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Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss is an underdog against Missouri.
With just two weeks of regular season action left, the 2013 college football season is quickly coming to a close. There’s plenty of marquee games remaining, but it’s crunch time for teams to get bowl eligible, along with ones chasing a conference title.
Week 13 has plenty of intrigue, starting in the Big 12 with Baylor-Oklahoma State and continuing in the SEC with Texas A&M-Missouri and LSU-Texas A&M.
In the Pac-12, USC hopes to continue to bolster the case of Ed Orgeron for the full-time job, while Arizona State-UCLA should decide the South Division title.
Athlon’s editors are back with another edition of the upset picks, and there are plenty of teams on alert this week.
The favorites can't win every game each week, so it's no surprise one of the most popular discussion points every Saturday is upset picks. Each week on AthlonSports.com, the editors will give an upset pick for the upcoming week of action.
College Football Week 13 Upset Predictions
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Ole Miss (+2.5) over Missouri
Missouri needs to win its final two games to reach the SEC Championship, but the Tigers have a tough remaining schedule, with a road trip to Ole Miss this Saturday, followed by a home game against Texas A&M on Nov. 30. Missouri is getting quarterback James Franklin back after missing four starts due to injury. But even with Franklin back in the lineup, I think this is a tough matchup for the Tigers. Ole Miss’ passing attack ranks second in SEC games (averaging 314.7 yards per game), with a plethora of weapons at the disposal of quarterback Bo Wallace. Missouri’s defensive line should have an edge against the Rebels’ offensive front, but Ole Miss can counter with quick passes against a secondary that ranks last in the SEC against the pass. The Rebels have won four in a row and lost by eight points to Auburn and three to Texas A&M. Hugh Freeze’s team had to deal with a handful of injuries on both sides of the ball earlier in the year, but Ole Miss is getting healthy and will upset Missouri on Saturday night.
Mark Ross: Oklahoma (+3.5) over Kansas State
Bob Stoops and Bill Snyder know each other very well, with Stoops having played for and coached under Snyder for more than 15 years. Now, as head coaches in the Big 12, this represents the 10th head-to-head meeting between the two, with Stoops holding a 7-2 edge. Kansas State won last season's meeting, snapping a five-game losing streak to Oklahoma in the process. Now the Wildcats are looking to end a four-game skid against the Sooners in Manhattan, a streak that goes back to 1996. The home team is favored, but Oklahoma is ranked and rebounded nicely from its disappointing showing against undefeated Baylor. These teams are similar in many ways, not surprising considering the coaching ties, but I think the Sooners are just a little bit better on the defensive end and that will be enough to allow the pupil to claim victory over his mentor.
Braden Gall (@BradenGall): Oklahoma State (+9.5) over Baylor
If there is a team and a situation that will give Baylor issues it is this season it is Oklahoma State in Stillwater. With potentially bad weather coming late Friday night, this game could be played more in the trenches than the Bears may want. Baylor isn't a finesse team by any stretch as both lines of scrimmage are strong at the point of attack. But a sloppy, slow, grind-it-out pace is the only chance anyone has at stopping Art Briles' explosive offense. With a power running game, maturing quarterback and solid defense, the Pokes have a real shot at slowing the tempo and throwing enough body blows to win. Yes, that's right, Mike Gundy may be looking to slow the game down this weekend. If the projected snow sticks Friday night (unlikely), all the better for Okie State.
David Fox (@DavidFox615): Purdue (+7) over Illinois
I picked one of the other worst teams in a major conference to get its first league win with the Kansas upset of West Virginia. I’m going to go to the dregs of the Big Ten to pick Purdue to pick up Darrell Hazel’s first league win. Illinois’ offense is dangerous, but this is a team with little left to play for. Narrowing the gap against Ohio State on multiple occasions still ended with a 60-35 loss an infighting on the coaching staff on the sideline. Purdue is awful, too, but the offense is slowly getting better. Freshman quarterback Danny Etling completed a season-high 63.6 percent of his passes for 223 yards on the road at Penn State last week. The Boilermakers haven’t rushed for 100 yards since Sept. 28, but Illinois’ defense isn’t holding anyone back.
Stephen Schindler (@SteveSchindler): Oklahoma State (+10) over Baylor
The Bears average an NCAA-best 61 points and 685 yards per game, boasting the nation's third-best passing offense and the ninth-ranked rushing offense. Bryce Petty averages 19 yards per completion, as he leads the country in passing efficiency with 24 touchdowns to just one interception. Given those stats, how could anyone pick against Baylor? Let's remember that this game is at the hostile venue of Boone Pickens Stadium, where the Bears are 0-9 since joining the Big 12. In fact, Baylor hasn't won in Stillwater in 70 years. I believe this streak will continue thanks to Oklahoma State's strength on both sides of the ball. The Cowboys pair an offense that averages 40 points per game with a defense that leads the country with 19 interceptions. In addition to their talents at creating turnovers, Mike Gundy's defense is adept on third downs and in the red zone. Their defense in 12th in the nation on third-downs, allowing conversions only 32 percent of the time. They are ninth in the NCAA in red-zone defense, giving up just 15 touchdowns in 34 red zone drives. While Baylor has converted 52.4 percent of third downs this year, they have converted just 41 percent the last two games against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Injuries will really hamper the Bears in this game. They are without WR Tevin Reese and starting LT Spencer Drango, while running backs Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin are questionable after missing last week against Texas Tech. Over the last two weeks, Bryce Petty has posted his two worst completion percentages of the season. Things won't get any easier for the 4th-ranked Bears under the lights in Stillwater.