Week 12 Predictions – 2018

Last Week:  The Buckeyes did what they needed to do to keep all their preseason goals in front of them.  The 26-6 victory over the Spartans keeps fate in their own hands for winning the Big Ten East and heading to Indianapolis to face the West division winner, Northwestern,  It also keeps their hopes alive for a playoff spot, but they will need some help on that front. Although some of the ‘experts’ still downplayed the significance of the win over Sparty, this was still a solid, ranked team that Ohio State kept out of the endzone. They should have moved up at least one spot in the rankings but they will still need to play better to win out. As for our predictions, most everyone was 4-0 or 3-1 on the spotlight games which is great and several people also hit on their Upset Special pick. If you look at our percentages of correct picks to date, you will see they are quite high.   

This Week’s Games:  You will not see any games from the SEC in our picks this week as this is the time of year when the conference is famous for scheduling a cupcake the week prior to a big rivalry game. In most cases, calling the team’s the scheduled a ‘cupcake’ is an insult to pastries  ….  Ohio State will be traveling for the second straight week, heading to Maryland to battle the Terps.  Since joining the Big Ten this game has not been too much of a challenge for the Buckeyes and it should be no different this Saturday. So the outcome should be favorable for OSU, the question remains, will it be convincing enough to help the long term goals?  ….  The biggest game this weekend as it relates to playoff impact will be played on a baseball field.  Notre Dame will be making the East coast trip this week (before playing on the west coast next week) to take on #12 Syracuse. Both teams have had close calls this year the only difference is the Orange have lost their close games while the Irish won theirs.  Can Syracuse put up another high level performance and dash the playoff hopes for Notre Dame?  ….  There will also be a lot of attention in the American Conference as Cincinnati travels south to take on Central Florida. UCF is the last ‘Group of 5’ team that is unbeaten but the Bearcats only have one loss themselves.  Both teams are currently ranked in the playoff standings, can Fickell and company go on the road and stop the nations longest winning streak?  …. The big game before the big game in the Big 12 will be West Virginia and Oklahoma State.  The Mountaineers are on a bit of a roll, while the Cowboys were a missed extra point and missed two-point conversion from defeating the Sooners last week.  Can OSU bounce back and challenge Will Grier and the boys?      

Buckeye Greats:  As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the fourth straight year.

Here we go once again … our Week 12 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg

(10)Ohio State  @  Maryland

Bbaver:  Pick: Ohio State – I am very please with the progress Ohio State made last week against Sparty. Still got work to do, but OSU took a step in the right direction. I think Ohio State takes care of business against a team that has had a lot to deal with this year. Bucks win going away and head into the big one 10-1.

Cory:  It has been a tumultuous season for Maryland. Between the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair during the summer, the investigation into the and ultimately the firing of former head coach D.J. Durkin, the Terrapins have had a lot on their minds this season. That’s reflected in their play, as the Terrapins have seen some highs – upsetting Texas and starting 3-1 – as well as some lows, like losses to Temple and Indiana. To make things worse, Maryland enters this game with a big question mark at the quarterback position after losing Kasim Hill to a torn ACL last week. Tyrrell Pigrome is his replacement, and Pigrome is a dual-threat quarterback, which could present some challenges for Ohio State. There is some tape on Pigrome so the Ohio State defense won’t enter this game blind. Still, it will take a big game from the linebackers to keep Pigrome in check. Despite all the issues, Maryland can still be a dangerous team and the Terrapins should not be overlooked this week.     Ohio State 35 – Maryland 24   

