College Football – Week 12

Notre Dame finds itself ranked #3 in the CFP Rankings. The Shamrock Series returns to Yankee Stadium this week with a top-15 matchup. (Source:

College Football Crew

Last week, both Jacob Abbott and Jacob McGuire went 9-1 in their picks. Victoria had a successful week as well, as she went 8-2. Currently, the rankings of these three is as below:

  1. Jacob McGuire (16-4, 28)
  2. Jacob Abbott (16-4, 25)
  3. Victoria Gruen (14-6, 20)

Combined, all of us are an impressive 46-14 (76.7%). Just in case you were wondering, Lee Corso is just over 64%.

Game of the Week: #3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #12 Syracuse Orange (Line: ND -9)

The first time the Game of the Week does not feature Alabama, this time we travel to the Bronx for a critical game…if you’re the Irish. While they have an impressive resume with quality wins over Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Northwestern, their path to the playoffs remains only with an unblemished record. For Syracuse, however, an upset would be exciting. While there is no significance for the Orange if they win, it would be a major boost to the fan base to have two CFP upsets under Dino Babers, their head coach (last year, they beat Clemson 27-24).

VG: I’m going with Notre Dame on this one. Notre Dame has the bigger commitment – trying to stay in the top four – compared to Orange, so that’s going to give them more of a drive to try to keep it up.

Upset of the Week: Colorado vs. #19 Utah (Line: CU +7)

The Utes re-entered the rankings this week after their win against Oregon. A trip to Boulder, however, looms in the distance – a matchup that has often determined the PAC-12 South picture, and will most likely determine it this year. With Utah suffering from injuries and Colorado rebounding, the Rumble in the Rockies will be another exciting matchup. If the Buffs win, they will most likely not finish last in the division. A Utah win, meanwhile, puts them in contention for the PAC-12 South Division title – to win it outright, however, the Utes need an Arizona State loss, which could occur, as the Devils play Oregon and Arizona in the next two weeks.

JM: This game is very deceptive. The only reason I’m picking Colorado is because this game is in Boulder. Despite Utah’s big win over Oregon, I’m just unimpressed with the PAC-12 as a whole. I think Colorado comes from behind to upset the Utes.

VG: Don’t underestimate the Utes. With their ability to crush the other team, I’m assuming that they will win again.

Game 1: #16 Iowa State Cyclones @ #15 Texas Longhorns (Line: TEX -3)

Texas finally snapped a 2-game losing streak with a 41-34 win over Texas Tech in Lubbock. Iowa State, meanwhile, won 28-14 over Baylor to improve to 5-2 in conference. With the current Big-12 picture right now, both teams desperately need a win. The victor will improve to 6-2 and sit nicely at #3, while the loser will fall to 5-3. Texas had a good win over Sooners a few weeks ago, and Iowa State recently cruised over West Virginia. So, with both of these teams boasting a win over the top two teams in the Big-12, this game is a toss-up that could determine the conference championship.

JM: I have to go with Iowa State here, even though they’re the road team. Texas may have beaten a decent Texas Tech team, but Matt Campbell at Iowa State knows how to win big games, something that Tom Herman has only done once.

Game 2: #24 Cincinnati Bearcats @ #11 UCF Golden Knights (Line: UCF -7.5)

The Golden Knights are coming off of their 22nd straight win – the current record. However, a visit by the Bearcats could end their record as well as any (be it slim) playoff hopes. Also on the line for either team is the division and conference title, which will most likely run through either Cincinnati or Orlando. Either way, the team that wins this game has the best shot to the previous New Year’s Six Bowl Game of all the other Group of 5 teams.

VG: I don’t foresee UCF messing up their streak anytime soon, so I think they’re going to win.

Game 3: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #9 West Virginia Mountaineers (Line: OSU +4.5)

Just. So. Close. Oklahoma State missed the game-winning two-point conversion that would have given them the 49-48 win over rival Oklahoma. However, Cowboys fans should not lose hope, because the Mountaineers are taking a trip to Stillwater in what could be an exciting, high-scoring matchup. This game’s significance is primarily because of the upset factor: that is, if WVU is upset, the Big-12 race will turn as crazy as it did following Texas’ win over the Sooners. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the Big-12, it’s that it is a crazy fun, crazy unpredictable, and crazy exciting conference.

