2011 College Football Week 12 Picks and Predictions: Nebraska Upsets Michigan

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2011 College Football Week 12 Picks and Predictions: Nebraska Upsets Michigan
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Each Monday, WhatIfSports.com's NCAA college football simulation engine will provide you with game predictions for every D-1 FBS game that upcoming week. The college football simulation engine generates detailed information for each game including each team's chances of winning (Win%) and the average points scored for both teams. Make sure to share the college football information you gained here with your friends by either checking out our NCAA football widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or clicking on the social networking share bar at the top and bottom of this article.

Check out our 2011 College Football Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy and for Upsets of the Week available on Wednesdays.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of college football simulations are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth charts and statistically based player rankings. Roster modifications are made in cases of injury or suspension and those players are removed from their team's game simulation for that week.

Game of the Week: Nebraska at Michigan

Say all you want about the Michigan Wolverines. After Saturday's win over Illinois, one thing is for sure: this team doesn't need Denard Robinson to single-handedly win games for them anymore. In fact, the versatile quarterback missed most of the second half with a bruised wrist. When RB Fitzgerald Toussaint is averaging 7.1 yards per carry against the Illini defense, all Brady Hoke needs to do is sit back and watch.

You know why?

As Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison put it, "that was without a doubt, a Michigan defense," when speaking of the team's effort against Illinois. The former defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens has taken a unit that ranked 108th in total defense—447.9 yards allowed per game—and 102nd in scoring defense—33.8 points allowed per game—in 2010 and turned it into one of the nation's best in less than 10 months. The Wolverines are 16th in total defense at 317.9 yards allowed per game and fifth in scoring defense—15.5 points allowed per game—10 games into the season.

A sound offense blended with an overachieving defense has catapulted Michigan back into the national conversation.

That rush defense will be tested by Nebraska's 13th-ranked rushing offense. Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead combined for 177 rushing yards on 46 carries with a touchdown against Penn State last weekend. The duo has racked up over 1,800 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in 10 games this season.

Using our college football simulation engine, we "played" Nebraska at Michigan 101 times and it has the Cornhuskers winning 61.4 percent of the time by an average score of 27-24.

USC at Oregon

Since they lost in their Week 1 opener against LSU, the Oregon Ducks have rattled off nine straight wins. They have outscored opponents 48.8-19.6 during that stretch. With their convincing win over Stanford last Saturday, the Ducks have re-entered the BCS National Championship picture.

All that stands in their way are the USC Trojans. With their 40-17 win over Washington, Lane Kiffin's crew has won five out of their last six games; the only loss coming to Stanford in triple-overtime back on October 29. As it stands now, the Trojans at 5-2 in the Pac-12 South sit a game up on Arizona State and UCLA for the right to play in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game on December 2.

Now if our simulation picks are accurate, the Bruins and Sun Devils are predicted to win (see predictions below) and after 101 simulations USC is predicted to lose to Oregon 67.3 percent of the time by an average score of 34-28. So, heading into Week 13, we could have a three-way tie for first in the Pac-12 South.

