I lost both upset specials last week, but that was it en route to an 8-2 record. Hope this week is not full of turkeys!
With a 79-45 overall record, bring on Week 13.
No. 3 TCU 55, New Mexico 3. The Horned Frogs should have no problem against one of the worst teams in the country, and they are going to have to pour on the points and look impressive to have any shot of holding off Boise State in the BCS standings. A win would give TCU the Mountain West title outright, and the third unbeaten and untied regular season in TCU history.
No. 4 Boise State 41, No. 19 Nevada 20 (Friday). The Broncos are going to have a big challenge, yes, but this is a team that looked absolutely dominant last week in a 51-0 win over Fresno State. Nevada is better than Fresno State, and the Wolf Pack will no doubt be fired up. Colin Kaepernick has had some good games against Boise State, but has been limited in the ground game in the past two contests. The score the past two years may have been closer than the way the games went, but Boise State knows it has got to dominate this game.
No. 20 Utah 28, BYU 20. Anything can happen in rivalry games, and BYU certainly appears to have righted the ship going into the final game between the two as Mountain West members. But Utah has the edge here at quarterback with Jordan Wynn and on defense as well. The Utes needed that win over San Diego State headed into this game, and while BYU has won five of six, the last four wins have come against the worst teams in the league.
SMU 44, East Carolina 31 (Friday). SMU needs this one to clinch the West and a spot in the C-USA title game, and after watching the Pirates play defense this year, it is hard to imagine them stopping an offense that has the ability to have some balance with Kyle Padron and Zach Line. East Carolina ranks last in the country in total defense and scoring defense.
Tulsa 35, Southern Miss 33 (Friday). The Golden Eagles have won four straight road games, the most since winning five away from home during the regular season in 2003 and 2004. But Tulsa is the hotter team, having won five straight. This one features a terrific quarterback matchup between G.J. Kinne of Tulsa and Austin Davis of Southern Miss. These are two of the top scoring offenses and total offenses in C-USA. Tulsa is going to have to slow Davis down on the ground in addition to through the air.
Ohio 31, Kent State 17 (Friday). The Golden Flashes will be inspired to play in this one, the final game for coach Doug Martin, who announced his resignation effective at the end of the game. But the Bobcats have won seven straight and are the much more complete team. They are the more physical team, too. Ohio has to win this game to win the East and get to the MAC title game.
Akron 21, Buffalo 17 (Friday). You heard it here first. The Zips will get their first win of the season in the final game of the season. They have come really close the last several weeks, and coach Rob Ianello has seen vast improvement. Alex Allen is playing well, with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games in close losses to Ball State and Miami (Ohio). The Bulls, meanwhile, have lost six straight. They have scored a total of 20 points in the last two weeks -- against two of the worst teams in the MAC in Ball State and Eastern Michigan. The time is now for the Zips.
FIU 35, Arkansas State 28. The most unlikely league championship will be won in Miami. Nobody pegged FIU as the Sun Belt champion, but the Panthers have steadily improved throughout the season, and now have a pretty powerful offense to go with the best defense in the Sun Belt. That defense will face a challenge in Ryan Aplin, who leads the league in total offense. But FIU is too strong. This is a unit that had seven sacks and three interceptions in a win over Louisiana last week.
Texas Tech 34, Houston 28. The Cougars have lost three straight in their attempt to become bowl eligible and now have to rely on a victory over the Red Raiders to get to six wins. Their running game has abandoned them, and so has their defense. Houston has given up 137 points in its past three games. The final stretch of the season has simply been brutal -- they had to close against four teams that have six or more wins.
ULM 30, Louisiana 17. Louisiana has won two straight over its rivals, but ULM needs a win to become bowl eligible. The Warhawks have never made a bowl game, despite being bowl eligible twice in their history, including last season. But this could be the year that changes. Kolton Browning makes the difference in this one. He threw for a school-record five touchdowns last week, and needs 199 yards of total offense to set the ULM single-season record with 2,966 yards.