Week 13 College Football Preview
Week 13 College Football Preview
By: Steve Lissansky Follow @slissansky
It is amazing how time flies. Somehow this is the last week of the college football regular season. While that is very sad we do get to enjoy an incredible weekend of action. We have tremendous rivalry games as well as games that will determine division championships and playoff berths. The last week of the season is also a chance for someone to take a lead in the Heisman trophy race. Enjoy this weekend as it is the last full weekend until next August.
All Times are Eastern and Lines Provided by Bovada.lv
#15 Navy (9-1, 7-0) at Houston (10-1, 6-1) 12:00PM ABC Line Hou -1 O/U No Line
The winner of this game will win the West division of the AAC, probably home-field advantage in the conference championship game and possibly a berth in a New Year’s Bowl. The big unknown in the game is the status of Houston’s QB Greg Ward Jr. Ward injured his ankle two weeks ago against Memphis and played sparingly in the loss against UCONN. The Cougars will need a healthy Ward to keep pace with the dynamic Navy offense that is led by record setting QB Keenan Reynolds. Reynolds is a magician with the ball and has amassed 1000 yards and 18 rushing TD’s on the ground this year. Navy comes into this game on a roll averaging 48 points per game over the last three games.
My Pick: Navy 38-31
#4 Iowa (11-0, 7-0) at Nebraska (5-6, 3-4) 3:30PM ABC Line Iowa -1.5 O/U 58
Iowa has clinched the West division of the Big Ten and will be playing in Indy next week. They have bigger fish to fry than that. They must beat Nebraska to stay in the race for a playoff berth. Iowa has won every game this season by being the smarter, more efficient team all season long. They play tough defense led by CB Desmond King and his 8 INT’s. No team has been more snake bitten than Nebraska this season, losing five games by one score. They have talent and if QB Tommie Armstrong gets hot they could be a handful for Iowa to handle.
My Pick: Iowa 35-31
#7 Baylor (9-1, 6-1) at #19 TCU (9-2, 6-2) 7:30PM ESPN Line Bay -1.5 O/U NL
This game was pegged to be the game of the year on the Big 12. Both teams come into this game with major question marks at QB. Baylor’s Jarrett Stidham has multiple injuries and is very questionable for the game. If he can’t go then sophomore Chris Johnson will make his first start. It didn’t seem to matter last week who was at QB as Baylor scored 45 points and had over 700 yards last week against a strong Oklahoma State defense. For TCU it is being reported that Trevone Boykin will be back to start for them. They put up a valiant effort in Oklahoma last week, losing by one without several key starters. Baylor still has a chance to win the conference and sneak into the playoff with a win.
My Pick: Baylor 48-42
#8 Ohio State (10-1, 6-1) at #10 Michigan (9-2, 6-1) 12:00PM ABC Line Mich -1 O/U 45
Traditionally this is the biggest game of the Big Ten season. The two most feared rivals of the Midwest will square off to keep hope alive for the East division of the Big Ten. Ohio State comes in off their first loss in 25 games. The team is in a little bit of turmoil after RB Ezekiel Elliot openly questioned the game plan and play calling. They will need to regroup as Jim Harbaugh has Michigan playing extremely well. QB Jake Rudock’s play has improved as the year has gone by. The offense is now matching the play of the defense. Whomever wins this game will quickly become the biggest Penn State fan, as they will need them to beat Michigan State to win the division.
My Pick: Ohio State 24-17
Penn State (7-4, 4-3) at #5 Michigan State (10-1, 6-1) 3:30PM ESPN Line NL O/U NL
Michigan State played the kind of football we expected them to play all year last week against Ohio State. The defense dominated, holding the Buckeyes to 140 yards of offense. The Spartans were missing their all everything QB Connor Cook, his status is still unknown at this time. If he can’t go again look for Tyler O’Conner and Damion Terry to split the snaps again. Penn State is coming of back to back losses to Northwestern and Michigan. Their story is simple the offensive line and special teams have let them down all season. They have playmakers on both sides of the ball with freshman RB Saquon Barkley and DE Carl Nassib. Nassib’s status for the game is in doubt has he was hurt early last week and did not return. Michigan State will clinch the East division of the Big Ten with a win and should have a spot in the playoff if they win this week and next week against Iowa
My Pick MSU 28-13
#2 Alabama (10-1, 6-1) at Auburn (6-5, 2-5) 3:30PM CBS Line Bama -14.5 O/U 48.5
The Iron Bowl is a game that needs no help in buildup. This game as it share of story lines. Alabama needs a week to clinch the West Division of the SEC and play Florida next week in the SEC Championship game. Bama needs to keep winning to keep its place in the playoff. Tide RB Derek Henry will look for a performance to seal up the Heisman Trophy. Auburn has been a huge disappointment this season, they were ranked in the Top 10 to start the season. However, if they win this game and ruin the Tide’s season almost all will be forgiven. I am not sure how that will happen as Alabama has been crushing the opposition since their loss to Ole Miss.
