By Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
Here's a look at every game of the Week 12 college football schedule.
No. 2 Oklahoma State at No. 50 Iowa State
Oklahoma State has done a very good job remaining focused on the task at hand each week. The Pokes have one more test to pass — this weekend in Ames — before the epic showdown with OU in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State 41, Iowa State 17
No. 62 Toledo at No. 114 Central Michigan
Toledo is tied with Northern Illinois in the loss column in the MAC West, but the Rockets lost the head-to-head battle with the Huskies. They will need NIU to lose to either Ball State or Eastern Michigan (both at home) to advance to the MAC title game.
Toledo 41, Central Michigan 13
No. 1 LSU at No. 86 Ole Miss
It’s the final home game for Houston Nutt as the coach at Ole Miss. Last time out, the Rebels lost to Louisiana Tech, 27–7, in Oxford. It’s highly unlikely that this game will be close.
LSU 34, Ole Miss 7
Georgia Southern at No. 3 Alabama
It will be interesting to see if Georgia Southern’s option attack, ranked No. 2 in the FCS ranks in rushing (320.4 ypg), can get anything going against an Alabama defense that is allowing only 51.9 rushing yards per game.
Alabama 37, Georgia Southern 0
No. 15 USC at No. 4 Oregon
Led by quarterback Matt Barkley, the USC offense has scored 40 points or more in four of its last six games. Last Saturday, the Trojans beat a quality Washington team with ease, 40¬–17. Barkley & Co. figure to score some points — though the Trojans are a bit banged up — but Oregon is playing too well on offense to slip up.
Oregon 41, USC 30
No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 26 Baylor
Oklahoma, at 8–1 overall, is still in the national title picture, but the Sooners’ one loss looks worse and worse each week. Texas Tech has lost its three games since that shocking win in Norman by a combined score of 159–33. Oklahoma has won its two games since that loss in convincing fashion, 58–17 at Kansas State and 41–25 vs. Texas A&M.
Oklahoma 48, Baylor 30
No. 51 Mississippi State at No. 6 Arkansas
Mississippi State has only scored more than 28 points in an SEC game once, at Auburn in Week 1. Arkansas has scored over 28 points against every SEC team not named Alabama.
Arkansas 34, Mississippi State 17
No. 7 Clemson at No. 59 NC State
There are rumors swirling that NC State coach Tom O’Brien could be on the way out. Beating Clemson would probably quiet some of that talk. That, however, isn’t likely to happen.
Clemson 31, NC State 21
No. 52 California at No. 8 Stanford
Stanford’s national title hopes ended last Saturday night, but the Cardinal are still in play for a BCS bowl. They will have to win their final two games, starting with the Big Game this Saturday at home. The Bears have played two teams currently ranked (Oregon and USC) and lost those games by a combined score of 73¬–22.
Stanford 38, California 17
No. 99 Indiana at No. 10 Michigan State
Indiana is the only BCS conference team that has not defeated at least one FBS opponent this season. The Hoosiers’ lone win came against South Carolina State back in September.
Michigan State 41, Indiana 13
No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 43 Illinois
Wisconsin is averaging 250.1 yards per game rushing and 248.9 yards per game passing. And by the way, UW is also ranked No. 5 in the nation in scoring defense. This is an elite team.
Wisconsin 38, Illinois 14
No. 12 Kansas State at No. 30 Texas
The Longhorns appeared to have hit their stride in recent weeks, but it turned out the wins over Kansas (43–0) and Texas Tech (52–0) were a bit of fool’s gold. Last weekend, they lost at Missouri, 17–5, to drop to 3–3 in the Big 12. UT managed only 247 total yards against a Mizzou defense that was torched for 686 yards the previous week by Baylor. Let that sink in for a moment.
Kansas State 24, Texas 20
No. 13 Boise State at No. 65 San Diego State
Boise State’s slim hopes at a national title ended when Dan Goodale’s 39-yard field goal attempt sailed wide to the right. San Diego State is good enough to make Boise State sweat, but the Broncos should get back on track.
