NCAA Week 14 Picks - Early Games

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NCAA Week 14 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 13 Results: Rick 5-11-1; Coin: 2-14-1
Cumulative: Rick: 103-107-5; 108-102-5

Friday, December 3

CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
7:00 pm Western Kentucky (-1, 72) at #22 UTSA - The Hilltoppers went 8-4 during the regular season, and 7-1 in conference play, while the Roadrunners were 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference.

Western Kentucky lost its Conference USA opener to UTSA, 52-46, then won their next seven straight to capture the East division.

The Roadrunners were 11-0 entering week 13, but found themselves on the losing end of a 45-23 score at North Texas, the Mean Green getting to 6-6 and bowl-worthy with the win. Down 31-13 at the half, UTSA coach Jeff Traylor sat starting QB Frank Harris in the second half.

Given that the weight of an undefeated season is off the backs of UTSA, they should be cranked up and ready when they host Western Kentucky. The game is sure to be high-scoring and looks like one of the tougher picks of the week. The Roadrunners, fittingly, will try to establish a ground game, while the Hilltoppers prefer an aerial attack. The best play may be to take the OVER.

Coin Flip: UTSA

Prediction: Hilltoppers 48 Roadrunners 44


PAC-12CHAMPIONSHIP
8:00 pm #10 Oregon vs. #17 Utah (-3, 59 1/2) (ABC) - The Utes have already established that they can dominate the Ducks, doing so just two weeks ago when they pulverized them, 38-7.

The Utes led 28-0 at halftime in that contest. Their defense never allowed the Ducks to get into any kind of rhythm. It's a monumental task for the Ducks to reverse that kind of loss. Utah lost just three games all season, one a 33-31, triple overtime loss to MWC powerhouse, San Diego State.

While the Ducks did go 10-2 and had a win over Ohio State in their pocket, the Utes schooled them and should be able to do it again, though the final outcome may be closer.

Coin Flip: Utah

Prediction: Utes 34 Ducks 21


Saturday, December 4

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
12:00 pm #9 Baylor vs. #5 Oklahoma State (-5 1/2, 46 1/2) - The Cowboys won their biggest game of the year last week, upending Oklahoma, 37-33, to finish with an 8-1 record in the Big 12 and knocking the Sooners out of the championship game.

Additionally, due to Ohio State's loss and an expected Alabama loss to Georgia in the SEC championship, If Georgia, Michigan, and Cincinnati all win their games, the Cowboys look like the choice for the #43 or 4 spot as Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has accepted the vacant LSU job.

So, with a 24-14 win over the Bears already in hand (24-14), a win should send the Big 12 champ to the final four. That's likely easier said than done. Other than their loss to the Cowboys, the Bears were downed just one other time, in a 30-28 upset at TCU. Starting QB, Gerry Bohanon is still a question mark for the Bears. He injured a hamstring against Kansas State two weeks back and missed Baylor's 27-24 win over Texas Tech. He is likely to play. If not, redshirt freshman Blake Sharpen will go, as he di against Texas Tech.

Coin Flip: Oklahoma State

Prediction: Cowboys 31 Bears 20



MID-AMERICA CHAMPIONSHIP
12:00 pm Kent State (-3, 73 1/2) vs. Northern Illinois - No team from the Mid-America conference made it into the Top 25 all season, but the Golden Flashes of Kent State and Northern Illinois Huskies will be happy to compete for the conference championship to kick off Championship Saturday.

These two played at Kent State back on November 3rd, with the Flashes scoring a 52-47 victory. At Ford Field in Detroit, the Huskies may have an edge on defense. Kent was blown out twice by conference foes: 64-31 at W. Michigan; 54-30 at Central Michigan.

The Huskies have something Kent State does not: a defense, albeit not a great one, they are capable on occasion.

Coin Flip: Kent State

Prediction: Huskies 48 Golden Flashes 45


MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP
3:00 pm Utah State at #19 San Diego State (-6. 50) (FOX) - While the Aggies of Utah State beat up on most of their conference opposition this season, their two losses in the MWC were ugly: a 27-3 home loss to Boise State and another home loss, 44-17, to Wyoming.

The Aztecs had no such issues, going 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference, their only loss a tough, 30-20, defeat at the hands of Fresno State, when they were without regular starting QB Jordan Brookshire.

Brookshire won't miss this game, and, after leading a comeback, 27-16 win over Boise State last week, looks to lock up the conference title.

Coin Flip: San Diego State

Prediction: Aztecs 28 Aggies 17


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