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Week 12 Football: What to watch

A look at games that might pique your interest

Liberty v North Carolina State Photo by Peyton Williams/NCSU/Getty Images

Here we go! Week 12 of the college football season!

Just glad we’re here, folks.

Before I dive into the full slate of games, I’d just like to point out how SP+ and Sagarin are almost complete opposites in their opinions of this NC State and Liberty game, with SP+ being the Liberty believer and Sagarin backing the Pack. Let’s hope Sagarin is the more accurate one here.

All the directional Michigan schools are in play Wednesday night, and you’re going to want to watch that Western Michigan vs Central Michigan game. WMU has a fun and dynamic offense that’s scored 99 total points in their two games this year, while CMU and their big-armed unit of a QB (Daniel Richardson is listed at 5’10, 205, but I’m here to tell you dude is more like 5’8, 235) can put up points, too, and feature a good (for a MAC team) defense. This one should be fun.

Friday night has an ACC matchup (Syracuse @ Louisville... meh), but the better game will be - and I can’t believe I’m writing this - Purdue @ Minnesota. 2020, man... UMass is the worst FBS program by a mile, so if you want to watch them get murdered on live TV, have at it.

The noon slate of games is by far the best on Saturday. All eyes are on the Indiana @ Ohio State game to see if the Hoosiers are for real, but I’m intrigued by the Sun Belt game-of-the-year, App State @ Coastal. With Louisiana, who already lost to Coastal and still has App to play, having locked up one spot in the Fun Belt Championship Game, this game looms large for determining who will earn that other spot. The advanced metrics like the Apps, but QB Zac Thomas is day-to-day and they’ll be without their stud RB, although they do have the better defense of the two.

By the way, who here thought they’d ever see the day when Florida State was a 35-point underdog in football? Please see the above gif again.

Wisconsin @ Northwestern is about the only good mid-day game, unless you count Virginia Tech @ Pittsburgh... you know, if that’s something you want to do.

We’ll all obviously be watching the NC State vs Liberty game in the primetime slot, but keep an eye on that OK State @ Oklahoma game. Everyone’s written off the Sooners this year, but they’re still super talented.

In the nightcap, USC @ Utah is going to be fun. The Trojans have pulled wins out of their rear in their first two games, scoring TDs with under two minutes left in both games to start off 2-0 on the year. This will be the Utes first game of the year (thanks, covid), but they’re a well-coached team and USC hasn’t been USC for a while now, so this one could be a battle to the final whistle.

Go State!

Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name. [Note: SP+ is now ranking the 127 teams that are scheduled to play this year. Sagarin is ranking all 257 FBS and FCS teams.]


67/66 Western Michigan @ 79/82 Central Michigan - 7:00pm - ESPN2

121/121 Northern Illinois @ 97/110 Ball State - 7:00pm - ESPNN

86/81 Toledo @ 114/118 Eastern Michigan - 7:00pm - CBSSN


50/64 Tulane @ 45/56 Tulsa - 7:30pm - ESPN

119/127 Utah State @ 82/86 Wyoming - 9:00pm - CBSSN


106/94 Syracuse @ 38/63 Louisville - 7:00pm - ESPN

43/20 Purdue @ 48/32 Minnesota - 7:30pm - BTN

127/221 UMass @ 72/80 Florida Atlantic - 8:00pm - CBSSN

117/125 New Mexico @ 92/73 Air Force - 9:30pm - FS1


26/12 Indiana @ 1/1 Ohio State - 12:00pm - FOX

4/4 Clemson @ 89/97 Florida State - 12:00pm - ABC

28/51 Appalachian State @ 37/58 Coastal Carolina - 12:00pm - ESPN2

66/25 Wake Forest @ 87/72 Duke - 12:00pm - ACCN

110/120 East Carolina @ 107/122 Temple - 12:00pm - ESPN+

51/62 Houston @ 31/60 SMU - 12:00pm - ESPNU

9/13 Cincinnati @ 18/29 UCF - 3:30pm - ESPN

3/3 Wisconsin @ 32/10 Northwestern - 3:30pm - ABC

46/52 San Diego State @ 57/83 Nevada - 3:30pm - CBS

56/53 Kansas State @ 19/35 Iowa State - 4:00pm - FOX

FCS/196 Abilene Christian @ 65/40 Virginia - 4:00pm - ESPN3

17/30 Virginia Tech @ 41/47 Pittsburgh - 4:00pm - ACCN

69/68 San Jose State @ 91/90 Fresno State - 7:00pm - CBSSN

39/79 Liberty @ 70/41 NC State - 7:30pm - ESPN3/RSN

78/67 Mississippi State @ 8/9 Georgia - 7:30pm - SECN

15/24 Oklahoma State @ 12/14 Oklahoma - 7:30pm - ABC

76/44 Missouri @ 80/78 South Carolina - 7:30pm - SECN ALT

22/23 USC @ 23/27 Utah - 10:30pm - ESPN

49/38 Washington State @ 59/46 Stanford - 11:00pm - FS1

36/31 Boise State @ 99/101 Hawaii - 11:00pm - CBSSN