Week 16 Predictions – 2020

Last Week:  I have personally not gotten over the painful frustration of Michigan cowardly backing out of THE Game, so we are just going to move forward. Going into the last week of our predictions, Dr Mark has a one game lead over Coach Rick, Dave, and GreggSteven, Josh and Cory are right behind that so with five games this week, there are still several players in this.  

This Week’s Games:  Scheduled games are dropping right and left this week, hopefully these championship games will survive. We were going to work with the Sun Belt championship but Coastal Carolina caught the COVID bug and their game with Louisiana was canceled. That may open up a window for Cincinnati for a New Year’s Six game or even a playoff spot (long shot). The Bearcats canceled their game with Tulsa last week, setting up championship for all the AAC marbles. Would a win put Coach Fickell in a major bowl?  ….  Oklahoma will get the chance to avenge their earlier loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 championship but even with the win, they will not be in position for a return trip to the playoffs. How far away is the Big-12 from having a playoff caliber team?  …. Notre Dame also has a rematch as they take on Clemson once again. Does anyone think that going through Coach Kelly’s head right now is “We join the conference for one year and we have to play the Tigers twice”?  ….  Alabama takes on Florida and before the Gators lost to LSU, it looked like this game might mean more. Now all it will do is make the Tide a #1 seed or a #3 seed.  ….  Of course we will bring you our thoughts from Indy for the Big Ten Championship.  Is there any way Northwestern can find a way to pull off the upset?           

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.  

Here we go with our Week 16 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg

(4)Ohio State  vs.  (14)Northwestern

Andy:  A style matchup like no other this weekend. Ohio State has the fourth best scoring offense in the country this season and Northwestern has the second best scoring defense in the country this season. On the offensive side of the ball the Wildcats have been inept at best… quarterback Peyton Ramsey is only completing 59% of his passes and has only managed to put up 11 total touchdowns through seven games. The Wildcats best bet is running the football to set up the pass. Backs’ Evan Hull, Drake Anderson and Isaiah Bowser have combined for just under 700 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. I expect Pat Fitzgerald to try and attack the Buckeye front seven with his rushing attack to get the Ohio State defensive backs to come up closer to the line of the scrimmage so Peyton Ramsey can throw the ball more effectively. Ultimately I think it will be mostly futile as Ohio State has the 6th best rush defense in the country giving up only 95 yards on average and barely allowing 3 yards per carry to their opponents on average. I expect defensive tackles Tommy Togiai, Taron Vincent and Haskell Garrett to continue their dominance against opposing offensive lines and set the tone this Saturday for the rest of the Ohio State defense.   Ohio State 42 – Northwestern 17

Coach Rick:  Ohio State 

Cory:  It would be easy to write off Northwestern in this game and say the disparity in talent is too big for the Wildcats to overcome. Ohio State fans should know better. When these two teams met in the championship game in 2018 Ohio State stormed out to a nice lead before Northwestern clawed back to within seven points in the fourth quarter. Touchdowns by Johnnie Dixon and J.K. Dobbins made the game look more lopsided than it really was, and if Ohio State is not careful this year’s game could be close as well. Northwestern is led by their defense, which has given up more than 20 points only once this season – to Michigan State of all teams. If you watched their game with Wisconsin you saw how suffocating that defense can be. The Badgers converted just three of 16 first-down attempts, and turned the ball over five times. Ohio State is a much better offensive team than Wisconsin but if Justin Fields gets turnover happy like he did against Indiana, it could be an uncomfortable afternoon.   Ohio State 31, Northwestern 20

Dave:  OSU 42  Northwestern 21 

Dr. Mark Ohio State 

GreggThe picture above is the last three Big Ten championship rings.  The OSU seniors are looking for their 4th one to complete the set. They won the middle one against Northwestern two years ago as the Wildcats kept the game a lot closer than Buckeye fans expected. Ohio State will come out hard and fast for this one and if they actually play 4 quarters, expect them to run up an impressive score.   Ohio State 48  Northwestern 7 

