Week 13 Predictions – 2022
Last Week: Week 12 of the season started (and ended) with only 4 unbeaten teams. All four teams had a tough time trying to stay undefeated. Ohio State only beat Maryland .by 13 points, 43-30. They other 3 perfect squads won by a COMBINED total of 13 points. So I don’t want to hear the playoff committee punish the Buckeyes for not covering the spread. OSU is two wins away from a playoff birth and I trust the coaches have them focused on the task at hand. Our staff continues to be focused on our predictions as we had 8 individuals go a perfect 5-0 while the other 4 were 4-1. Unlike GameDay’s “Bear who is under .500 still for the year. If you are watching our standings you can see we still have 3 tied for the lead with seven others all within 3 games of the top. Let’s keep it fun for these last two weeks or as we used to label our prediction pages “For Entertainment Purposes Only”.
This Week’s Games: This is the week all Buckeye fans look forward to all year. If you want to listen to what the players and coaches are selling us, they team has been looiking forward to it all year too. The question remains, will they be ready to revenge last year’s loss with a victory this year? …. The Big Ten West is also coming down to the last weekend. A couple teams have a mathmatical chance, but only Iowa is in it with a win. Can they take care of business against the Huskers? …. Clemson has one chance to make the playoffs now that Tennessee lost to South Carolina. Or will they fall to the Gamecocks too? …. I cannot remember a year where we have used the TCU game in our top five as may times as we have in 2022. But they have deserved the attention. The Big 12 may not be the strongest conference top to bottom but there are some solid teams present and so far TCU has beat them all. Only one more hurrdle before the Big 12 Championship game. Will they remain perfect? …. Marcus Freeman had a rough start to his coaching career at Notre Dame. First the bowl game, then OSU, then Marshall. Can they end the year with a win in LA over USC?
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 13 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
(3)Xichigan @ (2)Ohio State
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Ohio State 35 Weasels 27
Coach Rick: Ohio State
Cory: Both teams enter this game pretty banged up so injuries won’t be an excuse this week. For Ohio State, the Buckeyes have to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Michigan dominated the trenches last year and won the game because of it. Aside from that, we need to see Ryan Day willing to open the playbook a bit. It was way too vanilla against Maryland. Was Day holding stuff back, or is he not 100 percent confident in the offense right now? For Michigan, there is no denying how big the potential loss of running back Blake Corum is. Corum’s one of the best backs in the country and if he can’t play it will be a huge blow to Michigan’s chances. The weather is expected to be sub-par this weekend. Let’s see if the Buckeyes learned their lessons from last year’s game. Ohio State 31, Michigan 24
Dave: Ohio State 42 Michigan 35
Gregg: Just like 2006, both Ohio State and Michigan come into the season finale with perfect records. The play by both teams year round has not been prefect but they both found ways to win them all. Clearly a lot is a stake in this one in addition to the much coveted bragging rights. Both teams have limping running backs, so if it comes down to the passing game, I like the Bucks chances. CJ Stroud is in need of a Heisman moment and he gets that Saturday. JJ McCarthy on the other hand is the master of the five yard pass and will fail when it comes to winning a game that is in his hands. Tired of hearing that the Bucks are tough, time to prove to the world they are. Bucks win big, finally. Ohio State 48 Michigan 21
Jason: Michigan is banged up at RB and will come with a less than a 100% Blake Corum who has almost single handedly won games for the Wolverines. I am still convinced that they are a product to some extent of their schedule. They win games by grinding them out with their run game and that won’t be possible on Saturday. Ohio State has some payback on their mind and will score quick behind the arm of CJ Stroud and that dynamic offense. Michigan will have to put the game in the hands of QB JJ McCarthy who lacks weapons in the pass game and he has been wildly inaccurate in mid range and deep passing. Ohio State will jump out to a lead early and Michigan won’t be able to keep up. Buckeyes roll and cement their spot in the Big Ten title game and CFP. Ohio State 42 Michigan 17
Joe-S-U: OSU over TBGUN – General W.W. Hayes was encouraged when his team would have butterflies in the gut before a game- “A horse doesn’t go to the starting gate chewing on his oats”. Having butterflies about this Saturday is good, it’s how it should be in this rivalry. Both teams taking care of business and showing up on gameday with everything on the table. That being said, if both teams play their best, Ohio State will prevail.
John: Like most Ohio State/Michigan games, this will come down to the battle in the trenches. Can OSU’s defensive front seven shut down Corum and force Michigan to throw? Can UM’s D-line get pressure on Stroud and make him uncomfortable in the pocket? If one team can exert their will on defense they will be more than half way to a win. If Ohio State can get production from the run game to balance the passing attack, they win easily, I’m just not sure they can. Maybe just the fan in me, but I think the Bucks win a close one. Ohio State 31 Michigan 28
Josh: The stakes don’t get any bigger than they will this Saturday for the 118th edition fo The Game. To add to the impact for the winner and loser of this game, this will be the last time that a game in Columbus will determine playoff positioning with this magnitude, as in 2024, the Big Ten will have added USC and UCLA, and there is a strong chance that the Playoff will expand to 12 teams by that time. The biggest question that will help determine how this game will be played out is the health of Blake Corum. If he can play, he will bring the Michigan offense a drive that they have used all season in the power run game, and will try to use the same physical game plan they used last year to beat Ohio State. If Corum can not play, then the challenge will be on JJ McCarthy in making plays both in the passing game and the run game. I think this one will be close, as both teams are looking for something to prove, but I think ultimately CJ Stroud is going to be the difference maker and make the plays when he needs to. This will be his 2006 Troy Smith moment where he can make an impact for the Buckeyes championship hopes, as well has his Heisman candidacy. Ohio State 42 – Michigan 24.
Steven: Well, the Bucks got to this point better than they were last year. The defense is top 10, which is up from last year’s 59th, but yet, there are still some holes. The Bucks gave up 400 yards of offense to the Terps last weekend, with 293 of those coming from Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa. Of course, Tagovailoa is a much more accomplished passer than what the Bucks will see this weekend in JJ McCarthy. The Bucks defense will need to pivot to stopping the run. It will then rest on the knee of Wolverine running back Blake Corum. Corum took a shot in the game against Illinois where it looked like he hyperextended the leg. If Corum can’t go, it will be up to Freshman CJ Stokes, who is good, but he hasn’t produced to Corum’s level. Michigan’s run defense is 2nd in the country, and their pass defense is just back slightly at 5th. The Bucks will have to take what is given, which given the stats, is not much. Despite the lofty ranking, if you watched the Illinois game, though, you probably didn’t come away looking at the Wolverines as world beaters. Much the same could be said of the Bucks against Maryland. The X-factor (save Swiss Army Knife X-Factor Xavier Johnson) might be if Jaxon Smith-Njigba comes back for this game. Just having him on the field could really tilt the scales in the Bucks favor. This could be close until the second half, but the Bucks should keep their double digit win streak alive. OSU 31-21. Lastly, if this is a close game and we see some upsets in the next couple of weeks, I’m not discounting that the loser of this game is out of the CFP. Stranger things have happened, but let’s get to Indy and then to the CFP on our own. Go Bucks!
Trout: This will be the biggest test for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Although Michigan’s pass offense isn’t great, they still have the ability to move the ball. Especially if their running back, Corum is healthy and able to play. I still think the Buckeyes pull off the win, but it’ll be close. Ohio State is clearly better offensively. When CJ and his receivers are clicking, they are almost unstoppable. The only issue is their running game. It has been extremely inconsistent due to lingering injuries to the top two running backs. Hopefully Hayden gets the start this week. He has shown to be a difference maker in his limited time. The other big issue for Ohio State is their defensive backs. The rest of the defense has vastly improved from where it was last year. But the corners have still struggled. Maryland was able to pass the ball all over them last week. Even with all of those concerns, I still think Ohio State is the more talented team. And more times than not, talent wins out. I feel like this game will come down to the wire, with Ohio State winning on the last play of the game. The Buckeyes win, sealing their trip to the Big Ten Championship and getting closer to sealing their spot in the playoffs. (Ohio State, 31-28)
Final Score: Ohio State xx Xichigan xx
Nebraska @ Iowa
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Iowa 10 Nebraska 3
Coach Rick: Iowa
Cory: If you want to watch a game with some ugly football, then make sure to turn on the Nebraska-Iowa game. The Cornhuskers have lost five straight, and Iowa, for as bad as they are on defense, feature a terrific defense. In their last four games, all of which were wins, the Hawkeyes allowed an average of nine points a game. It will be ugly and low-scoring, probably not worth wasting your time unless you’re desperate for football on a Friday. Iowa 20, Nebraska 13
Dave: Iowa 28 Nebraska 23
Gregg: One team is looking for a coach, the other is looking for an offense. Last week the Big ten West entered play with 5 of 7 teams still having a chance at the title. (almost like our staff prediction standings). But as the dust settled last Saturday Iowa ended up being the one team that can win and book their trip to Indy. Everyone else needs help. The Hawkeye defense will probably have to outscore their offense but chances are that is what will happen. Iowa 13 Nebraska 10
Jason: Hawkeyes use their defense to lock their spot in Indy and a date with Ohio State. Iowa 17 Nebraska 7
Joe-S-U: Iowa over Nebraska – Hawks haven’t lost since they left Columbus last month, they’ve given up only 6 more points in those 4 games than Maryland dropped on us last week. They’re going to be a problem for whoever faces them in Indy. On the flip side, Spencer Petras has thrown 5 TD passes all year. ALL YEAR.
