Week 12 College Football Picks: "Finding Gold" Ahead of the Crowd

Matthew Jordan

Monday, November 16, 2015 4:57 PM GMT

Our early look at the college football odds point out 3 games worth adding to our betting tickets, let's examine games for the MAC Conference, ACC Division & the biggest game of the week.

Toledo vs. Bowling Green 
Last Wednesday, Bowling Green played in a potential Mid-American Conference championship game against Western Michigan. The Falcons (8-2, 6-0) won in Kalamazoo 41-27 to clinch the MAC East Division title. The Falcons, who are averaging 45.4 points per game, are led by senior quarterback Matt Johnson, who leads the country in both passing yards (3,955) and TD passes (36). He's going to be the MAC Player of the Year. Now it's another potential MAC title game preview on Tuesday night MACtion when BGSU hosts Toledo (8-1, 5-1), which is tied with Western Michigan and Northern Illinois atop the MAC West. The Rockets were ranked for a while but were upset by Northern Illinois on Nov. 3. Toledo bounced back with a 28-23 win at a good Central Michigan team on Nov. 10. The Rockets must win both of their final two games and hope that NIU loses a game in its final two contests in order to earn a trip to the MAC title game. Toledo has won five straight in this series, including 27-20 last year. UT ranks No. 1 in the MAC in scoring defense (18.8). Toledo has won 16 of its past 17 games against MAC East teams.

 

#12 North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech 
Should be an emotional day in Blacksburg as it's the final home game in the legendary coaching career or Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, who is retiring after this season. The Hokies will look a little unusual to fans who follow them as they are going to wear all-black uniforms. They’ll also be wearing black helmets – and both the helmets and uniforms will feature a patch dedicated to Beamer’s 29 seasons in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech, now 5-5, must either upset the Tar Heels or win the following week at Virginia to keep the nation's longest active bowl streak going. It's currently at 22 years in a row. North Carolina (9-1) has won nine straight -- the school's longest in a single season since 1914 -- since a close Week 1 loss to South Carolina. UNC has scored a program-record 125 points in its last two games and would clinch a spot opposite Clemson in the ACC title game with a victory (or one Pitt loss). The Heels are ranked 12th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll – their highest ranking since entering the 1998 season also No. 12, and their highest this late in a season since 1997. They haven't committed a turnover since a 26-13 victory against Virginia on Oct. 24. During their past three games, UNC's turnover margin has been a combined plus-seven.

 

#9 Michigan State vs. No. #2 Ohio State 
It's the game of the  year in the Big Ten for the second straight season when the Spartans visit the Buckeyes. A loss by Michigan State (9-1, 5-1) ends its hopes of winning the Big Ten East Division and probably knocks MSU out of a chance to play in a New Year's Six bowl game. If it beats Ohio State and then defeats Penn State in the regular-season finale, MSU is in Big Ten title game. It appears that Sparty will have quarterback Connor Cook for this game. He left Saturday's 24-7 win over Maryland with a shoulder injury. Ohio State (10-0, 6-0) could still play in the Big Ten title game with a loss depending on what happens next weekend but will not be in the College Football Playoff with a defeat because of a weak non-conference schedule. OSU is going for its 24th consecutive victory and 31st consecutive Big Ten win. ESPN GameDay will be in Columbus. Michigan State and Ohio State have combined for a 42-1 record against all other Big Ten schools since the start of the 2013 season. MSU is 3-1 in its past four games in which it's ranked in the AP Top  10 and so is the Spartans' opponent. Michigan State lost 49-37 at home to Ohio State last year as Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett had a huge game with three passing and two rushing scores. Cook threw for 358 yards and two scores in that one.