We have reached Week 13 in the College Football season and there is plenty to be thankful for.
We had a great slate of games on Friday including a great day for the state of Iowa: Iowa beat Nebraska in their rivalry for the 6th straight time and Iowa State took a commanding lead in their quest for their first ever Big 12 title. Notre Dame’s defense, however, made the biggest statement of the day limiting high-powered North Carolina to only three points in the second half on their way to flawless 9-0 record.
This week was hit hard by COVID cancellations. The PAC-12, however, may have started something awesome. Washington and Utah will take part in one of the first COVID-19 replacement games on Saturday night in prime time. For the sake of the rest of the college season, I hope other conferences (including the NFL) take heed of what these teams chose to do.
Onto the games and picks!
Kentucky at #6 Florida, Noon, EST, ESPN
Kentucky was decimated 63 to 3 by #1 Alabama last week at home. Up next? They travel to Florida to face the #6 team led by two possible Heisman Trophy finalists in Quarterback Kyle Trask and Tight End Kyle Pitts. Kyle Trask is the first SEC Quarterback to throw 30 touchdown’s in seven games and should add at least five more here.
Prediction: Florida 53-13 Kentucky
Maryland at #12 Indiana, Noon EST, ESPN2
Why Should I Watch?: This game will feature a terrific quarterback battle between Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa (Tua’s younger brother) and Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr. (491 passing yards vs. Ohio State). Indiana played so well at Ohio State that they only dropped a few spots in the rankings and have a legitimate chance at a New Years Six Bowl if they win out. Watch out for the emotional let down, Indiana fans, but your team should capitalize against a Maryland team giving up 474.0 yards per game.
Prediction: Indiana 34-31 in overtime
#22 Auburn at #1 Alabama, 3:30 pm EST, CBS
Anything can happen in the Iron Bowl especially when these rivals are ranked. Auburn has won two out of the last three matchups’ including knocking out Alabama of the Playoff for the first time ever last season. This week, Alabama found out that head coach Nick Saban is out due to testing positive for COVID-19. It shouldn’t matter too much as the team has known about it for most of the week and Quarterback Mac Jones will pick apart the Auburn secondary.
Prediction: Alabama 38-21 Auburn
Pittsburgh at #3 Clemson, 3:30 pm EST,
Why Should I watch: This is Clemson’s first game back since losing at Notre Dame game three weeks ago. The Tigers are coming in pretty upset over not facing Florida State last week due to COVID-19 concerns. Pittsburgh is decent at 5-4 but have NO SHOT at Clemson especially considering this is Trevor Lawrence’s first game back after over a month absence.
Prediction: Clemson 54-17 Pittsburgh
#8 Northwestern at Michigan State, 3:30 pm EST
Why Should I watch?: Northwestern has its’ highest ranking in school history at #8 overall after beating down Wisconsin 17-7 last weekend. The Wildcats didn’t allow the Badgers to sniff the red zone and might have the nations’ best defense. They take on a porous but upset minded Michigan State team coming off of a 24-0 loss two weeks ago. It is possible we see an undefeated Northwestern team take on a undefeated Ohio State team for the right to go to the College Football Playoff.
Prediction: Northwestern 24-13 Michigan State
Northwestern had some pretty awesome motivation last week:
LSU at #5 Texas A&M, 7 pm, EST, ESPN
Why Should I watch?: Playoff implications for Texas A&M- the Aggies haven’t played in 20 days, got whopped against #1 Alabama (52-24) yet are still ranked #5 overall. They take on a disappointing yet motivated LSU team off of a 27-24 victory. Expect A&M Senior Quarterback Kellen Mond (16 TD, 2 INT to exploit an LSU’s defense which ranks 124th nationally in yards allowed per play. Texas A&M has to be perfect from here on out, however.
Prediction: Texas A&M 37-20 LSU
9 Georgia at South Carolina, 7:30 EST, SEC Network
Why Should I watch?: If you are a fan of Georgia. The two loss Bulldogs and their fans must be ecstatic after finding out they are ranked #9, however, they all know that their play didn’t justify that. The good news? The Bulldogs may have finally found their quarterback in USC transfer JT Daniels (401 passing yards). South Carolina is in complete disarray after coach Will Muschamp was fired and in response several players opted out. Its’ senior day for South Carolina, so maybe they have a shot?
Prediction: Georgia 40-24 South Carolina
Utah at Washington, 7:30 EST, ESPN
Why should I watch? This is one of the first ever COVID-19 replacement games. The Huskies were scheduled to take on Washington State this week while the Utes were scheduled for Arizona State and then this happened. Washington is coming off a win vs. Arizona where they led 37-0 at one point, while the Utes couldn’t hang last week with USC losing 33-17. Utah isn’t the same club as last years’ 11-3 team due to several departures and Washington’s run game (250 yards per game) should run them to death.
Prediction: Washington 31-17 Utah
SIGNIFICANT CANCELLED GAMES DUE TO COVID-19:
#4 Ohio State at Illinois (A total bummer- Illinois had a real shot if Ryan Day wasn’t able to coach).
Minnesota at #16 Wisconsin (Wisconsin should have been able to rebound post a difficult loss at Northwestern.
#11 Oklahoma at West Virginia (Oklahoma had so much momentum after winning four in a row).
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