It is now deep into the 2019 college football season. In November, there are usually some pretty competitive games, including upsets. Some teams out of bowl contention may be playing in trophy games, and winning those are huge for the program regardless of how the season is going. Here are three teams on upset alert in week 12 of the college football season:
All spreads according to Team Rankings as of Monday.
Pittsburgh Panthers (-5)
When: Thursday, November 14 | 8:00 PM EST
Pittsburgh is 6-3 at this point in the season. They have won multiple close games, as their average margin of victory is less than six points. Even FCS Delaware gave them a close game in which the Panthers won 17-14. However, their three losses were only by an average of nine points. They battled Penn State on the road in a game that they lost 17-10 and even had a shot at getting a touchdown which could have led to a tied game with the extra point. Pittsburgh has been in close games, and this could cost a team if a big play does not go in their favor. Pitt will be playing North Carolina this week.
The Tar Heels are competing for bowl eligibility and will need to win two of their last three games to become eligible as they are currently 4-5. Like Pitt, they have a slim margin of victory at six and a half points. The team also has five losses that they lost by a combined 19 points. That is less than four points per loss, including a 21-20 loss to Clemson that they could have won if they converted the two point conversion attempt. Both of these teams playing in close games could provide a close one Thursday night that the Tar Heels could win.
Iowa State Cyclones (-7)
When: Saturday, November 16 | 3:30 PM EST
Iowa State started the season ranked in the AP Poll, but are now 5-4 and still need a win to become bowl eligible. The team did lose two games by a single point to Iowa and Oklahoma, both ranked opponents. They’re just coming off of that Oklahoma loss, and lingering on that close 42-41 final score could hurt them against the Longhorns in week 12. However, sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy should be ready to go at home to try and avoid being upset late in the college football season.
Texas is coming off of a big win against a ranked Kansas State team that made them bowl eligible. This Longhorns team is one that gave LSU a close game when the Tigers beat Texas 45-38. Clearly this team has potential, and if they play well on Saturday, they can come away with an upset. They may want to utilize running back Keontay Ingram this week as the team has some receivers listed as questionable as of Monday night.
USC Trojans (-6.5)
When: Saturday, November 16 | 11:00 PM EST
USC is another team on upset alert in college football this week. The team has been playing without quarterback JT Daniels this season as freshman Kedon Slovis has been playing QB for most of their offensive snaps this season. Slovis has shown that he can play when he went 19-for-28 passing with 232 yards and two touchdowns against Arizona. This week they will stay in-state as they take on the California Golden Bears.
Cal has also been playing with a backup quarterback for some time now in Devon Modster. Him and the Golden Bears are coming off of a huge win against Washington State to move them to 5-4 on the season. A win this week will have them bowl eligible. How the offense plays could be a big factor in this game, as the defense has played pretty consistently this season. They even held the Oregon Ducks to just 17 points on the road. Should the offense play to the caliber their defense can, they may be bowl eligible after this game Saturday night.
Feature Image Courtesy of Iowa State Daily.