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Week 12 Preview

by Big Al

It is on this weekend. Many teams will be fighting for their playoff and conference championship lives this weekend. Oddly, the only quiet conference this weekend is the Big Ten. But they can take this weekend off, next weekend is huge for that conference.

Houston 36 - Louisville 10

One of the biggest games of the weekend, and I missed it entirely because I couldn't find time to write about it. I didn't think Louisville was a genuine threat for the national title this year, so I am not too surprised they got knocked off. But I am hoping this game doesn't knock Lamar Jackson back in the Heisman race. He's been so good through the rest of the season, I would love to see him take the hardware in NYC.

Oklahoma State at TCU

The Big XII is where it's all happening this weekend, with two big games. Okay, fine TCU has not been the same TCU we've seen in the past few years, but don't sleep on the Horned Frogs. I'm picking Oklahoma State here, but I expect TCU to make them work for it.

Oklahoma at West Virginia

West Virginia has been the forgotten guest at the table this year. And yet, there they are with only one loss. I think they stay there for another week. West Virginia for the win.

Florida at LSU

Florida lost a home game to make up their game at LSU. That's not all they're going to lose.

Washington State at Colorado

The Pac-12 ain't exactly shabby either. This is the biggest game of the Pacific's weekend, and it's being played at Central Time. Washington State can pile on points with a quickness and Colorado will be hard-pressed to keep up. I'm going with Washington State here.

Stanford at California

It's The Big Game once again. I appreciate that Stanford is ranked and California is fighting for bowl survival in this game. But Stanford may get stuck in a track meet here, and that's not the sort of thing you want to do when your entire offense runs through your running back. He's going to wear down sometime. That means California wins.

Arizona State at Washington

We are all wondering how Washington will recover from their huge letdown against USC. Arizona State should help them feel better.

USC at UCLA

I continue to be surprised at just how long UCLA has been down. They have had a few moments here and there, but they have been playing second fiddle to USC for so long, it's hard to remember that this used to be a very big rivalry. Anyway, USC wins.

Ohio State at Michigan State

Indiana at Michigan

Yeah, I know these games are nothing special. But Michigan State will be at home and desperate to salvage something of a season that collapsed so fast that nobody had a chance to even note that it was a house of cards. Michigan, meanwhile, is playing an Indiana team with a mediocre record, but which gave Ohio State and Penn State some serious perspirations stains before succumbing.

Neither Michigan nor Ohio State is keen to show much of anything in this game that might hurt their chances in next week's play-in/elimination game for the playoffs. Both teams want to keep in top shape while not beating up their players very much in a game that is mere prelude. However, Michigan may be breaking in a new quarterback this week, so they might not have a luxury of trying to keep everyone fresh. It's going to be interesting to see what happens in these games as both teams need to take care of their business while getting ready for the biggest game of their respective years.

Columns

The Bowls, Part II

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The Bowls, Part I

The start of the bowl season, when I take wild guesses at who will win them. Some traditions get old right away.

Week 14 Preview

It's championship week! Let's talk games.

Week 13 Debriefing

Where are we now with the playoffs? Well, let me tell you...

Week 13 Preview

It's rivalry week. For as many great games as we've had this year, this is the only weekend that matters.

Week 12 Preview

There is plenty going on in another good weekend for college football. And after last weekend, I don't think anyone is sleeping on these games.

On the Firing of Les Miles

A few thoughts on the firing of Les Miles. Short version: LSU is stupid.