After a poor showing in Week 11, I bounced back with a perfect Week 12 slate. It could not have come at a better time as it helped me to even the weekly head-to-head score as well. We both took wins with Ohio State, Alabama and Florida State taking care of business. This guaranteed a .500 week at worst for my wife, but Clemson, Nebraska and Auburn did Stef no favors last week. Those were some rough losses to take, but as we have seen this season the fortunes can turn around in a hurry from week to week. I took Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Georgia though, so I was feeling pretty good, but there is more work to be done in Week 13.
With 12 weeks in the books, my overall record is 45-27. Stef is 40-32. Thanks to a dominant week by me last weekend, I tied the weekly results at 6-6 heading into Week 13 of the college football season. Time is running out on the 2014 season, and the tension is mounting! Let’s see how we can do this weekend.
All times are eastern. Rankings reflect latest College Football Playoff rankings.
[Note: One of the games we picked was already played, but this was written prior to Kansas State’s win at West Virginia and saved as a draft.]
West Virginia vs. No. 12 Kansas State, Thursday 7:00 p.m. FOX Sports 1
I am awfully tempted to take West Virginia in this one, playing at home and already having knocked off Baylor in Morgantown this season. But there is just something about Kansas State that tells me they put together a win here. It starts with the defense, as things usually do for Bill Snyder. Quarterback Jake Waters has really been solid for Kansas State this season, and having Tyler Lockett as a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist certainly helps. Wildcats get out of West Virginia with a win and remain in Big 12 hunt.
I Say: Kansas State
Wife Says: Kansas State
No. 23 Nebraska vs. No. 25 Minnesota, 12:00 p.m. ESPN
A couple of things about Nebraska. They got embarrassed last week and heard all about it this week. That alone is enough reason for me to take the Cornhuskers at home this weekend. No way they get trounced again after that breakdown in Madison a week ago. Also, I suspect the run defense will tighten up this week with another solid test in front of them in Minnesota’s David Cobb. I also expect a solid day from Ameer Abdullah. I think Minnesota puts up another solid fight as they did last week against Ohio State, but give me Nebraska with the rebound win this weekend.
I Say: Nebraska
Wife Says: Nebraska
Iowa vs. No. 16 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2
Wisconsin may be the hottest team in the Big Ten right now, but don’t expect Melvin Gordon to go off for another 400 yards this week. Gordon is on track for a shot at some history, but all that matters right now is the Badgers taking care of these final two games to secure a spot in its third Big Ten Championship Game in four seasons. Wisconsin can take a giant step toward the Big Ten West Division crown this weekend with a win at Iowa. It would not be a shock if Kirk Ferentz earned his paycheck this weekend at home, but we’re both leaning on Wisconsin to return home with the win.
I Say: Wisconsin
Wife Says: Wisconsin
Arkansas vs. No. 8 Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m. CBS
Finally, a game we are predicting differently this weekend. Arkansas celebrated its first SEC victory under Bret Bielema last week by showing off a strong running game and a solid defensive effort. This Arkansas team is capable of upsetting any team in its division, as LSU found out and Alabama nearly discovered this season. With Ole Miss playing without its top wide receiver and Bo Wallace on the road, I have some concerns. My wife though does not think Arkansas is capable of pulling it off again this week.
I Say: Arkansas
Wife Says: Ole Miss; Arkansas can’t do it two weeks in a row (I hope)
No. 17 Utah vs. No. 15 Arizona, 3:30 p.m. ESPN
I was really torn on this one this week. I am a big fan of what Utah is doing this season and feel they may have the Pac-12’s best defense. But Arizona doesn’t have a terrible defense, and they seem to perform well on the road. They are the only team to beat Oregon this season, and they did so in Eugene. This one may not be too high-scoring, but I think Arizona has just enough on offense to get by this week to remain in the Pac-12 South picture.
I Say: Arizona
Wife Says: Utah
No. 9 UCLA vs. No. 19 USC, 8:00 p.m. ABC
This might finally be the week UCLA stops hanging around in the Pac-12 and the College Football Playoff picture. The Bruins have overcome some early season doubts and have managed to put together a respected season. A win against USC would put the Bruins one win away from playing for the Pac-12 championship against Oregon, and maybe throw Brett Hundley squarely into the Heisman picture. But USC has been having a sneaky good season, and Cody Kessler may be having one of the quietest seasons of any quarterback. Check out his stats and you may wonder why we do not seem to be talking about him as much. Is it because USC has lost three times and is not a national title contender? I’d say so. Regardless, I’m going with Kessler and the Trojans in the crosstown rivalry.
I Say: USC
Wife Says: UCLA
So there you have it. Our picks for the weekend are now set in virtual stone, so to speak. Leave a comment below to let us know who you like and do not like this weekend, or predict which one of us will have the better week. Check back next week for another round of picks.