Week 13 Predictions – 2018
Last Week: OSU won a hard fought contest against Maryland to earn a road win 52-51 in overtime. Dwayne Haskins again led the offense with 405 yards passing, 3 passing TD’s to go along with 3 rushing TD’s. For those out there that say OSU doesn’t have a running game, JK Dobbins contributed 203 yards rushing Unfortunately the Buckeyes continue tread water in the playoff poll and remain at 10th for the 4th straight week. Is this the ceiling the committee has given the Buckeyes? Does not seem fair but you just need to keep winning. As for our picks, Vaughn was the only one to go 4-0 in a bit of a rough week as only 6 Buckeye 50 staffers managed 3-1. Let’s see if we can get it turned around and improve our picks this week.
This Week’s Games: It is rivalry week around the country, so get out all those crazy trophies out of the trophy case and head to the stadium. Ohio State and Michigan do not pass an award back and forth for two reasons. First, the victory alone usually brings with it a conference championship and national recognition. Second, they don’t pass it back and forth because OSU keeps winning so there is no need pass anything. Is this the year the Wolverines snatch a win in Columbus? …. Washington and Washington State face of in annual Apple Cup and once again the North Division title is on the line. But bigger than that, if the Cougars can secure a win and go on next week and become Pac-12 champions, their name will be mix for a spot in the playoffs. Can Washington State stay in the hunt and take care of business at home? …. Also playing for a conference title slot, West Virginia and Oklahoma face off in Morgantown. Expect a lot of points and a lot of long plays, sounds like a Buckeye game! Two of the better quarterbacks in the country will be on the field for this one and it should be fun to watch. Will the Mountaineers score enough to take the victory and send the Sooners home and ruin Oklahoma’s playoff hopes? …. Alabama has already secured an SEC title seat and probably has secured a playoff spot. This weekend, they take on Auburn who gave the Tide their last loss. Can the Tigers pull they upset two years in a row?
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 13 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
(4)Michigan @ (10)Ohio State
Bbaver: Pick: TTUN – Have to go with my head at this point. I might talk me into Ohio State at some point prior to kickoff, but let’s face it….this is appears to be Urban’s worst team since he arrived, or at least since 2012. I know, they are 10-1, but they are below par for an Urban team. I do think this Game will be tighter than most Buckeye fans think it will. I think many Buckeye fans are surprised it’s only a 4-point spread and think OSU gets rolled. But this is not the same Michigan team on the road as they are at home. They are 3-1 on the road, but 1-3 against the spread in those games. They lost at Notre Dame, only beat N’Western by 3, beat Sparty by 14 and didn’t cover against Rutgers. That’s a far cry from what they did to Penn St and Wisconsin in Ann Arbor. I think the key to the game is the Buckeye D-line. I am guessing few would call this the key to the game, but these guys can dominate when healthy and motivated. If they play to their potential, this should be a battle. In the end though, my head says Michigan 31 Ohio State 24. I hope for the life of me I am wrong.
