Week 12 Predictions – 2022
Last Week: The Buckeyes did what they were supposed to do against Indiana. Have seven different people score a touchdown, get the running game going again, and 5 passing touchdowns for CJ. The 56-14 win over the Hoosiers should solidify the 2nd place position in the playoff rankings clear to the end of the season. For our weekly predictions, Dave, John and Gregg are tied with the lead, but 10 staffers are all within 3 games of one another, with three weeks to go. It is going to be fun watching how this all finishes.
This Week’s Games: Ohio State travels to Maryland this week, a trip they did not get to take last time around (2020) due to Covid. That loss of a ‘game played’ almost cost the Buckeyes a place in the playoffs that year. Nothing will stop the game thist time around, can the Buckeyes get some style points without their top receiver and running backs? …. Illinois travels to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines. Two weeks ago, it looked like the Illini would be playing for the Big Ten title, now they need a lot of help and a huge upset over Michigan. Can they make it happen? …. The battle for LA takes place this week for USC and UCLA. Which one of these future Big Ten teams will come out on top? …. TCU continues to roll and surprise college fans every week as they remain unbeaten. Can they keep up their perfect season against Baylor? …. Georgia remains the favorite of the playoff committee. Any chance Kentucky can spoil the Bulldog perfect season? …. And maybe the most important question, isn’t it great that we don’t have to consider Alabama and Clemson anymore!
Buckeye Greats: As in 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 eighth straight year.
Here we go with our Week 12 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
(2)Ohio State @ Maryland
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): OSU over Maryland 49-14 as the Buckeyes rest a lot of their starters early in the second half.
Andy: Lets be honest, this is the game before Michigan. I believe entirely that Ohio State will want to get out to an early lead and then focus on shutting down Maryland’s offense so they can get out of Maryland with a win. Maryland has a really good passing game, but their defense and running game on offense are suspect. I expect OSU to go in and put up points early. Ohio State 48 Maryland 13
Cory: At one point in the season Maryland was 6-2 and things were looking good for the Terrapins. Since then they’ve lost consecutive games to Wisconsin and Penn State, and they struggled mightily in those games. Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa has not looked like himself since returning from injury. In those two losses he combined to go 21-for-45 for 151 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Yikes. Ohio State cannot enter this game with their eyes closed, however. Despite their recent struggles Maryland will be one of the best offenses the Buckeyes have seen this season. Let’s see Ohio State get ahead early and get some key starters rested. Ohio State 41, Maryland 24
Dave: Ohio State 48 Maryland 7
Gregg: Maryland is coming off a bye week last week. No wait, they did play Penn State but did absolutely nothing in the game getting shutout by the Lions. Not sure if they will show any more against the Buckeyes this week. It appears Ohio State will again take the field without JSN, as well as Treyveon Henderson and Miyan Williams. But as long as CJ Stroud and Marvin Harrison Jr do what they are supposed to do, the Turtles will never be in this one. The win will set up a #2-vs-#3 match-up against the Wolverines next week in Columbus. Ohio State 52 Maryland 13
Jason: The Buckeye offense got back on track last week after coming off the wind game in Evanston led by QB CJ Stroud’s nearly 300 and 5 TD’s and the running game had success as well. Granted it was just Indiana, but Maryland isn’t doing much on either side of the ball either. Defensively, the Terps are getting torn up on the ground and offensively, QB Taulia Tagovailoa is really struggling. Maryland has shown the ability to put up big yards, but it’s been awhile, however, they have nothing to lose and for the Buckeyes, they can’t get caught looking ahead to the big one next week. Guess what? They won’t. Ohio State knows the goals they want to accomplish go through Maryland and they will be focused and end this one early. The Terp offense will continue to struggle and Ohio State will pull away early and cruise to 11-0, setting up the quasi Big Ten Championship game next week in Columbus. Ohio State 52 Maryland 14
Joe-S-U: OSU over Maryland – Is there enough time between now and kickoff to determine if Vaughn has any eligibility left? That running back room needs to heal up quick.
John: Ohio State
Josh: Ohio State will travel on the road for its penultimate game against a Maryland team that just got shut out against Penn State. The Buckeyes biggest question mark going into this game will be can they manage to stay healthy, and have a healthy rotation at running back as Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson both were hurt last week, which gave Dallan Hayden a chance to get more reps. Xavier Johnson also filled in, and he flashed with a 71 yard rush, and I am sure Day will game plan to use him more if it means keeping the top two running backs next week. The Buckeyes cant get caught looking ahead to The Game next week, as the Terrapins do have a good quarterback with Taulia Tagovailoa, but her has not passed more then 77 yards the past two weeks. I see the Buckeyes rolling, and taking care of business, getting out of Maryland with a win and moving to 11-0. Ohio State 52 – Maryland 13.
