It’s Week 12 in this crazy College Football season and we are about to embark on the first real college football rankings.
Starting Tuesday, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will begin their top 25 rankings for the next six weeks to give fans an idea where their team stands in the committee’s eyes.
It’s a perfect time for this: the Big 10 and Big 12 have huge games with conference championship aspirations, Clemson will finally be at full strength with Trevor Lawrence returning, the Sun Belt may have the game of the day, and finally, Ohio State and Indiana meet as top 10 opponents for the first time in the history of their 120-year rivalry.
Here’s some picks and the top games we think you should check out:
#9 Indiana at #3 Ohio State, Noon EST, FOX
Why should I watch? Can David upset Goliath? Indiana, despite being 0-27 vs. Ohio State since 1991, comes into this game as the darlings of the College Football Season. The Hoosiers have an amazing coach, a talented quarterback, and a turnover forcing, opportunistic defense. They haven’t played a team like #3 Ohio State, however. Ohio State is clearly the class of the Big 10 and their Quarterback Justin Fields (whom I’ve raved about) has been amazing. Ohio State would win 9 out of 10 times against Indiana, but tomorrow could be the one time… If it was at Indiana.
Prediction: Ohio State 37-24 over Indiana
#4 Clemson at Florida State, Noon EST, ABC
Why Should I watch? To see future #1 pick Trevor Lawrence‘s return to action where he destroys this 2-6 Seminole team. The Tigers haven’t played since they lost to Notre Dame two weeks ago and should be ready to demolish FSU. FSU does have an impressive win against North Carolina recently, but they don’t have much of a prayer Saturday.
Prediction: Clemson 56-17 over Florida State
Appalachian State at #15 Coastal Carolina, Noon EST, ESPN2
Why Should I watch?: Because you’re going to need a game to flip to if you have ADHD or Indiana-Ohio State is boring. The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are currently the highest ranked team in Sun Belt history and are led by a dominant defense (6 points given up in last two games). Their opponent, Appalachian State is battle tested winning five straight. App State, however, is likely without their starting quarterback and running back– too much to overcome on the road.
Prediction: Coastal Carolina 27, App. State 16
LSU at Arkansas, 12 Noon, EST, SEC Network
Why Should I watch?: You probably won’t be too intrigued unless you are an SEC fan. At 2-3, LSU is having a horrid post-championship season. LSU’s opponent is an Arkansas team that gave up 63 points to Florida last week. Arkansas offense led by Quarterback Feleipe Franks looks to eat up this LSU defense who is giving up over 478 yards per game. LSU has to take advantage of Arkansas’ weak rushing defense (180 yards per game surrendered) but that’s not likely with the 104th ranked rushing attack…
Prediction: Arkansas 37-27 over Arkansas
#7 Cincinnati at UCF, 3:30 pm EST, ESPN
Why Should I watch: We want to see the first non-power five team crash the College Football playoff, but the UCF Knights and their tops in the nation offense and prolific quarterback look to ruin that party. We talk so much about Cincy’s defense but duel threat Quarterback Desmond Ridder (450 rush yards) is going to have to carry them on the road. Cincinnati has to win on the road and win big to continue in the playoff conversation.
Pick: Cincinnati 23, UCF 20
#10 Wisconsin at #19 Northwestern, 3:30 pm EST, ABC
Why Should I watch: This is the game of the day and an offense vs. defense slugfest. Wisconsin’s offense has been humming outscoring their opponents 94-18 in two games while the Wildcat defense is only surrendering 14 points per game while surrendering only an absurd 4.33 yards per play. Will Wisconsin star Quarterback Graham Mertz return to form in his second game back from COVID? This is Northwestern’s chance to shine and prove if it is legit and playing at home may help.
Prediction: Northwestern 24, Wisconsin 21
UCLA at #11 Oregon, 3:30 pm EST, ESPN2
Why should I watch?: The Oregon offense is explosive averaging 39 points and 537 yards per game. While they haven’t passed the eye test they should mop the floor with this UCLA team (Who actually flattened Cal last week 34-10). Oregon must win out and look impressive if it wants a shot at the playoff due to their shortened seven game season.
Prediction: Oregon 52, UCLA 31
Kentucky at #1 Alabama, 4 pm, EST, SEC Network
Why Should I watch?: To see the #1 team in the nation and the current Heisman trophy leader in action. QB Mac Jones (Who reminds some of Joe Burrow), has been sensational and playing himself into first round consideration. He gets to face the Kentucky Wildcats, who remind me of the Chicago Bears. Kentucky has a good defense but a putrid offense who couldn’t score 14 points in their last three games. Kentucky is screwed once Alabama gets up 10. Fun fact: Alabama is 37-2-1 in all time series.
Prediction: Alabama: 47, Kentucky 13
#14 Oklahoma State at #18 Oklahoma, 7:30 pm EST, ABC
Why should I watch this? This is the primetime ABC game with huge stakes. The Sooners are on a four game win streak and their offense is on fire (46.1 points per game) led by future star Spencer Rattler. They take on an Oklahoma State team who ACTUALLY HAS A GOOD DEFENSE (If you don’t know, Big 12 defenses generally suck). Oklahoma State is expecting their star back Chubba Hubbard (Say that five times fast) back from injury for this game. Expect Oklahoma’s dominance over State to continue.
Prediction: Oklahoma pulls away 40-23
#21 Liberty at NC State, 7:30 pm EST, ESPN3
Why should I watch this game? You want to see Liberty play. Liberty (8-0 on the season) is led by dual threat quarterback Malik Willis (1,645 yards, 15 touchdowns, 700 rushing yards) and is looking to go 3-0 against the ACC Conference with a win. NC State has only lost to ranked teams to date but aren’t very exciting. Against Miami, NC State gave up over 100 yards on the ground to QB D’Eriq King, I would expect the same here in a close game.
Prediction: Liberty 27-24 over NC State
#20 USC at Utah, 10:30 pm EST, ESPN
Why should I watch?: This is the best late game if you can’t sleep. USC is 2-0 but only beat two mediocre teams (by a combined five points) with late game comebacks. Utah enters this game undefeated at a whopping 0-0 due to coronavirus cancellations. The Utes (11-3 in 2019) have lost nine defensive starters, their quarterback and running back. USC gives up over 200 rush yards per game so the Utes need to pound the ball. The Utes are itching to play and the Trojans are paper tigers.
Prediction: Utah 33-24 over USC
BONUS UPSET: Iowa at Penn State, 3:30 pm EST, Big Ten Network
Why should I watch this? Penn State is 0-4 for the first time since 2001 and are a complete embarresment (And somewhat unlucky). They face a run heavy Iowa team who has outscored their opponents 84-14 in their last two games. PSU Coach James Franklin sparked the team last week by benching starting quarterback Sean Clifford for Will Lewis. Penn State’s defense is too good and their pride is too great to go 0-5 at home… right?
Prediction: Penn State 23-20 over Iowa
SIGNIFICANT CANCELLED GAMES DUE TO COVID-19:
Ole Miss at #5 Texas A&M (Aggies should have won)
This is very unfortunate for A&M considering the committee doesn’t have any recent idea of how good they are due to cancellations.
Georgia Tech at #12 Miami (Miami should have won big)