Gregg:  The SEC is taking a lot of grief this week about the ease of their schedule this weekend but this game should not be too different for the Buckeyes. The only difference is that OSU is playing a divisional conference opponent who will be on their schedule every year. And let’s not forget this is a Maryland team that defeated Texas to open the season, and the Longhorns are still in the hunt for a chance to win the Big Twelve crown. Like the Buckeyes, the Terrapins had a rough start for the 2018 campaign outside of the x’s and O’s. Plenty of distractions, in addition to losing their coach, all things considered, they have done very well.  But they will need a huge effort in every part of the game to have a chance to pull off the upset. In spite of what the experts want you to believe about the Buckeyes, they are doing very well.  QB Dwayne Haskins is still #4 overall in passing yards and 12th nationally in QBR. They have two rushers over 700 yards (Dobbins 712, Weber 711) and it is not out of the question to end up with two rushers over 1000 yards. The defense continues to improve, keeping MSU out of the endzone for the second straight year. And special teams is solid, with punter Drue Chrisman averaging 42.8 yards a kick and was named to the Ray Guy Finalist list this week. In addition, if Maryland is going to pull off the upset, they will have to do it with their back-up quarterback.  I believe the Buckeyes will take care of business and come back home to host the Wolverines with the division title on the line.     Ohio State 45  Maryland 6   

Jason Ohio State is coming off a 26-6 road victory in East Lansing that was anything but pretty but a win is a win and the Buckeyes cannot afford to overlook this week’s opponent, the Maryland Terrapins.  With just two games remaining, the Buckeyes control their own destiny to a Big Ten title game appearance.  This game at Maryland is a homecoming for Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who played his High School football in Maryland and was originally verbally committed to the Terrapins until changing his mind and signing with the Buckeyes instead.  The Terps need one more win to become bowl eligible and following a last second loss a week ago at Indiana, it won’t be easy as they travel to Penn State next week.  It also got increasing difficult for the Terps as starting QB Kasim Hill tore his ACL last week and is out for the season, so Maryland will turn to redshirt sophomore Tyrell Pigrome to man the ship the rest of the season.  Without Hill, Maryland will lean on their running game and talented freshman back Anthony McFarland, who is fresh off a 220 yard performance at Indiana and is facing a rush defense that allowed just 54 yards on the ground against Michigan State.  Don’t look now, but Ohio State’s rushing offense is beginning to find a groove again.  Junior back Mike Weber ran for 120 a week ago, leading a talented duo of backs along with J.K. Dobbins, to run for nearly 230 yards against the number one rush defense in America.  They will go against a Maryland rush defense that is allowing over 160 per game on the ground so look for the Buckeyes to try to get that element.  Everyone knows the talent Haskins and the depth of WR’s for Ohio State, but if they are successful on the ground as well this week, it could be a long day for Maryland.  Some personnel and scheme changes on defense paid dividends a week ago and the Buckeyes are hoping to carry that momentum into this one.  Ohio State has dominated Maryland since the Terps entered the Big Ten, including a 62-3 whitewashing the last meeting in College Park.  I expect much of the same in this one.  Ohio State pulls away early in the 3rd quarter, gets the win and turns their attention to the big one next week vs Michigan in Columbus.   Ohio State 45 – Maryland 21  

Joe-S-U:  OSU over Maryland – Doesn’t it figure that the week the Bucks play probably the one team that had more offseason upheaval than them, that Earle’s entitled, useless grandson rears his ugly head again?  Someone needs to put Mr. Riding My Grandpa’s Coattails and the Maryland Board of Regents in a leaky boat and send them out to sea.  And Jim Delany, too,  while you’re at it- all you wanted, for whatever reason, was Washington D.C/Baltimore television eyeballs, and now you’ve got a member school that’s such a public embarrassment that the governor of the state is publicly knocking them.  Great choice, Jim.  Hope the Bucks beat the ever living snot out of them  

JohnIn a normal year, this would project to be a big Ohio State win.. I think the Bucks win on Saturday, and win comfortably, but not in a 50-3 blow out kind of way.  Get a win and stay healthy this week, then the focus turns to the Maize and Blue.     Ohio State 35 – Maryland 17

Josh:   I think the win against Michigan State gave the defense much added confidence, and will be ready for the power attack of the Terrapins, who came close to beating Indiana last week. Ohio State’s offense will need to show up on this one though, but I think they will take care of business with a good balance of passing and rushing. I expect to see Tate Martell in this one just to make Michigan think for next week’s game. This one is big, and a must win for the Buckeyes to keep any hope of playoffs and Big Ten Championship alive.     Ohio State 48 – Maryland 10  

Dr. Mark:  OSU 38-14, weather wont be great – will run the ball until we can’t. 