John:  So despite some doom and gloomers reporting that the ’Vid is running rampant at the Woody, it looks like game on for Saturday. Although the Bucks will be a little shorthanded, it won’t be as bad as the game with MSU.  The ’Cats’ appear to have a decent defense, but that offense is, well, offensive. Even if the rumors are true and OSU is short some skill guys, I think they score at least 24, which should be more than enough for OSU to win the game, as NU’s offense shouldn’t be able to keep pace.  In spite of the rumors, Vegas still has OSU a 20 point favorite.  I think they cover.  Ohio State 38  Northwestern 17

Josh:  Ohio State had some extra time to prepare for Northwestern, who has a top 5 defense in the country, but looking closer at their team, have not played a team outside of Iowa at the beginning of the year who had an explosive offense, and the Wildcat offense has not score more that 28 points in any of their games this year. I respect Pat Fitzgerald, and his comments about Ohio State from Sunday’s media days, but this has to be a game where Ohio State needs to dominate and finish, especially now that they have their lineman back. This will be a game where the Buckeyes might have to impress to try and stop any dialogue with how they compare to Texas A&M. This game being played in a  climate controlled dome makes this a track meet that the Buckeyes will showcase their talent. Buckeye’s win their 4th straight conference championship, and enter their 2nd straight and 4th overall playoff.   Ohio State 51 – Northwestern 10

Steven:  Despite only playing 5 games, the Buckeyes are primed to take another Big Ten title.  The only stat you really need to look at is point differential.  Northwestern’s is 9.5.  OSU’s is 23.3.  NU has a fine defense which is befitting a Pat Fitgerald coached team, but there’s no way their offense will be able to hang with the Buckeyes.  OSU knows they need a convincing win to take any doubt out of the CFP committee’s mind that the Buckeyes are worthy of inclusion in the playoff so I expect the Bucks to score early, often and not let up until the second half of the 4th quarter.   OSU 51-17

TroutThe Buckeyes will win this game comfortably. I don’t think the Wildcats are a bad team, but they are not on the same level as Ohio State. Plus, Ryan Day will want to shut up all the talking heads, saying they shouldn’t be in the playoffs because they have missed a few games. 2 of which were out of their control. I think Justin Fields has a good game both passing and running the ball. And I see 1 or both of the running backs getting over 100 yards. Northwestern will get a score or 2, because I still don’t think the Buckeye defense is a finished product, but it won’t be enough to beat Ohio State. Bucks win by a few scores and are crowned the Big Ten Conference champions.  (Ohio State 42-14)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  OSU over Northwestern 45-21

Final Score:  Ohio State 22   Northwestern 10

 (10)Oklahoma  vs.  (6)Iowa State

Andy:  A rematch from early October this game like the first could be a classic. Despite having the ball nearly 8 more minutes in their first game, the Sooners fell to the Cyclones. Oklahoma as a whole was not efficient early on in the season. Their defense was giving up a lot of big plays and their offense had trouble finding their running game, placing a lot of the burden on first year Quarterback Spencer Rattler. Since losing to Iowa State, Oklahoma has won the rest of their games. They’ve done this by being more balanced on offense, rushing for 863 yards in 6 games, while Spencer Rattler in that same span threw 14 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions. Iowa State on the other hand, led by their quarterback Brock Purdy who has accounted for 22 touchdowns in just 10 games this season, but the real question of this game will be how effective can Cyclones running back Breece Hall be? He has quietly put together an excellent season and currently is the leading rusher in all of college football with just under 1,400 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. This does not bode well for the Sooners defense which has given up 15 rushing touchdowns in just 9 games this season. I do believe Oklahoma is playing better overall football right now than they were at the beginning of the season on both sides of the football, in college football momentum is crucial. I expect the Sooners to squeak by Iowa State this time.   Oklahoma 38 – Iowa State 31

