Week 12 Predictions – 2023
Last Week: Ohio State took care of Michigan State as expected with a solid 38-3 win. Of course in the wisdom of the playoff committee, they decided to drop Ohio State to #2 behind the current SEC darling. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, they get their chance to prove it on the field and move back to the #1 spot. Kyle McCord had 335 yards passing with 3 TDs, but still has the reputation of being inconsistent. Watch out Big Ten, he may ready to peak at the right time. As for our staff picks, 6 staffers were 5-0, 4 were 4-1, clearly we are peaking at the right time. (Stanford Steve on GameDay is 18-28-2)
This Week’s Games: The Buckeyes have one final tune-up game before their real season starts. The only question on this one will be how soon do they bring in the back-ups? …. Washington heads to Corvallis to face the Beavers with a playoff spot and a Heisman trophy on the line. Oregon is strong at home, will it be enough to slow down the Huskie offense? … Texas takes on Iowa State in basically a pick’em game. Will the Cyclones pull off the win and really shake up the Big 12 race? …. Georgia and Tennessee square off in an SEC East match-up that looked like it would be a big game. But the Vols have dropped off the past few weeks and all they can do now is play the role of spoiler. …. North Carolina and Clemson come together in a game for pride. Will Clemson keep up their current mini win streak?
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 ninth straight year.
Here we go with our Week 12 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
Minnesota @ (2)Ohio State(-28)
Coach Rick: OSU 49 Minn 7
Cory: Minnesota’s defense is alright, but their offense is nonexistent. Ohio State is starting to fire on all cylinders. I expect the game will be closer than expected mainly because the next game for the Buckeyes is against TTUN and Ryan Day will call a pretty vanilla game. Ohio State 24, Minnesota 10
Dave: Ohio State 42 Minnesota 7
Gregg: This should be a repeat of last week, build up a big lead in the first half, reduce the offensive set in the second half. Get some stats for TreVeyon, Kyle and Marvin, and get some reps for the back-ups playing on defense. Should be able to set their own score for this one. Ohio State 45 Minnesota 6
Joe-S-U: Ohio State
John: Senior day the week before The Game always brings the risk of distraction. However, this Minnesota team is so bad that P.J. can row, row ,row his boat all he want’s. it won’t make much of a difference, Look for a very similar outcome to last week. Bucks get out to a big, early lead giving the backups some game reps. Buggest thing (other than a W) is to keep/get everyone health for next week. Ohio State 42 Minnesota 7
Josh: This is the last tune up game for the Buckeyes before The Game. I know they cant look ahead, but this will be a very emotional game for a lot of the players who will be playing their last home game in the Shoe. The goal of the game will to be keep healthy, and be as close to 100% as you can be going into next week, and I am willing to bet Ryan Day will put in his game plan that he did last week against Michigan State. This will be a name your score for Ohio State, but with the likelihood of this one being over by halftime, I expect the starters to be out by the mid 3rd quarter mark, and a very conservative game to chew clock. Ohio State 42 – Minnesota 6.
Steven: Sorry, but there’s not alot of analysis needed here. Minny just lost 49-30 to a 2-7 Purdue team. For the Buckeyes, this should look a lot like the MSU game. Lather, rinse, repeat. If OSU quarterback Kyle McCord builds upon his performance against Michigan State, the Bucks seal the win by halftime. Outside of coach Day trying to get Marvin Harrison Jr. a couple of early touchdowns, this should be about as buttoned up an offense as you will see. Expect a lot of Chip Traynum, Gee Scott, Xavier Johnson and maybe a bit of Lincoln Kienholz, at least by the second half. We as BigTen fans always get a bit peeved when the SEC schedules cupcakes the week before their rivalry games. This year, pot, meet kettle. OSU 44-6
Trout: Ohio State should win this game. The Gophers are not a good team. Granted, they are a step up from Sparty, but that isn’t saying much. I think Ohio State shouldn’t have too many issues moving the ball against the Minnesota defense. I could also see Marvin and TreVeyon having monster days as well. The game might be closer than the 35 point spread from last week, but it won’t be by much. I predict that Ohio State will be able to win comfortably. The Buckeyes remain unbeaten as they move on to The Game next week. (Ohio State, 35-10)
Final Score: Ohio State 37 Minnesota 3
(5)Washington @ (12)Oregon State(-1)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Washington should have no problem with 0regon State. The Huskies trap the Beavers 35-17.