Steven: Let’s just say it’s Michigan week already. This isn’t even a tune-up game. I almost think it would be good for us to play a little down, so Coach Day will have ample reason to kick the team’s tails hard next week. Stat of the week: OSU point differential 31.2, Maryland 3.7. Ohio State is gaining over a hundred yards more and giving up over a hundred yards less per game than Maryland. The Terps have only one victory over a program with a winning record, a week 3 win over SMU. Only one conclusion can be made. Yertle the Turtle gets beached and bleached 44-7. (No actual marine life shall be harmed as a part of this beaching).
Trout: The Buckeyes will win this game and they will win it comfortably, but I do think the Terrapins get a few scores in. The younger Tagovailoa has shown to be a pretty decent college quarterback at times. He’s clearly not as talented as Tua, but he is not without skill. I also look at that Michigan game, and see their ability to give better teams trouble. Maryland isn’t good enough to win, but they will make their superior opponent work for it. Having said all that, Ohio State will be able to handle the Terrapins. They are on a completely different talent level. The one concern I have for the Bucks is their running game. Both Mayin WIlliams and TreVeyon Henderson have been dealing with injuries all year, and that has caused issues in their ability to run the ball consistently. But Ohio State’s strength is their passing game. I see CJ Stroud having another Heisman level day, scoring 4 or more touchdown passes. The game will close early. Maryland will be able to score on a few drives, and keep pace with Ohio State. However, in the second half, the talent gap starts to show, and Ohio State pulls away. Maryland’s defense won’t be able to stop them and their offense won’t be able to keep up. Ohio State wins by a few scores, and moves on to TTUN. (Ohio State, 48-21)
Final Score: Ohio State 43 Maryland 30
Illinois @ (3)Michigan
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): The Illini keep it close, but eventually fall to the Weasels 34-28.
Andy: Illinois has been having a cinderella type season, they’ve done this by having a similar team blueprint to Michigan. Be tough on the lines of scrimmage, run the ball really well and play outstanding defense. Well the problem is, Michigan has better depth and talent and they’ve been doing this style for a few years now. Everything Illinois does, Michigan does better. It doesn’t help that Chase Brown, Illinois best player got hurt last week. I don’t know if he plays this week, but regardless I don’t think it matters. Michigan 31 Illinois 10
Coach Rick: Michigan
Cory: Similar to Maryland, the season was looking so promising for Illinois, until it wasn’t. Illinois started 7-1, but enters this game having lost two in a row – one to Michigan State, and the other to Purdue. Michigan, on the other hand, has been on absolute cruise control this season. The last single-digit game they’ve been in this season was a one-touchdown win over Maryland on September 24. Running back Blake Corum is a legitimate Heisman candidate, and he will only add to his resume this week. I don’t expect Michigan to pull away that much as it’s likely they’ll keep the playcalling under wraps. Michigan 28, Illinois 10
Dave: Michigan 42 Illinois 21
Gregg: Michigan will be laser focused for this one, no chance to overlook the Illini who continue their slide in the Big Ten West. Expect a lot of running game for the Wolverines. Michigan 55 Illinois 24
Jason: The Wolverines are unbeaten, but they have become very one dimensional offensively. The Illini defense has been outstanding, but prone to giving up yards through the air. That is not Michigan’s M.O. QB JJ McCarthy is inaccurate on anything mid range or deeper, so the Illini has a chance. In back to back losses, Illinois got beat through the air. Michigan will try to wear you down by pounding away, but Illinois will be the best run D they’ve faced all year. The Wolverines strength is their fronts on both sides of the ball, so Illinois will be tested like they haven’t all year. They struggle offensively and beat teams with their defense and an offense that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and moves the chains with a solid run game. Illinois’ best shot is to get in an ugly, slug fest that goes into the fourth quarter in doubt. This could be a trap game for Michigan with the big one looming next week and Illinois is just good enough to pull the upset. They won’t. Yes, it will be close for 3 quarters, but as Michigan does, they wear on you and Illinois doesn’t have the offense to create any separation. The Wolverines score a pair of 4th quarter TD’s to pull away and down the Illini to set up the showdown for all the marbles in Columbus next week. Michigan 24 Illinois 10
Joe-S-U: TBGUN over Illinois – The wheels are coming off the wagon in Champaign, this would’ve been a better matchup a few weeks back when Bielema’s crew had more mojo. You need an advanced calculus degree to figure out who’s gonna win the B1G West
Josh: Two weeks ago I would have considered this a more challenging game for Michigan, but with the health of Chase Brown in question, and Illinois losing two in a row to Michigan State and Purdue, this game feels more like a slugfest for the first half, and Michigan pulling away in the second half. The only thing that can keep Illinois in this game is if they can slow down Blake Corum, but no one has been able to do that all season. Illinois will have to attack the Michigan secondary and try to move the ball in quick busts, but I think the talent discrepancy is too big in the game, and I think the Wolverines win to go undefeated into The Game. Michigan 42 – Illinois 12
