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Week 11 College Football Picks: Challenge the Athlon Sports Experts in 2016


Alabama has a stranglehold on a playoff spot, but several teams are nipping at the Tide's heels, and this week will reveal more about those teams.

The Athlon Sports College Football Experts Club gives you the chance to compete with your friends and our experts each week.

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Here are this week’s top picks from Athlon Sports senior editor Rob Doster:

South Carolina at Florida

The Gators are coming in following a stinging loss to Arkansas. They'll take out their frustrations on a South Carolina team that is improved, but not improved enough to win in the Swamp.

Doster's pick: Florida 24–14

USC at Washington

Washington appeared to be cruising toward an Apple Cup matchup with Washington State for the Pac-12 North title, but then the Trojans got their act together, and this matchup became must-see TV. Still, Washington is the conference's — and maybe the nation's — most complete team. 

Doster’s pick: Washington 28–21

Kentucky at Tennessee

There's no more one-sided rivalry in college football than the Battle for the Beer Barrel. The Vols have won 30 of the last 31 in the series. Make that 31 of 32. The Cats are moving in the right direction, and the Vols aren't, but history will hold serve here. 

Doster’s pick: Tennessee 24–17

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech

With a win over North Carolina in their pocket, the Hokies control their own destiny in the ACC Coastal, but they can't afford any slip-ups. They won't have one against a Tech team that has struggled against league competition.

Doster’s pick: Virginia Tech 27–17

Pittsburgh at Clemson

The Panthers will try to control the clock and shorten the game with running back James Conner, a worthwhile goal against the dangerous Clemson offense. Another objective for the Panthers: Force some turnovers. The ingredients for an upset are there, but actually putting them together in Death Valley is another matter.  

Doster's pick: Clemson 35–21

Penn State at Indiana

Penn State continues to play the best football of the James Franklin era, but this trip to Bloomington could be dangerous. Lions running back Saquon Barkley, who's had 200-plus yards from scrimmage in his last two games, could be the difference.

Doster’s pick: Penn State 34–24

West Virginia at Texas

Texas has unleashed D'Onta Foreman on its last two opponents, and the result has been a phenomenal 591 yards rushing (250 vs. Baylor and 341 vs. Texas Tech) and five touchdowns. Foreman will find the going a little tougher vs. the Mountaineers. 

Doster's pick: West Virginia 28–27

Baylor at Oklahoma

This is the first of three season-ending contests against strong opponents for Oklahoma — although Baylor just got smoked by TCU 62–22 and has lost two straight. The Bears have won three of the last five in the series and are averaging 40-plus points against OU in that span, but the Sooners should have no trouble scoring themselves.  

Doster's pick: Oklahoma 45–38

Vanderbilt at Missouri

The Commodores looked like a legitimate SEC team in their loss at Auburn. Zach Cunningham and the Commodores defense will look to force turnovers against a mistake-prone Missouri offense.

Doster's pick: Vanderbilt 21–20

Ohio State at Maryland

The Buckeyes looked to make a statement against Nebraska. I'd call 62–3 a statement. Ohio State continues to cruise toward its matchup with Michigan.  

Doster's pick: Ohio State 45–20

LSU at Arkansas

Expect a steady diet of Leonard Fournette against an Arkansas defense that has struggled to stop the run on occasion this season. Exhibit A in the Hogs’ struggles: allowing 543 rushing yards to Auburn, a record for a game between SEC opponents. The inconsistent Hogs may have turned a corner in their win over Florida in which they dominated defensively.

Doster's pick: Arkansas 21–20

Ole Miss at Texas A&M

The Chad Kelly era in Oxford came to an end with the senior quarterback's knee injury against Georgia Southern. The Rebels' quarterback turmoil comes at a good time for a Texas A&M defense that has been smacked around of late.    

Doster's pick: Texas A&M 34–21

Auburn at Georgia

The Tigers control their own destiny in the SEC West race, but they need to avoid a stumble against a somewhat resurgent Georgia team in this renewal of the South's Oldest Rivalry. 

Doster’s pick: Auburn 34–27

Wake Forest at Louisville

The Deacons achieved bowl eligibility with their win over Virginia. That will have to console them as they face two likely beatdowns against Louisville and Clemson.  

Doster's pick: Louisville 37–14

Illinois at Wisconsin

The Badgers continue to state their case as the nation's best two-loss team. Their defense will feast on an Illini offense that is among the nation's worst.  

Doster's pick: Wisconsin 24–7

Michigan at Iowa

The Hawkeyes' schizophrenic season continued with a blowout loss to Penn State after a close loss to Wisconsin. They should brace for a second straight blowout against the visiting Wolverines.

Doster’s pick: Michigan 41–17

Minnesota at Nebraska

The surging Gophers have won four straight — albeit against mostly weak competition — and face a Huskers team that is limping in following a crushing loss to Ohio State that included a head injury to quarterback Tommy Armstrong. The Red Sea will have to pick up the homestanding Huskers.

Doster’s pick: Nebraska 23–20

Mississippi State at Alabama

The Bulldogs are showing surprising offensive life in the post-Dak Prescott era and just beat a playoff contender in Texas A&M. All that means is that Nick Saban will have his team especially focused for the visitors from Starkville. 

Doster's pick: Alabama 31–10

California at Washington State

The Cougars played their most complete game of the season in dominating Arizona 69–7, and Wazzu QB Luke Falk has to be licking his chops at the prospect of facing a Cal defense that is allowing 354 passing yards per game.

Doster's pick: Washington State 44–37

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State

The Cowboys still have designs on a Big 12 title and should feast on a historically bad Texas Tech defense that just allowed 658 yards to Texas. 

Doster's pick: Washington 51–31

Last Week: 14-6