o have their attention on the Clemson-Notre Dame game, but the matchup between Oklahoma and Iowa State should not be far behind. For most of the season it looked like the Big 12 was on the outside of the playoff, but Iowa State is making a late push and with a big win this week, and a little bit of luck, the Cyclones could possibly sneak into the fourth spot. That is easier said than done, though, as they have to face a hot Oklahoma team. One of the common opponents between these two teams was Oklahoma State. Oklahoma throttled their rivals, whereas one of Iowa State’s two losses this season came to the Cowboys. Iowa State has been on a roll since that loss, however, it’s been a very easy schedule with the only difficult opponent being Texas, and using ‘difficult’ to describe Texas is being generous. I like Iowa State a lot but I’m just not sure they can hang with Oklahoma.   Oklahoma 35, Iowa State 24

Dave:  Oklahoma 28  Iowa State 21

Dr. MarkOklahoma

Gregg The playoffs are off the table for the Big 12 once again.  Maybe if Iowa State can win big, and Clemson and Ohio State both lose, maybe the Cyclones will make a case for the #4 seed. But in reality, all they are playing for is “which team will be the most over-rated at the end of the season. There is no way these teams should be #6 and #10 but the playoff committee have not been very logical or realistic all year.  And you can’t blame their polls on COVID! I think this will be close but the Sooners will come out just ahead.   Oklahoma 27  Iowa State 24 

John:  ISU may be the higher ranked team in this one at #6, but Vegas like the #10 Sooners.  Since their Week 3 7 point loss to the Cyclones, Oklahoma has played some pretty good ball.  Unfortunate for them, so has Iowa State, so this one should be pretty entertaining.  Unfortunately, it is on opposite the B1G Championship, so I have to be content with catching in-game highlights.  I think the Sooners avenge the week 3 loss, guaranteeing the Big XII will once again be on the outside looking in on the CPF (although to be honest, ISU needs a lot of unlikely things to happen to get a sniff)   Oklahoma 45  Iowa State 42

JoshOklahoma has improved since their two early season losses, but has looked to have settled down on both sides of the ball, and have been one of the better teams, similar to the 2017 USC team. It is hard to beat the same team twice, as the saying goes, but I think Iowa State has the chance to do that and prevent Oklahoma from winning their 6th straight conference title. They have a good running attack and can attack the secondary of the Sooners, which I think will be the difference in this game. It will be close, but Iowa State wins their first conference title since 1912.   Iowa State 35 – Oklahoma 31 

Steven:  The Iowa State Cyclones are having their best year in decades.  Even so, it may not be enough to make the final step.  The Sooners seem to have found a bit of a defense and should be able to corral the Cyclones, (is that even possible?).  It is funny how Oklahoma DC Alex Grinch was so derided in Columbus, but he has found success in turning around the Sooner defense. The Sooners have improved from last season’s 38th to 14th this year in total defense. Sooner QB Spencer Rattler is not much of a runner so Iowa State should be able to pressure him without the need of a spy.  If they can get to him, they have a chance.  This could be close, but the Sooners should be able to weather the storm….  😛  OU 35-24 

TroutThe Sooners will win this game, but it’ll be close. Both teams have played well, after losing earlier in the season. But looking at the 2, I gotta give the edge to Oklahoma. I feel like they have the superior offense. And in the Big 12, that’s all you need. I also feel like the Sooners are playing better football since they lost to Iowa State in week 3. The game is going to be a traditional Big 12 shootout. With both teams trading the lead back and forth. However, the Sooners will be able to score just that little more, to pull off the victory. Oklahoma wins the Big 12 conference.   (Oklahoma, 48-45)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83) Oklahoma over Iowa State 45-42

