November 14th, 2012 by Patrick Sturgeon
PATRICK STURGEON (aka “Paddy The Brick”) delivers a personal overview of his top three College Football games to watch live on ESPN America this weekend and predicts a winner for each game. Check local listings for game times in your region.
WEEK TWELVE GAMES TO WATCH
Iowa at #21 Michigan
Our coverage starts on Saturday at the “Big House” in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines need to beat Iowa and then hope that Minnesota or Iowa beats Nebraska over the next two weeks in order to win the Legends’ Division and a spot in the Big 10 championship game. Star QB Denard Robinson remains injured and is listed as day to day. Back-up QB Devin Gardner filled in nicely for the second straight week in the Wolverines’ comeback overtime victory over Northwestern.
Iowa (4-6) is having a down year; last week they lost to Purdue 27-24. The Hawkeyes have now played in six games decided by three points or less and has lost four of them. Michigan is just too tough for Iowa, but it will be a lot closer than the experts think.
Final Score: Iowa 24, Michigan 28
North Carolina State at #11 Clemson
The second live game is a classic ACC match-up. Clemson is 9-1 and firing on all cylinders after dismantling Maryland 45-10 last week. NC State is 6-4 overall and coming off a lopsided 37-6 victory over Wake Forest. The Tigers trail #’10 Florida State in the ACC Atlantic division title. So in order to secure an invite to a BSC Bowl game Clemson need to win out and hope that teams ranked above them falter, especially Florida State.
Clemson features a high powered offense lead by QB Tajh Boyd, who has already thrown for nearly 3000 yards and 28 touchdowns and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who has reeled in 14 TD passes and averages over 100 receiving yards per game.
Final Score: Clemson 32, North Carolina State 17
#13 Stanford at #2 Oregon
Oregon hosts Stanford in this week’s only matchup of Top-15 teams. The high-powered Ducks have momentum and history on its side, but cannot afford a slip up against the Cardinal. Over the last two seasons Oregon has scored a combined 105 points against the Cardinal, winning both by more than 20 points. The Ducks are 32-2 in conference games under head coach Chip Kelly and have won nine of their last 10 against Stanford.
Based on this information and having seen a fair about of Oregon this season, there is no way I can go against the Ducks at this point in the season. Plus, they can clinch the North division title a spot in the Pac-12 championship game with a victory.
Final Score: Oregon 42, Stanford 21
Notre Dame Update: The Fighting Irish has now risen to #3 in the country and trail only Kansas State and Oregon in the BSC rankings. Notre Dame defeated Boston College 21-6 in a rivalry known to some as the “Holy War.” The game was more like a small skirmish than a war; QB Everett Golson threw two TDs and ran for another as the Irish improved to 10-0 for the first time since 1993. Linebacker Manti Te’o grabbed his sixth interception of the season and gathered more votes for his Heisman Trophy campaign. As I have mentioned before, I really hope that Te’o gets an invitation to the award ceremony in New York. Notre Dame hosts Wake Forest on Saturday and then travels to USC for the last game of the regular season. Not bad for a team that started the season in Dublin, Ireland with little expectation of contending for a national title.
Last Week: I was 1-2 last week. Syracuse upset Louisville 45-26, handing the Cardinals their first loss of the season. In the biggest upset of the season, Texas A&M shocked #1 Alabama 29-24 behind the inspired play of Johnny Manziel, who will now be known as Johnny Upset and not Johnny Football. For my only win of the day, I correctly predicted that Notre Dame would have little trouble with Boston College.
About the author
PATRICK STURGEON (aka ‘Paddy the Brick’) is the Director of Programming for ESPN America. He has been working in the TV sports business for 25 years. Patrick started his career in Arizona where he was a Emmy Award winning sports producer and director. He moved to the Europe in 1994 and has been with ESPN America since 2003. He has a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!).
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