College Football Picks: No. 2 Michigan visits No. 9 Penn State in its first test of the season

Finally, No. 2 Michigan gets a test.

The Wolverines (9-0) have stomped through the season, crushing opponents by an average of 34 points per game, the best margin in the country.

None of those opponents has been ranked in the AP Top 25, creating some questions about just how good Michigan is.

A trip to Happy Valley to face No. 9 Penn State on Saturday will provide an answer. A cloud of controversy will arrive with Michigan, which could race possible discipline from the Big Ten for a scouting/sign-stealing scheme.

Michigan-Penn State is one of two top-10 matchups in the most intriguing games of Week 11.

No. 2 Michigan (minus 5 1/2) at No. 9 Penn State

The Nittany Lions managed just one late touchdown in its loss at Ohio State with an offense that has struggled to pop big plays all year. Now here come the Wolverines, who humiliated Penn State last year by running for 418 yards in a 41-17 victory.

It's also another potential narrative-changer for Nittany Lions coach James Franklin, who is 3-16 vs. top 10 teams and 1-13 vs. Ohio State and Michigan teams ranked in the top 10.

PICK: Michigan 24-17.

No. 10 Mississippi at No. 1 Georgia (minus 10 1/2)

A matchup of Nick Saban's former offensive coordinator (Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin) and defensive coordinator (Georgia coach Kirby Smart) at Alabama. The Bulldogs run a defense similar to Alabama and the Rebels scored only 10 points against the Tide, for whatever that's worth.

Ole Miss still has a chance to win the SEC West, but needs help. Georgia can clinch the SEC East with a victory.

PICK: Georgia 34-20.

Miami at No. 4 Florida State (minus 13 1/2)

About a month ago it looked as if this was shaping up to be the first truly big Miami-FSU game in a while.

The Hurricanes' offense has gone sideways since and the Seminoles have already clinched a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game. Still, the ‘Noles have playoff hopes and the ’Canes have a salty defense.

PICK: Florida State 28-13.

No. 13 Utah (plus 9 1/2) at No. 5 Washington

The second ranked opponent in a row for the Huskies, but a very different type of team than the no defense, potent offense of USC.

The Utes run the ball, play tough defense and hope not to pass much. That's going to be challenging against Michael Penix Jr. and Washington's prolific passing game,

PICK: Washington 34-23.

No. 7 Texas (minus 9 1/2) at TCU

Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian hinted at the possibility QB Quinn Ewers (shoulder) could play this week after missing the last two games. And being missed by Texas.

The Horned Frogs (4-5) have dominated the rivalry recently, winning seven of nine, but it's been a tough follow-up season for last year's national runner-up.

PICK: TEXAS 34-20.

The rest of the week's games involving ranked teams and FBS foes, with lines from FanDuel Sportsbook:

Virginia at Louisville (minus 20 1/2)

Injuries have Cavaliers quarterback situation murky heading into Thursday night's game ... LOUISVILLE 35-13.

Michigan State at No. 3 Ohio State (minus 31 1/2)

Buckeyes have won seven straight meetings, the last six by an average of 34.5 points ... OHIO STATE 42-7.

Southern California at No. 6 Oregon (minus 14 1/2)

Trojans' first game post-Alex Grinch, who was fired as defensive coordinator Sunday ... OREGON 46-28.

No. 8 Alabama (minus 10 1/2) at Kentucky

Jalen Milroe and the Tide have scored 69 points in their last three halves ... ALABAMA 28-14.

Stanford at No. 12 Oregon State (minus 21)

Cardinal are coming off a road upset of Washington State ... OREGON STATE 38-14.

No. 14 Tennessee (minus 1 1/2) at No. 16 Missouri

Second place in the SEC East on the line ... TENNESSEE 23-20.

No. 15 Oklahoma State at UCF (plus 2 1/2)

Letdown alert for Cowboys after huge Bedlam win ... UCF 30-27.

West Virginia at No. 17 Oklahoma (minus 12 1/2)

Sooners looking to snap two-game losing streak ... OKLAHOMA 38-23.

Florida (plus 13 1/2) at No. 18 LSU

Tigers have won four straight meetings, but seven of the last nine have been one-possession games ... LSU 38-31.

Texas Tech (plus 3 1/2) at No. 19 Kansas

Red Raiders have been up and down all season and need two wins to become bowl eligible ... KANSAS 35-33.

Tulsa at No. 20 Tulane (minus 22 1/2)

Green Wave have been struggling to put teams away; not this week ... TULANE 42-14.

UConn at No. 21 James Madison (minus 24 1/2)

Dukes lost DE Jalen Green (knee), the nation's leader in sacks, to season-ending injury ... JAMES MADISON 34-7.

No. 23 Arizona at Colorado (plus 10 1/2)

Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes still searching for two more wins to get bowl-eligible ... ARIZONA 27-20.

Duke (plus 14 1/2) at No. 24 North Carolina

Tar Heels have won four straight in an occasionally interesting football rivalry ... NORTH CAROLINA 28-21.

Old Dominion at No. 25 Liberty (minus 13 1/2)

Flames have already clinched a spot in the Conference USA title game ... LIBERTY 37-21.


Rutgers at Iowa (minus 1 1/2) — @kuriking57: Instead of setting an over/under on total points (28 1/2!) how about combined completions for the two most inaccurate Power Five teams? Let's say 19 1/2 ... IOWA 15-12.

Auburn at Arkansas (minus 2 1/2) — @garyseay: Tigers are a victory away from bowl eligibility in coach Hugh Freeze's first season ... ARKANSAS 23-19.

Georgia Tech (plus 14 1/2) at Clemson — @thatzebraguy_: Tigers have won eight straight meetings, rarely close ... CLEMSON 28-17.


Last week: Straight-up — 17-6; Against spread — 12-10-1.

Season: Straight-up — 169-60; Against spread — 106-120-2.


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