College Football Week 12: Bold and Off-the-Wall Predictions for Every Game

Dan VastaSenior Writer IIINovember 15, 2011

College Football Week 12: Bold and Off-the-Wall Predictions for Every Game

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    There are just three weeks left in the season counting all of the conference championships, which means we can only expect the madness to continue.

    Who is the next heavyweight to fall? Which underdog story will ride its season all the way to the BCS? 

    I give some analysis and pick a winner from all 60 games in Week 12's slate of college football action.

Ball State at Northern Illinois

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    Who knew that Ball State was 6-4, but they are third in the division behind the Huskies. NIU features a potent offense led by all-everything signal-caller Chandler Harnish.

    Drama’s Pick: Huskies by 24

Ohio at Bowling Green

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    The Bobcats, like the Huskies, control their own destiny though they play in the East.

    Drama’s Pick: Bobcats by 10

Western Michigan at Miami OH

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    Quick, who leads the country in receptions and receiving yards per game? Jordan White of Western Michigan has been a stud all season long and is trying to get his team over the .500 mark.

    Drama’s Pick: Broncos by 6

North Carolina at Virginia Tech

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    David Wilson is coming off a career-high 175 yards rushing, and quarterback Logan Thomas totaled for five scores. The Hokies won’t let an ACC Championship rematch with Clemson slip through their hands.  

    Drama’s Pick: Hokies by 13

Marshall at Memphis

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    Memphis is among the worst teams in the country despite having two wins. They rank 114th in the BCS whereas Marshall is 61st.

    Drama’s Pick: Marshall by 10 

Southern Miss at UAB

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    Houston just hung 56 on them and Southern Miss could come close to doing the same.

    Drama’s Pick: Golden Eagles by 28

Oklahoma State at Iowa State

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    Weeden and the Pokes offense will not be slowed down by a Cyclones defense that ranks 91st in the nation.

    Drama’s Pick: Cowboys by 28

Toledo at Central Michigan

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    Eric Page will show off exactly why he is one of the elite play-makers in the country for a non-BCS team.

    Drama’s Pick: Rockets by 21 

Kansas at Texas A&M

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    The Jayhawks won’t be getting their first win of the season in conference against the Aggies.

    Drama’s Pick: Aggies by 31

Indiana at Michigan State

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    The defense of Sparty will carry them to victory this game, though they have had their issues the past few weeks. 

    Drama’s Pick: Spartans by 24

Minnesota at Northwestern

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    Northwestern will get to six wins after this one and they will need some momentum going into their home game against Michigan State.

    Drama’s Pick: Wildcats by 17

Iowa at Purdue

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    The Hawkeyes defense needs to close the door late into ballgames or else it is going to cost them. James Vanderberg has a ton of upside and might be the difference in this game if he can avoid turning it over.

    Drama’s Pick: Hawkeyes by 1

Kentucky at Georgia

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    Aaron Murray is on fire, but the ‘Dawgs defense is flat-out ferocious right now. Win against the ‘Cats, and they will await the winner of the SEC West. LSU hosts a legit threat in Arkansas which could throw some tie-breaking scenarios if they pull off the upset.

    Drama’s Pick: Bulldogs by 30

Akron at Buffalo

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    The two worst teams in the MAC from a record standpoint should be an unentertaining game, but somebody has to win.

    Drama’s Pick: Bulls by 5

The Citadel at South Carolina

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    Expect the defense to come away with a near shutout in this one. Even with an average offense, South Carolina will come away with a big victory.

    Drama’s Pick: Gamecocks by 38

Furman at Florida

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    With the Seminoles coming to town in two weeks, they better get some type of ground game going. The defense has been fine and dandy, but the offense needs to do more.

    Drama’s Pick: Gators by 42

Samford at Auburn

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    Auburn needs to gear up for the Iron Bowl, and I would look for their defense to play a lot better against these Bulldogs.