JM: This game is going to be a Big-12 Offensive Showdown. Any game in Stillwater is going to be crazy, and I think Will Grier and his Mountaineers will be surprised by the challenge the Cowboys will bring.

Game 4: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. #22 Northwestern Wildcats (Line: MIN +2.5)

This game loses its luster since Northwestern already clinched the Big Ten West. But, for P.J. Fleck and his Gophers, one more win is all he needs to become bowl-eligible for the first time with his Minnesota team. Northwestern, meanwhile, is playing to ensure the Big-10’s legitimacy. As a member of a weaker division, a win for the Wildcats is critical to keeping the conference legacy as a major conference intact.

JM: Northwestern may have clinched the division, but if the Big-10 wants to send its champion to the playoff, it will need a resume-building win over Northwestern in the Big-10 Championship game. If Northwestern loses this game, they will most likely drop from the rankings, severely damaging the conference’s reputation.

Game 5: Arizona Wildcats @ #8 Washington State Cougars (Line: WSU -9.5)

Wazzu surprised everyone with their quick rise to the top of the PAC-12. That opening loss to USC, though, reminds everyone of the conference’s parity – something that will most likely cost the PAC-12 a playoff contender. In a muddled West, Arizona has rebounded after a disastrous start and now sits at 3rd in the PAC-12 west. A win for the Wildcats will keep them tied for 3rd in the division, while a win for the Cougars clinches the division title.

VG: Washington is doing really well. On the other hand, the Wildcats aren’t. They lost a few weeks ago to UCLA. And if they can be beaten by UCLA, well…

JM Loyalty: Colorado State Rams vs. #23 Utah State Aggies (Line: CSU +27)

Colorado State is 3-7 this year, but anything can happen in a rivalry. This game may not have much significance for the Rams, but for Utah State, this game is just another must-win. The Aggies were ranked, for the first time in school history, in the CFP rankings this week, at #23. A win here makes for an even more exciting matchup against the most-likely-ranked Boise State Broncos next week.

JM: USU keeps on rolling! If I could plagiarize a bit of ‘Bama lingo, I’d say “Roll-Aggies.” This is pretty much a week off for USU. The real test is next week…a trip to Boise State.

VG Loyalty: UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans (Line: UCLA +3)

A traditional rivalry that was pushed aside so the Trojans could play Notre Dame, this rivalry has all the significance attached to it that is normally present: bragging rights. USC is currently 5-5 while UCLA is 2-8, and a win for either program would be a significant boost to their fan bases. Despite being the home-team underdogs, UCLA still has a chance to win this game, as anything can happen in a rivalry game.

VG: The biggest game of the year!

JA Loyalty: BYU Cougars vs. New Mexico State Aggies (Line: BYU -24)

BYU is one game closer to bowl-eligibility after last week’s 35-16 win over UMass. New Mexico State, meanwhile, is an unimpressive 3-7, but they are desperate for a win. With bowl eligibility out of the question for the Aggies, all that remains are chances to upset other teams. BYU, meanwhile, is seeking a bowl berth, as well as a high note before they travel north to visit rival Utah in the ‘Holy War.’

GOW – #3 ND vs. #12 SYR ND ND ND
UOW – CU vs. #19 UT CU UT UT
Game 1 – #16 ISU @ #15 TEX ISU ISU TEX
Game 2 – #24 UC @ #11 UCF UCF UCF UCF
Game 3 – OSU vs. #9 WVU WVU WVU WVU
Game 4 – MIN vs. #22 NW NW NW NW
Game 5 – ARZ @ #8 WSU WSU WSU WSU
JM Loyalty – CSU vs. #23 USU USU USU USU

While this college football weekend might not be so exciting right now, it will prove critical in the coming few weeks – with Rivalry Weekend next, Conference Championship Weekend following after, and the bowl season after all that.