Final Score:  Oklahoma 27   Iowa State 21

 (16)Coastal Carolina  vs.  (22)Louisiana

Andy:  I like pretty much every other college football fan have slept on both Louisiana and Coastal Carolina. In fact the last time we did a pick’em I was pretty lazy with my write up for the BYU vs Coastal Carolina game. Not this time. Coastal Carolina has one of the most balanced offenses in the country, rushing for 2,455 yards as a team and passing for 2,460 yards as a team. But it is their efficiency that makes them so good this year. Quarterback Grayson McCall is completing nearly 70% of his passes and thrown for 23 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions. The Chanticleers offense has three runners who each nearly have 400 yards of rushing or more to go along with their combined 27 rushing touchdowns. Their defense has been equally impressive, allowing opponents an average of only 206 yards of total offense per game and an average of 18.73 pts per game. The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns offense has eerily similar stats and production compared to Coastal Carolina. Led by quarterback Levi Lewis who has combined for 2,500 yards of total offense and 22 combined touchdowns. But that is not the only impressive thing about this team, the Ragin’ Cajuns defense stacks up well against Coastal Carolina as well. Through 10 games the Ragin’ Cajuns defense is giving up an average for 218 total yards of offense and just under 22 points to their opponents per game. These teams are very evenly matched. But I have to go with the hot hand, and right now that is Coastal Carolina.   Coastal Carolina 35 – Louisiana 28

Coach Rick:  Coastal Carolina 

Cory:  Now this should be an exciting matchup. Louisiana enters the game with one loss, and that loss came to Coastal Carolina in the middle of October. The Chanticleers hit a 40-yard field goal with seconds left to win 30-27 at Louisiana. Both teams run the ball very well and have playmaking quarterbacks. The difference is Coastal Carolina tends to protect the football a little better. Chanticleers quarterback Grayson McCall has just two interceptions this season. Add in the advantage of playing this one at home and the advantage goes to Coastal Carolina.   Coastal Carolina 28, Louisiana 24

Dave:  Coastal Carolina 32  Louisiana 14 

Dr. Mark Coastal Carolina 

Gregg:  It was supposed to be the last chance for the Chanticleers to make a play for a New Year’s Six game. With the cancelation of this game, they have to hope for a Tulsa victory in the AAC championship. This is one way to keep your perfect record. 

John:  Canceled 

Josh:  Coastal Carolina had a scare last week against Troy and was in danger of losing the game, but came back on the last series to win. Louisiana has had some time off, but will be ready for this game and looking to spoil the dream season. I think the Cajuns will have an answer for the Chanticleers. and win this one in a close game.   Louisiana 24 – Coastal Carolina 21 

Steven:  CCU is this year’s UCF.  I’m not sure if they’ll call themselves national champions if they get through this season undefeated, but they may have an effect that may push the CFP toward expansion.  The Chanticleers just beat a power 5 opponent in #13 BYU.  That should provide them enough momentum to win the Sun Belt championship.  CCU 33-28.  And you thought CCU was only a baseball school.

TroutI will give the edge in this game to Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers  seem to be one of the best non-power 5 teams this year, besides CIncinnati. They just beat their toughest opponent this year in BYU.  This game will be very close, however.  Louisiana has shown to be a very good team as well. Their one loss is to Coastal Carolina earlier this year. In the end the Chanticleers will do what they’ve done all year, and out hustle the other team. Coastal Carolina wins the Sun Belt.   (Coastal Carolina, 26-21)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83) Coastal Carolina over Louisiana 34-27