Cory: This is always a tough game to predict, but this year it’s even tougher because I’m going to pick the Buckeyes to lose. Yes, it seems preposterous to call for Ohio State to lose at home to Michigan, but please hear me out. This is a quality Michigan team that’s coming to Columbus this weekend, and it’s one that is good in all phases – offense, defense, and special teams. Shea Patterson won’t get Heisman consideration and he typically doesn’t make highlight-reel plays, but the Michigan quarterback is incredibly efficient with the football. He’s completing 65.9 percent of his passes with just four interceptions. The Wolverines are better are running the ball because they have a better offensive line and an underrated back in Karan Higdon. Though Michigan doesn’t have many highlight-reel plays, the ones they do typically come from Donovan Peoples-Jones. The X-factor here is Michigan’s defense, which has only allowed two teams to score more than 20 points – Notre Dame and Maryland. The same Maryland team that torched the Buckeyes defense last week managed just 21 points against Michigan. Four of Michigan’s opponents were held to single digits. For Ohio State to win it will take a miraculous turnaround from a defense that has slowly gotten worse over the course of the season. It pains me to say but this will be the first loss to Michigan in Columbus since 2000. Michigan 24, Ohio State 21
Gregg: I stated after the Purdue loss that I just wanted to see the Buckeyes win out and go to the Rose Bowl. Let the Clemson’s and Alabama’s fight it out for world domination. I don’t think they are playing like a top 4 team but they certainly deserve to be ranked better than 10th. The committee will look like fools if the Buckeyes win this weekend. This season is a lot like ‘Rocky 2’. They had a lot of distraction and drama early on, distracting from the task at hand. There was success in the early rounds and hope sprung eternal. Then they took some hard blows and even went down to the mat once. But the Buckeyes have held on to make it to the final round, and if they can land the right punches they can win the title and be crowned champion. That starts with a win over TBGUN. Will need a 300+ yard performance from Haskins and at least 200 yards rushing from the two-headed monster at running back. Ohio State 35 Michigan 28
Jason: The Game. Enough said. It’s all on the line in Columbus as the Michigan Wolverines face the Ohio State Buckeyes with a trip to Indianapolis and the Big Ten Championship on the line. It’s always a fierce battle when these two teams meet and this won’t be any different. The Michigan defense has been good, very good, but they haven’t seen anything close to an offense they are about to face in Columbus, led by Dwayne Haskins and maybe the nation’s most talented wide receiver corps. Offensively the Wolverines have done what they’ve had to do, not putting up huge numbers, but playing efficient and allowing the defense dictate tempo. RB Karan Higdon has been solid and has carried the offense and QB Shea Patterson has been efficient and has the ability to make plays with his legs. They are facing an Ohio State defense who has had their share of problems, but they are walking into a hornet’s next in Ohio Stadium on Saturday. Michigan has been very good, but their dominant wins have come at home and they have struggled quite a bit on the road at Northwestern, Michigan State and Indiana. Michigan has the defense to slow Ohio State, but if Haskins gets a little time, he can put up huge numbers and the Michigan offense isn’t structured to score big points. Bottom line, Ohio State knows how to win in this rivalry and Michigan does not. The pressure in this game is squarely on the Wolverines to live up to the hype. The Buckeyes will come in loose and playing in front of their home fans, will continue the dominance in the series behind a big strike offense led by Haskins. The Buckeyes score a pair of 4th quarter TD’s to take a lead and not look back, clinching their spot in the Big Ten Championship against Northwestern next week. Ohio State 42 Michigan 35
Joe-S-U: OSU over TBGUN – There was a bit of reminiscing going on online here about Vaughn Broadnax’s legendary block in the ’81 GAME to spring Schlichter for the game-winning score. It got me to thinking about that ’81 defense….or honestly lack thereof. That unit gave up a record number of points and yards and big plays that year. At years’ end several coaches on that side of the ball were shown the door by Earle (hmmmmm….) including none other than Nick Saban. But look it up, kids- that swiss cheese defense went into Ann Arbor and kept Meatchicken out of the endzone. Is this Buckeye “D” gonna keep Hairball’s “O” out of the endzone? Probably not…But mark my words- this will be a battle.
Josh: Ohio State did not look ready for Maryland, and some of that could have been oversight, or some of that could have been as a result of them not bringing their intensity like Maryland did to start off, but they found a way to win. Michigan also had issues against Indiana, trailing 17-15 at halftime, but found a way to win by 11 to keep their Big Ten record perfect. Both team’s know what is at stake. Watching what Indiana was able to do against Michigan, I am less worried for Ohio State’s offense, but we need to pass against their secondary and set up outside runs, because this is probably the best defensive line Ohio State has seen all season. Michigan might be without one of their start players, but Shae Patterson has found his rhythm in the offense. Ohio State will need to contain the run threat, and slow down the run game, to make them beat is through the air. Urban Meyer always has his team ready for rivalry week, and this year, I believe he can do it again. Ohio State wins this one and punches their ticket to Indy. Ohio State 31 – Michigan 24.
Dr. Mark: OSU 38-35 Sane people would bet on Michigan- Buckeye middle defense has been non existent. Open holes on the short side of the field. If the D plays their best game of the year, Bucks can win. But Blue D is for real- its up to the O-Line to protect for the passing game.
