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Fearless Rick's 2012-13 College Football Week 12 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | November 15-17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Wednesday, November 14

9:00 pm Toledo at Northern Illinois (-10 1/2, 63 1/2) - Huge game here in the Mid-American West division, the winner likely to play in the conference championship game. Northern Illinois has been disrespected by the polls all season long, even to the point that Toledo was ranked for one week, just before losing to Ball State, Tuesday November 6.

That conference loss put the Rockets a game behind the Huskies, making this showdown a must win for Toledo.

The Huskies, however, hold big edges in nearly every statistical category, including rushing for 250 yards per game. Even though Toledo took them to OT last season, eventually losing a 63-60 thriller, this time should be radically different and get the Huskies on the national radar.

Prediction: Huskies 48 Rockets 27

Thursday, November 15

7:30 pm North Carolina (-3, 61) at Virginia - After blowing their chance at reaching the ACC championship by losing to Georgia Tech, 68-50, the highest-scoring game in ACC history, the Carolina defense has been exposed and the Cavaliers should be able to exploit it at will.

Virginia is coming off a pair of wins, at NC State, 33-6, and last week, 41-40, over Miami, at home. Staying on campus for a second straight week will have its advantages, and a win here would give the Cavaliers a shot at a .500 season, with arch-rival, Virginia Tech, on the schedule for their final week.

The ACC remains the toughest conference to handicap, so a Virginia win is just as probable as any other result.

Prediction: Cavaliers 34 Tar Heels 26

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Saturday, November 17

12:00 pm Rutgers at Cincinnati (-6 1/2, 47) - With Louisville's loss last week at Syracuse, these two are back in play for the Big East title, especially Rutgers, which has no losses in the conference.

Cincinnati's only Big East defeat was at the hands of Louisville, a 34-31 squeaker back on October 26. They've since beaten Syracuse and Temple soundly and have one of the best offensive teams in the country, averaging 34.2 ppg., good enough to cover the line set in Vegas.

Rutgers still has Pitt and Louisville on their conference schedule, but are solid defensively, but the road gets tough here.

Prediction: Bearcats 30 Scarlet Knights 21

12:00 pm Florida State (-31, 45 1/2) at Maryland - If you believe this line, Maryland has to score more than two TDs to cover the over/under line (and maybe cover the spread as well), or, Florida State just scores seven TDs and covers everything by themselves, the latter scenario being the most probable outcome.

The Seminoles are 9-1 and 6-1 in the conference, while Maryland has underperformed at 4-6 (2-4). Florida State has won eight of the last ten in this annual series and should have few problems crushing the Terps, who are coming off back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech (33-13) and Clemson (45-10).

A rout for the start of Saturday's fun.

Prediction: Seminoles 55 Terrapins 6

12:00 pm Iowa at Michigan (-17, 47) - Michigan set to roll at home even with Denard Robinson not leading the attack. Iowa has had numerous injuries, strange losses and is looking at a sub-.500 season. The defense has been almost as big a disappointment as the offense. The Iowa defense cannot contain the explosive Michigan attack. This could be one of the bigger Big Ten blowouts against Iowa in recent years. The team needs rebuilding and some better players.

Prediction: Michigan 41 Iowa 13

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3:00 pm USC (-4, 65) at UCLA - The Bruins actually have the upper hand in the standings in the PAC-12 South, with a 5-2 record, while USC is 5-3, so this game will determine who represents against the Oregon Ducks (or Stanford, should the Cardinal pull off the unlikely upset later in the day) in the conference championship.

USC holds a huge edge over the past 10 years, winning nine times, the only UCLA win coming in 2006, when the Bruins prevailed by a 13-9 score. The Bruins have been defying the odds of late, winning four straight, though the competition was nothing like what they'll see on Saturday.

This is a pretty even match-up on paper, so it should be close on the field. UCLA is hungry to beat their cross-town rivals and should come away with a hard-fought win.

Prediction: Bruins 37 Trojans 34

3:00 pm South Florida at Miami (FL) (-6 1/2, 56) - Non-conference game that matters mostly to the Hurricanes because they will become bowl-eligible with a win (currently 5-5).

The Hurricanes are a very young team, with a ton of underclassmen on defense, ripe for the picking by an experienced South Florida offense.

Prediction: Bulls 33 Hurricanes 20

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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