2012 College Football Week 13 Picks: Ohio State over Michigan

Jake WestrichSenior Writer INovember 19, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 03:  Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Illinois Illini on November 3, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Illinois 52-22. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

If there were ever a poster child for the "what-ifs" that stalk athletes, franchises and programs, the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes continue to make strides to take home top honors. No word on whether or not their postseason bowl ban prohibits them from accepting "What-if top honors," but let's assume that it does.

The poor off-the-field choices made by Terrelle Pryor, Jim Tressel and others in the past have handcuffed the Buckeyes' postseason aspirations this season. With that known, first-year head coach Urban Meyer and his team have one more game to go. Their unblemished 11-0 record would be all for not if they failed to beat Michigan, "that team up North," in their season finale. "The Game" is all that matters.

The Wolverines are also dealing with their own set of "what-ifs" as they look back at the 2012 campaign. Dreams of reaching the BCS National Championship were squashed when the Wolverines began the season 2-2. However, looking back, those two losses came against Notre Dame and Alabama, currently the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the BCS rankings. Senior quarterback Denard Robinson and his supporters knew a Heisman Trophy was possible in 2012, but poor passing stats and injuries knocked him out of contention early.

The good news for the maize and blue is they still have a crack at a Big Ten Championship and an invitation to a BCS bowl. If the Wolverines beat Ohio State and Nebraska falls to Iowa, the Wolverines are going to the Big Ten title game. A Nebraska loss Friday also assures Michigan of at least a share of the division title. The Wolverines' only conference loss came to the Cornhuskers a month ago in Lincoln.

Michigan's offense (200 passing yards and 194 rushing yards per game) will be without starting running back Fitz Toussaint, who just had surgery on his leg following an injury in last Saturday's game against Iowa. It will be interesting to see if Brady Hoke continues to use Devin Gardner at quarterback with Denard Robinson, who is still dealing with a hand injury, at running back.

The Wolverines' defense remains inside the top 20 in points allowed at just 18.1 allowed per game. Michigan is 52nd against the rush (151.3 rush yards allowed per game), Ohio State's bread and butter on offense, but has only allowed eight rushing touchdowns this season.

The Buckeyes beat Nebraska 63-38 in a shootout at the "Shoe" back on October 6. As previously mentioned, the offense runs through Braxton Miller. Although he only averages 168 passing yards per game, he's rushed for over 1,200 yards on the ground with 5.9 yards per rush and 13 touchdowns. His tag-team partner in the rushing game, Carlos Hyde, has racked up 824 yards with 15 touchdowns.

Ohio State is 17th versus the rush, allowing 116.8 yards per game and 12 rushing touchdowns for the season.

We simulated the Wolverines and Buckeyes 101 times and it's Ohio State winning 63.4 percent of the time by an average score of 25-20.

College Football Week 13
MatchupWin%Avg Score 
Maryland Terrapins38.123Boxscore
@ North Carolina Tar Heels61.928 
Boston College Eagles38.121Boxscore
@ North Carolina State Wolfpack61.926 
Virginia Cavaliers38.621Boxscore
@ Virginia Tech Hokies61.425 
South Carolina Gamecocks42.622Boxscore
@ Clemson Tigers57.424 
Florida Gators49.520Boxscore
@ Florida State Seminoles50.521 
Miami (FL) Hurricanes56.929Boxscore
@ Duke Blue Devils43.127 
Vanderbilt Commodores62.423Boxscore
@ Wake Forest Demon Deacons37.620 
South Florida Bulls28.720Boxscore
@ Cincinnati Bearcats71.327 
Connecticut Huskies35.620Boxscore
@ Louisville Cardinals64.423 
Rutgers Scarlet Knights60.426Boxscore
@ Pittsburgh Panthers39.621 
Syracuse Orange64.424Boxscore
@ Temple Owls35.621 
Illinois Fighting Illini31.719Boxscore
@ Northwestern Wildcats68.326 
Michigan Wolverines36.620Boxscore
@ Ohio State Buckeyes63.425 
Wisconsin Badgers42.620Boxscore
@ Penn State Nittany Lions57.423 
Indiana Hoosiers44.626Boxscore
@ Purdue Boilermakers55.427 
Nebraska Cornhuskers63.426Boxscore
@ Iowa Hawkeyes36.622 
Michigan State Spartans64.424Boxscore
@ Minnesota Golden Gophers35.620 
Akron Zips8.917Boxscore
@ Toledo Rockets91.131 
Buffalo Bulls42.121Boxscore
@ Bowling Green Falcons57.925 
Ohio Bobcats45.522Boxscore
@ Kent State Golden Flashes54.523 
Ball State Cardinals63.429Boxscore
@ Miami (OH) RedHawks36.625 
Northern Illinois Huskies77.226Boxscore
@ Eastern Michigan Eagles22.815 
Central Michigan Chippewas78.228Boxscore
@ Massachusetts Minutemen21.818 
Arizona State Sun Devils38.627Boxscore
@ Arizona Wildcats61.430 
Oregon Ducks55.425Boxscore
@ Oregon State Beavers44.623 
Stanford Cardinal58.923Boxscore
@ UCLA Bruins41.122 
Notre Dame Fighting Irish61.427Boxscore
@ USC Trojans38.621 
Utah Utes64.924Boxscore
@ Colorado Buffaloes35.119 
Washington Huskies73.328Boxscore
@ Washington State Cougars26.721 
Auburn Tigers6.914Boxscore
@ Alabama Crimson Tide93.129 
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets24.819Boxscore
@ Georgia Bulldogs75.229 
Missouri Tigers26.718Boxscore
@ Texas A&M Aggies73.326 
Kentucky Wildcats35.618Boxscore
@ Tennessee Volunteers64.423 
Mississippi State Bulldogs59.423Boxscore
@ Mississippi Rebels40.621 
LSU Tigers65.325Boxscore
@ Arkansas Razorbacks34.717 
Idaho Vandals12.918Boxscore
@ Utah State Aggies87.131 
Texas State Bobcats52.526Boxscore
@ Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners47.525 
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs55.431Boxscore
@ San Jose State Spartans44.629 
Brigham Young Cougars76.230Boxscore
@ New Mexico State Aggies23.818 
Texas Tech Red Raiders42.628Boxscore
@ Baylor Bears57.430 
TCU Horned Frogs46.522Boxscore
@ Texas Longhorns53.523 
Oklahoma State Cowboys47.524Boxscore
@ Oklahoma Sooners52.526 
West Virginia Mountaineers52.528Boxscore
@ Iowa State Cyclones47.527 
UAB Blazers18.820Boxscore
@ UCF Knights81.232 
Tulane Green Wave24.820Boxscore
@ Houston Cougars75.229 
Marshall Thundering Herd41.624Boxscore
@ East Carolina Pirates58.426 
Southern Miss Golden Eagles44.622Boxscore
@ Memphis Tigers55.424 
Rice Owls61.427Boxscore
@ UTEP Miners38.624 
Tulsa Golden Hurricane82.231Boxscore
@ Southern Methodist Mustangs17.822 
Air Force Falcons33.222Boxscore
@ Fresno State Bulldogs66.828 
New Mexico Lobos47.022Boxscore
@ Colorado State Rams53.023 
UNLV Rebels60.422Boxscore
@ Hawaii Warriors39.620 
San Diego State Aztecs69.328Boxscore
@ Wyoming Cowboys30.721 
South Alabama Jaguars18.319Boxscore
@ Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns81.730 
North Texas Mean Green36.622Boxscore
@ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers63.426 
Troy Trojans43.629Boxscore
@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders56.430 
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks62.427Boxscore
@ FIU Golden Panthers37.621 

Each Monday, WhatIfSports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including each team's chances of winning (Win%) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2012 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy and for Upsets of the Week.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.