Friday, November 16, 2007

Huge Games for Week 12

#7 Ohio State at #21 Michigan: Oops! Both teams got caught looking ahead to this game last week, where the Buckeyes' national title berth hopes were nearly completely dashed with a loss to Illinois, and Michigan, after an eight-game winning streak to bring resurgence to their season, fell at Wisconsin. However, the Wolverines (8-3, 6-1 Big Ten) missed both Chad Henne and Mike Hart in that game, and both are expected to play versus the Buckeyes. (C'mon, a warrrior like Hart wouldn't miss this game even if he had had open-heart surgery two days earlier.) Starting Buckeye RB Chris Wells might miss the game, however, leaving the starting job open to backup Maurice Wells to carry the load for Ohio State (10-1, 6-1). A Rose Bowl berth awaits the winner, while national title hopes aren't completely dashed for Ohio State if the Buckeyes are victorious. Wolverines 30, Buckeyes 28

#6 West Virginia at #22 Cincinnati: Thanks to the surprise of the Bearcats (8-2, 3-2), this game is going a long way towards determining the Big East champion. A win by the Mountaineers (8-1, 3-1), lead by the electric backfield play of QB Pat White and TB Steve Slaton, will essentially put the Big East title game in East Hartford next week, where the Mountaineers will play at #24 Connecticut. A win by the Bearcats will cause Cincy to be big fans of West Virginia next week. Mountaineers 37, Bearcats 24

#9 Georgia vs. #23 Kentucky: The Bulldogs (8-2, 4-2) still have hopes of winning the SEC East if they win their final two conference games, and Tennessee loses one of their final two vs. Kentucky or Vanderbilt. Bulldog RB Knowshon Moreno has been dominant on the ground all season, and should continue that run against a weak Wildcat run defense. Meanwhile, Andre' Woodson has the ability to tear it up in the air for Kentucky (7-3, 3-3), though Georgia has a strong defense, much tougher than the Wildcat defense. Dawgs 34, 'Cats 27

#15 Clemson vs. #17 Boston College: My oh my, how things change in two weeks. Just like USC, Cal, LSU at one point, and now Oregon, the Eagles (8-2, 4-2) find themselves far from the #2 ranking that they held just two games ago. Two losses later, the national title berth hopes are dashed. However, a BCS bowl berth isn't. The winner of this game wins the ACC Atlantic Division and faces either Virginia or Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Dec. 8 for a spot in a BCS game. So, just like USC and Oregon, B.C. can be sad about their fall from grace but can still hold hopes for a lucrative January game. Matt Ryan, can you deliver like you delivered in the final three minutes against Virginia Tech? Who knows. One thing we do know is that Bobby Bowden's boy Tommy sure can coach the Tigers (8-2, 5-2). Tigers 26, Eagles 20

Utah vs. New Mexico: The victor of this battle will remain in contention for the Mountain West Conference title, a position that the Utes (7-3, 4-2) couldn't have imagined themselves in after falling to 1-3 and 0-2 in the conference way back in September. Meanwhile, the Lobos (7-3, 4-2), behind the surprisingly good play of QB Donovan Porterie and TB Rodney Ferguson, have exceeded preseason expectations. Both teams are notorious for being hard-hitting on defense, as the nationally fifth-ranked Ute defense has particularly proven with shutdown performances against UCLA (44-6) and Wyoming (50-0) this season. However, the Lobos have beaten the Utes four of the last five meetings, with the lone Ute victory during that span coming during their unblemished 2004 BCS campaign. Utes 24, Lobos 20

Purdue at Indiana: Both schools have their sights set on a bowl game, and the winner of this contest may realize that goal. The Boilermakers (7-4, 3-4) are seventh in the Big Ten currently, and will lock up a bowl bid with a win. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers (6-5, 2-5) are ninth and could possibly fill the potential open spot in the Las Vegas Bowl vs. the Mountain West Conference champion with a win and the Pac-10's potential inability to field a fifth bowl-eligible team for the game. Boilermakers 21, Hoosiers 17

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