Bold Predictions for Final 2 Weeks of the College Football Season
There's plenty for teams to lose over the final two weeks of College Football's regular season in 2012.
Division titles, stakes in conference championship games and BCS bowls—and for some, a chance to play in the BCS National Championship Game—all rides on the action about to unfold over the next two weeks.
Let's take a look at how some of the action will go down.
Notre Dame Will Fail to Put an Exclamation Point on Its Undefeated Season
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
When the No. 1 team in the land, the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish, walk into the Coliseum in Los Angeles on Saturday night to take on the unranked USC Trojans—sans starting QB Matt Barkley—things are going to get ugly.
Except it's not going to be ugly how most expect it to be.
The Trojans have owned the Irish since 2002, losing to Notre Dame only once since, a 20-16 defeat in 2010.
USC redshirt freshman QB Max Wittek, making his first career start, is confident in his abilities to lead his team to victory (h/t ESPN)
"We're gonna win this ballgame" - USC QB Max Wittek on Trojans' chances against No. 1 Notre Dame on Sat -->es.pn/TevW1r— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 21, 2012
We certainly didn't expect Wittek come out and say that USC had no chance against the Fighting Irish—that would have made things a bit awkward for him around campus—but he's right.
Notre Dame's defense is going to give him problems, of that there's little doubt.
But the Irish don't exactly have a ton of game tape to study of Wittek—he's thrown a total of nine passes this season—and the element of surprise will work in his favor on Saturday night.
It'll be close and come down to the wire, but USC pulls off the upset, sending the BCS National Championship picture into an absolute mess.
Collin Klein Will Become Irrelevant in the Heisman Race...
The Kansas State senior QB has done everything he can to not win the award over the past two weeks, completing only 55 percent of his passes (39-of-71) for 431 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions against TCU and Baylor.
With only one game left on K-State's schedule—a December 1 meeting with No. 16 Texas in Manhattan—that string of poor performances will continue.
Even though Baylor's Nick Florence threw for 352 yards and two touchdowns against them in Week 7, and Texas Tech's Seth Doege threw for 329 yards and a touchdown against the Longhorns in Week 9, Klein won't duplicate their success.
He'll struggle once again, turning the ball over more than he puts it in the end zone, allowing another QB to make it clear who the Heisman Trophy winner should be.
...While "Johnny Football" Leaves Little Doubt Who Deserves the Accolades
Texas A&M freshman sensation QB Johnny Manziel needs only 167 yards to break Cam Newton's SEC record for total offense in a season, something he very well may accomplish in the first quarter of the Aggies' final game of the season against Missouri on Saturday.
While Missouri's defense is only allowing just over 367 yards of total offense per game on the season, it's allowed more than 500 total yards in each of their last two games: Syracuse put up 508 yards last week, Tennessee 585 yards two weeks ago.
Manziel will crush Newton's record, lead Texas A&M to its first 10-win season since 1998 and find himself as the favorite to take home the Heisman.
Michigan Finally Wins at the Horseshoe
The last time Michigan beat Ohio State in Columbus was in 2000, a 40-34 victory behind three touchdown passes from Wolverines QB Drew Henson and three interceptions of Buckeyes QB Steve Bellisari—including one that DB Julius Curry returned for a touchdown.
Ohio State is looking to become only the sixth squad in school history to go undefeated, while Michigan is playing for a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game.
While the Buckeyes defense has been excellent all season long, we saw a new dimension of Michigan's offense last week with Devin Gardner under center and Denard Robinson in the backfield.
That dynamic duo will prove to be too much for the Buckeyes, who will keep things close in a high-scoring affair behind a big day from QB Braxton Miller, but the Wolverines will pull off the upset en route to winning the Big Ten Championship and making their first Rose Bowl appearance since 2007.
Rutgers Will Lose the Big East
Teddy Bridgewater will pick apart the Scarlet Knights defense, leading Louisville to a resounding victory in Piscataway on November 29, sending the Cardinals into a BCS bowl and a stunned Rutgers squad into their final season of Big East play wondering what just happened.
Bridgewater, who somehow managed to throw for 424 yards against the Syracuse Orange but not once find the end zone in Week 11, will find the end zone multiple times against Rutgers in Week 13.
Florida State Will Win Out
Florida State has won each of the past two meetings against the Florida Gators, including a 21-7 victory on the road in Gainesville last season.
Whether it's Jeff Driskel or Jacoby Brissett under center for the Gators matters not, as an offense that has averaged less than 19 points per game over the past month will have no success against a ferocious front seven for the Seminoles.
Both Bjoern Werner and Cornelius Carradine will have multiple sacks, E.J. Manuel won't turn the ball over and the Seminoles will beat Florida in a game that isn't as close as the score may lead people to believe.
Georgia Tech in Week 14 will actually prove to be a stiffer test for the Seminoles, but they'll take care of business en route to the ACC Championship Game.
Rick Weiner is a member of Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering all of MLB.
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