USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tyrell Pigrome and Taylor Cornelius
- Collin Wilson is searching for value in the penultimate week of the college football regular season, which he's expecting to be more chaotic than you might think.
- This week, he's focused on a few home dogs and a handful of totals.
Penultimate is one of my favorite words. I first heard it long ago when Breaking Bad was peaking and the episode ‘Half Measures’ was released.
About an hour into the viewing, Walter White was plowing over two drug dealers for Jesse Pinkman and teaching me to never underestimate the week before the season finale.
WARNING: Breaking Bad spoilers and touch of violence below
The College Football season needs a ‘Half Measures’ episode. My love affair with the sport spans 365 days per year, and the chaos usually associated is missing from the 2018 season.
The College Football Playoff selection committee released Week 12 rankings on Tuesday, and to no one’s surprise, there were no changes to the top 10.
We can’t expect The Citadel, UMass or Duke to produce rankings pandemonium in Week 12. However, a few existing spots with No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 9 West Virginia and No. 10 Ohio State may have a Breaking Bad-style penultimate moment. It is the last weekend to get the chess board aligned before a fantastic regular season ending Week 13.
Let’s get to some Week 12 winners!
Be sure to check out my Sunday Morning Coffee column for our Week 12 projected spreads. Let’s get to the picks!
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College Football Betting Picks, Week 12
Ohio State at Maryland
- Spread: Maryland +14.5
- Over/Under: 58.5
- Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ABC
Ohio State has been an easy team to cap for most of the season. If an opponent has advantages in the explosiveness department, the Buckeyes will have issues stopping it. Purdue beat Ohio State 49-20 thanks to Boilermakers wide receiver Rondale Moore. Currently, the Buckeyes rank 115th overall in defensive IsoPPP.
The Buckeyes find themselves in a sandwich situation after a win against Michigan State with overlook to their biggest rival in Michigan. Maryland comes to town after a dramatic two weeks off the field with DJ Durkin getting fired and losing quarterback Kasim Hill for the season. But Maryland may have one of the most explosive backup quarterbacks in the nation with Tyrrell Pigrome.
Piggy has been around for a few years and taking over at quarterback should not affect Maryland’s quest for six wins and a bowl game. Ohio State is 105th in defending rush explosiveness, while Pigrome is averaging 6.3 yards per carry in 32 rushes this season.
Play On: Maryland +14.5
Northwestern at Minnesota
- Spread: Minnesota -2
- Over/Under: 47.5
- Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
- TV channel: Big Ten Network
As I said in my Sunday Morning Coffee piece, Minnesota may be in the best spot of the year. Northwestern is celebrating a Big Ten West title. All the conversation within the team and media is about the trip to Indianapolis to play for the conference championship, but nobody is discussing a trip to TCF Bank Stadium.
Minnesota also fired defensive coordinator Robb Smith, which had immediate results against Purdue.
Minnesota now has five wins and plenty of motivation to get to a bowl in head coach PJ Fleck’s second season. The Gophers played tremendous defense against an explosive Purdue offense. The Boilermakers were limited to no plays over 20 yards, an average of 2.9 yards per carry, and sacked three times.
The Northwestern offense should not be confused with Purdue, ranking 109th in offensive S&P+. We’ll get Minnesota’s best effort against a Northwestern team that may have its feet kicked up until Indianapolis.
Play On: Minnesota -2
Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss
- Spread: Southern Miss +1
- Over/Under: 47
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
- TV channel: Stadium