What to Watch – Week 12


If you’re a fan of most conferences, you still have a week or two of games left after this weekend.  If you’re a fan of the Big Ten, well, enjoy the time off.  This weekend is either it for you or you have 40-50 days until you get to see your team on the field again.  So to




, this is your last chance to go out on a high note.  We’ll see you in 2010.  And


, odds are this is goodbye to you as well.

Ohio State @ Michigan – 12:00 – This matchup doesn’t exactly have the aura surrounding it that used to be there.  It’s still one of the premier games on the Big Ten schedule, but it doesn’t exactly mean much.  Unless of course the Wolverines find a way to pull off the upset.  Don’t expect that to happen.  If Michigan ends the regular season without a bowl on the horizon for the second straight year, replacing Rich Rodriguez will be hot topic of the offseason.  I still think Rodriguez will look good in Louisville red in a couple of years.

Maryland @ FSU – 12:00 – This should be a win for the Seminoles.  FSU needs this victory to become bowl eligible, which despite their struggles in recent seasons, is something we didn’t think we’d be able to say this late in any given year.  Luckily for the Noles, the Terps just aren’t very good.  Unluckily for all of us watching, the Noles will be wearing their version of the latest Nike marketing ploy.  Black helmets and uniforms that look a little too much like Atlanta Falcon clones.

Louisville @ USF – 12:00 – Don’t sleep on the Cardinals.  Then again, after the Bulls’ effort against Rutgers, no team facing USF should be slept on.  On paper, the Bulls look worth every bit of the double-digit point spread.  But not a lot seems to work out on paper.  Sorry for being the negative fan, but we’ve seen this USF story all too much in recent seasons.  At this point, we’re all just hoping 2009 ends on a positive note.

Mississippi State @ Arkansas – 12:21 – These teams are ninth and tenth in the SEC in points allowed.  The Bulldogs are at a major disadvantage here because they are also tenth in points scored (the Razorbacks are first).  Don’t except defense to rule this battle.  By all accounts, it should be something in the general vicinity of 48-34.  Of course, you know that just because I said that it will end up 13-10.  But…Arkansas has won their last three by an average of 29.7 points.  Bombs away!

FIU @ Florida – 12:30 – I wish I were a betting man.  If so, I would be jumping on FIU +45.  So would most people I think.  The Gators have beaten two teams by more than 45 this season – Charleston Southern and Troy.  Florida beat Troy by 50 and Troy beat FIU by 9.  You do the math.  But also consider FIU has played two opponents worth anything so far this season.  Alabama and Rutgers.  They lost to both by a combined 32 points.  Just something to consider.

LSU @ Ole Miss – 3:30 – In case you haven’t heard, something will be going down outside the stadium during this game, but let’s instead focus on what will be going on inside.  The Rebels have scored 33 points in three losses this season.  Dexter McCluster scored 24 points last week against Tennessee.  The Tigers look to keep their “we’ve only lost to the nation’s top two teams” season alive.

Cal @ Stanford – 7:30 – The matchup of what could have been.  A few different outcomes here and there and Stanford could be atop the Pac-10 and one of the nation’s top teams.  The Cardinal has three losses by a total of 22 points.  As for Cal, they have the same record as Stanford, but the Golden Bears’ three losses were by way of a total of 83 points.  The Cardinal face their third straight ranked opponent, but that shouldn’t deter them from wanting to keep their winning streak alive.  Stanford has put up more than 50 points against each of the last two.

Kentucky @ Georgia – 7:45 – The Bulldogs are 4-0 in games starting at 7:00 pm eastern or later this year.  The Wildcats are 2-1.  Give the edge to Georgia who has an entirely different offense under the stars.  The Dawgs will have an emotional edge in this one as well after the passing of UGA VII.  That really won’t have anything to do with the outcome, but you never mess with someone who just lost their dog.

Kansas @ Texas – 8:00 – Remember when the Jayhawks were 5-0?  Yeah, neither do I.  Since starting the season with five straight wins, Kansas has dropped five in a row.  And not to power opponents either.  The combined record of the teams they faced in those five losses is 28-24.  Go ahead, blame it on Mark Mangino.  With all the stories coming out about him recently and the losses piling up, it’s hard to imagine him being the Kansas head coach much longer.

Oregon @ Arizona – 8:00 – Both of these teams are having solid years, but just a few weeks ago, it looked like they could both end up having great years.  Kudos to the Ducks for rebounding after their loss to Stanford.  We’ll see if the Wildcats can do the same after coming off a loss to Cal.