PJSBuck: I am not a blind pessimist or blind optimist. Rather, I consider myself a realist. I also ooze/bleed scarlet and gray. I have never, nor WILL I ever root against my beloved Buckeyes. But folks, this program is a ship that is RAPIDLY and RELENTLESSLY taking on water and has been most of the year. There is NOTHING that makes me think things will be different this Saturday – especially since we are going up against a precision machine. Urban has claimed for the last 5 games that he is “surprised” with the performance each Saturday. In talking with my best friend over the weekend, I told him I want only one question answered honestly: Why is Urban “surprised” each week? The team and coaches can’t possibly be having great meetings and practices every day, each week only to see a 180-degree change when we play someone?? TBGUN 42 Ohio State 21 (spoken only as a realist) in a game that hopefully will be the last for a number of OSU coaches as OSU employees – STARTING with Schiano (as soon as humanly possible). TBGUN deserves to play for the Big Ten Championship, we don’t.
Pia Pete: Meatchicken will thump Ohio State
Coach Rick: I think that this game is going to be a lot closer than people are suggesting. Because of coaching and home field, I give the edge to Ohio State. I see the Buckeyes winning by 10 points.
Steven: Three cheers for Maryland’s interim head coach Matt Canada for taking the bold, if foolhardy decision to go for two on Saturday. If not for that move, we could still be playing. It has set up the Ohio State Michigan game for the East division title and a berth in the B1G title game against Northwestern. While the blood pressure is still coming down from Saturday, the Michigan game now seems a bit of a return to normalcy. Michigan is a team that should be a bit easier to scheme for. Much like Ohio State, they just do what they do, not a lot of fancy stuff and they just dare you to beat them. It sounds like what we used to do. Maryland had nothing to lose and it is not surprising that they threw everything they could at us. Will Harbaugh be as crazy? Who knows? “The Game” has always been played s much closer to the vest than other games. OSU can outscore Michigan, but we may not be able to do it on the ground. If the line and play calls can keep QB Dwayne Haskins upright, we should be able to attack their secondary. On defense, we are what we are, BAD. Just keep them under 40 we can win. This is the one where the team will need every bit of energy from the crowd. It won’t be pretty, (never is with this team). Gotta stay with the Bucks, although feeling shaky. OSU 38-35
Trout: This is Ohio State’s biggest test. This has been a frustrating year, with a team that has all the talent to succeed, but has yet to put it together fully. It may be the homer in me, but I still think the Buckeyes can win. Firstly, I think Haskins showed that he deserves the Heisman hype last week with keeping the Bucks in that game with Maryland, when the defense couldn’t get a stop. He will keep the Bucks in this game. Secondly, I don’t know how good Michigan really is. Clearly they are a better team this year, with Shea Patterson under center, but they had their struggles with lesser team. Granted, so have the Buckeyes. Thirdly, in the last few meetings of OSU and Michigan, Michigan has been the better team on the field, yet somehow the Buckeyes pull off the win. I see all these facets playing a part on Saturday. It will be tough, it will be physical, but I see the Buckeyes doing just enough to get by the Wolverines and keeping their playoff hopes alive. (Ohio State, 24-23)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): I hope the lack of preparedness we have seen all year was simply because a slot of practice time was used to focus on Michigan. I must say that this has to be the least confident that I have felt about a n OSU team going into The Game. However, I don’t foresee a defensive battle. I am taking the Buckeyes 35-31 over the Wolverines.
Final Score: Ohio State 62 Michigan 39
(16)Washington @ (8)Washington State
Bbaver: Pick: Washington State – Could go either way, but Wazzu has proved they have a pretty good team and this Washington team has been below expectations. I would still be picking the Huskies if this was in their backyard, but it isn’t. Washington St wins a close one.
