College Football Week 13


College Football Crew, Guest Writers

Game of the Week: #10 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #4 Michigan Wolverines (Line: OSU +3)

The Michigan-Ohio State Rivalry is one of the most important rivalries of College Football – and especially this year. With Michigan in the Playoff hunt and Ohio State as a fringe contender, this game is significant because of its bowl implications. While the game will be played in Columbus, the Wolverines enter the game as favorites. It will be an exciting game as Drew Haskins and Shea Patterson duel each other in the unofficial B1G-10 Championship Game.

VG: I’ve got nothing to say except that this will be a great game!

JM: After watching the Buckeye’s pitiful performance these past two weeks, this game should be all Michigan – but it is a rivalry, and for that reason alone, this is going to be exciting.

Upset of the Week: #7 LSU Tigers @ #22 Texas A&M Aggies (Line: TAMU -1)

The Aggies are only 1-point underdogs to the Tigers. Jimbo Fisher has had a fairly successful stint in his debut season with A&M. Meanwhile, LSU enters the game in the top-10, but no trip to Kyle Field is an easy win (unless you are, wait for it…Alabama). While this game has no SEC implications, Ed Orgeron needs a win in order to keep his job safe. For the Aggies, a big win would prove that Jimbo Fisher’s rebuilding process is just about there.

VG: LSU is going pretty good. It’ll be tough for the Aggies to beat them.

Game 1: #6 Oklahoma Sooners @ #13 West Virginia Mountaineers (Line: WVU +7.5)

To explain the simple logic of the Big-12 Championship game, the following scenarios are presented, all of which hinge on this game and Texas vs. Kansas: if West Virginia wins and Texas loses, the Mountaineers will earn a trip to Arlington for a rematch against the Sooners. If Oklahoma wins and Texas wins, a Red-River Showdown rematch will be the conference championship. If the Sooners win and Texas loses, WVU has the tiebreaker and will go to the championship game. To make matters even more complicated, if Oklahoma loses and Texas wins, Texas will meet West Virginia in Arlington. And finally, if Oklahoma loses and Texas loses, then the conference championship game will feature OU vs. West Virginia. That is why this game is such a critical game for the Big-12. The Sooners are 10-1 while the Mountaineers are 8-2. WVU lost to Oklahoma State last week while Oklahoma allowed 40 points…from Kansas. The Big-12 is a wild conference, and this game means everything to both teams.

JM: The Big-12 is an absolute mess. With three teams fighting for the top two spots, these games are critical for each. This should be a high-scoring, close game!

Game 2: #16 Washington Huskies @ #8 Washington State Cougars (Line: WSU +2.5)

This game is important: the winner will face Utah in the PAC-12 Championship game. Also…the winner owns the bragging rights of the Apple Cup. Just a side notice, though. The Huskies began the season as the PAC-12’s Playoff hopeful, but since then, everything rests with the Cougars. With the game in Pullman, however, a win should seem to be in favor of Mike Leach’s squad – but never underestimate Chris Peterson. Both teams beat Utah in the regular season, and both teams want this win.

JM: While Wazzu may have the higher ranking and better record, the Huskies under Chris Peterson are the much more impressive team. Washington should be able to win in Pullman.

Game 3: Boston College vs. #20 Syracuse Orange (Line: BC +9.5)

This game has no significance on the ACC race, as Clemson and Pitt have already clinched their divisions. However, for BC, which suffered an upset to Florida State, and Syracuse, which also lost to Notre Dame, this game is important as a rivalry. Additionally, if Syracuse can win out, it would be their first 10-win season and ranked season since 2001.

Game 4: Miami Hurricanes vs. #24 Pittsburgh Panthers (Line: MIA +3.5)

Mark Richt’s crew underperformed this season, but they still have a shot at redemption against Pitt, the division champions, this week. Both teams are bowl-eligible, so this game is primarily just to end the regular season on a high note. The ‘Canes will have a bowl game next, while Pitt will face Clemson in the ACC Conference Championship game.

