On behalf of myself and BOWLJET.com, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. This week we will have key games in every conference that will decide conference champions, conference championship matchups, and bowl eligibility for many schools. Below I’ll attempt to give you the winner of every meaningful game this holiday weekend.
A QUICK LOOK BACK AT WEEK 12
Clemson defeated Wake Forest to secure a seat in the ACC championship game. Virginia Tech and North Carolina are still battling for the Coastal crown. The Hokies will advance to face the Tigers if they defeat Virginia. Navy’s 66-31 win over East Carolina secured a spot in the AAC championship game. It will be the first championship appearance for the Midshipmen since joining the conference. Florida used a dramatic goal line stand in the last-minute to defeat LSU and claim the SEC East title. They will meet Alabama in Atlanta for the SEC championship game. Finally, Notre Dame continued it’s free fall blowing yet another lead in losing to Virginia Tech. The loss dropped the Irish to 4-7. Could Les Miles be the next head coach for the golden domers?
Joe Thomas Sr. of South Carolina state, rushed the ball four times on Saturday. Thomas is 55 years old and the father of Joe Thomas Jr. who is a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. Western Michigan has won a school record 13 games in a row. The Kansas victory over Texas was historical for several reasons. The victory snapped a nine game losing streak, longest in the FBS. It also snapped a 19 game skid to Big 12 foes, and a 23 game losing streak to FBS teams. It was the first time they had beaten the Longhorns since 1938. Miami (OH) is the first team in FBS history to have started the season 0-6 and finished the season 6-0.
THIS WEEKS FEATURED GAMES
No.5 WASHINGTON 10-1 AT No.23 WASHINGTON STATE 8-3 It’s a winner take all in what should be an epic battle in the Palouse on Friday. The winner will represent the Pac-12 North in the conference championship game. Both teams enter the game having lost a significant player to injury. The Huskies lost star linebacker Azeem Victor, while the Cougars struggled to replace River Cracraft last week. The battle of quarterbacks should be riveting. Jake Browning and Luke Falk are two of the best in the nation. I expect each to have success in this game. The game might well come down to whom has the ball last. I give the Huskies an advantage on defense and special teams. John Ross might play a huge role in this game, with a punt or kickoff return. DAWGS FIND A WAY 41-38.
No.3 MICHIGAN 10-1 AT No.2 OHIO STATE 10-1 This is the 113th edition of what they call “The Game”. This edition is the equivalent of a semi-final playoff game. Oddly enough, a win by the Buckeyes doesn’t assure themselves of a ticket to the Big 10 Championship Game. They would also need a Michigan State win over Penn State. A win by Michigan assures a trip to Indianapolis. I’m concerned about the ability of Wolverine quarterback John O’Korn to exploit the Buckeye defense. As of this writing, Wilton Speight is still questionable. The intrigue in this game to me is the battle between head coaches John Harbaugh and Urban Meyer. I’ll be curious just how many times Harbaugh tosses his hat or clipboard. BUCKEYES ONTO THE PLAYOFF, 23-10.
TOLEDO 9-2 AT No.21 WESTERN MICHIGAN 11-0 The winner of this game claims the Mid-American West and a seat at the title game. However this game means so much more for the Broncos. They need a win to maintain hopes of reaching the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Head coach P.J. Fleck has his team on a mission. The Zach Terrell to Corey Davis combination, is one of the best in the nation. Terrell has found Davis for 16 touchdowns. Jarvion Franklin has balanced the offense with 1,228 yards rushing. Toledo has a prolific offense of their own. Quarterback Logan Woodside has thrown for 3,653 yards with 40 touchdown passes! The Rockets are fifth in total offense in the FBS. The two losses by the Rockets are by a combined seven points. If you like offense, this game is for you. BRONCOS CONTINUE TO ROW THE BOAT TO DALLAS, 45-42.
TCU 5-5 AT TEXAS 5-6 It’s been a long disappointing season for both these squads. The winner of this game at least gets bowl eligible despite the struggles. Everyone including myself figured that Charlie Strong would lose his job after last weeks loss at Kansas. Reports out of Austin, now indicate a win over TCU, could keep Strong on board for another season. I fully expect an A+ effort this week by the Horns. The Horned Frogs will have another shot at a bowl game next week when they host Kansas State. HORNS FINISH STRONG, 38-33.
