College Football Picks: Will Week 12 Affect New CFP Poll?
by Rick Bouch Scores & Statson
The latest College Football Playoff poll pegs LSU as the top team in the nation with Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgia rounding out the top-4. The Bulldogs (8-1) have a huge game with No. 12 Auburn on Saturday and a likely matchup with LSU in the SEC title game. Yes, Week 12 could have a huge impact on the CFP.
Alabama, which lost to LSU last week, checks in at No. 5. Most NCAA football predictions and online sportsbooks had the Crimson Tide making the CFP for the sixth straight season. Now, that seems unlikely. Alabama was ranked third in the initial CFP poll. No team ranked No. 3 in the first CFP poll of the season has ever played in the national semifinals.
Still, there is plenty of value to be found in Week 12. Don’t believe it? Read our America’s Bookie review or one from any of the other online sportsbooks we endorse.
No. 4 Georgia vs. No. 12 Auburn (UGA -3, O/U: 44) Best Line: America’sBookie
Georgia controls its own destiny in the SEC East. The Bulldogs have won the last two over Auburn. These are two of the best defenses in the country. Expect a tight, low-scoring game. UNDER 44.
Wake Forest vs. No. 3 Clemson (CLEM -33, O/U: 62.5) Best Line: Bovada
The Tigers made a statement last week with an absolute thrashing of N.C. State. Think Clemson’s schedule is too weak? Wait until they unleash on Wake Forest next. The Demon Deacons lost their top receiver for the rest of the season. This could get ugly. Clemson -33.
No. 23 Navy vs. No. 16 Notre Dame (ND -9, O/U: 54) Best Line: America’sBookie
Navy’s triple-option offense always presents problems for the Fighting Irish. The Midshipmen can score. They are ninth in the nation averaging 40.1 points per game. OVER 54.
No. 8 Minnesota vs. No. 20 Iowa (IA -3, O/U: 44.5) Best Line: MyBookie
Yes, the Golden Gophers proved they were for real by beating Penn State last week. Now, it gets even more real for Minnesota and head coach P.J. Fleck. They must go into Iowa (pink locker rooms and all!) and beat the Hawkeyes. Two in a row and doing it on the road seems difficult. Iowa -3.
No. 9 Penn State vs. Indiana (IND +14.5, O/U: 54.5) Best Line: America’sBookie
Coming off a loss to Minnesota, you can bet Penn State head coach James Franklin will have his team ready to play. Indiana had a week off and is better than many think at 7-2 overall. The Hoosiers may not win but they can keep it close. Indiana +14.5.
No. 10 Oklahoma vs. No. 13 Baylor (OKLA: -10.5 O/U: 67) Best Line: MyBookie
There is only one thing to expect when Oklahoma and Baylor meet on Saturday. Points and lots of them. Surprisingly, Baylor has the best defense in the Big 12, a conference not known for good defenses. Still, Sooners QB Jalen Hurts and WR CeeDee Lamb will put up their fair share of scores. Think big. OVER 67.
No. 5 Alabama vs. Mississippi State (BAMA -20, O/U: 63.5) Best Line: America’s Bookie
The Crimson Tide are reeling after the loss to LSU last week. Alabama can still find a way into the College Football Playoff and it begins by pounding on the Bulldogs. The Tide has beaten Mississippi State 11 straight years. Make it 12. Alabama -20.
No. 1 LSU vs. Ole Miss (LSU -21, O/U: 65) Best Line: America’sBookie
LSU will play for the first time as the No. 1-ranked team in the nation on Saturday when the Tigers travel to Oxford to face the Rebels of Ole Miss. LSU QB Joe Burrow is the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy and the Tigers offense is simply awesome. Ole Miss has enough talent to keep it closer than expected. Ole Miss -21.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.