clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Predicting the winner of every game in Week 12 of CFB, from Michigan-Wisconsin to BC-UConn

Is Week 12 less exciting from a big-game perspective? Absolutely. Will silly college football things still happen? Absolutely.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Wisconsin vs Western Michigan Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

And now, a breather. After two chaotic college football weekends, we ease our foot off the gas. Week 12 sees only one ranked-vs.-ranked matchup, and the top two teams in the CFP rankings face FCS foes.

This is college football, so you’ll still find crazy, exciting games if you look for them. But you’ll have to look for them. This schedule is the opposite of a standout.

Below are picks and projections using the S&P+ projections you can find in full in the Football Study Hall stat profiles. See the bottom of the post for more detail about these. After a bit of a midseason funk, S&P+ has hit 56 percent against the spread in each of the last two weekends.

The spread (listed in parentheses) is shown next to S&P+’s pick for each game. There is no spread for games with FCS opponents. When S&P+ predicts a tie or a push (a tie with Vegas, basically), I’m listing the pick on the side S&P+ would pick if teams could score in decimals.

This document breaks games (and S&P+’s season performance to date) out into their decimal glory.

Ranked vs. ranked

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Michigan
Michigan’s Brandon Peters
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
  • No. 5 Wisconsin (-7.5) 28, No. 24 Michigan 18 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, Fox)

Michigan’s offense had averaged only 17 points per game in its last three contests before Brandon Peters took over at quarterback. Since then: 34 points per game. Wisconsin is tremendous, but this might the worst possible time to play the Wolverines. (S&P+ disagrees.)

Other ranked teams in action

NCAA Football: Alabama at Mississippi State
Alabama’s Damien Harris
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Most books don’t list lines for FCS games.

  • No. 1 Alabama 51, Mercer 4 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, SECN)
  • No. 2 Clemson 46, The Citadel 8 (Saturday, 12:20 PM ET, ACCN)
  • No. 3 Miami 35, Virginia (+19.5) 18 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, ABC)
  • No. 4 Oklahoma 46, Kansas (+37) 21 (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN)
  • No. 6 Auburn 42, UL-Monroe (+37) 20 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN2)
  • No. 7 Georgia 38, Kentucky (+21.5) 18 (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, CBS)
  • No. 8 Notre Dame 38, Navy (+18.5) 25 (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, NBC)
  • No. 9 Ohio State 43, Illinois (+41) 11 (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ABC)
  • No. 10 Penn State 38, Nebraska (+26) 17 (Saturday, 4:00 PM ET, FS1)
  • No. 11 USC 40, UCLA (+16) 28 (Saturday, 8:00 PM ET, ABC)
  • No. 12 TCU 33, Texas Tech (+7) 26* (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, FS1)
  • No. 13 Oklahoma State 40, Kansas State (+20.5) 25 (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN2)
  • No. 15 UCF (-14) 39, Temple 22 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, ESPNU)
  • No. 16 Mississippi State 34, Arkansas (+12.5) 22 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, CBS)
  • No. 17 Michigan State 31, Maryland (+16) 18 (Saturday, 4:00 PM ET, Fox)
  • No. 18 Washington 33, Utah (+17.5) 17 (Saturday, 10:30 PM ET, ESPN)
  • Wake Forest (-1.5) 32, No. 19 NC State 28 (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET, ESPNU)
  • No. 20 LSU 31, Tennessee (+16.5) 19 (Saturday, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN)
  • No. 21 Memphis 37, SMU (+13) 32 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN News)
  • No. 22 Stanford 35, California (+16) 22 (Saturday, 8:00 PM ET, Fox)
  • No. 23 Northwestern 27, Minnesota (+7) 23 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, BTN)
  • No. 25 Boise State 36, Air Force (+17.5) 22 (Saturday, 10:15 PM ET, ESPN2)

The annual SEC-SoCon Challenge kicks off early on Saturday.

* Actual projected score: TCU 32.8, Texas Tech 26.

Power 5 vs. Power 5

NCAA Football: Iowa State at West Virginia
West Virginia’s Will Grier
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
  • Arizona (+1) 34, Oregon 32 (Saturday, 7:00 PM ET, Pac-12)
  • Arizona State 35, Oregon State (+7) 28 (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, Pac-12)
  • Georgia Tech 28, Duke (+6.5) 23 (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ACCN)
  • Indiana 27, Rutgers (+11) 19 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, BTN)
  • Iowa 24, Purdue (+7.5) 24* (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, BTN)
  • Iowa State 33, Baylor (+9.5) 24 (Saturday, 2:30 PM ET, FSN affiliates)
  • Louisville 36, Syracuse (+13.5) 27 (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ESPNU)
  • Missouri 34, Vanderbilt (+9) 28 (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET, SECN)
  • Ole Miss (-2.5) 34, Texas A&M 30 (Saturday, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2)
  • Virginia Tech 33, Pittsburgh (+15.5) 19 (Saturday, 12:20 PM ET, ACCN)
  • West Virginia (-3.5) 32, Texas 25 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN)

West Virginia can keep its slim Big 12 title game hopes alive with a win over Tom Herman’s Texas. Nobody plays to their level of competition like the Longhorns, though, so we’ll see.

