Buell's Eye: Week 12's College Football Picks
Week 12 features the greatest rivalry not only in college football, but the greatest rivalry, filled with unmatchable history and tradition, in all of sports.
Last weekend saw the continuous onward march of the top teams, keeping all six undefeated programs' untainted records intact.
USC made history in all of the wrong ways.
Iowa ensured that they would not see a BCS bowl this season after their 9-0 start with their second consecutive loss.
Houston, Arizona, and South Florida all took huge steps backward as well.
The Ohio State Buckeyes punched their ticket for yet another BCS bowl appearance—but their first Rose Bowl since 1997.
My worst week, so far, occurred in Week 11 with a 16-6 record, leading to my 184-46 record overall.
This weekend, look for three more upsets to take place while Oregon looks to meet up with Ohio State in a run for the roses. Let the first of the major rivalries begin!
Week 12's Bye Weeks
The No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats, the No. 7 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the No. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers, and the No. 18 USC Trojans all take a break this weekend.
Three of these teams are absolutely on fire right now, and the other one, surprisingly enough, could not be colder.
USC really needs a week off to try to regroup, salvaging their season with a couple of promising victories to head into next year with.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, and Pittsburgh still command their destiny.
They just need A LOT of help from the BCS.
No. 24 Houston Cougars (8-2) vs. Memphis Tigers (2-8)
Houston and QB Case Keenum said goodbye to consideration for a major bowl game and a Heisman Trophy, respectfully, as they handed the University of Central Florida their first ever win against a ranked opponent last Saturday.
This week, the Cougars look to bounce back as they take on the Memphis Tigers.
Houston wins the cat fight 44-20.
No. 23 Clemson Tigers (7-3) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (3-7)
Speaking of Heisman consideration, Clemson running back C.J. Spiller has suddenly got himself into the conversation.
Clemson is putting together a rather impressive season and has most likely crept into the Top 25 rankings to stay.
In Week 12, Clemson faces Virginia and shouldn't have too many problems.
They take this one 28-7.
No. 22 Brigham Young Cougars (8-2) vs. Air Force Falcons (7-4)
Call me crazy, but I have BYU on upset alert this Saturday.
Look back through both the Cougars' and the Air Force Falcons' schedule and scores this season, and you'll see why.
Air Force is more than capable of lighting up the scoreboard, and BYU hasn't done much more this season than struggle against worthy opponents.
Both offenses struggle against each other this weekend, but in a close one...
...In OVERTIME, Air Force pulls the upset over BYU 26-20.
No. 21 Utah Utes (8-2) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (4-6)
So, is TCU really that good?
They certainly proved Utah was no match, but how would they do against the three teams currently ranked above them?
The world may never know.
In honor of that, I think I'll write an ode to the BCS...
Oh, wait, this is supposed to be about Utah?
All right, well, I have the confidence that Utah can absolutely stifle San Diego State in mediocre fashion.
Let's call it 33-17 and let me get back to my love song for the BCS...
No. 20 Miami Hurricanes (7-3) vs. Duke Blue Devils (5-5)
The Miami Hurricanes are back, but they're not packing a Category 5 punch just yet.
Their inexperience and young roster lead to inconsistency, but I think they'll take their No. 20 ranking and 7-3 record at this point.
I just feel bad for Duke.
They've had a very respectable season at 5-5 but are traveling to a Miami team just coming off a loss.
Miami blows by the Devils in Blue 27-14.
No. 19 Oregon State Beavers (7-3) @ Washington State Cougars (1-9)
Washington State is bad.
I mean, they're really, really horrible.
In all of their nine losses, they have been defeated by at least 13 points, with most of them being absolute blowouts.
Their lone win was a three-point victory against Southern Methodist.
Oregon State is streaking up the polls right now, and I'm picking the Beavers by 24 points.
Yet why do I have this ludicrous feeling that the Cougars from the great state of Washington are actually going to show up?
Oregon State 34, Washington State 10.
But seriously, don't be surprised when Oregon State is fighting for their lives, on the road, late in the fourth quarter of this one.
No. 17 Stanford Cardinal (7-3) vs. No. 25 California Golden Bears (7-3)
While I won't predict a bunch of laterals and a knocked down band member to end the game, I will say that no Jahvid Best running the ball for California means Stanford comes out on top in this offensive thriller.
Of course, me calling it that forces California to not have one of their one-field-goal-scored performances as the other team scores 90.
This matchup is the only one that features two ranked opponents this weekend and promises to be one of the most entertaining as well.
When it's all said and done, Stanford stays hot and continues its climb up the rankings with a 38-31 escape from California.
No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers (8-2) @ Northwestern Wildcats (7-4)
Both of these teams are dangerous, but I just don't see Wisconsin finishing their 2009 season with only two losses.
Take a good look at the photo to our immediate left.
No, we're not talking about the history that took place at this spot on our tour.
Instead, I am predicting the future.
This will be the scene in the waning seconds of a 17-14 upset victory of Northwestern over Wisconsin this Saturday.
