What To Watch For: College Football Week 12

Writing an intro for this column every week is a struggle.  

Well, this past week’s College Football Playoff Rankings were a little shocking.  Not necessarily in the Top Four though.  The shockers came between numbers 7-15, where some teams got tons of love, and some got none at all.

This weekend, we have five ranked vs. ranked match-ups, one of them being top five.  It’s very possible that, this weekend, we’ll see who’s got a shot, and who doesn’t.  Some of these games-loser leaves town.

No.19 Clemson vs. No.22 Georgia Tech

The Tigers have had a rough season, even though they remain at 7-2, and are fighting for a ACC Championship Game spot.  They got out on a hot hand, with QB Deshaun Watson having an incredible four weeks.  Clemson was a team that many people wrote off, giving how much talent they had lost to the NFL over the past two years.  Watson broke his hand against Louisville earlier this year, and had missed the past three games.

Watson comes back tomorrow.

Clemson now has a tough test versus the Yellow Jackets tomorrow.  Georgia Tech’s rushing attack is third in the country, averaging 335 yards a game.  The Tigers though, have the country’s fourth best rushing defense, which should give them an advantage.  This is the biggest key to the game.  The question is, who executes?  Prediction: Clemson-24 Georgia Tech-14

No.8 Ohio State vs. No.25 Minnesota

This is the Gophers biggest game in awhile.  Their home, playing the Nation’s No.8 team (not by my standards) and are ranked.  If they can pull it off, it would be incredible.

Though, Ohio State has been on fire lately.  They haven’t loss since the devastating Virginia Tech upset, and replaced Michigan State’s spot in the Rankings after upsetting them last week.  J.T. Barrett has been playing incredible football, throwing for 26 TD’s this year, and rushing for eight.

Minnesota’s biggest test will be stopping the Buckeye passing attack.  The Gophers passing defense is 25th, but will have to play better than that.  I would like to say Minnesota doesn’t have a chance, but barring a huge defensive performance, it’s possible.  Prediction: Ohio State-45 Minnesota-17

No.1 Mississippi State vs. No.5 Alabama

The biggest game of the day, and possibly one of the biggest this year is upon us.  Two SEC teams, fighting for a Playoff berth and a Championship Game spot, will battle it out in Tuscaloosa.  It’s going to be an incredible game.

Alabama played a tough game last weekend in Baton Rouge, but they got it done, barely.  Alabama, after that scare, has to play the Nation’s best team.  The Bulldogs have dominated everyone this year, and have really had only one scare.  Dak Prescott is my Heisman pick currently, having an outstanding year.  He is a hassle to deal with.  A big guy, who has a cannon and can escape pressure, evades defenders so well.  He’s impossible to bring down.

Alabama’s defense though, is one that has the ability to shut Presscott down.  With the Nation’s third best run defense, they don’t get sacks, but can defend Presscott’s running abilty.  The Bulldogs offensive attack, minus their star QB, is still incredible.  The Tide will have to cover their tall receivers, and stuff the running gaps.  The game’s biggest match-up will be the Bulldog offense vs. the Tide defense.

Alabama’s offense isn’t great.  It’s totally overrated.  Blake Sims is a game manager, and personally, in big games, you can’t have that.  It’s just not going to work.  Though, Mississippi’s State defense isn’t great on paper, but their good enough to stop Blake Sims, but stopping Amari Cooper&Company is a different story.

This game all about match-ups.  If one thing goes right and the other goes wrong, you may just win.  Or you may just lose.  Prediction: Mississippi State-33 Alabama-27

No.16 Nebraska vs. No.20 Wisconsin

If you like running backs and high rushing totals, this game is for you.  The Nation’s two best running backs are on display in this one.  Really, I don’t know what else to talk about with this game.

Melvin Gordon and Ameer Abdullah have both had incredible seasons, and both are on my Heisman Poll.  Statically, Wisconsin is ranked higher in rushing, being 5th, while the Cornhuskers are 10th.  Those though, don’t matter in this one.  It’s simply about who’s going to rush more than the other.

So who’s the better running back? Well, Gordon has had the better year statistically, with 1,501 yards and 19 TD’s.  Abdullah, with 1,250 yards and 17 TD’s, is more explosive, and is more of a breakaway guy.  He’s going have a rush of 25+ yards a game, and that’s where the difference is.  Abdullah is more of a receiver, too.  Abdullah has the skills, Gordon has the stats.  Prediction: Nebraska-35 Wisconsin-27

No.9 Auburn vs. No.15 Georgia

With Todd Gurley coming back, this game becomes a lot more interesting.  Nick Chubb did a great job holding down the fort for Gurley, and Georgia did well without him.  Gurley returns just in time for this game, and it’s massive.

After losing in upset fashion to Texas A&M last week, Auburn plummeted from No.3 to No.9 in the Rankings.  I believe they fell to much, and received no love from the committee.  This is redemption; win this game and your right back in the conversation, even though they have two losses.

What this game will come down to is who going to score more.  Auburn’s offense is a display; it’s incredible to watch and is unguardable.  They come from everywhere and can score in an instant.  ANYONE can score for the Tigers, which adds a difficult element for the Bulldogs to defend.  Georgia’s pass defense is 15th in the Nation, which helps when your playing against Nick Marshall.  Again, if you score more than the other team, you win.  This game has nothing to do with defense.  Throw it out the window.  Prediction: Auburn-52 Georgia-48

Upset Alert

No.17 LSU vs. Arkansas

The last time I had Arkansas upsetting someone, well, let’s not talk about that.

LSU is coming off of a crazy, insane game against Alabama, where they almost pulled off an upset.  Basically, this game will come down to who runs the ball better.   Looking at the stats and the backfield itself, both teams will put up heavy rushing numbers.  Arkansas is ranked higher in total rushing yards per game, but the Tigers with Leonard Fournette provide more explosiveness.  Fournette been disappointing so far, giving how much hype there was.  This isn’t the biggest game of his career, but it may be one he wants to forget.  WOO PIG SOOIE!!!!!

Missouri vs.No.24 Texas A&M

Uh oh.  Here we go again.  One team pulls a massive upset, then the committee falls in love and ranks them.  C’mon, this isn’t power rankings.

Anyways, Missouri’s getting this done.  They haven’t lived up to my expectations, though.  Their a super average team, but can run the ball significantly better than A&M.  I’m not saying that’s going to decide this game though.

Four seconds left.  Ball on the 45 yard line (closest to the end zone).  Tie game.  Who wins?