Game 5: #11 Florida Gators @ Florida State Seminoles (Line: FSU +6.5)

This rivalry is an old classic. Both teams have not had quite the season they were hoping for, but they have not disappointed, either. The ‘Noles, though, are fighting for bowl-eligibility as well as bragging rights, whereas Dan Mullen and his Gators are searching for a good win over an ACC rival. This game is in Tallahassee, and Florida has not won since 2012.

JM Loyalty: #23 Boise State Broncos vs. #21 Utah State Aggies (Line: BSU -2.5)

With both teams topping the Mountain Division of the MWC, this game has huge implications. Boise State has won twice in a row, but this is arguably the most talented Aggy squad the Broncos have faced. With a primetime spot on ESPN, this game will decide which team faces Fresno State for the conference championship game. It will be an exciting, offensive matchup of two of the best Group-of-5 teams in the nation.

JM: The reason I’m picking the Aggies in Bronco territory is because they have a powerful offense, and this season, they also have a defense to go with it. Oh, and because they’re my loyalty team..

VG Loyalty: Stanford @ UCLA (Line: UCLA +7.5)

Although the PAC-12 Rivalry Weekend has been changed significantly due to Notre Dame and USC, this game is nonetheless a small rival for both teams. UCLA won against USC last week, and it appears Chip Kelly is figuring out his new system. Although the Bruins are 3-8, they want to end the season on a high note – with a win against the Cardinals. Stanford, meanwhile, has fallen from their pre-season luster, and a win here will most likely propel the Cardinal to a better bowl game.

VG: I wouldn’t say that Chip Kelly is figuring out his new system. I’d say that the team is figuring out his system. E.g., USC always trash talks UCLA at some point during the game. Under Rick Neuheisel, UCLA got into a fight with USC. Under Jim Mora, UCLA returned with the same trash talk. Under Chip Kelly, UCLA ignored them completely. I think that UCLA keeps on getting better, and has a good chance against Stanford this week.

JA Loyalty: BYU Cougars @ #17 Utah Utes (Line: UTAH -10.5)

The Holy War is a major rivalry for both these teams. While it is rather lopsided (Utah leads 57-31-4), both teams have enjoyed periods of dominance over the other. The game is in Salt Lake City, and with no bowl implications or conference standings affected by this game, bragging rights are all that matters. Kalani Sitake’s name is continually mentioned as on the hot seat, but a win for the Cougars over their most hated rival could save him his job – for a couple more seasons. The Utes, on the other hand, want to send the Cougars packing as well as preserve their 7-game win streak. The Holy War truly is a war for both teams.

GOW – #10 OSU vs. #4 UM UM (0-1) UM (0) (0-1) OSU (+4) (1-0)
UOW – #7 LSU @ TAMU LSU (0-2) LSU (0) (0-2) LSU (4) (1-1)
Game 1 – #6 OU @ #13 WVU OU (+1) (1-2) OU (+1) (1-2) OU (+1, 5) (2-1)
Game 2 – #16 UW @ #8 WSU UW (+1, 2) (2-2) UW (+1, 2) (2-2) WSU (5) (2-2)
Game 3 – BC vs. #20 SYR SYR (+1, 3) (3-2) SYR (+1, 3) (3-2) SYR (+1, 6) (3-2)
Game 4 – MIA vs. #24 PITT PITT (3) (3-3) PITT (3) (3-3) PITT (6) (3-3)
Game 5 – #11 FLA @ FSU FLA (+1, 4) (4-3) FLA (+1, 4) (4-3) FLA (+1, 7) (4-3)
JM Loyalty – #23 BSU vs. #21 USU USU (-2, 2) (4-4) USU (4) (4-4) USU (7) (4-4)
VG Loyalty – STAN @ UCLA STAN (+2, 3) (5-4) UCLA (-2, 2) (4-5) STAN (+1, 8) (5-4)
JA Loyalty – BYU @ #17 UTAH UTAH (+1, 4) (6-4) UTAH (+1, 3) (5-5) BYU (-2, 6) (5-5)

When this week concludes, it’ll be a wild Conference Championship Weekend next!