Alabama 42, Auburn 14

Trent Richardson and No. 2 Alabama have convinced Nick Saban that they’re worthy of competing for college football’s top prize. They’ll have to wait a while before for the final decision is rendered.

Michigan aims to add to rivalry lore by upsetting Ohio State

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 1972, file photo, Auburn's Bill Newton, center, blocks an Alabama puns in the fourth quarter of the Iron Bowl NCAA college football game at Legion field in Birmingham, Ala., that resulted in an Auburn touchdown. (Haywood Paravicini/AL.com via AP, File)

Hurts a big challenge for Auburn’s defense

Containing Alabama QB Jalen Hurts is a major focus of Auburn’s defense heading into the Iron Bowl.

Know the foe: Alabama, Auburn square off for SEC West title

BamaInsider.com team writer Tony Tsoukalas asked five key questions about Auburn

Huge stakes in Iron Bowl when Alabama-Auburn meet

Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley catches the pass and runs in to score a touchdown against Mercer during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Huge stakes in Iron Bowl when Alabama-Auburn meet

Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson (21) carries the ball for a first down as Louisiana Monroe cornerback Corey Straughter (21) tries to tackle him during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Huge stakes in Iron Bowl when Alabama-Auburn meet

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops talks with his players in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 42-13. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Huge stakes in Iron Bowl when Alabama-Auburn meet

Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith (3) greets fans at the dawg walk before the start of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

College Football Week 13 Top Matchups: Odds for Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan

The Auburn Tigers, No. 6 in the CFP rankings, are 11-0 straight up and 6-3-2 against the spread in their last 11 games played at home. The Tigers will try to extend that winning streak to 12 games and punch their ticket to the SEC Championship Game with an upset win this Saturday over the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Auburn is a 4.5-point home underdog at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Since losing on the road to the LSU Tigers back on Oct. 14, Auburn has rolled through its last four games with a 4-0 SU and 2-1-1 ATS record, outscoring its opponents 176 to 78 over that stretch. The Tigers' 40-17 win over Georgia as 2.5-point home underdogs coming on the same Saturday as Alabama's ugly 31-24 win over Mississippi State on the road added plenty of intrigue to this year's Iron Bowl.

Alabama was on legitimate upset alert for the first time in 2017 against the Bulldogs, trailing 24-17 in the fourth quarter on the road. But on top of being the best defensive team in the nation, the Crimson Tide also have one of the country's top offenses, and that offense put together two touchdown drives to escape unscathed.

The Crimson Tide are 8-2 ATS on the college football odds in their last 10 road games against teams with winning records.

Also this weekend, the Michigan Wolverines are hoping that this is the year that they can solve the No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes. Michigan still leads the all-time series between these two programs 58-48-6 SU, but the Buckeyes have bridged the gap of late with a 12-1 SU record in their last 13 games against the Wolverines.

The Wolverines are going off as a 12-point underdog at home and are 1-5 ATS in their last six games at the Big House.

Ohio State enters this year's game against Michigan with a 9-2 SU and 5-6 ATS record, and they will represent the Big Ten East in the Big Ten Championship Game facing the Wisconsin Badgers. The Buckeyes are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against Michigan and won their last road game in Michigan 42-13.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

Week 13 Picks: Auburn–Alabama, Ohio State–Michigan and the Rest of Rivalry Week

Each step towards the revelation of the final College Football Playoff rankings is more difficult than the last, but there’s a special challenge to rivalry week, when national title contenders cross paths with teams who spend all year preparing to beat them. Will Michigan muster up enough offense to scare Ohio State in Ann Arbor? Can Auburn vault Alabama as the SEC’s playoff favorite with an upset in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Washington State crack Washington’s defense to set up a Pac-12 title game trip with plenty on the line?

Below, our experts make their picks for Week 13’s biggest games, taking turns defending their selections.

Season-long standings

Chris Johnson: 111–37 (75%)
Molly Geary: 108–40 (73.0%)
Andy Staples: 102–46 (68.9%)
Bruce Feldman: 94–44 (68.1%)?
Scooby Axson: 90–44 (67.1%)
Eric Single: 98–50 (66.2%)?
Joan Niesen: 94–54 (63.5%)

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Chris Johnson picks Mississippi State: This could be one of Dan Mullen’s last games in charge of the Bulldogs, and the Rebels are undergoing their own search for a new head coach, but the enmity between these two programs should override the coaching-carousel speculation. Nick Fitzgerald will feast on Ole Miss’s leaky defense.

Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon ET, ABC)

Scooby Axson picks Miami: This is a classic trap game for the Hurricanes, and they will need all of their turnover chain magic to remain undefeated before next week’s ACC title game. Miami knows that too much is at stake not to once again find a way to win.

South Florida at UCF (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Bruce Feldman picks UCF: McKenzie Milton has been fantastic in Scott Frost’s offense, but this very fast, physical USF squad will be the toughest test he’s faced. Expect this one to be tight going into the fourth quarter, but I don’t see anyone in the AAC derailing the Knights this year.

Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, FS1)

Joan Niesen picks Iowa: Sure, Iowa is 1–3 on the road this season and has lost two straight, but I still think the (at times inconsistent) Hawkeyes can get the win on the road against a hapless Nebraska team that Mike Riley somehow still coaches. This one could be high-scoring, but I think Iowa can outgain and outscore the Huskers.

Virginia Tech at Virginia (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Virginia: This has arguably been the ACC’s most one-sided rivalry of the millennium, but in recent years Virginia has had a couple of golden opportunities to break a losing streak that now sits at 13 straight losses. Cavaliers senior quarterback Kurt Benkert can find enough big plays to outduel Virginia Tech’s hit-and-miss offense and make his Scott Stadium farewell a memorable one.

Ohio State at Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET, FOX)

It’s unclear whether Great Ohio State or Mediocre Ohio State will show up from week to week, but given the special emphasis Urban Meyer puts on rivalry games, it seems like a safe bet the Great Buckeyes will take the field in Ann Arbor.

Florida State at Florida (Noon ET, ESPN)

Eric Single picks Florida State: Seminoles fans have soured on James Blackman for not being the hyper-talented quarterback that he replaced (Deondre Francois), but his competitiveness has been on display in some close losses against top-tier opponents. With Florida State fighting for bowl eligibility, he’ll make enough plays to mercifully end Florida’s season.

Louisville at Kentucky (Noon ET, SEC Network)

Scooby Axson picks Louisville: If Louisville actually played some defense (the Cardinals have allowed an average of 43 points in their four losses), Lamar Jackson might be headed toward a second Heisman. But expect Jackson to slice through a vulnerable Kentucky defense with relative ease to avenge last season’s loss.

Alabama at Auburn (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bruce Feldman picks Alabama: As well as the Tigers have been playing of late, especially running back Kerryon Johnson, my hunch here is that Alabama is about to play its best game of the season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played in a lot of big games in two seasons in college, and I think he’ll be able to take advantage of some things in how the Tigers like to defend. The Tide also has healed up some on defense, and I think they’ll be locked in for the road trip with so many folks aboard the Auburn bandwagon.

Boise State at Fresno State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Eric Single picks Boise State: Weall left the Broncos for dead after they lost twice in September, and once everyone had looked the other way they took out their frustration on the rest of the Mountain West, beating everyone except Colorado State by double digits. In a game where neither team wants to show much—they play again next weekend for the conference title—Boise State will out-talent its hosts.

Arizona at Arizona State (4:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Molly Geary picks Arizona: Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off his worst start of the season, especially on the ground, but Oregon’s run defense is a lot stronger than the Sun Devils’. Look for Tate to rebound and lead Arizona to a road Territorial Cup win.

Clemson at South Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Molly Geary picks Clemson: The Tigers must avoid looking ahead to the ACC title game, but the threat of what’s on the line regarding their playoff hopes should keep Kelly Bryant & Co. focused enough to handle an eight-win South Carolina squad.

