Did the 2015 college football season fly by or what? This marks the final full week of the regular season, and with it being Thanksgiving week there are plenty of college football picks.
Texas Tech vs. Texas
You know all those rumors you probably have been hearing that Texas coach Charlie Strong might be interested in leaving Austin to take the Miami (Fla.) job? They will only get louder if the Horns lose this Thanksgiving night game. UT must win this one and then at No. 10 Baylor on Dec. 5 to get bowl eligible. I'm not sure that Texas would want Strong back if the Longhorns don't make a bowl game. Strong is 10-13 in two years at Texas. The Horns could be without tailback and leader rusher D'Onta Foreman for this game. He had surgery on his pinkie after an injury suffered against West Virginia on Nov. 14. Foreman has 681 yards this season and averages 7.2 yards per carry. This concludes the regular season for Texas Tech, which has qualified for a bowl but would love nothing more than to keep big brother Texas out of one. Texas easily handled Texas Tech 34-13 last year in Lubbock. It was UT's sixth straight win in the series. The Red Raiders are looking for their first victory at Texas since the 1997 season when Texas Tech topped the Longhorns 24-10 under Spike Dykes.
#8 Ohio State vs. #12 Michigan
Back in August, at 5Dimes put up game of the year college football odds for several college football matchups. This was one of them and Ohio State was a double-digit favorite. But the defending national champion Buckeyes aren't near as good as expected and the Wolverines are much better than thought. This is the first time that Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh will coach against one another -- it should be intense. In one regard, this matchup lost a bit of luster with Ohio State's stunning home upset loss to Michigan State this past Saturday. Now Sparty wins the Big Ten East Division with a home victory over Penn State. That games kicks off at 3:30 p.m. If MSU were to lose, the winner of this game, which is at noon, would win the East and face Iowa in the conference title game. I'll be curious to see how much the Buckeyes use star running back Ezekiel Elliott this week after he publicly ripped the play-calling in the Michigan State loss while adding there was "no chance" he would return for his senior season. Elliott, who had been a Heisman Trophy candidate, carried the ball just 12 times against the Spartans and rushed for a season-low 33 yards, ending his Heisman hopes and string of 15 straight 100-yard games. Those were his fewest carries in a one-score game over the past two years. If this were a lesser player, Meyer probably suspends him for the public undressing of the coaching staff. OSU's 132 total yards against Michigan State were the fewest ever by any Meyer-coached team. Meyer pointed the finger at himself for the conservative play-calling and vowed to "get some things fixed" before this game.
#2 Alabama vs. Auburn
The Crimson Tide will win the SEC West Division and play Florida in the conference title game with a win in the Iron Bowl. Both teams warmed up for this one with easy wins over cupcakes on Saturday. Auburn scored a season-high 56 points in a rout of Idaho. Tigers QB Jeremy Johnson completed nine passes of 10 yards or more and didn’t commit a turnover in his best game of the season. It was his third consecutive start since redshirt freshman Sean White's knee injury kept him out of Auburn's victory at Texas A&M. Johnson is expected to remain the starter even if White is 100 percent. Meanwhile, Tide running back Derrick Henry can likely wrap up the Heisman Trophy with a big game. He has 1,526 rushing yards; the school record is 1,679 by Trent Richardson in 2011. Henry has tied Richardson's school mark with 21 rushing scores in a season. It's Alabama's first game at Auburn since the infamous Kick Six ending in 2013. Alabama was a 10-point favorite in that game. Alabama defeated Auburn 55-44 in Tuscaloosa last season and has won five of the last seven meetings. Should the Tide lose this game, it's quite likely that the SEC is shut out of the College Football Playoff. Let's make sure you get your college football picks early.