College Football Locks for Week 14

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 27:  Quarterback Sean Mannion #4 of the Oregon State Beavers rolls out to pass against the Washington Huskies on October 27, 2012 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It's the final week of college football before bowl season (with the exception of Army vs. Navy next Saturday), and for many of the the schools ranked in the Top 25, it's Championship Week.

Stanford was a lock to beat UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship Game, though its second game in as many weeks against UCLA was far more competitive than anyone thought possible.

What other squads are locks to head into bowl season on a high note?

Let's take a look.


No. 12 Nebraska (10-2) over Wisconsin (7-5)

The Wisconsin Badgers kept things close earlier this season, losing to the Nebraska Cornhuskers by only three points. But this is a Nebraska squad that has been on a roll, winning its past six games, while Wisconsin has dropped two in a row and three of its last four.

In his seven games since facing Nebraska, Wisconsin RB Montee Ball has been on fire, carrying the ball 187 times for 1,075 yards and 12 touchdowns. That's an average of 5.75 yards per carry, more than 150 yards and nearly two touchdowns per game.

However, Ball alone won't be able to take down Nebraska, who's getting a dynamic weapon back in RB Rex Burkhead. Burkhead picked up 86 yards on 18 carries when last these two teams met.

This will be a back-and-forth battle all night long, and it will likely come down to two things: who wins the turnover battle and who has the ball last.

But Nebraska's offense is a bit more dynamic and it has the momentum, leading to the Huskers clinching the Big Ten Championship and heading to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2002.


No. 15 Oregon State (8-3) over Nichols State (1-9)

Six turnovers (four interceptions and two fumbles) doomed the Oregon State Beavers to failure against their in-state nemesis, the Oregon Ducks, last week—a game the Beavers lost 48-24.

They will be looking for redemption on Saturday when the Nicholls State Colonels make the trip to Corvallis to play what was supposed to be the opening game of the season for both teams before it was postponed by Hurricane Issac.

With only one win on the season—a 73-17 drubbing of Evangel University, who plays in the NAIA—Nicholls State poses absolutely no threat to the Beavers in this one.

It's a chance for Oregon State to get its swagger back and work on whatever head coach Mike Riley deems necessary in a game that's nothing more than a glorified scrimmage for the Beavers.


No. 13 Florida State (10-2) over Georgia Tech (6-6)

The Florida State Seminoles and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets last met in 2009, when Georgia Tech went to Tallahassee and beat Florida State 49-44. But that isn't in the cards this time around in the ACC Championship Game.

The Yellow Jackets allow nearly 400 yards of offense and 31 points per game. How, exactly, are they going to compete with a Seminoles offense that drops more than 40 points per game on the opposition while limiting their opponents to under 250 yards of total offense and 15 points per game?

The simple answer is they won't.

Dynamic Georgia Tech QB Tevin Washington and the Yellow Jackets' explosive rushing attack will have some success running the ball, but Florida State's defense can contain them. The same can't be said for Georgia Tech's defense against Florida State QB  E.J. Manuel and his complement of weapons.

This one isn't going to be close.