Final Score:  Canceled

 (2)Notre Dame  vs.  (3)Clemson

Andy:  These two teams already played this season, and the result was a double overtime classic in South Bend with Notre Dame toppling Clemson. For that game however Clemson was without four of it’s defensive starters and their best player quarterback Trevor Lawrence due to COVID issues. I do believe this is Brian Kelly’s best team he has assembled, the Irish have one of the best and toughest offensive lines in all of college football, and two running backs in Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree who run with breathtaking attitude issues. Add to that quarterback Ian Book is having one of the best seasons by an Irish quarterback ever. Where Notre Dame has shined this season though is on defense, where they’re allowing an average of 171 yards of total offense to opponents and and more meager 17 points on average. Since the Boston College game where Clemson struggled to win close and then the following week losing to Notre Dame, this Tigers team has been on a mission outscoring their opponents 97-27 in two games. With Trevor Lawrence back the matchup to watch here is the Notre Dame defensive secondary against Lawrence and these freakishly athletic receivers from Clemson. I do believe the game will play out differently this time around with Clemson taking it behind big days from Lawrence and his receiving corps.   Clemson 42 – Notre Dame 31

Coach Rick:  Clemson 

Cory:  Of course, everybody watching college football this weekend is going to have their eyes on the Clemson-Notre Dame game. The ACC Championship game – that’s right, Notre Dame is in the ACC this year – features No. 2 versus No. 3 in a game that is sure to have heavy playoff implications. The winner of this game is definitely in the playoff, but what about the loser? Well, things could get a bit complicated and that’s why Ohio State fans will need to root for Notre Dame in this game. Two ACC teams getting into the playoff does not bode well for Ohio State if the Buckeyes struggle against Northwestern. The other aspect of this game is that Notre Dame needed two overtimes to beat Clemson at home, and that was without Trevor Lawrence, who was out with COVID-19. Lawrence is back now, and with this game being in Charlotte it’s going to feel like a home game for Clemson. Notre Dame is a good team but their defense is still a bit suspect, and with that it’s hard to pick against Clemson in this one.   Clemson 41, Notre Dame 35

Dave:  Clemson 48  Notre Dame 24 

Dr. Mark Clemson 

Gregg I would LOVE Ohio State to have another opportunity to play Clemson, and I think that only happens with a Tiger win. I have grown very tired of hearing Dabo pontificate about the number of games Clemson has played versus how many OSU opponents were willing to show up on game day.  I do think Clemson wins this but Notre Dame did figure out a way to shut down the Tiger running game so if they can do that again, they might win another.   Clemson 38  Notre Dame 27  

John:  From a rooting interest standpoint, assuming Ohio State takes care of business the only impact this game should have is who Ohio State plays on January 1.  Personally, I’m hoping that ND gets the win because I’m beginning to hate Dabo  with a hatred that is usually reserved for the coach of that school up north.  Unfortunately, assuming that the Tigers are at full strength this time I don’t think the Irish can even keep this one close, let a lone win the game.   Clemson 30  Notre Dame 17 

Josh:  The game everyone is talking about and one that might determine how many ACC teams are in the playoff this year. Its week discussed and documents that Notre Dame beat Clemson at home without Trevor Lawrence, and 3 starters who are all back, but there is not a difference in the passing attack whether or not Trevor was there or DJ. I think Notre Dame is playing with confidence and have looked much better than they did the start of the season, and the win against North Carolina looks much better than Clemson’s against Miami, who was up to that point their best win. I think Notre Dame beats Clemson a second time, with their defense playing better, and Ian Book actually being a threat with running the ball, which was an element the Irish did not utilize before. I see the Irish using time management to win this game, and send Clemson out of the playoff for the first time since 2014, and enter the playoff for the 2nd time.   Notre Dame 31 – Clemson 28 

Steven:  Clemson.  Rooting hard for the Irish, you don’t hear that much, do you?  The Tigers came close to winning with a backup quarterback, so getting back a generational talent in Lawrence should tip the scales.  That being said, Lawrence does seem to have been sleepwalking through most of this year.  He has not been at his best, but in the most important game of the year (to date), he’ll come through.  Watch out for Irish QB Ian Book to mirror his opponent by mixing timely runs with precision downfield passing.  This is a game that will be won in the trenches.  Who wins the line of scrimmage wins the game.  Clemson’s lines are arguably the best in the country.  If Clemson can mix it up enough that RB Travis Etienne can be a factor, Clemson wins.   Tigers 38-35

