College Football Week 12 Picks: Teams That Must Be on Upset Alert

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2012

MANHATTAN, KS - NOVEMBER 3: Quarterback Collin Klein #7 of the Kansas State Wildcats looks to pass during a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Outside of the Pac-12 this week, there aren't a whole lot of high-profile games this week. But that doesn't mean some of the top teams in the country shouldn't be on upset alert this week.

While it seems several teams have a clear path to potentially playing in a big bowl or will be in position to do so if a few teams ahead of them in the rankings lose, this is the season of confounding upsets. You never know who might go down in November, but I'm here to find out.

A few disclaimers: I didn't put Oregon on here because, quite frankly, I think they're a terrible matchup for Stanford and should dispose of the Cardinal rather easily. And I like Wisconsin to beat undefeated Ohio State, but so does Vegas, so we can't really call that an upset, now can we?

Let's put some teams on upset alert.


Notre Dame

Yes, I know they're playing Wake Forest. Yes, I know that I'm going to be called a Notre Dame hater by a lot of you. 

But I'm a man, and I don't care about those things! (Seriously though, don't be too mean, you guys. I have feelings too, okay?)

Here are my concerns for Notre Dame. For one, they haven't been terribly impressive since beating Oklahoma. For another, no matter who their opponent is, the pressure of remaining undefeated and potentially earning a spot in the National Championship game is surely weighing on some shoulders.

Plus, Wake Forest isn't a bad team. They're not a good team, but they aren't bad, either. Oh yeah, and Notre Dame travels to USC in a week. 

Can you say trap game? This guy can...

There's the evidence. What's the verdict?

Verdict: They win. It won't be pretty, but they'll win. It won't inspire much confidence heading into a ginormous game against USC.



A year ago, Clemson was 8-0 and looked like a legitimate contender to win a national championship. Then the team lost to Georgia Tech and promptly dropped four of its final six games.

What I'm trying to say is that a late-season clunker from Clemson is hardly out of the question.

And they get NC State this year, a team that beat them a season ago and, oh yeah, defeated Florida State when the Seminoles were ranked No. 3 a month ago. NC State has the passing offense to stick with Clemson in a shootout, so this one could get fun.

Verdict: Again, I don't have the conviction to pick N.C. State. Clemson will have revenge on the mind from a season ago and, quite frankly, N.C. State hasn't been nearly consistent enough to put any faith in. The Tigers survive the shootout.


Kansas State

I know you're going to think I'm crazy, but I can't shake the notion from my mind that this is a scary game for Kansas State this year.

Baylor plays less defense than a pickup basketball team composed of Monta Ellis and his four clones, but they move the rock and score some points. The Bears throw for 367.7 yards per game (second in the nation) and score 42.7 points per contest (seventh in the nation).

If this game becomes a shootout and Kansas State struggles to slow the Baylor offense down, anything can happen. A tipped pass here or a blown assignment there could be the tiny window of opportunity that Baylor needs to pull off the upset.

Plus, like Notre Dame, this could prove to be a trap game for the Wildcats. They too have the pressure of trying to remain undefeated on the mind and are a week away from a huge showdown with Texas.

So wait—am I actually about to predict an upset here?

Verdict: It's crazy, but I think Baylor is going to win. This is one of those picks that I know will probably blow up in my face, but I have a crazy hunch that this is the week Kansas State goes down. Never, ever underestimate a team that can score points in droves. Skewer me in the comments if you must, but I think the Wildcats lose in a shocker.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets can handle as many Hall of Fame egos as you like.

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