This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Michigan @ Ohio State (ABC) (41˚, clear): Once again, I’ll be doing weather for each of these games, though I can go ahead and sum it up here: it’ll be chilly-to-cold in most places but clear, with overcast conditions in the northeast and rain throughout most of the day on the West Coast.
    Anyway! Here’s a wonderful demonstration of why having rivals in the same division is still pretty neat. Of course, it could be slightly neater if either Michigan or Ohio State were still undefeated, but what can you do? Either way, theses are still two of the best teams in college football, though each has their weaknesses. I personally think this game is going to be tight and low-scoring. Both teams sport pretty good defenses, and the best player on the field will be one of Michigan’s linebackers (Jabrill Peppers). Both have had difficult with their offenses in the past few weeks, and Ohio State’s run game has really been kind of lacking all year. I view this game as kind of a coin flip, and earlier in the week I picked Michigan. I’m not terribly convinced either way, though.
  • Kentucky @ Louisville (ESPN) (47˚, clear): In mid-September, I think most of us who follow college football thought Mark Stoops was going to get fired, but then the Wildcats put together a respectable season against the very soft underbelly of the SEC East. So, naturally, they get to face a frustrated Louisville after a close loss to Houston. Good luck with that!
  • Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ESPN2) (41˚, clear): Over in the other Commonwealth, VPI sort of won the Coastal by default, but that means the pressure is off and, yeah, I think they’re going to pound UVA.
  • Kansas @ Kansas State (FS1) (55˚, clear): Like I said the other day, I still really miss KU-Mizzou, but I’m okay with this game being moved to rivalry week for now. But yeah, I think K-State’s got this.
  • Purdue @ Indiana (ESPNU) (45˚, clear): Nothin’ like playing Purdue to get that necessary sixth win…
  • Rutgers @ Maryland (ESPNEWS) (49˚, clear): [substitute “Purdue” with “Rutgers”]
  • Georgia Tech @ Georgia (SEC) (62˚, clear): To Hell With Georgia
  • Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN) (44˚, clear): So Illinois is slightly better than Purdue and Rutgers, but not by much. Northwestern should also get to 6.
  • Central Florida @ South Florida (CBSS) (78˚, clear): I think this one could be pretty tight, but USF is just on too much of a roll this year. Also, USF needs this game to stay in the AAC East title hunt.

12:30: Syracuse @ Pittsburgh (ACC) (40˚, overcast): At least Pittsburgh is holding up its end of the weather bargain. Shouldn’t matter either way against the ‘Cuse, though.

3:00: Boston College @ Wake Forest (ACC/RSN) (53˚, clear): BC’s 30-0 win over UConn last weekend says a lot, lot more about the current state of UConn football than it does about the Eagles, who still struggle to score points, and that doesn’t figure to change against Wake Forest.

3:30:

  • Notre Dame @ Southern California (ABC) (60˚, rain): After this game Notre Dame will be 4-8 and it will be fantastic. But chin up, Domers, the Cowboys are good this year, and the Yankees are finally rebuilding a little bit!
  • Auburn @ Alabama (CBS) (63˚, clear): so my parents don’t live in Alabama anymore, which means I’m not there this week like I usually am. I can’t say I miss it too much, but one thing I do miss the absolutely frenzy about this game that engulfs the whole state. That said… I think this will probably be kind of a boring game? It’s in Tuscaloosa and Alabama is just too dominant this year.
  • Michigan State @ Pennsylvania State (ESPN) (42˚, overcast): Sparty showed some signs of life in its past two games, pasting Rutgers the way everyone is pasting Rutgers this year and then losing a tight game to Ohio State. Will the Buckeyes be watching this game the lockers under Ohio Stadium, hoping for an upset? I’m not sure about that part, but I can say a little more definitively that the odds are pretty long here. Yeah, Penn State’s schedule other than Michigan and Ohio State has been pretty easy, but they’ve also beat most of those opponents pretty soundly. I like the Nittany Lions here.
  • Duke @ Miami (ESPN2) (79˚, clear): Duke may be playing for bowl eligibility here (more on that later today or Sunday), but it doesn’t look good against a rejuvenated Miami squad.
  • West Virginia @ Iowa State (FS1) (54˚, clear): Iowa State needs to be taken seriously, but as long as can do they should be able to take care of business in Ames.
  • Navy @ Southern Methodist (ESPNU) (62˚, partly cloudy): Navy’s got the AAC West in the bag already, but they should be able to close out conference play with a statement and a potential shot at hosting the AAC title game (depending on who wins the East).
  • Mississippi State @ Mississippi (SEC) (55˚, clear): I think recent years have made us forget that this is was pretty much the norm for the Egg Bowl in most years. Losing 38-18 to Vandy is never a good look, but I still like the Rebels here.
  • Minnesota @ Wisconsin (BTN) (48˚, partly cloudy): Paul Bunyan’s Axe is also for the Big Ten West there year, but let me be clear: if Minnesota wins this will be a huge upset.
  • San Jose State @ Fresno State (CBSS) (55˚, rain): Of all the games at this timeslot, this sure is a game that you could watch. I’m going with SJSU.

