Week 13 Key Games and Picks
The college football regular season is nearing its end. November has presented college football fans with some of the greatest football we've seen in years. The College Football Play-Off is to thank for most of that excitement. But here we are in week 13, and it looks like the streak of great games has ended. Of course we all knew it was coming, as we eyed the 2014 schedule and saw games such as Alabama vs Western Carolina, Georgia vs Charleston Southern, Auburn vs Samford, and Florida vs Eastern Kentucky.... Oh and don't forget, South Carolina hosting South Alabama. The SEC is notorious for scheduling such games in the month of November, and it truly hurts college football as a whole.
I have no problem with the SEC scheduling these games..... It's the timing in which they are scheduled that I have a problem with. While the rest of the country and other conferences get criticism from many SEC fans for playing these games early in the season, I for one would rather see these games played early in the season. Play the FCS and meaningless games early, and don't ruin the most exciting month of college football. While other teams from around the country beat themselves up and schedule better games down the stretch, the SEC gets a pass this week. That is, until next week.....
Nonetheless, there are still some good games out there to watch this weekend.
Kansas State at West Virginia
This may not have much meaning in terms of the play-off race, but this will be an entertaining game to watch. I would say that BIG-12 Football this season has been underestimated. West Virginia improved greatly from their first game this season and they have proven they can play with the best of them. Kansas State has missed their chances this season a couple times. A tough loss to Auburn earlier in the season had to play with the emotions of this team. A fan or not of these teams, watch this game and you can see that there is some great football being played in the BIG-12.
My Pick: West Virginia 41 Kansas State 31
Louisville at Notre Dame
Notre Dame has spun out of control since their loss to Florida State. This would be a nice game to rebound, but it will be a real struggle. Golson has been a turnover machine in his last five games (or for the whole season, for that matter). That doesn't set up well for the Irish going up against one of the best defensive units in the country. The Cardinals have been brilliant at forcing turnovers, so look for this game to come down to who wins the turnover battle. And, WOW! What a disaster of a season it has turned out to be for Notre Dame, and a loss here will just make things worse.
My Pick: Louisville 34 Notre Dame 21
Missouri at Tennessee
This is a sneaky good game. Tennessee has found a pretty good spark with Dobbs at QB, and suddenly this team looks like they are really building some momentum. The question for UT this week, though, can they block out the distractions? Sexual assault allegations have come out earlier this week and Butch Jones is paying close attention to the situation. Outside of that, the Vols only have to deal with key injuries on both sides of ball. So, yeah.... nothing at all for the Vols to worry about this week.... And maybe the fact that they are hosting the SEC East leader this week. Tennessee is also trying to become bowl eligible. No pressure this week, then right? Outside of Tennessee's side of the story, a lot is riding on this game for Missouri. The Tigers must win out their SEC schedule to make it back-to-back SEC East Champions. Georgia fans will be tuned into this game, no doubt, as a loss for the Tigers puts Georgia in the SEC Championship game.
My Pick: Tennessee 27 Missouri 24.
Arizona at Utah
The battle in the PAC-12 continues. Arizona must win out to makes its case to have a shot at Oregon. Utah has had a great season and it should be noted that the PAC-12 has a pretty good season as well. Arizona has looked brilliant at times during the season (mostly when they beat Oregon on the road), and they will need to play well in this game to come up with the big win on the road. Utah is a dangerous team, and if Arizona isn't focused, look for Utah to capitalize on the mistakes of Arizona.
My Pick: Utah 31 Arizona 28
Boston College at Florida State
Sure, it's just Boston College, but don't think for one minute that they won't play their best game of the season right here and now. The Eagles have the ingredients it takes to frustrate a team like FSU. They can run the ball and play hard nose defense. When you can do both of those things, it slows the game down. Look for Boston College to frustrate the Seminoles on 'Senior Night' in Tallahassee. For Florida State, the Seminoles would sure like to start fast and control this game from start to finish. Honestly, if the Noles play to their potential then they will be able to do just that. But as history has shown us this season, the Noles like to live dangerously. Regardless of a fast or slow start, I don't see the Noles losing this game. My Pick: Florida State 38 Boston College 20.
USC at UCLA
Yes, a good rivalry game that has been pretty heated over the last few seasons and this game looks like it will be a good one. Both teams are battling for position in the PAC-12 South. This will be a very pivotal game and a win will bring one of these teams that much closer to winning the PAC-12 South division. The Trojans are certainly gaining momentum this season but still lack what it takes to win the big games in the PAC-12, but in rivalry games, ANYTHING could happen. UCLA has been up and down this season and somehow they just refuse to be irrelevant.
My Pick: UCLA 34 USC 24
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