This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Ohio State @ Michigan (ABC): Ohio State has won seven straight, but for the first time that I can remember Michigan has all the advantages. They play good enough defense, and while their offense is spotty it’s more consistent than the Buckeyes’. Add in the fact it’s in the Big House and the Wolverines have to be a clear favorite.
  • Iowa State @ Oklahoma (FX): Iowa State rocked the college football world in Ames last weekend, however, this contest is in Norman. Oklahoma, provided they learned anything from Baylor, should take the Cyclones seriously enough so as to not have any trouble with them.
  • Georgia @ Georgia Tech (ESPN): To hell with Georgia.
  • Rutgers @ Connecticut (ESPN2): I guess Rutgers is going to win this? I dunno. No, really, I don’t.
  • Rice @ Southern Methodist (FSN): Neither of these teams are particularly good, but SMU is just slightly less bad.
  • Michigan State @ Northwestern (BTN): Spary’s already clinched a spot in the Big Ten title game, but they shouldn’t overlook the Wildcats. I don’t think they will.
  • Tennessee @ Kentucky (SEC): Oy. This is a SEC East slapfight. Both teams of these teams are also pretty bad, but again, the Vols are just slightly less bad.
  • James Madison @ Eastern Kentucky (NCAA Tournament; ESPNU): I like giving props to the NCAA football tournament, and this is the the only game on national TV. I know even less about these teams than I do even Rice and SMU, so I won’t offer up a pick.

12:30: Maryland @ North Carolina State (ACC): Maryland is still simply awful this year and NCSU has rallied in the second half of the year, making the Wolfpack an easy choice.

3:30:

  • Alabama @ Auburn (CBS): While this will likely be closer than the line, I just can’t really imagine a scenario where Auburn can win this game.
  • Oregon State @ Oregon (ABC/ESPN2): It’s the Civil War! This is an underrated rivalry game, but the Beavers have just had an awful time of it this year. I really like the Ducks.
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia (ABC/ESPN2): UVA has exceeded every expectation for this year. While VPI still had legitimate offensive issues, it’s hard to see how UVA will prevail.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Wisconsin (ESPN): Well, Penn State has exceeded at least my expectations these past couple of weeks. But Wisconsin has regained at least some offensive swagger, though they were a little slow to really get going against Illinois last week. However, I just can’t see how Penn State’s offense can keep up.
  • Missouri vs. Kansas (@Kansas City, MO; FSN): Probably one of the last meetings of these two bitter rivals, but this KU team is simply awful. Mizzou all the way.
  • Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest (ESPNU): Vandy needs this to get bowl eligible, and for me it’s a difficult call to make. Both of these teams are undermanned the vast majority of the time, so it’s hard to say what will happen when they meet each other. I’m leaning toward Vandy though.
  • East Carolina @ Marshall (CBSS): The winner goes to a bowl game. The loser doesn’t. I think it’ll be ECU heading off to some far-flung C-USA bowl game.
  • Illinois @ Minnesota (BTN): It would be the most Ron Zook thing ever for them to lose to Minnesota, right? I’ll go with that.
  • Purdue @ Indiana (BTN): This is rivalry game, of sorts. Another game where neither team is very good but Indiana is just awful. I like the Boilermakers.
  • Duke @ North Carolina (ACC): Duke and UNC meet once again, but it’ll be another couple of months before they meet in a fashion anyone in the Raleigh-Durham area really cares about. I’ll take the ‘Heels.

7:00:

  • Florida State @ Florida (ESPN2): Florida can’t score, but sort of plays defense. FSU, meanwhile, just suffered a bad loss to Virginia. Provided FSU actually shows up for this one, though, I have to take the Seminoles here.
  • Mississippi @ Mississippi State (ESPNU): Houston Nutt’s tenure at Ole Miss will not go out with a bang, but with a whimper.
  • Texas Tech vs. Baylor (@Arlington, TX; FSN): Robert Griffin the III singlehandedly lead Baylor to their biggest victory ever against Oklahoma. Provided he’s not looking forward to a trip to Manhattan (New York, that is) he should have considerably less trouble against the Red Raiders.

7:30: Washington State @ Washington (Versus): It’s the Apple Cup once again! Udub lost to Oregon State somehow last weekend, but I have a hard time figuring out exactly how they could lose to equally morbund Wazzou. I like the Huskies here.

7:45: Clemson @ South Carolina (ESPN): I’ve been grappling with how to pick this game all week. South Carolina is now an offensive non-entity, but Clemson has lost two of their last three, and the third was a last-second FG win over Wake Forest. I’m sitting here in my family’s living literally scratching my head over my head over this. I think this is basically a toss-up. If Clemson shows up, then they have the offensive firepower to win. However, based on the last few weeks I have to think this will be a defensive struggle that favors the Gamecocks.

8:00: Notre Dame @ Stanford (ABC): ND may put up a fight, but I really like Andrew Luck and Stanford here.

10:00: California-Los Angeles @ Southern California (FSN): Boy howdy USC has looked good the last couple weeks haven’t they? And besides, it’ll make for good trivia for UCLA to represent the Pac-12 South next week at 6-6 and likely to be multiple touchdown underdogs.

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