This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Ohio State @ Michigan (“The Game”; FOX): And once again, we start the last full day of college football with The Game, which is every bit as consequential as it has been the past two seasons. In Ohio State’s favor is human cheat code Marvin Harrison, Jr. In Michigan’s favor is a two game winning streak where they have more-or-less out-toughed the Buckeyes. It’s sort of crazy to think about, but I think the Wolverines will make it three in a row.
  • Kentucky @ Louisville (ABC): I still don’t really believe in Louisville and they could definitely lose this, but I can’t really put my fingers to the keyboard and type that.
  • Texas A&M @ Louisiana State (ESPN): A&M is probably slightly less dysfunctional on offense without Jimbo. LSU though just has a score-at-will type ability through Jayden Daniels that a lot of other teams, even top ten teams, lack.
  • Navy @ Southern Methodist (ESPN2): Ponies figure to keep the pedal down all the way through the end of the season here, with a date with Tulane next weekend looming.
  • Houston @ Central Florida (FS1): Both of these teams have been varying degrees of bad this year, especially Houston. It was a rough go for both in their first year of Big 12 play. That said, I have no idea what to expect here and I’m kind of tempted to pick Houston.
  • Indiana @ Purdue (BTN): The Old Oaken Bucket is on the line, and, well, it’s a battle of 3-8 teams. State of Indiana pride is on the line, and that’s about it. One of the things about being 3-8 is that it’s hard to say if a win over Minnesota or Wisconsin means anything when the context is that you only won two other games. I’ll take the Boilermakers because they’re at home.
  • Troy @ Southern Mississippi (ESPNU): Southern Miss did reel off two straight wins before losing to Miss State last week, but regardless Troy isn’t as good as they were, but they’re still in the upper crust of the Sun Belt. They should be fine here.
  • Pittsburgh @ Duke (ACCN): Duke has QB injury issues, but Pitt just has offense issues in general. The Blue Devils should romp.
  • Miami @ Ball State (CBSS): We’ll have some Saturday MACtion back, though this one should be straightforward for Miami.
  • Northern Illinois @ Kent State (ESPN+)
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Sam Houston State (ESPN+)
  • Connecticut @ Massachusetts (ESPN+)


  • Florida Atlantic @ Rice (ESPN+)
  • Sacramento State @ North Dakota (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Wake Forest @ Syracuse (The CW): We’ll close out the first (only? I need to check) year of ACC football on the CW. Wake Forest has lost four straight. Yes, Syracuse just fired their coach (the second time my team has gotten a Syracuse coach fired since I matriculated) and the offense is… limited, to say the least, but they still seem like a more coherent team than Wake at this point.
  • Tulsa @ East Carolina (ESPN+)
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ North Texas (ESPN+)
  • Georgia State @ Old Dominion (ESPN+)
  • Southern vs. Grambling State (Bayou Classic @ New Orleans, LA; NBC)
  • North Carolina Central @ Richmond (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)
  • Lafayette @ Delaware (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Colorado @ Utah (“Rumble in the Rockies”; Pac12): Remember what Oregon did to Colorado a couple of months back? Well, Utah doesn’t have Bo Nix (or anyone else that’s a real quarterback, for that matter), but I expect this to look pretty similar.
  • San Jose State @ Nevada-Las Vegas (MWN)
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Louisiana (“Battle on the Bayou”; ESPN+)
  • Western Kentucky @ Florida International (ESPN+)
  • Tennessee-Chattanooga @ Austin Peay (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)
  • Nicholls State @ Southern Illinois (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)
  • Gardner-Webb @ Mercer (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Alabama @ Auburn (“Iron Bowl”; CBS): Okay, it’s the Iron Bowl, and it’s on the Plains, and sometimes stuff can… look, just no. The Tigers just got manhandled by New Mexico State last week. [Editor’s note: italics here for emphasis, NMSU is a FBS school.] I’m pretty sure Alabama can scheme some stuff up to do something similar. This might be a good point in the afternoon to go to the store.
  • Brigham Young @ Oklahoma State (ABC): On the one hand, Oklahoma State seems determined to show that they won their one-game season by winning Bedlam, even if they did rally and beat Houston last week. On the other, BYU is super beat up and has lost four straight. Oklahoma State may well try to throw this but just back their way into getting blasted by Texas next week. This could wind up being interesting in a certain sort of way.
  • Arizona @ Arizona State (“Territorial Cup”; ESPN): It’s generally a bad sign for your roster depth when you starting a true freshman at QB, who then got hurt, and is now starting again for the first time since September. That’s what Arizona State is doing, and I suspect that this one might be over early.
  • James Madison @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN2): It’s neat Grayson McCall came back for Coastal this season, but they just don’t have the juice this season. I like JMU here.
  • Wisconsin @ Minnesota (FS1): This is the most ambiguous Axe game in a while. Neither of these teams is especially good, with Minnesota stalling out a bit and Wisconsin going through a philosophy change on offense under a new coach. With the game effectively being a coin toss, I’ll take the home team.
  • Maryland @ Rutgers (BTN): Maryland scared the heck out of Michigan last week, even if it was never really really in doubt. I suspect that means Rutgers is going to win easily this week.
  • Northwestern @ Illinois (BTN): Northwestern’s coach should win at least one of the various coach of the year awards. Seriously. I think they win this one easily.
  • Georgia Southern @ Appalachian State (“Modern Day Hate”; ESPNU): App is still somewhat maddening, as I’d definitely written them off going into JMU last week. Naturally, they left with the upset. This is a real G5 rivalry that goes back to their FCS days and there should be a good crowd in Boone. This could be a sneaky good game, or… an App rout. We’ll see.
  • Vanderbilt @ Tennessee (SEC): Vols by a lot.
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia (“Commonwealth Cup”; ACCN): Virginia’s upset of Duke last week aside, there’s been a lot more to be optimistic about over on Blacksburg. That said, the talent level of these two teams is similar so we could wind up with a close game, though I’m expecting a VPI win.
  • Liberty @ Texas-El Paso (CBSS): It brings me no pleasure to report that Liberty will be 12-0 after this. Tulane, we need you to win out.
  • Arkansas State @ Marshall (ESPN+)
  • Drake @ North Dakota State (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Washington State @ Washington (“Apple Cup”; FOX): Wazzu worked out some frustration last week on Colorado, subjecting the Buffs to a 56-14 game that wasn’t that close. Before that, however, the Cougs lost 6 straight after beating Oregon State, which made one feel like they’d lost the plot a bit. UDub is 11-0 and definitely more talented. I’m a bit skittish after what happened in Eugene earlier tonight, but I think this game is going to be closer than one might think.
  • Jacksonville State @ New Mexico State (ESPN+)

