By Chris Carlson
In Week 11, Bama zipped another ranked opponent and both Big-12 Marquee Matchups featured high scoring shootout thrillers per usual. On paper Week 12 is light on ranked versus ranked games with rivalry week just around the corner. For those keeping track at home, the other two weeks that looked weak during this regular season produced pandemonium across the College Football landscape.
#3 Notre Dame vs. #12 Syracuse: Unbeaten Norte Dame can see the finish line in their sights to complete an undefeated regular season. The Orangeman our riding high of late and have an explosive offense to boot. Syracuse beat highly ranked Clemson last year and seemed poised to knock off the Irish. Prior to last week’s easy win over FSU, the Irish had 3 straight contested games and with QB Book injured, it will likely be another close one decided late. Although this hack-of-a-scribe is siding with the Irish, it will be closer than the betting lines tell us.
The Pick: Notre Dame 37 Syracuse 30
Under The Radar
#15 Texas vs. #16 Iowa State: The Longhorns had stumbled in back to back games after getting all the way up to #7 in the country. Texas did manage to narrowly defeat Texas Tech in Week 11, but win or lose the last 6 games were decided by an average of 3.5 points. Winners of 5 in a row 3 versus Top-25 teams, makes Iowa State a very dangerous Big-12 foe for anyone at this point. Every bone in my body is telling me to pick the Cyclones but this will be the week Iowa State finally comes back down to earth so to speak.
The Pick: Texas 26 Iowa State 23
#11 Central Florida vs. #25 Cincinnati: Another week, another important matchup in the Non-Power 5 world. The Bearcats have improved throughout the season whereas Central Florida seemingly peaked a few weeks back. With a victory, the Knights can lock up the AAC-East division having already beaten Temple, the only team to defeat Cincinnati this season. This wanna-be-scribe will not be shocked if the Bearcats end the nation’s longest winning streak.
The Pick: Central Florida 40 Cincinnati 37
Saturday Upset Special
Wisconsin travels to West Lafayette to face Purdue and walk away with the win as a 4-point road dog.
(Honorable Mention: Now that Arizona QB Khalil Tate is healthy that makes him a real threat to at least make things interesting versus #8 Washington State. Dare I say Upset?)
Michigan State at Nebraska: Don’t let the Cornhuskers 3-7 record fool you, a few breaks go their way and Nebraska could have at least 2-3 more wins. The Spartans have bowl placement and pride to play for so look for this to be a barnburner until the end.
Arizona State at Oregon: The Ducks are shockingly averaging under a 100-yards rushing per game in the Pac-12. While the overachieving Sun Devils continue to add building blocks to the programs foundation. Something has to give in what should be a game that ends with whichever team has the ball last.
Against The Spread
Syracuse will lose to Notre Dame by less than the 10.5 Las Vegas claims.
(Honorable Mentions: Duke will definitely lose to the 2nd ranked Clemson Tigers, but with the ability to put up points and bowl eligibility still on the table equals the Blue Devils covering as a 28-point underdog. Also, SMU loses by less the 9.5-points Memphis.)
Take it to the window Boston College will beat Florida State in Tallahassee as a slight favorite.
Take it to the window Memphis vs. SMU will go over the 73.5 over/under.
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
-The #1 team in the country Alabama set a school record by shutting out ranked opponents in back to back games in a 24-0 victory over Mississippi State.
-Oklahoma State QB Taylor Cornelius and Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray put on quite a display in a 49-48 Sooner victory in the Bedlam rivalry. Murray accumulated 415 total yards, while Cornelius threw for 501 yards and 3 TD’s
-#2 Clemson beat Boston College last Saturday 27-7 wrapping up the ACC Atlantic division, the Tigers 4th in a row which is school record.
-Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney moved his team’s record to 15-2 when facing an AP-Top 25 ranked opponent since 2015.
-Pittsburgh RB Qadree Ollison had 15 carries for a whopping 235 yards rushing and 3 scores in a 52-22 victory over Virginia Tech.
-Trailing by 31 points in the 2nd quarter, Murray State stormed back to win 40-38, scoring a kickoff return in the closing seconds.
-University of Davidson piled up an astonishing 789 rushing yards versus San Diego, the most ever historically in FBS or FCS, yet unbelievable lost the game 56-52
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio