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Week 12 Preview

by Big Al

All told, it's a pretty quiet weekend out there. There is only one top-25 matchup, and all the rivalry games being played this weekend have a pretty obvious pick. Now, I'm not going to pretend that there won't be upsets&mdsash;especially in the rivalry games—but those upsets aren't yelling to make themselves noticed. At least not by a college football writer who doesn't have much time to watch as many games as he would like. So, now seems like a good time to see about our playoff predictions.

Michigan at Wisconsin

This the biggest game that Wisconsin has played so far this year and they need it to stay in the playoff hunt. This is Michigan's last chance to get back into the conference race. Michigan is starting their third quarterback of the year and Wisconsin has had some important injuries leading up to this game. This is a very big game for the conference, for the teams, and for the national scene. It should be fun.

You know what you're getting when you play Wisconsin. They play hard-nosed offense that will grind you into a paste and their defense will hit hard. Michigan has been tougher to figure this year, as they are still talented, but the loss of tons of NFL talent from the defense has led to some opporunities against them, and the loss of Wilton Speight has left them with some up-and-down quaterback play in a pro-style offense. Some forms of offense can cover for that; pro-style offenses can't. Will Brandon Peters be able to figure things out enough to create opportunities against Wisconsin? Is Wisconsin as good as their record? Wisconsin is really a mystery that is only getting partially solved in this game.

Not having any distinct reason to pick against Wisconsin, I won't. For now. So Wisconsin it is.

The Playoff Race

Anybody with eyes to see and ears to hear can see what the status of the playoff race is: Alabama, Miami, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. Clemson and Miami are meeting in the ACC Championship Game, so that will knock one of them out (maybe). If Miami beats Clemson for the ACC title, then we have a clean pick from the ACC. But...

All of these teams still need to win out, and none of them has a particularly easy schedule. Alabama needs to deal with Auburn, who kicked the snot out of Georgia, and then they would need to play what may be an 11-1 Georgia. Oklahoma needs to beat some team they played before in the Big XII title game. A relatively untested Wisconsin still needs to beat Michigan and whoever comes out of the Big Ten East.

We still have a one-loss Georgia out there. And a lot of two-loss teams that could upset the apple cart against the teams they will be playing in coming weeks.

At this point, it's still such a muddle that I can't even begin to sort it out. Maybe next week. But for now, it's worth it just to sit back and watch.

Columns

Week 14 Recap

And so we close the regular season. It was a fun year. Now let's look at the last week of it.

Week 14 Preview

Championship weekend. Big games abound across the country. So let's take a look them.

Week 13 Recap

Well, that was interesting. Not a dull week by any means. We've got ourselves quite a finish setting up here.

Week 13 Preview

Rivaly week!

Week 12 Recap

It was a dull week. So let's talk about two games and the national title race.

Week 12 Preview

There's only one big game and the national race is clear only insofar as the top 5 teams keep winning. That's the gist of the article. Wish I had more to say on a weekend without a lot of hype.