Three Underrated CFB Week 13 Games
Could Baker Mayfield’s temper/ego cost him the Heisman Trophy? Doubtful, but he will not start the Sooners’ regular-season finale vs. West Virginia nor serve as captain after what he did Saturday in a win over Kansas. During the third quarter in Lawrence, Mayfield grabbed his crotch and appeared to yell "F--- you!" at the Jayhawks' sideline. So Coach Lincoln Riley punished the senior. OU is still going to win, but here are three more off-the-radar picks for Week 13. Be sure to head to MyBookie for updated NCAAF odds for upcoming games!
California at UCLA (-7)
When: Friday, 10:30 PM ET (Fox Sports 1)
Could this be the final game in the UCLA career of quarterback Josh Rosen? If the Bruins lose, it probably will be as Rosen is expected to turn pro and be perhaps the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. At 5-6, UCLA’s season is over with a loss. In fact, it’s possible the school won’t even accept a bowl bid at 6-6 because the school doesn’t have a full-time head coach.
Jim Mora Jr. was fired following Saturday’s loss at USC and replaced on an interim basis by offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. Mora compiled a 46-30 record with the Bruins, but after going 29-11 in his first three seasons, UCLA is just 17-19. Don’t feel too bad for Mora even though he was fired on his 56th birthday. That’s because he gets a buyout worth more than $12 million. He was California's highest-paid state employee.
UCLA’s first choice to replace Mora is former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, although UCLA might have to fight Florida to land Kelly. Fisch is hoping to at least get an interview, but it’s highly unlikely he gets the full-time gig. Fisch has never been a head coach. Oregon State has reached out to Fisch about its opening.
Cal is also 5-6 so a win lands the Bears in some minor bowl while a loss ends their season. Last year, Cal beat UCLA 36-10. The Bruins didn’t have Rosen then as he was out injured.
No. 7 Georgia at Georgia Tech (+11)
When: Saturday, noon ET (ABC)
Trap game alert! Georgia has the SEC Championship Game next week, probably against No. 1 Alabama unless the Tide are upset at Auburn this Saturday. But if Georgia can beat Bama or even Auburn in Atlanta next Saturday, and assuming no loss here, UGA is probably in the College Football Playoff.
But first things first: Georgia Tech would love to ruin those hopes for its bitter rival. And it’s always tough preparing for that option offense in one week. Georgia Tech (5-5) has a lot on the line in the game as well -- a victory would make it bowl eligible and complete an unbeaten 2017 home record. The visiting team has won the past four in this series.
Georgia has won 12 of the last 13 games against Georgia Tech in Atlanta dating back to 1989 when Ray Goff was in first season as head coach. Former UGA coach Mark Richt never lost in eight games with Georgia at Georgia Tech even in the Yellow Jackets’ 2009 ACC championship season when the Bulldogs upset a No. 7 team. However, these Jackets have won their past eight at home overall.
Both teams are coming off recent 23-point losses. Georgia lost to an opponent that ranks No. 6 in the nation (Auburn); Georgia Tech lost to an opponent that, going by a head-to-head tiebreaker with Pittsburgh, ranks No. 6 in the ACC Coastal. Only once have the Yellow Jackets won when the Bulldogs were ranked in the top 10, and that in 2014 when Tech was itself No. 15.
Florida State at Florida (+5)
When: Saturday, noon ET (ESPN)
Wow, what happened to these teams? Florida played in the SEC title game the past two years but has faceplanted to a 4-6 record. Thus, UF will not play in a bowl game – that means the Gators will likely throw everything they have into beating the Noles.
Of course, Florida fired Coach Jim McElwain a few weeks ago and plays out the string under interim coach Randy Shannon. As noted above, UF is very interested in Chip Kelly. He met with UF officials on Sunday before flying to California to speak with UCLA officials.
Florida State was a preseason Top 5 team and the ACC favorite but has slumped to 4-6 – thus FSU must win this week and then next in a rescheduled game vs. UL Monroe to keep the nation’s longest active bowl streak going (35 straight years).
This is the first time these schools have met with losing records since 1959. Their combined 8-12 record is the worst since 1973, when they were 6-14 (with the Gators providing all of the victories in that season, since FSU was 0-11). The Gators might have a bit of an advantage Saturday being at home, where they have a 7-6 record against the Seminoles since 1990 (with losses in the last three home games) and 20-11-1 overall. However, the Seminoles haven’t lost in Gainesville since 2009 and have won the past two in the series by a combined score of 58-15.
Rosen leads the Bruins to a cover over Cal, Georgia Tech loses to Georgia but covers that number, and take the Gators and the points as this is their bowl game. Don’t forget to check out all the latest odds & lines for NCAAF at MyBookie online sportsbook!