Week 13 is here in college football. And the biggest news in my football world is UNLV. The Rebels are bowl eligible for the first time since 2000, where they beat Arkansas in the Las Vegas Bowl. There won’t be a rematch because the Hogs won’t make a bowl. The win on Thursday night at Air Force (which I got to watch all of thanks to WatchESPN), the Rebs have 6 wins, this matches their total of the past 3 years. Bobby Hauck has done great things for this UNLV team and I am so happy that he is the coach.
In the rest of the football world, there are many huge games going on this weekend. There are five games that feature 2 top 25 teams. The biggest of which is 4Baylor at 10Oklahoma State. The Bears are undefeated and are still hoping for a chance at the National Championship. Including this weekend, there are 3 weeks before we find out who is going where. There are still a lot of things to be sorted out. Northern Illinois has punched their ticket to the MAC Championship game. Everyone else is not so lucky.
Can the Bears Stay Unbeaten? This is the game of the week. Unbeaten Baylor heads to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State for a game with implications all over the board. Last week we saw the Bears dominate Texas Tech, but that was in Waco. Baylor scores more at home than they do on the road. In the 3 games they have scored less than 60, two of them were on the road and one was against 10th ranked Oklahoma. Oklahoma State is currently ranked 10 and the game is on the road. Because of this, I don’t think Baylor will score 60. Oklahoma State also has a lot to lose as well. Look for this game to be close, at least in the beginning. I think Baylor will once again pull away at the end. I am picking Baylor by a TD or more.
Will the Tigers Get it Done in Oxford? This has been a season of the unexpected in the SEC. This game features two of the most surprising teams. 8Missouri heads to Oxford this weekend to play 24Ole Miss. The Tigers are sitting at the top of the SEC East, but they have to face two tough SEC West teams in Ole Miss and Texas A&M. I really don’t know how these two teams will match up. I think Mizzou should be on upset alert, especially in Oxford. But the Tigers get QB James Franklin back from injury, and that could be huge. Ole Miss has won 3 straight since upsetting LSU, but can they continue? Missouri has to win this game if they want to stay in the hunt for the SEC championship and for a chance at a BCS game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ole Miss knocked off Missouri, but I think James Franklin will be the difference. I am picking Missouri by about a TD.
A Shootout in Death Valley? 12Texas A&M and 22LSU face off this weekend in Baton Rouge. I think if this game were being played at Kyle Field I would pick Texas A&M, but the Aggies lack of defense and the atmosphere in Death Valley make it hard to pick against the Tigers. Neither of these teams can win the SEC West, so this game is more for bowl standing and for Johnny Manziel, a chance at a second Heisman. The Aggies have the ability to put up a lot of points quickly, but LSU also has the ability to score. They should have a field day with A&M’s defense. Texas A&M had trouble with Mississippi State and I think LSU’s defense will come up with a few turnovers. Mettenberger has to have a good game as well and match Manziel. The LSU run game should be the difference in this game. I am picking LSU by less than a TD.
Huge Pac 12 South Game 14UCLA plays 17Arizona State this week. This is another difficult game to pick, and once again, I think home field will be the difference. That being said, I still think UCLA is a little overrated and Arizona State is a little underrated. This is a major game in the Pac 12 South race because both teams are undefeated in the South and have two more games to play. The winner of this game will have the inside track to the Pac 12 championship game. ASU has shown they can put up a lot of points, so the question is whether or not UCLA will be able to match them or stop them. I think the Bruins will be able to slow down this ASU team and get a huge win. I am picking UCLA by a TD.
Top 25 Matchup in the Big 10 If you watch College Gameday on Saturday mornings, you have probably heard Kirk Herbstreit talk about how underrated Wisconsin is. I’m not as high on the Badgers as he is, but he does have a point. Minnesota is also a good team, but has two not-so-good losses, one to Iowa and one to Michigan. Because of Ohio State, Wisconsin can’t make it to the Big 10 championship game, but if they want the chance to get an at large bid to a BCS bowl, they have to win this game convincingly. That is something I don’t think will happen. I think Minnesota will keep the game close the whole time, but Wisconsin will be able to squeeze out a win on the road. The Badgers are sitting at 19 in the polls, and need some upsets to make it to a BCS game, but that won’t matter unless they don’t get a win this weekend. I am picking Wisconsin by a TD.
MWC Showdown Most people probably look at this game and see an easy road win for the Broncos. I, on the other hand, don’t see that at all. San Diego State has been a comeback team, especially at home. If you underestimate the Aztecs, you will be sorry. I am still picking Boise State because of the talent they have on their roster, but not by a huge margin. I think Boise State will go up early on the Aztecs but the game will get close in the 3rd and early 4th quarter. If San Diego State wants to win this game they will have to do it in regulation. I say that because they took Fresno State to OT and just couldn’t compete. The final score may not reflect the closeness of the game. I am picking Boise State by a TD.
Can Hogs Get an SEC Win After Their Bye? Arkansas is back in action this weekend in Little Rock against Mississippi State. Last week, Mississippi State played Alabama tough but couldn’t capitalize on the ‘Bama mistakes. Two weeks ago Arkansas played now ranked Ole Miss pretty well and might have had a chance if it weren’t for the two quick scores in the 3rd quarter. The biggest question for Arkansas is their secondary. They have been picked apart all season and it is unlikely they have improved since the Ole Miss game. The Hogs can’t make it to a bowl game this season, but a win here would be huge for the program in the first year of head coach Bret Bielema. Not only would they match their win total from last year, but they would get an SEC win. Seeing as the last game of the season for the Hogs is next Friday in Baton Rouge, this is most likely the last chance for the Hogs to get a win. If the Hogs play to their potential and get a big day from Alex Collins and Johnathan Williams, they can win this game. The Razorbacks are playing for pride, Mississippi State is playing to get to 5 wins and have a chance at bowl eligibility next week when they face Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.
Chattanooga at 1Alabama
Idaho at 2Florida State
Indiana at 3Ohio State
5Oregon at Arizona
Citadel at 7Clemson
California at 9Stanford
Coastal Carolina at 11South Carolina
13Michigan State at Northwestern
New Mexico at 15Fresno State
16Northern Illinois 35 Toledo 17 (Wednesday)
18UCF 41 Rutgers 17 (Thursday)
20Oklahoma at Kansas State
Memphis at 21Louisville
23USC at Colorado
UNLV 41 Air Force 21 (Thursday)
Duke at Wake Forest
Cincinnati at Houston
Michigan at Iowa
Virginia at Miami(FL)
BYU at Notre Dame
Nebraska at Penn State
ULM at South Alabama
Kentucky at Georgia