My Pick Bama 31-14
#22 UCLA (8-3, 5-3) at USC (7-4, 5-3) 3:30PM ABC/ESPN2 Line USC -3.5 O/U 63
The Battle of Los Angeles has extra meaning this year as the winner will win the division and face Stanford in the Pac 12 championship game next week. UCLA has won three in a row against their cross town rival. This is a battle between two prolific QB’s in UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Cody Kessler. This game might come down to how UCLA handles USC rush attack. UCLA has been gashed at times during the season. The Trojans are coming into this game reeling after giving up 48 points and 578 yards last week in their loss to Oregon.
My Pick UCLA 38-35
#18 Ole Miss (8-3, 5-2) at #21 Mississippi State (8-3, 4-3) 7:15PM ESPN2 Line Ole Miss -1 O/U 64
The Egg Bowl should be really fun this year, the cowbells will be out in force. Both teams have excellent offensives that will put up a lot of points. Ole Miss has the fiery and fun Chad Kelly at QB, Kelly has thrown for 3500 yards and 25 TD’s. This will be an emotional game for Mississippi State’s QB Dak Prescott as this will be his final game in Starkkville. Prescott has set a bunch of records during his career, and last week might have been his best performance throwing for 508 yards and 5 TD’s against Arkansas. Ole Miss still has an outside chance of winning the SEC West if Alabama losses to Auburn.
My Pick: Ole Miss 35-31
#13 Florida State (9-2) at #12 Florida (10-1) 7:30PM ESPN Line FSU -2.5 O/U 43
The battle of Florida should be a tough defensive battle. Both teams have had their share of struggles on offense this season and have relied on a good defense. FSU has turned the offense over to QB Sean Maguire and he has helped the Seminoles be more consistent offensively. Florida is coming off a too close for comfort overtime win against Florida Atlantic last week. Florida has a slight chance of working its way into the playoff picture if they can win this week and then next week in the SEC Championship game. FSU will try to ride the horse that is RB Dalvin Cook, Cook has 1475 yards and 15 TD’s this season.
My Pick FSU 21-17
#6 Notre Dame (10-1) at #9 Stanford (9-2) 7:30PM FOX Line Stanford -3 O/U 55
This is probably the best game of the week. This is Notre Dame’s last chance at a resume builder, since this is their final game. The Irish were very sloppy last week in their win against Boston College, They turned the ball over five times. Notre Dame has battled the injury bug all year and they lost two more players last week in RB CJ Procise and DB Keivarae Russell. Stanford bounced back last week beating rival Cal. Stanford has a star in RB Christian McCaffrey leads the nation in all-purpose yards and second in rushing. Notre Dame needs to win this game and get some help to make the playoff.
My Pick Stanford 35-31
#3 Oklahoma (10-1, 7-1) at #11 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) 8:00PM ABC Line OU-7 O/U 69
They call this game Bedlam, and it has taken bedlam to get Oklahoma to number three in the rankings after their loss to Texas. This game might be the most important Bedlam ever. Oklahoma will win the BIG 12 with a win and probably a birth in the playoff. Oklahoma State can still win the conference with a win and Baylor loss in either of their last two games. The Sooners beat TCU last week stopping a two-point conversion to protect the lead. QB Baker Mayfield was injured in the game, signs point to him being able to play this week. The Cowboys are coming off a 45-35 loss to Baylor last week. They gave up a ton of big plays in that game. The Cowboys should not have a letdown performance as this is the big rival and they get a chance to ruin the Sooners season. Oklahoma has been extremely impressive since that loss to Texas and will look to keep that momentum.
My Pick OU 38-28