Steven: Oh Bert, how you’ve snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. No one expects the Illini to beat Michigan, but dang, the last two weeks have been brutal, losing to Michigan State and Purdue, both at home. Yuck. This one could be old time Big Ten football with the run game taking center stage, especially if the weather is not optimal. While Michigan’s Blake Corum has garnered most of the attention as the Big Ten’s top running back, Illinois’ Chase Brown has actually outpaced Corum, (on quite a few more carries, so his average isn’t quite as good). This may be interesting to watch as this will be strength on strength. You have the two top rushing defenses in the Big Ten going against the top (Michigan) and 4th, (Illinois) rushing offenses. Pay very close attention Mr. Knowles. Hopefully, Illinois can find a way and create the blueprint to stopping the Michigan ground game. Michigan has at times started slow this year, but by the second half the talent gap should take over. UM and the Wolverines start barreling toward Columbus as soon as this one is over. UM 34-21.
Trout: I can see the Fighting Illini putting up a fight against Michigan. However, Michigan will still win the game. Illinois has had a great year, but Michigan is just a better team. As weird of a guy Harbough is, he’s been able to find success over these past two years, and has turned Michigian into a playoff contender. The game should be relatively low scoring with both teams having relatively good defenses. The big difference will be their offenses. Although I don’t think JJ McCarthy and the Wolverine offense is spectacular by any means, they are better than what Illinois has to offer. Much like with the Maryland game, the Illini will be able to match Michigan blow for blow. But towards the end of the game, the Wolverines pull ahead and maintain that lead until the end. Michigan wins, and remains undefeated going into the big matchup next week with Ohio State. (Michigan 31-17)
Final Score: Michigan 19 Illinios 17
(7)USC @ (16)UCLA
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): USC falls to UCLA as the Pac-12 is eliminated 37-34.
Cory: One of the other top Heisman candidates has a prime opportunity to showcase himself this week when USC travels to UCLA. USC quarterback Caleb Williams has found a home for himself in Los Angeles, and he will have to carry the team this week even more. Playing at UCLA will be tough, but the Trojans will be without star running back Travis Dye, who suffered a season-ending leg injury last week. UCLA has two explosive playmakers of their own in Dorian Thompson-Robison and Zach Charbonnet, so this game should be pretty exciting to watch. That said, expect USC to come away with a close win here. USC 35 UCLA 31
Dave: USC 48 UCLA 35
Gregg: This one is tough for me to call. It is hard for me to think UCLA will be off their games two weeks in a row. But I am thinking Caleb Williams continues to grow his Heisman resume and leads the Trojans to victory. Fight On! USC 31 UCLA 24
Jason: USC has their offense rolling. Behind QB Caleb Williams, a likely Heisman finalist, USC is 3 wins from a spot in the CFP. A win on Saturday night and they clinch a spot in the Pac 12 title game. The UCLA D is vulnerable to the pass and that’s just what USC does well. They are going to score and score in bunches. On the other side of the ball, the Bruins run the ball and run it well. RB Zach Charbonnet has become one of the best backs in America and QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson can make things happen as well. The USC D struggles mightily to stop anyone so UCLA will have their way on offense. And yes, they well score as well. There will be a whole lot of points scored in this ballgame. UCLA has their formula as does SC and which defense bows up and comes up with a couple stops will end up getting out with the win. Williams needs to play like a Heisman candidate and he will, but the ground game is much more reliable for UCLA and led by Charbonnet and Thompson-Robinson on offense, they will get the late score and the D will come up with a stop to secure the win at home and end the Pac 12’s chances at the CFP. UCLA 49 USC 42
Joe-S-U: USC over UCLA – Look for J.K. McKay and Shelton Diggs to have a big day, stifling John Sciarra and Wendell Tyler. What’s that? They’ve graduated? Oh….well, we’ll all get more familiar with these rosters when they join the B1G
Josh: This game has a lot at stake for both teams, outside of the rivalry. With the Pac-12 eliminating the divisions this year, the top two teams will play in the championship game, and both of these teams have a path they win out. UCLA lost a bad game to Arizona last week, while USC cruised on Friday night, and Caleb Williams kept adding to his total touchdowns total. This game will come down to who has the ball last. I think USC has a chance to make a statement win, and I think they will get the win in the Rose Bowl, and clinch their spot in the Pac-12 Championship game. USC 48 – UCLA 45
Steven: If the Pac 12 knows what’s good for it, they’ll let USC be the flag bearer and hope to the deity of their choice they look awesome in their next couple of games in order for them to have a chance to get to the College Football Playoff. It is still a long shot, as there will be a significant contingent who will advocate for Tennessee to be included, even over a one loss Pac 12 Champion, if USC can make it that far. USC will have to win out in order for that to happen. It starts with beating Chip Kelly and UCLA. Mid-season, UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was getting a bit of Heisman buzz. Last week’s pedestrian outing against a 4-5 Arizona team saw DTR’s worst performance of the season. He’ll need to bounce back this week, and have a performance from RB Zach Charbonet that mirrors that awesome 181 yard, 3 touchdown performance he had against the Wildcats. I say they get it done, primarily because I do not trust USC head coach Lincoln Riley in big games. I’ll be rooting for the Trojans, because I think a Pac 12 entrant in the CFP is much more interesting than a second, albeit really good Tennessee team. But it will all be for naught as the Pac 12 cannibalizes itself and gets shoved to the CFP sidelines. UCLA upends the apple cart. Bruins 33-28.
