This Weekend in College Football: Week 12

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

11:00: Navy @ Central Florida (ESPN2): It hasn’t been the greatest of season for Navy, leading to some questions as to whether Coach Ken might be a little past his prime. UCF figures to roll. By the way, quick programming note this week: I’ve included some select FCS rivalries here, and FCS teams are indicated by italics.

Noon:

  • Texas Christian @ Baylor (“The Revivalry”; FOX): Baylor hasn’t had the season they wanted or expected coming in, but they’re still a legitimate force to be reckoned with if you’re TCU, and the game is in Waco. I have TCU going to the playoff right now, but suffice it to say a loss here completely derails that plan. I like the Horned Frogs, but this could get squirrelly.
  • Illinois @ Michigan (ABC): It’s hard to think that a Michigan team would be caught looking ahead to next week.
  • Wisconsin @ Nebraska (ESPN): Probably Wisconsin here.
  • Northwestern @ Purdue (FS1): Definitely Purdue here. Northwestern is just kinda bad.
  • Florida @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Vandy picked up their first SEC win since 2019 last week by beating Kentucky. I don’t think they’re going to notch consecutive wins for the first time (SEC or otherwise) since 2018 here.
  • Indiana @ Michigan State (BTN): Sparty figures to role a demoralized Indiana bunch.
  • Duke @ Pittsburgh (ACCN): I suspect Pitt probably won’t start this game by picking Duke off twice for pick-6’s, but I can’t rule it out. Duke is nominally one of the better teams in the Coastal (an incredibly low bar), but I have Pitt here.
  • Louisiana @ Florida State (ACC/RSN): FSU figures to roll the Cajuns.
  • Virginia Tech @ Liberty (ESPN+)
  • East Tennessee State @ Mississippi State (ESPN+)
  • Massachusetts @ Texas A&M (ESPN+)
  • Austin Peay @ Alabama (ESPN+)
  • Yale Harvard (ESPNU)

1:00: Texas-San Antonio @ Rice (ESPN+)

2:00:

  • Washington State @ Arizona (Pac12): Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura is more-or-less a random number generator, in that he can just about anything, and it may or may not be good for Arizona. Last weekend, it worked out to give UCLA a loss at a pretty critical juncture in their season. I’ll guess they’ll lose to Wazzu here.
  • Georgia State @ James Madison (ESPN+)
  • Houston @ East Carolina (ESPN+)
  • Kansas State @ West Virginia (ESPN+)
  • North Alabama @ Memphis (ESPN+)
  • MontanaMontana State (“Brawl of the Wild”; MTN/ESPN+)

2:15: Oregon State @ Arizona State (ESPN2): Unlike their Tuscon brothers, Arizona State is just bad in a kind of boring way. Beavers should roll.

2:30: Boston College @ Notre Dame (NBC): Here’s another one of Notre Dame’s 37 traditional rivals, and another one where they should win comfortably.

3:30:

  • Georgia @ Kentucky (CBS): I have a feeling next weekend will be the most UGA football I’ve watched all year.
  • Ohio State @ Maryland (ESPN): See what I said about Michigan earlier, though Illinois is definitely way more threatening than the Terps at this point.
  • Texas @ Kansas (FS1): Okay, so in years past Kansas would 100% win this game. But since they’re halfway decent this year, I think Texas figure to roll.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Rutgers (BTN): Penn State will continue their campaign to demonstrate how thoroughly they are the third-best team in the Big Ten.
  • South Alabama @ Southern Mississippi (NFLN): South Alabama has a lead in the Sun Belt west over USM, they’re been a pretty good outfit this year. I’ll take ’em.
  • North Carolina State @ Louisville (ACC/RSN): NC State just seems to have been snakebit this season, and I think that will continue by continuing Louisville’s somewhat inexplicable good season.
  • Utah Tech @ Brigham Young (BYUTV/espn3.com)
  • Louisiana Tech @ Charlotte (espn3.com)
  • Florida Atlantic @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)
  • Old Dominion @ Appalachian State (ESPN+)
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Troy (ESPN+)
  • North Dakota North Dakota State (ESPN+)