    Drama’s Pick: Tigers by 52

New Mexico at Wyoming

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    Laramie is not an easy place to play, but the Lobos were ranked dead last in the BCS standings (11/6).

    Drama’s Pick: Cowboys by 24

Georgia Southern at Alabama

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    They won’t need or likely use Trent Richardson too much in this game, so I would look for Eddie Lacy and a few backups to get extensive time with their huge road game against Auburn the following week. The Tide are far from being eliminated in the BCS National Championship hunt.

    Drama’s Pick: Crimson Tide by 38

Tulsa at UTEP

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    Tulsa is destined to give Houston all they can handle since the two are the lone unbeatens in C-USA.

    Drama’s Pick: Golden Hurricanes by 32

Penn State at Ohio State

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    The Buckeyes had their chances against the Boilermakers, but struggled offensively. The season is not completely over as they can still land a New Year’s Day bowl with a victory. Penn State needs some balance offensively, and the passing game still has been atrocious.

    Drama’s Pick: Buckeyes by 10

Texas Tech at Missouri

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    Pack a sandwich because this game could be a long one. Both defense have had major issues, but Seth Doege and James Franklin have had their shining moments this season.

    Drama’s Pick: Tigers by 24

Mississippi State at Arkansas

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    Tyler Wilson is as calm and cool of a customer as it gets, and I would bank on him connecting with Jarius Wright a time or two in the end zone.

    Drama’s Pick: Razorbacks by 14

Colorado State at TCU

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    Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs played exceptional against the Broncos, snapping their 65 regular season home winning streak. Casey Pachall will go bonkers again as TCU has an outside shot at reaching a BCS bowl.

    Drama’s Call: Horned Frogs by 38

Washington at Oregon State

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    The Huskies were looking decent until the Ducks throttled them a few weeks back. Now they may be without starting quarterback Keith Price (knee).

    Drama’s Pick: Beavers by 3

Boston College at Notre Dame

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    The Golden Domers have had issues with Boston College through the years, but this is far from one of BC’s best teams.

    Drama’s Pick: Irish by 20

Utah State at Idaho

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    Utah State has lost so many close games this season, but the team is coming off a huge win over Hawaii. Look for Robert Turbin to have a big game on the ground which should be overwhelming for the Vandals.

    Drama’s Pick: Aggies by 12

UNLV at Air Force

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    Air Force needs to get to seven wins since they knocked off Tennessee Tech earlier in the season, but with Colorado State and UNLV on the schedule, there should not be much trouble for the Falcons.

    Drama’s Pick: Falcons by 26

LSU at Ole Miss

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    The Bayou Bengals defense is arguably the best in the country for a reason. They do not need to open the playbook up too much against a Rebels team that is still searching for their first SEC victory. They will need to keep looking for somebody to beat because LSU will not be their first this season.

    Drama’s Pick: Tigers by 30

Vanderbilt at Tennessee

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    Vandy may be one of your most underrated teams in the country as far as teams searching for a bowl game. However, the Commodores have an inability to close out games, so I look for Tennessee to win a nailbiter.

    Both teams should reach the postseason with six victories. Luckily, both teams only played one FCS opponent since that is the maximum as far as counting them as wins towards a possible bowl berth. 

    Drama’s Pick: Vols by 2

UCF at ECU

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    Former Boston College quarterback Dominique Davis leads the 10th-rated passing offense for ECU, and he will be going against a tremendous corner in Josh Robinson, who leads the Knights sixth-rated pass defense.

    Drama’s Pick: Knights by 4

Western Kentucky at North Texas

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    Bobby Rainey came into last week as the fourth-leading rusher in the nation, and he should go bonkers against a North Texas defense that is just 104th in total defense.

    Drama’s Pick: Hilltoppers by 7

Colorado at UCLA

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    Can Colorado win a game? Oh, wait they played Arizona? Man, the Pac-12 (formerly Pac-10) has always been good in years past, but the bottom of the conference is horrendous right now.

