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On Second Thought: Fairly smooth sailing in Week 12 as the season’s close draws closer

On Second Thought: Fairly smooth sailing in Week 12 as the season’s close draws closer

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UAB UTSA Football

UTSA players celebrate in the aftermath of their 34-31 win over UAB in a game Saturday in San Antonio.

The amount of wild finishes and incredible upsets were mostly limited in what was still an exciting Week 12 of college football.

The top-ranked teams took care of business for the most part this week, though a few of the true national contenders didn’t come through. The biggest upset saw No. 4 Oregon blasted by No. 24 Utah; the only other ranked team to go down to an unranked squad was No. 13 Wake Forest, which was drubbed by Clemson 48-27.

Outside those two games, the higher-ranked teams took care of business with little issue. In the only other two ranked-versus-ranked games, No. 2 Alabama held off No. 21 Arkansas 42-35, No. 5 Ohio State and demolished No. 7 Michigan State 56-7.

Other notable results from the weekend included No. 3 Cincinnati dominating SMU 48-14, Pittsburgh topping Virginia 48-38 to clinch the ACC Coastal division, No. 15 UTSA beating UAB 34-31 in the final seconds and Missouri sending Dan Mullen packing with a 24-23 overtime win over Florida.

Outside those games, let’s give some love to East Carolina for reaching seven wins with a 38-35 win over Navy and Oregon State for securing its first winning season in eight years by beating Arizona State 24-10.

Right on the money: Not only did the streak extend to six straight weeks this week, but this was my most productive week yet.

I hit the bullseye with four games this week: Clemson by 21 over Wake Forest in a 48-27 win, Miami (FL) by 12 over Virginia Tech in a 38-26 victory, Hawaii by 5 in a 50-45 win over Colorado State, and UTSA by 3 over UAB in the 34-31 thriller. I had to sweat out a few of those, but the successful string of games gives me 20 correct games this season.

The funniest part of this week is that during the offseason I was sold on Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei and Miami’s D’Eriq King and thought the two would have their teams set to contend in the ACC. Uiagalelei has been underwhelming and King had his season cut short due to injury, but their teams still managed to make me look smart on Saturday.

Biggest miss: My biggest miss was nearly one of the teams I’m supposed to know the most about.

I picked Auburn by 16 at South Carolina only for the Tigers to see their losing streak this season stretched to three in a disappointing 21-17 defeat. As bad as that miss was, it wasn’t quite the worst: I also picked Western Michigan by 16 in what was a 22-21 loss to Eastern Michigan, and I gave Washington 19 in a 20-17 defeat to Colorado.

It’s worth noting the Buffaloes managed 188 total yards in that win over the Huskies. It’s also worth noting Washington has somehow surpassed Washington State in the race for most disastrous 2021 season. Congratulations, I guess?

Travel log: This was a brief but still entertaining trip thanks in part to the holiday season.

I made this week’s road game at South Carolina a brief stay thanks to an early Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday with my dad’s side of the family. I got to Columbia around noon on Saturday, checked out some excellent food at Thirsty Fellow, killed a little time then headed to the stadium for the 6 p.m. CT game.

Once the game ended and my stories were filed around 10:30 p.m., I headed back to my truck, made a few phone calls then drove five hours back to Auburn. I’d like to thank 5 Hour Energy, Coca Cola and peanut M&M’s for their contributions in my safe travel.

As for next week’s games, I’m taking No. 3 Alabama by 20 over Auburn in the Iron Bowl, No. 2 Ohio State by 22 over No. 6 Michigan, No. 10 Oklahoma by 24 over No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 8 Ole Miss by 6 over Mississippi State.


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