By Chris Carlson: Week 11 saw TCU and LSU clinch births to their respective conference title games along with a bunch of upsets and crazy endings. Week 12 belongs to the PAC-12 as far as ranked versus ranked Marquee Matchups. With two weeks left before the conference finals the drama only thickens.
#7 USC vs. #16 UCLA: The Bruins got caught looking ahead to their date with the Trojans dropping a game to Arizona. USC loss their star RB Travis Dye which doesn’t necessary bode well giving the weakness of their defense overall. UCLA will have to run the ball to milk the clock while keeping that USC offense off the field. The over/under is 76.5 and don’t be shocked to see this one going over. It should be noted USC is getting two key defensive players back this week.
The Pick: USC -2.5
#10 Utah vs. #12 Oregon: Similar to UCLA, the Ducks had a letdown from a quality Washington team losing 37-35 in Week 11. That said Oregon still has a legit chance to get to the PAC-12 title game. In recent years Utah has had the Ducks number but what sticks in the back of my head is Oregon losing for the first time in 23 games at home. What are the odds they lose back to back at home? Another item to play devil’s advocate against the Ducks beyond recent meetings going the Utes way is the health of QB Bo Nix.
The Pick: Utah -2 unless Bo Nix is healthy enough to play then Oregon will bounce back.
Under The Radar
#4 TCU vs. Baylor: Which Baylor team will show up this Saturday? The one that was destroyed by a very good K-State team or the club that put 3 wins together looking as though they may have turned the corner? TCU was in a surprisingly low scoring affair winning against Texas on the strength of their defense for a change. This is a much needed win to keep TCU in the National Semifinal position and the Horned Frogs will find a way to get the job done on the road.
The Pick: TCU -2.5
#3 Michigan vs. Illinois: The Fighting Illini dropped two games in a row nearly playing their selves out of the Big Ten West race. Michigan on paper and in the stat sheet appears to be a dominant squad but don’t have a bunch of key wins to prove it on the field. If RB Chase Brown and QB Tommy Devito can play there is a real possibility this team could sneak under the -17.5 point spread with Michigan obviously as the home favorite. Michigan usually chops down opponents little by little only to explode in the 2nd half. Style-points matter to an extent anyways so don’t expect the Wolverines to hold back if their up big late.
The Pick: Michigan -17.5 unless Illinois QB/RB play.
Saturday Upset Special
#22 Oklahoma State as a +7.5 road dog at Oklahoma.
Kansas upsets Texas as a +9 home dog.
Iowa vs. Minnesota: Iowa has looked much better in the last two weeks and now the Hawkeyes could somehow with the Big Ten West. The Gophers in the PJ Fleck era have never beat Iowa. All but one of these matchups has been competitive down to the wire making for the perfect ingredients for a barnburner. The over-under is set at 32 so it’s more of a throwback to 3 yards and cloud of dust.
The Pick: Iowa +2.5 but Minnesota wins in the closing minutes.
Against The Spread
Kansas covers at home as a +9 versus Texas.
Navy covers as a +16.5 versus Central Florida.
Illinois covers as a +17.5 versus #3 Michigan.
Quick Hits Recap & My Top-4 Plus 2 More
-My Top 6: Georgia, Ohio State, TCU, Michigan, Tennessee & LSU.
-Washington QB Pennix Jr. threw for 408 yards in an upset win 37-35 over Oregon who was previously ranked #6 in the country.
-In doing so the Huskies put an abrupt halt to the Ducks 23-game home winning streak.
-LSU LB Harold Perkins Jr. recorded 4 sacks, 8 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles in a razor-thin 13-10 win over Arkansas.
-Tennessee stacked up a school record 724 yards in a 66-24 victory over Missouri.
-Ohio State QB CJ Stroud had yet another 5 TD’s in a 56-14 blowout of Indiana giving him 9 five touchdown games in his career.
-Miami S Kemren Kinchens had 3 interceptions which ties a school record in a victory over Georgia Tech. One of those INT’s was a pick-six.
-Central Michigan RB Bert Emanuel Jr. rushed for293 yards and 5 TD’s in a win over Buffalo.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio &
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