College football is winding down its season. There are always things to watch every week of the season. Here are 5 things to watch in college football week 13.
1. The Game
Rivalry week is here, which means one of the most heated games in all of sports will happen when Michigan travels to Ohio State to take on the Buckeyes. A lot is on the line in this game, as both teams are hoping to make the Big Ten Championship and then ultimately a College Football Playoff with a win. It also features two Heisman contenders in Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Michigan running back Blake Corum.
Michigan will try to run the ball and control the clock in this game, while Ohio State will try to use their premier playmakers at wide receiver to move the ball in chunks. They are conflicting in style, which means the game could go either way. The Buckeyes are currently a 7.5-point favorite according to DraftKings. Both teams will have to bring their best if they want a shot at winning the game.
2. USC’s Second Week of a Gauntlet
USC has been criticized for their weaker schedule to start the season. That changed when they played UCLA in week 12. They were able to narrowly escape with a win. The win sets up two more challenges for the Trojans. If they win both games they could make the Colleg Football Playoff.
The second of USC’s big games is in week 13 against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have defeated some good teams this season including North Carolina and Clemson, but have lost to teams they shouldn’t have. Their running game will test the USC defense, so the Trojan offense will have to be great again. There is a lot at stake for the Trojans, but Notre Dame can also put themselves in position to make a New Year’s Six Bowl with a win.
3. Can South Carolina do it Again?
The Gamecocks pulled off a huge upset of Tennessee, which ended the Volunteers’ chances of making the CFP. It was their best-played game all season, as they scored 63 points and hung on defensively against one of the best offenses in the country. Now, South Carolina will get a chance to do it all over again.
In week 13, South Carolina plays Clemson. The Tigers have just one loss and can still make the College Football Playoff. It will be a different matchup though, as Tennessee’s offense is what made them great and Clemson has greatness on their defense. After pulling off the upset in week 12, can South Carolina pull off another one to ruin a team’s CFP chances in week 13?
4. AAC Game with New Year’s Six Implications
UCF lost in week 12, which opened things up for other Group of Five teams to take their spot in the New Year’s Six Bowl Games. Cincinnati and Tulane will be in contention after week 12. The Bearcats defeated Temple, while Tulane got a win over SMU. They stand one game away from getting a spot in the AAC Championship Game.
In week 13, Tulane travels Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats. Both teams have good defenses, so the offenses and creating big plays will be the key to the game. Michael Pratt leads the Tulane offense and has protected the football with just four interceptions. It hasn’t always been pretty for Ben Bryant at quarterback for the Bearcats, but he has settled down and led them to wins. There is a lot on the line for this game.
5. Big Ten West Chaos
The Big Ten West has been crazy all season long. In week, five teams were still eligible to win the conference, which included Wisconsin, who was under .500 in conference play. Illinois lost to Michigan, Purdue beat Northwestern and Iowa beat Minnesota to make things more clear, but there is still a lot to be decided.
If Iowa wins their game against Nebraska, they will represent the Big Ten West in the Big Ten Championship Game. In the event of an Iowa loss and a Purdue win over Indiana, the Boilermakers are heading to Indianapolis for the conference championship. If both Iowa and Purdue lose their games and Illinois defeats Northwestern, the Fighting Illini are the Big Ten West champions. There will be a lot of scoreboard-watching this week.
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