By Chris Carlson
Week 12 saw both Minnesota and Baylor fall from the unbeaten ranks, a variety of spirited games, and a major injury to a potential 1st pick in the NFL draft. In Week 13 the Big Ten takes center stage with a marquee matchup along with several games flying under the radar. With only 3 weeks left for teams across the country to state their claim to qualify for a Top-4 finish, carnage can occur in the blink of the eye.
#2 Ohio State vs. #8 Penn State: This Big Ten marquee matchup will be the deciding factor for which proud program will represent the East in the conference final. Ohio State has looked every bit the part of an elite squad on both sides of ball. Their offense is a juggernaut and OSU’s defense can pressure opposing quarterbacks as good as any unit in the nation. Penn State started very strong with victories over Michigan and Iowa. Minnesota defeated the Nittany Lions in a very competitive contest but last week PSU nearly stumbled versus a rising Indiana. The weather at the ‘Horseshoe’ calls for mild temperatures in the 40’s with a good chance of rain. First and foremost Penn State will need to contain the Buckeyes rushing attack. Doing so will place the emphasis on the young and talented Georgia QB transfer Justin Fields. With sloppy conditions and Penn State stacking the box defensively could make this a competitive tilt thru say 3ish quarters. Eventually Ohio State creates separation for a comfortable conclusion.
The Pick: Ohio State 34 Penn State 20
Under The Radar
#14 Baylor vs. Texas: How will Baylor perform on Saturday coming off an unbelievably disappointing loss to Oklahoma giving up a 25-point lead? Texas had beaten a ranked Kansas State team but dropped a razor-close one to Iowa State as a ranked team last Saturday. This college ball junkie’s gut is telling me to side with Baylor being at home and with the Longhorns recent string of barnburners they could come out flat. But it’s not like Baylor has been winning convincingly either so will the Bears be hung over? Home field and more overall key injuries for Texas is a good enough reason to side with Baylor.
The Pick: Baylor 37 Texas 34
#13 Michigan vs. Indiana: After a poor start to the season, especially against Wisconsin, the Wolverines have put together a few solid outings. Indiana barely lost to Penn State and Las Vegas is showing some respect to the Hoosiers on their improved play over the last 5 outings. Hoosier QB Peyton Ramsey and Co. can put tons of yards up but will need to execute in the red zone. Michigan QB Shea Patterson has settled in nicely of late and will need to take advantage of play-action passing. The only way Michigan loses this trap game before a date with their bitter-rival Ohio State, is turning the ball over. Should be an intriguing matchup until Michigan’s defense and talent takes the game over in the 2nd half.
The Pick: Michigan 30 Indiana 20
Saturday Upset Special
Oregon State upsets Washington State as a 10-5 point road dog.
Kansas State vs. Texas Tech: Neither program is in contention for a Big-12 championship be that as it may this one to be on the table in the 4th quarter.
#25 SMU vs. Navy: Styles clash in this AAC matchup with the run heavy option ground game in Navy and the air-it-our passing attack from SMU.
Against The Spread
#18 Iowa will defeat Illinois at home but not by the 15.5-points Las Vegas is giving the Hawkeyes.
(Honorable Mentions: UCLA losing by less than 14-points to #23 USC or TCU keeping it under 18-points in a losing effort to #9 Oklahoma.)
Take it to the window #6 Oregon will cover as a 14-point favorite at Arizona State.
Quick Hits Recap & My Top-4 Plus 1
-My Top-4: #1 LSU #2 Ohio State #3 Georgia #4 Clemson #5 Oregon
-Oklahoma’s miraculous 25-point comeback is the largest in Sooners history. Down 21 at halftime, Oklahoma was the only team to defeat a 9-0 opponent since
-Sooners QB Jalen Hurts rallied his squad back to a tune of 4 passing TD’s and 100 yards rushing, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by an Oklahoma player since to 2001.
-LSU QB Joe Burrow keeps putting up the stats adding another 5 TD’s and 489 passing yards in a track meet against Ole Miss.
-Wisconsin workhorse RB Jonathan Taylor stacked up yet another 200-yard (204) game making it 11 in his Badger career which puts him in a 4-way tie for most ever in FBS history.
-Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool caught 7 balls for 4 TD’s tying a school record in a walk over of Navy.
-Yale QB Kurt Rawlings set a school record throwing 6 touchdowns in a win over Princeton.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio &Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio