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How To Football: Week 13 (Pt. II: Saturday)

Breaking down the penultimate college football Saturday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Ohio State at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week is the week before Thanksgiving, making it the best weekend of the year: SoCon Challenge Weekend.

And by “best”, I mean “worst”.

GameDay will be in C-Bus for the Penn State-Ohio State game.

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BIG BRUTE SATURDAY Shift

  • Penn State-The Ohio State: The biggest game of the weekend is the one that will determine the B1G East champion and probable B1G champion overall. Not to pick up the “Ohio State ain’t played nobody” narrative but this is pretty much the first time they will likely be seriously challenged all year. The Nittany Lions’ star wideout KJ Hamler left the last game with an injury, if he’s out that could be a huge advantage for the Buckeyes.
  • Minnesota-Northwestern: This game likely won’t be very good for very long, but it is #important because the Gophers need a win to keep a leg up on the Badgers before next week’s appointment with them to decide the fate of the B1G West.
  • Harvard-Yale: In the 136th meeting of The Game (note: this is matchup titled The Game we recognize more than any other, and should be the only meeting called The Game), the Bulldogs come in as the favorites, sitting at 8-1, 5-1 in the Ivy League and behind Dartmouth on tiebreakers. The Crimson are 4-5 (2-4), but in the beta FCS version of SP+, the two teams are sitting pretty close: Yale is 18th and Harvard is 23rd.
  • UCF-Tulane: The Golden Knights hit the road and are touchdown favorites in New Orleans. Meanwhile, the Green Wave have lost three of the last four games and have a rough finish: UCF and SMU.
  • Illinois-Iowa: Hey man it’s a nooner in November. You know what to expect.

#9WINDIANA Shift

  • Texas A&M-Georgia: In response to the backlash of #SoConSaturday, the SEC has taken to creating artificial games of intrigue by way of cross-divisional games. While A&M has pretty much had it set on cruise control for the past four weeks, the Bulldogs have kind of a tricky task in moving on from Auburn to Texas A&M. Matchups make for good games, and both teams field a 22nd ranked offense and defense, you can probably guess who is who.
  • Michigan-Indiana: After their 34-27 loss to the Nittany Lions, it’s crunch time for the Hoosiers on their #9WINDIANA campaign with a 7-3 record heading into the last two games of the regular season. The Wolverines are favored by less than a field goal, and just like Penn State-Ohio State, the concussion to WR Whop Philyor could be all Michigan needs to go home with the win.
  • Texas-Baylor: Texas hits the road as 8.9 point underdogs. The Longhorns NEED this win, because finishing the year at 7-5 and 5-4 in conference play is well below the mark they had set for themselves after the Sugar Bowl last year. Before last week the Baylor offense was spinning the wheels, but they shouldn’t have trouble moving the ball against Texas’ 76th-ranked defense.
  • SMU-Navy: A meeting of two of the three 5-1 teams in the logjam at the top of the AAC West, both teams are trying to keep pace with Memphis, who owns a tiebreaker over both of them. The Midshipmen hold a less than touchdown advantage heading into the game, which I only believe if they can get back to back stops from SMU early in the game.
  • Pitt-Virginia Tech: For as much has been made about Justin Fuente earlier in the year, 9-3 is easily in reach for the Hokies, but they have uphill battles ahead of them against Pitt and arch rivals Virginia.

Cochon De Lait Shift

  • Arkansas-LSU: The Tigers are a 41.7 points favorite.
  • Oregon-Arizona State: The night shift is pretty bad, as evidenced by this being your alternate to the LSU game. The only real interest here is to see how well the Ducks take care of business against the Sun Devils.
  • Tennessee-Missouri: Just like Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech, Jeremy Pruitt has done a quietly good job at turning the ship around after the laughable start to the season. On the other hand, the Tigers have scored 27 combined points...in the past four games.
  • Kansas State-Texas Tech: This game is a virtual toss-up, which is always fun.
  • Houston-Tulsa: Another game that should be close, if nothing else. You take what you can get, man.

Shift

  • Utah-Arizona: Just like Oregon, we’re just watching to make sure nothing too wild happens to the Utes to change the outlook of the Big 12.
  • Boise State-Utah State: This game likely decides the Mountain West, and it might be closer than you’d think. The Broncos have beat up on the lesser teams, but against good opponents the offense dries up considerably. Utah State’s offense is well off the mark, but the defense is holding firm. It’s not too wild to expect a win for The Good Aggies.
  • San Diego State-Hawaii: The Aztecs are favored in what’s essentially a toss-up on the islands. This game is probably the biggest mismatch of styles imaginable, given how the Aztecs have the 126th ranked offense while the Warriors have the 116th ranked defense.
  • Nevada-Fresno State: We work into the leftovers of the weekend with some late-night Mountain West action.
  • Washington-Colorado: Nothing else is on.