Week 12 Preview - Long Rivalries Renewed; Round 2 of Playoff Rankings

November 7, 2018 by Dave Congrove

The College Football Playoff Committee released its second set of rankings on Tuesday night, revealing a new Final Four of Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan. The first team out is Georgia, followed by Oklahoma and LSU.

Alabama blanked then No-3 LSU 29-0 this past weekend.

As you'll recall, Notre Dame opened the season with a 24-17 win over the Wolverines. Alabama and Clemson have met three straight years in the Final Four, including the title games of the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

This week's top-4 is exactly as I predicted, and echoes my vote in this week's FWAA-NFF Super 16 poll.

The top 4 in this week's Congrove Computer Rankings are the same teams, but the computer has Clemson at No. 1 and Alabama at No. 2

UCF, which has won 21 straight games and hosts a woeful 2-7 Navy team this week, remains at No. 12 in the committee rankings.

This week's top matchups of teams ranked by the playoff committee are No. 15 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson at No. 17 Boston College, No. 24 Auburn at No. 5 Georgia, and No. 10 Ohio State at No. 18 Michigan State.

The computer has easy victories projected for the Tide and Tigers, but a competitive game for the 'Dawgs and a loss for the Buckeyes. Specifically, the computer has Alabama by 14, Clemson by 15.35, and Georgia by 8.23. But it has the Spartans as a 1.84-point upset favorite over Ohio State in East Lansing.

The Auburn-Georgia game is the 123rd edition of the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.

Other rivalry games this week include the 113th Bedlam meeting when Oklahoma State visits Oklahoma, and the 105th battle for the Victory Bell when North Carolina travels some 10 miles to visit Duke.

in addition to those, we get the 114th Battle for the Barrell when Kentucky goes to Knoxville to face Tennessee, and the 115th Sunflower Showdown when Kansas treks all of 85 miles to face Kansas State.

By the way, the Mississippi State-'Bama game marks the 101st time the Bulldogs and Tide have met.

Feature Picks

Last week was another solid week for our Feature Picks as they went 9-1 straight up and 6-4 against the spread. The previous week, our Feature Picks went 10-6 on outright winners and 12-4 against the spread.

This past week the computer correctly projected Missouri's upset of Florida, adding to an impressive list of accurate predictions this season. Among those in recent weeks were Northwestern over Wisconsin , Penn State over Iowa, and Iowa State over West Virginia. Earlier in the season, the computer correctly picked Syracuse's first win over Florida State since 1966, the end to Kansas' 46-game road losing streak AND Kentucky's 31-game losing streak to Florida.

Last week, it also forecast the end to several UTEP losing streaks. The Miners' 34-26 win at Rice halted their 20-game overall (FBS longest) losing streak, 12-game conference skid (tied for FBS longest), and 13-game road trip losing streak (tied for FBS longest).

Kent State also proved the computer right by ending its 13-game road losing streak by edging Bowling Green 35-28 on Tuesday.

Rice now has sole ownership of the longest current losing streak in conference games at 13.

Since the second week of November 2017, the computer's upset picks are 51-38 (.573) SU, 61-28 (.685) ATS.


Lafayette at Army is the lone FCS-FBS game this week. FBS teams are 96-7 (.932) vs. the FCS this season, and 1,315-124 (.914) since 2003.

Here are all of the FCS victories over FBS teams, so far, in 2018:

August 30: UC Davis 44, San Jose State 31
September 1: Villanova 19, Temple 17
September 1: Northern Arizona 30, UTEP 10
September 1: Nicholls State 26, Kansas 23 (OT)
September 2: North Carolina A&T 28, East Carolina 23
September 8: Maine 31, Western Kentucky 28
September 22: Illinois State 35, Colorado State 19


UCF - Won 21 straight overall (FBS longest), Won 14 straight conference games including AAC title last year (FBS longest). Hosts Navy as a 24.57-point favorite on Saturday.

Alabama - Won 23 straight home games (FBS longest). Hosts Mississippi State as a 14-point favorite on Saturday.

Oklahoma - Won 19 straight true road games (FBS longest). Hosts Oklahoma State as a 19.83-point favorite on Saturday.

Rice - Lost 9 straight overall (FBS longest). Visits Louisiana Tech as a 27.88-point underdog on Saturday.
(NOTE: Rice also owns the longest current conference game losing streak at 13.)

Charlotte - Lost 11 straight road games (tied FBS longest). Visits Marshall as a 17.19-point underdog on Saturday.

San Jose State - Lost 11 straight road games (tied FBS longest). Visits Utah State as a 30.95-point underdog on Saturday.