Week 12 Predictions – 2020

Last Week:  Buckeye fans want to put last week behind them as quickly as possible. Just as they were building up positive momentum, a couple positive COVID tests from the Maryland team and OSU had another week off. But I am confident Coach Day had them focused on the right things in preparation for this week. For our staff picks Coach Rick, Dave and Dr. Mark were all a perfect 4-0, and and five others were 3-1, so we continue to stay strong. 

This Week’s Games:  Ohio State will take on Indiana in what will likely be a winner take all match for the East title. The Bucks are experienced at the pressure of a game like this, can the Hoosiers handle the pressure and prevail?  ….  The B1G West will probably be decided this weekend as well. Assuming they play enough games the Badgers can win the West with a win Saturday over Northwestern. But Coach Pat has the Wildcats playing very well, but is it enough to topple Wisconsin?  …. 

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 sixth straight year.

Guest Picker:  As we have Coastal Carolina among our games this week, we headed down Highway 501 and reached out to it Joe Oestriech. Graduate of Worthington High School, and OSU, he is also bass player for Columbus’s Watershed, suspected member of the Dead Schembechlers, and chair of the English Department at Coastal Carolina University.

Here we go with our Week 12 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg

(9)Indiana   (3)Ohio State

Guest – Joe Oestreich:  In the fall of ’87, I was a freshman at OSU. I lived in Harrison House, so even though I was no doubt blitzed on pitchers of Budweiser from next door at the Black Forest Inn, I clearly remember the Hoosiers crushing the Buckeyes 31-10 on what Earle Bruce called “The darkest day in Ohio State history.” The next year was even darker, of course, a 41-7 Buckeye loss in Bloomington that saw Anthony Thompson run up 190. This year Tom Allen has his squad on a roll that harkens back to those late ‘80s glory days. IU beating Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State all in the same season? What kind of upside-down universe are we living in? But this week, when Indiana looks across the line of scrimmage and remembers who they are, up will go back up and down will come back down. Hoosiers play scrappy, but the Bucks have too much firepower. Ohio State 45, Indiana 20.

Andy:  The best Indiana team we’ve seen in decades in coming to town with a ton of momentum. Sometimes in college football momentum is everything. Hoosier Michael Penix Jr. is completing nearly 61% of his passes and has accounted for 11 total touchdowns in just 4 games. His two weapons of choice are wide receivers Ty Fryfogle and Whop Philyor who have accounted for over 700 yards in receiving in just 4 games with Fryfogle leading the team in yards per reception at almost 18 yards per reception. If there is one weak part of the Hoosiers team this year it is their defense. The Hoosier defense has given up over 77 points in their first four games, while not the worst statistically it does not bode well that they’re about to encounter the best offense in the conference. Justin Fields is completing passes at an ungodly rate and the Ohio State run offense has become stronger with each game they play this season. I expect the balanced attack to the be the difference for Ohio State beating a tough Indiana team.   Ohio State 42 – Indiana 28

Coach Rick: I am sure everyone knows the current weakness of the Buckeyes, it is called the 2nd half.  I think OSU finds their 2nd half in this game and wins by 28.  

Cory:  Right now many college football fans are wondering Indiana is a legitimate top-10 team or not. The Hoosiers are 4-0 with three of those wins coming over Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State. It would be easy to look at those three teams and surmise that all three are having down years and thus Indiana is probably not that good, however, that would be doing a disservice to the Hoosiers. The defense has really come around, and currently the Hoosiers ranks 18th in the country in yards allowed per game. Offensively, Indiana revolves around the play of quarterback Michael Penix Jr. They have two good running backs in Stevie Scott and Sampson James, however, Indiana is a pass-heavy offense. That last point has to be a concern for Ohio State heading into this game. The Buckeyes have been strong along the defensive line but very inconsistent in the secondary. I think the difference will ultimately be in if this secondary comes in ready to play. Penix has put up good numbers but is not afraid to take risks throwing the ball. He had two interceptions in the first quarter against the Spartans last week, however, it didn’t cost Indiana as Michigan State couldn’t do anything offensively. I see this game being close, but the Buckeyes ultimately prevailing in the end.   Ohio State 42, Indiana 35

Dave:  Ohio State 42  Indiana 20

Dr. Mark OSU 38-20 – Indiana has a good defense -near top in Picks and sacks- this game will depend on OSU O-line. This game will probably be close for the first half. OSU need to control middle of field on D and limit YAC on the underneath throws

