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 results: Rick: 6-6; Coin: 4-8
Cumulative: Rick: 66-71-1; Coin: 53-84-1

Thursday, November 19

7:30 pm Tulane at #25 Tulsa (-6 1/2, 53 1/2) - Coming off a come-from-behind 28-24 win over SMU, the Golden Hurricane scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to overcome the Mustangs' 17-point advantage. Zach Smith overcame an early pick-six to throw for 325 yards and three TDs on 26-for-38 passing.

5-4 Tulane is probably thinking about bowl invitations and a win here would secure a post-season spot, plus, they have Memphis next week to close out the season, so this is an important game. They've won three straight, scoring 38 points in each of their wins over Temple, East Carolina, and last week, Army.

The Green Wave is headed in a positive direction and their 37-34 OT loss to SMU solidifies their chances against Tulsa, who are 4-0 in the AAC and plays unbeaten Cincinnati next week. Tulsa should be just good enough for the win, but not the cover.

Coin Flip: Tulsa

Prediction: Golden Hurricane 31 Green Wave 27

Friday, November 20

7:30 Purdue (-3, 62 1/2) at Minnesota - Losing to Northwestern last week, 27-20, was a disappointment for the Boilermakers, but they are still in the race for the top spot in the Big Ten West behind Wildcats and Wisconsin.

1-3 Minnesota was ramrodded by Iowa last week, 35-7. Four games into the season, the Golden Gophers have the worst defense in the conference, allowing 35.8 points per game. For their part, Purdue has given up 71 points in three games, a far better 23.7 per outing. Minnesota has an edge offensively, but Purdue's defense is likely to have a huge impact on the outcome.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Boilermakers 34 Golden Gophers 17

9:30 pm New Mexico at Air Force (-7 1/2, 55 1/2) - Air Force has at least won a game - a 40-7 win over Navy in their opener - which is more than can be said for the Lobos, though two of their three losses have come on the road (38-21 at San Jose St., 39-33, Hawaii). Last week's 27-20 loos to Nevada was played at a neutral site and the Lobos won't get a home game until December 5, when they host Wyoming.

The Falcons have had two straight games cancelled or postponed - at Army and at Wyoming - so they may have a little rust on their wings. They were last seen losing to Boise State, 49-30. Look for Air Force's defense to get back on track and limit New Mexico to only a few scoring opportunities.

Coin Flip: Air Force

Prediction: Falcons 34 Lobos 13

Saturday, November 21

12:00 pm #9 Indiana at #3 Ohio State (-20 1/2, 66) - Three touchdowns is the margin by which Ohio State will have to win in order to cover in this Big Ten showdown. At 4-0, the Hoosiers have been the surprise of college football, with Michael Penix Jr. emerging as a star at QB, making heady decisions and spectacular plays.

He'll go against the Buckeyes' Justin Fields, who has thrown for 908 yards and 11 TDs in three games. Ohio State also comes into the game unbeaten, the winner of this likely to capture the Big Ten East and possibly a berth in the national championship playoffs.

In what could be the best game of the week, the Buckeyes come in without having played any serious contenders. Their wins have come over Penn State, Nebraska and Rutgers. Indiana also beat Penn State and Rutgers, their other two wins over Michigan (38-21) and last week, a convincing 24-0 rout at Michigan State. The Buckeyes better not take the Hoosiers lightly as they are capable of pulling off the upset.

Bear in mind, Ohio State has won 25 straight games in this series since the schools tied in 1990. Indiana last beat the Buckeyes in 1988, in a 41-7 blowout.

Coin Flip: Ohio State

Prediction: Buckeyes 34 Hoosiers 29

12:00 pm #4 Clemson (-35, 66) at Florida State - Trevor Lawrence will be back in action for Clemson after missing two weeks due to COVID-19 protocols, including the Tigers' 47-40 double overtime loss at Notre Dame. With a week off and their main man back, the Tigers are likely to take out some frustrations and pent up energies on the underperforming Seminoles, now 2-6 after a 38-22 loss at NC State, their third straight lopsided defeat.

Defensively, this is a mismatch. Clemson allows 19.5 points per game. The Seminoles are giving up a whopping 36.1.

Coin Flip: Clemson

Prediction: Clemson 56 Seminoles 7

12:00 pm Appalachian State at #15 Coastal Carolina (-5 1/2, 48) - Pride of the Sun Belt, the unbeaten (7-0) Chanticleers have the 11th-ranked scoring defense in the country, an impressive 16.3 points per game.

Appalachian State, perennial contenders in the conference, may not be impressed. They're allowing a solid 16.9, running their record to 6-1, the only loss at 17-7 setback at Marshall back in September. Being that the Mountaineers' loss came out-of-conference, this game should decide the East division. These two are so closely matched as to defy explanation. A field goal could decide it, which makes Appalachian State the choice.

Coin Flip: Coastal Carolina

Prediction: Mountaineers 27 Chanticleers 24

2:30 pm UCLA at #11 Oregon (-14, 66) - The Ducks survived a sloppy first half in their win at Washington State last week, winning going away, 43-29. Once the offense got untracked, they were unstoppable, putting up 29 second half points.

The Bruins may be a pretty solid team, though it's tough to figure just how good. After a November 7 loss at Colorado (48-42) to open the season, they rescheduled a postponed game against Utah to play Cal on Sunday, ripping the Bears, 34-10. Knowing that it's all or nothing in the shortened PAC-12 season, the Bruins should be geared up for a solid performance.

Oregon's defense has not been nearly as good as they were supposed to be, so UCLA's balanced attack may find some areas to exploit. Oregon is explosive, however. While the Bruins can keep this one close, it may get away from them late, so tread lightly here.

Coin Flip: Oregon

Prediction: Ducks 38 Bruins 28

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