As we enter Week 12 of the 2014 College Football season, only two teams remain undefeated. The No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide, while the No. 3 Florida State Seminoles travel south to take on their in-state rivals, the Miami Hurricanes. Not only due these two games have huge CFB Playoff implications, but they are two that I feel should be exploited this week, as both at least sort of make you scratch your head.
Here is a look at some of my picks for Week 12 against the spread, with a focus on the games that will impact the first ever CFB Playoff.
* No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes (-13) at No. 25 Minnesota Golden Gophers – OSU is coming off of a huge victory over Sparty last weekend. Could they be in for a letdown? Well, that depends on how you view a letdown. Will they escape with a win on the road in a pivotal B1G matchup? Yes. But, I don’t see them winning by more than two touchdowns. I think Minny can keep it close enough to cover.
* No. 19 Clemson Tigers (-3.5) at No. 22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – Deshaun Watson is due back at QB for the Tigers, but will he the freshman be rusty? Clemson has a great defense, and we know that Tech will look to run, run, run. I’ll take the Jackets with the points, as this could be closer than even a field goal.
* Virginia Tech Hokies (+5.5) at No. 21 Duke Blue Devils – The Dukies have the inside track to get to the ACC Championship game, and I hardly see the Hokies getting in their way. Only giving up 5.5 at home against a sub .500 team seems like a gift to me. Hopefully, it isn’t fools gold, but I still like Duke here.
* No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs (+8.5) at No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide – The No. 1 team in the nation as an 8.5 point underdog? Really? Alabama is very good. Maybe even the best overall team in the country. Still, I would take the points with the Bulldogs. Getting more than a touchdown as a higher ranked team is nearly unheard of, regardless of their opponent and location of the game.
* No. 9 Auburn Tigers (+2.5) at No. 15 Georgia Bulldogs – The return of Todd Gurley will certainly boost the hopes of the ‘Dawgs, but they are facing an angry Auburn team coming off of a surprising loss against the Texas A&M Aggies that at least temporarily knocked them out of the CFB Playoff discussion. After beating Georgia on the road on Saturday, I envision Auburn sneaks its way back into the conversation. Take the Tigers.
* No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (-3) at Miami Hurricanes – Seriously? The only other unbeaten as just a field goal favorite against an unranked Miami? The ‘Canes are not a bad team by any means. But, neither are they worthy of even being considered for being ranked. FSU may not be as good as their record would indicate, but this just seems too easy. I would take the ‘Noles as my pick of the week.
* BONUS PICK: No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils (-10) vs. Oregon State Beavers – Sure, a 10 point favorite on the road in a Pac-12 game may seem like a lot, but it shouldn’t in this case. The Sun Devils have four wins over ranked teams this season. The Beavers have four wins overall. They are not a good team. I’ll give up the 10 on the road in this one and take ASU.