Gregg As of last week, Michigan had the longest winning streak over Indiana, now Ohio State has that honor. There are very few years when the Hoosiers have a fighting chance against the Buckeyes, is this one of those years?  Coach Tom Allen in his 4th year in Bloomington has his best team yet with 66 returning players. Not quiet the 1988 team that last beat Ohio State which had about 66 5th-year seniors but a solid squad. I suspect they will come out of the tunnel with a lot of energy and emotion but will only last them a quarter or two.  Too much on the line for the Buckeyes not to be focused and do what we all know they are capable of doing. Should be another good day for the offense and I am going to predict a score by they defense, they are due. One thing for sure, the winner of this game will have an inside track on a playoff spot.   Ohio State 54  Indiana 17 

John:  I having a hard time coming up with a predicted score for this one.  I believe Ohio state wins this one, but by how much?  IU is unbeaten and a top ten team, so that suggests this should be a competitive game.  In reality, while IU has beaten some blue blood programs this year, they have yet to play anyone that is any good – Michigan and Penn State both look like quality wins on paper, but both are a combined 1-7.  My gut tells me that this one is close into the late third quarter/early fourth but Ohio State just has too much talent.  Bucks don’t cover, but win by two scores.   Ohio State  35  Indiana 24

Josh: Indiana has been very opportunistic against quarterbacks that have made mistakes, but Justin Fields is on a different level than those other players. Ohio State will be hungry after having a week off due to an unexpected cancelation from Maryland. Justin Fields will have a chance to prove he is one of the best players in the country with a paper top 10 match up. If the defense can play man against the Hoosier receivers and force Penix to make throws in tighter windows, they should have a chance to prevent this game closer than it needs to be. Its easy to forget that Ohio State won this game last year 51-10 in Bloomington, but Day will have his team even more prepared with the extra time to game plan. Ohio State 56 – Indiana 17 

PJSBuckI expect this to be a very close game in the first half.  IU has one of the most opportunistic defenses I have seen in a while.  I have watched a little of all their games so far this year as both of my boys graduated from IU.  IU is for real, but truthfully, they have been lucky on defense as interceptions have been thrown right to the secondary.  I think one of the keys for this game is getting to their QB quickly.  He folds under pressure but is good when he gets time to throw.  Their offensive line seems to be the real deal.  Overall the IU offensive line is fundamentally sound which will give our defense fits.  I don’t think they can stop our offense so look (again!) to see how our running game does and our defense could likely win or lose this game for us.  Ohio State 48 IU 35

Steven: This week will separate the contenders from the pretenders. With Indiana, this will be a bit of a misnomer as they are not pretenders by any means.  They are a good team.  Led by QB Michael Penix Jr. and WR Ty Fryfogle are absolutely legit.  Fryfogle is the one of the best targets in the Big Ten. I envision at least one or two passes that beat the Buckeye secondary. One or two… Outside of that, Penix will have to be perfect to make a consistent dent in the Ohio State defense.  The Hoosiers are so unbalanced toward the pass it will be interesting to see if the Buckeye defensive front gives him any time to pass.  Oh to have Chase Young or the Bosas.  From the first defensive snap the Bucks should be pressuring Penix.  He’s not such a running threat so there will need to be some misdirection to keep the defense honest.  Unless the Hoosiers can establish the run game to set up play action, they will wilt pretty fast.  Offensively, the Bucks will do what they do.  Fields accounts for 5 touchdowns.  I expect a carbon copy of the output from Rutgers.  Bucks win handily, but IU gives them some good teaching points for the back-end.  OSU 51-24.

