NCAA College Football Week 12 Picks - Early Games

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NCAA College Football Week 12 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 11: Rick: 8-5; Coin: 13-0
Cumulative: Rick: 74-79-1; Coin: 84-68-1

Friday, November 15

9:30 pm Fresno State (-1, 42 1/2) at San Diego State - Overall, San Diego State has the lowest-scoring offense of the 12 Mountain West conference teams. They were defeated last week by Nevada, 17-13, another defensive-minded outfit.

Fresno State, is 4-5, but is tied for third in scoring conference-wide. Their defense is among the worst in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs have wins over New Mexico State, 0-9, and Sacramento State, 7-3 (Division I-AA). They'll have trouble scoring against the Aztecs.

Coin Flip: San Diego State

Prediction: Aztecs 20 Bulldogs 17

Saturday, November 16

12:00 pm #5 Alabama (-19 1/2, 62 1/2) at Mississippi State - After being upset by LSU, the Crimson Tide must regroup, hit the road and keep winning, in hopes of still reaching the National championship four-team playoff. The fact that they lost by less than a touchdown (46-41) works in their favor, but at #5, they're on the outside looking in, though two of the squads ahead of them are certain of a future loss (LSU and Georgia currently lead their divisions and would meet in the SEC championship).

On the downside, Minnesota and Baylor, both 9-0, are not even close, ranked #8 and #13, respectively. The Tide has Western Carolina (non-conference) and Auburn still ahead.

Mississippi State was hammered by Auburn and LSU, and also has losses in conference to Tennessee and Texas A&M. Alabama should handle them even if QB Too Tagovailoa takes the week off (likely).

Coin Flip: Alabama

Prediction: Crimson Tide 42 Bulldogs 14

12:00 pm Indiana at #9 Penn State (-14, 54 1/2) - Penn State got through the roughest part of their schedule, beating Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State, before falling victim at Minnesota last week, 31-26. The Gophers remained undefeated at 9-0, but the Nittany Lions fell to 8-1 and have a game at Ohio State next week.

While this may look like a walkover for Penn State, it may not be. Indiana is 7-2, their two losses to Ohio State (51-10) and Michigan State (40-31), the latter of those two games more representative of the kind of team the Hoosiers are fielding. They've won four straight and have talent at wideout for QB Peyton Ramsey, who is 4-1 in games he's started this season. This is a true trap game for Penn State and they may not escape unscathed.

Coin Flip: Indiana

Prediction: Hoosiers 32 Nittany Lions 30

12:00 pm #11 Florida (-7, 50 1/2) at Missouri - When Missouri beat Ole Miss, 38-27, on October 12, they were 5-1. Then came three straight losses, at Vandy, Kentucky, and Georgia, the last two by 29-7 and 27-0, respectively. The Miszzou are playing to become bowl eligible, meaning they have to win one of their final three games. Either Tennessee or Arkansas - their next two opponents after the Gators - would figure into that plan.

Florida is a few plays short of SEC greatness. Their two losses were to LSU and Georgia, the teams currently leading in each division. Last week they pounded Vanderbilt, 56-0. They may do similar damage to the Tigers, who seem to have lost their offense.

Coin Flip: Missouri

Prediction: Gators 42 Tigers 10

12:00 pm #14 Wisconsin (-14, 51) at Nebraska - Following back-to-back losses at Illinois and Ohio State, the Badgers eked out a 24-22 win over stubborn Iowa, but still are two games behind Minnesota in the Big Ten West. Wisconsin pounds the ball with Jonathan Taylor, who last week rumbled for 250 yards. The Cornhuskers won't be able to handle the big Wisconsin line and the raw talent of Taylor.

Nebraska, 4-5, may be able to hang around if QB Adrian Martinez has one of his better games. If they can maintain some offense, an upset is possible. Home field is a big plus.

Coin Flip: Wisconsin

Prediction: Badgers 31 Cornhuskers 20

12:00 pm Michigan State at #15 Michigan (-13 1/2, 44) - The networks may want to call this a showdown, but Michigan State is barely relevant at 4-5, though they'll likely make a bowl game at 6-6 if they can defeat Rutgers and Maryland in the last two games of the season. This one, they will not win. They will lose decisively, as they did against Ohio State (34-10), Wisconsin (38-0), and Penn State (28-7).

Michigan, 7-2, blasted Notre Dame, 45-14, then took out Maryland, 38-7, and had last week off. They're home, and beat the Spartans last season, 21-7 at Michigan State. This being a rivalry game, there may be some testy moments, but the game ball will be in the Wolverines' hands.

Coin Flip: Michigan State

Prediction: Wolverines 34 Spartans 14

2:30 pm #23 Navy at #16 Notre Dame (-7, 54) - Despite their 7-2 record, the Irish have struggled against quality teams this season, and Navy always gets up for this contest. Notre Dame lost to Georgia and Michigan, but just got by USC, 0-27, and Virginia Tech, 21-20. They're only minor bowl game material, and the Middies might relegate them to minor bowl status.

Note that 7-1 Navy is ranked, the third team from the American Athletic conference (Cincinnati, Memphis) and their only loss was to Memphis. The Midshipmen play defense with tenacity and the Irish may not penetrate them easily. The Irish have won the last two meetings, but Navy was on top of a 28-27 score in 2016.

Coin Flip: Notre Dame

Prediction: Midshipmen 26 Fighting Irish 23

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