10 College Football Games You Must Watch in Week 13
Week 13: Ten College Football Games You Must See
College Football is in the meat of its season and fans have been treated to some great games so far. This week is going to be no different. There are plenty of top-25 matchups and games with teams who need to make statements. The greatest part about Week 13 is that the conference championship picture gets clearer for some and more enigmatic for others. Conferences like the SEC, ACC, and Big-10 are all but set in stone, but the Pac-12 and Big-12 still have room for big upsets and movement in the standings.
As exciting as the games are this weekend, many big teams are playing opponents who are far too soft for a top-ten team in Week 13. For example, No. 1 Alabama is playing Chattanooga at home. No. 2 Florida State plays a D1-AA Idaho team in Tallahassee, FL. Idaho are 1-9. Let that sink in. This is disappointing for College Football fans in general as these games should be done with in the first two weeks of the season.
But fear not because there is a plethora of football to feast your eyes upon this Saturday. In fact, you are about to discover a comprehensive list of the best games to catch this weekend. Before we continue, though, an honorable mention goes to Duke who has been the surprise of the season. The Blue Devils take on Wake Forest and will hope to move one step closer to a spot in the ACC Championship.
Now, without further ado, here are the top ten games to watch in Week 13.
10. Washington at Oregon State
Two tough yet underachieving sides meet in Corvallis, OR and look to put up a lot of offense. Oregon State’s quarterback Sean Mannion leads the nation in passing with 3860 yards on 327 completions. His favorite target, Brandin Cooks, leads the nation in receiving yards with 100 catches for 1443 yards and 14 of Mannion’s 33 touchdowns.
Washington, on the other hand, prefers to keep the game on the ground. Bishop Sankey, the Huskies' hard-nosed running back ranks fourth in the nation in rushing with 1396 yards on 249 carries for an average of 5.6 yards a carry.
Oregon State will benefit from home-field advantage as well as the possible absence of Keith Price under center for Washington. Although Washington is a slightly better team, Oregon State will look to get payback for last week’s thrashing at the hands of Arizona State and will come away with the victory at home.
9. No. 13 Michigan State at Northwestern
Michigan State controls their own destiny in the Legends division with a 6-0 conference record and a record 9-1 overall. Sparty gets the job done on defense, ranking fourth in the nation in points allowed with a 13.2 per-game average. Jeremy Langford, their star tailback, will carry the load on offense, already amassing 926 yards on the ground on 199 carries.
Northwestern does not look good on paper yet always puts up a fight at home. The Wildcats gave Ohio State its toughest road game of the season and took Michigan into triple over-time before loosing at home. Northwestern has not won a game in conference so far this season, and their losing streak will continue as Michigan State will walk away the victors this Saturday.
8. No. 19 Wisconsin at No. 25 Minnesota
Wisconsin boasts two 1,000-yard rushers this season in Melvin Gordon and James White, both of which have fourteen touchdowns apiece. The Badgers come into the game with a very stout defense, as well, ranking fifth in the nation in points against.
Minnesota, to its credit, has a good running game as well. Their starting tailback, David Cobb, is 58 yards shy of reaching 1,000 and has seven touchdowns to boot. Including Cobb, the Golden Gophers have two backs with seven touchdowns and one with six. They like to keep it on the ground and use their passing game sparingly.
Wisconsin will most likely pack the box and force Minnesota to beat them through the air. Minnesota may be in the hunt for a Big 10 championship spot but Wisconsin will run away with this one.
7. California at No. 9 Stanford
The Big Game is not so big this year. California has been abysmal this year, giving up 44.4 points per game and limping to a 1-10 record. The only bright spot is their passing offense that ranks tenth in the nation through Jared Goff’s 3,314 passing years. Chris Harper is Goff’s go-to receiver and will see the ball constantly as Stanford will easily make California’s running game a non-factor.
Stanford is still licking their wounds from an upset loss to USC last weekend. The Cardinal came up against a very powerful team that matched them strength for strength. California will do no such thing. Stanford’s defense will shut down the Golden Bears' offense, while Tyler Gaffney will get plenty of carries to add to his already stellar total of 1,201 yards and 15 touchdowns.
This rivalry game dates back to 1892. Stanford already leads the series, and that won’t begin to change this weekend as the Cardinal look to make California pay for USC’s success.
6. No. 23 USC at Colorado
The Trojans have been quite a story this season. After starting the year 4-3, USC have been on a four game winning streak since appointing Ed Orgeron interim head coach -- most notably, a win against the then No. 4 Stanford Cardinal last weekend.
