This Weekend in College Football: Week 12

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Wisconsin @ Michigan (ESPN): It’s been a comfortable couple of weeks for the Wolverines, with their overtime “thriller” against Illinois and a victory over Purdue getting them back to the 7-win mark, and perhaps a reason to look forward to next year. (It’s winter in the midwest, they need all the reasons they can get when the sky is gray everyday for the next 5 months, don’tcha know?) At any rate, that should all come crashing down against Wisconsin. While I doubt they’ll score 83 again, it will probably be a moral victory for the beleaguered Michigan defense if they hold them under, say, 50.
  • Pittsburgh @ South Florida (ESPN2): Who’ll win the Big East? Who knows. I tried flipping a coin to pick this one but I lost control of it and now I can’t find it. I’m pretty sure that says something about the Big East. Anyway, I predicted Pitt to prevail in my bowl predictions, so I guess I’ll go with them here.
  • Oklahoma State @ Kansas (FSN): Kansas: still bad! Cowboys roll.
  • Virginia @ Boston College (ESPNU): Boston College still isn’t scoring any points, but hey they’ve one 3 in a row and they actually play defense. I’ll take them here.
  • Purdue @ Michigan State (BTN): Purdue may be one of the most battered teams in the country. Sparty rolls.
  • Troy @ South Carolina (SEC): I guess it’s popular in the SEC to either take this week off or effectively take this week off. While I think Troy can still recover in the Sun Belt, they don’t really stand a chance here.
  • North Carolina State @ North Carolina (ACC): I like this matchup a lot, actually. That said, I also still like the Wolfpack a lot here as well.

1:30: Duke @ Georgia Tech ( What is there to say at this point? We’re 5-5 and we’re still making the same mistakes that at the beginning of the year caused us to lose to Kansas, and we’re out our starting QB. I think Tevin Washington actually performed well last weekend, but the continuing lapses on defense and lack of execution on offense are extremely worrying at this point in the season.


  • Mississippi @ Louisiana State (CBS): Well, since LSU is involved, it’s tough to tell how this one is going to go. Sure, Ole Miss just got blown out by the (2nd) worst team from the other side of the SEC, but this one could go down to the wire. Or LSU wins comfortably. Either way, The Hat should prevail in the fashion that he chooses.
  • Ohio State @ Iowa (ABC): As Doc Saturday put it, last weekend was Northwestern’s “annual upset over Iowa” that I keep forgetting about. That pretty much removes Iowa from the Rose Bowl race but doesn’t really make the Big Ten any less confusing. Provided Ohio State wins here, and I think they will, they will end up in the BCS, but it’s just a question of whether it’ll be Pasadena or New Orleans.
  • Virginia Tech @ Miami (ESPN): This is your ACC Coastal division, right here. Honestly, I don’t think it matters who starts at QB for Miami at this point, but I think the VPI defense is still quality enough to control them. With this year’s edition of Tyrod Taylor, the Hokies should also still be able to generate enough offense to outpace the Miami attack, which is a pretty conventional offense with some great talent. These are the type of offenses VPI has been feasting on for years.
  • Stanford @ California (FSN): It’s The Big Game, folks. Does Cal stand a chance? While this is a huge rivalry, I think Cal spent their bullets against Oregon last weekend. Also, that Andrew Luck kid is pretty good at this quarterback thing. While I think Stanford will win, this is very reminiscent of last year’s Big Game that the Cardinal were also heavily favored to win but ended up losing. So, hey, ya never know.
  • Illinois vs. Northwestern (@Chicago, IL; ESPNU): Ponder this: Northwestern is a small, private school that is typically not really good at football. Illinois is the big, huge state school that should be great at football. Now, then, you’re probably aware of this, as I was, but I still just looked it up and I am shocked that Northwestern is 6-1 against Illinois since 2003. If Illinois isn’t careful, the Wildcats will pass them soon, as the all time series is a pretty close 52-46-5 in favor of Illinois. And I think that trend will continue this year. Not because Northwestern is great or anything, but I mean seriously, Illinois just lost to Minnesota. Minnesota! In addition watching Ron Zook lose, this game also provides the novelty of football in a baseball stadium. The baseball stadium thing being the novel part, not the Ron Zook losing part. [Ed: We’ve learned at the last minute that both teams will work towards one end zone on offense. This is like when we were kids, except that presumably there are also no gardens or trees in the field of play.]
  • Arkansas State @ Navy (CBSCS): Navy.


  • Army vs. Notre Dame (@New York, NY; NBC): So Notre Dame just demolished Utah, getting out of their funk for now. While I don’t think they’ll quite do the same damage here, they should still win pretty comfortably.
  • Arkansas @ Mississippi State (ESPN): Arkansas might be putting together the quietest 2-loss season in SEC history. While Miss State is pretty decent this year, it’s hard not to like Arkansas this point, provided they don’t overlook the Bulldogs.
  • Missouri @ Iowa State (FSN): Iowa State is gunning for their first consecutive bowl streak since 2004 and 2005. They’ll get close, but just not close enough. Mizzou keeps their slim Big 12 North hopes alive.
  • Connecticut @ Syracuse (ESPNU): Who wants to win the Big East? These two teams certainly still can, but technically anyone still can, so that’s not really saying much. I flipped a coin, and this time I didn’t lose it. It came up UConn.


  • Southern California @ Oregon State (ABC): That win over Cal looks really confusing now doesn’t it? (Not to mention that 2 point victory over Arizona.) In the last 4 games, the Beavers have lost to Washington, UCLA, and Wazzou, three of the worst teams in the conference. I think USC will continue the trend, though they’re actually good so who knows?
  • Nebraska @ Texas Agricultural and Mechanical (ABC): I didn’t realize until just now that TAMU is ranked. Huh. That said, while TAMU prevailed over then #8 Oklahoma two weeks ago I don’t think they’ll have the same luck against current #8 Nebraska. This is definitely the game of the evening, though, so give it a look if you can.
  • Florida State @ Maryland (ABC): Well, it’s been fun Maryland, but I’ll be really surprised if you can beat Florida State this weekend. Still, a pretty surprising year for the Terps.
  • Oklahoma @ Baylor (ESPN2): The ride was fun for Baylor as well, but then they ran into Oklahoma State and TAMU and, well, it hasn’t been pretty. This will probably continue against the Sooners.
  • Houston @ Southern Mississippi (CBSCS): Considering all that happened in Hattiesburg last weekend after USM’s upset over UCF, I will be both surprised and delighted if Southern Miss can beat the Cougars here.

I’m flying back to the eye of the crazy storm (i.e., Alabama) on Sunday, so bowl predictions maybe late. Of course, since I just uploaded them today during a normal week, I guess that won’t really be all that different.