College Football Picks Week 12: Predicting Games with Major BCS Implications

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistNovember 12, 2013

The BCS Rankings changed considerably after a hectic Week 11, bearing witness to several paradigm shifts in college football.

While fewer games threaten to upend the power structure of the BCS rankings, a few matchups could cause some alterations.

The premier title contenders are all expected to handle their business this weekend, but can Baylor continue to pester the BCS with another demonstrative win over a capable adversary? What will happen when SEC foes Georgia and Auburn clash?

Can Texas, which finally found a crack in the Top 25, stay there with a win over Oklahoma State? Let's see what answers we can unearth. 

Week 12 College Football Picks for Top 25 Teams
Wed., Nov. 13Ball StateNo. 15 Northern IllinoisNorthern Illinois
Thur., Nov. 14Georgia TechNo. 8 ClemsonClemson
Fri., Nov. 15WashingtonNo. 13 UCAUCLA
Sat., Nov. 16No. 3 Ohio StateIllinoisOhio State
Sat., Nov. 16No. 17 UCFTempleUCF
Sat., Nov. 16Iowa StateNo. 18 OklahomaOklahoma
Sat., Nov. 16IndianaNo. 22 WisconsinWisconsin
Sat., Nov. 16SyrcauseNo. 2 Florida StateFlorida State
Sat., Nov. 16No. 25 GeorgiaNo. 7 AuburnAuburn
Sat., Nov. 16No. 24 Oklahoma StateNo. 24 TexasOklahoma State
Sat., Nov. 16No 16 Michigan StateNebraskaMichigan State
Sat., Nov. 16No. 23 MiamiDukeMiami
Sat., Nov. 16UtahNo. 6 OregonOregon
Sat., Nov. 16Texas TechNo. 5 BaylorBaylor
Sat., Nov. 16FloridaNo. 10 South CarolinaSouth Carolina
Sat., Nov. 16HoustonNo. 20 LouisvilleLouisville
Sat., Nov. 16No. 1 AlabamaMississippi StateAlabama
Sat., Nov. 16No. 4 StanfordUSCStanford
Sat., Nov. 16Oregon StateNo. 19 Arizona StateArizona State


Texas Tech vs. No. 5 Baylor

The Baylor Bears have destroyed every opponent that has come their way. Last Thursday, they answered the critics by clobbering Oklahoma in a 41-12 rout. 

Their latest blowout catapulted the Bears to 8-0, and they head the FBS with 61 points per game and 686 yards per contest. Exactly what more can they do to become serious BCS Championship contenders?

Although Texas Tech has lost its last three games, tying down the nation's top passing offense would force even more of Baylor's skeptics to reevaluate the program. After limiting Blake Bell to 150 passing yards and two interceptions, the Bears defense is on a mission to prove that the team is not a one-trick, offensive-ended pony.

Before writing off the Red Raiders, remember that they were ranked No. 10 a few short weeks ago. Another loss would be the final nail in the coffin of their season, but a Bears victory would serve to further legitimize Baylor as a national championship contender.

Prediction: Baylor 47, Texas Tech 23


No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn

Georgia has endured a brutal schedule this season, a hardship the system recognizes by ranking it No. 25 despite the Bulldogs' uninspiring 6-3 record.

While the Dawgs have topped South Carolina and LSU (each ranked No. 6 at the time they played Georgia), they also fell to Clemson to kick off the season and later dropped two straight against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

Saturday presents the squad with an opportunity to put a prettier spin on a disappointing season while playing spoiler to Auburn. Aaron Murray's team should not be discounted, but Auburn's ability to win a defensive stalemate or a shootout makes it a dangerous competitor.

The Tigers allow just 20.4 points per game, but it was the offense that bailed out the defense earlier in Auburn's 45-41 victory over Texas A&M earlier this season. LSU may have ruined Auburn's title chances, but a win over Georgia would make the subsequent Iron Bowl bout with Alabama even more interesting.

Running back Tre Mason will prove too much for the Bulldgos to handle in a close victory for the Tigers.

Prediction: Auburn 30, Georgia 24


No. 12 Oklahoma State at No. 24 Texas

Say what you will about Texas, but it has yet to lose a Big 12 game.

The Longhorns are not particularly dominant in any area, and their 9.7-point margin of victory is hardly the indicator of a powerhouse. But they have defeated every conference foe thrown their way, including Oklahoma, and boast the Big 12's best record at 6-0.

That mark, however, doesn't take into account their two losses and BYU and Ole Miss earlier in the season, along with the fact that Baylor still awaits them to close out the regular season. To remain perfect in the conference, Texas must top two superior squads, starting with Oklahoma State on Thursday night. 

The Cowboys defense has all season long delivered commendable results, but lately the offense has caught fire too. Oklahoma State has averaged 41.8 points over its last five contests (all victories) to raise the Cowboys ranking to No. 12 in the nation. 

With quarterback Clint Chelf making big plays, Oklahoma State will spoil Texas' conference success and abruptly end its Top 25 cameo.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Texas 24


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