John: The Hawkeyes control their own destiny. Win, and it’s a rematch with either OSU or Michigan in Indy. Now that they seem to have discovered a semblance of an offence, I like them over the Huskers. Iowa 24 Nebraska 14
Josh: Nebraska has been playing with band-aids since Scott Frost was fired, and although they have pulled out some games, I think the Iowa offense is finally turning itself around since the embarrassing performance against Ohio State on October 22nd. Couple that with the fact that Iowa will be at home, and with a win, they will make their 2nd straight Big Ten Championship game, and 3rd overall appearance where they will have a rematch against the Buckeyes or the Wolverines. The Iowa defense makes the plays needed. Iowa 24- Nebraska 9.
Steven: Everyone wants to know who the champion of the Big 10 East (OSU or Michigan) will play in the Championship game, but do we really need to tourture ourselves watching games like this to find out? Whoever wins the West should be prepared for a beat down in the Championship game…I’m talking Wisconsin 59-0 level dominance. If the Bucks go, can we get Cardale Jones as honorary captain? As for the game itself, Nebraska has lost their last 5 games. Iowa is winners of their last 4. They both kinda stink, but I’ll go with the hot team. Herky wins 17-9.
Trout: I am picking the Hawkeyes, but it’s not because I think they are the better team. They have an amazing defense, but their offense is one, if not the worst offense in the country. I am picking them because Nebraska has a tendency to shoot themselves in these games. So many times this year they look like they might pull off the victory, only to stumble and lose the game in horrendous fashion. The game will be very low scoring. Iowa will maybe get a score or two offensively, but I can see them getting a defensive score as well. It will be a sloppy, painfully bad game to watch, and in the end somehow Iowa comes out as the victors. (Iowa, 17-13)
Final Score: Nebraska 24 Iowa 17
South Carolina @ (8)Clemson
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): South Carolina 31 Clemson 28
Cory: So what exactly is South Carolina at this point in the season? The Gamecocks have lost some bad ones, including to Arkansas and Missouri, but they’ve also won seven games this season and are coming off a dominating win over then No. 5 Tennessee. Yes, Tennessee’s defense is not good but South Carolina was able to move the ball at will in that game. They’ll need the offense to fire on cylinders this week to upset Clemson. The Tigers have won back-to-back games over Louisville and Miami after getting upset by Notre Dame, and their offense seems to have finally found its footing. Expect Clemson to control this game early. Clemson 28, South Carolina 17
Dave: Clemson 32 South Carolina 28
Gregg: Is it possible for South Carolina to knock a team out of the playoffs two weeks in a row? Unfortanely they blew their whole wad against the Volunteers. Then again this is the SEC and they are the kings of college football, so let’s hope I am wrong on this score. Clemson 28 South Carolina 24
Jason: SC has Clemson’s attention after a dominant home win over Tennessee a week ago. The Gamecocks will hang around for 4 quarters but the talent of the Tigers will be a bit too much at home and Clemson heads into the ACC title to play North Carolina to create their argument for a spot in the CFP. Clemson 31 SC 21
Joe-S-U: Clemson over South Carolina – Gave thanks this Turkey Day for the Gamecocks putting Tennessee out of all of our collective misery. Do they have enough in the tank to smack Dabo around? Would be nice, but…
John: USC East exploded last week and chicken kicked the Vols. If the offensive magic can continue I think the Gamecocks can keep it close, but I don’t think they get the win. Clemson 38 South Carolina 31
Josh: The question going into this game is will South Carolina be able to put on a show like they did last week against Tennessee, or did they put all their marbles into that one game? Spencer Rattler has been inconsistent, and the Tiger defense has a stronger edge than the Volunteer’s did in the secondary. November seems to be the time that Clemson makes its moves, and knowing that with a win this week, they can keep their slim playoff chances alive. They will just bee rooting for some chaos ahead of them as they were placed behind both 2 loss Alabama and 2 loss LSU. I think the Tigers get the win, but they are still not one of the best 4 teams in the country. Clemson 28 – South Carolina 23.
