Movie quote of the day:
“Now, I’m about to do to you what Limp Bizkit did to music in the late 90s”
– Wade Wilson, “Deadpool” (2016)
Here are the intriguing matchups for week 12:
Week 11 record: 7-5 (58.3 percent)
2016 record: 93-39 (70.4 percent)
All-time record: 203-103 (66.3 percent)
Kansas State (5-4) at Baylor (6-3)
Line: BAY -1.5
I said it last week, but Baylor is a sinking ship right now. The Bears have lost three-straight games and have been outscored 142-80 during that stretch. Also, Baylor has lost Seth Russell for the rest of the season due to injury – which will be difficult for Baylor to score points. Kansas State is far from the most talented team in the Big 12, but Bill Snyder always finds a way to exploit the other team’s weaknesses. The Wildcats have the better coach and I think Baylor’s struggles continue.
Prediction: Kansas State 34, Baylor 28
No. 11 Oklahoma State (8-2) at TCU (5-4)
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Fort Worth, Texas
Line: TCU -5
I said Oklahoma State might’ve been the best team in the Big 12 last week, but now I’m not so sure. The Cowboys have beat Kansas State and Texas Tech the last two weeks by just a combined seven points. TCU looks to have found its footing after throttling Baylor two weeks ago, 62-22. Now, the Horned Frogs are getting healthier and have had an extra week to prepare for this game – and Gary Patterson is excellent when coming off a bye week. I feel an upset brewing for this game.
Prediction: TCU 42, Oklahoma State 37
Maryland (5-5) at No. 18 Nebraska (8-2)
Line: NEB -13
Even though Maryland is a game away from being bowl eligible, the Terrapins have beat five teams with a combined record of 16-34. So, I’m not sure how good they really are. I still don’t think Nebraska is as good as its record would indicate, but I do think the Cornhuskers have more talent and a better coach than Maryland. Plus, with the game in Lincoln, I expect Nebraska to win comfortably.
Prediction: Nebraska 34, Maryland 17
Miami (6-4) at N. C. State (5-5)
Raleigh, N. C.
Line: MIA -3
After Miami lost four games in a row back in October, the Hurricanes have now won back-to-back games in convincing fashion. N. C. State’s defense is good enough to slow down Brad Kaaya and Miami’s offense. However, I’m not sure the Wolfpack have the horses on offense to score enough points to win. I think Miami’s rushing attack will eventually wear down N. C. State’s defense and the Hurricanes cruise to a win.
Prediction: Miami 24, N. C. State 21
No. 23 Florida (7-2) at No. 16 LSU (6-3)
Baton Rouge, La.
Line: LSU -14
Florida isn’t nearly as good as its record. The Gators are a mess right now, particularly on offense – ranking No. 100 in scoring offense. Unless Florida’s defense can force LSU to make a bunch of turnovers, I’m not sure the Gators win this game in Baton Rouge. LSU is hot right now and playing well under Ed Orgeron. I like the Tigers to win in a low-scoring game.
Prediction: LSU 21, Florida 10
No. 22 Washington State (8-2) at No. 10 Colorado (8-2)
Line: COLO -6.5
I think Colorado is a good team, but the Buffaloes haven’t really beat anyone except a Stanford team that was really struggling when the two teams faced off in October. Washington State is one of the hottest teams in the country right now – winners of eight in a row. The Cougars have also scored 35 points or more in seven of those eight games, and their defense is playing well too. Even though the game is in Boulder, I can’t bring myself to pick against Washington State because Mike Leach has that team rolling.
Prediction: Washington State 31, Colorado 30
Indiana (5-5) at No. 3 Michigan (9-1)
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Line: MICH -25
Indiana is no slouch, but I’m not sure the Hoosiers can win this game. I still think Michigan is a very good team and the Wolverines are coming off a heart-breaking loss on the road. If this game were in Bloomington, I’d put Michigan on upset alert, but I think Michigan’s defense is too tough and Jim Harbaugh will have his team ready to play at home.
Prediction: Michigan 35, Indiana 13
Northwestern (5-5) at Minnesota (7-3)
TCF Bank Stadium
Line: NW -2.5
I want to take Minnesota, but I still don’t know much about the Golden Gophers. They haven’t really beat anyone, and I just can’t buy in yet. I’ve said it before that I really like Pat Fitzgerald as a head coach. I expect Northwestern’s defense to be too much for Minnesota – the Wildcats have the No. 26 scoring defense in the country. Las Vegas likes Northwestern on the road, and so do I.
Prediction: Northwestern 21, Minnesota 18
No. 4 Clemson (9-1) at Wake Forest (6-4)
Winston-Salem, N. C.
Line: CLEM -23.5
Wake Forest isn’t an awful team and I know Clemson has had its struggles this season, but I can’t see the Demon Deacons knocking off the Tigers. Wake Forest does have a pretty good defense, but its offense is awful – No. 118 in the country. Even if the Demon Deacons manage to slow down Clemson’s offense, I’m not sure they’ll be able to move the ball against Brent Venables’ defense enough to win. Plus, Clemson is coming off a bad loss at home and I expect Dabo Swinney to have his players prepared.
Prediction: Clemson 27, Wake Forest 10
Arizona State (5-5) at No. 6 Washington (9-1)
Line: WASH -27.5
Despite the loss to USC, I still think Washington is a legit team. I expect the Huskies to bounce back for this game and get their tenth win. Arizona State does not have the defense to slow down Jake Browning and Washington’s offense, and Washington’s defense should be able to get some stops. I think the Huskies take care of business and win comfortably.
Prediction: Washington 44, Arizona State 23
No. 13 USC at UCLA (4-6)
Line: USC -13.5
I think you’d be stupid to pick against USC against anyone right now. Ever since Same Darold took over at quarterback, the Trojans are on fire – winners of six games in a row and have outscored opponents 226-108 during that stretch – and look like a completely different team. It’s a big rivalry and the game is in Pasadena, so, I expect Jim Mora to have his team prepared. However, UCLA has had too many injuries and isn’t the better team than USC right now.
Prediction: USC 31, UCLA 16
Game of the week:
No. 9 Oklahoma (8-2) at No. 14 West Virginia (8-1)
Milan Puskar Stadium
Morgantown, W. Va.
Line: OKLA -3.5
As a West Virginia fan, I can’t wait for this game. This is the first time since 1993 that two Associated Press top-10 teams square off in Morgantown. The matchup to watch is WVU’s offense against Oklahoma’s defense because I expect WVU’s defense to slow down the Sooners’ offense enough to win. However, the question is if Skyler Howard and the Mountaineers’ offense can limit the mistakes – which will be tough because WVU’s offense has turned the ball over eight times in its last three games. That being said, I don’t trust Howard to outscore Baker Mayfield.
Prediction: Oklahoma 27, West Virginia 24
Thanks for reading
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