Andy: Washington has not had to struggle much this year except this past week against Utah and a few weeks ago against Oregon. Oregon State has only two losses this season to Arizona and to Washington State, both losses were by only 3 points. The Beavers are very balanced on offense, running for just under 2,000 yards and passing for over 2,500 yards with 48 total offensive touchdowns 24 from rushing and 24 from passing. Washington is the best passing team in the country, Michael Penix is likely the leader for the Heisman trophy at this point as he has thrown for over 3,500 yards already as well as having two receivers who have combined for over 2,000 yards receiving. Where am I going with this? Well Oregon State has the 72nd overall pass defense in the country, allowing an average of 230 passing yards per game and 11.35 yards per completion. I think Washington will be able to go into Corvallis and get a victory behind a strong passing attack. Washington 42 Oregon State 34
Cory: I saw the odds shifted in the middle of the week to Oregon State’s favor. On one hand I get – the Beavers have played well, and they’re at home. But Washington erased the concerns I had about them with an impressive road win over Utah last week. Washington 35, Oregon State 28
Dave: Washington 28 Oregon State 10
Gregg: Oregon State is 17-1 at home the last three years, but Washington needs this win to keep on pace for a playoff spot and the National Championship. But I think the Beavers with the home crowd and the motivation that they have been left behind in all this conference re-alignment, will have what it takes to get the win. Michael Penix will get his numbers but they will fall just short. Oregon State 48 Washington 45
John: This is a major trap game for the Huskies. They are playing their third ranked team in a row, this time on the road. The other OSU hasn’t lost at home all year. Neither team plays much defense, so the over is real in play in this one. Washington needs the win to get to the Pac 12 championship and potentially into the playoff. Lose, and it gets real iffy. Huskies are the higher ranked team, but the Beavers are the betting favorite. Is it really an upset if the favored team wins? Oregon State 42 Washington 38
Josh: Washington is still hovering as the 5th ranked team in the College Football Playoff poll, and will be a slight favorite on the road against Oregon State. The Beavers are 1 of 2 teams that will still be a part of the PAC-12, and come into this game as the 11th best team according the CFP committee. DJ Uiagalelei has had a revival away from Clemson, and is playing some of his best football. The Huskies has have some very close games the last few weeks, and this is the last challenging game on their stretch before a potential rematch with Oregon in the PAC-12 Championship game. I think we see an upset in this one, and the Huskies lose to Oregon State, shaking up the playoff just slightly. Oregon State 35 – Washington 28.
Steven: Expect a shootout between opposing QB’s Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon State’s DJ Uiagalelei. If you’re a fan of offense, the Pac-12 (RIP) has delivered. The best quarterbacks in the country are now plying their trade in the Pac-12, just in time for it to be buried. As such, this game should serve to be tops in the fun factor for the weekend. The other OSU could well keep this close, but it seems like the Huskies are on a mission this year, so much so I’m hoping Ohio State doesn’t draw them in the first round. Give me Florida State all day. Huskies 38-24
Trout: Oregon State has been pretty good this year, but I still have to go with Washington. I just think the Huskies are the better team. They also have a true Heisman candidate in Michael Penix Jr. If Marvin Harrison Jr doesn’t win the award, it has to go to Penix. He played at an elite level both previously at Indiana and now at Washington. I think the Beavers are able to keep it close. However, Penix will have some last minute heroics to push the Huskies ahead. Washington wins this close game and continues their campaign to make it to the College Football Playoff. (Washington, 38-31)
Final Score: Washington 22 Oregon State 20
(7)Texas @ Iowa State(-1.0)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Texas will not have an issue with Iowa State and win 42-13.
Andy: Texas gained access to one of the best quarterbacks in the country last week when starter Quinn Ewers returned from an AC joint injury and throwing for over 300 yards in his return. Texas is a balanced team on offense, they run as well as they pass with running backs Jonathan Brooks and CJ Baxter they have combined for over 1,400 yards rushing and 14 total touchdowns. The Longhorns are gaining momentum as a team while Iowa State is as well. Aside from losing a close game to a ranked Kansas team two weeks ago, the Cyclones have been playing their best football the past 5 weeks winning 4 out of their last 5 games. Even though Ames is a tough place to play, I think this Longhorns team is built different and prepared to avoid a potential upset. Texas 38 Iowa State 27
Cory: I am not sure it matters which quarterback starts for Texas in this game. The Cyclones don’t have a quality win this season, and they even lost to Ohio University. Expect this game to be one-sided. Texas 38, Iowa State 14
Dave: Texas 32 Iowa State 14
Gregg: I honestly think that Iowa State is going to win this game, but I can’t pick against the Longhorns right now. They know what is in front of them and Ewers is coming around from his injury. Expect the Mighty Quinn to put the Horns on his shoulders and sneak out of Ames with the win. Texas 27 Iowa State 24
John: Texas’s playoff hopes rest on 1) winning out and 2) having Washington slip up. I think both happen this week. Texas 27 Iowa State 21
Josh: Quinn Ewers is expected to be back, and it sounds like as a result of the injury, he will return for the 2024 season. The Longhorns are a 9 point favorite in this game, and Iowa State has bounced back since some questionable losses at the beginning of the season. I think the Cyclones give a punchers chance in this game to start, but the Long horn defense has been really good, and can clean up some mistakes if Ewers is not 100%. Texas 24 – Iowa State 14.
