This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Florida @ Florida State (“The Sunshine Showdown”; ABC): Florida State had 36 straight seasons where they made a bowl game. I’m using the past tense for a reason.
  • Michigan @ Ohio State (“The Game”; FOX): So outside of fans of these other games, this will be the game drawing the most attention. And that’s fair. Michigan has lost six straight and the game is in Columbus. When I really look at it, though, I see a team struggling mightily in most of their last several games in Ohio State, and meanwhile for the most part Michigan has cruised through the season. This is not indicative of a situation that favors the Buckets, at least to me. In addition, the Buckeyes have a host of struggles: their offense is one-dimensional and their defense is prone to collapses. I favor the Wolverines here.
  • Syracuse @ Boston College (ESPN): BC seems to have let their 27-7 loss to Clemson get to them, losing 22-21 to FSU last weekend. The Orange, though, got blown away by Notre Dame last weekend. I see these teams as about equal and so it’s a question of which team will recover better from their blowout loss to a superior team. I’m actually going to favor the Orange and their offense a bit.
  • Purdue @ Indiana (ESPN2): The Old Oaken Bucket is at stake here, as well as a bowl bid for either side. I still like the Boilermakers for whatever reason, so I’ll go with them.
  • Baylor vs. Texas Tech (@Arlington, TX; FS1): Another bowl bid is at stake here. TTU is backsliding into the end  of the season and Baylor has looked moderately better, so I’ll go with them.
  • Navy @ Tulane (ESPNU): Navy’s defense has just been bad. Tulane should get bowl eligible here.
  • Georgia Tech @ Georgia (“Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”; SEC): TO HELL WITH GEORGIA
  • Western Kentucky @ Louisiana Tech (CBSS): How did things get so bad at Western Kentucky? LaTech should roll.

12:20: North Carolina State @ North Carolina (Raycom): I almost have to think that UNC will be happy to just get this season over with.

12:30: Wake Forest @ Duke (ACC/RSN): Wake has shown a spark at certain times this season, but Duke seems to be a tier above them right now.

3:00: Stanford @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): Stanford scuffled in some of their late-season big tests, and UCLA has come in strong in the second half and upset USC last weekend. I’m still going with the Cardinal here, though, they’re a better all-around team than UCLA at this point.

3:30:

  • Auburn @ Alabama (“The Iron Bowl”; CBS): We can hope against hope that Auburn will keep this interesting, but interesting against this year’s version of Bama could almost be defined as just covering the three-score spread.
  • Maryland @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): The Terps could get bowl eligible with a win, but probably to the relief of everyone involved, they probably won’t.
  • Pittsburgh @ Miami (ESPN): It figures that Pitt is going to put the Canes out of their misery in this game.
  • Minnesota @ Wisconsin (ESPN2): With an upset here, Minnesota can row that boat to a bowl game! Unfortunately, even that modest goal appears unlikely since it involves beating Wisconsin at home.
  • Arizona State @ Arizona (“The Duel in the Desert”; FS1): Boy howdy, a lot of bowl bids on the line today, eh? And good luck trying to decipher how these teams are doing by looking at common opponents, so this is essentially a coinflip. I’ll buck my own bowl predictions and say Arizona gets to 6-6. Congrats, Wildcats!
  • Temple @ Connecticut (ESPNU): Temple.
  • Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN): As a reminder, Northwestern is Big Ten West Champions and Illinois is… really bad. I’ll take the Wildcats.
  • Southern Methodist @ Tulsa (CBSS): This game looks grim. In this timeslot, I’d see if anything weird happens in the Iron Bowl, and then when nothing weird happens, switch over to Minnesota at Wisconsin or ASU at Arizona. This is the bottom of the barrel, so to speak. I’ll take, uh, SMU?

4:00:

  • Rutgers @ Michigan State (FOX): Speaking of grim, hoo boy, yeah Sparty should have this one.
  • Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (SEC): THE BATTLE FOR BOWL ELIGIBILITY CONTINUES. Tennessee pretty much always wins this game, so I’ll go with them.

7:00:

  • South Carolina @ Clemson (“The Palmetto Bowl”; ESPN): While not quite as Death Star-esque as Alabama against Auburn, yeah, I’m not giving the Gamecocks much of a chance here.
  • Kentucky @ Louisville (“The Commonwealth Cup”; ESPN2): It should say “The Bourbon Bowl” over there, but, alas, it doesn’t. Either way, Kentucky should roll against a Louisville that will just be glad to get out of there.
  • Kansas State @ Iowa State (“Farmageddon”; FS1): I feel obligated to point out again that K-State will get bowl eligible if they win. As for the next statement, I feel bad about saying it, but it’s my honest gut feeling. I think they will lose, and it will be Bill Synder’s last game.
  • San Jose State @ Fresno State (ESPNU): Fresno.
  • Colorado @ California (Pac12): Cal.

7:30: Louisiana State @ Texas A&M (SEC): A&M is ranked at 7-4 because beat… (checks) Kentucky! Yeah, LSU’s got this.

8:00:

  • Oklahoma State @ Texas Christian (FOX): SO MUCH FIVE AND SIX. TCU is fighting for bowl eligibility here, but that doesn’t figure to matter against a feisty and rejuvenated Oklahoma State.
  • Notre Dame @ Southern California (ABC): USC could also get bowl eligible, but, uh… yeah, they won’t.

9:30: Nevada @ Nevada-Las Vegas (“Battle for Nevada”; CBSS): UNLV has been lost in the desert for most of this season, and that doesn’t figure to change against a Nevada team that’s won four straight against superior competition.

10:00: Brigham Young @ Utah (“The Holy War”; FS1): BYU’s wins over Wisconsin and Arizona continue to look stranger as time goes on. The Utes should roll.

10:15: Utah State @ Boise State (ESPN): Well hey there, some stakes! That is to say, the Mountain West Mountain division! Unfortunately, Boise doesn’t figure to be as snowy as Pullman was last night, but nonetheless this is a big game, but the blue turf figures to give the Broncos a slight advantage.

10:30: Hawaii @ San Diego State (ESPNU): And finally, and perhaps appropriately, we close out the last full weekend of the college football season with a Hawaii game. Both teams here have clinched bowl games, and I figure the Aztecs will comfortably run all over the Rainbow Warriors. Nonetheless, despite currently being on Eastern Time, I will try my damndest to make it to the end. Sure, we’ve got Championship Week next week, and bowl games not long after, but it’s appropriate the true weekend both fall on Thanksgiving and also stuff us full of delicious college football. 14 games yesterday, 33 games today. There’s nothing like it, and that’s why I do this year after year. Shout out to everyone who actually reads this, all three of you. Thanks.

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