College football TV schedule for Week 12

College football TV schedule for Week 12

How

Three of the four teams currently slotted for the College Football playoff—Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan—are big favorites Saturday, so the chances of a big shake-up in college football’s penultimate weekend are slim. There’s always TCU, which is only giving a few points against Baylor, but that’s par for the course for the Horned Frogs: They haven’t been favored by double digits since a Sept. 10 game against something called Tarleton State, and they seem to be living a charmed existence. So keep your expectations in check.

Illinois once was in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten West but has dropped consecutive games to Michigan State and Purdue, taking some of the shine off Saturday’s game between the Illinois and Michigan. Illinois sits among a four-team logjam at the top of the division standings at 4-3 in conference play, and an upset of the Wolverines might be needed for the Illini to have a shot at the Big Ten championship game (Purdue, also 4 -3, has very winnable games remaining against Northwestern and Indiana). It will be a tall order for Illinois, whose once-proud defense was worn down last week by Purdue and surrendered a season-high 379 yards, just the second time the Illini gave up more than 294 this season. The Wolverines enter with playoff hopes and running back Blake Corum, who has rushed for more than 100 yards in seven straight games. Illinois running back Chase Brown has a national-best 1,442 rushing yards, but he left the Purdue game late with what appeared to be a leg injury. Coach Bret Bielema said this week that Brown is “trending in the right direction,” but Michigan is giving up only 2.6 yards per rush, which ranks third nationally. …

With the two playoff hopefuls in the late-afternoon time slot—Georgia and Ohio State—both hefty favorites over Kentucky and Maryland, respectively, let’s keep it in the morbidly fascinating Big Ten West for Iowa-Minnesota. The Hawkeyes’ awful, no-good, very bad offense hit rock bottom last Saturday against Wisconsin, gaining only 2.1 yards per play and 146 yards total (both season lows). And this was a game they won by two touchdowns, thanks mainly to defensive back Cooper DeJean, who had a pick-six and set up another score with a 41-yard punt return. The Hawkeyes have defeated the Gophers — and thus hoisted Floyd of Rosedale, sports’ greatest pig-themed trophy — seven straight times, with two of those wins denying Coach PJ Fleck and Minnesota a spot in the Big Ten title game. …

College football best bets: For UCLA-USC, the over is the play

The stars seemed to be aligning for the Pac-12 to snap its College Football Playoff drought, which dates from 2017. Alabama somehow had lost twice. Clemson got its doors blown off by Notre Dame and didn’t look great in its other games. TCU seems to dance with calamity on a minute-by-minute basis. And so three Pac-12 teams entered last weekend with only one loss each and varying degrees of CFP hope, and all three were favored to win. Yet only one of them did so, with Oregon and UCLA losing. That leaves Southern California with the only realistic shot at a playoff berth, and the Trojans can take a step toward that by beating rival UCLA. The past three games in this series have featured 87, 81 and 95 points, and both teams’ defenses this year are not good, so expect more of the same Saturday night. … Tea Utah-Oregon winner will be in great shape to play in the Pac-12 title game, and the Ducks might be a little salty after the Utes not only slammed the door on their CFP hopes last season but beat them again in the Pac-12 championship game, with the two wins coming by a combined 76-17.

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