Week Thirteen Predictions
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With two of the most exciting weekends in college football set to go down next weekend and the week after, the big games are few and far between here in week 13. Still, several very intriguing matchups will go down - especially in the Pac-12 with two Top 20 matchups. USC will face UCLA for the battle of Los Angeles, and Utah hosts Arizona in another dandy!
Here are my predictions for the games of week 13...
#25 Minnesota (8-2) at #23 Nebraska (7-3) - Noon - ESPN - From the Nebraska fan comments in our forum regarding HC Bo Pelini, it'll be interesting to see the crowd in Lincoln this Saturday. The Cornhuskers sell out Memorial Stadium in the fall with the same consistency as the sun rising each morning, but Pelini has pissed off the natives after a horrific loss at Wsconsin and it will be interesting to see just how angry these fans are. Minnesota is not bad and will test Pelini's squad for 60 minutes. I'm going Huskers, but not sure why. Nebraska, 27-21.
Washington State (3-7) at #13 Arizona State (8-2) - 1:00 - PAC-12 Network - It would be an upset of epic proportions if WSU is to steal a win here. I know anything can happen in college football, but in this one I am going to go with the obvious and take the Sun Devils at home. ASU could still have a nice season despite a hugely disappointing loss to Oregon State a week ago that wrecked a shot at the playoffs. Some frustration will be taken out here. Arizona State, 42-10.
Boston College (6-4) at #3 Florida State (10-0) - 3:30 - ABC regional / ESPN2 - If you are an FSU fan, you're probably starting to bite your fingernails a little bit about making the playoffs. The Noles have slipped from 1st to 3rd in recent weeks, and with a few weekends left to go where their competitors have some big games, the Noles berth is not guaranteed by any means. First, they must beat Boston College. This should be a blowout and needs to be as apparently style points matter to the selection committee. Florida State, 40-14.
#16 Wisconsin (8-2) At Iowa (7-3) - 3:30 - ABC regional / ESPN2 - The Badgers are just one weird game away from being a serious contender for the CFP. An opening close loss to LSU could be over looked, but another close loss to mediocre Northwestern in week five - in bad weather - washed any CFP chances down the drain. With a Big Ten title still a goal to play for, Wisconsin heads to Iowa to face a Hawkeye team that has a good record but is suspect (a 37-point loss to Minnesota raises a lot of red flags). Going Badgers. Wisconsin, 35-21.
#15 Arizona (8-2) at #17 Utah (7-3) - 3:30 - ESPN - In a Pac-12 South battle (where five of six teams are ranked in the Top 17), I'm gonna stick to my guns with the Utes and look to see them take care of things at home against a good Arizona team. Both of these teams are just a few plays away from being listed with the nation's elite, so if you have tickets to this game you will see some good football. Neither team has a defense or offense that will set the world on fire, but both teams have been consistent and solid in 2014. Utah, 31-24.
#24 Louisville (7-3) at Notre Dame (7-3) - 3:30 - NBC - The Irish are coming off of a stomach punch loss at the hands of lowly Northwestern and now must get up off the ground to play Louisville. I know from first hand experience that UL has some very good athletes and will bring a solid game plan and a lot of fight to South Bend. Notre Dame has a decent team and are at home, but I am going to pick Louisville to go in and steal a win. Louisville, 28-21.
Maryland (6-4) at Michigan (5-5) - 3:30 - B1G Network - Will Muschamp at Florida has already been fired, now it is time to see if Brady Hoke is next. He is tinkering very close to the edge of the cliff, and a loss here to Maryland - at home - would surely be the wind that blows him over. In this one we will see perhaps the worst offense in America as Michigan is 111th in points scored. Maryland's defense is almost as bad as they give up 30 points a game. Going to go Terps. Maryland, 28-24.
#20 Missouri (8-2) at Tennessee (5-5) - 7:00 - ESPN - Butch Jones has his team heading in the right direction with wins over South Carolina and Kentucky the last two weekends. With a bowl out of the question (three of the wins were over cupcakes), Jones looks for his team to take some momentum into the offseason if they can beat Mizzou and Vanderbilt (away). In this one, I am going to go with the visiting Tigers. The Missouri defense is a solid unit and UT has struggled putting points up this year (68th nationally). Missouri, 30-20.
Oklahoma State (5-5) at #7 Baylor (8-1) - 7:30 - FOX - Mike Gundy is one of my favorite head coaches in college football, so it is surprising to me to see his OSU team struggle so in 2014. With five losses already, #6 is on the way this Saturday at Baylor. The Bears are a pretty darned good team and at home I think they do what they need to do to beat the Cowboys and keep their CFP hopes alive. For many seasons, Gundy's teams have lit up scoreboards. Now, Baylor has become known as one of the best offenses in the nation year in and year out (#1 in the nation currently at 51 ppg). Baylor, 42-21.
#19 USC (7-3) at #9 UCLA (8-2) - 8:00 - ABC - Here is your main event on a relatively slow Saturday. This game should be a thriller and I cannot wait to watch two rivals duel it out before a packed house! On one hand you have a USC team fighting to gain back L.A. supremacy. On the other hand you have QB Brett Hundley (2-0 vs the Trojans) and the Bruins trying to prove to the nation that they are a legit top 10 team. I'm big on the Bruins this year, but the more I look at USC's resume, they are very close to being a CFP contending team - losses are very close to strong teams. I'm taking the visitors. USC, 31-30.
* All rankings CFP, All times EST
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