4:00:

  • Tulane @ Connecticut (ESPNEWS) (46˚, clear): Tulane, mostly because I’d like to see them win.
  • Oregon @ Oregon State (Pac12) (47˚, rain): Well, this is probably the most low-key Civil War in several years (I’m not even sure I’ll be able to watch it here, I should probably check that). At any rate, I’m picking the Beavers here, because why not?

5:30: Florida Atlantic @ Middle Tennessee State (beIN) (55˚, partly cloudy): Going with MTSU here.

7:00:

  • California-Los Angeles @ California (ESPN2) (55˚, rain): UCLA has a litany of issues, yes, but frankly I think they’re still probably a better team than Cal. Going with the Bruins over the Bears here.
  • Western Kentucky @ Marshall (ESPNU) (41˚, partly cloudy): This used to be one of those sneaky-good fun games, but the Thundering Herd are 3-8 on the year and 2-5 in Conference-USA, so the odds are not looking good for them.

7:30:

  • Utah @ Colorado (FOX) (51˚, partly cloudy): If they gave “comeback of the year” awards to teams, the Buffs would win in a landslide. I think they’ll complete their rise with a win here and a meeting with Washington next week in Santa Clara.
  • South Carolina @ Clemson (ESPN) (53˚, clear): I think Clemson is as good and as flawed as either, say, Michigan or Ohio State, but they’re still miles ahead of a punchless South Carolina.
  • East Carolina @ Temple (ESPNEWS) (45˚, partly cloudy): If Temple wins this game, they’ll be playing next week in Annapolis for the AAC title, otherwise Navy will have to go to Tampa. That said, I don’t figure ECU to offer up much resistance.
  • Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (SEC) (46˚, clear): Well, Vandy sure did a good job of beating up a very injured Ole Miss team last weekend. Will lightning strike twice for the Commodores? I’m figuring no.

8:00:

  • Florida @ Florida State (ABC) (57˚, partly cloudy): It’s going to be completely up to the Gators’ defense to keep them in this game, and I’m not sure they can really stave off FSU’s attack for a full 60 minutes.
  • Rice @ Stanford (Pac12) (54˚, rain): Stanford.

9:00: Colorado State @ San Diego State (CBSS) (60˚, rain): If it weren’t for their bizarre loss to South Alabama, the Aztecs would definitely be in play for the Group of Five bowl slot. Instead, they should be able to take care of business here.

10:15:

  • Wyoming @ New Mexico (ESPN2) (48˚, clear): Speaking of taking care of business in the Mountain West, the Cowboys should be able to do so here.
  • Utah State @ Brigham Young (ESPNU) (41˚, chance of rain): Apparently this does have rivalry game name (“The Old Wagon Wheel”), but nonetheless the Cougars figure to roll.

I will try to get a bowl predictions update up late tonight or early Sunday, so stay tuned!