Pia PeteOSU over Maryland 

Coach Rick:  This is not going to be a good game with all the problems Maryland is having. I see OSU winning by 24 points.

Steven:  Maryland rushes at a serious clip averaging over 5 yards per carry.  They remind you of Wisconsin, big rushers with questionable quarterback play.  If OSU can defend the edges and limit the big runs they should be able to win handily.  The weather should be nice and dry which should favor the Buckeyes, Dwayne Haskins and our plethora of talented receivers.    OSU 44-20

Trout:  If the Defense plays like they did against Sparty, the Buckeyes should win this game. This might be wishful thinking, but I can see the Buckeyes getting a massive confidence boost from last week, and starting to play up to their potential. However, I think Maryland will give them some headaches. They have their second string quarterback playing, and he known for his feet for than his arm. The Buckeyes have had trouble with mobile quarterbacks this year. I still fully buy in to Dwayne Haskins and the Ohio State Offense. Haskins is a little more than 50 yard from breaking the OSU passing record. He has been the main reason that this team is sitting at. 9-1. Not to mention, it seems that Weber and Dobbins have got their mojo back, and have been running consistently well, the last few games. I can Maryland challenge the Buckeyes early, but the overwhelming might of the Buckeye offense will be too much for the Terrapins. Bucks win with a comfortable margin.    (Ohio State, 38-14)  

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83) I can imagine the upcoming events surrounding this week’s game at Maryland. I would suspect a “This is for Jordan” theme that will inspire the team and crowd. I imagine Jordan’s family at the game and a let’s “get one for the Gipper” mentality. I know this is politically incorrect, but so is exploiting a kid with cancer to extol a team and crowd. Ala Purdue. Over the years, I have seen so many teams not take the “emotional factor’ out of games. This can lead to loss of focus and Mr. Mo(momentum) raising his ugly head. Staffs need to look at all of the possible reasons a team can find to spur that reaction. Identify any of your opposition’s emotional factors and squelch them. Appreciate the moment but compartmentalize it and move on. Don’t let Johnny who wanted to go to OSU( Taivon Jacobs) ever get a chance to prove why he could of played for OSU. With that said, Maryland is also where Mr. Haskins spent his formative years. He may display some additional comfort in somewhat familiar surroundings. I have the Buckeyes winning big 48-17.  

Final Score:  Ohio State 52   Maryland 51  (OT)

(3)Notre Dame  vs.  (12)Syracuse

Bbaver:  Pick: Notre Dame – Could be interesting, and I will root against my pick here. But gotta go with the Irish here.

Cory:  At this point you should prepare to see Notre Dame in the playoffs. The Fighting Irish are past the difficult portion of their schedule and only have games left against Syracuse and USC. Obviously, there is no conference championship game for the Irish to play in so if they win their next two games, they are almost assured a spot in the playoffs. This week, Notre Dame plays a hot Syracuse team. The Orange are ranked No. 13 and have won four straight. The only two losses for Syracuse came to Clemson and Pitt, and those losses were by a combined 11 points. This is a quality Syracuse team that’s led by quarterback Eric Dungey, who has 2,193 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. The concern with Syracuse is that they don’t have any quality wins. So far their best win was over North Carolina State, and there a lot of questions about that team as well. Add in the fact that the Irish get their starting quarterback, Ian Book, back for this game and it looks like too big of a mountain for the Orange to climb.     Notre Dame 24 – Syracuse 13  

