This Weekend in College Football: Week 12

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Michigan State @ Ohio State (ABC): It’s not the Big Game, but this year at least it’s a close runner-up. That said, I’ll still take the Buckeyes here.
  • Iowa State @ Oklahoma (FOX): Oklahoma finally took a loss last week, as we’ve sort figured they would. But in what’s been a disappointing year for the Cyclones, I don’t see the trick repeating.
  • Wake Forest @ Clemson (ESPN): Wake also finally lost last week, though it doesn’t get any easier. This will be the ultimate test of their offense – and I’m not sure they’ll pass.
  • Texas @ West Virginia (ESPN2): Losing to Kansas seems like a lowpoint, and I guess my thing is that it just seems to indicative of the seeming dysfunction in Austin that I like the ‘Neers here.
  • New Mexico State @ Kentucky (SEC): No worries for the Wildcats here.
  • Purdue vs. Northwestern (@Chicago, IL; BTN): So, in case you didn’t know, this game is going to be played at Wrigley Field for some reason. I did the ballpark tour there over the summer, and it’s not unprecedented – the Bears did play there for years, after all. Nonetheless, it still seems kinda silly. At any rate, I also like the Boilermakers.
  • Rutgers @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): Rutgers is improved this year, sure, but not improved enough to win in Happy Valley.
  • Massachusetts @ Army (CBSS): Army should be able to handle their business against one of, if not the, worst teams in FBS.
  • Florida State @ Boston College (ACCN): BC’s quarterback should be able to have another field day against FSU’s defense.
  • Wofford @ North Carolina (ACC/RSN)
  • Florida Atlantic @ Western Kentucky (Stadium)
  • Charleston Southern @ Georgia (ESPN+)
  • Prairie View A&M @ Texas A&M (ESPN+)
  • Tennessee State @ Mississippi State (ESPN+)
  • Temple @ Tulsa (ESPN+)
  • Kent State @ Akron (ESPN+)

2:00:

  • Illinois @ Iowa (FS1): Remember when Illinois beat Nebraska? Yeah… Hawkeyes all the way here.
  • Arkansas State @ Georgia State (espn3.com)
  • Montana State @ Montana (ESPN+)

2:30:

  • Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame (NBC): So the conventional wisdom is that Tech can’t really afford to fire Collins at this point, and will probably need to wait until after next season to reduce his buyout.
  • Washington @ Colorado (Pac12): UDub should be able to take care of business against the woeful Buffs.

3:30:

  • Arkansas @ Alabama (CBS): Arkansas has been one of the most surprisingly fun teams of the year, but this one doesn’t figure to be much fun.
  • Nebraska @ Wisconsin (ABC): My prediction is that Nebraska will keep it tight, but find a way to lose by 7 points or less.
  • Southern Methodist @ Cincinnati (ESPN): Cincy needs style points, and in some ways maybe playing a stronger opponent will actually work out better for them. We’ll see if that theory holds up, but either, this will be the best team they play unless they get Houston in the AAC title game.
  • Virginia @ Pittsburgh (ESPN2): UVA’s defense likely won’t be able to stop Pitt’s offense, which is an extremely weird sentence that probably will only make sense this year.
  • Michigan @ Maryland (BTN): Probably not this year, Terps.
  • Minnesota @ Indiana (BTN): This one could be weird – Minnesota’s been better than you realize, but probably not great. Indiana has had a down year due to injuries, but they can still claw this out. I’ll take the Gophers but I don’t feel great about it.
  • East Carolina @ Navy (CBSS): This just doesn’t seem like Navy’s year, I’ll take ECU.
  • Marshall @ Charlotte (Stadium)
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Texas-San Antonio (ESPN+)
  • Old Dominion @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)
  • Appalachian State @ Troy (ESPN+)

4:00:

  • California-Los Angeles @ Southern California (FOX): What this rivalry lacks in terms of a moniker it usually makes up for in style. While that should be true here, this nonetheless isn’t a great set of teams. UCLA’s been a tad better this year, so I’ll go with the Bruins.
  • Louisiana @ Liberty (ESPNU): Go Cajuns.
  • Florida @ Missouri (SEC): Yes, the Gators did lose to South Carolina. But I can’t see them losing to Mozzou, but I will also say I have zero plans or inclination to watch this at all.
  • Syracuse @ North Carolina State (ACCN): NC State should be okay here.
  • Connecticut @ Central Florida (ESPN+)
  • Kansas @ Texas Christian (ESPN+)
  • Rice @ Texas-El Paso (ESPN+)
  • Brigham Young @ Georgia Southern (ESPN+)
  • South Florida @ Tulane (ESPN+)

5:30: Baylor @ Kansas State (FS1): K-State is definitely the kind of team that can knock you off your “just beat OU” perch, But Baylor still figures to just plain out-score ’em.

7:00:

  • Auburn @ South Carolina (ESPN): Even without Bo Nix here, Auburn should be a straightforward favorite.
  • Wyoming @ Utah State (“Bridger’s Battle”; CBSS): Wyoming is 5-5, but only one of those wins has come in Mountain West play. I expect this trend to continue.
  • California @ Stanford (“The Big Game”; Pac12): Well, both of these teams feature somewhat dysfunction offenses, but Cal has just generally looked worse over the course of the season. This doesn’t figure to be a classic edition of the Big Game for sure.
  • North Texas @ Florida International (espn3.com)

7:30:

  • Oregon @ Utah (ABC): Oregon should win this, but by far the best they’ve looked all season was in Columbus. I still have the Ducks here, but going on the road to Salt Lake City is always going to be a tough out in the Pac-12.
  • South Alabama @ Tennessee (ESPNU): Vols should have no problems here.
  • Vanderbilt @ Mississippi (SEC): Ole Miss should have no problems here,
  • Virginia Tech @ Miami (ACCN): Well, VPI went and did it finally by firing Fuente. But I don’t think VPI has actually played all that badly, whereas Miami has just been, well, not great! I don’t think they’re on the verge of getting rid of Manny, though, so this game may actually be kind of awkward. I will honestly take VPI here.

8:00: Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech (FOX): Eh, I’ll still go with Okie State. Texas Tech is just the “oh yeah I definitely understand why they fired there coach a few weeks ago” sort of bad.

9:00:

  • New Mexico @ Boise State (FS1): Boise’s not quite Boise this year, but they’re still Boise enough to beat New Mexico on the trademark blue turf.
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Louisiana State (ESPN2): Monroe has no prayer in this game, but it could still be funny. Plus: this may well the be the greatest tailgate in the history of college football. I almost wonder if there’s any andouille left in the state today?

10:30: Arizona State @ Oregon State (ESPN): And now, some Pac-12 After Dark. At the beginning of the year, I would’ve said Sun Devils all the way, but at this point – yeah, I’ll take those Beavers.

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