Steven: At first glance, Clemson should have the upper hand in this one. After the Gamecocks unexpected victory over Tennessee, driving a stake through the heart of the Vols slim chances for the College Football Playoff, and unfortunately, knocking out Vol QB Hendon Hooker, there may be a little bit of juice in the locker room that could make this matchup a bit tougher for the Tigers. Even with the improbable win, SC’s defense was not good, (only to be way outdone by the Volunteer defense, one that was apparently helping out at a soup kitchen somewhere). As bad as SC’s defense is/was, Clemson’s is worse. The loss of Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables has left a noticeable impact on the Tigers. Given the level of defensive p\lay, this probably will devolve into another shootout. Going with Clemson, but would not be surprised if an upset occurs. Clemson 34-28.
Trout: The Tigers will win this game, but it’ll be an extremely close game. I think the Gamecocks have a little bit of swagger coming off their beat down of Tennessee. So I think they will come out swinging and will challenge Clemson the whole game. Clemson isn’t the powerhouse they’ve been in the past few years, they are still a good team. Or at least a more consistent team than South Carolina. The game will be close up until late in the fourth quarter. And then Clemson pulls ahead and the Gamecocks won’t have time to respond. Clemson wins and keeps their slight playoff hopes alive. (Clemson, 27-21)
Final Score: Clemson xx South Carolina xx
Iowa State @ (4)TCU
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): TCU 38 Iowa State 24
Coach Rick: TCU
Cory: Is Matt Campbell the most overrated coach in FBS? He’s always in head coaching rumors, but the Cyclones are just 4-7 this season, including having gone 1-7 in their last eight games. TCU, on the other hand, is legitimate. The Horned Frogs always seem to find themselves in a close game so it will be interesting to see if they can put it together for all four quarters. Nonetheless, I am expecting TCU to remain unbeaten this week. TCU 35, Iowa State 21
Dave: TCU 38 Iowa State 14
Gregg: After that last second field goal last week, I finally think Sonny is running out of steam. They will have no problem with the Cyclones but Kansas State will put the Horn Frogs out of their misery next weekend. TCU 28 Iowa State
Jason: TCU faces the best D in the Big 12. They faced the number 2 D a week ago in Baylor and survived with a game winning FG as time expired. It won’t be easy but the Frogs survive and get to within one win of a spot in the CFP. TCU 24 Iowa State 14
Joe-S-U: TCU over Iowa St. – Frogs remind me of Cincy last year, and even OSU in 2002. You get in the stretch run of a magical season against teams that you should handle, and that national spotlight wears on you and every game becomes a grind. TCU will keep things going against the Cyclones but the Fox audience will still be glued to this in the 4th quarter I do believe.
John: TCU rolls. TCU 31 Iowa State 21
Josh: Iowa State is a good defense, one of the tops in the country, but they are one of the worst teams in the Big 12. I don’t anticipate a 55-3 type of game like it was in 2014 when these two teams met in the final regular season game, but I think TCU has proven that they have an edge, and they will have a plan to win any way they can. I like the Horned Frogs at home, and they improve to 12-0 going into the Big 12 Championship game. TCU 35 – Iowa State 14.