Gregg:  I don’t know if you have heard yet or not but Dino Babers is actually one of the names floating around to replace Urban Meyer in Columbus at the end of the season. He might be a great guy and a good coach but I am not sure it is the right fit.  And just where do these people come from checking out Coach Meyer.  He has earned the right to call when his last game in Columbus will be. For this game, the Orange have had a great turnaround this year after a couple of 4-8 campaigns, they sit with the second best record in the ACC, behind only Clemson. The line play is solid on both sides of the ball and they have a quarterback that is both a run and pass threat. As the Tigers have already locked up the Atlantic Division, this is likely the best game left for Syracuse this season.  They will not end up in a bowl game with a better opponent than the Irish, so Babers’ boys will be all fired up for this one. Syracuse actually played in the first football game in Yankee Stadium when they defeated Pittsburgh 3-0 back in 1923. But the Irish are not without their lore as well in the famed house that Ruth built. The famous ‘Win one for the Gipp” halftime speech was in Yankee Stadium as Notre Dame rallied to defeat Army 12-6 back in 1928. But as Joe-S-U would say, what does that have to do with this game? Nothing really but just thought I would mention.  For this weekend I think the Irish should win the game but they may be running out of steam as they have done  a lot of travel this year and I think Syracuse does just enough to win.    Syracuse 24 Notre Dame 20

Jason:  The biggest remaining hurdle for the Irish in their quest for an unbeaten regular season and appearance in the College Football playoff takes place in Yankee Stadium against surprising Syracuse.  The Orange come in 8-2 with losses to Pitt and Clemson, but have been dominant in their wins.  The Irish have been tested at times but still sit at 10-0 and unblemished.  Syracuse QB Eric Dungey will be tested by a talented Irish defense and he will be backed by talented running back Moe Neal, who rushed for 159 yards and 2 TD’s a week ago in the win over Louisville.  For Notre Dame, a dominant win over Florida State a week ago was led by QB Brandon Wimbush, filling in for injured signal caller Ian Book.  Wimbush threw for 130 yards and 3 TD’s but he did throw two picks.  Book is banged up but expected to start this week against the Orange but may not be 100%.  The talented Orange defense will challenge Book and force him to be uncomfortable in the pocket.  If they can get to him and force him into some mistakes, Syracuse can pull the upset.  The difficulty of running the table cannot be understated and Syracuse will play this game as if it’s their national championship.  Look for a 4 quarter game with Syracuse pulling the upset with a late score and ending Notre Dame’s run to unbeaten.     Syracuse 31 Notre Dame 27  

Joe-S-U:  Notre Dame over Syracuse – Haven’t quite decided if I’m gonna take the Orange and the points yet- for entertainment purposes only- but Irish need to stay put to help keep two SEC teams out of the playoff.  

John Even with a backup Quarterback, I think the Domer’s take care of business.    Notre Dame  31 – Syracuse  20

Josh:   Ian Book will return for this one, as the Fighting Irish took care of Florida State without him. Syracuse is a legitimate threat, and after almost beating Clemson, they are looking to get a signature win of the season. Dino is a good coach and I think with this game being playing in New York, and the fight for the state, Syracuse pulls off the upset in an offensive battle.     Syracuse 31 – Notre Dame 28

Dr. Mark:  ND 35-21 tempted to pick the Orange but ND has more confidence this year than in the past – so ill go with that for now.   

Pia PeteND over Cuse

Coach Rick:  No good games left for Notre Dame this season. I have Notre Dame winning by 17 points.

Steven:  I like Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey.  He will be the most talented opposing QB the Irish will see all year.  If the Irish are going to lose, it will be this week with their quarterback Ian Book coming back from injury.  Calling the upset.  Syracuse 35-28, possibly in OT

Trout:  It sounds crazy, but I think the Orange might pull off the upset. The Irish are a good team. You don’t get to 10-0 by being bad, but besides Michigan, they haven’t played anyone great. I don’t really know how good they are. But I have seen that Syracuse can score a lot of points. In 7 of the 9 games, they have scored 40 or more points. not to mention, they almost took down Clemson, if it wasn’t for a last minute breakdown in defense. It should be a close game. Ian Book is a good QB, and will be able to score on Syracuse’s lackluster defense. But, in the end, I think the Orange’s slightly better offense will push them ahead of the Irish. Syracuse wins in an upset.   (Syracuse, 28-27)  

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83):  If Notre Dame was playing Syracuse in the Carrier Dome this game might be interesting, but since the Orange are not playing in their house I have to give favor to the Irish. However if Ohio State is getting disrespected by the CFP committee, Notre Dame is the complete opposite getting more respect than they deserve. Again, living on the coattails of their past. Notre Dame has squeaked by such powerhouses like Pittsburg and Ball State. What are you going to do though? They have shot themselves in the foot yet. I do believe Syracuse will score on Notre Dame and score well, but if Notre Dame has a healthy Ian Book playing, they win. Notre Dame over Syracuse 35-24.     

Final Score:  Notre Dame 36   Syracuse 3

(24)Cincinnati  @  (11)Central Florida

Bbaver:  Pick: UCF – Very happy to see what Luke has done this year with this UC team….definitely exceeded my expectations. And this is another game this week where I will root against my pick. But UCF still has the better team in my opinion and has this one at home. Gotta go with Central Florida here.

Cory:  Central Florida is undefeated, and the Golden Knights are still holding on to slim hopes of making it into the playoff. The good news for UCF is that the two games remaining on their schedule – Cincinnati and South Florida – are against good teams that could add some shine to their resume. This week, UCF plays host to a very underrated Cincinnati team. The Bearcats have rallied impressively following their upset loss to Temple four weeks ago, winning three straight, including topping South Florida last week. Led by former Ohio State assistant coach and defensive lineman Luke Fickell, it should be no surprise that Cincinnati gets the job done with impressive defense. Only one team – Ohio – has scored more than 23 points against Cincinnati, and the Bearcats have shutout two of their opponents. That said, it will be difficult for Cincinnati to stop UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton. If you haven’t seen this guy play yet, set aside some time to watch him this week. Milton has thrown for 2,309 passing yards with 21 touchdowns against five interceptions, and he’s also rushed for 285 yards and eight touchdowns. Ultimately, Milton will be too much for Cincinnati to stop this week.     UCF 30 – Cincinnati 20  

Gregg Coach Fickell has really turned around the Bearcats this year and may be on the path for a long tenure in the Queen City.  But I think Central Florida is just a little to tough at home. Cincinnati keeps it close for  while but the Golden Knights will pull away in the second half to extend the nations longest winning streak.  UCF 44  Cincinnati 28   

Jason:  Cincinnati has won three in a row, but their only loss on the season was a costly one. They lost to Temple, who they are tied with in 2nd place in the AAC East Division, so even if they win this game they need help to get to the conference title game. The Bearcats’ offense has been solid, but the team is still led by a defense that ranks 7th nationally in scoring defense,  giving up an average of just 14.9 ppg.  The Bearcats defense is also 15th in the nation in pass defense and 11th in run defense so UCF will be facing their stiffest test to date.  UCF, though unbeaten, will likely be left out of any College Football Playoff discussion, though they rank 8th in the nation in ppg and rank 4th in rushing yards per game. UCF is coming off a defeat of Navy, 35-24, while passing for 200 and rushing for 297, while giving up 374 on the ground, which is not unusual against the Navy offense. Though the Bearcats defense is solid, the Knights offense is too good and balanced.  Look for the Knights to pull away in the fourth quarter and get the win at home, though Cincinnati will put up a valiant effort but fall just short.    UCF 38 Cincinnati 35  

