NCAAF: Games to Watch - Week 12
NCAAF: Games to Watch - Week 12
Games to Watch - Week 12
By Chris David
For the first time in 12 weeks the college football card doesn't have a big game on tap and it's probably for the better, considering what's on deck next week.
The first round of Rivalry Weekend kicks off in Week 13 and there are a handful of games that have major implications for conference championships, BCS berths and yes national title hopes.
Texas Tech and Oklahoma will square off in the headliner from Norman on Nov. 22 but not before Utah and BYU tangle in the Holy War. Don't forget about Michigan State and Penn State meeting in the Big 10 finale from Happy Valley. Other key battles include unbeaten Ball State traveling to Central Michigan in a Wednesday showdown and an intriguing Big East tilt between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
We reached out to head oddsmaker Eddie Franks at Brobury Sports and asked him for some early lines (subject to change).
Oklahoma (-1.5) vs. Texas Tech
Utah (-3) vs. Brigham Young
Penn State (-7.5) vs. Michigan State
Ball State (-6) at Central Michigan
Cincinnati (-3) vs. Pittsburgh
There is still some football to play this week, so let's take a closer look at some matchups to watch.
Thursday - Virginia Tech at Miami, Fl.
Don't look now but that little school called Miami is starting to turn the corner, sooner than most expected too. Head coach Randy Shannon and company have ripped off four straight victories (3-1 ATS) and now have a chance to create more of a mess in the ACC Atlantic Division. On Thursday, Virginia Tech visits and it's been pretty successful in recent trips to South Florida. The Hokies have won two straight at Miami and four of the last five meetings. V-Tech has been listed as a four-point underdog, and deservingly so. Frank Beamer's team has struggled to a 2-3 record both SU and ATS ledger on the road and the pair of victories came by just three and five. The Hokies control their own destiny and will play in the ACC Championship if they win their final three games. It's certainly easier said than done.
Texas at Kansas
The Longhorns bounced back from their first loss of the season by dismantling Baylor 45-21 last Saturday. Texas can finish the year 11-1, yet still be sitting on the outside of a conference championship and perhaps BCS berth as well. The final road test will be in Lawrence on Saturday against Kansas, who has dropped three of four. The Jayhawks' defense has given up an average of 51 PPG in the three setbacks and that doesn't bode well against a Texas team that can light up anybody behind quarterback Colt McCoy. The two schools haven't met since 2005, with Texas capturing a 66-14 blowout win over Kansas. Mack Brown knows his team needs to continue to rack up double-digit wins, which is perhaps why the oddsmakers listed Texas as a 13 ½-point road 'chalk' on Saturday.
California at Oregon State
Did you know that if Oregon State wins out, it would play in the Rose Bowl? The Beavers would finish 8-1 in Pac 10 play and own any tiebreakers. Three games left on the docket for Mike Riley's team including a home battle on Saturday against California. The Golden Bears were upset by the Beavers 31-28 last year in Berkley when they were ranked second in the nation. The road team has won and covered the last five battles, including the aforementioned surprise. That streak could come to an end this week, considering Cal has gone 1-3 on the road this year with the lone win against Washington State and Oregon State owns a 4-0 record in Corvallis. If OSU does run the table, they would most likely have a rematch against PSU, who whipped 'em 45-14 back in September.
South Carolina at Florida
If there is one coach that the majority of Gator backers fear it's none other than South Carolina's Steve Spurrier. Last year, Tim Tebow ran woodshed over the Gamecocks as Florida posted a 51-31 road victory. Oddsmakers opened Florida as a 21-point home favorite and that might be a tad low considering the school has won all eight of its games by an average of 34.8 PPG. Still, it should be noted that South Carolina is 7-3 under the Ole Ball Coach this year and all three setbacks came by exactly seven points each. Do we have an upset brewing in the Swamp or another blowout?
Southern California at Stanford
Last year, Stanford pulled off the biggest upset in college football gambling history (NCAA doesn't track this) by shocking Southern California 24-23 as a 39 ½-point road underdog. Can head coach Jim Harbaugh and the Cardinal catch lightning in a bottle again? It's highly doubtful and the oddsmakers agree, listing the Trojans as 23-point road favorites. Troy's defense helped the school dominate California 17-3 last week and most would expect another stellar effort in Northern California. The 'over/under' on the Cardinal's points might be set at 7 ½ and that's probably being generous.
Boston College at Florida State
Along with North Carolina (17), Bobby Bowden and Florida State (20) are the only two ranked schools from the ACC in the latest AP Top 25 poll. The majority of people that follow college football know the conference is down this year, but here's how bad it is. Even though the Tar Heels and Seminoles are the lone pair ranked from the ACC, both teams can win out and not play in the ACC Championship Game. FSU will face Boston College at home this week and this series has been all about the visitor, which has won and covered the last three meetings. The two losses that FSU suffered this year came by a combined 12 points to Wake Forest (12-3) and Georgia Tech (31-28) and the team committed nine turnovers in the setbacks as well. Can you imagine how much pub a matchup between an undefeated FSU and one-loss Florida battle would've received on Nov. 29
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