College Football Predictions for Every Week 14 Game

Alex Callos@@alexcallosCorrespondent INovember 28, 2012

College Football Predictions for Every Week 14 Game

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    At last, we have reached the final week of the college football regular season, and what a three-day spectacle it is shaping up to be.

    There are five conference championship games and 14 other games for fans to choose from.

    Even though the schedule is very light during the final week with only 19 games, there are 14 ranked teams doing battle.

    It all starts out Thursday in the Big East. Even though the game is not an official conference championship, the winner will have the inside track on a BCS bowl berth.

    The action will culminate Saturday night with the Big Ten and ACC championships taking center stage.

    Between those two games, there is also an SEC title game that has been discussed just a little bit this week.

    Here is analysis, information and a prediction for every college football game this weekend.


    *All game times are ET.

Louisville vs. Rutgers

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    The Big East title all comes down to this. Rutgers can win the league outright with a home victory against Louisville.

    For the Cardinals, a win will likely force a four-way tie at the top of the league. The tiebreaker will favor Louisville and could put them in a BCS bowl game.

    It appears Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is going to play, and he will be able to keep Louisville in the game.

    The Rutgers defense is one of the best in the country, and with the way Louisville has been playing in recent weeks, it is hard to imagine the Cardinals going on the road and winning this one.

    Prediction: Rutgers 23, Louisville 17

    Final Score: Louisville 20, Rutgers 17

Northern Illinois vs. Kent State

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    When: Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:00 p.m.

    It is not often that the MAC Championship features teams that are ranked in the BCS Top 25, but that will be the case on Friday night.

    Both Kent State and Northern Illinois come into this game 11-1,8-0 in league play.

    Northern Illinois has won 11 games in a row and is led by Jordan Lynch. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, statistically speaking. He will be a load for Kent State to handle.

    Kent State is balanced, but loves to run the football. The Golden Flashes are going to need to do that to keep Lynch off the field. 

    Prediction: Northern Illinois 30, Kent State 23

    Final Score: Northern Illinois 44, Kent State 37

UCLA vs. Stanford

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    When: Friday, Nov. 30, at 8:00 p.m.

    This Pac-12 title game is a rare rematch between teams that played six days earlier.

    That game was dominated by Stanford. UCLA will get its second shot to knock off the Cardinal. The winner will earn a berth in the Rose Bowl. The loser will likely not even sniff a New Year's Day bowl game.

    Stanford is one of the hottest teams in the country and will be looking to knock off its fourth ranked team in as many weeks.

    UCLA will need a huge game from running back Johnathan Franklin and quarterback Brett Hundley to have a chance in this one.

    Expect it to be a little closer than the previous game.

    Prediction: Stanford 27, UCLA 20

    Final Score: Stanford 27, UCLA 24

Central Florida vs. Tulsa

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 12:00 p.m.

    This is the third conference championship game of the weekend, as Central Florida takes on Tulsa in the Conference USA title game.

    The teams just met two weeks ago and have identical 9-3 records, 7-1 in league play.

    These teams are about as evenly matched as two can be. Judging by the first game, this could go either way.

    Tulsa was victorious 23-21 in the previous matchup, and expect this one to be just as close. Even though Central Florida lost the first time around, the second time might be a charm.

    Prediction: Central Florida 28, Tulsa 23

    Final Score: Tulsa 33, Central Florida 27 in OT 

Oklahoma State vs. Baylor

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 12:00 p.m.

    Baylor is coming off convincing wins against Kansas State and Texas Tech. The Bears are already bowl-eligible, and another win would be a huge boost to their bowl plans.

    Oklahoma State is clearly the better team and is coming off a disappointing overtime loss against Oklahoma.

    There is no question that this is going to be one of the highest scoring games of the weekend, as these offenses love to put points on the board. Both teams rank in the top five in offense nationally.

    Points will be had all day long in Waco.

    Prediction: Oklahoma State 51, Baylor 45

    Final Score: Baylor 41, Oklahoma State 34

Oklahoma vs. TCU

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 12:00 p.m.

    This is another of the excellent Big 12 games this weekend. TCU has a chance to pull off an upset here and end the regular season with wins over Texas and Oklahoma.

    For the Sooners, there is even more on the line. The Sooners are a win and a Kansas State loss away from going to the Fiesta Bowl.

