College Football’s Top Five Games for Week 12
Pac 12 Games Highlight Week 12 Schedule
The previous week in college football was one that will define the season as two of the five undefeated teams suffered their first loss of the season.
Alabama and Louisville lost to Texas A&M and Syracuse, respectively, and effectively ended each team’s BCS Championship aspirations--although the Crimson Tide have an outside chance of wiggling back into the picture if some more upsets occur with two weeks in the regular season left to play.
However three undefeated teams prevailed this past weekend as Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame proved to be no match for the opposition.
The championship picture is starting to become clearer and right now it appears the Fighting Irish may be on the outside looking in, but as we saw last weekend, teams that you don’t expect to lose end up getting upset and altering the BCS standings.
For the first time all year, I do not have a SEC match up in the top five--this may be a bigger upset than Alabama losing to Texas A&M.
The conference with the spotlight on them this weekend is the Pac 12 with two games between ranked opponents that will decide the divisions, the conference championship game and if one team will still be alive for the national title.
Will we see another No. 1 team lose this weekend, and will we see a team from a non BCS conference squeeze their way into the BCS conversation? Those are just two matchups that highlight my top five games in college football this week.
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Utah State at No. 20 La Tech
These two teams enter Saturday’s contest undefeated in conference and will be looking to clinch a WAC title with a win in Ruston, La. The Bulldogs from La Tech have been ranked for most of the season and could find their way into a BCS bowl game if they continue to win and see some teams ranked ahead of them in the BCS standings lose in the next two weeks of the regular season. Utah State is unlikely to receive an invite a BCS bid even with a win over La Tech, and as a three-point favorite on the road, the Aggies are looking to pull off the upset on Sonny Dykes' team and lay claim to the WAC conference title
No. 24 Texas Tech at No. 23 Oklahoma State
One of only three games featuring ranked opponents playing each other is this Big 12 battle between two high-powered offenses. Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege has been lighting up opposing defenses this year while Oklahoma State has shuffled quarterbacks in and out of the lineups as a result of injuries. I will be watching to see if either defense can slow down either team and if Tech coach, Tommy Tuberville, has any more physical altercations with his assistant coaches as he did last Saturday.
No. 22 Rutgers at Cincinnati
Rutgers is shooting for a Big East title and a trip to the Orange Bowl now that Louisville is no longer undefeated after losing to Syracuse last week. Standing in their way before the season finale game at Louisville is a two-loss Cincinnati team. I’ll be watching to see if Cincinnati will spoil the championship hopes of Rutgers who will likely be without their leading rusher and Big East player of the year candidate, Jawan Jamison.
No. 13 Stanford at No. 2 Oregon
Stanford defeated Oregon State last week to remain alive in the Pac 12 north division, but need a win against the undefeated Oregon Ducks to earn a bid in the conference championship game. If David Shaw’s team can defeat Oregon, it will be the second time the Cardinal have defeated the No. 1 team in the AP poll after they knocked off USC earlier this season.
I will be watching to see if the physical Stanford defense led by linebacker Chase Thomas can slow down the Oregon offense and if Stanford running back Stephan Taylor can control the clock and keep the ball away from the powerful Marcus Mariota-led Ducks offense which has scored 42 or more points in every game this season.
No. 18 USC at No. 17 UCLA
The battle of Los Angeles has been a one-sided affair for the better part of the last 15 years, but UCLA is one win away vs. USC from earning a spot in the Pac 12 championship game under head coach Jim Mora who has revitalized the once proud program. UCLA will be playing with a chip on their shoulder this game as many of the players were overlooked on the recruiting trail by USC.
USC is led by Matt Barkley and Heisman candidate Marqise Lee on offense, but I will be watching to see if that duo will be outplayed by the underrated duo of Brett Hundley and running back James Franklin who have been quietly starring in Westwood for the Bruins despite getting next to zero coverage from the national media.