Welcome to the 13th Week of the college football season and this is rivalry week. The week before the conference championships, we have rivalry week and we know that anything can happen. The top 4 in the college football rankings has been the same for a minute now, but that could change. With college football, anything can happen, and those records can be thrown out the window. With only wo games last week, my record was 2-0. Going into this weekend, 36-9 is my overall mark and that raised my winning percentage from 79.1 to 80%. Will Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan hold on to their position after this weekend is over? Will Georgia, Oklahoma or anyone else get help and sneak into the top 4? This weekend I’ll be predicting the most games in a week which is 12. Will UCF rise anymore after this week? Let’s Get Started!!
We start things off in the Big Ten and one of the biggest rivalries in all of college sports. The 4th ranked Michigan Wolverines will travel to Columbus to face the 10th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Michigan lost the first game of the year against Notre Dame, but has been on a tear ever since. The Wolverines have embarked on a revenge tour, which have saw them decimate all the teams that beat them last year. Can Jim Harbaugh finally get his big win against the Buckeyes? With their mediocre performance against Maryland last week, the committee dropped the Buckeyes to #10. The Buckeyes defense haven’t looked like the Buckeyes defenses in the past. Can the Buckeyes turn it around and beat Michigan again? This is a tough one, but I think Ohio State pulls it out at home.
Ohio State Win 26-24
We travel down to Big-12 territory and Morgantown to be exact. The 6th ranked Oklahoma Sooners will head on the road to face the 13th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. This is a battle for the right to head to the Big 12 Championship game. It’s pretty simple for Oklahoma, if they win and they’ll be playing Texas, which means the Longhorns beat Kansas. The Sooners defense will have to play much better against Heisman candidate, Will Grier. Can the Sooners contain the explosive QB? Last week, West Virginia’s loss to Oklahoma State hurt them all around. They dropped in the rankings and now they could miss a berth in the conference championship game. With a win over Oklahoma and Texas most likely beating Kansas, we’ll see the Mountaineers and Longhorns battle again. I’m picking the Mountaineers to beat the Sooners in a shootout like the Rams and Chiefs.
West Virginia Win 51-49
We head out west for this one and the Pacific Northwest to be exact in Pac-12 country. We have the 16th ranked Washington Huskies headed to battle their in-state rivals, the 8th ranked Washington State Cougars. Before the year started, many people picked the Huskies to return to the college football playoffs. Unfortunately, they had a few road blocks throughout the season and finished with three losses. They can still make the conference championship game with a win on the road? Will they? Washington State had their lone loss earlier in the season at USC in controversial fashion. Gardner Minshaw is one of the best QBs in the country and the defense is underrated. To be honest, they’re not getting enough respect from the committee, but the loss to the Trojans is a bad one. They should beat the Huskies and head to the title game.
Washington State Win 38-27
We head down to SEC country as the 7th ranked LSU Tigers go on the road to face the 22nd ranked Texas A&M Aggies. LSU is looking to secure them a major bowl with a win over the Aggies. At times, the offense has been up and down throughout the season. On the other hand, the defense is filled with future NFL 1st rounders that get to the ball. The talented CBs for LSU will be tested against the big WRs of the Aggies, can they hold their own? The Aggies are currently on a 2-game winning streak after dropping the previous two. The ability to run and pass the ball will help the Aggies against the stout Tigers defense. Can they pull off the upset? It’s a tough environment facing the Aggies at home during the night and I think it’ll help them upset the Tigers.
Texas A&M Win 24-23
We have the final match-up between ranked teams and they happen to represent the Mountain West. The 21st ranked Utah State Aggies will travel to Idaho to battle the 23rd ranked Boise State Broncos. Utah State can advance to the championship game with a win over the Broncos. The Aggies lost their first game against Michigan State, but won the next 10 games. The offense of Utah State has been amazing as they’re averaging over 49 points a game. Can they duplicate that against a good Broncos defense? For Boise State, if they’re going to advance to the title game all they need to do is win. Brett Rypien is one of the more underrated QBs in the country. Boise State also have a great running game, which could be used to control the Aggies offense. I’m going with the Broncos to win and advance to the title game.
Boise State Win 31-24
We head down south to SEC country for the infamous Iron Bowl. The Auburn Tigers will travel to Tuscaloosa to battle the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. To say this season has been a bust for the Tigers would be an understatement. After a great season a year ago, the Tigers have regressed and that starts with Jarrett Stidham. Despite their four losses, the Tigers possess one of the better defenses in the country allowing less than 17 points a game. Will they step up against the Tide? We all know that Alabama has a National Championship rematch with Georgia in the SEC Championship. They must battle their hard-hitting rivals with the hopes of not slipping before the big game. With Nick Saban at the helm, Alabama will be focused and will blow out the Tigers.