Cory: The West Virginia loss last week has opened up the playoff discussion a bit, and one of the teams still clinging to a slim chance of getting in is Washington State. The Cougars have been impressive this season, but the problem is nobody else in their conference has been. Washington State put up a season-high 69 points in a dominating win over Arizona last week and will need to put up another dominating performance over rival Washington this week. The Huskies have been a bit of a disappointment this season. Losses to Auburn and Oregon could be justified, but losing to Cal is inexcusable for a Washington team this talented. The defense is solid but the offense is inconsistent. Quarterback Jake Browning continues to struggle to find his 2016 form when he had 43 touchdown passes. Thus far this year he’s got 16. Because it’s a rivalry game and there is a lot on the line for Washington State don’t expect this to be a blowout. That said, the Cougars have too much offensive firepower for Washington to keep up. Washington State 38, Washington 24
Gregg: Washington State and their offense is playing as good as any team in the country outside the top three. I am shocked they did not move up in the playoff polls but they have plenty of time to do this. I would prefer to see the Huskers keep up their string of victories over the Cougars but I think WSU gets it done and goes on to the Pac-12 championship. Washington State 35 Washington 27
Jason: The winner of the best rivalry in the West, the Apple Cup, decides the Pac 12 North champion for the second time in three years. This one also has playoff implications, but this time for Washington State. A spot in NYC may be reserved for Cougar QB Gardner Mishew, who is coming off a 7 TD game at Arizona. He leads the nation with 4,325 yards through the air with 36 TD’s and has only thrown 7 picks. The Huskies QB, Jake Browning, who became the winningest QB in Pac 12 history last week, but will have to have protection against a very good Cougar front seven. If he is pressured, he can make mistakes. For Washington to be successful, it is important that Browning has time. Washington can soften the pressure utilizing the talented senior RB, Myles Gaskin. Gaskin is 5th all time in Pac 12 rushing yards and he is coming off back-to-back 130 yard plus games. If he duplicates that, he moves to 3rd all time. While Washington State can put up huge numbers on offense, the Huskies can keep them off the field by controlling the line of scrimmage and sustaining drives by converting third downs. Washington should be up to the challenge of protecting Browning and keeping the ball out of Minshew’s hands. It will be an all-time classic Apple Cup game, but in the end, the Huskies pull out the win on the back of Browning and Gaskin. Washington 35 Wazzu 31
Joe-S-U: Washington State over Washington
Josh: Washington State piled on the points last week, and kept Minshew in the 4th quarter to pile on his stats. There comes a point where their is gamesmanship, but to another point, no one on the east coast watched that game, so no one really cares as much. Washington has not had the year they expected, but they will be ready for this rivalry game. I see them winning this one, which will eliminate the PAC-12 from the playoff. Washington 24 – Washington State 21
Dr. Mark: Wash State 35-31 – Pundits say WSU goes to playoff if they win out.
PJSBuck: Washington by 14
Pia Pete: Washington State over Washington
Coach Rick: I see Washington State winning on their field. In the beginning it will be a good game to watch, but in the 3rd quarter I see Washington State pulling away.
Steven: Have you seen Wazzu? Their quarterback is insane. Gardner Minshew just had 473 yards and 7 touchdowns last week against Arizona. We all would love a Husky win in the Apple Cup, but it ain’t happening. If the Cougars can control Washington running back Myles Gaskin Wazzu should win handily. WSU 38-24
Trout: I think this will be a close game, but I think the Washington State Cougars will come out on top. They are clearly the better team, and more than likely the PAC-12’s best chance to make it to the playoff. Washington is a really good team, but they clearly not the top ten team that we thought they were at the beginning of the season. Mike Leach has molded this once destitute program, to a real contender for the National Championship. The Huskies won’t make it easy for the Cougars. Both teams can score a lot of points. I see the game the game being close up until the fourth quarter. But in the end, Washington State’s superior talent will pull through, and they will narrowly defeat their instate rival. (Washington State, 38-31)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): I have to go against the pirate and root for the Huskies to upset the Wildcats. I have Washington State losing to Washington 38-35.
Final Score: Washington 28 Washington State 15
(6)Oklahoma @ (13)West Virginia
Bbaver: Pick: West Virginia – Another tough call. But Oklahoma’s D is pretty bad, and West Virginia is tough to beat at home. Playing this late in the season in midwest weather also benefits the Eer’s here. WVU I think deals the Sooners their 2nd loss.