TroutOhio State should win this game. They are the better team. However, I do think it’ll be a little close for comfort. For whatever reason, Indiana seems to play the Buckeyes close. I also think the Hoosiers are feeling very confident, coming in undefeated and with a top 10 ranking. But, Ohio State is still the better team through and through. Justin Fields might be the best player in the country right now. I see the game being somewhat close for a while, but the Buckeyes superior skill will allow them to widen the gap, and allow them to win by a few scores. It won’t be the blowout that Buckeye fans are hoping, but Ohio State wins and remains unbeaten.  (Ohio State, 42-28)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): A lot has been said in anticipation of this weekend’s matchup between Ohio State and Indiana. The Hoosiers are looking for respect and an elevation of their teams status to the upper echelons of the B1G big and mighty. The Buckeyes are going to have to step up in the defensive backfield to contain both Whop Philyor and Ty Fryfogle. This pair would find time among the Zone 6 group at OSU and that is saying something. Stevie Scott offers a hard hitting big back that can be tough to slow down, but not too much for a “Tuf” linebacker to handle. If our DBs get exploited we will have to score, score, score, and score some more. I expect quite a bit of scoring from both side, but I think Justin and the Jets will get it done with Master Teague assisting by chewing up the clock. Buckeyes outlast the Hoosiers 49 to 35.

Final Score:  Ohio State 42   Indiana 35  

(10)Wisconsin   (19)Northwestern

Guest – Joe Oestreich:  Ah, our little buddies in the B10 West. It’s cute how they fight and claw to see which one of them earns the right to get their hides tanned by the Buckeyes in Indy. Still, I gotta go with the Badgers. For one, they’ve been the most underrated team in college football (and basketball, for that matter) for about fifteen years. But most importantly, I was born in Wisconsin, most of my cousins still live there, and I like beer, brats, and cheese curds way too much to risk compromising my regular invites to family reunions. Wisconsin 17, Northwestern 10.  

Andy:  A matchup between what is likely the two best teams in the Big Ten West, the Wildcats and Badgers are set to have an electric matchup this weekend. Wisconsin is on a tear this season, we have not seen a Badger offense this balanced and potent since the 2011 team which had Russel Wilson and Monte Ball racking up yards and touchdowns. While this Badger offense is not quite at that level, their young quarterback Graham Mertz has been one of the best in the entire country, completing 75% of his passes with 7 touchdowns and 0 INT. The Badgers despite having played only 2 games this year as a unit have gained 523 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. I just think this team has too much talent and firepower both running the ball and passing for Northwestern to stop.   Wisconsin 38 – Northwestern 24 

Coach Rick: Northwestern has done enough to win in all their games.  The problem is they have not played any of the top teams in the conference.  I see Wisconsin beating them easily, but Northwestern will have a couple great drives.

Cory:  The other surprise team in the Big Ten this year aside from Indiana is Northwestern. So far the Wildcats have taken care of business in all four wins, but three of those were close. The Wildcats feature Indiana transfer Peyton Ramsey at quarterback, which has helped them, however it is the defense that is also getting things done. So far no team is scored more than 20 points against Northwestern this season, and it will be interesting to see if Wisconsin changes that this week. The Badgers finally returned to action last week after missing two games due to COVID-19. Wisconsin handled Michigan last week 49-11, but while the score looks lopsided if you watched the game the Badgers were inconsistent, and it could be argued they won more on the strength of Michigan’s ineptitude than anything. Wisconsin’s defense looks legit so far, however, that comes in games against two bad offenses in Illinois and Michigan. Northwestern isn’t exactly elite on that side of the ball but the Wildcats are more polished right now than those two teams. This is a very tough call but ultimately I’m calling for Wisconsin to win this one. I like how the Badgers use their backs and tight ends and think that will be the difference in this game.   Wisconsin 28, Northwestern 20

Dave:  Wisconsin 32  Northwestern 21

Dr. Mark:   WISC  31-24  – This should be close till 4th qtr but Wisc may wear them down on both sides of ball.

GreggWisconsin had an off week last week (played Michigan) so they have probably had two weeks to prepare for Northwestern. The Wildcats have been been an underdog in this game every years since 1988. The winner has the inside track to play in Indy for the Big Ten championship. Northwestern already has more wins then they had all last season so they are having a great season, but they are not a great team.  The Badgers continue their quest to see if they can make the playoffs only playing 4 games.  Wisconsin 24  Northwestern 17 

John:  The Badgers came back from their Covid imposed break with a vengeance.  Of course it helps that they played what may be the worst Michigan team I’ve ever seen.  Northwestern’s season has played out a lot like Indiana’s. Both IU and NU are 4-0 and neither has played anyone good.  Like the Hoosiers, I think the ‘Cats get their first L of the season this week.   Wisconsin 31  Northwestern 17

