#7 Baylor (9-1) at #19 TCU (9-2) (7:30 PM ET, on ESPN, in Fort Worth, Texas, FRIDAY NIGHT) UPSET
My pick: #19 TCU defeats #7 Baylor 34-30
What to watch for: TCU's running game. We're still not sure yet if Trevone Boykin will start for the Horned Frogs vs #7 Baylor, he's listed as probable for now. But regardless, they'll need to be able to put together a running game. The Baylor defense is 40th in rushing defense, which isn't bad, but with the way TCU is running the ball, I think they'll run the effectively enough to pull off the victory over #7 Baylor.
My thoughts/reasons: Before the season, everybody it seems thought that this game would decide the BIG-12 race, but it turns out this game is not the biggest one of the weekend in the BIG-12. But it's still very important, TCU's trying to get back at Baylor after their loss last season in Waco, and Baylor is still fighting for a playoff spot. I think that TCU will pull off the win in the end, because not only are they at home, and that 2014 game could be in their minds, the Bears may have to start third-string QB Chris Johnson, and although Johnson did pretty well when he did play, he's still their third string QB starting a game for the first time and it happens to be on the road, and TCU had four turnovers in their game vs Oklahoma, I think they'll clean up their act in this one and get the victory.
Photo credit: Brandon Wade - Fort Worth Star Telegram______________________________________________________________________________
#8 Ohio State (10-1) at #10 Michigan (9-2) (12:00 PM ET, on ABC, in Ann Arbor, Michigan) UPSET
My pick: #10 Michigan defeats #8 Ohio State 34-24
What to watch for: Michigan's running game. Ohio State is ranked 34th in the nation in rushing defense, and like Baylor, that isn't bad. But in this game, I think the Wolverines are gonna get back to what help them have so much success early in the season, and that's running the football. Both teams need Michigan State to lose to get to the B1G championship game, and I don't think that's very likely. But in rivalry games, no matter what circumstances, both teams are gonna be giving it their all. After Ohio State's deflating loss, I see Michigan taking advantage of that and really taking to the Buckeyes through their running game. So when this game's over, I think Ohio State's three-game winning streak over the Wolverines will be gone, and Michigan will improve to 10-2 on the season.
My thought/reason: This is one of the best rivalry games in college football, and I think both teams will come out trying to prove a point. But, I think Michigan will come out more prepared, and get the early lead, and I think the Wolverines will hold on and eventually defeat the Buckeyes.
Photo credit: David Guralnick - Detroit News
#13 Florida State (9-2) at #12 Florida (10-1) (7:30 PM ET, on ESPN, in Gainesville, Florida)
My pick: #12 Florida defeats #13 Florida State 16-13
What to watch for: Florida's defense. The Gators' defense has been the strong point for them all season, while their offense has had struggles. Their defense has remained solid, and vs Florida State they're gonna need their defense to play as well if not the best they've played all season to get the win, and it may be saying a lot, but I think they will, and I think their defense will play a huge part in getting them to the SEC championship game 11-1.
My thoughts/reasons: I think this game will be one of the closest games this week in college football, because both teams have had stretches where they haven't looked very good, but both teams are still ranked in the top-15. But I see Florida pulling out the victory in a close one to keep their CFB playoff hopes alive.
Photo credit: Jeff Blake - USA Today Sports
#6 Notre Dame (10-1) at #9 Stanford (9-2) (7:30 PM ET, on FOX, in Stanford, California) UPSET
My pick: #9 Stanford defeats #6 Notre Dame 31-24
What to watch for: Stanford's passing game. Anyone who follows Stanford or knows at least a little about them this season, knows they have a really good running game, and a really good running back in Christian McCaffrey who has played a huge part in their success this season. Their running game will be important, but I think their passing game will be also. Kevin Hogan is an experienced QB, and he also has some very talented weapons in guys like WR Francis Owusu, and WR Michael Rector, and they'll be faced with a challenge because Notre Dame's strong point on defense is their pass defense where they rank 26th in the FBS. Since I think that this game will be a pretty close one, I think it'll be up to the Cardinal's passing game at some points in this game, and I think they'll respond well.
My thoughts/reasons: This game is one of the most important games of the weekend, this is Notre Dame's last game of the season until the bowl season, and Stanford's looking to bring some momentum in to their PAC-12 championship game. I think this game will be pretty close, but I see Stanford pulling out the win to get to 10 wins on the season.
Photo credit: James Snook - USA Today Sports______________________________________________________________________________
#3 Oklahoma (10-1) at #11 Oklahoma State (10-1) (8:00 PM ET, on ABC, in Stillwater, Oklahoma)
My pick: #3 Oklahoma defeats #11 Oklahoma State 41-38
What to watch for: Oklahoma's passing game. Oklahoma has one of the best offenses in the country, and I think that their ability to pass the ball plays a big part in that. In this game, running the ball will also be important for the Sooners, but since Oklahoma State is worse at defending the pass than defending the run, I think Oklahoma will take advantage of that, and use their weapons in their passing game effectively enough to get the big win on the road to keep their playoff hopes alive.
My thoughts/reasons: This is one of the biggest games of the weekend, both teams were gonna come out motivated regardless because this is a rivalry game. But since this game has playoff implications, both teams should come out even more motivated. In terms of the game, I think that this game will be a pretty close one, but I think Oklahoma will come up big when they have to in order to get the win.
Photo credit: Kevin Jairaj - USA Today Sports
My Sneaky Good Game Of The Week
#18 Ole Miss (9-2) at #21 Mississippi State (8-3) (7:15 PM ET, on ESPN2, in Starkville, Mississippi) UPSET
My pick: #21 Mississippi State defeats #18 Ole Miss 31-27
What to watch for: Mississippi State's QB play. As everyone who follows CFB should know, Dak Prescott is one of the best QBs in the nation. He's gonna face a very talented Ole Miss defense who is coming off of a good performance vs LSU, but I think that Prescott (with help from his teammates) will step up in this game, and help get the Bulldogs the win over archival Ole Miss.
My thoughts/reasons: This game was one of the biggest games in college football last season, but this season it's fallen behind because of there is so many important games this week, and because both teams are coming into this game having multiple losses, unlike last season. But I think this game will be an entertaining one to watch, and I think both teams will come out prepared. But, I see Mississippi State getting the win this time at home, in a close one.
Photo credit: Nelson Chenault - USA Today Sports
These are just some of many games that have the potential to be great games this week, and on rivalry week, anything can happen. Enjoy week 13 of the college football season!
Here are some other games to watch out for:
#15 Navy (9-1) at Houston (10-1)
#4 Iowa (11-0) at Nebraska (5-6)
#2 Alabama (10-1) at Auburn (6-5)
#14 North Carolina (10-1) at North Carolina State (7-4)
#22 UCLA (8-3) at USC (7-4)
Penn State (7-4) at #5 Michigan State (10-1)
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