Week Twelve Predictions
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Another week of difficult picks are among us. It all starts Friday night when Washington hits the road to face UCLA. The spotlight is on the Pac-12 this weekend as Stanford travels to USC, Oregon State flies south to face Arizona State, and Utah visits Oregon. In the SEC, Georgia tries to knock off Auburn to get back into the more important national talks, and in the Big-10 Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini looks for a big home win over Michigan State...
I'm hanging in there near the top of the Pick'em Contest, but breaking through for my first ever win is going to be very tough as several strong players surround me. There are just three weeks to go, and lots of tricky picks, so let's see what happens!
Here are my picks for the games of week twelve...
Washington (6-3) at #13 UCLA (7-2) - 9:00 - ESPN2 - I like the Bruins here behind the strong quarterback play of sophomore Brett Hundley. It has been a big season so far for UCLA and I look for them to take another step towards a nice bowl with a home win over the Huskies. Washington also has a lot to play for in this one as the Holiday Bowl is in sight for them, as well. This could very well be the best game of the weekend! UCLA, 35-27.
#12 Oklahoma State (8-1) at #24 Texas (7-2) - 3:30 - FOX - I have already predicted (in another recent article) that Texas will win the Big-12, so there is no turning back at this point. In Austin, I will pick the home guys to shut down the always potent offense of the visiting Cowboys. Since a 1-2 start had Longhorn fans calling for his head, Mack Brown has responded with six straight wins. I look for them to make it seven straight. Texas, 36-31.
#16 Michigan State (8-1) at Nebraska (7-2) - 3:30 - ABC regional - We all know the Spartans have one of the best defenses in the country, so the pressure will be on Nebraska to get some points on their own field. This is a tough game to pick as Nebraska is so unpredictable. The Huskers lost to good competition at home in UCLA and I am thinking that way now. However, when the world is against them (which is too often lately), Nebraska has responded. I'm still not a Pelini fan, but I think he gets a win here simply cause MSU has trouble scoring. Nebraska, 20-10.
#25 Georgia (6-3) at #7 Auburn (9-1) - 3:30 - CBS - Here is my upset special of the week. The Dawgs have Todd Gurley back in the lineup and still nobody is giving them much of a shot in this game. I will admit out loud that I, too, keep talking about perhaps the biggest Iron Bowl ever between the Tide and the Tigers in two weeks, assuming that Auburn beats Georgia. The more I think about this one, I am going to go with an upset here! Georgia, 38-33.
Utah (4-5) at #6 Oregon (8-1) - 4:00 - FOX Sports 1 - Oregon will bounce back in a big way at home against Utah. No offense to the Utes - who I actually have a ton of respect for now that we see Stanford is the real deal and Utah beat em - but Oregon is still Oregon and they will cruise to a big win here. Utah still needs a couple wins to become bowl eligible. Oregon, 45-20.
Florida (4-5) at #10 South Carolina (7-2) - 7:00 - ESPN2 - You can bet Steve Spurrier is licking his chops at a chance for a big win over his alma mater. The Gamecock offense versus the Gator defense is actually a pretty good matchup, though, and I don't think USC will blow UF out as some are predicting. I am certainly going to predict a South Carolina win here, but I think it is a better game than folks are expecting. South Carolina, 33-21.
Texas Tech (7-3) vs #5 Baylor (8-0) - 7:00 - FOX - Arlington, TX - As I have mentioned several times, the Texas Tech Red Raiders had a breeze off a schedule over the first half of the season, only to be faced with some stiff competition in the second half. Coming off of a home loss to Kansas State, reality has set in for TTU and will continue to set in deeper this weekend. Baylor is the real deal and they will bring another W home. Baylor, 45-28.
#1 Alabama (9-0) at Mississippi State (4-5) - 7:45 - ESPN - This is a good chance for MSU to gauge just how far it has to go to get to the top. The sobering news is that they will find out they have about 10,000 miles to go. Alabama will out class the Bulldogs in every phase of this game and roll to an easy win. A few turnovers early would be Mississippi State's only hope in this one, but that just won't happen. Alabama, 44-10.
#4 Stanford (8-1) at USC (7-3) - 8:00 - ABC - Perhaps the hardest pick all weekend, I am leaning towards the Cardinal. I love the way USC is playing right now under fill-in Head Coach Ed Orgeron as the players have a nothing-to-lose attitude. But I think Stanford presents a whole different animal with a solid gameplan and will be too much for the Trojans. I can't wait to see how this one goes down! Stanford, 33-24.
Oregon State (6-3) at #19 Arizona State (7-2) - 9:30 - Pac-12 Network - Gonna take the Sun Devils at home here. It is my standard procedure to take the home team when I am at a loss on who to take. I like what is going on with ASU right now and I am willing to stick my neck out for them here to get the win. The big Pac-12 games of this weekend are among the four toughest picks of the whole season! Arizona State, 38-30.
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