Joe-S-U:  UCF over Cincinnati – Unless Luke Fickell can get the same officials that worked the Ohio State/Cincy basketball game….then the Bearcats have more than a fighting chance  

John Cincinnati is a touchdown underdog to UCF.  Not sure, why, but I like the ‘Cats in an upset.     Cincinnati  29 – UCF 28

Josh:   I have not had the chance to really watch either team this year, but I know UCF likes to score, but does not have a great defense. With Fickell at the helm for the Bearcats, Cincinnati has made a big step forward this year from last year. This will be the College Game Day game of the week and will be the prime time game at night. UCF fans want some respect and have a current win streak of 22 games. Cincinnati is looking to spoil their season and for a chance to play in the AAC Championship game. I like what Fickell is doing, and he will have his team ready to take down the Golden Knights. Cincinnati 35 – UCF 28  

Dr. Mark:  Cincy 28-21, I think the weather will help the Bearcats.  

Pia PeteUCF over Cincinnati 

Coach Rick:  I think this will be a good game to watch. I will have to go with the home team and see UCF winning by 10 points.

Steven:  UC will face it’s stiffest competition of the season.  UCF is incredibly balanced and should be able to dominate on both sides of the ball.  Win, lose or draw, Luke Fickell has to be applauded for the job he’s done at Cincinnati this year.  Rooting for UC, but picking UCF to win 29-25.

Trout:  As a Bearcat alum and a fan of Luke Fickell, I’d like to pick the Bearcats, but I think The UCF Knights are the better team. They have shown in the past few years that they can actually compete with the big boys of College Football. Even though Cincinnati has been a consistently good team this year, minus their loss against Temple, I don’t think they are as good as UCF. I do see the game being close initially. But the Knights superior talent will win out, and they will finish the game a few scores ahead.    (UCF, 35-21)  

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83)I want to congratulate Luke Fickell for doing a tremendous job for the Bearcats. He has taken this program to another level and after last weekend has he shown he can compete at his league’s highest level. This week though, he is facing the undefeated Knights. I would love to go against the grain and take the Bearcats, but I think they lose a close one to the Knights. UCF beats Cincinnati 35-31.     

Final Score:  Central Florida 38   Cincinnati 13

(9)West Virginia  @  Oklahoma State

Bbaver:  Pick: West Virginia – The ‘Eers are the better team and Ok State has to be heartbroken after last week’s 1-point loss in the Bedlam game. WVU is the call here.

Cory:  Oklahoma State continues to stumble, which hurts the Big 12, but can give us some fun soundbites from head coach Mike Gundy. When asked what his players thought about going for a 2-point conversion (that ultimately failed) which would have given the Cowboys the lead over Oklahoma last week, Gundy said, “I’m the only one that matters on that. I don’t give a s*** what they think.” If nothing else, Gundy and the Cowboys are at least entertaining. They get to play at home against a West Virginia team that still is hoping for a playoff spot. The Mountaineers have continued to put up big offensive numbers in their last three games since being upset by Iowa State. In the last three games, West Virginia has averaged 49 points. Oklahoma State obviously has an offense that can keep pace with West Virginia, but can the Cowboys keep themselves from committing the mistakes that have cost them too many games this season? It would seem unlikely.     West Virginia 45 – Oklahoma State 35  

Gregg I think this is a bit of a trap game for the Mountaineers.  I do think Will Grier and the boys are the better team, but I think they may be looking ahead at their game next week against the Sooners.  And don’t sleep on the Cowboys.  As long as they don’t have a hangover of disappointment after their close loss to Oklahoma last week, this should be a great game.  And by great game, I mean they well have to put the scoreboard on an emergency breaker by the 4th quarter.  Last team with the ball wins, but the difference will be the Mountaineer defense.     West Virginia 52  Oklahoma State 39  