Josh Wisconsin has looked good in its first two games, but looking back at their competition, Illinois and Michigan have not been world beaters this season. Northwestern seems to have a magical season so far, with a feeling of the 2018 season, but they have not faced an offense as dynamic as Wisconsin’s has been. I anticipate this game being maybe closer than expected, but I think Wisconsin will win this game in the 4th quarter, and make the margin a little larger for style points. Wisconsin 35 – Northwestern 21 

PJSBuck:  Wow!  Along with us, the co-Big Ten Game of the Week!  First question is will NW cut their grass or leave it 6″ high like they are prone to do (seriously)?  Next question is will Wiscy be healthy?  It appears they have finally put the COVID bug behind them.  Last week Wiscy’s 45-7 score against that powerhouse (choke, cough) was no laughing matter but it also was NOT impressive either.  They looked as sound as could be but Illinois is a weak lamb that was sent to the slaughterhouse.  I really like how NW is playing this year and Coach Fitz will have his team ready.  In any event, I expect Bucky Badger to win (maybe pull it out last moment)  Wiscy 38 NW 35 in what could be a thriller.  Tape this one for sure.

Steven: Northwestern is a touchdown underdog to Wisconsin, but if you look at the stats, they are pretty evenly matched.  So far this year the Wildcats have not only played more games, but with the Badgers only having played and beaten Illinois and Michigan, Northwestern has better wins.  Those wins have been much closer than Wisky’s 2 blowouts which may explain the betting line. Being at home, the Wildcats can keep this close.  Still thinking Wisky has the edge, but not by much.  Badgers 31-28

TroutNorthwestern has been a good story this year. Much like Indiana, no one except the Wildcats to be 4-0. Unfortunately for them, I think the luck runs out. Although Wisconsin has only played 2 games, they have been dominant in both. They are clearly one of the top teams in the Big Ten. I don’t believe that Northwestern has the players to hang with them for 4 quarters. I see it being a tight game for a bit, but Graham Mertz and the Badger offense will be able to pull ahead and never look back. Badgers win comfortably, and remain the team to beat in the Big Ten West.  (Wisconsin, 38-21)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): After Wisconsin’s shellacking of TSUN, I am confident that Northwestern will at minimum score more points against the Badgers than the Wolverines. However, Wisconsin now has a legitimate passing game. Add that to the regular group of beefalos up front blocking for whatever back is behind them and I see a blue collar fistfight.   Wisconsin beats Northwestern 35-20.

Final Score:  Northwestern 17  Wisconsin 7 

(14)Oklahoma State   (17)Oklahoma

Guest – Joe Oestreich:  They don’t even bother playing defense in the Big 12 anymore, do they? Seems like they’ve just eliminated that pesky business from the game. Cowboys 157, Sooners 149 (in OT).

Andy:  Most years Bedlam Brawl is usually a give away game to the Sooners with Oklahoma State only winning 15 of the last 17 matchups. This year the Cowboys have one of the most balanced offenses in the country, rushing for 1,143 yards and passing for 1,323 yards through 6 games. Lead by quarterback Spencer Sanders and running back Chubba Hubbard the Cowboys are a tough matchup for any defense, let alone a porous Sooner defense that is giving up 5.4 yards per play and 22 touchdowns to their opponents through 7 games. Ultimately this matchup will come down to the team with the best quarterback and right now that is Spencer Rattler for Oklahoma.   Oklahoma 45 – Oklahoma State 38 

Coach Rick: This is going to be a high scoring game and I have the Sooners winning in the end by 10 points.

Cory:  I have not been a believer in Oklahoma State all year long. The Cowboys have a high number next to their name but is it justified? Right now their only quality win was over Iowa State, and an uninspired two-point win over Kansas State last week does not instill much confidence in Oklahoma State heading into Bedlam this week with Oklahoma. The Sooners have not been too impressive, either. Yes, they beat Texas and have looked better since their back-to-back losses earlier this season, however, the strength of schedule is virtually invisible. Both teams like to move the ball quickly. Both teams like to chuck the ball a lot. I still am not believe in Oklahoma State and am picking Oklahoma in a high-scoring affair. Unfortunately, a win for the Sooners this week likely won’t answer any questions we have about them, either.   Oklahoma 48, Oklahoma State 38 

Dave:  Oklahoma 32  Oklahoma State 24

Dr. Mark: OK 44-38 –  Sooners are 13-2 against Coach Gundy _Cowboys D has been disappointing – Sooners Offense starting to roll-now #5 in the country.