MINNESOTA 8-3 AT No.6 WISCONSIN 9-2 This is the 126th battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. This battle will have plenty at stake, as Wisconsin needs a win to advance to the Big 10 Championship Game. The Badgers still have an outside shot at landing in the CFB playoff. The Badgers have played one of the toughest schedules facing four top 10 teams this season. Seven point losses to Michigan and Ohio State are the only blemishes on the season. The Gophers have been workmanlike all season. They have lost three games by a total of 17 points. The Badgers are well aware of whats at stake, and should be focused to take care of business at home. BUCKY TAKES A BITE OUT OF GOLDY, 31-12.
No.22 UTAH 8-3 AT No.9 COLORADO 9-2 The USC Trojans will be watching this game from their locker room on Saturday afternoon. The Trojans will advance to the Pac-12 Championship Game if Utah can defeat the Buffaloes. A Colorado victory moves the Buffaloes into the game for the first time in school history. I have to wonder about the mental health of the Utes after suffering a devastating loss on the last play of the game to Oregon Saturday. The Buffaloes are a perfect 6-0 at home this season. Quarterback Sefo Liufau had perhaps his best game last weekend. Liufau passed for 345 yards and rushed for an additional 108. The Utes have a balanced offense led by quarterback Troy Williams and running back Joe Williams. I give the Utah defense an edge, because of a strong pass rush. I believe head coach Kyle Whittingham is the ultimate difference in this game. He should have his troops ready to play. TROJANS SEND THANK YOU NOTES TO SALT LAKE, UTES 27-20.
SUPER SIX PACK: SIX GAMES, SIX WORDS, SIX PICKS
No.13 AUBURN 8-3 AT No.1 ALABAMA 11-0 To many key injuries for Tigers. TIDE WINS IRON BOWL 33-13.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 4-7 AT OLE MISS 5-6 Rebels need a win to go bowling. EGG BOWL PROVIDES IT, 27-21.
WYOMING 8-3 AT NEW MEXICO 7-4 Cowboys still have hopes for Mountain West championship. LOBOS PREVAIL 34-28.
ARIZONA STATE 5-6 AT ARIZONA 2-9 Sun Devils need a win for a bowl. “DUEL IN THE DESERT” GOES TO WILDCATS 31-30.
RUTGERS 2-9 AT MARYLAND 5-6 Terrapins claim a bowl berth. RUTGERS FALLS 42-21.
PURDUE 3-8 AT INDIANA 5-6 The old oaken bucket is on the line here. HOOSIERS CLAIM IT AND A BOWL 45-23.
ILLINOIS 3-8 AT NORTHWESTERN 5-6 This is the battle for the “Land of Lincoln” trophy. WILDCATS CLAIM IT AND A BOWL, 33-20.
No.17 TENNESSEE 8-3 AT VANDERBILT 5-6 This will be the 111th meeting in this long historic rivalry. The Volunteers have their sights set on a possible Sugar Bowl. Vanderbilt needs a win to get to the magic six wins and a bowl invitation. A sellout crowd will be on hand in Nashville. I’ll be one of them! I anticipate a close fourth quarter game. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs should be the difference. VOLS SLIP PAST DORES 27-20.
No.15 FLORIDA 8-2 AT No.14 FLORIDA STATE 8-3 I have to wonder just how much left in the tank, the Gators have after last weeks dramatic win over LSU. The win secured a spot in the SEC Championship Game. The Seminoles will be playing for pride in this rivalry game. A win by the Seminoles, will give the senior class an 8-0 record over Florida and Miami, for the first time in school history. CHEIF OSCEOLA SPEARS THE GATOR 23-17.
No.16 NEBRASKA 9-2 AT IOWA 7-4 The Cornhuskers still have hopes to reach the Big 10 Championship Game, but will need help from the Minnesota Gophers. The Huskers must first take care of business at Iowa, then hope for a Gopher win at Wisconsin. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong should play, but will he be 100%? Iowa is playing its best football down the stretch. The defense has been the difference holding Michigan to a season low 13 points and then shutting out Illinois on Saturday. HAWKEYES WIN A CLOSE ONE 27-24.
LAST WEEKS RESULTS
FEATURED GAMES: 1-4
UPSET EXPRESS: 0-1
SUPER SIX PACK: 4-2