Onto Week 12 of the college football schedule, where we have three matchups of ranked opponents. For the first time every No. 9 Indiana has beaten Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State all in the same season. Can they add Ohio State to their victim list?
The Hoosiers-Buckeyes matchup leads our cast of three big games this week. Here are your best bets.
(#9) Indiana vs. (#3) Ohio State Predictions
It’s the Week 12 game of the week. Hard to believe unbeaten Indiana vs. No. 3 Ohio State will be the best game of the season in the Big Ten East. As stated already, the Hoosiers have wins over Big Ten East trifecta – Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State.
The problem this week is that the Hoosiers will simply be outmatched. They do not have the roster to compete with Ohio State. They will be on the road in Columbus and, even though the Buckeyes won’t enjoy a true home crowd advantage, the Hoosiers will be a long way from home.
Plus, Indiana doesn’t run the ball all that effectively. The Hoosiers average just 95.3 rushing yards a game. That ranks 118 th in the nation. As good as Indiana QB Michael Penix is, don’t expect him to sit back and throw the Hoosiers to victory.
Believe it or not, the Buckeyes are 0-5 ATS against Hoosiers in the last five games played in Columbus. Sorry Hoosier fans, you’re team is good, but not that good.
(#10) Wisconsin vs. (#19) Northwestern Predictions
Wisconsin finally got another game in last week after missing two weeks due to the coronavirus. The layoff didn’t seem to affect the Badgers as they manhandled Michigan 49-11.
The offense has scored 45 and 49 points in its two games. That might not be the case against a pretty good Northwestern defense. The Wildcats are giving up just 14 points per game thus far in 2020.
Northwestern always seems to play the Badgers close at home. In fact, Northwestern has covered the spread in five of the last six games with Wisconsin and eight of the last nine home games against the Badgers.
With the whole COVID-19 thing, the home field advantage won’t provide as much of an advantage to Northwestern. For that reason, Coach Rick likes the Badgers score early and often against the Wildcats…and cover the 7-point spread.
(#14) Oklahoma State vs. (#18) Oklahoma Predictions
The Bedlam rivalry continues and Oklahoma tries to put its stamp on owning it with a sixth consecutive victory over the Cowboys. The Sooners won 34-16 last year in Stillwater.
Oklahoma did something this season it hasn’t done in quite a while – lose two consecutive games. After dropping games to Kansas State and Iowa State early in the season, the Sooners are 4-0 in their last four games. That includes back-to-back 62 point outbursts against Texas Tech and Kansas.
Don’t expect those numbers against a very good Oklahoma State defense. The Cowboys lost a shootout to Texas giving up 41 points in the process. In their other five games, Oklahoma State is allowing just 13.2 points per game.
Oklahoma is 18-1 straight up in its last 19 games at home in Norman. Oklahoma State is 4-1 ATS in its last five games and, even more impressive, the Cowboys are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games where they have played as the underdog.
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.