College Football Week 12
Matchup Win% Avg Score  
Virginia Cavaliers 20.8 22 Boxscore
@ Florida State Seminoles 79.2 32  
North Carolina Tar Heels 30.7 22 Boxscore
@ Virginia Tech Hokies 69.3 27  
Maryland Terrapins 43.6 24 Boxscore
@ Wake Forest Demon Deacons 56.4 26  
Clemson Tigers 78.2 29 Boxscore
@ North Carolina State Wolfpack 21.8 19  
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 78.2 30 Boxscore
@ Duke Blue Devils 21.8 19  
Cincinnati Bearcats 44.6 22 Boxscore
@ Rutgers Scarlet Knights 55.4 23  
Louisville Cardinals 66.8 26 Boxscore
@ Connecticut Huskies 33.2 21  
Miami (FL) Hurricanes 69.3 28 Boxscore
@ South Florida Bulls 30.7 21  
Indiana Hoosiers 5.0 18 Boxscore
@ Michigan State Spartans 95.0 40  
Minnesota Golden Gophers 19.8 19 Boxscore
@ Northwestern Wildcats 80.2 30  
Penn State Nittany Lions 51.5 21 Boxscore
@ Ohio State Buckeyes 48.5 20  
Iowa Hawkeyes 55.0 25 Boxscore
@ Purdue Boilermakers 45.0 22  
Nebraska Cornhuskers 61.4 27 Boxscore
@ Michigan Wolverines 38.6 24  
Wisconsin Badgers 80.7 33 Boxscore
@ Illinois Fighting Illini 19.3 18  
Ball State Cardinals 13.9 22 Boxscore
@ Northern Illinois Huskies 86.1 36  
Army Black Knights 25.7 20 Boxscore
@ Temple Owls 74.3 27  
Akron Zips 29.2 17 Boxscore
@ Buffalo Bulls 70.8 24  
Eastern Michigan Eagles 35.1 18 Boxscore
@ Kent State Golden Flashes 64.9 24  
Western Michigan Broncos 56.4 30 Boxscore
@ Miami (OH) RedHawks 43.6 26  
Ohio Bobcats 69.8 28 Boxscore
@ Bowling Green Falcons 30.2 22  
Toledo Rockets 71.3 33 Boxscore
@ Central Michigan Chippewas 28.7 24  
California Golden Bears 14.9 20 Boxscore
@ Stanford Cardinal 85.1 35  
USC Trojans 32.7 28 Boxscore
@ Oregon Ducks 67.3 34  
Colorado Buffaloes 35.6 24 Boxscore
@ UCLA Bruins 64.4 31  
Arizona Wildcats 38.6 23 Boxscore
@ Arizona State Sun Devils 61.4 29  
Utah Utes 54.5 26 Boxscore
@ Washington State Cougars 45.5 25  
Washington Huskies 70.3 30 Boxscore
@ Oregon State Beavers 29.7 23  
Furman Paladins 5.0 6 Boxscore
@ Florida Gators 95.0 54  
Georgia Southern Eagles 5.0 5 Boxscore
@ Alabama Crimson Tide 95.0 61  
Samford Bulldogs 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ Auburn Tigers 95.0 51  
Citadel Bulldogs 5.0 7 Boxscore
@ South Carolina Gamecocks 95.0 50  
Kentucky Wildcats 7.9 14 Boxscore
@ Georgia Bulldogs 92.1 32  
Mississippi State Bulldogs 23.3 21 Boxscore
@ Arkansas Razorbacks 76.7 31  
Vanderbilt Commodores 34.7 20 Boxscore
@ Tennessee Volunteers 65.3 25  
LSU Tigers 95.0 42 Boxscore
@ Mississippi Rebels 5.0 13  
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 47.0 28 Boxscore
@ Nevada Wolf Pack 53.0 30  
Utah State Aggies 56.4 26 Boxscore
@ Idaho Vandals 43.6 23  
Fresno State Bulldogs 68.3 29 Boxscore
@ Hawaii Warriors 31.7 23  
Navy Midshipmen 76.2 30 Boxscore
@ San Jose State Spartans 23.8 20  
New Mexico State Aggies 9.9 18 Boxscore
@ Brigham Young Cougars 90.1 37  
Boston College Eagles 35.6 21 Boxscore
@ Notre Dame Fighting Irish 64.4 26  
Kansas Jayhawks 12.9 21 Boxscore
@ Texas A&M Aggies 87.1 38  
Texas Tech Red Raiders 36.1 27 Boxscore
@ Missouri Tigers 63.9 31  
Kansas State Wildcats 52.5 25 Boxscore
@ Texas Longhorns 47.5 24  
Oklahoma Sooners 75.2 37 Boxscore
@ Baylor Bears 24.8 28  
Oklahoma State Cowboys 95.0 42 Boxscore
@ Iowa State Cyclones 5.0 19  
Southern Methodist Mustangs 6.9 28 Boxscore
@ Houston Cougars 93.1 41  
Tulane Green Wave 35.6 24 Boxscore
@ Rice Owls 64.4 29  
UCF Knights 69.3 30 Boxscore
@ East Carolina Pirates 30.7 25  
Southern Miss Golden Eagles 84.2 39 Boxscore
@ UAB Blazers 15.8 23  
Marshall Thundering Herd 86.1 28 Boxscore
@ Memphis Tigers 13.9 14  
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 88.1 37 Boxscore
@ UTEP Miners 11.9 22  
Colorado State Rams 5.0 16 Boxscore
@ TCU Horned Frogs 95.0 40  
UNLV Rebels 10.9 15 Boxscore
@ Air Force Falcons 89.1 31  
New Mexico Lobos 16.8 16 Boxscore
@ Wyoming Cowboys 83.2 29  
Boise State Broncos 93.1 41 Boxscore
@ San Diego State Aztecs 6.9 22  
Florida Atlantic Owls 19.3 18 Boxscore
@ Troy Trojans 80.7 30  
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 48.5 26 Boxscore
@ North Texas Mean Green 51.5 28  
FIU Golden Panthers 50.5 25 Boxscore
@ Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 49.5 24  
Arkansas State Red Wolves 61.4 28 Boxscore
@ Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 38.6 24  
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