5:00: Duquense @ Youngstown State (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Florida State @ Florida (“Sunshine Showdown” ; ESPN): Even with their backup QB, I still expect FSU to win here. The talent level on both sides of the ball is still good and the Gators are just not good enough right now to overcome it.
  • West Virginia @ Baylor (FS1): I’m still trying to figure out what happened at Baylor after last year. ‘Neers get to one of the most unexpected 8 win seasons in the country after this one.
  • South Alabama @ Texas State (NFLN): Texas State probably won’t give up 77 again, but I don’t really trust them at this point.
  • Notre Dame @ Stanford (Pac12): It’s not a coincidence that this is one of the largest point spreads of the weekend (at Notre Dame favored by 25). Maybe it’s for the best this will probably be the last ever football game shown on the Pac-12 Network.


  • Georgia @ Georgia Tech (“Clean, Old Fashioned Hate”; ABC): TO HELL WITH GEORGIA
  • Kansas @ Cincinnati (ESPN2): I know the QB at situation means this line is close, but KU shouldn’t have any trouble here.
  • Charlotte @ South Florida (ESPNU): USF figures to get bowl eligible against one of the worst teams in the country.
  • Clemson @ South Carolina (“Palmetto Bowl”; SEC): The Gamecocks have won three in a row and salvaged the season a little, but that figures to come to a screeching halt at the hands of a seemingly rejuvenated Clemson squad.


  • Iowa State @ Kansas State (“Farmageddon”; FOX): This is the longest continuously played rivalry in FBS, but regardless it’s due to rotate off the Big 12 schedule in 2028. This error should be fixed. Outside of that, we’ve already remarked a couple of times that Iowa State is playing well as of late after being dead in the water earlier in the season. I hope it’s been fun, because this trip to the Little Apple isn’t likely to be.
  • North Carolina @ North Carolina State (ACCN): NC State has reached 8 wins, which isn’t exactly news, because they do that almost every year. What this does imply is that UNC will probably win. Look, I don’t make the rules, okay.

9:00: Wyoming @ Nevada (CBSS): Wyoming isn’t as good as their record (7-4), but they good enough to take care of business in Reno.


  • California @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN): It’s a shame this game never really got a name, considering the shared history and governance of these schools. Plus that it’s probably on hold for the foreseeable future. But yeah, the main motivation in this one is that we’re going to be winding down the season with these games, and this does figure to be more watchable than the next game. That said, UCLA should handle business here.
  • Fresno State @ San Diego State (FS1): And finally, we’ve got the battle for the Oil Can. I still have no idea what is going on with Fresno after they lost to New Mexico last week, but I will still say they’re going to be able to take care of this SDSU team. Well, unless the Aztecs decide to send Brady Hoke off with a sudden burst of competence on the offensive side of the ball, which feels unlikely.

11:00: Colorado State @ Hawaii (Team1Sports): Mahalo, the 2023 college football regular season. There’s a lot of change coming in 2024, and it’s been a fun send-off to what will possibly be a very significant point in the history of the sport.