Week 12 CFB ‘Expert’ Picks

It’s really a marvel in this day and age for teams in a power conference to be undefeated two weeks into November. I don’t care if your schedule is soft (a la Clemson’s), no team is immune from a letdown here or there.

On Saturday we saw two undefeated favorites fall at the hand of fellow undefeated underdogs. LSU going into Tuscaloosa and defeating mighty Alabama was as convincing as it was surprising; the five point spread didn’t do the game justice. Same with Minnesota “rowing the boat” over Penn State earlier in the day. Fellow undefeated Baylor wasn’t as convincing as the other two teams though they did beat TCU in a triple-OT thriller.

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So what do I make of the remaining five undefeated teams left? Which ones will run the table and play in the College Football Playoff semifinals on December 28th?

To me, only 11 teams have a shot to make the College Football Playoff final four. Here are their chances as I see it:

LSU: The Ole Miss game this week is a classic letdown trap game but the Tigers are too talented to lose. They also aren’t losing at home against pathetic Arkansas or a so-so Texas A&M team. So pretty much it’s beat Georgia and they’re a lock for the Peach Bowl. If not, they might have to sweat it out and hope the playoff committee still values them over a 1-loss Pac-12 champion (which is likely).
Chances of making the CFP: 85%

Ohio State: They may score 100 on Rutgers this week after going from #1 to #2 in the playoff rankings despite winning by 59. They aren’t losing to Penn State at home and even if they do lose to Michigan in a road stunner, win the Big 10 Championship Game and they should still get in. Via the eye test, there’s no way 4 other teams are better than OSU.
Chances of making the CFP: 80%

Clemson: Wake Forest at home, at South Carolina, and a game in the ACC Championship Game against very likely an unranked ACC Coastal team = a virtual lock that Dabo’s bunch is back in the CFP.
Chances of making the CFP: 95%

In other words, three teams are virtually set barring a surprising turn of fate these next few weeks…

Minnesota: Great story but now the real season begins. Even if they win at Iowa, at Northwestern, and home against Wisconsin, beating likely Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship Game seems like a long shot.
Chances of making the CFP: <5%

Baylor: They’d have to win out including beating Oklahoma likely twice + Texas. Not happening.
Chances of making the CFP: <5%

Alabama: They shouldn’t lose to Auburn in the season finale but either way, they’ll need at least another Georgia loss to get in. A 1-loss Oregon or Utah Pac-12 champ would cause a healthy debate against these Crimson Tide.
Chances of making the CFP: 45%

Georgia: In my opinion, this team simply isn’t good enough to win at Auburn and vs. LSU in Atlanta. If they win out, they’re in the CFP…if not, hello Sugar Bowl or maybe even a non-top 6 bowl game (if they lose twice).
Chances of making the CFP: 15%

Oklahoma: This one is interesting. While I’m hesitant that they can beat Baylor and Oklahoma State both on the road + win a likely rematch with the Bears in the Big XII Championship Game, if they do, there’s most certainly a case to be made. For now, I’ll say they slip up again as the defense doesn’t seem to be clicking whatsoever.
Chances of making the CFP: 25%

Oregon: Win out including a win over ASU in Tempe and Utah in Santa Clara…and there’s a compelling case to be made here. In fact, if that happens, I think the Ducks get in over Alabama.
Chances of making the CFP: 25%

Utah: They will need to curb stomp every team from here on out, including Oregon, as the loss to USC doesn’t look as good as Oregon’s to Auburn. I actually like their chances to beat the Ducks but I’d say there’s a better chance they finish 5th in that case.
Chances of making the CFP: 15%

Penn State: If they win at Ohio State and then in the Big 10 Championship Game, there’s a case to be made. But would they jump a one loss Pac-12 champ + Alabama? Doubtful.
Chances of making the CFP: 10%



On to the picks, where I’m ahead both straight up and against the spread…though all of us being under .500 ATS is nothing to brag about!

Guest Picker Records:
Week 9: Jason “Chief” Carter: 6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS
Week 10: JROD: 5-5 SU, 4-6 ATS
Week 11: Boogie: 7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS

Glad to have arguably our biggest (in fandom & size) Daily Blender Super Fan, BIG GEORGE join us as this week’s guest picker!

Week 12 Picks

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This Week’s Bold Predictions

EC: Haven’t we seen this before? Team comes off big win then goes on the road against solid team, is an underdog, and loses? It happened to SMU the other week in the most recent example. Sorry Minnesota…the boat isn’t rowing this week as Iowa ruins your perfect season and potentially hurts your chances to make the Big 10 Championship Game.

JB: LSU beats Bama at Bryant Denny for the first time since 2011, putting them into the drivers seat for the SEC West, SEC Championship and the top spot in the College Football Playoffs. Their reward? A rematch in the College Football Playoff against 4th seed Alabama. Sound familiar? New look offense, same old demons for the Tigers. 

SM: Ohio State not only covers the 52.5 point spread, they cover by more than two touchdowns, 77-6!

WF: Baylor is playing better football and a battle on turnovers will be the demise of Oklahoma, who should have proven my last week’s bold prediction correct when I picked Iowa State to beat them.

BIG GEORGE: As an ASU Sun Devil fan, I will make the bold prediction that Herm Edwards gets the train back on track and ASU finishes the rest of the regular season undefeated by upsetting the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis before coming home to beat undefeated Oregon in triple overtime at Sun Devil Stadium. The icing on the cake will be ASU defeating UArizona in the Territorial Cup. ASU finishes 8-4 and ends up in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas where they lose to the pride of the ACC, the University of Miami Hurricanes. Another bold prediction, Utah wins the PAC-12 and ends up in the College Football Playoff where they lose to LSU.

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @cohencurse1580

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