No. 4 Stanford will try to keep the momentum rolling from its poll-rattling upset over Oregon as it heads south to take on the suddenly surging USC Trojans on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN's College GameDay crew will be there to watch it all go down.
Week 12 does not boast the most compelling action of the season, which explains why a team outside the Top 25 is being featured by GameDay.
That doesn't inspire a lot of hope of reversing the following trend:
GameDay has been to 5 straight games decided by 21+ pts. 1995 was the only other time it's been to 5 straight games decided by 21+.— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 13, 2013
However, don't let the lack of a ranking fool you. USC has been playing quality football since showing ex-coach Lane Kiffin the door.
Since Kiffin's dismissal in favor of Ed Orgeron, the Trojans have gone 4-1, with their lone loss being a 14-10 setback to Notre Dame in South Bend on Oct. 19. That turnaround starts with improved quarterback play:
USC’s QBs have posted a 63.1 opponent-adjusted QBR with Ed Orgeron. Trojans posted a 35.8 opponent-adjusted QBR in 5 games with Lane Kiffin.— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 13, 2013
In their last three games, the Trojans have outscored their opponents 112-45. That includes a 19-3 win over a Utah team that handed Stanford its only loss—and what a painful loss that was.
Were it not for that blemish against a mediocre Utah team, Stanford would be right in the heart of the talk for the BCS title game. While Stanford is currently No. 4, it trails No. 1 Alabama and and No. 2 Florida State by a wide margin.
Since that clunker, Stanford has posted three straight wins, and all three have come against teams that were ranked at the time.
USC's defense has been playing solid football all season and is 19th in the nation in points allowed. If the Trojans can create a few big plays on offense against the physical Cardinal defense, an upset is not out of the question.
That said, Stanford is a team on a mission right now. This physical team will beat up the Trojans in the trenches and take control of the game as it progresses.
Prediction: Stanford 24, USC 13
If that game isn't enough to satiate your college football needs, this should do it:
|Friday, November 15|
|9 p.m.||Washington at No. 13 UCLA|
|Saturday, November 16|
|12 p.m.||No. 3 Ohio State at Illinois|
|12 p.m.||No. 17 UCF at Temple|
|12 p.m.||Iowa State at No. 18 Oklahoma|
|12 p.m.||Indiana at No. 22 Wisconsin|
|12 p.m.||Troy at Ole Miss|
|12 p.m.||Cincinnati at Rutgers|
|12 p.m.||Purdue at Penn State|
|12 p.m.||West Virginia at Kansas|
|12 p.m.||Central Michigan at Western Michigan|
|12:21 p.m.||Kentucky at Vanderbilt|
|12:30 p.m.||North Carolina State at Boston College|
|12:30 p.m.||North Carolina at Pittsburgh|
|12:30 p.m.||Maryland at Virginia Tech|
|12:30 p.m.||Florida Atlantic at Southern Miss|
|1 p.m.||Akron at Massachusetts|
|1 p.m.||Campbell at Old Dominion|
|2 p.m.||Washington State at Arizona|
|2 p.m.||UAB at East Carolina|
|2 p.m.||Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia State|
|3 p.m.||Idaho State at Brigham Young|
|3 p.m.||Connecticut at Southern Methodist|
|3:30 p.m.||Syracuse at No. 2 Florida State|
|3:30 p.m.||No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn|
|3:30 p.m.||No. 12 Oklahoma State at No. 24 Texas|
|3:30 p.m.||No. 16 Michigan State at Nebraska|
|3:30 p.m.||No. 23 Miami (FL) at Duke|
|3:30 p.m.||Michigan at Northwestern|
|3:30 p.m.||TCU at Kansas State|
|3:30 p.m.||South Alabama at Navy|
|4 p.m.||Utah at No. 6 Oregon|
|5:30 p.m.||California at Colorado|
|7 p.m.||Texas Tech vs. No. 5 Baylor|
|7 p.m.||Florida at No. 10 South Carolina|
|7 p.m.||Houston at No. 20 Louisville|
|7 p.m.||Memphis at South Florida|
|7 p.m.||Colorado State at New Mexico|
|7 p.m.||Louisiana Tech at Rice|
|7:30 p.m.||Texas State at Arkansas State|
|7:45 p.m.||No. 1 Alabama at Mississippi State|
|8 p.m.||No. 4 Stanford at USC|
|8 p.m.||Florida International at UTEP|
|9:30 p.m.||Oregon State at No. 19 Arizona State|
|10:15 p.m.||Wyoming at Boise State|
|10:30 p.m.||San Diego State at Hawaii|
|10:30 p.m.||San Jose State at Nevada|
Top 25 Matchups
No. 25 Georgia vs. No. 7 Auburn
When: Saturday, Nov. 16 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Ala.
Auburn has surprised its way to No. 7 in the rankings with a 9-1 record, and it has done so by almost exclusively running the ball.
The Tigers are third in the nation in rushing yards per game, with a massive 320. Last week, playing at Tennessee, Auburn put up 55 points and threw the ball only seven times.
In that matchup, the Tigers rushed for 444 yards at an average of 8.4 yards per carry. Quarterback Nick Marshall led the rushing attack with 214 yards on just 14 carries.
Running back Tre Mason was second on the team, with 117 rushing yards on 20 carries, which pushed his season total to 1,038 yards.
This sets up for a matchup of diverse styles. Georgia is led by its passing attack and is 19th in passing yards and 55th in rushing.
At 78th in the nation in points allowed, the Bulldogs have not been playing the greatest defense, but they have been solid against the rush, allowing just 3.42 yards per carry.
However, with Auburn's 22nd-ranked scoring defense, Georgia will not be able to pull off the upset.
Prediction: Auburn 31, Georgia 24
No. 12 Oklahoma State vs. No. 24 Texas
When: Saturday, Nov. 16 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
Texas will host Oklahoma State in this key Big 12 matchup. The Longhorns sit atop the conference standings with a 6-0 record. However, Baylor is 5-0 in conference play and right behind them.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has a 5-1 conference record. These three teams haven't faced one another this season, which sets up for a wild finish.
After starting the season at 1-2, Texas has won six straight games.
Texas isn't earning flashy wins, but it is getting the job done. Last week is an excellent example, as the Longhorns earned a 47-40 overtime win over West Virginia.
That is the same West Virginia team that handed Oklahoma State its lone loss of the season with a 30-21 victory on Sept. 28.
Since that loss, the Cowboys have rattled off five straight wins—that includes upending Texas Tech, 52-34.
This is a make-or-break game for both teams, and I expect a close and competitive game. However, Oklahoma State is 14th in points scored and 20th in points allowed. That will lead Oklahoma State to a hard-fought victory.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Texas 31