TroutI feel like the Irish are going to win this rematch. I know Trevor Lawrence is back for the Tiger, but Ian Book and that Irish offense was able to put 47 points on the Clemson Defense, and Trevor Lawrence doesn’t play defense. This is going to be a very close game. These are 2 of the best college football teams in the country. I feel like we might see this game also go into overtime like the last one. But, somehow, the Irish pull off the upset, and win the ACC in their first (and potentially only) year in the ACC.   (Notre Dame, 38-35)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83) Clemson over Notre Dame 42-24

Final Score:  Clemson 34   Notre Dame 10

 (1)Alabama  vs.  (7)Florida

Andy:  This matchup had so many more implications on the landscape of college football a week ago before Florida lost on a last second field goal to LSU. I don’t believe that was going to change the outcome of this game though. Alabama has been by far the most consistent and the most complete football team this entire season in all of college football. They struggled in their first three games defensively giving up 91 points to their opponents, since then through 7 games they’ve only surrendered 77 points… an average of 11 points per game. Now lets talk about that Tide offense, they’re freakishly good. Quarterback Mac Jones is on a tear completing over 76% of his passes, throwing for over 3,300 yards and a touchdown to interception ratio of 27 to 3. It is not just Mac Jones Florida has to worry about, three Tide running backs Najee Harris, Brian Robinson & Jase McClellan have combined for just over 1,700 rushing yards and 30 rushing touchdowns this season. While the Florida Gators have had a big year offensively with Heisman favorite Kyle Trask, the Gators have had issues establishing a consistent running game rushing for just under 1,300 yards as a team and only 8 rushing touchdowns as team through 10 games. The matchup to watch in this game will be the Tide front seven vs the Gators offensive line, and I just don’t see Florida winning the matchups in the trenches and getting their running game going against one of the toughest front sevens in all of college football.   Alabama 45 – Florida 28

Coach Rick:  Alabama 

Cory:  Florida was making a lot of noise about potentially getting into the playoff, and all of that went out of the window with the Gators’ loss to LSU last week. While the playoff implications of the SEC title game are not as large now that Florida is out of the playoff picture, this game should still be a fun one to watch. Both teams feature Heisman-caliber quarterbacks in Mac Jones at Alabama and Kyle Trask at Florida. Statistically, Trask has been a bit better but after losing to LSU last week he likely won’t win the Heisman. Alabama was a little shaky at the beginning of the season but in their last six games the Crimson Tide have not given up more than 17 points to an opponent. Florida is terrific offensively, but has a very average defense, which is a huge concern against a team as talented as Alabama. Aside from Jones, the Crimson Tide feature DeVonta Smith and Jon Metchie at wide receiver, and both of those guys will be high picks in the NFL draft whenever they leave Alabama. The Crimson Tide will simply outpace Florida in this one.   Alabama 38, Florida 31

Dave:  Alabama 42  Florida 28 

Dr. MarkFlorida 

Gregg Alabama has played the most consistent in my mind this year, and if I were to be honest, are the team to beat going into the playoffs. I predict Ohio State will play them in the first round, in New Orleans, if Clemson beats Notre Dame. Of course who knows how it will shape up since I cannot make any sense of the playoff committee rankings this year. The Tide makes a statement and returns to their dominance in the SEC.   Alabama 51  Florida 10

John:  Probably the least watchable game of the weekend slate.  Alabama by a bazillion. 

