VSiN analyst Adam Burke took a look at some Week 11 games with spots that may cause teams not to live up to their full potential.
We’ve reached the second week of November and games continue to increase in importance. That’s not only true of the College Football Playoff hopefuls but for teams looking to secure bowl eligibility or those in fights to win division or conference hardware.
With heightened importance comes more pressure, so there are a lot of situational spots at this time of the year that may or may not factor into how the game plays out, but they should be part of your handicapping considerations.
Here are some to think about for Week 11:
Colorado won’t have USC on upset alert on Friday, but the Buffs will get a 34-point head start against one of a few teams in prime lookahead spots this week. USC has UCLA next week in a game with enormous implications for the Pac-12 championship game (and maybe even the College Football Playoff?). USC’s only loss was a 43-42 defeat in Salt Lake City and that might be one that the playoff committee looks on favorably with a brand name and some chaos in the CFP. You can see why it would be hard for USC to focus on a horrible Colorado team. Bad defenses laying big numbers are scary enough, but this spot is not good for USC, especially coming off its close win over Cal.
It’s only logical to put this game next to the USC game. UCLA is in the same spot, though Arizona is much better than Colorado, which could keep the Bruins more attentive throughout the week. UCLA doesn’t have an outside shot at a College Football Playoff berth, but it’s only human nature to look ahead to that big rivalry game. Some of these kids wanted to play at the other L.A. school but never got an offer. Some played each other in high school. There are huge recruiting implications that coaches are cognizant of with a game like that. A lot goes into it and prior-week opponents get overlooked as a result.
There are a lot of ways to look at this game in Knoxville. Tennessee could absolutely sulk after coming up short in the program’s biggest game since 2001. The Volunteers also still have CFP life because Alabama and Clemson lost last week and Ohio State still has The Game against Michigan, which will bounce one of those teams. It isn’t a tough sell for head coach Josh Heupel to get his team reinvested, but Tennessee didn’t just look bad last week — the Vols were dominated. I’m not going to say it’s a good spot for Missouri, but it’s a complicated one for UT.