There are 6 ranked matchups in week 12. The big game of the weekend is Michigan at Ohio State. This game has huge playoff implications. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State also have chances to prove to the committee why they should be in contention. A lot of the SEC is playing FCS or Group of 5 teams this weekend, so watch out for some major upset potential. There are only 3 weeks left before the final rankings come out, so expect some shake-ups.
9Michigan State at 3Ohio State Michigan State has a good defense, but I don’t think it will be enough to overcome all of the offensive weapons that Ohio State has. The Buckeyes have looked much better on offense since switching to JT Barrett at QB. It’ll be interesting to see how Connor Cook plays after his injury last weekend that forced him to sit out in the second half. Since this is such a big game, I think Michigan State will keep it close but Ohio State will pull away in the end. I am picking Ohio State.
10Baylor at 6Oklahoma State I’m picking the upset in this game. I think Baylor has a good chance to win. The Bears put up 34 points on the best defense in the Big 12. Oklahoma State has given up a lot of points this season and had a very close call last week against Iowa State. That might have been due to them looking ahead to this game, but now that Baylor is no longer undefeated, will the Cowboys be looking ahead to Bedlam? I think Baylor is going to be a little angry after last week and will bounce back. I expect this to be a high-scoring game that could very possibly come down to the final possession. I think the team that wins the turnover battle will win the game. I am picking Baylor.
18TCU at 7Oklahoma Oklahoma made a big statement last week by going to Waco and knocking off Baylor. TCU nearly lost to Kansas and did lose their star WR and QB Trevone Boykin is questionable to play. I think Oklahoma will get a convincing win if Boykin doesn’t play and will get a comfortable win if he does play. But much like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma could be looking ahead to Bedlam. TCU has a chance to pull a major upset if OU plays like they did against Texas. But if the Sooner team that played Baylor shows up, TCU is in for a long game. I am picking Oklahoma.
15LSU at 22Ole Miss I had a really hard time picking this game. The reason I decided to go with the Rebels has a lot to do with the way LSU played against Arkansas. I wasn’t at that game, but from what I heard, LSU fans are angry (to put it nicely) at the team and the coaching staff. I think a lot of the fanbase has given up on the Tigers (the stands were almost empty at halftime for a nationally televised night game against a conference opponent) despite only losing to two of the hottest teams in the country. Ole Miss is coming off a bye week and a win here keeps them in contention for the SEC West title if Bama slips up in the Iron Bowl. LSU had trouble defending the big play against Arkansas and the big play is something Ole Miss is good at. The outcome of this game depends on which LSU team shows up. I think Chad Kelly will have a big game and lead the Rebels to victory. I am picking Ole Miss.
20Northwestern at 25Wisconsin If you read my rankings reactions, you know I don’t really think Northwestern deserves to be ranked. I think Wisconsin is the better team in this matchup. I think their offense has more scoring potential than Northwestern’s. I think this will be a pretty ugly game and it could also be a very close one. This game also has an impact on Iowa. The Hawkeyes beat both of these teams so one of them falling out of the top 25 could hurt them in the eyes of the committee. This game could go either way. I am picking Wisconsin.
24USC at 23Oregon I think this will be a great game. Oregon should still be riding high after upsetting Stanford last week. USC had a little bit of a close call at Colorado, but should be up for this game. The Ducks are a completely different team when Vernon Adams Jr. is healthy. Between him and running back Royce Freeman playing well, it is hard to pick against Oregon. This should be a competitive and high-scoring game. Much like most Pac 12 games, I believe it will come down to the end. USC is now tied with Utah for first place in the South and holds the tiebreaker thanks to their win over the Utes earlier in the season if they can win this game. Oregon can still win the North, but they need a win and some help from California. I am picking Oregon.
Mississippi State at Arkansas Much like last season, no one wants to play the Hogs right now. Since the bye week, Arkansas is 4-0 (including 2 road SEC wins over ranked opponents). Razorback QB Brandon Allen is playing some amazing football and RB Alex Collins is doing the same. Mississippi State is coming off a big loss to Alabama. The Bulldogs will have to face a similar offense this week, but the Hogs have to prepare for one of the best QBs in the country in Dak Prescott. Prescott can hurt you in a lot of different ways, the scariest being with the long pass, something Arkansas has struggled with all season. The Razorback secondary will have to step up big time in this game to get the win. Alabama sacked Dak 9 times last week and the Hogs recorded 5 sacks against LSU. Getting to Prescott early and often will be important in this game. Arkansas needs to make sure they don’t have a letdown after facing two ranked teams.
Wake Forest at 1Clemson
Charleston Southern at 2Alabama
Boston College vs 4Notre Dame (Fenway Park)
Purdue at 5Iowa
Florida Atlantic at 8Florida
California at 11Stanford
12Michigan at Penn State
UCLA at 13Utah
Chattanooga at 14Florida State
16Navy at Tulsa
17North Carolina at Virginia Tech
19Houston at Connecticut
21Memphis at Temple
Air Force at Boise State (Fri)
Arizona at Arizona State
Colorado State at New Mexico
Tennessee at Missouri
Texas A&M at Vanderbilt