Steven: Quinn Ewers looked good last week in his return from injury against TCU. Unfortunately, the Longhorn defense did not look quite as good, giving up almost 400 yards to the Horned Frogs. Luckily for the Longhorns, Matt Campbell’s Cyclones are a far less potent offensive team, making under a hundred yards and a field goal less per game than TCU. The gap between Iowa State and Texas is even more pronounced. Even on the road, Texas should win. ‘Horns 38-21
Trout: Texas should win this game, but it’ll be closer than people think it will be. And closer than Longhorn fans would like. Texas has only one loss this season, which only happened in the last seconds of their game against OKlahoma. And they are the 7th ranked team in the country right now. On the surface, most people would think Texas should win big. However, their last few games have been a struggle. They have escaped with wins against lesser teams. A few of those teams, like TCU are under .500 right now. Granted they lost Ewers, which would lead to a decline in offensive production, but they should beat these teams by more than a touchdown. I do think Texas will still pull off the win this week, but Iowa State will challenge them. I can see Texas pulling ahead towards the end of the fourth quarter and hanging on to secure the victory. Texas wins to keep their outside playoff hopes alive. (Texas, 24-21)
Final Score: Texas 26 Iowa State 16
(1)Georgia @ (18)Tennessee
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): Georgia is playing well as Tennessee is starting to decline. Bulldogs over the Volunteers 40-20.
Coach Rick: Georgia 42 Tennessee 17
Cory: If there was any question left about Georgia I think it’s been answered. The Bulldogs are coming off consecutive wins over ranked opponents, including dominating Ole Miss last week. Tennessee won’t be able to keep up with Georgia in this one. Georgia 41, Tennessee 28
Dave: Georgia 32 Tennessee 21
Gregg: Not surprised but disappointed the committee put the Dawgs in the #1 position in the third playoff poll of 2023. I understand it if they have been in first place since they committee began meeting but if you thought OSU was #1 and they win 38-3, you can’t from them. But Georgia is playing well right now, almost as if they woke up for the second half of the season. Now I want to see them win out and the Bucks get to face them in the Championship game. Tennessee has done nothing since not coming out of the locker room for the second half against the Tide. Georgia 32 Tennessee 17
John: Georgia has looked impressive the last two weeks, beating #12 Missouri and blowing out #9 Mississippi. Neyland Statium can be a tough place to play, so I’d expect to Vols to keep this one close, but I don’t think they have enough to get a win. Georgia 24 Tennessee 21
Josh: Georgia has all of their weapons back, and moved up to the top team after defeating Ole Miss 52-17 last week, while the Volunteers got beat soundly to a Missouri team that has been the only SEC team to give the Bulldogs any sort of scare. I think for Tennessee, this game is a pride game for them, and I bet they remember being embarrassed last season in Athens when they were fighting to get into the CFP. I think the Bulldogs win on the road, and are starting to peak at the right time. Tennessee has a good run game where I can see them get some chunk plays, but the Georgia offense will be hard to catch up with. Georgia 42 – Tennessee 17.
