Last week should’ve been known as “Shakeup Saturday”. Lots of upsets caused shuffling in the rankings, and set up a terrific final two weeks of the regular season. Many more CFP dreams will be squashed like a bug this weekend, which should lead to several exhilarating contests.
DK’s 2015 Week 12 CFB Game Picks
All game times in Eastern Daylight Time.
California @ Stanford (Saturday, November 21st, 10:30 p.m., ESPN)
Big Game. Rivalry Game. The West Coast’s longest-running CFB series renews with a lot on the line, at least for this year’s home team. Stanford played itself onto the wrong side of the CFP bubble by losing last week, but the Cardinal can still clinch the PAC-12 North with a win over the hated Golden Bears. Cal’s defense is improved, but not improved enough to derail this season’s PAC-12 leader in scoring offense at 41.2 points per conference game. The men in red roll at home.
Pick: Stanford 56, California 35
North Carolina @ Virginia Tech (Saturday, November 21st, 12:00 p.m., ESPN)
North Carolina has everything in the world to play for, with a chance to clinch the Coastal Division and a date in Charlotte against #1 Clemson. This is the final home game for favorite son Frank Beamer, and the Hokies will be sky-high, in an attempt to send him off a winner in his final game at home. This one is going to be a brawl, but talent will triumph over emotion. UNC gets the win.
Pick: North Carolina 35, Virginia Tech 27
Michigan @ Penn State (Saturday, November 21st, 12:00 p.m., ABC)
There is still a scenario that could land Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines in the CFP. The sequence of events would have to be crazier than a Tarantino movie, but it could happen. Penn State is solid this year, but they haven’t seen the intensity of a Harbaugh-coached team during its stretch run. They will on Saturday, and they won’t like it. Michigan wins in convincing fashion.
Pick: Michigan 42, Penn State 20
Michigan State @ Ohio State (Saturday, November 21st, 3:30 p.m., ABC)
Everyone’s game of the year in the B1G from the moment the schedule was set. Both teams have had vulnerable moments, but tOSU gets J.T. Barrett back from suspension, and the Buckeyes are at home. I’ll take the Scarlett & Gray.
Pick: Ohio State 27, Michigan State 24
Northwestern @ Wisconsin (Saturday, November 21st, 3:30 p.m., BTN)
Amazingly, each of these teams could win the B1G West, even at this late date. Wisconsin struggled early, but has pulled it together more recently. Northwestern came out of the gates strong, but got hammered twice in the middle of its season, before rebounding in recent weeks. Bucky is on the longer streak, and Camp Randall will be rocking. Wisconsin will win.
Pick: Wisconsin 31, Northwestern 20
USC @ Oregon (Saturday, November 21st, 4:30 p.m., ESPN)
Oregon’s offense finally looked like Oregon’s offense against Cal and Stanford. It’ll look like Oregon’s offense for the third straight week against USC, as Clay Helton tries to make his case for losing that pesky “interim” label. The Ducks will roll, putting pressure on Stanford to win late at night to earn its berth in the PAC12CG as North Division Champion.
Pick: Oregon 53, USC 38
UCLA @ Utah (Saturday, November 21st, 8:00 p.m., ESPN)
The winner of this game will still be in the running for the PAC-12 South title; the loser will start preparing for the Holiday Bowl. The Utes lost stud RB Devontae Booker to season-ending surgery on Thursday, but they still have the electric environment at Rice-Eccles Stadium (and altitude) on their side. This will be the best game played this weekend west of the Mississippi, and the Utes will prevail in a close one.
Pick: Utah 32, UCLA 30
Memphis @ Temple (Saturday, November 21st, 12:00 p.m., ESPNU)
Boy, has the AAC race become one of the most entertaining in the nation. None of these teams has a snowball’s chance of crashing the CFP party, but one of them will be the Go5 representative in the NY6 bowl bonanza. All acronyms aside, this is a chance for Paxton Lynch to show out again in a big game. He’s fallen short twice now, but won’t do so this Saturday afternoon. Memphis stays in the AAC hunt.
Pick: Memphis 31, Temple 30
LSU @ Mississippi (Saturday, November 21st, 3:30 p.m. CBS)
There are rumblings in Baton Rouge that the Bayou Bengal faithful have grown so disenchanted with Les Miles that they want him gone. Seems crazy, given that the Tigers were the #2 team in the nation just two short weeks ago. The Hat’s seat may be even warmer on Sunday morning. Laquan Treadwell and Ole Miss get the win in Oxford.
Pick: Mississippi 28, LSU 23
Baylor @ Oklahoma State (Saturday, November 21st, 7:30 p.m. FOX)
Oklahoma State is at home and favored in this week’s edition of ‘As The Big XII Turns’. The Pokes are undefeated, but are they really better than Baylor? The Bears ran into a Sooner buzz-saw last week at home, but Oklahoma is the hottest team in the nation right now. The Cowboys, on the other hand, struggled to beat a not-very-good Iowa State team. Baylor bounces back and stays in the hunt with a key road win.
Pick: Baylor 52, Oklahoma State 48