P.J. Fleck is not afraid of the spotlight, and he’s begging the spotlight to come to Minneapolis.
The coach of the undefeated (yep) Golden Gophers spent over three minutes of his Maryland postgame press conference lobbying ESPN to send the GameDay crew to Minnesota for the first time. Next Saturday, undefeated Penn State is coming to the Twin Cities, which has hosted the Super Bowl and the Final Four, as Fleck pointed out.
“Next, it’s GameDay, naturally,” he said.
Problem is, the SEC is hosting a little matchup that same weekend that features No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama. It’s a tough sell for the Big Ten, but Fleck is part football coach, part salesman. Remember, he built Western Michigan to the point where the Broncos served as host to GameDay in 2016.
Will ESPN go north or south? It’s just one more fun storyline to follow in what will be an eventful Week 11. As for Week 10, not so much. The 8 p.m. ABC game is SMU-Memphis, which sort of tells you the attractiveness of the slate. Nevertheless, we did find five intriguing games, and Brad Franklin from CavsCorner.com will be representing the Rivals publishers this week since Virginia plays four teams this season on our menu. For the analysts, which tied yours truly in first after another epic week from Sam Spiegelman, we turn to Chad Simmons.
Off we go.
All games are Saturday and ET. Point spreads are from Covers.com
Virginia Tech (+17.5) at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m., NBC
It’s hard to shake the image of Notre Dame’s offensive ineptitude against Michigan. At one point, ND gained 29 yards over a 33-play span. That’s almost impossible. Virginia Tech has quietly won five of six and is coming off a bye week. The Irish are a different team at home and have covered in five of their last six home games, so I’ll go blue and gold one more time, but I don’t have a ton of confidence.
Trocchi’s pick: Notre Dame, $50
Franklin: Virginia Tech
Simmons: Notre Dame
Georgia (-6) vs. Florida at Jacksonville, 3:30 p.m., CBS
The last five games in this rivalry have all been decided by 14 points or more. We’re due for a close one, right? I’m gonna go with Dan Mullen over Kirby Smart in a close game, especially getting six points. Florida has played at a high level more consistently than Georgia this year and that will show up at the gathering formerly known as The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
Trocchi’s pick: Florida, $100
Miami (+3.5) at Florida State, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Did you see it is still possible for all seven teams in the ACC Coastal to finish 4-4 in the ACC? How great is that? Florida State will have to beat Miami to have this dream come to fruition, but to just have this possibility still alive in November speaks to the nuttiness of this division. Miami’s had a remarkable seven games decided by one score this year, which fits in with this rivalry. The last five Miami-FSU games have been one-score games, with the road team covering each time. These teams feel dead-even, so give me the points.