    Drama’s Pick: Bruins by 12

Cincinnati at Rutgers

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    This will certainly be a close game that could secure the Big East for the Bearcats. Isaiah Pead has been a top 25 rusher all season, and he has been so vital for this offense. However, with Zach Collaros out for the season (ankle), I like the upset to occur here.

    Drama’s Pick: Scarlet Knights by 4

Louisville at Connecticut

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    The Big East might be the most unpredictable conference in America, and there have been a boatload of close games. Expect for another one in Storrs, with Charlie Strong’s squad hanging on to secure a solid bowl game and a chance to win the Big East Championship if the Bearcats slip up twice (not likely).

    Drama’s Pick: Cardinals by 4

Tulane at Rice

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    Tulane two weeks ago gave up nearly 100 points to Houston, and I look for Rice to hang nearly half a hundred while giving up a decent amount as well.

    Drama’s Pick: Owls by 13

Army at Temple

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    I did not intend to pick two sets of Owls in consecutive games, but Army has been difficult to watch on the field this season.

    Drama’s Pick: Owls by 18

Eastern Michigan at Kent State

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    Sure, this is one of your least important games of the weekend. However, Eastern Michigan has an outside shot of playing in a bowl game this season if they can finish the regular season on a good note as well as catch a few breaks.

    Drama’s Pick: Eagles by 2

Arizona at Arizona State

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    Brock Osweiler and Nick Foles could combine to throw for close to 1,000 yards in this game, but the ASU defense has been much better overall.

    Drama’s Pick: Sun Devils by 14

Utah at Washington State

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    Coming off their recent victory over the Bruins, they are now fighting for a middle-tier bowl.

    Drama’s Pick: Utes by 10

Arkansas State at Middle Tennessee

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    Don’t look now, but Arkansas State is on pace to win the Sun Belt and play in just its second bowl game (’05 New Orleans).

    Drama’s Pick: Red Wolves by 12

Florida Atlantic at Troy

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    These two teams have been good in recent years, however, they have been abysmal combining to go 2-14 this season. Florida Atlantic of course is still looking for just one win this season. It won’t happen on the road.

    Drama’s Pick: Trojans by 10

Florida International at Louisiana Monroe

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    The Warhawks were destroyed by Florida State and Iowa on the road this season. That has not paid off much, but it will this weekend.

    Drama’s Pick: Warhawks by 3

Louisiana Tech at Nevada

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    Nevada has a chance to get their second straight WAC championship (least a share of it), and Chris Ault has been around too long to see this opportunity go to waste.

    Drama’s Pick: Wolf Pack by 13

Navy at San Jose State

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    Navy may not be going bowling this season, but they will still battle and give this WAC team all they can handle.

    Drama’s Pick: Midshipmen by 7

Boise State at San Diego State

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    After suffering a tough loss, the Broncos will bounce back on the road. Both Doug Martin and Ronnie Hillman are nicked up.

    Drama’s Pick: Broncos by 21

New Mexico State at BYU

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    BYU gave TCU a solid game in Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and did anybody catch the Georgia-NMST game two weeks ago? I know the Bulldogs are a very good team and maybe a top 10 quality of a team, but BYU’s offense should not have many issues scoring 30-plus if they can keep their starters in for three full quarters.

    Drama’s Pick: Cougars by 28

Fresno State at Hawaii

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    Fresno State’s defense was both 90th against the run and pass heading into this past weekend. That is not good news when you must travel to Hawaii against their potent offense.

    Drama’s Pick: Warriors by 14

Georgia Tech at Duke

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    The talent may be a bit closer than most think, but there is no way the Blue Devils will have the ball enough to have a chance. Duke’s run defense is decent, but they still allow 161 yards a game and you can probably double that when the game is said and done.

