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The Big E College Football Picks: Week 14

College GameDay will be in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game.

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The college football season is too short. I'm just getting warmed up* and we're already into the last week of picks.

*Just kidding, I'm like the Pitt of our league this year.


Congrats to @tricerapops and ajg4nd for their week 13 leading 14 wins. We'll have ourselves a head-to-head matchup this weekend for the league title. Both dudeacow (159 wins) and dannan14 (158 wins) are well clear of everyone else. Good luck.

Big E: 9-10 (34th place, 137-123 overall)

Now for this week's picks...

No. 22 Temple (+6.5) at No. 19 Houston

Pick: Houston

The Battle of Two Coaches Who Could Take Power 5 Jobs Next Year But May Stay Put. Well, it appears Herman will remain at Houston but Matt Rhule probably takes a new job somewhere after this game is done. 
Everyone except a few Notre Dame fans immediately jumped off the Temple bandwagon after USF blew them out. Quick side note, USF came on strong as hell in the last half of this year. Add Willie Taggart back to the DGTTM list. Anyway, the Owls still won 10 games which puts to shame the achievements of Al Golden.

Have you seen Houston play, though? Their offense is going to be fun to watch against Temple's stingy defense but man the Cougars are scary fast. I'm leaning toward the explosive offense.

Houston wins 33-23.

No. 18 Florida (+17) at No. 2 Alabama

Pick: Alabama

The Tide never seem to get complacent. Any other program and I'd be worried about DC Kirby Smart's impending signature on the head coaching position at Georgia being a huge distraction. But this is Alabama where Nick Saban can win his 6th SEC Championship, lead the only program to make the first two playoffs, and oh by the way set themselves up for Saban's 5th National Title which would tie Bear Bryant for the most in NCAA history.

This game could get mucky, though. The Gators have a stout defense and Saban might run Derrick Henry 40 times with varying degrees of success. The question is can Florida score a touchdown? My answer is no, they cannot. They're averaging 18 points per game with Harris at quarterback. Alabama cruises in a game that doesn't look like a blowout from the stat sheet but feels like one most of the game.

Alabama wins 27-6.

No. 20 USC (+4.5) at No. 7 Stanford

Pick: USC

Let down alarm bells everywhere. But for both teams! Each side is coming off emotional victories over rivals. What do you do in this situation?

Stanford is going to feel right at home on the WWI bombed out grass field inside Levi's Stadium. Then again, it's difficult to beat the same team twice in one season. I bet Stanford has the bigger let down. USC has played pretty well recently and I think they can out-score the Cardinal.

USC wins 38-35.

No. 5 Michigan State (-3.5) at No. 4 Iowa

Pick: Michigan State

Iowa is 12-0. Iowa has won 12 games and has not been defeated. College football is a wild ride. I can't in good conscience predict the Hawkeyes winning ways are going to continue this weekend.

Bring on Kirk Ferentz & Co. in the desert against our Fighting Irish.

Michigan State wins 28-19.

No. 10 North Carolina (+5) at No. 1 Clemson

Pick: Clemson

Clemsoning has been all but buried this year as the Tigers have spent a bulk of the season atop the rankings and playing (mostly) at a high level since the win over Notre Dame. Don't #@&* it up now, Clemson!

Watch out for a bunch of ridiculous calls against North Carolina in this one. The skeptic in me thinks no one wants to see UNC win this game and throw the playoff rankings into a mess right before the final voting takes place.

Clemson wins 40-34.