By Chris Carlson
Week 12 produced a few upsets inside the Top-25 and a plethora of closer than expected games littered around the country. Week 13 is rivalry week featuring Marquee Matchups in the Big Ten, PAC-12, and Big-12. This is the first time in a while the Alabama vs. Auburn isn’t listed as a high profile matchup, could the Tigers be a sleeping giant killer? So many important games will decide trips to conference finals and/or the National Semifinals.
#4 Michigan vs. #10 Ohio State: One game remains in the regular season for the Wolverines to complete their Revenge Tour. Standing in Michigan’s way is their bitterest rival ‘Thee’ Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State’s offense is amongst the very best in the nation but the Buckeyes defense is mediocre on a good day. Buckeyes QB Dwayne Haskins is having a superb year and will no doubt put up numbers. For Michigan limiting Ohio State to a few field goals in the redzone rather than touchdowns will be essential.
Slowly but surely the Wolverines have improved on offense, now it seems their able to match a strong rushing attack with a serviceable quarterback. Will Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh finally get over the hump versus Ohio State? The Buckeyes will need to create turnovers on defense to pull this one off.
The Pick: Michigan 31 Ohio State 27
Under The Radar
#8 Washington State vs. #16 Washington: The 111th Apple Cup rivalry will reach its peak in the way of a huge PAC-12 matchup with the winner advancing to the league title game. The Cougars offense is out of this world led by quarterback Gardner Minshew, more importantly Washington State’s defense has made major strides most of the year. The Huskies have a competent yet underachieving QB in Jake Browning that will need to show-out to give Washington’s defense all the help it can. If any defense can slow or at least contain a high-powered offense it may be the Huskies. This one will be an entertaining display and likely come down to the final moments to decide a winner.
The Pick: Washington State 27 Washington 23
#6 Oklahoma vs. #13 West Virginia: West Virginia’s coming off a heartbreaker of a loss to Oklahoma State, but can still reach the Big-12 title game with a win. Oklahoma needs this victory to earn a rematch against Texas the only team to defeat the Sooners this year. Yet another Big-12 shootout is basically guaranteed with the over/under set at 85. The Mountaineers will keep pace enough to make this one fun but it will be the Sooners heading to the Big-12 finale.
The Pick: Oklahoma 44 West Virginia 40
Saturday Upset Special
#24 Pittsburgh is a 6-point underdog to the Miami Hurricanes the Canes dismissed their best wide receiver and have struggled mightily in the month on November making room for the Panthers to close out the season with a victory.
#21 Utah State at #23 Boise State: For the third consecutive week the Mountain West is in the spotlight for another key matchup in the Non-Power 5 conferences. The Boise State Broncos we’re dominate in Week 12 as expected, but in the 3 previous outings the Broncos found ways to win close games. After losing a Week 1 non-conference game to Michigan State, The Aggies have rattled off 10 straight wins. Whichever team has the ball last will win this game whether on a late score or in victory formation.
#20 Syracuse vs. Boston College: No this is not a misprint or a College Basketball game from Big East yesteryear. Instead it’s a quality ACC contest that should produce a tight ending. Will the Orangeman be hung over from last week’s blowout loss to Notre Dame? Don’t be surprised if the Eagles upset Syracuse, in a rivalry contest anything can happen.
Against The Spread
Maryland will eventually lose to #12 Penn State but the Terrapins will go down swinging enough to cover as a 13-point road dog.
Take it to the window as a slight road underdog LSU will beat Texas A&M.
Quick Hits Recap & My Top-4 Plus 4 More
-My Top-4: #1 Alabama #2 Clemson #3 Notre Dame #4 Michigan #5 Georgia #6 Oklahoma #7 Washington State/LSU
-Washington State Gardner Minshew lit-up the Arizona Wildcats defense to a tune 473 passing yards along with throwing for 7 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The Cougars won 69-28.
-Alabama was actually tied 10-10 at halftime against The Citadel Bulldogs until reality set in and the Crimson Tide rolled to a 50-17 victory.
-Oklahoma State quarterback Taylor Cornelius continued his recent tear putting up 338 passing yards with 5 TD’s and rushing for 106 yards with a rushing TD to boot. Cornelius’s Cowboys upset #9 West Virginia 45-41.
-A wild Big Ten tussle between Ohio State and Maryland ended in overtime with the Buckeyes scrapping by 52-51. Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 405 yards and 6 touchdowns in total. Terrapins freshman RB Anthony McFarland rushed for 298 yards and 2 TD’s in the loss.
-The Wisconsin Badgers capped off a comeback to defeat Purdue 47-44 in triple-overtime riding the back of RB Jonathan Taylor who rushed for 321 yards and 2 TD’s.
-Although Kansas lost to heavily favored Oklahoma 55-40, Jayhawks running back Pooka Williams Jr. rushed for 252 yards and 2 TD’s. Sooner QB Kyler Murray was stellar per usual accounting for 5 touchdowns 371 all-purpose yards.
-Penn State QB Trace McSorley set a school record with 30 career wins in a victory over Rutgers 20-7.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio