Rex Nelson’s College Football Picks – Week 11


Editor’s Note: Each week throughout football season Sporting Life Arkansas excerpts Rex Nelson’s Weekly Arkansas College Football Picks and links to Rex’s Southern Fried Blog for his full predictions. Rex makes his prediction for every four-year college football team in the state. Enjoy.

Rex Nelson Archive PageRazorback fans can take a week off from their agony, left to debate whether they should still declare “moral victories” in the midst of a 17-game Southeastern Conference losing streak.

The school record for consecutive conference losses is 20, set from 1940-43. So Arkansas must win one of its final three games — LSU, Ole Miss or Missouri — to keep from tying that record this season.

I was in the stands on that cold day last November when Mississippi State escaped War Memorial Stadium with an overtime victory over the Razorbacks. None of us could have guessed at the time that it would mark the start of what’s now an 11-game winning streak for the Bulldogs. That’s one of the many reasons I love college football. You can go from agony to ecstasy from one year to the next. Razorback followers should keep that in mind.

It helps to have a quality quarterback, of course. Even on only one good leg, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott was 18 of 27 passing for a career-high 331 yards against the Hogs.

Arkansas is now 4-17 against No. 1 teams with the most recent win over a No. 1 being that 50-48 triple-overtime victory against LSU at Baton Rouge seven years ago to end the HDN era. The Razorbacks have now lost 14 consecutive games to ranked teams with the most recent win over a ranked opponent being the victory over Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 7, 2012.

So here’s to the Hog faithful taking a break, enjoying the first day of deer season or even checking out one of the other teams in the state. Try it. You might like it. There are games Saturday at Jonesboro, Conway, Pine Bluff, El Dorado and Monticello, so there’s no excuse not to get out and enjoy a college football game.

We were 6-2 on the picks last week, making the record 67-8 for the season.

Let’s get to the predictions for Week 11:

Arkansas State 30, South Alabama 28 — Two 5-3 teams square off at Jonesboro on Saturday afternoon. Arkansas State improved to 3-1 in the Sun Belt Conference last week with a 44-28 victory at Idaho. It was the third consecutive road game for the Red Wolves, who were sluggish in the first half. ASU now has three of its final four games at home. Michael Gordon had a Sun Belt record five touchdown runs last week as ASU scored 35 points off Idaho turnovers. The Red Wolves led only 30-28 going into the fourth quarter. They’ll have to play better this week. South Alabama’s victories have come against Kent State, Idaho, Appalachian State, Georgia State and Troy. The losses have been to No. 1 Mississippi State, Georgia Southern and Louisiana-Lafayette. We’ll give the inconsistent Red Wolves a slight edge since they’re playing at home.

UCA 27, Lamar 21 — Speaking of inconsistent, it’s hard to know which UCA team is going to show up from week to week. The Bad News Bears showed up in Plano, Texas, last Saturday as UCA fell to 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the Southland Conference with a 52-35 loss to Abilene Christian. The Bears had seven turnovers, and Abilene Christian scored 31 points off those turnovers. Abilene Christian did it despite its starting quarterback not playing. This is a pretty good Lamar team that comes to Conway on Saturday. Lamar has posted six wins. They’ve come against Grambling, Texas College, Mississippi College, Abilene Christian, Nicholls and Houston Baptist. Granted, that’s a weak slate of teams. The losses have been to Texas A&M, Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana. Once more, the advantage goes to the home team.

Ouachita 39, UAM 29 — Ouachita goes to Monticello on Saturday afternoon with a chance to wrap up at least a share of its second Great American Conference championship in four years. The Tigers also have an opportunity to go to 9-0 for the first time in school history. Ouachita improved to 8-0 for the first time since 1914 last week with a 38-28 win over a decent Southern Arkansas team in Arkadelphia. The Tigers trailed 21-17 after three quarters but scored 21 consecutive points to start the fourth quarter and put the game away. SAU quarterback Si Blackshire passed for more than 400 yards against Ouachita. The Tiger secondary has been suspect this season so you should expect the 2-6 Boll Weevils, under the guidance of quarterback Hunter Leppert, to score plenty of points.

For Rex’s complete Arkansas College Football Picks this week, click here.


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