    Drama’s Pick: Yellow Jackets by 13

Maryland at Wake Forest

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    Wake Forest will be bowl eligible if they can take care against a disappointing Terps squad in year one under Randy Edsall. The Wake rushing offense has struggled, but they are going up against one of the nation’s worst rush defenses. Going into last weekend, the Terps allowed 233 yards a game (116th) which includes 25 touchdowns through the ground.

    Drama’s Pick: Demon Deacons by 16

Miami FL at South Florida

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    USF pulled off the upset in overtime last season, but the Canes are starting click offensively. This should be a well-played game, but I am not sure BJ Daniels will be able to make enough plays against a Canes defense that has Sean Spence playing out of his mind. Plus, Miami has redemption on their minds.

    Drama’s Pick: Canes by 2

Clemson at NCST

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    The Clemson defense is at a big advantage since their opponent’s offense (NCST) is ranked 97th in the nation in total offense. Averaging only 338 yards per game is awful, considering Clemson averages over 300 yards a game passing. As long as Sammy Watkins can give it a go, the Tigers will be fine in a close one.

    Drama’s Pick: Tigers by 10

SMU at Houston

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    This is where the Cougars will get tested defensively, but Case Keenum is a legit Heisman candidate contender for a reason. Also, "College Gameday" will be there for this game that could impact the BCS.

    Drama’s Call: Cougars by 17

Virginia at Florida State

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    The Seminoles have caught fire finally, winning five in a row against sub-par competition. They have a chance to play in a decent bowl game if they finish ACC play at 6-2. Their offense struggled mightily with turnovers against Oklahoma, Clemson and Wake Forest.

    It stinks because the defense has been one of the best in the entire country ranking in the top 10 in four different categories (pre-Miami stats).

    Drama’s Pick: Noles by 12

Wisconsin at Illinois

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    The Badgers just snapped their two-game losing streak on the road, and I would look for Russell Wilson to have the upper hand if the Illini can put some points on the board. 

    Drama’s Pick: Badgers by 13

Kansas State at Texas

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    Collin Klein can flat-out do it all, but this Longhorns defense has been suffocating against the run ranking ninth. They only allow 95 yards a game, and if they can limit Klein, they should be able to get a nice victory in Austin.

    Drama’s Pick: Longhorns by 4

Oklahoma at Baylor

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    This has the making of being a shootout, but no Bear can block Frank Alexander or Ronnell Lewis. Plus, even without Ryan Broyles, I would look for Landry Jones on finding Jaz Reynolds and Kenny Stills early and often in this one.

    Drama’s Pick: Sooners by 17

Nebraska at Michigan

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    This could turn into a shootout with all of the great offensive playmakers in this game. Michigan will absolutely beg Taylor Martinez to throw the ball deep on them, but the Wolverines have had issues stopping the run.

    Plus, is Denard Robinson fully healthy, and if he is can he stay that way for the entire game? This game goes down the wire and into overtime at the Big House.

    Drama’s Pick: Huskers by 3 (OT)

Cal at Stanford

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    This is the “Big Game,” and I would expect Stanford to keep their BCS aspirations alive by pounding the rock since they have two of the best offensive linemen in the country with Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro.

    Michigan and Nebraska have a shot at passing Stanford for a BCS bowl, but the Cardinal would likely have to trip up. What would you do if you were the Fiesta Bowl: take Michigan/Nebraska winner or a one-loss Stanford team?

    Drama’s Pick: Cardinal by 21

USC at Oregon

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    USC has a fast defense, but not nearly fast enough to keep with the exceptional trio of LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and DeAnthony Thomas. The speed that the Ducks possess on both offense and defense is remarkable.

    LaMichael James may be the best back in the country and his ability to hit the home run on any given play is what makes him so special.

    Matt Barkley may have to throw it 60 times to Robert Woods or have true freshman Marqise Lee to step up to have any chance of pulling off the upset.

    Drama’s Pick: Ducks by 17