    There is also a chance Oklahoma could win and not make a BCS bowl game if Kent State wins and slips in.

    The talented TCU defense will pose a huge threat to an Oklahoma offense that is one of the best in the country.

    Expect this to stay close for a while, but Oklahoma will have too much in the end.

    Prediction: Oklahoma 31, TCU 24

    Final Score: Oklahoma 24, TCU 17 

Nicholls State vs. Oregon State

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m.

    This is a game that was originally scheduled to start the season, but was postponed due to weather. If Oregon State had qualified for the Pac-12 Championship, this game would never have taken place.

    Instead, it will likely be one of the least anticipated games of the weekend.

    Nicholls State is not only an FCS school, but it is also 1-9, 0-7 in the Southland Conference. That is not good news, as the Colonels will go against an Oregon State defense that ranks in the top 25 in the country in points allowed.

    There is no question that this will be the biggest blowout of the day. Don't expect Nicholls State to score many points.

    Prediction: Oregon State 49, Nicholls State 0

    Final Score: Oregon State 77, Nicholls State 3 

Kansas vs. West Virginia

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m.

    The beginning of the conference schedule for West Virginia was very challenging. Fortunately for the Mountaineers, it has finally eased up.

    A win over Iowa State last weekend has at least given West Virginia a little momentum heading into the season finale against Kansas.

    Kansas is not only the worst team in the Big 12 and the only one not going to a bowl game, but is also one of the weakest teams in the country.

    There could be a lot of points scored in this one, but most of them will be by the explosive Mountaineers offense.

    Prediction: West Virginia 45, Kansas 17

    Final Score: West Virginia 59, Kansas 10 

Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3:00 p.m.

    Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State is another game that is not a conference championship, but the winner will be crowned the champion of the Sun Belt Conference.

    Both teams are 6-1 in a very competitive Sun Belt and 8-3 overall.

    These are battle-tested teams, and this would be an entertaining game to watch if it was on television somewhere.

    Arkansas State has been playing slightly better lately and comes into the game having won six games in a row. Expect the Red Wolves to make it No. 7 on Saturday. 

    Prediction: Arkansas State 31, Middle Tennessee 23

    Final Score: Arkansas State 45, Middle Tennessee 0

Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Florida Atlantic

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3:00 p.m.

    This is another Sun Belt battle with a lot less on the line.

    Louisiana-Lafayette is likely headed to a bowl game somewhere. This will be the final game of the season for Florida Atlantic. The Owls are 3-8, 2-5 in league play.

    Even though Florida Atlantic is at home, Louisiana-Lafayette is the more talented of the teams and should have no trouble in this one.

    A win should help sew up a bowl bid for the Ragin' Cajuns.

    Prediction: Louisiana-Lafayette 31, Florida Atlantic 10

    Final Score: Louisiana-Lafayette 35, Florida Atlantic 21 

Cincinnati vs. Connecticut

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m.

    A loss by Rutgers to Louisville, and Cincinnati will be playing Connecticut with a shot at a share of the conference title.

    Connecticut is 5-6 and, no matter what happens, will only need to win this game to become bowl-eligible.

    It is hard to ignore what the Huskies have done the past two weeks with wins over Pittsburgh and Louisville. They have won those games with defense, and the Bearcats might have a hard time putting points on the board.

    Cincinnati has beaten the teams it was supposed to all season and will need to win to keep the 10-win season alive. This one is going to be close and will come down to who wins the turnover battle.

    Prediction: Cincinnati 24, Connecticut 21

    Final Score: Cincinnati 34, Connecticut 17  

Boise State vs. Nevada

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m.

    Once again Boise State is one of the top-20 teams in the country and still has an outside chance for a BCS bowl game. A win will also secure a share of the Mountain West crown.

    The Broncos will first need to take care of business against a solid 7-4 Nevada team.

    Nevada has other thoughts, as the Wolf Pack will be trying to pick up win No. 8 and put themselves in a better bowl game.

    Boise State has a solid defense, and Nevada does it with a strong offense. Whichever unit performs better will help its team prevail.

    Prediction: Boise State 21, Nevada 17

    Final Score: Boise State 27, Nevada 21 

Alabama vs. Georgia

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 4:00 p.m.