For the next stop on today's tour, we will be featuring a boring ACC game with a predictable outcome.
No. 15 Virginia Tech Hokies (7-3) vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-6)
And here it is.
Not much to see here, folks.
Virginia Tech should not have any problem taking care of business against the Wolfpack from North Carolina State.
The Hokies gobble up the 'Pack 31-13.
No. 14 Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2) @ Michigan State Spartans (6-5)
In an earlier week this season, I wrote the words, "East Lansing is a difficult place to play."
Then I followed it up with picking the visiting team, the Michigan Wolverines.
In Week 12, Penn State comes to visit.
This time, I'll go with my gut.
The Spartans take the upset at home over the Nittany Lions 24-20.
Don't make me go 0-2, Sparty.
No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes (9-2) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-5)
Welcome back to reality, Iowa.
You knew it had to happen eventually, right?
A BCS bowl was just recently in your grasp, and now you're fighting to not lose three straight.
I think you succeed in that second part and take down Minnesota this weekend.
Iowa ends its losing streak by the final score of 28-20.
No. 12 Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-2) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (3-7)
It's not every week that the Big 12 kicks off the weekend schedule on a Thursday night, so enjoy!
Oklahoma State is still quietly having a very good season, while Colorado is just trying to play spoiler.
In a close one, Oklahoma State survives 30-27.
No. 11 Oregon Ducks (8-2) @ Arizona Wildcats (6-3)
I feel like the cost of Oregon's many different uniforms have contributed to the national deficit and this current recession.
Seriously, it's ridiculous.
But I am absolutely rooting for an Oregon vs. Ohio State Rose Bowl matchup, so go Ducks!
If they keep winning, that game happens.
Traveling to Arizona this weekend, one week after Arizona slipped from the rankings with their own loss against California, does pose a threat, but the Ducks' high-powered offense will be the difference maker in this one.
Oregon wins 34-24.
No. 8 LSU Tigers (8-2) @ Mississippi Rebels (7-3)
Ole Miss has never recovered from their upset loss at South Carolina when they were ranked inside the top five.
A 7-3 record is certainly respectable, and a win at home against the No. 8 LSU Tigers this weekend is feasible, but LSU's impressive showings against the two best teams in the country tell me they can survive this weekend.
In one of the best games of the weekend, LSU wins 27-24.
No. 6 Boise State Broncos (10-0) @ Utah State Aggies (3-7)
On Friday night, Boise State could literally beat Utah State 105-0, and it still would not matter.
There is simply nowhere for them to go.
They have created a dominant program in the great state of Idaho that nobody wants to play.
They have lots of potatoes.
And their field still looks like a giant squished smurf.
All facts, but none of these help to produce an acceptable solution to a program that deserves National Title consideration, again.
(I hear the band striking up to play another verse of that lovely "Ode to the BCS" tune).
Oh, by the way, the Broncos stomp the Aggies 52-17.
No. 4 Texas Christian Horned Frogs (10-0) @ Wyoming Cowboys (5-5)
To the chorus.
Most likely, it will take a Florida or Alabama and a Texas loss to get TCU into the BCS National Championship game.
They may very well belong there this season.
In the meantime, they travel to Wyoming in Week 12 and should be able to keep their current winning streak alive.
TCU rolls 37-17.
No. 3 Texas Longhorns (10-0) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (5-5)
From "contender" to "pretender," Kansas followed up their 5-0 start with five consecutive losses heading into this weekend.
Keeping their losing streak alive, they travel to a BCS-destined Texas Longhorns team that is ready for their arrival.
Texas marches on, 38-20, over the Jayhawks.
No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0) vs. Chattanooga Mocs (6-4)
I mean, it just isn't even fair.
Heisman hopeful running back Mark Ingram gets to pad his stats this weekend against this FCS Chattanooga team, a week before Alabama takes on their rival, the Auburn Tigers.
Then on to the SEC Championship.
Alabama cruises 45-10.
No. 1 Florida Gators (10-0) vs. Florida International Golden Panthers (3-7)
We already know that the Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide will face each other in the SEC Championship, with the winner heading to the BCS National Title game, just as long as both programs are undefeated heading into their matchup together.
Both teams get some practice in this weekend against sub-level opponents before wrapping up their regular season against intrastate rivals.
The Gators win easily over the Golden Panthers this Saturday 56-3.
Game of the Week: No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-2) @ Michigan Wolverines (5-6)
In honor of the greatest rivalry in all of college football, Week 12's "Game of the Week" belongs to the matchup between the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes and the rebuilding Michigan Wolverines.
On paper, Ohio State should take this one easily.
However, most know this rivalry can produce the wildest of upsets, and this lone all-important win more than salvages a season.
It's about bragging rights.
It's about the history.
It's about the tradition, the fight songs, the helmets, and the unprecedented list of previous great coaches and players that have walked the sidelines for these two Universities.
Ohio State is Rose Bowl-bound, and Michigan has lost its last six Big Ten games.
After the "I" is dotted and the TDs are scored, the Buckeyes win 31-20 over the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.