Thanksgiving weekend generally features some of the college football season's marquee games, and this year is no exception. The Crystal Ball has been working overtime lately, but still graciously agreed to pump out five winners for us.
LSU at Arkansas (Friday, Nov. 23)
The nationwide consensus before the season may have LSU and Alabama vying for the SEC West crown, but, like the Honey Badger, Crystal Ball don’t give a shit. With LSU undefeated and Arkansas sitting at 11-1, this will decide the division and potentially a spot in the national title game.
LSU has come this far unscathed, and Les Miles’ team has no intention of giving that up now. Hoping to make amends for last season’s disappointing ending, the Tigers will beat up on the Hogs with a thundering running game that eventually breaks the game wide open in the third quarter.
The Razorbacks put up a good fight, but they wear down in the second half.
LSU 24, Arkansas 20
Notre Dame at USC
What was once one of the greatest rivalries in the sport has turned into a bloodbath, as USC has essentially owned the Fighting Irish for the last decade-ish. Unfortunately for ND, that doesn’t look to change this year.
Neither of these teams have much depth on the defensive side of the ball, an issue that should start to rear its head late in the year. The difference is that the Trojans have superior talent on the offensive side of the ball to take advantage of ND’s weaknesses, especially in the secondary.
Look for a big night for Matt Barkley and the undefeated Trojans rolling on to the Pac-12 title game for a rematch with Oregon.
USC 35, Notre Dame 21
Auburn at Alabama
A year after capturing their second national championship in three years, the Crimson Tide haven’t quite lived up to expectations in 2012. With losses to Arkansas and LSU, ‘Bama has no shot at the division or a return trip to the BCS championship game.
If the Tide aren’t careful, their hated in-state rivals could sneak up and bite them. Both of these young rosters are rounding into form late in the year, setting the stage for a classic Iron Bowl.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron leads his team on a long drive late to rally the Tide to a comeback win.
Alabama 21, Auburn 20
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
The Cowboys took out some frustrations on their Bedlam rivals in 2011, smacking the Sooners around en route to a 34-point victory and their first conference crown. Bob Stoops generally gets revenge in these spots.
Freshman Wes Lunt has been through the fires by this point, but that won’t stop him from struggling with a combination of defensive looks thrown at him by OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. Meanwhile, Landry Jones will get some redemption following a disastrous performance a year earlier.
Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 34
Florida at Florida State
The Crystal Ball has the college football world hurtling towards a messy finish in the BCS’s penultimate year. To this point, USC, LSU and Florida St. all remain undefeated.
The plucky Gators provide the toughest test of the season for the Seminoles. Luckily for the ‘Noles, they’re taking it in Tallahassee. An electric crowd helps will FSU to a hard-fought win and rematch with Virginia Tech in the ACC title game.
Florida St. 20, Florida 16
If you've missed the Crystal Ball all season long then make sure you check out how it sees the season working out here:
| Week 11 |