Tailgate Pick ‘Em Week 12 Predictions Including Minnesota vs Iowa

October 8, 2016: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) is swarmed by Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Parker Hesse (40) and Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Josey Jewell (43) during an NCAA Big 10 matchup between Minnesota and Iowa at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Two of college football’s most surprising teams this year, Minnesota and Baylor will put to the test this Saturday. The Gophers travel to face Iowa while Baylor hosts fellow BIG 12 title contender Oklahoma. Penn State is also looking to bounce back against an impressive Indiana team, while Georgia has a rivalry clash with Auburn. Our panel of John Bava, Steen Kirby, and Yesh Ginsburg offer their predictions.

Indiana at #9 Penn State
Line: Penn State by 14.5

John: It’s pretty cool that I finally get to pick a game involving my alma mater as part of our panel as I’m almost certain it’s never happened before since we’ve put together this column. Though Indiana didn’t get any love from the CFP, they are ranked in the AP and Coaches Polls for the first time in 25 years. Head coach Tom Allen has this team playing inspired football and they look to keep things going in Happy Valley.

Unfortunately, they run into a Penn State team who might be playing angry after falling to Minnesota last week. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey is doing a great job filling in for Sam Penix who’s been lost for the season. And you have to credit him for staying at IU rather than entering the transfer portal after he didn’t win the starting job in the preseason. But, as much as I hate to do it, I’m going with my gut rather than my heart here. Penn State 37, Indiana 20

Yesh: Indiana is ranked for the first time in 25 years, but that ranking is built by being decent against a bad schedule. The only game that Indiana played against a good team, the Hoosiers got blown out by Ohio State. Then again, everyone gets blown out by Ohio State. Still, Penn State will be angry after its first loss, and will come out flying and blow Indiana out of his water. Penn State 42, Indiana 17

Steen: Penn State started strong and remain playoff contenders despite the loss to Minnesota last week. They have to win this game though against Indiana team that has impressed. The bowl eligible Hoosiers have won four straight and they are just a disappointing loss against Michigan State away from having the same record as PSU at this point in the season. There is no doubt Penn State is the better team though, as long as they aren’t sapped of motivation they are deserved favorites, especially at home. Penn State 35, Indiana 21

#23 Navy at #16 Notre Dame
Line: Notre Dame by 7

John: There was a time when this annual rivalry was epically one-sided. Between 1964 and 2006, Notre Dame went undefeated against Navy. Since then, the Midshipmen have won four of the last 12 matchups, a pretty respectable effort when you consider that the Irish played for a national title and made the CFP this decade. This year’s matchup is the first when both teams have been ranked since 1978. Notre Dame won that game fairly convincingly and one week after looking fairly dominant on the road against Duke, ND continues to roll. Notre Dame 34, Navy 20

Yesh: In an ironic twist, Navy is one of the best teams that Notre Dame will face this season. This isn’t a trap game, because the Irish have no one better to look forward to. Notre Dame hasn’t been dominant this year, in any way. It would not be unfair to say that the Irish’s best game this year was the loss to Georgia. I think Navy has a good enough defense to slow down Ian Book, and should have the offense to score enough points and win. Navy 24, Notre Dame 17

Steen: Navy has just one loss this season, to a very good Memphis team, while Notre Dame has sputtered a bit since losing the primetime matchup to Georgia. The Irish are out of playoff contention after getting dominated by Michigan a few weeks ago, and they are in real trouble in this matchup. I expect Navy to do enough on both sides of the ball to “upset” the Irish on the road. Navy 28, Notre Dame 21

#4 Georgia at #12 Auburn
Line: Georgia by 2.5

John: They call it “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” for a reason. Georgia and Auburn have been going at it since way back in 1892. The Bulldogs come into this game sporting the nation’s second-best defense from the standpoint of points allowed. Both teams run the ball extremely well, with Georgia’s D’Andre Swift and Auburn’s JaTarvious Whitlow both top 10 among SEC running backs in rushing yardage. However, the Dawgs are much more stout defending the run. Add in the extra motivation of having a chance to clinch the SEC East and you have a team that should get things done on the road. Georgia 24, Auburn 17

Yesh: This is a very tough game to call. Auburn at home in big games is always a decent option. On the other hand, Florida shut down the Auburn offense in a way that the Georgia defense should be able to emulate. The Bulldogs need to do some work on their offense still, but they should have enough to beat Auburn. Georgia 24, Auburn 13

Steen: Georgia will be in the SEC title game, but with one loss already to a bad South Carolina team, they need to win out to ensure a playoff spot. Auburn is looking to play spoiler with Georgia and Alabama left on their schedule. The Tigers have been competitive in every game this season and I expect that trend to continue, the Georgia offense has been inconsistent, so if Bo Nix can get going the home team will have every chance at an upset. Auburn came close against LSU and Florida, this feels like a game they will win. Auburn 24, Georgia 14

#8 Minnesota at #20 Iowa
Line: Iowa by 3

John: This is one of the most bizarre lines of the entire season. Minnesota is 9-0 for the first time in 115 years. They just upset a Penn State team that came into the game ranked fourth in the season’s first CFP rankings. Yet they find themselves an underdog
against a 6-3 Iowa team coming off a loss. Apparently, the oddsmakers don’t have much faith they can go on the road and knock off the Hawkeyes. And even though I think the Gophers are an amazing story, I’m inclined to agree. I’ve seen too many lesser-heralded programs get off to blazing starts over the years only to have them drop games late in the season. Iowa 27, Minnesota 22

Yesh: This line feels like such a huge trap. Iowa in Kinnick Stadium has been kryptonite to Playoff hopefuls the past few years, but this Minnesota team feels different. The Golden Gophers are solid on both sides of the ball, have a surprisingly good receiving corps, and should be able to keep Iowa’s running game in check. Minnesota 27, Iowa 21

Steen: It’s Minnesota vs the world right now, the Gophers are without a loss and beat a good Penn State team last week, despite that they aren’t in the top 5 and are underdogs on the road against an Iowa team that lacks any kind of offensive punch. The Iowa defense are fantastic and all three of the Hawkeyes losses have been by less than a touchdown, despite that, I’ll pick the more complete team here and back Minnesota to escape with a win to keep their dream season alive. Minnesota 17, Iowa 14

#10 Oklahoma at #13 Baylor
Line: Oklahoma by 10.5

John: Much like Minnesota-Iowa, this is another game where Vegas doesn’t think the surprise unbeaten team can keep their historic run going. Baylor is certainly the least respected of the five remaining teams without a loss as they came in at 13th in the first CFP rankings. You certainly have to credit coach Matt Rhule for engineering such a massive turnaround given how scandal-ridden the Bears program was just a few years ago. But I thoroughly expect Jalen Hurts to make an effort to resuscitate his Heisman candidacy with a standout performance in Waco. Oklahoma 41, Baylor 27

Yesh: This line is all up to the Oklahoma defense. The offense should score plenty against Baylor. The question is whether the Sooners can keep Baylor from scoring. I think that after not closing strong against Iowa State, Oklahoma will play a full 60 minutes with a chip on its shoulder. Oklahoma 45, Baylor 21

Steen: There are serious questions about whether undefeated Baylor can keep up offensively against Oklahoma. The Sooners score a lot but their defense is shaky having surrendered 40+ points the last two outings (a narrow win against Iowa State and a loss to Kansas State). Baylor has been held in check offensively their last two outings, but the defense is stout. Oklahoma feels vulnerable to me and this is a road game, Baylor should take advantage of a porous Sooner defense to pull the upset. Baylor 38, Oklahoma 35

 

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