GreggI don’t really know who is good in the Big 12 anymore. Iowa State is on top the standings, Texas and Oklahoma each have a two losses and if they season ended today, neither would be in the Big 12 championship game. It is clear no team from this conference will be in the playoffs, so this rivalry game will just be for pride.  I say the Sooners have just a little more pride this go around.   Oklahoma 58  Oklahoma State 48 

John:  Rivalry games are always fun, and this year home field doesn’t mean much if anything so this one might be very interesting.  Oklahoma has appeared to have righted the ship after starting 1-2.   The other OSU is looking to stay tied atop the Big XII, with Iowa St, and the Cowboys own the tie breaker having beaten ISU earlier it the year.  Vegas likes the Sooners by a TD.  I loke the Cowboys in an upset.  Oklahoma State 38  Oklahoma 35

JoshOklahoma has won this game 8 out of the last 10 match ups, and has turned a corner since losing 2 games already this season. Oklahoma State’s defense has been solid, but they have not faced a team as explosive as Oklahoma, who is looking to make it to the Big 12 Championship game for the 6th straight year. Spencer Rattler has gone through the growing pains and starting to look like the 5 star quarterback he was expected to be.   Oklahoma 48 – Oklahoma State 20 

PJSBuck:  Tough game to call.  This year, Oklahoma State is not scoring its usual 400 points per game and are not exactly a bargain on defense.  Their lone loss to Texas was in OT.  However, OU has scored 62 points twice this year so look for the Sooners to light up the Cowboys.   Oklahoma 55 OSU 28

Steven: The Big12 playing defense?  Well, the other OSU is keeping opponents under 18 points a game.  They’re going to play above their heads against the Sooners who are scoring 46 per contest.  The question is can the Cowboys keep up with that scoring?  The Sooners have too many weapons starting with QB Spencer Rattler who has passed for over 2000 yards and 18 touchdowns over 7 games.  To bottle up Okie State, the script is pretty simple, stop Chuba Hubbard. The Sooners should be able to stop the Cowboys just enough to win the possession battle.  Win the possession battle, you win the game.  OU 44-35

TroutAt the beginning of the season, Oklahoma looked bad. They lost 2 straight to Kansas State and Iowa State. Teams that they should be better than. But since then, they have put up 4 straight wins, and have been able to score 50+ points in 3 of them. granted, its been against average to bad Big 12 teams. But regardless, they are trending upwards. I think they will have enough to get past the Cowboys. It’ll be a normal Big 12 shootout, with both teams scoring almost every drive and the game will be decided in the last minutes of the game.  I just think the Sooners have more firepower than Oklahoma State and will be able to win it in a close one. The Cowboys are good, but the Sooners are stronger offensively. Oklahoma wins in a close shootout, and serves Oklahoma state their second loss of the season.  (Oklahoma, 49-45)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): The Oklahoma Cowboys started the season on fire, but like a Big 12 team found a way to disappoint its fans. Oklahoma thought htey were going to plug and play their way into another CFP appearance. The Big 12 is effectively out of the CFP. Yay!!!! Oklahoma does seem to be playing a little more consistently as Spencer Rattler finds his way. Oklahoma outlasts Oklahoma State 49-45.

Final Score:  Oklahoma 41  Oklahoma State 13

(7)Cincinnati   Central Florida

Guest – Joe Oestreich:  Luke Fickell is coaching like a man who wants a new gig. Good news: he’s going to get one. Bad news: he’ll miss coaching the Bear Cats in a New Year’s Six bowl, because by that point he’ll be announced as the new man at South Carolina—if Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell doesn’t beat him to the job. Cincy 38, UCF 27

Andy:  Cincinnati under head coach Luke Fickell and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman have fielded one of the best defenses in college football each year. With third year quarterback Desmond Ritter the Bearcats offense has not had problems getting yards or points this year, averaging 472 yards of offense per game and racking up an impressive 39 total offensive touchdowns through 7 games played. UCF leads the country so far this season in total offense, but I don’t believe their defense will be enough for Cincinnati’s impressive offense this year. I expect Cincinnati to roll.   Cincinnati 48 – UCF 31 

Coach Rick: UCF has one of the best passing offenses in the country but does not have a great defense.   Because Cincinnati plays well on both sides of the ball, they get my vote for the win.