Steven: The only way Tennessee wins this one is if the Vols can compliment QB Joe Milton by running the ball and controlling the clock. THis will be strength against strength. Tennessee is top 10 in the nation in rushing offense and the Dawgs are top 20 in rushing defense. Milton can be dangerous. He’s got a cannon of an arm, and seems to be improving over the last couple of weeks. Georgia is excellent across the board and is sporting gaudy numbers. Currently they top 5 in total offense and top 10 in total defense. Georgia wins, but it may be a bit closer than one would expect. UGA 33-28
Trout: As much as I would like the Volunteers to pull off the victory against the Bulldogs, I just don’t think it’ll happen. Firstly, it’s pretty evident that Tennessee has come back down to Earth. They are not as good as the team that shocked Alabama last year. And secondly, Georgia has seemed to hit its stride. They struggled early in the year, but now are dominating their opponents. I don’t think the game will end up being close. The Vols might put up a fight early, but once Georgia gets going, they will be hard to stop. Georgia wins big and remains the number one team in the country. (Georgia, 42-17)
Final Score: Georgia 38 Tennessee 10
(20)North Carolina @ Clemson(-8)
Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83): The North Carolina Clemson game is literally a toss-up. Perhaps someone should have criticized Dabo Swinney’s coach at the start of season. I am ”going with the rejuvenated Tigers 34-24 over the Tarheels.
Andy: Clemson has put together a nice two game winning streak after losing two games close to Miami and NC State and might be on the verge of a third upset this weekend. Why? Because the strength of North Carolina’s offense is their passing attack led by quarterback Drake Maye who is one of the best in the country and the strength of the Clemson’s defense is their pass defense which ranks 7th in the country only allowing an average of 162 yards per game and giving up only 10 passing touchdowns on the season. On the flip side Clemson’s offense has been really bad, but as luck would have it North Carolina’s defense has been bad as well. As the 79th best defense in the country the Tarheels have surrendered nearly 4,000 yards of offense to their opponents. I think Clemson might have a slightly even matchup in this game, but I expect it to be close because Dabo is still meddling in the Tigers offense and he has absolutely no idea what he is doing as a coordinator. I think Clemson will pull off a close win. Clemson 27 North Carolina 24
Cory: Did Dabo’s fiery speeches to the media actually fire up his team? They’ve won two straight since losing to NC State. Drake Maye has the ability to keep this game interesting for UNC, but I think Clemson’s defense will be too strong overall, especially as the Tigers are at home. Clemson 31, North Carolina 24
Dave: North Carolina 21 Clemson 14
Gregg: Just a few weeks ago, North Carolina was in the driver’s seat in the ACC and destined to play in the ACC Championship game. With their win over Miami, they looked like this might be a special season. But with the losses to .500 Georgia Tech and 2-8 Virigina, they left the Tarheel fans chanting “Is it basketball season yet?” Clemson finished last season in a losing pattern and was 4-4 this year when they got the call from Tyler. Coach Dabo went off on him and it seems to have motivated the team. I think it will last one more week and Clemson will pull off the victory. Clemson 31 North Carolina 24
Joe-S-U: North Carolina
John: If this one were in Chapple Hill, I’d go with UNC. However, it’s in Death Valley East, and it looks like the Tigers have finally figured some things out. Clemson 31 North Carolina 24
Josh: Despite being 8-4, and unranked, Clemson is actually favored to win, and I think that is what happens this weekend. I think Drake Maye knows he is not fighting for much at this point other than staying healthy enough to potentially get drafted first overall in the NFL, and that is where his mind is most likely at. Clemson is playing for pride, and the win against Notre Dame sparked a different Clemson team who is trying to finish off the year on a high not. Clemson 35 – North Carolina 24.
Steven: Realistically, this one should be a Tarheel win. They are a better team than Clemson, but Tiger coach Dabo Swinney has gotten the team to come together when they were on the verge of collapsing. Conversely, it seems like North Carolina has stumbled through the last month, which is odd since both teams are 2-2 in their last 4, both losing the first two of their last 4 games. Similar records over the last 4 weeks just feels different across the two teams. What will sink Mack Brown’s ship is the horrible defense they have been playing. Over the last 4 game stretch, UNC has given up 38 points per game to their 3 conference opponents. I say that UNC can right the ship, but QB Drake Maye will have to be a difference maker. At Clemson, with respectability for both teams on the line, this will be as hard a fought a game as either team has played this year. Going out on a limb and picking UNC. Tarheels 44-42
Trout: This is an odd game to pick. On paper, it should be a simple pick. North Carolina should be the choice, because Clemson is a four loss team and have looked awful in some of their games. However, looking a little deeper, the game should be closer than people think. UNC’s two losses have come to very bad teams in VIrginia and Georgia Tech. So they have a history of losing to teams they shouldn’t have. Also, Clemson is probably better than their record. I don’t think they’re a great team, but they should have the best talent of any 6-4 team in the country. I am picking the Tar Heels, but I think the TIgers will give them everything they have. I see the game being close to the very end, most likely ending in a field goal. North Carolina wins the hard fought game, and hands Clemson their fifth loss of the season. (North Carolina, 17-14)