Boise State 37, San Diego State 21
No. 85 Kentucky at No. 14 Georgia
A win over the Wildcats will send Georgia to the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 2005. The chances of this happening are highly likely.
Georgia 44, Kentucky 10
The Citadel at No. 16 South Carolina
The Gamecocks step out into the FCS ranks for a tune-up for the big showdown with Clemson next weekend. This will not be competitive.
South Carolina 48, The Citadel 0
No. 17 Nebraska at No. 22 Michigan
These two storied programs, who shared the national championship in 1997, meet for only the sixth time overall and for the first time in the regular season since 1962. Both teams are 4–2 in the Big Ten and one full game behind Michigan State in the Legends Division. Nebraska, however, does have a head-to-head win over MSU.
Michigan 24, Nebraska 17
No. 18 Penn State at No. 27 Ohio State
Ohio State freshman quarterback Braxton Miller is showing signs of life, but this team simply doesn’t scare anyone in the passing game. The Buckeyes have thrown for 90 yards or fewer in three of six Big Ten games and have not topped the 150-yard passing mark in a league game once. Fortunately for Ohio State, Penn State has major issues on offense as well. Don’t expect many points.
Ohio State 17, Penn State 13
No. 109 Colorado State at No. 19 TCU
Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild pulled the redshirt off freshman Garrett Grayson in the second quarter of last week’s loss to San Diego State. Sounds a bit desperate.
TCU 33, Colorado State 7
No. 71 SMU at No. 20 Houston
Houston, ranked No. 11 in the latest BCS rankings, will likely play in its first BCS bowl with wins in its final two regular-season games (SMU, at Tulsa) and a win in the C-USA title game.
Houston 47, SMU 27
No. 31 Virginia at No. 21 Florida State
Upstart Virginia controls its own destiny in the ACC Coastal, but the Cavs would have to complete an improbable sweep — beating Florida State in Tallahassee and Virginia Tech at home.
Florida State 24, Virginia 21
No. 78 Boston College at No. 23 Notre Dame
Not much has gone well for Boston College, but the Eagles did beat former coach Tom O’Brien and his NC State club for a third straight time in Chestnut Hill.
Notre Dame 41, Boston College 10
No. 24 Georgia Tech at No. 74 Duke
Duke secured its 17th straight losing season with a loss last week at Virginia. The Blue Devils have been more competitive under David Cutcliffe’s watch, but they still can’t get over the hump.
Georgia Tech 34, Duke 13
No. 28 Cincinnati at No. 48 Rutgers
It’s time for Munchie Legaux at Cincinnati. With starting quarterback Zach Colloras out for the rest of the regular season, Legaux, a dual-threat QB from New Orleans, steps in for the Bearcats.
Cincinnati 27, Rutgers 23
No. 57 Texas Tech at No. 29 Missouri
Texas Tech’s post-Oklahoma collapse continued last week with a 66–6 loss at home to Oklahoma State. It’s astounding how bad this team has been in recent weeks.
Missouri 34, Texas Tech 22
Samford at No. 32 Auburn
Auburn is in a bit of an offensive funk, having scored 17 points or fewer in its last five games not against Ole Miss. Look for the Tigers to flex their muscles against Samford.
Auburn 48, Samford 10
No. 33 Washington at No. 79 Oregon State
Keith Price’s efficiency has taken a hit as Washington’s schedule has toughened up. Through the first six games, the Huskies’ sophomore quarterback threw 21 touchdowns and only four interceptions. In the last four games — at Stanford, vs. Arizona, vs. Oregon, at USC — he has thrown four touchdowns and six interception.
Washington 38, Oregon State 20
No. 34 Miami (Fla.) at No. 55 South Florida
Last year, South Florida’s 23–20 overtime win at Miami probably sealed the fate of former Hurricane coach Randy Shannon. The Canes will be eager to exact some revenge.
