NCAA College Football Week 16 Picks - Late Games

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NCAA Week 16 Late Games

All times Eastern

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3:00 pm Air Force (-2 1.2, 38) at Army - Since this is for the Armed Forces Cup, it's a meaningful game for some veterans and service members. Air Force was second nationally in rushing yards per game, at 336.0, while the Black Knights were 4th (280.4). Not a lot of passing is expected between the two.

The difference may be in conditioning. The Falcons only played five games this season (3-2), while Army finished 8-2, most recently topping Navy, 15-0. Their defense is fourth in scoring, allowing just 14.7 points per outing, while the Falcons gave up 16.0. Expect a defensive struggle which may come down to which team wins the turnover battle.

Coin Flip: Army

Prediction: Black Knights 22 Falcons 14

3:30 pm #17 Louisiana at #9 Coastal Carolina (-3 1/2, 55) - A truly epic struggle for the Sun Belt title awaits as the Chanticleers look to go 12-0 (8-0 conf.) against 9-1 (7-1) Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns. This may be the first time both title contenders are ranked but Coastal Carolina appears to have more quality, especially defensively. They were the top Sun Belt team on defense, allowing 18.7 points per game. They come off impressive wins over BYU (22-17) and Troy (42-38).

Take nothing away from the Cajuns, however. They've won six straight and their only loss was at home to the Chanticleers, 30-27, back in October. Their last game was a December 4 win at Appalachian State, 24-21. They will not be an easy out.

Coin Flip: Coastal Carolina

Prediction: Chanticleers 34 Ragin' Cajuns 24

4:00 pm #4 Clemson (-10 1/2, 61 1/2) at #2 Notre Dame - The ACC title is up for grabs in a rematch of the November 7, 47-40, double overtime win by the Irish when Clemson QB, Trevor Lawrence, was sidelined with CV-19.

That was the only loss by the Tigers this season, and Lawrence will be behind center this time around, making Notre Dame's chances of a repeat win a slim hope. While Notre Dame is 10-0 overall, Clemson remains a serious threat to their perfect season. Unless Notre Dame wins, both teams appear headed to the national championship playoff.

QB Ian Book and RB Karen Williams spearhead an offense that's scored 40 or more in six games this season, while Clemson counters with Lawrence and the durable Travis Etienne, who's rushed for 758 yards and caught 41 passes for 512.

A notable stat is that with Lawrence at QB, the closest any team has been to beating Clemson is Virginia, in a 41-23 loss (18 points).

Coin Flip: Clemson

Prediction: Tigers 48 Fighting Irish 31

4:15 pm Boise State (-6 1/2, 54 1/2) at #25 San Jose State - Mountain West championship on the line here as perennial title-holder, Boise State travels Las Vegas to meet the 6-0 Spartans, who rumbled through a shortened MWC schedule. Boise State comes in at 5-0 in conference play, their only loss an non-conference, 51-17, beatdown by BYU.

San Jose State gets the nod here for its heady defensive play, which has allowed a conference-low 17.5 points per game. The Broncos allow 26.0 on average. The Broncos will also have to deal with the emergence of RB Tyler Nevens, who rushed for 152 and 184 yards in wins over Hawaii and Nevada respectively, the last two victories by the Spartans.

Coin Flip: San Jose State

Prediction: Spartans 31 Broncos 26

7:00 pm Michigan at #18 Iowa (-14, 53) - Winners of six straight after starting with two close losses, the Hawkeyes should romp over the wounded Wolverines. Michigan has lost four of its last five, including devastating losses to Wisconsin (49-11) and Indiana (38-21). Their lone wins came over Minnesota and Rutgers, teams with a combined record of 6-8.

Lacking any coherent defense, the Hawkeyes could easily put up a 40-spot on Michigan. The Wolverines have no answer for RB Tyler Goodson, who has gone over 100 yards rushing in five of his last six games.

Coin Flip: Michigan

Prediction: Hawkeyes 42 Wolverines 13

8:00 pm #1 Alabama (-17, 74 1/2) vs. #11 Florida - The Gator defense hasn't been very impressive its last two outings, a 31-19 win over Tennessee followed by last week's 37-34 loss to LSU, pointing up a glaring weakness in an otherwise good, second-tier team.

Alabama has been a steamroller this season, running up a 10-0 record and a cumulative 495-168 margin of victory. The average Alabama win was 49-17 this season, a hefty accomplishment. They should not lose this game and will likely win it by a commanding margin en route to another national championship. No team can stay on the field with them for a full 60 minutes except possibly Clemson.

Coin Flip: Alabama

Prediction: Crimson Tide 62 Gators 28

8:00 pm #20 Tulsa at #6 Cincinnati (-14, 47) - Should Cincinnati win this game by 20 or more, there will definitely be a hue and cry for inclusion of them in the national championship playoff, especially if Clemson clobbers Notre Dame or the Irish defeat the Tigers for the second time this season.

While the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa has put together a stellar 6-1 campaign with a 6-0 record in the American Athletic Conference, the title seems to be pointed toward the Bearcats and their sensational defense, which has allowed a mere 15 points per game on average as Cincinnati has rolled to an 8-0 record (6-0, conf.).

Tulsa is no slouch on defense either, giving up an average of 19.9. They've won six in a row, their only loss an opening day, 16-7, defeat at Oklahoma State. This is likely to be Cincinnati's toughest game yet and Tulsa could spring the upset.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Bearcats 24 Golden Hurricane 21

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