Jason:  West Virginia heads west to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State in the last hurdle to climb before the big one next week against Oklahoma.  The Mountaineers have a dynamic offense led by QB Will Grier as everyone knows, but they also boast one of the best defenses in the Big 12.  The Cowboys can also play a little defense as they currently rank 4th in the nation in tackles for loss.   Oklahoma State will be the best front Grier has seen thus far.  The Cowboys have an emerging QB of their own in Taylor Cornelius, who lit up Oklahoma last week to the tune of 501 yards and three TD’s so the Mountaineers secondary will be tested.  The key for Oklahoma State is keeping the red hot Grier off the field.  It will be a typical Big 12 battle without a whole lot of defense.   When it comes down it, the West Virginia defense will make more plays than Oklahoma State’s.  The ‘Neers get the win and stay alive in the College Football Playoff race.     WVU 50 Oklahoma State 41

Joe-S-U:  West Virginia over OSU – Being a Big 12 defensive coordinator is akin to being an NBA referee or a politician- you make a living even though you’re of absolutely no use to society at all

John If the other OSU can get back up after a tough loss in a rivalry game last week, this once could be fun.     Oklahoma State 38 – West Virginia 35

Josh:   Oklahoma State was a 2 point conversion away last week from knocking off Oklahoma. West Virginia has a solid offense and Will Grier seems to be poised for a big run. I don’t think any Big12 team is particularly great, but I am going with West Virginia in this one. I think Oklahoma State has the fire power to keep it close, but I think emotions from last week will carry over, and West Virginia finds a way to win on the road. I will be rooting for Oklahoma State though!      West Virginia 48 – Oklahoma State 42  

Dr. Mark: WVa 42-38 whatever D will be played?—-will be played by WVU on the last drive.  

Pia PeteWVU over OSU 

Coach Rick:  The only chance OSU has in winning this game is that they are at home. This does not help OSU that much and I see West Virginia winning by 14.

Steven:  Can’t bet against Will Grier.  WVU 45-41

Trout The Mountaineers will win this game, but it will be very close. The Cowboys took Oklahoma to the brink last week, and almost pulled off the upset. And I think that trend will repeat this week. It will be a big shoot out, with both teams scoring quickly and with relative ease. And I see the game coming down to the finally minutes of the fourth quarter. But just like with last week, Oklahoma State will make too many mistakes, and allow West Virginia to eek out the victory. There is a reason why that team is 5-5. They definitely have the talent to compete with teams like Oklahoma and West Virginia, but they make too many errors and allow their opponents to capitalize on said errors. West Virginia wins in a very close shoot out.    (West Virginia, 56-49)  

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83)The Big 12 has a real affinity to offense, but seems to be allergic to defense. West Virginia and Oklahoma State both have potent offense, but both have defenses that aren’t worth two dead flies. I am again going with the team who is in possession of the ball last. I am also hoping the winner will help Ohio State. Therefore, I am going with the home team. Oklahoma State defeats West Virginia 48-45.  


Final Score:  Oklahoma State 45   West Virginia 41


Duke  @  #2 Clemson

Josh:  Upset – Duke over Clemson – There are not a lot of games this week that could qualify for this upset special, but Duke is playing well this season, and even thought Clemson sealed their spot in the ACC Championship game, they still need to stay focused, and Duke seems like a team that could pull an upset. If it is, I see it being a close game. Duke 24 – Clemson 21  


Middle Tennessee State #17 Kentucky

Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): As far as an upset in concerned, I can’t look toward the SEC to provide one. Late season scrimmages do nothing but add a weak “W” to their win column. However, my goal is to see the disintegration of the mighty SEC. So I look for Middle Tennessee State to upset the Kentucky Wildcats 27-24! 🙂 


Oregon State  @  #18 Washington

Pia Pete:  Oregon State over Washington


#19 Utah  @  Colorado

Joe-S-U:  Upset Special –  Colorado over Utah

Coach Rick:  I think Colorado ends it losing streak this weekend beating Utah by 7.