Trout: This game is abit of a tossup. If I have to pick a team, I will have to go with the Trojans. Both teams seem to have pretty good offenses. They both average around 500 yards per game and average around . However, I think USC is just a tad more consistent this year. Their only loss came from a 2 point conversion attempt at the end of the game versus Utah. I don’t know how either team will stack up against the other playoff contenders, but out of the two of them, I think USC has the better shot. The game will be very close, most likely coming down to the last play of the game. I see the game going back and forth, until at the end when Caleb Williams does some last second heroics and pulls out the win for the Trojans. USC wins, and keeps their playoff hopes alive. (USC, 31-27)
Final: USC 48 UCLA 45
(4)TCU @ Baylor
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): TCU tames the Baylor Bear 28-24.
Coach Rick: TCU
Cory: The question of whether or not TCU deserves to be in the playoff will go on because nobody in the country thinks the Big 12 is any good. Part of that is the conception the conference is down just because Texas and Oklahoma are struggling. The reality is that TCU is a really good football team, and only a few wins from finally getting into the playoff. Another tough test awaits this week with a trip to Baylor. Though the Bears have struggled with consistency this season they are not to be taken lightly. That said, the offense has quite been there for Baylor this season so expect TCU to remain unbeaten. TCU 28 Baylor 13
Dave: TCU 32 Baylor 21
Gregg: I will stick with TCU until the lose. Plus if they remain unbeatan, it will almost insure the SEC will not get two teams in to the playoffs. They proved last week that they can win a defensive game, TCU 24 Baylor 17
Jason: TCU isn’t flashy but they take care of the football and are among the least penalized teams in America. Baylor’s strength is the run game. If they are running it well, they win, however, TCU stops the run with extreme efficiency. That could make for a long afternoon for the Bears. On the flip side, the Bear D is 2nd in the Big 12. TCU leads the conference in offense but it hasn’t faced the top defenses in the league yet, Iowa State or Baylor. Baylor is very opportunistic and will turn teams over. When Baylor wins, they control the tempo with their run and create turnovers. TCU beat UT last week using that formula but they won’t be able to win that way this week. Baylor will make this a 4 quarter game, but TCU will come up with enough stops and a couple late scores to grab a big road win and come one game closer to getting into the CFP. TCU 24 Baylor 20
Joe-S-U: TCU over Baylor – Frogs are repeating the Cincinnati script from last season- just win and they can’t deny you. Although if the Bears pull the upset, Dumbass…uh, Desmond…will campaign for them to be in the top 4
Josh: In the past, this game has been a classic. Last week losing to Kansas State for Baylor was a rough go, but TCU has a chance to blow them out of the water as they have been earlier in the season. The real challenge will be if Dave Aranda has a game plan to slow down Max Duggan and Kendre Miller. If not, then it will a long afternoon in Waco. I think the TCU Horn Frogs are a team of destiny this year, and I think they take care of business on the road. TCU 35 – Baylor 24
Steven: Last week the Horned frogs showed they can truly play some decent defense. I’m not sure how much they’ll need it this week as the Bears’ offense has dropped off a cliff, only scoring 3 points last week in a loss to Kansas State. Horned Frog QB Max Duggan continues to do what he does, which is will this team to wins. I’m not sure how he’ll do in the pros, but he is really showing guts and leadership with TCU. Baylor is a good team, but not great, with 3 of their 4 losses coming to ranked teams and their wins coming against primarily lesser competition. Along with next week’s tilt against Iowa State, TCU has a solid path to the Big 12 Championship game. Frogs win 38-24.
