Let us recap Week 12, shall we?
No. 10 USC (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) at No. 9 Oregon (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12)
Pregame rant: After putting up 53 at Stanford, Oregon returns home to take the Trojans. USC sophomore receiver Robert Woods, who has 92 catches for 1,126 yards and 11 touchdowns, will get his shots to make big plays, but Oregon has too many offensive weapons.
Postgame commentary: Turns out the Trojans had the greatest equalizer in its 38-35 win at Oregon – a hot quarterback. Junior Matt Barkley was 26-of-34 for 323 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. Woods caught two of those scores, but freshman Marqise Lee tore up the Ducks with eight catches for 187 yards and a touchdown. Oregon’s valiant fourth-quarter comeback came up short.
No. 20 Penn State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) at Ohio State (6-5, 3-4 Big Ten)
Pregame rant: The off-field turmoil surrounding the Nittany Lions continues to grow. The irony of all this is Ohio State was going through drama heading into the season with Jim Tressel being fired and the players tattoo-memorabilia exchange ring. Now Ohio State’s trouble pale in comparison to Penn State’s. As far as the game goes, Penn State’s offense has been shaky all year. As good as their defense is, the Nittany Lions can’t beat Ohio State or Wisconsin next week if they continue to struggle offensively.
Postgame commentary: Penn State found enough offense to upend Ohio State, 20-14. The Nittany Lions generated 239 yards rushing. Ohio State’s offense was horrible. Penn State remains on course to play in the first-ever Big Ten title game, but have a huge obstacle to overcome – a date at No. 15 Wisconsin on Saturday.
Miami, Fla. (6-5, 3-4 ACC) at South Florida (5-4, 1-4 Big East)
Pregame rant: These schools haven’t lived up to expectations. The winner will be bowl eligible, but at this point, everyone gets in a bowl. With all that talent in that area, these two teams shouldn’t be that mediocre. What a shame.
Postgame commentary: Miami has decided not to go to a bowl due to the NCAA investigation into its compliance practices. By doing this, Miami hopes the NCAA won’t come down as hard on it as expected. So even though they became bowl eligible with an ugly 6-3 win, the Hurricanes are staying home for the holiday bowl season.
Boston College (3-8, 2-5 ACC) at No. 22 Notre Dame (8-3)
Pregame rant: The Irish are back in the Top 25 and should stay there by handing the Eagles. Tommy Rees isn’t a bad quarterback. Just a sophomore, Rees has thrown 19 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He completed a season-high 78.9 percent of his passes in last week’s 38-30 win against Maryland.
Postgame commentary: Notre Dame made it interesting, but managed to get past the Eagles, 16-14. Rees threw for 256 yards and an interception, but the Irish won despite scoring one touchdown. Up next for the Irish – Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck and Stanford in a primetime road game against the No. 4 Cardinal. Good luck.
Here are three games worth watching in Week 13.
No. 3 Arkansas (10-1, 6-1) at No. 1 LSU (11-0, 7-0), Friday, 2:30 p.m., CBS
Don’t book a first-class trip to the BCS title game for LSU just yet. Arkansas won’t go down easily. The Razorbacks have an outstanding QB-WR combo in junior Tyler Wilson (21 TD passes, 5 INTs) and senior Jarius Wright (1,002, yards receiving, 10 TD catches). However, Wilson has been sacked 18 times and he may go down a few more times against an LSU defense that’s second in the nation in total defense. This has become one of the better SEC rivalries.
No. 20 Penn State (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) at No. 15 Wisconsin (9-2, 5-2 Big Ten), Saturday, 3:30 p.m, ESPN
Now the NCAA is getting involved in the whole Penn State situation surrounding former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Playing a game of football has been the best way for Penn State’s players to deal with what’s going on. The Nittany Lions will have to play one of their best games of the season to defeat Wisconsin. The question is can Penn State, which is ranked 106th in scoring offense (20.9 ppg.) score enough points to win?
No. 18 Clemson (9-2, 6-2 ACC) at No. 14 South Carolina (9-2, 6-2 SEC), Saturday, 7:45 p.m., ESPN
With the Backyard Brawl (Pitt-WVU), Iron Bowl (Auburn-Alabama) and The Game (Michigan-Ohio State) being played on the same weekend, this Palmetto State rivalry tends to fly under the radar. Not this year. The two teams have a combined 18 wins, which is the most Clemson and South Carolina have had collectively going into a game against other. In Steve Spurrier’s six previous seasons at South Carolina, he’s never won 10 games in a season. Maybe seven will be a lucky number for the ‘ol ball coach.
Snooze on these, though.
Duke (3-8, 1-6 ACC) at North Carolina (6-5, 2-5), Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3.
The only time to watch Duke-Carolina go at it is when the playing surface is hardwood and the ball is orange and round.
Florida State (7-4, 5-3 ACC) at Florida (6-5, 3-5 SEC), Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPN2.
This game used to be must-see TV. Both teams were typically ranked high in the polls. Future NFL stars all over the place. Now neither team is ranked and although there will talent on the field, this rivalry doesn’t have the electricity it once had.
Mississippi (2-9, 0-7 SEC) at Mississippi State (5-6, 1-6 SEC), Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPNU.
The SEC spoils us. It has super games every week so when one like this surfaces, it can be a letdown. With a win, the Bulldogs can become bowl eligible, but you know what they say, misery loves company. So the Rebels would love nothing more than to end Mississippi State’s season with a loss.