4:00:

  • Iowa @ Minnesota (FOX): Everyone’s favorite pig trophy is in play here, and I like Minnesota’s ability to play any offense at all here, along with the game being at home.
  • Cincinnati @ Temple (ESPNU): Temple is bad, and it’ll be a good test for Cincy to see if they can put a team like this away.
  • Western Kentucky @ Auburn (SEC): So some metrics have Western Kentucky as a favorite, and I sort of agree? That said, it’s hard to factor in emotion, and this team seems like to like playing for Cadillac. I think this can go either way.
  • Florida International @ Texas-El Paso (ESPN+)

5:30:

  • Georgia Tech @ North Carolina (ESPN2): My main hope for the remainder of the season is that we can avoid the combined 110-0 losses we took in the last two games of last season. That’s about it.
  • Stanford @ California (“The Big Game”; Pac12): The Big Game will be a sellout over in Berkeley. Both of these teams are bad, but Stanford is bad in a sense that nothing they do really works, whereas Cal is more just kind of challenged in some ways. Taking the Bears here.

6:00: Marshall @ Georgia Southern (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Tennessee @ South Carolina (ESPN): Vols should continue to roll against an inconsistent Gamecocks squad.
  • Texas Tech @ Iowa State (FS1): Just picking this one based on vibes: Texas Tech.
  • Boise State @ Wyoming (CBSS): The Mountain West is down bad this year, which has thus far benefited a rebuilding Boise bunch. And I suspect it will continue to.

7:30:

  • Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (“Bedlam”; ABC): Unless something changes, we’re winding toward the conclusion of Bedlam as a thing. The Pokes won last year in one of the year’s best games. This year’s game also figures to be weird, but it’s hard to tell which way. The Sooners have faced several headwinds with their new coach, whereas Oklahoma State looked playoff bound (or at least Big 12 championship game bound) until they very much weren’t in an inexplicable two week stretch. (Well, okay, it’s partially explicable: they’ve got quarterback injuries.) Which of these two things will prevail here? Well, all I have to do is look at the historical record in this series and… pick Oklahoma.
  • New Mexico State @ Missouri (ESPNU): Mizzou should have no issues here.
  • Mississippi @ Arkansas (SEC): With KJ Jefferson limited by injuries, Ole Miss should have no issues here.

8:00:

  • Southern California @ California-Los Angeles (FOX): The crosstown rivalry that doesn’t have an agreed-upon name is back, and it’s in the Rose Bowl this team. UCLA’s loss, as previously mentioned, limits the luster here. But USC still has a possible path to the playoff, so they need to win here. The way it’s been going in the Pac-12 makes me think that means UCLA’s going to win.
  • Syracuse @ Wake Forest (ACCN): I still don’t believe Syracuse.

9:00:

  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Louisiana State (ESPN2): LSU should roll.
  • Colorado State @ Air Force (FS2): This is a rivalry between the two G5 Colorado schools, but Air Force should absolutely trounce a very, very bad Colorado State team.
  • Colorado @ Washington (Pac12): If this 1992, this would be the game of the century of the week. Alas, it is not. Dubs get a dub.

9:45: San Jose State @ Utah State (FS1): Utah State also isn’t good, and I keep forgetting SJSU kind of is, so, again.

10:30:

  • Utah @ Oregon (ESPN): So… what everyone is wondering is: “is this going to be like last year where Utah absolutely punched Oregon in the mouth repeatedly for 60 minutes twice within three weeks?” This year’s version of the Ducks does seem a little tougher, though, and yeah I know they lost to Washington last week. If they can score early, that’ll limit Utah’s ability to punch them repeatedly and will force the Utes to play catch-up. I’m picking Oregon, but I’d think this can go either way.
  • Fresno State @ Nevada (CBSS): It should be cold and maybe even snowy in Reno, but Fresno should have no issues.

11:00: Nevada-Las Vegas @ Hawaii (Team1Sports)

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