Jones vs Griffin in WacoThursday, November 17, 2011
It will be a quiet Week 12 relative to marquee matchups. Only three games feature AP top-25 teams against each other, but no top-10 -- or even top-15 – contests are among them. Three top-25 teams, including Alabama, are playing FCS programs. That’s not to say the cupboard is bare. Here are six games that will likely produce some headlines this week.
No. 5 Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) at No. 25 Baylor (6-3, 3-3 Big 12)
All you need to know about this one is Landry Jones vs Robert Griffin. It could be a thrill-a-minute affair between two teams that have combined to average 86 points and 1,113 yards. The Sooners have won all 20 previous games.
Pick: Oklahoma 38-27
No. 18 USC (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) at No. 4 Oregon (9-1, 7-0 Pac-12)
While the Ducks are in the national championship equation, the Trojans, who are banned from postseason play, will attempt to play spoiler. They may have to go at it without a banged up Robert Woods, the nation’s fourth-leading receiver with 92 catches. A healthy Oregon is averaging 46.3 points and nearly 500 yards per game on the ground. In two games against the Trojans, LaMichael James has run for 422 yards and 4 TDs.
Pick: Oregon 37-23
Cal (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) at No. 8 Stanford (9-1, 7-1 Pac-12)
Andrew Luck and the Cardinal would love nothing more than to rebound against their chief rival in this 114th Big Game. While Cal has defeated only one team that currently has a winning record, the Bears are very tough defensively. However, the Golden Bears struggle offensively and keeping the ball away from Luck with long drives is how they could best pull off the upset. I don’t seeing happening. Stanford increases its lead in the series to 57-46-11.
Pick: Stanford 34-16
No. 17 Nebraska (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) at No. 20 Michigan (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten)
The thought of Taylor Martinez going against Denard Robinson looked very exciting earlier this season. Neither has really inspired the last few weeks, but that’s not to say both won’t top 100 yards rushing on Saturday. Who knows? What we do know is that the Wolverines are stingy allowing more than 16 points only twice this season. Both teams are a game behind Michigan State (home vs Indiana) in the Big Ten’s Legends Division.
Pick: Nebraska 20-17 OT
No. 16 Kansas State (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) at Texas (6-3, 3-3)
The KSU athletic department is trumpeting QB Collin Klein as college football’s MVP. He has accounted for 34 touchdowns (24 on the ground) and could pick up a couple more against a Texas team that could be without its top three running backs. The Longhorns defense is solid, but as was the case in a 17-5 loss to Missouri last week, scoring could be a chore no matter how good the “D” is.
Pick: Kansas State 24-13
Arizona (2-8, 1-7 Pac-12) at Arizona State (6-4, 4-3 Pac-12)
While neither team is ranked, the battle of the quarterbacks in this battle for the Territorial Cup should be fun. Arizona’s Nick Foles and Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler have been putting impressive numbers all season long. Osweiler has thrown for at least 250 yards in all but one game this season and has topped 300 four times while his counterpart is fourth in the country with an average of 361 yards per game.
Pick: Arizona State 33-27