Cory:  Normally this would appear to be a terrific non-Power 5 matchup, and while the game between Cincinnati and UCF may hold some intrigue since it is a road game for the Bearcats, I’m not sure it will be much of a test for them. UCF can score points but they also give up a lot. UCF gave up 50 points in a loss to Memphis – the same Memphis team which Cincinnati beat by 39 points. Even though UCF does have a good offense Cincinnati might have an even better defense. So far only one team has scored more than 17 points on the Bearcats, and that was 20 points by Appalachian State in the season opener. UCF might be able to keep it close because of their offense, but expect Cincinnati to remain unbeaten.   Cincinnati 34, UCF 24

Dave:  Cincinnati 38  UCF 21

Dr. MarkCincy  42-20 – QB Ridder playing well, UCF not as good as years past it seems.

GreggWins continue to have the Bearcats in the top 10 and in the conversation for a playoff spot. But without a non-conference quality win it is going to be a tough sell. None the less, Fickell continues his resume building for his next job. And I am sure they will be reminded of their 38-13 loss to UCF in 2018.  Expect the tables to be turned this year as Cincinnati gets the win and forces the playoff committee to keep an eye on the AAC.  Cincinnati 38  UCF 24 

John:  Will the CFP committee let a non power 5 team crash the big party this year?  Probably not, unless Notre Dame beats Clemson for a second time in the ACC title game.  It is great, though, to see Luke have this kind of success especially after the raw deal his alma matter gave him in his one year as the sorta/kinda head coach at Ohio State.  If the ‘Cats stay focused I think they win big.   Cincinnati 31  UCF 20

JoshCincinnati has been a different team since beating SMU, in that it has found a confidence with its offense to pair with its stout defense. Luke Fickell is playing himself into a much bigger job in the future, and UCF is not the same threat that it was in 2017. Even with the game being in Orlando, Cincinnati should go into this game with a lot of confidence, and leave with a win.   Cincinnati 42 – UCF 24 

PJSBuckThis will be an interesting game to watch but doesn’t mean much to Buckeyes other than rooting for Luke Fickell.  Bearcats by 7 

Steven:  UC now gets to start the final leg of their season on the road.  Bearcat coach Luke Fickell knows that his team are behind the proverbial 8 ball when it comes knocking down the College Football Playoff door.  This team will lay it all out on the field.  They have already exorcized their biggest demon from last year in Memphis, now they face possibly their stiffest test in a UCF team racking up over 600 yards per contest. It will be a challenge for UC defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to bottle up UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel.  Gabriel won’t get much Heisman hype, but he’s got a 23/2 TD to INT ratio which will make any  head coach happy.  He’s not much of a runner, so look for the Bearcat defense to play back a bit and see if they can bring pressure from their front 4.  This ends up being a bit of a track meet.  I like the UC defense to flip the field a couple of times and Bearcat QB Desmond Ritter to make plays through the air and on the ground.  His running ability may be what tips the scales.  UC 41-35

Trout: It seems like Luke Fickell is on a warpath. He wants to show everyone that the Cincinnati Bearcats are the real deal and deserve to be in the playoff discussion. They’ve seemed to breeze through their schedule to this point. However, I think they have reached their first real test with their opponent,the UCF Knights. I will give the edge to Cincinnati, because I think they are a better team. UCF is still very good, but they are not at the heights that they were a few years ago. This still will be a close, nailbiter of a game.  I see this game coming down to a field goal with some last minute heroics needed to win the game. I think Luke Fickell and the Bearcats get it done, and remain in the playoff hunt. (Cincinnati, 31-28)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  I am a Bearcat believer and I am really proud of Luke Fickell’s growth as a head coach. I have seen Luke grow from kicking a field goal on 4th and 1 on the goal line against Colorado to going for it on 4th down against UCLA twice at the Rose Bowl. Saturday’s late came fake punt showed me he has gone from having a pair of raisins to a pair of cantelopes. UC now has the firepower to match UCF’s prolific offense. Combine that with a great defense and I have The Bearcats beating the Golden Knights 42 to 35. 

Final Score:  Cincinnati 36   UCF 33  

App State   (18)Coastal Carolina

Guest – Joe Oestreich:  Speaking of Coastal Carolina, for this Sun Belt showdown, let’s really get inside the numbers:

1.     I live in Myrtle Beach.

2.     I’m an English professor at Coastal Carolina.

3.     The nickname “Chanticleers” was coined by a CCU English professor. 

4.     Though I’m not the professor who came up with the nickname, I did—seriously, no kidding—write the words to the Coastal fight song.

