Duane Rankin’s Week 14 forecast

By | November 29, 2012 11:29 pm | 0 Comments

 

Here are three college football games worth watching in Week 14.

Game of the week: No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC) vs. No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (11-1, 7-1 SEC), Saturday, 4 p.m., Georgia Dome, Atlanta, WSEE (CBS).

Pregame rant: Some would say this is the national championship game.

The winner will likely be the favorite to beat Notre Dame in next month’s BCS title game.  Alabama and Georgia are in this position because Oregon and Kansas State lost.

The Bulldogs are not as good on defense as Alabama, but have better skilled players on offense than the Tide.

So special teams could be the difference. If it is, edge Alabama.

The Tide have a senior kicker in Jeremy Shelley, who is 10-for-10 on field goals this season.

Georgia has a freshman kicker in Marshall Morgan, who is 8-for-12.  He’s missed two of his last four attempts.

Once the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein can still cap his regular season with a Big 12 title./AP

No. 23 Texas Longhorns (8-3, 5-3 Big 12) at No. 7 Kansas State Wildcats (10-1, 7-1 Big 12), Saturday, 8 p.m, WJET (ABC)

Pregame rant: The conference no longer has a title game, but with just 10 teams, everyone plays each other. That’s a rarity these days.

The Wildcats win, they’re Big 12 champions. They lose and Oklahoma wins at TCU, the Sooners will win the conference.

Kansas State beat Oklahoma, 24-19.

While Collin Klein is out of the Heisman Trophy race and his team is no longer in the national title picture, the Wildcats can make a statement against the proud Longhorns.

No. 19 Northern Illinois Huskies (11-1, 8-0) vs. No. 18 Kent State Golden Flashes (11-1, 8-0 Mid-American Conference), Friday, 7 p.m., Ford Field, Detroit, ESPN2

Pregame rant: Great game for the MAC.

Two ranked teams. Possible BCS implications.

The winner could wind up becoming the next Boise State.

Three players to watch: Quarterback Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois and Kent State’s Dri Archer and Trayion Durham.

Northern Illinois senior Jordan Lynch may be the best dual-threat quarterback the nation has never seen or heard of. That may all change real soon for him./AP Photo.

A senior, Lynch has thrown for 2,750 yards and 23 touchdowns, rushed for 1,611 yards and 16 touchdowns and has thrown just four interceptions.

Archer, a junior, and Durham, a sophomore, each have 14 rushing touchdowns. Archer has rushed for 1,337 yards while Durham has 1,176 yards rushing.

Snooze on these, though.

Nicholls State Colonels (1-9, 0-7 Southland) at No. 16 Oregon State Beavers (8-3, 6-3 Pac-12), Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network

Pregame rant: This was originally an opener, but the game was postponed due to Hurricane Issac.

Now they’ll close their season against each other. The Colonels, an FCS school, would have been heavy underdogs going into the game regardless of when it was played, but are going into this one having lost their last seven.

Despite undergoing concussion tests during last week's loss to Florida, E.J. Manuel says he's healthy and ready for the ACC title game./AP Photo

Oregon State may out flat, though. The Beavers were the surprise team in the country before losing three of their last five. Then again, they could take out their frustrations from losing to rival Oregon on Nicholls State.

No. 13 Florida State Seminoles (10-2, 7-1 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-6, 5-3 ACC), Saturday, 8 p.m, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C., ESPN

Pregame rant: Theoretically speaking, Florida State won the ACC back in September when they beat Clemson, 49-37.

They’ll just make it official Saturday by beating Georgia Tech.

Still trying to wrap my head around how the NCAA granted Georgia Tech a bowl waiver to play in a bowl game even if they lose and fall to 6-7 on the season.

Hasn’t basketball season started in the ACC?

Wisconsin Badgers (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) vs. No. 14 Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten), Saturday, 8:17 p.m., Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, WFXP (FOX)

Pregame rant: Wisconsin is slumping. Lost three of its last four all be it in overtime.

Nebraska is not. Has won six straight, but barely edged Iowa, 13-7, last week.

The Badgers want revenge after falling at Nebraska, 30-27, in late September, but the Huskers are looking to win their first Big Ten title in just their second season in the conference.

Compelling story lines, but expect a boring game or an Nebraska blowout.

 

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