Miami (Fla.) 21, South Florida 17
Furman at No. 35 Florida
Furman head coach Bruce Fowler made four trips to The Swamp as the defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt (2002-10). He lost all four games.
Florida 41, Furman 7
No. 36 Tulsa at No. 95 UTEP
Houston is stealing the headlines in C-USA West, but Tulsa is 6–0 in league play and hosts the Cougars in the finale on Nov. 25. Don’t be surprised if the Golden Hurricane crash the Coogs’ party.
Tulsa 41, UTEP 17
No. 81 Arizona at No. 37 Arizona State
Both teams are coming off troubling losses. Arizona lost badly (48–29) to a Colorado team that had lost its previous five Pac-12 games by an average of 38.2 points. Arizona State, meanwhile, missed a huge opportunity in its quest to wrap up a spot in the Pac-12 title game by losing at Washington State, 37–27.
Arizona State 34, Arizona 20
No. 38 Utah at No. 66 Washington State
Wazzu rolled up 590 yards of offense in its win over Arizona State last week, the most for the Cougars since a 601-yard effort against Cal in 2005. Posting gaudy numbers against the Utah defense will not be so easy.
Utah 24, Washington State 17
No. 93 Kansas at No. 39 Texas A&M
Texas A&M has averaged 34.6 points in its five losses. That is hard to do.
Texas A&M 41, Kansas 14
No. 42 Iowa at No. 54 Purdue
Purdue, which is 5–1 in the friendly confines of Ross-Ade Stadium, needs to beat Iowa at home this week or win at Indiana (winless against FBS foes) to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2007.
Purdue 21, Iowa 20
No. 83 Minnesota at No. 44 Northwestern
Northwestern has won three straight games and needs one more victory to secure its fifth straight non-losing regular season — the longest such streak at the school since the 1920s.
Northwestern 38, Minnesota 24
No. 87 Maryland at No. 45 Wake Forest
Wake Forest, currently 4–3 in the ACC, can secure a winning league record for the first time since 2007 with a win over the struggling Terps. Maryland has lost six straight, the last five by 10 points or more.
Wake Forest 31, Maryland 21
No. 46 Vanderbilt at No. 58 Tennessee
With two games still to play, Vanderbilt has already won more games this season (five) than the last two seasons combined (four). And there has been nothing fluky about the Dores’ 5–5 mark; in fact, Vanderbilt, with three SEC losses by five points or less, is a few plays away from being 7–3 or even 8–2.
Vanderbilt 27, Tennessee 23
No. 47 Louisville at No. 72 Connecticut
Two of the five two-loss teams in the Big East get together in Storrs. The loser is all but out of the league race. The winner still has plenty of work to do.
Louisville 21, Connecticut 20
No. 80 Colorado at No. 49 UCLA
UCLA controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South, starting with this Saturday’s date with Colorado. If the Bruins beat the Buffaloes and then somehow find a way to beat rival USC on the road, Rick Neuheisal will find himself in the first-ever Pac-12 Championship Game. It’s still an uphill battle — USC is playing great football — but stranger things have happened.
UCLA 31, Colorado 17
No. 100 New Mexico State at No. 56 BYU
New Mexico State has made tremendous progress in Year 3 of the DeWayne Walker era. The Aggies are 4–6 overall, with wins over Minnesota, New Mexico, Idaho and Fresno State. The closing slate is tough — at BYU, at Louisiana Tech, vs. Utah State — but there is legitimate hope in Las Cruces for the first time in a while.
BYU 34, New Mexico State 16
No. 60 Louisiana Tech at No. 61 Nevada
Neither team can clinch, but the winner of this game will almost assuredly win the WAC title in the first year post-Boise State. Louisiana Tech has quietly put together a five-game winning streak, highlighted by last week’s 27–7 win at Ole Miss. The Bulldogs’ late surge has made their coach, Sonny Dykes, a strong candidate at Arizona.
