By Chris Carlson
In Week 11 LSU and Minnesota snatched up the best two victories in the country, a few upsets occurred in the Top-25 and close calls among the Top-15. Things don’t slow down a bit in a Week 12 that features marquee matchup in the SEC & Big-12 as well as a several important games flying under the radar.
#4 Georgia vs. #12 Auburn: The Georgia/Auburn rivalry is the oldest in the Deep South dating back to 1892. Auburn’s schedule forced them to face a murders row this year as the Tigers look for another significant victory to go along with a solid non-conference win over Oregon. Two weeks ago Georgia defeated Florida taking over pole position for the stretch run in the SEC East. The Bulldogs are ranked 4th now so to keep pace they must beat Auburn. It can be deceiving to just compare stats especially defensively because of Auburn’s brutal schedule. Given the fact that both of these teams love to run the ball, the man under center for Georgia Jake Fromm will be the difference maker.
The Pick: Georgia 20 Auburn 19
#10 Oklahoma vs. #13 Baylor: This should live up to a good old fashion Big-12 Shootout in Waco, Texas on Saturday. Baylor has been living on the edge in the last month wining two games in multiple overtimes and a few more in the closing moments throughout the season. Oklahoma started very strong and seemed to have improved on defense. But that’s no longer the case as the Sooners dropped a high-scoring affair to Kansas State and barely survived a failed two-point conversation against a game Iowa State. It’s been a successful run for Baylor but Jalen Hurts and CeeDee Lamb will outlast the Bears.
The Pick: Oklahoma 37 Baylor 31
Under The Radar
#8 Minnesota vs. #20 Iowa: With so many meaningful matchups in Week 12 this one is flying under the radar. The Gophers have a ton of momentum on their side remaining unbeaten thru 9 games coming off a spectacular performance versus a previously undefeated Penn State. Iowa on the other hand hasn’t found a way to break thru when facing a Top-25 opposition. Minnesota represents the 4th ranked opponent for Iowa in the last 6 outings. Minnesota has the better offense especially on the outside boasting two future NFL wide receivers in Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman. Surprisingly the Hawkeyes offensive rushing attack is well below their standard. On paper the Gophers are the better team but traveling to Kinnick Stadium for this rivalry tilt played for a pig named ‘Floyd of Rosesdale’ has hangover effect written all over it.
The Pick: Iowa 19 Minnesota 16
#16 Notre Dame vs. #23 Navy: Since getting destroyed by Michigan, the Irish slithered by Virginia Tech and waxed Duke. Navy dropped a competitive game to a red-hot Memphis squad back in Week 5 but managed to string together 6 victories in a row. Obviously when having to take on a triple-option attack in Navy, the key will be to contain QB Malcolm Perry. If Notre Dame could keep Navy under say 200-225 rushing yards that’s an accomplishment for a unit averaging 358 yards on the ground per game. The Notre Dame defensive side of the ball with an emphasis on the linebackers will have to rely on lane discipline to have any chance of shutting the option down. If Navy gets ahead early this one could get sticky but eventually the Irish will pull away.
The Pick: Notre Dame 27 Navy 20
Saturday Upset Special
Wyoming upsets Utah State as a 6-point road dog.
#9 Penn State vs. Indiana: The Hoosiers come in winners of 4 straight and Penn State fell out of the Top-4 Playoff Rankings. This one has the ingredients for a Big Ten scrap regardless of what the point-spread
#19 Texas vs. Iowa State: Texas is back to being ranked by knocking off a solid Kansas State club and Iowa State lost a heartbreaker to Oklahoma. Desperation could equate to a heck of a finish in Ames, Iowa.
Against The Spread
Baylor loses to Oklahoma but by less than the 10-points Las Vegas claims.
(Honorable Mention: #3 Clemson has burned me a few times but I’m still taking out a flyer for the possibility of Wake Forest losing by less than 33.5-points.)
Northwestern hadn’t scored a touchdown in 3 weeks but the Wildcats are favored by 40 over a horrible UMASS I’m just saying it may be worth a look.
Take it to the window #5 Alabama will cover on the road as a 17.5 favorite.
Quick Hits Recap & My Top 4 Plus 2 More
-My Top 4: #1 LSU #2 Ohio State #3 Clemson #4 Georgia #5 Alabama #6 Minnesota
-LSU put a sudden halt to Alabama’s 31-game home winning streak in Tuscaloosa.
-Heisman Trophy front runner LSU QB Joe Burrow threw another 3 TD’s in a crucial win over Bama and now has the most 3 touchdowns games in school history at 7.
-Minnesota moved to 9-0 by beating Penn State, giving the Gophers their first home victory over a Top-5 school since 1977.
-Gophers sophomore WR Rashod Bateman became just the 2nd player in school history to eclipse 200 yards receiving as he lit up the Nittany Lions to a tune of 7 catches, 203 yards and a TD on only 7 targets.
-Baylor Linebacker Terrell Bernard had a heck of a game finishing with 19 tackles, an interception, and a sack in a triple overtime win over TCU
-Redshirt freshman Miami QB Jarren Williams threw for a school record 6 touchdowns in a landslide victory over Louisville tying the ACC record in the process
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio