This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Georgia @ Georgia Tech (“Clean, Old Fashioned Hate”; ABC): TO HELL WITH GEORGIA.
  • Ohio State @ Michigan (“The Game”; FOX): Well, here’s the Game to potentially end all Games. Michigan is still an underdog, but the combination of a home game and having a vague chance is giving Wolverine fans something they haven’t had in a while: hope for their first win this series since 2011. I am not sure they will get it, but I have a feeling I’ll be watching large chunks of this.
  • Florida State @ Florida (“Sunshine Showdown”; ESPN): FSU has definitely been on the upswing, while Florida’s season has been basically a disaster. With the two teams playing for bowl eligibility, I suspect FSU will be the one that wants to continue playing.
  • Wake Forest @ Boston College (ESPN2): With NC State’s stirring comeback victory over UNC last night, the Atlantic scenario is simple. If Wake wins here, they’ll win the division; if they lose, NC State does. Wake should win this game, but I do wonder if folks are figuring out the offense a little bit.
  • Texas Tech @ Baylor (FS1): Baylor shouldn’t have any trouble here.
  • Navy @ Temple (ESPNU): It’s been a long season for the Midshipmen, and it’s not over yet. That said, this is game that could still get them in a bit of a better place before playing Army in 2 weeks.
  • Maryland @ Rutgers (BTN): The Maryland defense is a bit of a liability for them, but fortunately for them Rutgers isn’t in much of a position to exploit it.
  • Houston @ Connecticut (CBSS): Houston should have no issues here.
  • Army @ Liberty (ESPN+)
  • Akron @ Toledo (ESPN+)
  • Miami @ Kent State (ESPN+)
  • Sacred Heart @ Holy Cross (NCAA Division I Playoffs First Round; ESPN+)

12:30: Miami @ Duke (ACC/RSN): It’s been a tough season for the Canes, but capping it off with the Blue Devils with bowl eligibility already ensure is a good salve.

1:00: Louisiana Tech @ Rice (ESPN+)

2:00:

  • Texas-San Antonio @ North Texas (ESPN+)
  • Charlotte @ Old Dominion (ESPN+)
  • Texas State @ Arkansas State (ESPN+)
  • Troy @ Georgia State (ESPN+)
  • Davidson @ Kennesaw State (NCAA Division I Playoffs First Round; ESPN+)

2:30: Georgia Southern @ Appalachian State (“Deeper Than Hate”; ESPN+)

3:00:

  • Florida International @ Southern Mississippi (ESPN+)
  • Stephen F. Austin @ Wisconsin-Whitewater (NCAA Division I Playoffs First Round; ESPN+)
  • California-Davis @ South Dakota State (NCAA Division I Playoffs First Round; ESPN+)

3:30:

  • Pennsylvania State @ Michigan State (ABC): In the battle for possibly the sport’s most… unique trophy, this one figures to be pretty even. Penn State’s had some tough breaks on the season, and I think this one will be even. I give Sparty a slight edge at home.
  • Alabama @ Auburn (“Iron Bowl”; CBS): I felt a lot better about Auburn being able to make something weird happen in this game until it turned out that Bo Nix was ruled out for the rest of the season. While I still hope for shenanigans, I think that Alabama will prevail in the end.
  • Oregon State @ Oregon (ESPN): This could be a pretty good game. It’ll be in the mid-50’s and raining, and the Beavers will try their darnedest to great chaos in the Pac-12 North. I don’t think the Ducks will lose unless they’re still store from getting absolutely demolished by Utah last weekend.
  • Indiana @ Purdue (“Old Oaken Bucket”; FS1): I figure Purdue will put the Hoosiers out of their misery in this one.
  • Northwestern @ Illinois (BTN): Speaking of misery, this whole is just… I guess the Illini will win?
  • Western Kentucky @ Marshall (CBSS): Battle for the C-USA Eastern division! Western Kentucky is an interesting case study of taking a successful FCS offense and importing it more-or-less wholesale to FBS. If WKU wins this, they’ll get an even bigger showcase for the concept next week, and who know where else we’ll see this strategy after that?

3:45:

  • Vanderbilt @ Tennessee (SEC): So Vandy has won 5 of the last 9 of their games against Tennessee, but I feel pretty good about saying it’ll be 5 of the last 10 after this one.
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia (“Commonwealth Cup”; ACCN): Well, the Hokies finally went and fired Fuente, but it remains to be seem if that will really do anything to fix their woes. In the team, the Cavilers should still win.

4:00:

  • Wisconsin @ Minnesota (FOX): Are you ready for a lot of sideline shots of an axe? Good, because I’ve got the game for you. Wisconsin seems to have another “prototypical Wisconsin running back” in Braelon Allen, which doesn’t bode well for the Gophers’ chances of getting that axe.
  • Tulsa @ Southern Methodist (ESPN2): Tulsa can be tricky but this should be a “get right” game for SMU.
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Louisiana (“Battle on the Bayou”; ESPNU): I wish this game would be close, but considering the relatively massive gap between these two teams right now I don’t see anything other than the Cajuns raging pretty decisively.
  • Arizona @ Arizona State (“Duel in the Desert”; Pac12): Same as the above, except the gap is probably a little smaller and you need to replace “Cajuns” with “Sun Devils”.
  • Northern Iowa @ Eastern Washington (NCAA Division I Playoffs First Round; ESPN+)
  • Tennessee-Martin @ Missouri State (NCAA Division I Playoffs First Round; ESPN+)

5:00: Southern vs. Grambling State (Bayou Classic @ New Orleans, LA; NBCSN)

6:00: Southern Illinois @ South Dakota (NCAA Division I Playoffs First Round; ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Texas A&M @ Louisiana State (ESPN): I think this is a game that many will want 2019-esque shenanigans out of, but I suspect it’s more likely that TAMU will end the Coach O era at LSU with a whimper moreso than a bang.
  • West Virginia @ Kansas (FS1): Mountaineers roll.
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Florida Atlantic (Stadium)
  • Florida A&M @ Southeastern Louisiana (NCAA Division I Playoffs First Round; ESPN+)

7:30:

  • Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (“Bedlam”; ABC): Bedlam will roll into Stillwater with a chance for the Cowboys to pick up a rare win in the series. How rare? Well, they’ve only won it 18 times out of the 125 it’s been played. Will they win this time? Well, it’s hard to say with Oklahoma will do on offense from week to week, especially given State’s very stout defense. But as they say: “Anything can happen in Bedlam. Oklahoma can win by a large amount, Oklahoma can win by a medium amount, or Oklahoma can win by a small amount”. I think that will still hold true here.
  • Kentucky @ Louisville (ESPN2): I still don’t really understand how Louisville is good, but the shine is definitely off Kentucky from earlier this season. I’ll take Kentucky here, but this one could be unexpectedly fun.
  • Tulane @ Memphis (ESPNU): But if a disappointing year for both of these teams, but what I’d really like is for this to become more of a rivalry – after all, these are two towns that are defined very much by their relationship with the Mississippi River. There’s got to be something there. But at least for now, Memphis figures to win.
  • Clemson @ South Carolina (“Palmetto Bowl”; SEC): It looks like both of these teams have figured some things out. Last weekend, the Gamecocks upset Auburn and Clemson beat the brakes off of Wake Forest. It turns out there’s still some talent in the boys from upstate, and I think that will carry the day in Columbia.
  • Pittsburgh @ Syracuse (ACCN): Pitt shouldn’t have any trouble with the Orange.

8:00: Notre Dame @ Stanford (FOX): While Stanford somehow figuring out how to win this one would be kind of funny, I just don’t see any way that it happens.

9:00: Nevada @ Colorado State (CBSS): The Rams have been a bit of a trainwreck this season, so I’ll take Nevada.

10:30:

  • Brigham Young @ Southern California (ESPN): The Stormin’ Mormons will head into the Coliseum as favorites, at least in my book. USC looked lifeless and clueless in their loss to UCLA, and I think BYU will be able to take care of that.
  • California @ California-Los Angeles (FS1): And finally, the Battle for California, where the state’s top two public universities duke it out. You can also tell they’re related because one’s the Bears and the others the Bruins, which is just… a bear. UCLA essentially features slightly shifted colors compared to Cal. At any rate, the battle figures to conclude with a UCLA win, as the Bears are just kind of hapless on offense when they’re not playing Stanford.

And that’s that. I hope you enjoy the last full weekend of college football this season with wall-to-wall games from noon until after midnight. Bowl predictions should be up late Sunday night.

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