Louisiana Tech 35, Nevada 31
No. 63 Arkansas State at No. 113 Middle Tennessee
Arkansas State can wrap up at least a share of the Sun Belt title with a win in Murfreesboro this weekend. The Red Wolves have won seven in a row and have only lost at Illinois and at Virginia Tech. This is a very good team.
Arkansas State 41, Middle Tennessee 20
No. 64 Wyoming at No. 115 New Mexico
Big happenings at New Mexico this week. First, the Lobos beat UNLV to pick up the first win under interim coach George Barlow. Then, on Wednesday, news came out that former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie was named head coach at UNM.
Wyoming 41, New Mexico 10
No. 116 UNLV at No. 69 Air Force
UNLV was good enough to beat a decent Hawaii team by 20 points in Week 3 yet lost at home to Southern Utah (by 25 points) and at New Mexico. Strange season for the Rebs.
Air Force 37, UNLV 13
No. 70 Navy at No. 97 San Jose State
Navy has won two in a row, beating Troy at home and winning at SMU, to keep its hopes alive of playing a bowl game for a ninth straight season. The Middies close with this trip to San Jose State and then play rival Army on Dec. 10.
Navy 27, San Jose State 24
No. 107 Army at No. 75 Temple
Temple has played three straight games decided by four points or loss, losing at Bowling Green by three, at Ohio by four and beating Miami (Ohio) by three. This week shouldn’t be close.
Temple 30, Army 14
No. 76 Utah State at No. 112 Idaho State
The Aggies have figured out a way to win the close games, with a four-point win over Hawaii and a one-point win over San Jose State in the last two weeks. It shouldn’t be close this week.
Utah State 37, Idaho 10
No. 77 UCF at No. 96 East Carolina
It’s been a disappointing season for UCF, which was expected to battle for the C-USA East title. The Knights, however, are 4–6 overall and 2–4 in the league, though five of the six losses have been by seven points or less.
UCF 24, East Carolina 23
No. 102 Fresno State at No. 84 Hawaii
These are not good times for Pat Hill at Fresno State. The Bulldog faithful can handle losing to Boise State, and maybe even Nevada, but losing to Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State is frowned upon.
Hawaii 34, Fresno State 20
No. 89 Western Kentucky at No. 98 North Texas
The Hilltoppers lost last week for the first time since Oct. 1, but there is no shame in losing to LSU in Baton Rouge. WKU’s Sun Belt streak is alive at five straight games — and should move to six after this weekend.
Western Kentucky 21, North Texas 17
No. 92 FIU at No. 105 UL-Monroe
FIU will not repeat as Sun Belt champs, but the Golden Panthers are still having a solid season. They are 6–4 overall and 3–3 in league play and have a good opportunity to close the season with wins over UL-Monroe and Middle Tennessee.
FIU 24, UL-Monroe 17
No. 118 Tulane at No. 94 Rice
The Green Wave are limping to the finish line, with losses in eight straight games, the last five by at least six points.
Rice 31, Tulane 14
No. 101 Eastern Michigan at No. 110 Kent State
Both of these teams have exceeded expectations. Eastern Michigan is 6–4 overall and an amazing 4–2 in league play, while Kent State has won three straight to even its MAC record to 3–3.
Kent State 21, Eastern Michigan 20
No. 120 Akron at No. 106 Buffalo
Akron took over the dreaded No. 120 spot in our rankings after New Mexico lost last week. There is nothing that this team has done of late to suggest it can win a game vs. an FBS foe.
Buffalo 31, Akron 6
No. 119 FAU at No. 111 Troy
FAU is still searching for its first win in the final season of Howard Schnellenberger’s legendary coaching career. It’s not likely to come this weekend.
Troy 38, FAU 15
Last week — 40-12
Season — 444–113