Week 12 has plenty to look forward too. The early window of games gives us a chance to see how Alabama responds to last weekends loss to LSU. Mid day, You’ll need two televisions to keep up with Georgia versus Auburn and Minnesota at Iowa. Night time battles feature Oklahoma at Baylor and USC at California. Below are some insight and predictions on all the key games.
THIS WEEKS FEATURED GAMES
No.10 OKLHOMA (8-1) AT No.13 BAYLOR (9-0) The next two weeks will define the Baylor Bears season. They host Oklahoma and Texas next week. They will need a victory over one of these teams to reach the BIG 12 Championship game. The bigger picture for Baylor involves the CFP playoff committee. Many believe a 13-0 Baylor team would be on the outside looking in. Beating Oklahoma and Texas, with a win in the championship game should guarantee a spot in my eyes. The Bears defense is the best in the BIG 12. They are the best tackling team in the conference. The key to beating Oklahoma, will be to limit, yards after catch. Sooner quarterback Jalen Hurts will look to exploit that Bear defense. The Sooners have a distinct offensive advantage. If Oklahoma gets an early lead, they will win. I don’t feel like the Bears can come from behind like Iowa Sate did last week. SOONERS END BEARS DREAM SEASON, 38-28.
No.23 NAVY (7-1) AT No. 16 NOTRE DAME (7-2) This game goes one of two ways. Navy wins outright or gets blown out by double-digits. We all know the Midshipmen won’t be intimidated in the Golden Dome. I just have to wonder how focused Navy will be in this spot. Navy is tied for first place with SMU in the AAC West Division. The Midshipmen will host SMU next Saturday. The ultimate goal for Navy is a AAC Championship. This is a huge game for Notre Dame. A win will be a feather in their cap, in the bowl pecking order. A 10-2 season will put the Irish in a premier bowl game. I expect the Irish to put eight men in the box to slow down the Middies rushing attack. On the flip side, quarterback Ian Book should have a banner day for the Irish. TOUCHDOWN JESUS, 33-20.
INDIANA (7-2) AT No.9 PENN STATE (8-1) My first thought, was that Penn State would crush Indiana in this spot. The Lions were defeated handily by Minnesota last weekend, and will be looking to take their frustration out on the Hoosiers. The problem is this. Indiana is a far better football team than in years past. They have already qualified for a bowl berth, for the first time since 2016. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey is capable of putting up similar passing numbers that Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan did last week. It will be interesting to see, what type of response we will see form the Lions after the loss. Head coach James Franklin believes his team will be ready to play. “I have no doubt, we will bounce back.” Let’s not forget the Lions will travel to Ohio State next weekend. The Hoosiers have never beaten Penn State in Happy Valley (0-10). MAKE IT ELEVEN, LIONS WIN 34-24.
No.4 GEORGIA (8-1) AT No.12 AUBURN (7-2) This is the game of the week. The CFP committee will have plenty to chew on after the game is over. Georgia moved to the fourth spot last week and will be looking to stay in that spot. Auburn is on the outside looking in, but a victory will certainly warrant more consideration. The Oregon Ducks will be rooting hard for a Tiger victory, which would improve their resume. Both teams are very evenly matched in my opinion. There are plenty of reasons to like Auburn in this spot. First, The Tigers held LSU to just 23 points in a loss at LSU. Second, The Tigers have had a bye week to get healthier and prepare. Third, they are a quality home dog, with a great defense. Georgia has one advantage. His name is Jake Fromm. Fromm’s experience over true freshman Bo Nix will provide the difference. THIS WILL BE A FIELD GOAL BATTLE WON BY GEORGIA, 20-16.
USC (6-4) AT CALIFORNIA (5-4) This is the most important game on the left coast. Both teams have plenty to play for. USC still has a shot to play for a PAC-12 title, but they need help. The Trojans must win out, and hope Utah stumbles once. The Trojans hold the tie-breaker, should they end in a tie. The Bears need one more win for bowl eligibility. The Trojans have a litany of injuries all over the roster. It appears that freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis will be good to go. Bear quarterback Chase Garbers is also slated to start. The Trojans will play this game, with revenge on their mind, for last seasons home loss 15-14. The Trojans have dominated this series of late winning 14 of 15. TROJANS GET REVENGE, 33-20.
No.8 MINNESOTA (9-0) AT No.22 IOWA ((6-3) The Gophers surprised me last weekend with their win over Penn State. I’ve watched the game now twice, and have determined that Minnesota is far better than I had thought. Quarterback Tanner Morgan had a career day, picking apart the Penn State secondary. The Gophers have a very solid group of receivers and should find success against Iowa. Iowa simply could not contain Wisconsin tailback Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for 250 yards in a 24-22 loss last weekend. The Hawkeyes have designated this “Blackout Saturday”. Kinnick Stadium will provide a big hometown advantage. The Hawkeyes have won eight straight home games over the Gophers. However, Gopher head coach P.J. Fleck has won each of the past six games outright in which his team has entered as an underdog. Fleck has this team believing. GOPHERS WIN A SLUGFEST, 23-20.
SUPER SIX PACK: SIX GAMES, SIX WORDS, SIX PICKS
LOUISIANNA TECH (8-1) AT MARSHALL (6-3) We could see these two meet in the CUSA Championship game. THUNDERING HERD END BULLDOGS EIGHT GAME WINNING STREAK, 38-35.
UMASS (1-9) AT NORTHWESTERN (1-8) Wildcats have scored 100 points in ten games and are favored by 40. CLOSER THAN THE EXPERTS THINK, WILDCATS 40-10.
TEXAS (6-3) AT IOWA STATE (5-4) Brock Purdy versus Sam Ehlinger. CAMERON “THE KICKER” DICKER HAS BECOME A CULT HERO, HE DOES IT AGAIN, HORNS 34-31.
WYOMING (6-3) AT UTAH STATE (5-4) The loss of Cowboy quarterback Sean Chambers is a killer. AGGIES STILL IN PLAY FOR MOUNTAIN DIVISION TITLE, 28-21.
STANFORD (4-5) AT WASHINGTON STATE (4-5) These are two very desperate (4-5) teams. THE CARDINAL INJURY LIST CONTINUES TO GROW, COUGS 41-30.
LOUISIANNA MONROE (4-5) AT GEORGIA SOUTHERN (5-4) Eagles own the 11th ranked rushing offense. Warhawks 128th against the rush. MONROE HAS NEVER WON AT SOUTHERN, EAGLES 42-21.