Thursday, November 15, 2012

College Football Picks - Week 12

It wasn't the best of weeks last week as I went 6-4 picking winners and an ugly 3-7 against the spread. I knew I was throwing one away by picking TCU, but I didn't think it would get out of hand like that.

Unlike the Marlins, though, I'm not giving up.

I'll add this: props to Texas A&M. Many (myself included) thought the Aggies would get pounded in the SEC. Now, they're on the verge of a BCS berth. Unfortunately, most SEC teams are playing FCS opponents this week, so we'll focus this week's picks elsewhere.

Kent State at Bowling Green -2.5
It's a critical game in the MAC as Kent State (9-1, 6-0) could clinch a spot in the MAC Championship while Bowling Green (7-3, 5-1) is also bidding for the division title. A Bowling Green win would the Falcons would have the inside track heading into the final weekend and bring Ohio (4-2 in the league and visiting Kent State next week) back into the mix. The Falcons may have the best defense in the MAC, and I think it shows at home despite Kent State's strong rushing attack (15th in the FBS in rushing yards).
The pick: Bowling Green 28-24

Northwestern +7 at Michigan State
No team has its heart ripped out quite like Northwestern, which has a knack for losing leads late in the game. Will they finally hold on to one? Like I've said before, if they can get to 20, they stand a good chance to beat offensively challenged Michigan State. I'll hesitantly pick the Wildcats to get a nice W for a change.
The pick: Northwestern 24-21

#22 Rutgers at Cincinnati -6.5
Rutgers has a pretty record at 8-1, but they really haven't beaten anyone. Their best win was over Arkansas, and we all know by now about the mess that Arkansas is. Cincinnati has played better against a better schedule and will beat Rutgers at home.
The pick: Cincinnati 31-24

#12 Oklahoma -11 at West Virginia
If the Sooners win out, they should be BCS-bound.
Remember when it looked like the winner of the Kansas State-West Virginia game would win the Big 12? While it looks like that will be the case, it is amazing how far apart those two teams are now. West Virginia is in free fall, so much so that I worry about them being the one Big 12 win Kansas gets. But before that happens, though, they have to face Oklahoma. Landry Jones might have a career day against this defense. Look for OU to throw all day and be successful at it.
The pick: Oklahoma 56-28

#18 USC -3.5 at #17 UCLA
This one will decide the Pac-12 South champ. I think USC is in for quite a fight in this one, but I think Marquis Lee will make the difference with his big-play ability. USC will survive a shootout.
The pick: USC 49-42

#1 Kansas State -13 at Baylor
The Wildcats are so close to playing for a national title. I don't think their dreams come crashing down in Waco. Their defense is too good, and Collin Klein will keep this team moving forward. I think Kansas State's scare will come next week against Texas, not this week.
The pick: Kansas State 45-28

#13 Stanford +20.5 at #2 Oregon
Oregon is great, but Stanford will have the best defense the Ducks have seen this year. Stanford can slow this game down, and I think 3 touchdowns is a huge number against a team like the Cardinal. Stanford will hang around with Oregon, but the banged-up Ducks will pull away to remain unbeaten.
The pick: Oregon 42-31

#23 Texas Tech +10 at #24 Oklahoma State
Tech has fallen on hard times a bit, as the Red Raiders have lost two of their last three and almost lost to Kansas. I think they're due to turn it around, and they'll play better in Stillwater, but it won't be enough to win. OSU has quietly put together a solid season in the post-Weeden/Blackmon era. Had it not been for a blown call against Texas, OSU would be 5-1 in the Big 12.
The pick: Oklahoma State 38-31

Utah State at #20 Louisiana Tech +3
Colby Cameron might be the best QB you've never heard of.
It's a critical game with regards to the final WAC championship. Both teams enter this contest unbeaten in the league at 4-0. If Louisiana Tech wins, it sets up the possibility of a three-way tie as 4-1 San Jose State awaits the Bulldogs next week. If Utah State wins, that will all but give them the title since they play lowly Idaho (1-9) next week. I'm all for some championship drama, so I'll say Louisiana Tech pulls out the win behind another big game from Colby Cameron, who has still not thrown an interception this year. He has 27 touchdown passes to go along with 3,283 passing yards this year. Look for him to blow past the 3,500 mark this week on his way to what should end up as a 4,000 yard season (he has two games after this, assuming a bowl game).
The pick: Louisiana Tech 45-42

Ohio State +2.5 at Wisconsin
Wisconsin has improved since that rocky start, but I cannot believe they are a favorite against Ohio State. Remember: the Buckeyes are ineligible to receiving votes in the coaches' and BCS polls. However, they are sixth in the AP. 6! Sure, maybe Wisconsin will be tough at home, but I still expect the Buckeyes will run over Bucky.
The pick: Ohio State 33-24

I'll say one more thing about all those SEC teams playing FCS teams this week. Don't be shocked if these games are close for a while. Remember when Georgia Southern put up 341 yards of offense and was within 10 of Alabama at halftime last year? SEC teams treat these games for what they are: a break from the brutal SEC slate, and the FCS teams treat this game for what it is for them: their Super Bowl. Don't be shocked if Georgia Southern (8-2) scares Georgia for a half or Sam Houston (8-2) finds the endzone against Texas A&M. I fully expect all the SEC teams to eventually win by at least three touchdowns, though.

1 comment:

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