As the regular season comes down the home stretch, several of the top teams in college football find themselves in rough spots after suffering late-season losses last week.
Clemson was routed by Notre Dame, putting the Tigers’ College Football Playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.
Alabama’s playoff berth dreams also took a blow as the Tide lost its second game of the year, in overtime against LSU. Meanwhile, Kansas State also needs a bounce back, after losing to Texas last week.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Clemson Tigers
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 03:30 PM EST at Memorial Stadium (Clemson, SC)
Playoff in Jeopardy for Clemson
After winning its first 8 games of the season and clinching a spot in the ACC Championship Game, Clemson suffered a brutal non-conference loss that could have scuttled its hopes to get another bid to the College Football Playoff.
The Tigers were routed, 35-14, at Notre Dame in a game where they never seemed competitive.
“Every goal we have is intact,” coach Dabo Swinney said. “Every time we’ve hit all those goals, we’ve either won the national championship or had an amazing year. We won the opener, we can win the division, we can still win the state championship, we can still win this league, and we can still win the closer.”
“There is only one thing off the table for us and that’s going undefeated. There are very few teams that are ever undefeated. Only been six in 10 years in college football and one since 1972 in the NFL. I don’t ever want to lose. But it’s all about responding and getting back to work.”
Will Clemson Manage to Get Back Into Position?
Now, Clemson returns home and needs a great deal of help to get back into position to go to the Playoff, which has seemed like an annual rite of passage for the Tigers.
The first step will be a risky one, as a much improved Louisville team comes to town. The Cardinals have won 4 straight games, including a blowout of then top-10 Wake Forest.
While Clemson may have looked vulnerable against Notre Dame, the ACC still hasn’t caught up to the Tigers.
Look for Clemson to get well against the Cardinals.
NCAAF Pick: Clemson -7 (-110) at FanDuel
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 03:30 PM EST at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Alabama’s Second Loss
Alabama suffered its 2nd regular season loss for just the 3rd time since 2008, when the Tide lost in overtime at LSU’s Death Valley.
Alabama also lost last month at Tennesseee’s Neyland Stadium, dropping a shootout by 3 points. Things don’t get much easier this week, as the Crimson Tide heads to Oxford to face Ole Miss.
Bama is 7-2, 4-2 in the league, while Ole Miss is 8-1, 4-1, and a half game ahead of the Tide, in 2nd place in the SEC West.
Alabama bounced back from its first loss of the season, blowing out Mississippi State a week after losing to Tennessee. That game was at home, however, while this one is at one of the SEC’s toughest environments.
Cutting Mistakes Is a Must
Alabama will need to cut down on the penalties and mental mistakes that came at Tennessee and LSU. They’ll also have to contend with a strong Ole Miss running game.
Alabama will likely use its ground game against a Rebels’ defense that has been soft against the run.
Look for a low-scoring low-possession game, which, win-or-lose, may put Bama’s chance of covering a double-digit line at the best sportsbooks on the road in jeopardy.
NCAAF Pick: Ole Miss +11.5 (-106) at FanDuel
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 07:00 PM EST at McLane Stadium
Getting Closer to the Conference Title Game
Kansas State saw its shot at chances of taking the Big 12 regular season title take a hit with a loss to Texas at home, last week.
It came 2 weeks after a loss at first-place TCU, and the defeats have put the Wildcats in a three-way tie, 2 games out of first.
K-State still has a chance to finish in 2nd and earn a spot in the conference title game. To do so, they’ll need to win at Baylor, one of the teams tied with Kansas State in the standings.
Baylor has won 3 straight and opens a brutal season-ending stretch, against Kansas State, TCU and at Texas.
Can Kansas State Beat Baylor’s Strong Offense?
Kansas State has been using its defense to supplement an offense that has not put up many points.
The defense will be tested against a Baylor offense that is No. 14 in the country in scoring and in the top 4 in the league in both rushing and passing.
Following the NCAAF odds, look for the Bears to defend their home field against a Wildcats team that has struggled against the Big 12’s top teams.
NCAAF Pick: Baylor -2.5 (-110) at FanDuel