USC have a very good defense, ranking No. 16 nationally in points against. Hayes Pullard and Dion Bailey are stellar defenders and will be key as the Trojans look to shut down Colorado. Javorious “Buck” Allen has become the starter at tailback after an injury setback to Tre Madden, who still has yet to reclaim his starting spot.
Colorado is a much better team this year than they were a year ago. With that being said, the only thing that can one can count on is that Paul Richardson will show up to play. The wide receiver has 1201 yards and nine touchdowns through the air, cementing himself as the Buffaloes' most potent offense option. Defensively, they are as bad as anyone so don’t be surprised if they do little to stop the Trojan offense.
While home-field advantage does count, it will not in this game as USC are the easy favorites to win. Colorado will play for pride, but USC will be playing to stay in contention for the Pac-12 South.
5. No. 12 Texas A&M at No. 22 LSU
Texas A&M will roll into Death Valley looking for a fourth consecutive win. Last year’s Heisman winner, Johnny Manziel will look to add to his 3313 passing yards and 31 touchdowns; he also leads the team in rushing. 12 of those scores have gone to his favorite target, Mike Evans, who has already surpassed the 1,200-yard mark in receiving yards.
LSU is coming off a bye-week after a disappointing, yet not unexpected, loss to Alabama. The Tigers will look to finish their season strong behind the arm of Zach Mettenberger, who has 2733 yards with 20 touchdowns, and Odell Beckham Jr., who has reeled in 1051 yards on the year.
Despite Texas A&M’s poor defense they do score points in bunches. LSU plays better defense but scores less as well. This will be a close contest, but the win will go to the home side and give them the edge in conference standings.
4. No. 8 Missouri at No. 24 Ole Miss
Missouri would have had a perfect year if it weren’t for an overtime loss to South Carolina. The Tigers are solid on both sides of the ball, and Maty Mauk has been outstanding since filling in for the injured James Franklin, throwing for five touchdowns last week against Kentucky -- all four of those went to Dorial Green-Beckham.
Ole Miss likes to air it out as well and their hopes ride on the arm of Bo Wallace and his 2664 yards passing. The Rebels don’t have a clear go-to running back but can get a fair amount of production out of three different guys, namely Jeff Scott.
Missouri have a SEC championship spot riding on this game and will look to take care of business on the road. The Tigers will win this one.
3. No. 17 Arizona State at No. 14 UCLA
Both teams come into this game 8-2 and with a foot in the door for control of the Pac-12 South. Arizona State has a slight advantage having only lost one conference game to UCLA’s two. The Sun Devils have been great at scoring this season both on the ground and through the air. Tailback Marion Grice has 901 yards to go with 14 touchdowns while quarterback Taylor Kelly has 2938 yards passing and 24 scores.
UCLA have had a great year, as well, losing only to Stanford and Oregon. Bret Hundley is the Bruins' standout player tossing 20 touchdowns and 2384 yards through the air, while also leading the team in rushing with 502 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Their best receiver, Shaquille Evens has reeled in seven touchdowns and will look to add to that total this weekend.
UCLA has a great team but will fall prey to the same similar style of offense as Oregon’s – who ran away with the game in the second half – and Arizona State will claim its sixth straight win.
2. No. 5 Oregon at Arizona
Oregon will travel to Tucson, AZ looking to keep their BCS hopes alive against a dangerous Arizona team. Heisman hopeful, Marcus Mariota – who is still the best player in college football – will look to add to his already stellar season of 2819 yards and 25 touchdowns. His most impressive stat is that he has no interceptions on the year. None! Byron Marshall has cemented himself as the Ducks' first-choice tailback with 991 yards and fourteen touchdowns on the season. Look for middle-linebacker Derrick Malone to be a key player as the Ducks attempt to stuff the run.
Arizona, despite a 6-4 record, has a fantastic rushing game behind star tailback Ka’Deem Carey. Carey is sixth in the nation with 1353 yards, while pitching in with twelve touchdowns. The passing game is where they fall short as B.J. Danker has thrown for only 1888 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, far below most other Pac-12 quarterbacks.
Oregon's dominant performance last week will carry over into this game, and the Ducks will make easy work of the Wildcats.
1. No. 4 Baylor at No. 10 Oklahoma State
The Baylor Bears will defend their No. 4 ranking on the road in Stillwater, OK against a 9-1 Cowboy team looking to steal the Big-12 title. Baylor’s quarterback, Bryce Petty has been playing lights-out this season throwing for 2992 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Oklahoma State is coming off of a big conference win against No. 24 Texas. The Cowboys have switched quarterbacks midway through the season, currently opting for senior Clint Chelf, who has 1222 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.
This will be an offensive shootout and a fun game to watch. Oklahoma State are going to take advantage of playing at home and will pull the upset, putting themselves in pole-position for the Big-12 title.