#20 Boston College  @  Florida State

Jason:  The Boston College Eagles and the Florida State Seminoles face off in a battle of teams heading in opposite directions. Though they fell last week at home to Clemson, BC is still sitting at 20th in the country while Florida State is in the midst of a three-game losing streak with the most recent loss occurring last week against Notre Dame. The ‘Noles currently 4-6 and will need consecutive wins against ranked opponents in order to qualify for any bowl game. Florida State’s offense is led by junior quarterback Deondre Francois. Last year, he suffered a serious knee injury in the team’s opening game against Alabama and missed the rest of the season and looked poised for a bounce-back year once he returned to the Seminoles. However, inconsistent play has plagued him and the team all year. He has thrown for over 2,200 passing yards and 13 passing touchdowns while also rushing for two touchdowns. The ability to shred a defense with his arm despite an up and down season still exists.  The Eagles are reeling after being destroyed last week at home against Clemson, scoring just one touchdown and hope to get back on the winning track this week.  Sophomore QB Anthony Brown has been solid all year, throwing for over 1,500 yards and 16 TD’s.  Even though the Seminoles have really struggled, they are catching BC at the right time, battered and beaten last week at home.  At home, with the season on the line and a potential bowl game hanging in the balance, Florida State musters up enough energy to get it done and pull the upset to stay alive for one more week and turn their attention to rival Florida next week with a chance to get to bowl eligibility.     Florida State 31 Boston College 28

Dr. Mark: Upset pick Florida State 27-24 over BC


#22 Northwestern  @  Minnesota

Bbaver:  Minnesota over N’Western: Looks like a game that can go either way, but with Minnesota playing better and N’Western having clinched the West, I’ll take the Gophers here. 

John:  Can Northwestern stand a little success?  Nope, that’s why they’re Northwestern.. Minnesota 27  Northwestern 24

Steven:   Just to make the West even more pathetic, Minny over Northwestern

Trout:   Although they are the Big Ten west champs, The Wildcats are still a 6-4 team. They have been in several games where they should win, and win big, but end up losing because of poor play or mistakes. And by no means are the Gophers a good team, but they have shown that they can score some points and challenge teams. Also, its going to be very cold in Minnesota. They harsh weather, could be an advantage for the home team. This game will be low scoring and sloppy. Both teams turning the ball over multiple times. But in the end, I can see the Gophers pulling off the slight upset, and making the West champion a 5 loss team.    (Minnesota,  17-14)



Michigan State  @  Nebraska

Cory:  Picking Nebraska to win any game seems like a stretch, but picking the Cornhuskers to upset Michigan State just seems stupid. Yet, here we are. Michigan State plays very well defensively, doing a great job of limiting third down conversions and stopping any momentum the opposing offense has. Look at how much Ohio State and Michigan struggled to move the ball with any consistency against the Spartans. The problem with Michigan State is the Spartans have no offense to match that defense. In the middle of the loss last week to Ohio State, the Spartans benched starting quarterback Brian Lewerke in favor of freshman Rocky Lombardi. Lombardi injected a bit of life into the offense as the Spartans started to move the ball a bit more, but in the end they only managed two field goals. The last time the Spartans broke the 24-point mark was a week-4 win over Central Michigan. Nebraska enters this game with some momentum having won three of their last four games. Nobody is going to call the Cornhuskers a good team, but under first year head coach Scott Frost the Cornhuskers have shown the willingness to fight. If Nebraska can get any kind of lead over Michigan State it would be very difficult for the Spartans to overcome that given how bad they are on offense.     Nebraska 21, Michigan State 13


Gregg:  I would have liked to pick UAB over Texas A&M.  I am sure the Aggies scheduled the game along with their SEC brethren as an easy win. Unfortunately for me, this happens to be one of the weeks A&M is not ranked in the SEC rotation game the playoff committee uses to keep enough conference teams in the top 25 to boost up Alabama. So I won’t have an upset pick this week.

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