Cory: West Virginia saw its playoff hopes come crashing down following an upset loss at Oklahoma State last week. The Mountaineers always seem to crumble when the spotlight is on, and this year we didn’t even have to wait for the game with Oklahoma for that happen. The Sooners are still angling for a position in the playoff and a win here would look good on the resume. Aside from what’s on the line from both teams, we can expect to see a very entertaining game. Both teams feature elite quarterbacks in Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) and Will Grier (West Virginia), and both teams like to play with a lot of tempo. Not only are we going to see a lot of points in this game, we’ll also see some trick plays from both sides. Overall Oklahoma is a better football team, and you have to wonder how much motivation West Virginia has after the disappointing loss to Oklahoma State last week. Oklahoma 48, West Virginia 42
Gregg: This one should play out as if you are watching a couple of 16 year-olds pay xbox. The over/under is 86 … TAKE THE OVER. The committee needs to watch this game to see that Ohio State is not the only team in the country that gives up big plays. Oklahoma probably has the better team, but hoping that the home crowd at night will give WVU a chance to win this one. West Virginia 63 Oklahoma 59
Jason: West Virginia hosts Oklahoma and both need a win to play in the Big 12 title game. Both defenses have shown vulnerabilities and it should be a shootout but the Sooner offense is more powerful than what the Mountaineers saw a week ago against Oklahoma State in the loss. Sooner QB Kyler Murray is hitting on over 70% of his throws and is in line for Big 12 player of the year and a possible appearance in NYC at the Heisman ceremony in what is likely his last year of organized football before he hits the diamond for a paycheck. WVU has a potential Heisman finalist of their own in Will Grier who has thrown for nearly 350 yards in every game this season, save a loss to Iowa State. He will be facing a Sooner secondary who is struggling, without a pick in the last four games and just one in the last seven. Bottom line, the Mountaineers will score. Oklahoma is still in line for a potential playoff appearance but this will be their toughest test to date. The winner most likely faces Texas next week in the Big 12 title game so there is a whole lot on the line. Expect a whole lot of scoring in this one and it’s really a coin flip kind of game. I look for Grier, playing in front of the home faithful, to make a few extra plays and the Oklahoma defense will be unable to get the stop they need and the Mountaineers win their home finale and clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship next week. WVU 55 Oklahoma 49
Joe-S-U: Oklahoma over WVU
Josh: West Virginia actually has a decent defense, and I think that is the difference in the game. The Mountaineers have an offense that could go toe to toe with Oklahoma, and I expect them to win this one at home with a chance to play in the Big 12 title game. With this game being on a Friday, a lot of eyes will be watching, and I know I will get my Christmas decorating done early that day to enjoy football the rest of it. Go Mountaineers! West Virginia 51 – Oklahoma 48
Dr. Mark: OK 42-38 – Easy to criticize D of these teams- unless you are an OHIO State fan because apparently offense wins championships.
PJSBuck: Great game to watch or record. I am a believer in the Sooners this year. Too much firepower, Oklahoma by 17
Pia Pete: Oklahoma over WVU
Coach Rick: This game is a coin flip because it is at West Virginia. I think that in the game Oklahoma pulls it out, but it will be hard fought for the Sooners.
Steven: OSU desperately needs at least one Mountaineer win in the next 2 weeks. They have already done us a solid by losing in Stillwater last week. Would love to see it but Oklahoma is too strong. OU 48-45
Trout: This game is going to end with 100+ total points. Both teams have shown that they can score a lot of points and they have also shown that neither have much of a defense. Not to mention, both Murray and Grier are Heisman caliber quarterbacks. I see each team scoring on the majority of their drives. I will give the edge to the Sooners. Although not great, I think they have a slightly better defense than that of the mountaineers. The game will come down to the wire. I can see the game being decided on the very last play of the game. In the end, The Sooners defense does enough to disrupt the Mountaineers and pull off the win. (Oklahoma, 56-52)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): For the sake of all of the sofas and other flammable furniture in furniture in West Virginia I am hoping that the Mountaineers upset the sooners. Selfishly I am going with West Virginia to upset Oklahoma 48-45.
Final Score: Oklahoma 59 West Virginia 56
Auburn @ (1)Alabama
Bbaver: Pick: Alabama – Could get interesting if Bama is over-confident, but no way I am picking against this Bama freight train. Bama by 17+ I am thinking.