Steven: Iowa State has won 1 game in their last 5. How great a coaching prospect is Matt Campbell now? This shouldn’t be much of a game. TCU has shown, albeit only last week, they can play defense. Iowa State is rushing for barely over 100 yards per game, so their ability to keep the Frogs offense off the field is minimal. They’ll be forced to pass, which could make for a bit of a shootout, but there’s too much in front of the Frogs for them to get tripped up this week. Maybe in the Big 12 Championship game, but not Saturday. TCU 38-21
Trout: I am still sticking with the Horned Frogs. Although they haven’t looked great a year, they still are undefeated. And I don’t think there is a team in the Big 12 better than them at this moment. Especially not the Cyclones. They currently sit at 4-7. They are clearly not a good team. TCU should be able to take care of business, and win by a few scores. It may be close early in the game, but I see TCU pulling away in the second half. The Horned Frogs win the game, advance to the Big 12 Championship, and remain in playoff contention. (TCU, 38-21)
Final Score: TCU xx Iowa State xx
(15)Notre Dame @ (6)USC
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): USC 45 Notre Dame 17
Coach Rick: Notre Dame
Cory: USC is hoping to sneak into the playoff, and likely need a TCU loss in order to do so. That said, an impressive win over Notre Dame this week and a good showing in the PAC 12 title game would really pad the resume for the Trojans. USC has to get better defensively. They gave up 45 points to UCLA last week, and Notre Dame has really come together on that side of the ball since the 14-point showing in the loss to Stanford. Since that game the Fighting Irish have averaged 39.8 points per game. While the Irish have rallied since the beginning of the season, it’s hard to see them being able to keep up with USC. USC 38, Notre Dame 28
Dave: USC 38 Notre Dame 32
Gregg: The season comes full circle for the Irish as they started off in Columbus versus Ohio State, and end up in LA against their annual nemise USC. A win and they probably finish in the top ten and get a New Year’s Six game. A far cry from what it looked like for them when they started with consective losses to OSU and Marshall. A win would also go a long way to position the Bucks to get a playoff bid even with a loss this season. Unfortunately I think Lincoln and Caleb have it clicking at the right time and will do enough to win. But the Irish have a defense that matches up much better to the Trojans than their Pac-12 foes, so we will see how it goes. I will be rooting for Marcus but I see them coming up short. USC 24 Notre Dame 20
Jason: USC has their eyes on the fourth spot in the CFP. It will be a four quarter game, but a late score will secure the win and set up a monster game next week in the Pac 12 title game to stake their claim for the 4th and final spot in the CFP. USC 27 Notre Dame 17
Joe-S-U: USC over Notre Dame – Caleb Williams has a chance to keep his team in the playoff hunt AND firm up his seat in New York next month. Unlike the 45-year old overblown game manager down in Athens, Georgia who has to have Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson twisting themselves into pretzels campaigning for him.
John: Notre Dame began the season against a Heisman candidate QB. They end the season the same way. Unfortunately for the Irish, I think the results are the same. USC 30 Notre Dame 24
Josh: The spread is a lot close than I would have anticipated, but I think the Notre Dame defense has a chance of slowing down USC, especially since they are without their starting running back. The trick will be though if their offense can move the ball, and keep up if this game becomes a shoot out and I don’t have the confidence that they can. I think USC wins this one at home in another close game, but they end up covering the spread. USC 21 – Notre Dame 13
Steven: Outside of the Ohio State game, this is the one that should garner the most interest. It seems pretty clear that the Trojans are the better team here. Notre Dame is running a depleted roster with an undersized quarterback. While starting the year as a backup to Tyler Buchner, Drew Pyne has had a bit of an up and down season. He followed up a 4 touchdown performance against Navy going 13 for 25 against BC. Last week, the Trojan defense got to UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson enough to force him into the game-ending interception. Unfortunately for the Irish, Pyne is not nearly on DTR’s level. The Irish will have to rely on the run to keep Caleb Williams from picking them apart. If the Irish defense can harass Williams enough to render him inconsistent, they have a shot, but it will take a substantial effort. USC wins 33-28.
Trout: The Trojans win the game, but I do think Notre Dame puts up a fight. Notre Dame’s start to the season was just plain awful. However, they were able to pull together, and tally up some wins. They now find themselves back in the top 25. I think they should be able to challenge the Trojans and keep the game really close up until the end. I also don’t know how good USC really is. They are definitely better than they have been the last few years, but I don’t know how they will fare against the other playoff teams. Yet at this moment, I do think they should be able to beat Notre Dame. I think the Irish could do something next year, but I don’t think they are fully there yet. This game will be very close up until the end. Caleb Williams will be able pull off a last minute, go ahead drive, and the Trojans sneak by with the victory. (USC, 31-28)