Week 13 Preview

Games of Note:

#10 Texas @ #19 Oklahoma State

Scott- This could be a tough game for the Longhorns. They are scorching hot, winning 9 in a row, and have wrapped up a spot in the Big XII Championship. OK State has won 3 of 4, and upset the Longhorns the last time they visited Stillwater. This Black Friday showdown could be hard for Tom Herman’s squad to get up for. With a win, don’t rule out a big bump in the polls for the Pokes and a potential New Years Six bid, but they need help. I want to pick OSU here, but I can’t go against the nation’s #5 offense. OK State has enjoyed a successful season, but they had championship aspirations, and their disappointment will ultimately continue. Texas 38, Oklahoma State 32

Gavin- Texas 35, Oklahoma State 24

Southern Mississippi @ #25 UAB

Scott- It’s a winner-take-all matchup in the Conference-USA West division. These two teams are quietly some of the best in the nation, and hopefully fans will be able to see these two in action Saturday morning. Don’t look now, but UAB has entered the committee’s rankings, and if they can get some help in the American with a few upsets, they may be able to sneak in to the New Year’s Six bid, which would be a first for Conference USA. But forget that, the division is on the line first. Southern Miss has rolled past the competition as of late, winning 5 straight. UAB has won 8 in a row, led by the country’s #10 scoring defense. UAB is embarking in the program’s best season, and they should capitalize on their wonderful opportunity, because I can’t see coach Bill Clark staying around much longer. UAB 27, Southern Mississippi 19

Gavin- UAB 31, Southern Mississippi 21

#12 Michigan @ #1 Ohio State

Scott- Why are we even predicting this game you may ask? OSU does not lose this game. So let me tell you why. It’s still a massive game and one of the best rivalries in sports. It is in fact Michigan’s turn. But when will they follow through? Harbaugh hasn’t beaten the Buckeyes, but Michigan is still a fine 9-2 team, and they’re ranked 12th in the country for a reason. OSU is the clear favorite, but have looked not quite as strong lately as they did early on. Could some big-game jitters strike Ryan Day and company? I doubt it. The Ohio State wins for the ninth straight time in this series. Ohio State 42, Michigan 19

Gavin- Ohio State 45, Michigan 14

#18 Kentucky @ #17 Louisville

Scott- These fanbases flat out do not like each other. This is one of the more underrated rivalries in college football, and both schools are bringing it on the gridiron this season, not just the hardwood. Both teams have been pleasant surprises this year, featuring stellar records and extreme consistency. UK has won the last 2 trips to Cardinal Stadium, and is coming off of a razor-thin loss to Georgia last Saturday. UL is also off a loss, coming up short in South Bend. Which team will rebound? This one is huge for conference supremacy, and a Louisville win could mean a lot to the top-heavy ACC. To me, this is a toss-up, but I’m taking the home team with the #9 offense in the land. Louisville 38, Kentucky 35

Gavin- Louisville 31, Kentucky 28

#13 Notre Dame @ USC

Scott- In what may be Clay Helton’s final game in LA, the hated Irish come to town for one last chance at a signature win for the men of Troy. Although technically still alive for the division crown, SC has had yet another letdown season, as the offense has not lived up to the preseason hype. A win over ND is huge for recruiting and the momentum going into the offseason, but ND has had their number as of late. Brian Kelly and ND have had a solid season, and their ranking shows just that. They are also coming off their most impressive win of the season. The Coliseum is a tough place to play and USC has talent, but I am taking the better team. Notre Dame 35, USC 24

Gavin- USC 28, Notre Dame 24

#11 Auburn @ #2 Alabama

Scott- In another one of sports’ fiercest rivalries, the Crimson Tide will try to hold serve as one of the nation’s premier playoff contenders. A loss opens up a whole can of worms for the committee, and Auburn is one of the few programs in the country that has shown they can hang with the Tide. However, Bama has defended Bryant-Denny against their rivals the last four meetings. Auburn had everything to play for before getting thumped by LSU last week. It will be very interesting to see how the talented team rebounds, particularly against the elite. This game will be pretty close, and you can throw the rankings out the window in the Iron Bowl, but there’s something to be said when 2 top 11 teams square off. There’s a boatload of talent on this field. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense and defense. I am taking Alabama to continue its undefeated season. Alabama 31, Auburn 21

Gavin- Alabama 28, Auburn 14

#4 LSU @ #15 Texas A&M

Scott- We all know what happened the last time the Tigers visited Kyle Field. A 7-OT thriller served as the last LSU loss before a monster winning streak started. Expect that same energy to be in College Station Saturday night. There is no doubt about it: This season was a failure for TAMU. Jimbo Fisher was hired to win championships, and 8-3 is not going to cut it. But, he has a massive opportunity to get to a big bowl game, and derail LSU from the playoff. A lot can happen these last couple games, but if LSU can find a way to win this game against a quality opponent, I don’t see how they miss the playoff. Their sole loss is a pretty close one to undefeated Alabama, and the Tigers have blown the doors off of just about everyone else. A&M knows the Tigers need this one though, and that they could be playing tense. LSU knows what is on the line here, and I think Coach O rallies the troops, and makes a second consecutive playoff bid look almost a sure thing. LSU 44, Texas A&M 27

Gavin- LSU 35, Texas A&M 21

#6 Florida @ #22 Florida State

Scott- The Gators have something to say about the playoff as well, and their only loss is to LSU. UF thinks if they can win out, a win against ranked Florida State and Alabama will be enough to put them in the top 4, along with the SEC crown. The Gators have dominated FSU the last two meetings, but this is a different Seminole squad under Mike Norvell. Florida State is legitimately a good team, albeit a bit untested. Their two losses were blowouts against Clemson and Louisville, so a win, or even a close loss would work wonders for their resume. But the ‘Noles aren’t here to play close, they want to be the premier football team in the state once again. Florida knows Doak Campbell will be rowdy, and it’s so refreshing to see both teams ranked in this matchup. Both teams have won 5 in a row, but I’m taking the Gators to handle business accordingly. Florida 31, Florida State 13

Gavin- Florida 24, Florida State 10

Upset Picks:

Scott Illinois @ Northwestern

Side note before I get into this one: BRING BACK THE SWEET SIOUX TOMAHAWK. Seriously, I’m a Northwestern fan, and the Hat is great. But bring back the tomahawk for Christ’s sake. The last time Illinois traveled to Evanston needing a win to earn bowl eligibility, they got it, back in 2014. Ironically, this was the last Illini win in the series. Illinois is much improved from what they were a few years back. They’ve lost 4 in a row, but have shown some bright spots this year. I know they’re reeling, but it seems like they’re due for one more. A win over their rivals would get them back to the postseason for the second consecutive year. NU is a good team, but they rarely blow teams out, so the Illini will have a chance. I’m taking Lovie Smith and the Illini to give the Big Ten their 10th bowl team. Illinois 23, Northwestern 18

Gavin- Minnesota 31, Nebraska 21

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