Cory: Does the Iron Bowl even matter this year? Auburn has four losses so the Tigers aren’t playing for anything relevant this week other than pride. Alabama has a two-game lead on LSU in the SEC West so the Crimson Tide could lose this game and still end up in the SEC Championship game, and eventually the playoff. So honestly, does this game matter in the national discussion this year? It really does not. It may be entertaining to watch because a potential upset over Alabama is always fun, but realistically the Tigers won’t be able to compete. We are watching the most complete Alabama offense under Nick Saban thanks to the emergence of likely Heisman-winner Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa is completing 69.2 percent of his passes with 31 touchdown passes against two interceptions, and he’s added 185 rushing yards and four scores. There’s just no way Auburn can make this a game. Alabama 35, Auburn 14
Gregg: Just how good is Alabama? You could probably take ANY starting quarterback in the SEC, put them on the Crimson Tide, and they would still be unbeaten. Tua is having a great season and is a great quarterback but the team around him makes him a lot better then he truly is. The Tide is having a season to remember, they are solid on both sides of the ball. I don’t see any way, even in a rivalry contest that the Tigers have a chance. Alabama scores often and with flare. They have been practicing for Auburn for two weeks and waited all year to avenge last year’s loss. Alabama 45 Auburn 6
Jason: The fiercest rivalry in the south renews acquaintances in the Iron Bowl as Alabama hosts Auburn looking to avenge their only defeat a year ago. Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham needs to be tremendous for the Tigers to be successful. The Bama defense surrendered a season high 275 yards on the ground to The Citadel last week in the SEC ‘bye’ week but that won’t happen again so Stidham will have to be great. He will have to convert key third downs and hope to keep the explosive Alabama offense off the field. Alabama is dealing with the injury bug and Auburn will need to exploit every advantage to pull off the upset. Alabama has already clinched an appearance in the SEC title game vs Georgia, but the playoffs are on their mind and a loss, while not devastating, could make things very interesting next week. The Tiger secondary has shown some holes and if Tua Tagovailoa has a little time, he will carve up the defense of the Tigers. If the Bama defense plays like Bama, then it could be a long day for Auburn. Look for Bama to score at will and though Stidham will make some plays, it won’t be near enough and the Tide will pull away in the second half to head to the SEC championship unbeaten. Bama 42 Auburn 21
Joe-S-U: Alabama over Auburn
Josh: Alabama and Nick Saban knows how to cheat the system. They did it last year by losing a game they knew they could lose to get an extra week of rest without having to play in the SEC championship. He also knows that winning this week means that even if his team falls to Georgia, he still has a chance to make the playoff, despite losing their conference title game. It’s not a fair system, but a reason why I would like to see expansion to 8. With all of that being said, Alabama can name their score, and win this game against Auburn. Tua’s health might be the only thing that gives Auburn a chance, but Alabama finishes the regular season undefeated. Alabama 31 – Auburn 21
Dr. Mark: Bama 41-24 but Auburn prob has best recent record against Bama- but Pat thought Citadel would beat Bama last week.
PJSBuck: No real game here – ‘Bama by as much as they want
Pia Pete: Alabama over Auburn
Coach Rick: I think Alabama is a solid number one team in the country. I do not think that this will be a good game to watch and the Tide roll to a 17 point win.
Steven: Really, we have to pick this game? Unless ‘Bama sits their starters for this or the SEC Championship game they should walk to the Playoff. Tide puts them away by halftime. ‘Bama 52-24
Trout: Alabama will blow Auburn out. This game will not be close. Clearly the Crimson Tide is the best team in college football. They have been able to handle all of their opponents with relative ease. I don’t see this game being much different. Auburn is not a good team. I see the Tua adding to his Heisman resume with a great game through the air. Alabama will score early and often, and the Tigers will have no response. The Tide ends the season undefeated. (Alabama, 49-10)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): As my nephew Chandler Cox plays his final regular season game as an Auburn Tiger this will be the only time I have ever rooted against the Tigers since he has been on the team. I need Alabama to go undefeated to allow us to have a scintilla of hope to make the playoffs. The Tide rolls over the Tigers 35-17.
Final Score: Alabama 52 Auburn 21
UPSET SPECIAL PICKS!