Alabama Win 34-13
We stay in the south but head up the road to South Carolina for this one. In a battle between ACC vs. SEC the South Carolina Gamecocks will travel to face the 2nd ranked Clemson Tigers. Coming into this game, South Carolina is already bowl eligible. The bad news is that they’re facing a red-hot Tigers teams that looks unstoppable. The Gamecocks six wins have come against unranked opponents and the four losses have been to ranked ones. Can the Gamecocks pull off the shocking upset? Ever since their close game against Syracuse, Clemson is scoring an average of less than 45 points while giving up around 8 points. Clemson will play Pittsburgh in the ACC title game and they should annihilate the Gamecocks.
Clemson Win 45-17
We stay in the south and come to my state, which is Georgia. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will travel to Athens to face the 5th ranked Georgia Bulldogs. After starting the season 1-3, Georgia Tech won six of their final seven games. They beat teams like Miami, Virginia Tech and Virginia, which all had to do with their running game. The Yellow Jackets average over 350 yards a game on the ground, so you already know their game plan. Can the Yellow Jackets pull off the upset like they have before? For Georgia, we all know they have a date with Alabama in the SEC title game. Will the Bulldogs defense slow down the Jackets potent run game? Can Jake Fromm get into rhythm ahead of their game against the Crimson Tide? I’m picking the Bulldogs to run away late in this one.
Georgia Win 38-21
We continue to stay in the south and this time we head to Florida for this one. The 11th ranked Florida Gators will travel to Tallahassee to battle the Florida State Seminoles. The Gators are riding a 2-game winning streak after dropping the previous two. Florida possess a balanced attack on offense and the defense can get after you with the best of them. Florida would love to get to 9 wins and increase their chances of a high profile bowl game. Florida State is coming off a miraculous win last week against Boston College and kept their bowl hopes alive. They have made a bowl game for 41 consecutive seasons and with a win it can continue. The Seminoles have one of the worse offenses in the country and that will be their downfall against Florida as the Gators should win.
Florida Win 24-20
We head back to ACC country in a battle of two surprising teams. The 20th ranked Syracuse Orange will head to Boston College to face the Eagles. Syracuse were hoping for a better outcome last week against the Fighting Irish. Unfortunately, Eric Dungey went down early in the game and the rout was on for Notre Dame. Syracuse is hopeful he can return for this game because he’s the heartbeat for the offense and entire team. Can the Orange end the season on a positive note? Boston College is riding a 2-game losing streak after their heartbreaking loss against Florida State. If the Eagles are going to walk away with a win, AJ Dillon will have to get a heavy load of carries. With the uncertainty of Dungey for the Orange, Boston College should end their 2-game skid with a win.
Boston College Win 31-21
We stay in the ACC as this time we head to Miami. The 24th ranked Pittsburgh Panthers will travel to the 305 to battle the Miami Hurricanes. Pittsburgh is riding a 4-game winning streak and in the process, they have a date with Clemson in the ACC Championship game. In the last three weeks, the Panthers defense have been front and center. They have given up an average of 16 points a game while scoring around 36. Can the Panthers continue their momentum against Miami and onto the title game? Miami had huge aspirations to start the season after a stellar one the prior year. The Hurricanes thought they’d be challenging for a playoff berth, but that didn’t happen. Last week, they ended a 4-game skid by beating the Hokies. Can they finish the regular season on a high note? I’m rolling with the Panthers to continue their winning ways heading into the ACC title game.
Pittsburgh Win 30-20
The final game of the weekend has a lot riding on it for both teams. The 3rd ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will travel to Los Angeles to battle the US Trojans. The Fighting Irish can punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win over the Trojans. Notre Dame have been dominating on both sides of the ball throughout the season. Ian Book got the offense looking like a well-oiled machine ever since taking over the starting QB position. Can the Fighting Irish be overlooking the Trojans? USC is in danger of missing out on a bowl after losing four of their last five games. It’s rumored that this could be the final game for Todd Helton at the helm, so will the Trojans go down with a fight? Can they pull off the major upset? I’m going with the Fighting Irish punching their playoff ticket with a win.
Notre Dame Win 41-24
What game intrigues you the most during rivalry week in college football? Do you see any upsets happening this weekend? What do you think about my predictions, my top-5 below and my projections for the top-8 playoff teams after this week? Leave a comment below.
My Top 5 Rankings
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Clemson Tigers
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Michigan Wolverines
- Georgia Bulldogs
Top 8 Playoff Projections After This Week
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Clemson Tigers
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Washington State Cougars
- UCF Golden Knights (Give Them A Chance)
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Michigan Wolverines