    There is no question that this is the biggest game of the day, since the winner will be playing Notre Dame for the BCS national championship.

    Alabama is the favorite in this game, but the Crimson Tide will have to find a way to slow down the Georgia rushing attack of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

    Georgia is a team that has a chance to expose the Alabama defense a little bit, just like Texas A&M did.

    For the Crimson Tide, it will be all about running the football and controlling the time of possession. If they can do that, a win over the Bulldogs is likely.

    Georgia will need to play a perfect game to win this one, but it is possible.

    Prediction: Alabama 27, Georgia 21

    Final Score: Alabama 32, Georgia 28 

New Mexico State vs. Texas State

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 4:00 p.m.

    Of all the 19 games on Saturday, this may be the least discussed of them all. These teams have combined for a 4-18 record.

    New Mexico State has only won one game all season, and Texas State is in its first year at the FBS level. The Bobcats have managed to pick up three wins, including a victory over Houston.

    They have, however, lost five games in a row.

    These are two awful teams, but the Aggies might be able to pull off an upset to close out the regular season and avoid an 11th straight loss.

    Prediction: New Mexico State 20, Texas State 17

    Final Score: Texas State 66, New Mexico State 28

Pittsburgh vs. South Florida

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:00 p.m.

    Pittsburgh pulled off an upset against Rutgers and is now a win away from qualifying for a bowl game.

    The Panthers finally appear to be playing like some expected them to at the beginning of the season. They should not have much trouble against a depleted South Florida team.

    The Bulls are playing without quarterback B.J. Daniels and have had a lot of trouble scoring points in recent weeks. This will certainly be no different, and the Panthers will likely find themselves in a bowl game somewhere after a victory over South Florida on Saturday.

    Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, South Florida 17

    Final Score: Pittsburgh 27, South Florida 3 

Florida State vs. Georgia Tech

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8:00 p.m.

    The ACC Championship is looking more like the Pac-12 Championship from a season ago. Georgia Tech simply does not stand much of a chance against a very talented Florida State squad.

    Even though the Seminoles have just lost defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to Kentucky, the talent will still be too much for the Yellow Jackets to handle.

    The winner will be headed to the Orange Bowl against either the Big East champion or Kent State.

    Florida State will have no trouble dominating this one. The only chance for Georgia Tech is to control the ball with quarterback Tevin Washington and its rushing attack.

    Prediction: Florida State 42, Georgia Tech 10

Texas vs. Kansas State

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8:00 p.m.

    Even though this is not a conference championship game, it is one of the biggest matchups of the night.

    A win by the Wildcats will lead them to the Fiesta Bowl as Big 12 champions. A loss, and there is a chance their BCS hopes are dashed altogether.

    Texas ruined its shot to be playing for the conference championship with a loss to TCU on Thanksgiving. Still, the Longhorns have big-time bowl aspirations, and a win here would greatly enhance those chances. 

    The Longhorns are a hard team to predict, and if they play like they are capable of, they can certainly win this game. But Kansas State at home might have too much in the end for Texas.

    Prediction: Kansas State 31, Texas 21

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8:17 p.m.

    The Big Ten championship might be much better if Ohio State was taking on Nebraska. Instead, it will be a 7-5 Wisconsin team.

    Either way, this is going to be a very competitive game between relatively evenly matched teams in what is the final big game of the night.

    Nebraska won the first game of the season between the two 30-27 at home. Wisconsin matches up well with the Cornhuskers, and this game could certainly go either way.

    If Wisconsin can control the ball with its excellent rushing attack, this one will come down to the fourth quarter.

    With the way these teams are playing, Nebraska has a slight edge in this one.

    Prediction: Nebraska 31, Wisconsin 28

South Alabama vs. Hawaii

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    When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 11:00 p.m.

    The final game of the evening may not interest many fans, as it features two teams that each have two wins.

    South Alabama is in its first season at the FBS level and has not fared too poorly. Hawaii, on the other hand, has struggled.

    The Warriors did dominate UNLV 48-10 last weekend to pick up their second win of the season, breaking an eight-game losing streak.

    On the other side, the Jaguars have lost five games in a row, and even though their record is the same as Hawaii, they do not stand much of a chance against the more talented Warriors.

    Prediction: Hawaii 30, South Alabama 17