#3 Notre Dame @ USC
Josh: USC over Notre Dame – Upset – USC has nothing to lose at this point and are still fighting for Bowl eligibility. This is Notre Dame’s last game and this is played at USC. They had a big win last week against a depleted Syracuse team, but are still undefeated. Clay Helton is coaching for his job. USC is currently 5-6, and have looked good at times but have been inconsistent. If nothing else, they will play motivated in this one, and nothing would be sweeter than to knock off Notre Dame and their championship hopes. USC 38 – Notre Dame 35 (last second field goal).
Dr. Mark: Upset pick USC over ND – I don’t really have any choice!
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): For my upset special I am going with USC upsetting Notre Dame. 31-27.
#20 Syracuse @ Boston College
Jason: Boston College is on a little 2 game slide after starting the season 7-2, they have dropped back to back games to Clemson and most recently a heart breaker to Florida State. They look to finish strong as they welcome a Syracuse team achieving it’s highest ranking in 20 years despite being destroyed by Notre Dame at home last week. The Eagle defense has been struggling the last few weeks, allowing an average of nearly 400 yards per game in the last three. Can Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito take advantage. He struggled throwing the football against the Irish last week, throwing for only 105 yards with 2 interceptions after regular starting QB Tony Dungey was injured. Boston College RB AJ Dillon will be the focal point of the Eagle offense, and he is going against a defense who can give up some yards on the ground. Louisville hit the Cuse defense for over 200 yards and Dillon has the ability to allow the Eagles to ground and pound all afternoon. The Eagles, behind Dillon will control the tempo and the clock by running the football and the Eagle defensive line should be able to control the game in the trenches. Look for a bounce back victory at home for the Eagles against a backup QB, BC finishes their regular season with a big win and should be in line for a nice bowl game following a solid 8-4 campaign. BC 31 Syracuse 21
#24 Pittsburgh @ Miami
Gregg: In what looks like an old ‘Big East’ contest, Pittsburgh travels to Miami to take on the ‘Canes. Mark Richt’s team started out 5-1 but then lost four conference games in a row to take the wind out of their sails. They returned with a nice victory last week in Blacksburg over Virginia Tech and I would like to see them take that momentum into this week. Pitt has already clinched the Coastal division and will face Clemson in the ACC championship game. I think the Panthers may be looking ahead and let this one slip away. Miami 31 Pittsburgh 27
Joe-S-U: Miami over Pittsburgh
Bbaver: Upset Pick: Texas A&M (who I show as unranked) over LSU – Aggies are tough at home I give them the slightest of edges here.
Steven: Upset Pick: USF over UCF
Trout: Last week, Maryland showed that they have the offensive power to compete with better teams in the Big Ten. Granted, that was against the worse Ohio State defense in the Urban Meyer era. I think they can put up enough points to compete and possible beat the Nittany Lions. Penn State has been able to get somewhat back on track, but the are clearly not getting the offensive production that they were in the early parts of the season. Maryland also has a lot to play for. They get bowl eligible with this victory, and they potential gt to keep Matt Canada as their coach. The Nittany Lions won’t go down without a fight. I see them giving the Terrapins more defensive fits than the Buckeyes did. In the end, I see Maryland pulling out all the stops to secure their 6th victory and pulling off the upset against Penn State. (Maryland, 24-21)
Cory: Mississippi State @ Ole Miss Though the Egg Bowl is not a game I would typically pay attention to, I am using it as my upset of the week. Ole Miss is not a good team. Yes, the Rebels do have five wins but the only win over an SEC opponent came over a two-win Arkansas team. Ole Miss has lost four straight, including losing to Vanderbilt last week. So why am I picking the Rebels to upset Mississippi State this week? There are a couple of factors. First, the game is in Oxford so the Rebels are at home, where they have played better. Second, the Bulldogs are a one-man show offense. That man is quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is not a great passer as he’s got just 1,500 passing yards this season, but he is the team’s leading rusher with 901 yards on the ground. The Rebels will put everything into stopping Fitzgerald, and Mississippi State’s reliance on their one-man offense will spell doom in the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss 27, Mississippi State 20
Pia Pete: Florida State over Florida
Coach Rick: Upset Pick – I see Boston College winning in an upset fashion this weekend.