Biggest games on the Week 13 college football schedule; Mountain West, Big 12 scenarios & Rivalry Week matchups

By Zachary Cohen  (VSiN.com Senior Editor) 

November 20, 2023 02:09 PM
 

College football games to look forward to in Week 13 - Rivalry Week

We're really nearing the end of the college football regular season, as we're all the way into rivalry week. The biggest game on the schedule will be the meeting between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines in The Game. However, we have a lot more than that to watch while we stuff our faces with Thanksgiving food — and leftovers. So, keep reading to see my Week 13 Games of the Week. I also took a quick look at the messes at the top of the Mountain West and Big 12. You'll want to see all of this before deciding what to bet this week. 

RELATED: Check out our Week 13 Betting Hub for best bets and stories for the week ahead

Week 13 Games of the Week

Oregon State at Oregon (-13, 62) - Friday at 8:30 pm ET

This rivalry was once known as the Civil War, but that is no longer the case. However, the two still play for the Platypus Trophy, and there’s some intrigue heading into this year’s game. Oregon State was unable to get the job done in last week’s meeting with undefeated Washington, but the team is still capable of beating anyone. So, Oregon will need to play well in order to escape this rivalry game with the victory — even if the Ducks are favored by nearly two touchdowns — and book its spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Oregon has the second best scoring offense in the nation this season, but Oregon State is only giving up 20.6 points per game. That means Bo Nix and the Ducks might not have as much success against the Beavers as they did against Arizona State last week. But Oregon really should win this game if the team plays a decent game here, and the atmosphere should be incredible. But I do find it hard to ignore that Oregon State is 3-1 against the spread in this rivalry over the last four years. The Beavers are also 14-6 ATS as road underdogs under Jonathan Smith. 

Ohio State at Michigan (-3.5, 46.5) - Saturday at 12:00 pm ET

Well, it’s another massive year when it comes to The Game. Both teams come into this one with undefeated records, and the winner will end up representing the Big Ten East in the title game. The winner will also end up in the College Football Playoff, and the loser has a chance as well. After all, that’s exactly how it went down last season. The interesting thing here is that it’s almost a reversal of the last few games. While Michigan has won the last two in this head-to-head series, we had questions about whether or not the Wolverines would be able to keep up with the Buckeyes offensively. Now, it’s actually Ohio State that enters the game with more question marks on that side of the ball. Marvin Harrison Jr. is one of the best wide receivers we’ve seen in the college game, but Kyle McCord is the worst Buckeyes starting quarterback in quite some time. So, he could have some trouble moving the ball against a Michigan defense that is allowing just 9.0 points per game. The Wolverines are also 19-8 ATS versus conference opponents over the last three seasons, and they have won those games by an average of 22.0 points per game. It just feels like we might be looking at three wins in a row for Michigan in this series. The Wolverines are 60-51-6 against the Buckeyes all time, but Ohio State has won 17 of the games the two have played since 2000. 

Florida State (-6.5, 50) at Florida - Saturday at 7:00 pm ET 

This year’s Sunshine Showdown was close to lacking drama. However, Florida State lost star quarterback Jordan Travis to a devastating injury last week. Now, the Seminoles are only favored by a touchdown in this meeting with the Gators. This is suddenly a game that could be very competitive, which isn’t good news considering Florida State needs to win out in order to make the College Football Playoff. Tate Rodemaker looked decent when Travis went down last game, throwing for 217 yards with two touchdowns and no picks. However, that was against FCS North Alabama. Lighting up the Florida secondary might not be as easy, especially with the Gators needing this win in order to become bowl eligible. However, it should be noted that the Gators will be without starting quarterback Graham Mertz in this game. So, it could end up being Max Brown that starts this game for Florida. Overall, this game is just something of a mess, but the big point to make is that Florida State is missing its best player. That puts the team’s perfect season in jeopardy, as Ben Hill Griffin Stadium isn’t an easy place to play. The Gators have won two in a row against the Seminoles in Gainesville.

Mountain West Mayhem 

Air Force at Boise State - Friday at 4:00 pm ET

San Jose State at UNLV - Saturday at 3:00 pm ET

These games aren’t like my usual games of the week, but what’s happening in the Mountain West this weekend is fascinating. UNLV, which is 9-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play, would be hosting the game with a win over San Jose State. That would also mean that the winner of Air Force and Boise State is in. However, a UNLV loss messes things up a bit — even though the Rebels would still be in good shape. There would be a three-way tie for first and a complicated tiebreaker situation. The tiebreaker in the conference will be based on head-to-head results, but it then goes to the highest College Football Playoff Committee Rankings and — perhaps most likely — composite of selected computer rankings. Overall, this has the potential to get a little crazy if UNLV loses.

Big 12 Scenarios

If Texas ends up beating Texas Tech as a favorite of double digits, the Longhorns will finish the year in first place in the Big 12 and head to the title game. And Oklahoma State looks like the most likely opponent right now, as the Cowboys just need to beat a BYU team that is 2-6 in conference play this year. However, Oklahoma is lurking right behind its crosstown rival. If the Sooners win and the Cougars find a way to upset the Pokes, it’ll be Oklahoma that faces Texas in a rematch of an incredible Red River matchup. Meanwhile, Kansas State isn’t quite out of it yet but the Wildcats need so much help that it’s hard to picture them getting there.

Storied Rivalries

Egg Bowl: Ole Miss at Mississippi State - Thursday at 7:30 pm ET

Governor’s Cup: Kentucky at Louisville - Saturday at 12:00 pm ET

Texas A&M at LSU - Saturday at 12:00 pm ET

Iron Bowl: Alabama at Auburn - Saturday at 3:30 pm ET

Wisconsin at Minnesota - Saturday at 3:30 pm ET

Territorial Cup: Arizona at Arizona State - Saturday at 3:30 pm ET

Commonwealth Cup: Virginia Tech at Virginia - Saturday at 3:30 pm ET

Apple Cup: Washington State at Washington - Saturday at 4:00 pm ET

Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate: Georgia at Georgia Tech - Saturday at 7:30 pm ET

Palmetto Bowl: Clemson at South Carolina, Saturday at 7:30 pm ET

North Carolina at NC State - Saturday at 8:00 pm ET

These are some of the best rivalries that college football has to offer. This year, only a few of them have serious implications. Alabama, Washington and Georgia are all in must-win situations in their respective games, as none of them can afford to lose in order to make the College Football Playoff. However, all three are favored by at least two touchdowns. But crazy things tend to happen in all of these rivalries, so you can’t rule anything out. And most of these games will be worth watching, as the hatred tends to bring out the best in everyone.

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