This Weekend in College Football: Week 12

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Ohio State @ Maryland (ABC): We largely determined that last week was trash. But what I failed to take into account was that, well, this week would probably be worse. That’s okay, though; we’ll get through this together. Also, I’ll take the Buckeyes here.
  • Michigan State @ Nebraska (FOX): Here are the teams that I figure are good this year: Alabama, Clemson, and… after that I’ll take Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, LSU, and UCF. Then it starts to get dicey. As has been pointed out elsewhere, there are an unusually few number of 2-loss teams for this late in the season (hence my own angst about the New Year’s Six make-up for those bowl games). At any rate, the Cornhuskers are on something of a late season roll. Even though they’re not going bowling at 3-7, those three wins have come in their last four games, and that one loss was a narrow 5 point loss to Ohio State. I guess what I’m trying to say is that at this point I wouldn’t be shocked if they beat Sparty, but I don’t really expect them to.
  • Arkansas @ Mississippi State (ESPN): Meanwhile, I can’t recommend Arkansas at all.
  • Texas Christian @ Baylor (FS1): It’s a down year for TCU, which means Baylor, I guess?
  • South Florida @ Temple (ESPNEWS): USF has lost three straight, and… let’s just go ahead and make it four.
  • Middle Tennessee @ Kentucky (SECA): Hard to see MTSU scoring, well, at all really.
  • Pennsylvania State @ Rutgers (BTN): Last week’s loss to Michigan was definite an improvement in adjectives for Rutgers. Instead of words like “vaporized” or “obliterated” being thrown around, they were instead just plain ol’ blown out. I expect more of the same here.
  • Northwestern @ Minnesota (BTN): Well, Northwestern already has the Big Ten West sown up, so this game is pretty much just for pride and another NU victory, I guess.
  • Pittsburgh @ Wake Forest (ACC/RSN): Pitt.

12:20: North Carolina State @ Louisville (Raycom): NC State.

1:30: Utah @ Colorado (Pac12): The Pac-12 is attempting to nurse this into a rivalry, but we’ll see if it actually happens. These schools do have a touch of pre-Pac-12 history, but not much. I’ll go ahead and take Utah here.

2:30: Syracuse vs. Notre Dame (@New York, NY; NBC): Most people are not Notre Dame fans and will be inclined to root against them away. And if you are not so inclined, you may well be once you see their uniforms on Saturday. Unfortunately for all of us who are not Notre Dame fans, they will probably still win.


  • West Virginia @ Oklahoma State (ABC): Mike Gundy, two things. For starters, Millennials are so last generation. Today’s college students aren’t Millennials. Two, we’ll see how’s a bunch of snowflakes after you get blown out by West Virginia.
  • Southern California @ California-Los Angeles (FOX): Well, the primary reason for this game is usually to see the two teams wearing color uniforms and in even years the perfect turf and scenery of the Rose Bowl. But the fires in California will affect this game and The Big Game. Not having the pristine pictures we’re used to is perhaps the most trivial effect of the fires but also potentially a potent reminder of the tragedy. The Red Cross and other California-specific aid organizations will prefer you donate cash instead of items, since exactly what the survivors will need is not a constant and coordinating physical goods just adds to the logistical nightmare.
    To get back to football for a second, USC is scuffling, suffice it to say. And dang, I’ve just about got Clay Helton’s name memorized. That said, still hard to see this UCLA team beating them.
  • Missouri @ Tennessee (CBS): This is sure is a game CBS picked for their game of the week. Mizzou.
  • Miami @ Virginia Tech (ESPN): Neither of these teams is good at this point, but VPI’s defense is just a disaster.
  • Boston College @ Florida State (ESPN2): BC should get their “dude!” mojo back against FSU.
  • Texas Tech @ Kansas State (ESPNU): I perhaps wrote K-State off too early last week against KU, but I still can’t see them beating Texas Tech.
  • Illinois @ Iowa (BTN): The Big Ten really needs a traveling trophy for all the schools whose names start with ‘I’. Just sayin’. Anyway, also just sayin’ Iowa’s got this.
  • Wisconsin @ Purdue (BTN): Purdue hasn’t exactly followed up on the promise from the Ohio State game, and of course everyone is connecting their head coach to the now vacant Louisville job. Wisconsin is having a bit of a down year themselves but I still see them desperately wanting the service.
  • Tulsa @ Navy (CBSS): Navy’s just bad this year, taking Tulsa.
  • Louisiana Tech @ Southern Mississippi (Stadium): USM.
  • Virginia @ Georgia Tech (ACC/RSN): I didn’t really see it coming. That is, Tech being 6-4. UVA is better than anyone expected, and I definitely feel pretty good about having win number six. The defense still is vulnerable to passing plays. It feels like when get someone to third and long opposing offensive coordinators are thinking “got ’em right where we want ’em, boys!” Otherwise, I don’t have a lot to say about this one.


  • Indiana @ Michigan (FS1): Indiana, as it turns out, is very much having an Indiana kind of season. Basically, I’m not giving them much of a chance against the Wolverines.
  • Air Force @ Wyoming (ESPNEWS): This game sure seemed a lot more interesting back in August. Going with Wyoming.
  • Massachusetts @ Georgia (SEC): UGA.

4:30: Oregon State @ Washington (Pac12): It’s been a disappointing year for the Pac-12, but not so much so that UDub will blow this heading into the Apple Cup.


  • Duke @ Clemson (ESPN): Duke is good, but it won’t matter against Clemson.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Texas A&M (ESPN2): GO BLAZERS!
  • Connecticut @ East Carolina (CBSS): I have no idea, and no inclination to even figure out which of these teams is less worse. Let’s go with UConn then.


  • Kansas @ Oklahoma (FOX): I know why this game is on big FOX, but I that doesn’t mean I have to accept it. OU rolls.
  • Rice @ Louisiana State (ESPNU): LSU.
  • Mississippi @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Here’s some bottom barrel SEC action that may be more compelling than anything else on at this time other than UAB-TAMU. Yeah. Vandy?
  • Texas-El Paso @ Western Kentucky (beIN): WKU.


  • Cincinnati @ Central Florida (ABC): This is definitely one of the better games of the day, and Orlando is definitely deserving of Gameday this week. That said, does Cincy have much of a chance? Sure, they’re definitely improved this year and they’re not bad or anything. UCF also isn’t nearly as invincible as they were last year. That said, though, it’s hard to see a “path to victory” (election jokes!) for Cincy.
  • Iowa State @ Texas (LHN): I listed this because, despite the fact that you, the reader, do not get the Longhorn Network it’s one of the better games of the day. And boy how the Big 12 really needs Texas to win this one. Just sayin’.

10:15: New Mexico State @ Brigham Young (ESPN2): BYU?


  • Arizona @ Washington State (ESPN): Anything can happen in the Pac-12 these days, but I will be sticking with Wazzu until further notice.
  • San Diego State @ Fresno State (CBSS): Here’s another actually pretty good game! Sure, it could well be a defensive slog, but that shouldn’t deter you from watching. Both of these teams are actually reasonably good. I’ll take Fresno here, though.
  • Arizona State @ Oregon (Pac12): And here’s another game you’ll want to watch on a network you probably don’t get. Oregon has been a pleasant surprise this year, even if they’ve struggled at times, but ASU and HERM feel almost out-of-nowhere. Ducks at home, sure, but I’ll be watching this one.