Can any self-respecting pigskin picker go against a school when he’s literally on their payroll? When he wrote the dang words to the dang fight song? Please. Quarterback Grayson McCall’s been getting the press, but the defense has been the key to this run. Chants beat the Mountaineers 24-21.

Andy:  App State is the darling of the NCAA after moving up to division one a few years ago. Coastal Carolina is usually the whipping boy for ACC and SEC teams looking for an easy game during their schedule. I expect App State to keep up their dominance.   App State 45 – Coastal Carolina 27 

Coach Rick:  I am not sure about this game.  I believe Coastal Carolina has played a better schedule and to remain undefeated with that schedule gives them the nod in the win.   

Cory:  It is not often we talk about Coastal Carolina so let’s make sure to mention that their mascot is a Chanticleer. To save you some googling, a Chanticleer is a rooster found in some fairy tales. The fighting roosters are ranked so they are worth attention, and this week we’ll get to see them in one of their toughest tests when they host Appalachian State. Both teams feature very balanced offenses, and both have played pretty soft schedules. I am not going to pretend to know much more about either team than that. It appears that Coastal Carolina’s schedule has been a bit tougher, and they are at home this week, so I will give them the edge in this one.   Coastal Carolina 28, Appalachian State 24 

Dave:  Coastal Carolina 32  App State 28

Dr. MarkApp St  35-31 – This should be a fun game. Coastal may be better on paper but I pick App St based on their past history of some big upsets. Coastal has a good QB

Gregg Unless you are from Boone, North Carolina you may not know Appalachian State, or maybe you remember their upset win over the Wolverines in 2007. But they deserve some positive credit, they are 5-0 in bowl games, 6-0 against Coastal and have made a strong transition to the FBS. This season, App State has only lost to unbeaten Marshall and the Chanticleers are unbeaten. Playing at the home of the December 21, Myrtle Beach Bowl, I think this is the year that Coastal Carolina overcomes the Mountaineers.   Coastal Carolina 27  Appalachian State 24

John:  Even if this game wasn’t opposite OSU/Indiana I wouldn’t watch.  That gawd awful  teal field CCU has make it too hard my old, tired eyes.  I don’t follow the Sun Belt, so really have no idea.  App St in the mild upset, just because.  Appalachian State  34  Costal Carolina 31

Josh Talk about dream seasons, this is a North Carolina vs South Carolina match up that many would not have expected to be in the radar. This could be the toughest game left for Coastal Carolina, and I think there is some magic in Conway!   Coastal Carolina 28 – App State 21.  

PJSBuck: Officially, my “Who gives a sh*&#%t game of the week.  App. State wins

Steven: This may be the closest matchup we have this week.  If you’re looking for a game that shouldn’t be a blowout on either side, find this one, (12PM Saturday on ESPN2).  Coastal Carolina has a bit of an edge on both offense and defense which should allow them to beat App State.  Coastal Carolina Chanticleer QB Grayson McCall is passing for 238.7 yards per game on an average of only 19 attempts.  CCU will need to to stop Mountaineer RB Daetrick Harrington who is averaging 5.6 yards per carry.  Back and forth seems the order of the day, but give the edge to CCU.  Chanticleers 44-41.

Trout I don’t really know much about either team. If I need to choose one team to win, I think I’ll give the edge to Coastal Carolina. Just looking at the stat sheet, they average more points per game. They also allow slightly fewer points from their opponents. Granted, the game is not all about statistics, but it just seems like the Chanticleers are the better team. They still have yet to lose a game this year. I see it being a close, somewhat low scoring affair. In the end, Coastal Carolina does just enough to get by the Mountaineers, and remain unbeaten.   (Coastal Carolina, 17-14)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): We can never forget App State’s rise to relevancy as they upset the Wolverines in the Big House. Since then they have become a respectable FBS team. Like the coronavirus Coastal Carolina has seemed to come out of nowhere. They opened up beating Kansas and hasn’t looked back. Unfortunately for App State, they are the visitors this weekend. I am going with Coastal Carolina over App State 37-28. 

Final Score:  Coastal Carolina 34   App State 23   

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