Trout: Until they prove me wrong, I am sticking with the Horned Frogs in these Big 12 Matches. TCU is currently only a 2.5 point favorite against a four loss Baylor Bears team. And last week they were a 7 point dog to a three loss Texas team. They proved the doubters wrong then by completely stopping the Texas offense. Texas’ only touchdown came on a fumble recovery. TCU might not be a great team, but I think they are clearly the best team in the Big 12 right now. I think the game will be close for a while. Despite not being a great team overall, the Bears can still move the football a little bit. However, The Horned Frogs are the superior team, and they will eventually start showing that and eventually pull ahead. TCU beats the Baylor Bears and remains in the driver seat for both the Big 12 and a spot in the playoffs. (TCU, 31-21)
Final Score: TCU 29 Baylor 28
(1)Georgia @ Kentucky
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83) : Georgia overwhelms Kentucky 42-21.
Coach Rick: Georgia
Cory: Kentucky is reeling. The Wildcats are 2-4 in their last six games, and are coming off a loss to Vanderbilt at home. As for Georgia, well, the Bulldogs continue to look very much like the No. 1 team in the nation. After controlling Tennessee two weeks ago, Georgia crushed Mississippi State 45-19 last week. Can Kentucky even put up a fight in this one? Maybe for a quarter, but don’t expect much after that. Georgia 41 Kentucky 13
Dave: Georgia 32 Kentucky 21
Gregg: Until proven otherwise, the Bulldogs are the #1 team in the country. They are the defending champs and are unbeaten this year. They have one of the best victories this season with the convincing win over Tennessee. I still think their quarterback Stetson Bennett is very vanilla but he makes plays when he has too. Kentucky on the other hand, is an over-rated SEC team that has lost four of thier last six games. The Bulldogs will not overlook this game as they have nothing to worry about until they play LSU in the conference championship. Georgia takes care of business and wins going away. Georgia 51 Kentucky 10
Jason: Since QB Will Levis got injured, Kentucky hasn’t been the same. The Wildcats lost a week ago at home to the hands of Vanderbilt. That’s when you know things aren’t right. Georgia needs to not get caught looking ahead. They have won the East and just needs to get out of games without significant injury.
It hasn’t been perfect for the Dawgs though. The offense is efficient but not flashy and their defense takes care of everything else. Kentucky needs to get back to the formula that was working early in the season to have a shot. But…..they really don’t. Georgia QB Stetson Bennett will hit a few big shots early and roll past Kentucky and maintain their standing as the #1 team in the country. UGA 42 UK 14
Joe-S-U: Georgia over Kentucky – Boy the writers did their absolute damndest keeping this lame Wildcat team in the Top 25 all season, but you can’t polish the turd that is a loss to Vandy.
Josh: Georgia will travel for their last regular season SEC game, and this game will not be close. Will Levis had a lot of hype but her was exposed against Tennessee, and we saw a few weeks ago what Georguia was able to do to the Volunteers. For Georgia, these next two weeks are honestly win these games by any means necessary, and game plan for LSU in Atlanta. Georgia probably has the easiest path to the playoff at this point. Georgia 34 – Kentucky 6
Steven: Even if Kentucky wins, Georgia is in the SEC Championship game and if they win, will still be in the playoff. Kentucky is a mere speedbump on the way to Atlanta. Not sure if he’s getting a lot of Heisman love, but Steston Bennet IV is on my New York short list. He should light it up against Kentucky. Dawgs win handily 44-24.
Trout: The Bulldogs should cruise to another victory. Kentucky is not a good team. ESPN tends to hype up these lower tier SEC teams, that may look good for a game or two, but wind up doing nothing of note for the season. Kentucky was at one point this year ranked 8th in the country. Since then, they have gone 2-4. Granted two of those losses came from Ole Miss and Tennessee. Ole Miss is a decent team, and you could say Tennessee is arguably the second best team in the conference. The other two of those four losses came from other bad teams in Vanderbilt and South Carolina. I just don’t see them putting up much of a fight against Georgia. The Wildcats could cause some issues early. There’s a chance Georgia might be overlooking this game, since they are a lock for the SEC title game. But it won’t last very long. Georgia will refocus quickly and start running all over Kentucky. The game should be over by halftime. The Bull Dogs completely demolish the Kentucky Wildcats and remain the top team in the SEC and the playoff rankings. (Georgia, 56-10)