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November 14, 2012

Weekend Forecast: Week 12

Untitled Document
Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham

The league regular season is coming close to an end and most conference races are still up in the air. With Alabama losing last week now there are three teams at the top who are undefeated (Ohio State as we all know will not be playing in a bowl game) and trying to stay in the top two spots for the BCS Championship game.

The Oregon Ducks are the only one of the three teams with what would be considered a challenging game and it tops off our list of games to select. The Big XII still has several competitive games on tap and the MAC makes our list with not one, but two games to pick.

As always, we will hold off our Ohio State pick until Friday.

Game Noon
Stanford vs. Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon
Ben's Pick: Even with the ineptitude of the Big Ten this season, it's hard to view the Pac-12 as anything but Oregon and the 11 dwarves right now. The reality is, the Ducks are just head and shoulders above anybody else on the west coast right now, and with Chip Kelly's squad currently in a three-way dance with Kansas State and Notre Dame to guarantee itself a spot in the second-to-last BCS National Championship game, I expect them to start our fast and furiously, and to keep it that way, adding on to Kenjon Barner's late Heisman Trophy push in a route of the Cardinal. Oregon 52 Stanford 20
Noon's pick: I grew up on the West Coast and watched many USC/UCLA games and for the sake of full disclosure, I did not pull for the team in the powder blue. Now it may not come as a shock that I am not picking UCLA this time around but it comes with two good reasons... Barkley and Lee. That combination is just one of the most dynamic pass-catch combos in America and I don't feel that UCLA has an answer for that. Did I mention that the Bruins are 103rd in the nation in pass defense and 65th in pass eff. defense? USC 45 UCLA 28
T-Tech vs. Okie State OSU OSU Tech OSU OSU OSU Tech
Jeremy's pick: At 6-3 and 4th in the Big 8, 12 or whatever it is, Oklahoma State (No. 24) has quietly hung around the top 25 most of the year, and this week they face their fourth ranked opponent of the season in No. 23 Texas Tech, who comes with the nation's best passing offense. OSU lost some key cogs from their high-powered offense a year ago, but still are 3rd nationally scoring over 43 points a game. Texas Tech burst on the national scene this year with a shutdown performance against high-flying West Virginia, but that was at home - this is on the road - and that will make a difference. High scoring game, but Oklahoma State pulls it out. Oklahoma State 48 Texas Tech 42
Marc's pick: While things appear to be turning around for Ole Miss, as the Rebels need a win in their final two games to become bowl eligible, this is probably not the weekend to do it. LSU looks to have hit its stride with QB Zach Mettenberger playing the best football of his career recently. The Rebels have certainly improved this season but still lack any type of marquee win on their schedule, though they did play Texas A&M tough a few weeks ago. LSU is simply the better team here and should win fairly easily at home. LSU 34 Ole Miss 16
Oklahoma vs. WVU OU OU OU OU OU OU OU
Doug's pick: A few weeks ago, Oklahoma-West Virginia looked like it would be a marquee game with lots of fireworks from the offenses. But West Virginia has dropped four straight games after starting 5-0 and climbing to No. 5 in the national rankings. Oklahoma has lost to the two best opponents on its schedule, Kansas State and Notre Dame. The Sooners still have a shot at a decent season and an BCS game. However, they can't afford another slip-up. The quarterback matchup could be the most intriguing aspect of this game. Remember when West Virginia's Geno Smith was considered the Heisman front-runner? His stats are pretty decent: 71.3 completion percentage 337.0 passing yards per game, 31 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. Landry Jones' numbers for Oklahoma are: 65.5 completion percentage 299 passing yards per game, 18 touchdowns, 7 interceptions. This game will be all about offense, and the Sooners have just a little more. Oklahoma 52 West Virginia 42
Andy's pick: Maybe the most important in-state battle of all-time. When Kevin first handed me the assignment of forecasting this game, I'll admit I cried but they were tears of joy. The assignment of a lifetime. Ok I'm done messing around. I will watch this game Saturday afternoon or at least keep an eye on it. The Mid-American East champ will be crowned in Perry Stadium between two teams that have caught many off-guard. While the Falcons are coming off a big win over the Bobcats, they'll have fits slowing down Trayion Durham, Dri Archer and the Golden Flash offense. I bet Darrell Hazell would like that game against Kentucky back. Kent State 42 Bowling Green 31
N'west vs. Mich. St. N'west MSU MSU MSU MSU MSU MSU
Tom's pick: The Northwestern Wildcats visit the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing Michigan Saturday in what I will believe will be a terrific football game. Both teams possessing capable offenses and defenses will be evenly matched, with I believe one difference. Michigan State has proven to be tough, ranking No. 3 in total defense and No. 4 in rushing defense. Northwestern features an exciting offense, led by quarterback, Kain Colter and tailback, Venric Mark, but will be limited, I believe due to Colter's ankle injury last week versus Michigan and the fact that Michigan State desperately need this win to become bowl eligible. I believe the Spartans will prevail in a great game. Michigan State 34 Northwestern 24
Ohio vs. Ball State Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio Ohio
Minnesota vs Nebraska Neb. Neb. Neb. Neb. Neb. Minn. Neb.
Iowa vs. Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan

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