By Chris Carslon: Week 11 delivered once again giving us a bunch of competitive battles and another unbeaten team losing this time Oklahoma. Week 12 on paper has 3 different ranked vs. ranked contests on the schedule, plus a variety of games flying under the radar to keep an eye on in the 2nd half. No big changes in the Playoff Rankings this week as Cincinnati inches closer to the much-coveted fourth spot and Michigan remains ranked above Michigan State somehow.
#4 Ohio State vs. #7 Michigan State: Like a few other highly-ranked matchups this year Ohio State is favored to win this game by 19-points. Are the bookmakers whom set the line overlooking the Spartans or are we still stuck on that big Michigan win? The Spartans did lose the very next week against a pretty good team in Purdue a team that the Buckeyes put up 59 points on in a victory last week. Michigan State has a bend but don’t break type of defense but they give up 329-passing yards per game. Not a great stat considering OSU QB C.J. Stroud has been on fire throwing for 5 TD’s in that Boilermakers win. To be fair Ohio State’s defense isn’t necessarily a great defense so look for a large dose of Sparty RB Kenneth Walker. Play-action will likely be the key to hitting some deep routes thru the air as well. The freaking over/under is set at 68.5 so buckle up and enjoy what looks to be a interesting matchup for however long it stays close.
The Pick: Ohio State 40 Michigan State 27
#2 Alabama vs. #21 Arkansas: The Hogs are back in yet another ranked opponent matchup and do have some of the things needed to beat Bama. After dropping 3 games in a row Arkansas has rebounded of late beating Mississippi State and LSU. Razorbacks QB KJ Jefferson has the ability to beat defense through the air and on the ground. Arkansas’s defense is pretty good with the only major issue giving up 151-rushing yards per game. Alabama almost lost to LSU and Florida this year but have found a way to not get beat since Week 7 to Texas A&M. It’s difficult to find a weakness for Bama one could point out they don’t run the ball on an elite level but then again they throw for 322-yards per game. This podcaster has been thinking about how the Hogs could keep this one close enough to end up in the Against The Spread category.
The Pick: Alabama 38 Arkansas 24
Under The Radar
#3 Oregon vs. #23 Utah: This Pac-12 tilt is flying far under the radar probably because it’s hard to tell which Utes team will show up. Much like College Football this year, the Pac-12 has been all over the place with teams getting a major win only to lose the very next week to a team they shouldn’t be losing to. Under head coach Kyle Whittingham Utah has been a tough program to beat at home. The Utes are a well-coached team that loves to pound the rock and play hard-nose defense. Oregon got off to a great start back in September with a win at Ohio State and also against a good Fresno State team. Since then the Ducks have underachieved to an extent anyway. Regardless the outcome there’s a great chance these two teams meet in the conference championship game. Las Vegas has Oregon as a 3-point underdog making this basically a pick’em type matchup.
The Pick: Utah 31 Oregon 30
Saturday Upset Special
Popular choice among experts is #10 Wake Forest “Upsets” Clemson on the road as a 4.5-point underdog.
Florida State pulls a minor upset by beating Boston College on the road.
(Honorable Mention: Oregon beating Utah has a 3-point road dog.)
#11 Baylor vs. Kansas State: The Bears are coming off a big victory over the Sooners to keep their Big-12 title hopes alive but Kansas State can’t be overlooked at home and Las Vegas agrees as they have the Wildcats a slight favorite.
Louisiana vs. Liberty: Neither team is ranked but don’t sleep on this one because the Ragin Cajuns are on a 9-game winning streak and Liberty is a quality team with the all-purpose QB Malik Willis at the helm.
Against The Spread
Nebraska’s lost so many one-score games this year so let’s make it one more and give me the Cornhuskers to lose by less than 9.5-points to #15 Wisconsin.
#17 Iowa has bounced back nicely from back to back losses but could still win by less than 12.5-points to a stubborn Illinois club.
Take it to the window
#24 Houston vs. Memphis goes over the 60.5 over/under number.
Quick Hits Recap
-Texas is currently on a 5-game losing skid their first since 1956.
-Old Dominion somehow scored two points 4 separate times in a win over FAU. Two safeties, a blocked extra point return, and a two-point conversion.
-Baylor beat Oklahoma holding the Sooners to the lowest output since 2014, which funny was Baylor back then.
-Mississippi State set a school record down 25 points to Auburn only to mount a comeback and win 43-24. Their previous record comeback was 13 points way back in 1921.
-Bulldogs QB Will Rodgers also set a school record throwing 6 TD’s passes in a single game.
-Texas Tech kicker Jonathan Garibay delivered a game-winning 62-yard field goal to defeat Iowa State.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio and Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio