NCAA College Football Week 13 Picks - Early Games

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NCAA College Football Week 13 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 12: Rick: 10-5-1; Coin: 8-7-1
Cumulative: Rick: 84-84-2; Coin: 92-75-2

Saturday, November 23

12:00 pm #8 Penn State at #2 Ohio State (-18 1/2, 57 1/2) - Obviously, the biggest game of the weekend, the winner to be likely the Big Ten East division champion, though all indication are for the Buckeyes to win going away. Ohio State has steamrolled to a 10-0 record, winning by an average score of 52-10. They are tops in the nation in points scored (51.5) and fewest points allowed (9.8) per game.

While Penn State is battle-tested and a very solid football team, they're really up against what could be one of the greatest teams of all time. One would like this game to be a hard-fought, close contest, but Ohio State just looks too good. Penn State's defense is going to get rolled.

Coin Flip: Ohio State

Prediction: Buckeyes 45 Nittany Lions 17

12:00 pm Western Carolina at #5 Alabama (-57, 61) - OK, Math Quiz: If the game goes over and Alabama covers, how many points does Western Carolina score?

Answer: ZERO. The Catamounts are a Southern Conference, division 1-AA team, currently 3-8, soon to be 3-9. They have the lowest-scoring offense in the conference and the third worst defense. Alabama has to score more than eight TDs in order to cover. With Tua Tagovailoa out for the season, the burden falls on backup QB Mac Jones, who led the Tide to a 48-7 win over Arkansas earlier this season.

Jones should be effective and Alabama needs to run up the score, so 63-0 is a possibility, but who can't pass up 57 points?

Coin Flip: Alabama

Prediction: Crimson Tide 56 Catamounts 3

12:00 pm #10 Minnesota (-13 1/2, 39 1/2) at Northwestern - In last week's, 23-19, loss at Iowa, the Golden Gophers played possibly their worst game of the season when it meant the most and still had a chance to win it at the end.

Look for Minnesota to take a quick lead and handle the impotent Wildcat offense much better than they did against Iowa. In conference games, Northwestern is 0-7 and averaged just nine points per outing. Their defense is good, but the lack of offense keeps them on the field for extended periods and they get gassed.

Coin Flip: Northwestern

Prediction: Golden Gophers 38 Wildcats 13

12:00 pm Illinois at #17 Iowa (-15, 46 1/2) - The Fighting Illini have won four straight and will give Iowa plenty to think about on offense. QB Brandon Peters threw for 369 yards in their last win, a 37-34 win at Michigan State. They had a bye last week, an opportunity to learn about the Hawkeyes as they downed Minnesota.

Iowa may have a bit of a letdown after handing the Golden Gophers their first loss of the season, but even if they're emotionally engaged, they still will have to contend with a solid Illinois offense. In games Peters has started, the Illini are 6-2. The two losses were to Eastern Michigan, 34-31, and Nebraska, 42-38. They're not going to be blown out at Iowa and may upend the Hawkeyes.

Coin Flip: Iowa

Prediction: Hawkeyes 24 Fighting Illini 21

2:30 pm Boston College at #16 Notre Dame (-20, 64) - At 5-5, Boston College needs one more win to become bowl-eligible. They're in a tough spot because after the Irish this week, they face the Pitt Panthers, who are pretty good.

The Eagles can put up a lot of points, but against Notre Dame's defense (19.3 ppg, 18th), that's going to be a tall task. Notre Dame hammered Navy last week, 52-20, and are ranked at 16 in the CFP. They might be considered even better as their only losses are to Georgia and Michigan. BC should be sky high for this game but are likely only good enough to cover.

Coin Flip: Notre Dame

Prediction: Fighting Irish 42 Eagles 24

3:30 pm Texas A&M at #4 Georgia (-13, 44) - The Bulldogs can't afford to take any team lightly at this juncture, and the Aggies are 4-2 in conference play. A&M is 7-3 overall, the losses only to ranked teams (Clemson, Auburn, Alabama) and they were not embarrassed in any of those games. They've won four straight.

After the way Georgia won at Auburn, 21-14, they're positive for their #4 ranking. Three wins over ranked opponents (Notre Dame, Florida, Auburn) were by 6, 7, and 7 points, respectively. The Aggies have a good enough offense to take advantage of any Georgia miscues and should keep this one close. A monstrous upset is possible.

Coin Flip: Georgia

Prediction: Aggies 27 Bulldogs 24

3:30 pm #13 Michigan (-9 1/2, 53 1/2) at Indiana - Indiana had scored 30 or more points in six straight games until they lost last week at Penn State, 34-27. At 7-3, they've been overlooked in the Big Ten, but have the potential to spring a big upset here. The Wolverines are obviously focused on next week's battle with Ohio State, so they may not be properly prepared for the Hoosiers.

The Wolverines ran it up last week against Michigan State, but that was at home. Both of Michigan's losses have been on the road (Wisconsin, Penn State). Michigan has won three straight, but the Hoosiers have been on the cusp of an upset and this just could be the time.

Coin Flip: Michigan

Prediction: Hoosiers 34 Wolverines 31

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