Movie Quote of the Day:
“Why, Johnny Ringo, you look like somebody just walked over your grave.”
– Doc Holliday, Tombstone (1993)
Here are the intriguing matchups for week 14:
Week 13 record: 7-5 (58.3 percent)
All-time record: 105-51 (67.3 percent)
Bowling Green (9-3) vs. Northern Illinois (8-4)
Line: BG -13.5
This game might throw some of my readers off because I don’t think I’ve had MAC matchup amongst my predictions this year. I decided to make an exception because it’s the MAC Championship game and I needed another game to give me an even number of games this week. I don’t know much about MAC football, but I do know these things: Bowling Green has the No. 3 ranked offense in the nation, and the Falcons have suffered “better losses” to Tennessee (8-4) in week one, Memphis (9-3) in week three, and Toledo (9-2). Bowling Green can score points, and were four points away from a 10-win season. I’m going with the Falcons, but I think Northern Illinois keeps it within the spread.
Prediction: Bowling Green 42, Northern Illinois 31
West Virginia (7-4) vs. Kansas State (5-6)
Bill Snyder Family Stadium
Line: WVU -5.5
As a WVU fan, I’m worried about this game. Bill Synder is the most underrated head coach in the country at Kansas State. He has a former wide receiver at quarterback and has managed to find a way to keep games close with Oklahoma State, TCU, and Baylor. Snyder seems to have WVU’s number. In the three season these teams have met in the Big 12, Kansas State has won all three games. The Wildcats have outscored WVU 116-46 in those games. The Mountaineers’ defense has been stout in their four-game winning streak. WVU’s defense has given up an average of 13 points per game. I’m taking WVU to get its first win against Kansas State since joining the Big 12 because of its defense.
Prediction: West Virginia 31, Kansas State 24
No. 22 Temple (10-2) vs. No. 19 Houston (11-1)
Line: HOU -6
A New Year’s Six bowl bid is at stake for both of these teams in the AAC Championship. I think both of these teams are well coached. Tom Herman just signed an extension to stay at Houston. Herman is one of the best young coaches in the nation. I think his players are going to be fired up now that he’s decided to stay with them. Houston is the better team, and they have home-field advantage for this game. I can’t go against the Cougars.
Prediction: Houston 35, Temple 27
Texas (4-7) vs. No. 12 Baylor (9-2)
Line: BAY -20.5
Texas has struggled all season in every aspect of the game. The Longhorns have been awful on offense and defense. The only thing going for Texas is that Baylor is down to its third string quarterback, and can hope that they can force him to make mistakes. I find that unlikely since Baylor’s backup quarterbacks have performed well as they’ve stepped in for Seth Russell. Texas doesn’t match up with Baylor. The Bears have too many weapons on offense, and have a decent defense. I think Baylor will win this game with ease.
Prediction: Baylor 45, Texas 17
No. 18 Florida (10-2) vs. No. 2 Alabama (11-1)
Line: BAMA -18
This has to be the biggest mismatch in a SEC Championship. Florida has no business being in the game. The Gators aren’t even one of the top four teams in the conference. Alabama is a mile better than anyone else in the SEC. For Florida to win, they’ll need a lot of help from its defense and make the game ugly. At the end of the day, I can’t see Florida making enough plays offensively to outscore Alabama. I think the Crimson Tide win comfortably, but it’ll be an ugly game.
Prediction: Alabama 24, Florida 7
No. 20 USC (8-4) vs. No. 7 Stanford (10-2)
Santa Clara, Calif.
Line: STAN -4.5
USC quietly snuck into the PAC-12 Championship. It’s hard to believe that at one point this season the Trojans were 3-3. Clay Helton has done a great job of turning this team around after Steve Sarkisian was fired. Both of these team’s play similar styles of offense, and I think that will make the game interesting. I really like David Shaw as a head coach. I think the Cardinal grinds it out to win this game and punch their ticket to a New Year’s Six bowl.
Prediction: Stanford 35, USC 30
No. 10 North Carolina (11-1) vs. No. 1 Clemson (12-0)
Bank of America Stadium
Line: CLEM -4.5
I think I’m looking forward to this game the most. I’ve said to watch out for North Carolina since about week eight. I used to think Clemson was the best team in the country, but they haven’t played like it ever since late October. The Tigers have struggled against N.C. State, Syracuse, and South Carolina. I’m not sure how good North Carolina is either but I think Larry Fedora is a good coach. I think this game will be very interesting. I’m going to be bold and take the upset.
Prediction: North Carolina 30, Clemson 27
Game of the Week:
Big Ten Championship
No. 5 Michigan State (11-1) vs. No. 4 Iowa (12-0)
Lucas Oil Stadium
Line: MSU -3.5
I think this will be the best game of the weekend. I’m interested to see how good Iowa really is. The Hawkeyes haven’t played anyone decent. The toughest team they’ve played was probably Northwestern. I expect Iowa’s confidence to be through the roof for this game. I think they’ll play well because they’ve been doubted all year and they’re hungry to prove people wrong. However, Michigan State is a much better team. The Spartans have a great coach, a future first-round draft pick at quarterback, and a tough defense. I think Michigan State wins in a close game.
Prediction: Michigan State 27, Iowa 24
Thanks for reading
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