Texas A&M at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

Joan Niesen picks LSU: This LSU team is almost unrecognizable from the one that lost two games in September. Texas A&M has won two straight, but it doesn’t have the defense to stop Derrius Guice, D.J. Chark and the Tigers’ offense.

Notre Dame at Stanford (8 p.m. ET, ABC)

Chris Johnson picks Stanford: Neither of these teams are in the conversation for playoff berths anymore, but this matchup will feature an intriguing matchup between two of the nation's best running backs: Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Advantage Love.

Washington State at Washington (8 p.m. ET, FOX)

Andy Staples picks Washington: This feels like a much better matchup for the Cougars than the past two years (when they’ve lost by an average of 31.5 points), but Washington’s defensive personnel (good corners and a big, quick line) is built to slow offenses like Washington State’s.

MTS: College Picks

Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks make their picks for this weekend's biggest college football games, including No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Auburn.

MTS: College Picks

Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks make their picks for this weekend's biggest college football games, including No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Auburn.

MTS: College Picks

Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks make their picks for this weekend's biggest college football games, including No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Auburn.

MTS: College Picks

Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks make their picks for this weekend's biggest college football games, including No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Auburn.

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 1972, file photo, Auburn's Bill Newton, center, blocks an Alabama puns in the fourth quarter of the Iron Bowl NCAA college football game at Legion field in Birmingham, Ala., that resulted in an Auburn touchdown. (Haywood Paravicini/AL.com via AP, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 1972, file photo, Auburn's Bill Newton, center, blocks an Alabama puns in the fourth quarter of the Iron Bowl NCAA college football game at Legion field in Birmingham, Ala., that resulted in an Auburn touchdown. (Haywood Paravicini/AL.com via AP, File)

Iron Bowl plays pivotal role in College Football Playoff picture

Yahoo Sports' Nick Bromberg breaks down how the playoff picture can change for Alabama, Auburn and other teams meeting in key games this weekend.

Iron Bowl plays pivotal role in College Football Playoff picture

Yahoo Sports' Nick Bromberg breaks down how the playoff picture can change for Alabama, Auburn and other teams meeting in key games this weekend.

Iron Bowl plays pivotal role in College Football Playoff picture

Yahoo Sports' Nick Bromberg breaks down how the playoff picture can change for Alabama, Auburn and other teams meeting in key games this weekend.

Iron Bowl plays pivotal role in College Football Playoff picture

Yahoo Sports' Nick Bromberg breaks down how the playoff picture can change for Alabama, Auburn and other teams meeting in key games this weekend.

Where Will the Power 5's Fired Coaches End Up Next Season?

As we prepare to eat our turkey, cornbread dressing and mashed potatoes (more on that later), the most pressing issues in college football involve the coaching carousel and the College Football Playoff. You had some great questions about both…

From Jon: Will Butch Jones, Kevin Sumlin and Jim McElwain all be head coaches of Power 5 teams next year?

I think Sumlin will, but I’m not so sure about the others. Sumlin and Texas A&M will almost certainly part ways after the LSU game, but not because Sumlin failed as the Aggies’ coach. Texas A&M administrators and fans want something they’ve never really had, and it’s unclear if there is a coach out there who can give them what they want—especially with Nick Saban’s Alabama dominating the SEC West. Texas A&M will take a big swing or two—think Jimbo Fisher—but it’s tough to predict whether the Aggies will connect. Sumlin, meanwhile, seems like a fit at a lot of places. If Chip Kelly doesn’t take UCLA, Sumlin—who considered the Bruins before taking the Texas A&M job—might fit there. He could win at Nebraska, too. Don’t be shocked if Sumlin gets another job very quickly.

Jones and McElwain could need more time, or they may never be head coaches at the Power 5 level again. The story of Jones calling a Tennessee recruit and telling him to find another school will raise huge red flags with any athletic director considering hiring him. McElwain, meanwhile, probably needs a year off to process exactly what the hell happened at Florida. He still could be a quality head coach at a Power 5 school, but he needs to be at a place where the recruiting isn’t quite as cutthroat as it is in the SEC.

From @lurking98012648: Of the fired/dead-man-walking coaches (Butch, McElwain, Bielema, Mora, Sumlin, Riley), who will be a head coach again first? Who will have to wait the longest? [Answer linked here, and in the video atop this post.]

From @skygtr350: How is a three-loss Mississippi State team ranked higher than an unbeaten UCF?

Because the teams’ profiles are very close using advanced stats, and that’s bad for UCF. The committee cares most about who a team has beaten, so let’s look at Mississippi State and UCF’s wins using Football Outsiders’ S&P+ rankings.

Mississippi State FBS wins

LSU 21
Texas A&M 61
UMass 81
Kentucky 88
Louisiana Tech 89
Arkansas 95
BYU 106

Median S&P+ rank: 88

UCF FBS wins

Memphis 22
SMU 58
Navy 70
FIU 93
Temple 94
Maryland 109
Cincinnati 110
UConn 119
East Carolina 121

Median S&P+ rank: 94

The committee doesn’t use S&P+, but it does consider similar advanced stats. Neither win profile is great, but Mississippi State’s slightly edges UCF. (In other words, Mississippi State probably would also be undefeated had it played UCF’s schedule to this point.) Throw in a loss on the final drive against Alabama (S&P+ rank: 2) and the committee gives Mississippi State a one-spot advantage.

What’s interesting is that S&P+ loves UCF. The Knights are ranked No. 3, just behind Alabama and Ohio State and just ahead of Wisconsin and Georgia. Personally, I think UCF would beat Mississippi State if the teams played. But I think it would be very close. So UCF and Mississippi State being one spot apart doesn’t feel that egregious even if the UCF folks believe their team belongs in the top four. As always, the moral of the story for Group of Five teams is this: If you’d like to compete for the national title, then create the toughest out-of-conference schedule you can. Otherwise you stand no chance.

From Mark: Please explain: How is Ohio State even mentioned for the playoff? They've gotten throat-punched twice, once at home, then to Iowa by 30, who then lost two in row. Joke. [Answer linked here, and in the video below.]

?

From Rob: What was the over/under on how many times you said “junk” the last two days on @ESPNUonSiriusXM?

It’s at least 347 times between two radio shows in which the newsiest topic was Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield grabbing his junk on national television. It was stupid. He shouldn’t have done it. It won’t keep him from winning the Heisman Trophy.

Kids, take it from Uncle Andy. Don’t grab your junk on national television.

From Brandon: Bama beats Auburn but then loses a close game to Georgia for the SEC title. Who gets in? [Answer linked here, and in the video below.]

From David: This is more of a statement. Mashed potatoes (while very good) are NOT a side for #Thanksgiving. #CornbreadDressing

David, why do you hate America? In a feast celebrating the abundance available to us, why would you discriminate against any dish? Cornbread dressing and mashed potatoes are both excellent, and there is room for both on my table and in my stomach.

Alabama won't just battle Auburn in the Iron Bowl — it'll take on history

Alabama won't just battle Auburn in the Iron Bowl — it'll take on history

Alabama won't just battle Auburn in the Iron Bowl — it'll take on history

Nick Saban and Alabama have a unique challenge ahead of Saturday's Iron Bowl against Auburn, and it has little to do with what happens on the field.

Alabama won't just battle Auburn in the Iron Bowl — it'll take on history

Alabama won't just battle Auburn in the Iron Bowl — it'll take on history

Alabama vs. Auburn: Who will win the Iron Bowl?

Alabama vs. Auburn: Who will win the Iron Bowl?

Alabama vs. Auburn: Who will win the Iron Bowl?

Alabama vs. Auburn: Who will win the Iron Bowl?