With just two weeks remaining in the college football regular season, multiple conference game bids are up for the taking this week. College Football Week 12 offers slugfests between top-10 Ohio State and Michigan State, a chance for Wake Forest to clinch an ACC title game berth for the first time since 2006, and more. Below, you can find a breakdown of the week’s top four games.
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College Football Week 12 Odds
College Football Week 12 Top Games
Michigan State at Ohio State
This matchup is what college football’s all about– a divisional matchup in November coming down to two top-10 teams. The Buckeyes have dominated this matchup, winning the last five games and the last four by an average of 32.3 points. However, this isn’t your Michigan State team of late.
Ohio State has been susceptible on defense this season behind inconsistent secondary play. They’ve also been shown to be susceptible to run-heavy schemes, highlighted by their loss to Oregon earlier in the season. Enter Kenneth Walker III– a Heisman contender capable of turning any play into a house call. Gear up the fireworks on the other end with Ohio State breakout star Treyveon Henderson, who sees a Michigan State defense that’s allowing just 3.3 yards per carry.
Ohio State (9-1) gets the nod at home by a heavy spread against Michigan State (9-1).
Wake Forest at Clemson
Wake Forest can secure a spot in the ACC Championship Game this week with a win. Thanks to their technicality with North Carolina, their loss to the Tarheels didn’t count as an ACC loss and the Demon Deacons lead the ACC Atlantic division by two games. However, there’s not many tougher spots to clinch a conference championship spot than Clemson.
To ramp up the drama, Clemson is the team trailing Wake in the Atlantic by two games. It’s a true measure of an unstoppable force (Wake’s offense) versus an immovable object (Clemson’s defense). The Tigers are top-10 in EPA margin on the season in every defensive category but have struggled on the season behind incredibly inefficient play from DJ Uiagalelei.
Despite Wake (9-1) being ranked inside the top 12 nationally, Clemson (7-3) is favored at home.
SMU at Cincinnati
After a handful of disappointing wins for Cincinnati, they get their last tough test of the regular season in SMU. Tanner Mordecai led the Mustangs to a 55-28 drubbing of UCF last week and stands second in passing touchdowns on the year (37). Cincinnati has been one of the stoutest passing defenses this season, forcing the second-most turnovers per game (2.6). However, their secondary will be pushed this game behind a trio of talented Mustang receivers.
When Cincinnati struggled with their opponents is when those teams get the ground game going; they allowed nearly 300 rushing yards against Tulsa two weeks ago. Ulysses Bentley IV is coming off 97 yards against UCF and complementary back Tre Siggers recorded a trio of rushing touchdowns.
The Bearcats (10-0) are heavily favored at home () against the Mustangs (8-2), but SMU knows what’s at stake in this game.
Oregon at Utah
Those who tune in to this game can expect this to be a preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game. Utah (7-3) leads the Pac-12 South by a game over Arizona State, who they hold the tiebreaker over. Oregon (9-1) leads the Pac-12 North and is pursuing their second College Football Playoff berth.
It’s the first of two straight opportunities for Oregon to clinch a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game, with the second coming against Oregon State next week. Utah () is favored in this game at home, where they toppled Arizona State earlier in the year. Oregon’s excelled in the ground game this year even with backup Travis Dye. Dye is averaging 6.0 yards per carry on the season.
This game will come down to defense, which both teams field a top-25 unit. The game has an over/under of points– modest for a defense-heavy outing.