Week 12 picks: Sparty won’t stop Buckeyes’ run at another title

Can defending national champ Ohio State pass its toughest test to date? Will the Big 12 inch closer to its first College Football Playoff berth?

Each Thursday, Stewart Mandel, Bruce Feldman, Joel Klatt and Jim Ross will make the calls on who’ll win the weekend’s most intriguing matchups.

In Week 12, Urban Meyer’s third-ranked Buckeyes tangle with Big Ten rival Michigan State, and No. 6 Oklahoma State looks to stay unbeaten vs. Baylor. Plus, seventh-ranked Oklahoma can further prove its sole loss to Texas was a rare off-day by putting TCU back in the loss column.

In addition to our straight-up picks, Mandel and Feldman will dive a little deeper into the games with their picks against the spread.

And if you’re looking for more games, you can find predictions for every Division I FBS game for the coming week here, courtesy of WhatIfSports.

Without further ado, here are this week’s picks: 

PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

MICHIGAN (-4) at PENN STATE

Mandel: Wolverines QB Jake Rudock has been sensational lately, but it’s come against bad defenses. Penn State’s ninth-ranked D can wreak havoc and spring the upset. Penn State 27, Michigan 24

Feldman: Jake Rudock is playing much better, and I think he can handle a tough road environment and good PSU D. Michigan 20, Penn State 17

FOX FOUR AFTER WEEK 13

MEMPHIS (-1.5) at TEMPLE

Mandel: It’s hard to say which team will do a better job putting last week’s crushing defeats behind them, but I’ll give Temple the edge just because it’s at home. Temple 27, Memphis 24

Feldman: The Owls are coming off getting drilled by USF, and QB Paxton Lynch presents different kinds of problems than did the Bulls’ Gulf Coast offense. Memphis 28, Temple 27

MIGHIGAN STATE (+13.5) at OHIO STATE

Mandel: A dirty little secret about this year’s Spartans: They’re not as good as most assume. They rank 15th in F/+, 21st in Sagarin. Ohio State is a much better team. Ohio State 35, Michigan State 20

Feldman: The hunch here is that J.T. Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott will hit a bunch of big plays as OSU turns in its best showing of the season. Ohio State 38, Michigan State 24

UCLA (+2) at UTAH (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX)

Mandel: I don’t feel too confident in this pick now that Utah RB Devontae Booker is out after undergoing knee surgery, but the Utes’ defense is capable of flustering Bruins QB Josh Rosen. Utah 27, UCLA 21

THE AUDIBLE PODCAST

Feldman: This is a tough defense and challenging road environment for any young QB, but I think UCLA’s Josh Rosen is playing well enough to manage it. UCLA 24, Utah 20

LSU (+4) at OLE MISS

Mandel: We’ve learned the past two weeks you can run power all night against LSU’s defensive line. Unfortunately for the Rebels, that’s not their specialty. LSU 30, Ole Miss 26

Feldman: All the talk about Les Miles should bring out a spirited performance by the Tigers on the road. LSU 24, Ole Miss 23

USC (+4) at OREGON

Mandel: Oregon’s offense is peaking at the right time, and USC unfortunately just lost LBs Cameron Smith and Lamar Dawson for the season. The Ducks will shred ’em. Oregon 47, USC 34

TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL UNIFORMS

Feldman: Vernon Adams has found his groove, but Cody Kessler should also do a lot of damage on the shaky Ducks D; I’ll go with the home team to pull out a close one. Oregon 34, USC 31

NORTHWESTERN (+10.5) at WISCONSIN

Mandel: Northwestern has managed to win eight games despite a glaring weakness at quarterback, but that’s much tougher to hide against Wisconsin’s top-10 D. Wisconsin 27, Northwestern 10

Feldman: It’s been a good year for Pat Fitzgerald’s team getting things back on track after the two-game losing skid, but expect the Badgers to wear NU down by the fourth quarter. Wisconsin 23, Northwestern 17

MISSISSIPPI STATE (+3.5) at ARKANSAS

Mandel: Dating back to Wisconsin, Bret Bielema’s teams have a penchant for peaking down the stretch. The Razorbacks’ O-line mauls the Bulldogs’ defensive front. Arkansas 42, Mississippi State 14

Feldman: The Bulldogs are coming off a game against the punishing Crimson Tide and now have a road trip against a very physical Hogs team playing very well. Arkansas 30, Miss. State 20

BAYLOR (PK) at OKLAHOMA STATE (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX)

BOWL WINNERS & LOSERS

Mandel: Stillwater is Baylor’s Kryptonite. Eventual Heisman winner RG3 lost 59-24 there in 2011. A 9-0 Baylor team lost 49-17 two years ago. Different year, same result. Oklahoma State 38, Baylor 24

Feldman: Even though the Bears had their 20-game home win streak snapped, I think Art Briles’ team is more than capable of responding by ruining OSU’s perfect season. Baylor 35, Oklahoma State 30

TCU at OKLAHOMA (N/A)

Mandel: If Trevone Boykin can’t play, this will get ugly fast. If he does play, TCU will score some points, but Sooners QB Baker Mayfield will light up the Frogs’ defense. Oklahoma 45, TCU 17

Feldman: The Horned Frogs have had a ridiculous month of injuries and will miss the great Josh Doctson against a very potent Sooners attack. Oklahoma 41, TCU 27

UPSET SPECIALS:

INDIANA (+3) at MARYLAND

Mandel: Surely that line is a misprint? Yes, the Hoosiers are 0-6 in the Big Ten, but they played Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan tough. Maryland, also 0-6, is just plain bad. Indiana 35, Maryland 27

CINCINNATI (-2.5) at SOUTH FLORIDA

Feldman: QB Quinton Flowers and RB Marlon Mack have been terrific of late, and a young Bulls team is coming of age at a very good time. USF 34, Cincy 31

The Result: USF 65, Cincinnati 27

SEASON RESULTS AFTER WEEK 11:

Mandel: 81-45 (including upset picks)

Feldman: 79-48 (including upset picks)

Klatt: 68-34 (minus games he called on FOX or FS1)

Ross: 72-43

PREVIOUS PICKS

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