* Actual projected score: Iowa 23.9, Purdue 23.6

FBS vs. FBS

With emojis for games that happened before Saturday. Thumbs up = S&P+ was right.

  • Arkansas State 37, Texas State (+26) 18 (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, ESPN3)
  • Boston College 33, Connecticut (+21.5) 24 (Saturday, 7:00 PM ET, CBSSN)
  • Buffalo 32, Ball State (+19.5) 24 (Thursday, 7:00 PM ET, CBSSN) —
  • Central Michigan 30, Kent State (+17) 18 (Tuesday, 7:00 PM ET) —
  • Cincinnati (-3.5) 34, East Carolina 28 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, CBSSN)
  • Colorado State 42, San Jose State (+32.5) 19* (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, CBSSN)
  • Florida Atlantic 37, Florida International (+14.5) 23 (Saturday, 7:00 PM ET, Stadium)
  • Fresno State (+1) 24, Wyoming 22 (Saturday, 2:00 PM ET, MWC video)
  • Houston 33, Tulane (+9.5) 26 (Saturday, 4:00 PM ET, ESPN News)
  • Idaho 32, Coastal Carolina (+8.5) 26 (Saturday, 5:00 PM ET, ESPN3)
  • Louisiana Tech 33, UTEP (+17) 21 (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, $CUSA Video)
  • Massachusetts (+4) 26, BYU 25 (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, ESPN3)
  • Miami (Ohio) (-1.5) 27, Eastern Michigan 23 (Wednesday, 7:00 PM ET, CBSSN) —
  • New Mexico 30, UNLV (+2.5) 28 (Friday, 9:30 PM ET, ESPN2) —
  • New Mexico State (-4.5) 35, UL-Lafayette 29 (Saturday, 5:00 PM ET, ESPN3)
  • North Texas (-2.5) 34, Army 29 (Saturday, 6:30 PM ET, beIN)
  • Northern Illinois 28, Western Michigan (+8.5) 21 (Wednesday, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2) —
  • Ohio (-14) 35, Akron 20 (Tuesday, 7:00 PM ET) —
  • Old Dominion (-8.5) 32, Rice 22 (Saturday, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN3)
  • San Diego State 37, Nevada (+16) 22 (Saturday, 10:30 PM ET, CBSSN)
  • South Alabama (-4.5) 31, Georgia Southern 17 (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, ESPN3)
  • South Florida (-22.5) 43, Tulsa 19 (Thursday, 7:30 PM ET, ESPN) —
  • Southern Miss (-17) 37, Charlotte 14 (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, $CUSA Video)
  • Toledo 38, Bowling Green (+17) 25 (Wednesday, 8:00 PM ET, ESPNU) —
  • UAB (+11) 29, Florida 24 (Saturday, 4:00 PM ET, SECN)
  • Utah State (-10.5) 35, Hawaii 24 (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, MWC video)
  • UTSA (-1) 27, Marshall 21 (Saturday, 7:00 PM ET, Facebook)
  • Western Kentucky (+3) 26, Middle Tennessee 25 (Friday, 8:00 PM ET, CBSSN) —

S&P+ has dominated the MACtion picks the last two weeks but has started just 1-4 this week. We’ll say that’s a sign of chaos to come.

* Actual projected score: CSU 42.4, SJSU 18.5

Unranked FBS vs. FCS

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Tennessee
South Carolina’s Will Muschamp
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
  • Florida State 52, Delaware State 2 (Saturday, 12:00 PM ET, ACCN)
  • North Carolina 42, Western Carolina 15 (Saturday, 3:00 PM ET, ACCN)
  • South Carolina 40, Wofford 15 (Saturday, 4:00 PM ET, SECN)

South Carolina could get at least a little bit of a test from FCS’ eighth-ranked Wofford Terriers. Western Carolina is in the top 25 as well. (Delaware State will provide no test for FSU.)


Each year at Football Study Hall, I have posted weekly S&P+ picks as a way of affirming the ratings’ validity. I use my S&P+ system as a complement to most of my analysis, and the picks are a way of showing it generally knows what it’s talking about.

S&P+ tends to hit between 50 (meh) and 54 percent (great) against the spread from year to year. It isn’t always the single best performer, but it holds its own. And beyond picks, it goes deeper than any other set of college football analytics on the market. You can go into granular detail regarding team strengths and weaknesses in a way that no other set of ratings allows. (See the annual team statistical profiles as proof.)

This year, I am posting the weekly S&P+ picks at SB Nation instead of FSH.