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CFB Week 12 Picks

Back to back 4-1 weeks!  24-25-1 overall and I’m officially back in this thing.  Let’s get over the hump this week.  Also, my apologies for not writing an article last week, but if you are here from Reddit, you should have seen my picks there; you can also hear my picks on the Podcast.  Last week’s slate was the worst of the year and while this week looks better, I’m still not finding myself thrilled about any of these matchups.  Regardless, let’s get in to my week 12 card:

Appalachian State at #15 Coastal Carolina (-5.5), o/u 48 – NOON on ESPN2

I was pumped for the Coastal game last week against Troy and heartbroken when it got cancelled.  Coastal Carolina coming out of nowhere and making a ton of noise has made them one of my favorite teams to follow this season – right alongside BYU, for similar reasons (CC’s teal field is a nice touch as well).  So far this season, Coastal Carolina’s dominance on both sides of the ball is what has made them a legitimately good program; not a gimmicky one who just seems to win by scoring 80 points per game.  They’re 15th overall in Total Defense and 37th overall in Total Offense.

Appalachian State is comparable in that sense (21st overall Total Defense, 31st overall Total Offense), but they’ve had a few bumps in the road.  While Coastal has never failed to show up, Appalachian State couldn’t beat a very good Marshall team and just squeaked out a 17-13 win last week against a Georgia State team that Coastal defeated 51-0. I see this Coastal Carolina team continuing their undefeated streak and I don’t think 5.5 is enough.

My Pick:  Coastal Carolina -5.5, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

#7 Cincinnati (-6) at UCF, o/u 64 – 3:30PM on ESPN

I was dead wrong last week picking ECU to cover against Cincinnati.  I like Cincinnati as a program, I just thought the ECU could hang around while Cincinnati might be getting in their own head about an undefeated season.  Clearly I was wrong and hopefully that won’t come back to bite me this week.

Cincy has been an absolute money-maker this year, going 5-2 ATS.  UCF at 2-5 ATS, is quite literally a money-shredder.  What worries me in this game is that UCF is an offensive powerhouse, averaging over 620 yards per game.  UCF nearly allows as many yards per game on defense (448) that Cincinnati averages on offense (470), yet they score enough to where it doesn’t even matter.  Don’t forget that UCF was also #11 in the country before they went on a bit of a skid following a tough loss to Tulsa (Football).

A perfect season and the CFP looming over Cincinnati’s head still worries me. However, Cincinnati’s defense is for real and they have shown no mercy to lesser opponents all year.  That’s the type of stuff you love to see, especially from a college program.  UCF’s powerhouse offense will be tamed by Cincinnati’s stingy defense and the Bearcats will not slow down no matter the score.

My Pick: Cincinnati -6, this is my week 12 lock.

#14 Oklahoma State at #18 Oklahoma (-7), o/u 59.5 – 7:30 on ABC

The Bedlam Series.  Oklahoma currently leads this series 89-17 all-time and is on a 5-game winning streak.  You might as well throw all of that out of the window this season with how good Oklahoma State has been.  If not for a tough OT loss to Texas, we would probably be talking about them as the likely #4 seed in the CFP.  Which, by the way, I don’t think any Big12 team has a chance at seeing now.

The breakdown of this matchup seems pretty simple:  Oklahoma has the edge offensively, while Oklahoma State has the edge defensively.  I thought I would just look at some common opponents to get a better understanding of what to expect.

Oklahoma State CowboysOklahoma Sooners
Kansas, W 47-7Kansas, W 69-3
Texas, L 34-41 OTTexas, W 53-45 4OT
Kansas State, W 20-18Kansas State, L 35-38
Iowa State, W 24-21Iowa State, L 30-37

Oklahoma has looked like themselves the last few weeks, but look at the opponents:  Kansas (0-7), Texas Tech (3-5) and TCU (3-4).  I am still a believer in the Cowboys even though they lost to Texas and we haven’t seen them in action in two weeks.

My Pick:  Oklahoma State +7, this is a 4 out of 5 confidence rating.

#20 USC (-3) at Utah, o/u 58 – 10:30PM on ESPN

Like I said earlier, this week really isn’t moving the needle for me.  I don’t like USC and Utah hasn’t even played their first game of the season (it’s week 12!).  Why am I even touching this game?  It’s probably the Oregon fan in me needing a PAC12 game on my card.  It’s also probably the Oregon fan in me that is going to take USC -3 in hopes that they can go undefeated to face Oregon in the PAC12 Championship and hopefully give the Ducks a playoff birth.

I wish I had more of an analysis for you here but the main element I’m looking at is simply 2 games to none.  USC has played 2 games and has 2 wins.  Utah has yet to see the field. Also, considering USC has the most returning production in the PAC12 while Utah has the least, laying only 3 feels like a bargain.  I’ll also take the over.  Because, PAC12.

My Picks:  USC -3 and OVER 58.  These are both 3 out of 5 confidence ratings.

Follow me on Twitter for more week 12 picks and let me hear it about what I got wrong. See you all next week!