Josh:  Before last week, many thought that if the Gators beat Bama, they were a “shoe” in for making the playoff, but with the loss against LSU, that doesn’t look to be the case. Alabama should feel good, no matter what, unless maybe they get blown out, they are in, it will just be a matter of seeding. A win should almost lock them as the #1 seed, unless a Notre Dame win over Clemson is enough to move the Irish into the 1 spot. Florida’s defense got exposed a bit by a very depleted LSU team, but their offense is still good. I like Alabama to win this one, and take the over, but not cover the spread. They might be looking at this game as just a win and focus on their next opponent situation. Alabama 42 – Florida 35

Steven:  This will be the biggest showcase of NFL talent outside of the CFP.  With QBs Mac Jones and Kyle Trask throwing to Devonta Smith and Kyle Pitts respectively it will be a must watch television.  The difference will probably boil down to the run game.  Alabama has a game changer in Najee Harris.  In a game that could become a shootout, the team that can control the ball and score with their run game has a huge advantage.  I like Florida a lot, but unless Alabama has an epic collapse, they should win pretty easily.  Tide 44-31

Trout I think Alabama wins this game comfortably. I am not completely sold on Florida this year. They are clearly better than they have been in recent years, but I still don’t think they are anywhere near where they were in the Urban years. They’re schedule has been pretty light. And the one decent opponent they played, they lost to. And that team, Texas A&M, was destroyed by Alabama. I just feel much like with OSU and the Big Ten, Alabama is so much more talented than the rest of the SEC. The Gators will hang around early, but they won’t be able to keep up with the Crimson Tide for all 4 quarters. Alabama wins the SEC and remains in the #1 seed for the playoffs.   (Alabama, 38-21)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83) Alabama over Florida 49-28

Final Score:  Alabama 52   Florida 46

 (9)Cincinnati  vs.  (23)Tulsa

Andy:  Cincinnati has a lot to prove if they have any shot at a playoff committee putting them in. It is a long shot, but they not only need to win, but do so in dominating fashion. I really like this Cincinnati team, I think they have a great mixture of experience and talent on both sides of the ball. I expect coach Fickell to get a win here.   Cincinnati 42 – Tulsa 14 

Coach Rick:  Cincinnati 

Cory:  With their last two games canceled due to COVID-19, Cincinnati finds themselves in a precarious position. The Bearcats were ranked seventh in the initial rankings, and with other teams ahead of them losing since then you would think they would have moved up, however, Cincinnati now ranks ninth. The Bearcats are likely out of the playoff unless absolute chaos happens, but they can still put themselves in a good bowl game with a win over Tulsa this week. This game was scheduled to happen twice already and got delayed and postponed because of COVID-19. Tulsa enters with just one loss – to Oklahoma State in the opener – and has a pair of wins over ranked teams in UCF and SMU. However, Cincinnati beat both of those teams as well and overall Cincinnati has played a tougher schedule. Tulsa’s offense is just OK and does not feature any standout players. The only concern with Cincinnati is that the Bearcats have not played in a month, but so far coach Luke Fickell has kept them focused throughout this season and I have no doubt he will have them prepared for this week as well.   Cincinnati 28, Tulsa 20

Dave:  Cincinnati 32  Tulsa 28 

Dr. Mark Cincinnati 

GreggBeen picking Fickell and the Bearcats all year and they have not let me down yet.  Go Cincinnati, force that playoff committee to explain why you are not in the top 4.   Cincinnati 24  Tulsa 14 

John:  Cincinnati 

JoshCincinnati over Tulsa  

Steven:  Coach Luke Fickell has this team playing well.  The Bearcats are not dominating offensively, but they are gritty and they know how to gut out a win.  A lot of that also has to do with Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman.  Look for Marcus to be on the short list for head coaching jobs in the off-season. I’m actually a fan of not playing Tulsa twice.  Hopefully this week will give both teams a chance to rest and give us a great game.    Cinci 34-29

TroutI would have picked Cincy. Fickell had this team rolling, and I don’t think Tulsa would have stood a chance. Hopefully next year, the Bearcats can have a better shot at the College Football Playoffs. 

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83)Cincinnati over Tulsa 42-27

Final Score:  Cincinnati 27   Tulsa 24

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