowa State. Their offense isn’t as good as it has normally been under head coach Mike Gundy, but the defense has been lightyears better so far this year. This game should be close, and I think Oklahoma State should win, based on everything we’ve seen this season, but one problem still exists.
They simply can’t beat Oklahoma, and they’ve proven it time and time again, even in years that they were clearly the better team. This small yet important fact is why I’m taking OU in this one, getting them an appearance in the Big 12 title game, which would create OU-OSU next weekend as well, seeing as the Cowboys have already clinched a berth in the conference title game.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Oklahoma (+164)
#6 Notre Dame @ Stanford – 8pm ET
Notre Dame heads to Stanford for their last opportunity to impress the committee before the College Football Playoff. They don’t have a conference championship game to make a further claim, so this is their last chance to prove that they deserve to be one of the top four teams in the country, meaning they would need to cover the 20.5-point spread and some.
The Stanford Cardinal have been pretty abysmal this college football season. They’re 3-8 on the year, and are coming off a 11-41 loss to their rivals: the Cal Golden Bears. In fact, Stanford hasn’t had a Pac-12 victory since they upset the Oregon Ducks in the first week of October. Still, that game against Oregon proved Stanford can beat top teams—so maybe they’ll have a chance against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Despite Stanford being at home, I don’t think this will be the team the Cardinal turn things around against.
Notre Dame is led on offense by former Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan. Although Coan is not alone: the Irish have plenty of other weapons including running back Kyren Williams. This offense can’t take Stanford lightly; even though they’re one of the Pac-12’s worst, that win over Oregon should keep Notre Dame on their toes. But ultimately, I can’t see the Cardinal getting another big win on the year, especially against a Notre Dame team that’s decimated their last three opponents—outscoring them 117-9. I expect them to continue that trend against Stanford.
Michael’s College Football Pick: Notre Dame -20.5 (-110)
They say history repeats itself and this is a prime example. Notre Dame and Stanford met out on the farm back in 2015 and an 11-1 Notre Dame team who was set to appear in the College Football Playoff with a win fell to a much better Stanford team. The Irish will be looking to avoid the same mistakes they made on that fateful day six years ago and clinch their place into the College Football Playoff for the second straight season and third time in five years with a win on Saturday. Stanford has not been themselves this year as they have had a terrible season, they have dropped games to less than stellar opponents but managed to beat the Oregon Ducks and partially derail their College Football Playoff hopes along with the Utah Utes.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) November 25, 2021
Despite the polar opposite seasons both of these schools are having, it should still be a competitive game between these two rivals as Stanford had made a name for spoiling teams seasons, but none more than the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. However, I expect this year to be different as I look for the Irish to get the job done and set themselves up for yet another potential College Football Playoff berth this year.
Tony’s College Football Pick: Notre Dame (-1600)
Notre Dame has had a solid year so far, apart from an excusable loss to the fourth ranked Cincinnati Bearcats. Early in the season they looked shaky, but still managed to sneak away with wins, and have since been playing much better football, as they’ve been throttling most teams that come across their path. They’ve done so with good balance, as while the offense has looked iffy at times, the Irish defense has stood strong all year, getting them to be put in prime position to sneak their way into the College Football Playoff. It also doesn’t necessarily hurt that they don’t have a conference title game to worry about, as they’re technically an independent, meaning this is their last regular-season game of the year.
On the other hand, Stanford has been rather atrocious this season, yet have managed to pick up wins over USC and Oregon along the way somehow. A team that lacks any kind of identity, as the offense isn’t very good, and the defense has by and large been awful all year long, doesn’t bode well against this Notre Dame team that is playing at the level they’re performing at right now. With the number sitting at 20.5 right now, lower than I would’ve originally thought, I’m comfortable taking the Fighting Irish and the points in this one, as you can expect them to simply overpower Stanford, even with the game being in Palo Alto.
Noah’s College Football Pick: Notre Dame -20.5 (-110)
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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