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Fearless Rick's 2012-13 College Football Week 14 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | November 29 - December 1

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, November 29

7:30 pm Louisville at Rutgers (-3, 43 1/2) - This one is for the Big East title and an automatic BCS bowl bid, wherein the winner of this game gets to be slaughtered by a team from a better conference.

Despite that gloomy outlook, both squads will be looking to put forth their best effort and capture the conference crown.

It comes down to a difference in styles and which team can impose its will for the better part of 60 minutes on the other. Louisville has the offense (32 ppg), while Rutgers maintains a solid defense (13.7 ppg).

The main problem for the Scarlett Knights, depite being at home, is being offensively challenged, as evidenced in last week's 27-6 loss at Pitt.

Even though they've lost their last two games (at Syracuse and home to UConn), the Cardinals scored enough points - 26 and 20 respectively - that would likely produce a win against punchless Rutgers.

Prediction: Cardinals 24 Scarlet Knights 17

Friday, November 30

7:00 pm Northern Illinois (-6, 58) at Kent State - The MAC championship features a pair of 11-1 teams which are arguably better, top to bottom, than most would suspect. In the MAC, which sadly doesn't get much press coverage, coaching is key and both squads are well-trained and ready.

The Huskies have several statistical advantages that make this game seem heavily slanted in their direction, as they outscore the Golden Flashes (40.5 - 34.4 ppg) and also allow fewer points by opponents (17.5 - 23.5 ppg).

However, this is a title contest and it's unlikely Northern Illinois will be able to push around the Kent State guys as they have many of their lesser opponents. Besides, Kent is getting points at home, where they are 4-1 ATS. A remarkable 10-2 ATS overall, Kent State was one of the most profitable plays of the season.

Prediction: Golden Flashes 34 Huskies 30

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8:00 pm UCLA at Stanford (-9, 44 1/2) - Since their loss to Notre Dame (20-13, October 13), the Cardinal has piled up six straight wins, including last week's 35-17 triumph over these very same Bruins, which leads to the question, if they beat them by 18 in SoCal, how badly will they rip 'em at home in NoCal?

Surely, UCLA will make adjustments, but just getting to this game may have been the ultimate goal of the Bruins, as they earned this spot by topping USC two weeks back and were emotionally unprepared for Stanford.

Hard to see how the Bruins can stop the grinding offense of Stanford or produce many more scoring opportunities than they had last week, even with adjustments. The Cardinal simply appear to be the superior team.

Prediction: Cardinal 31 Bruins 13

Saturday, December 1

12:00 pm Oklahoma State (-4, 86 1/2) at Baylor - Defenses will be spent and useless by about midway through the third quarter in this ultimate shoot-out. Both teams possess prodigious offenses - OkSt. scores at a rate of 45.6 ppg; Baylor at 44.4 - though the Cowboy defense is a little better.

Both teams have achieved bowl eligibility and neither can win the conference title (that will go to either Kansas State or Oklahoma), so motivation may be an issue. The Cowboys may have used up all of their emotions in last week's OT loss to the Sooners and now must travel to meet the highly-charged Bears.

Baylor would probably like to improve to 7-5 than fall to 6-6, which could set them toward a better bowl game, plus they have home field. Still, this looks like the last team with the ball wins and Baylor is getting more than a FG. Good enough.

Prediction: Bears 44 Coyboys 41

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12:00 pm Oklahoma (-6 1/2, 61 1/2) at TCU - The Sooners need to win here in order to have any chance of capturing the Big 12 title and an automatic BCS bowl slot, depending on how Kansas State does later on in the evening against the Longhorns of Texas.

Even though the Horned Frogs are a mere 4-4 in their first year in the Big 12, they can prove a stubborn bunch, like in their 39-38 win at west Virginia or their 56-53 OT loss to Texas Tech.

Oklahoma has won four straight, though the last two have been by one point (at West Virginia) and three points (last week vs Oklahoma State, in overtime), so, while an upset cannot be completely ruled out, TCU should be able to hang tight, exploiting obvious deficiencies in the Sooner defense.

Prediction: Sooners 38 Horned Frogs 35

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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