One of the wildest seasons of upsets in recent memory chugs on. Despite a pre-Thanksgiving week filled with cupcakes for the SEC, there’s value to be had down the board.
Each week, potential upsets are picked based on favorable matchups, context (i.e. location, rivalries, look-ahead games) or just good ol’ fashion gut feel. For maximum effect, a spread of at least three points is required for consideration – the bigger, the better.
Last week was a beautiful moment for our upset alert picks. We correctly picked No. 11 Baylor against Oklahoma and East Carolina against Memphis to win outright in matchups that shook up conference title races. But for even more mayhem, I’ll point to a quote I wrote while picking Kansas to cover: “Can Kansas actually beat Texas?… if head coach Lance Leipold wants a signature win, the Longhorns are there for the taking.”
I was not brave enough to actually select Kansas to beat Texas outright. If not for a miracle play from Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels, it would not have happened. Thank goodness I was wrong.
Important disclaimer: “upset” is defined first and foremost by the odds, not rankings.
No. 10 Wake Forest at Clemson
When: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET | Where: Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson’s demise has been a little overstated and its defense remains solid, so it makes sense why Vegas still likes the Tigers in this matchup. That said, the Demon Deacons gave NC State’s outstanding defense nightmares, scoring 45 points and clearing 400 yards with ease. The only reason the Wolfpack had a chance to win the game was because their passing game was also great. Clemson has only cleared 30 offensive points against UConn and South Carolina State. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is completing 54.9% of his passes, averages 5.8 yards per attempt and has thrown 8 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. Clemson can’t keep up. ATS: Wake Forest, SU: Wake Forest
Kansas at TCU
When: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET | Where: Forth Worth, Texas
TCU Horned Frogs
Does lightning strike twice? If it does, there’s no better place than Fort Worth this week. TCU suffered a 63-17 loss against No. 9 Oklahoma State that ranks among its most embarrassing performances since joining the Big 12. To make matters worse, every quarterback and running back on the roster is either out or dealing with a major injury. Kansas is riding high after beating Texas and the Frogs — even when healthy — are one of the worst rush defenses in college football. The three-score line feels insane. ATS: Kansas, SU: TCU
Nebraska at No. 15 Wisconsin
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET | Where: Madison, Wisconsin
Nebraska is nearly a double-digit underdog, but it hasn’t lost to anyone by more than nine points all season long — including Ohio State. Granted, Wisconsin has turned a corner since inserting superstar freshman running back Braelon Allen into the starting lineup, winning his six starts by a combined 24.0 points per game. However, Nebraska has the defense to muck up the game and an unpredictable offense that can hit on explosive plays at times. Wisconsin is the best defense in the country not named Georgia, but the Huskers can keep things close. ATS: Nebraska, SU: Wisconsin
Louisiana at Liberty
When: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET | Where: Lynchburg, Virginia
The Ragin’ Cajuns lost to Texas in a very public performance to open the season. Since that game, Louisiana has won nine straight, including a 41-13 evisceration of rival Appalachian State to become the favorite in the Sun Belt. Liberty has a future NFL quarterback in Malik Willis, but losses to ULM and Syracuse don’t inspire confidence when going against one of the best lines in the Group of Five. Louisiana should be able to cause the Flames issues up front and ultimately emerge victorious. ATS: Louisiana, SU: Louisiana
Washington at Colorado
When: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET | Where: Boulder, Colorado
What kind of state of mind will Washington be in after head coach Jimmy Lake was fired in his second season? The Huskies allowed 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter — including a 37-yard pick-six — in a 35-30 loss to Arizona State. Colorado has struggled, but it went up 20-7 in the first half against UCLA before running out of steam. Against a downtrodden Washington squad, the Buffs can finish the job. ATS: Colorado, SU: Colorado
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 12, and which College Football Playoff contender will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,500 in profit over the past five-plus seasons — and find out.