2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: The Closing Argument
Ohio State clings by their fingernails.
What will you see when you browse the 2018 college football Week 12 scores? If you saw the matchups on paper, you would have expected a lot of ho-hum games across the college football landscape.
That is not what happened for a few notable teams.
Here, we break down the big games, the little games, and appoint a big winner and a big loser.
2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: Ohio State vs. Maryland
Let’s be honest: who thought this would be the best game of the day, let alone a contested game at all? Back and forth they went in a defense-free affair, especially when it comes to Ohio State’s rushing defense. It was non-existent. Maryland ran for 339 on them, with Anthony McFarland posting 298 yards on the ground in the loss. Over his last two games, both losses by two points or less, McFarland has rushed for 508 yards.
Ohio State had 688 yards of total offense, thanks in large part to the huge day by Dwayne Haskins, but it was barely enough to get beyond the Terps. The Buckeyes looked at times flustered and lost, but figured out how to win the game. Oh, except if Tyrrell Pigrome could have hit a wide-open receiver in the end zone for a two-point conversion, they would have lost. It was a valiant effort by Maryland, a team with much less to lose than Ohio State.
As for Ohio State, they will take the win, but the College Football Playoff committee does not solely consider wins and losses. It is how you went about them. The ESPN/ABC announcers said during the game that they envisioned a one-loss Ohio State, a Big Ten champion, in the playoff. Are you absolutely sure of that after this game? Ohio State got embarrassed by Purdue, scraped by Nebraska a few weeks ago, and stole a game against an inferior opponent in which they got outplayed today. There is a reason they are not above tenth in the CFP rankings. A one-loss Oklahoma is going to slide in before they do at this rate, and if Georgia beats Alabama for the SEC title, forget it because the SEC’s getting two in with Clemson and Notre Dame also chiseled in stone.
Finally, Urban Meyer’s reaction shots during the game were amusing at first, but it became hard to watch. He looked to be in agony, reacting as if in physical pain every time Ohio State screwed up (and they screwed up plenty). This is not a commentary about his health, which we hope is and will continue to be fine. People did worry, however, and it makes you think about the toll it takes on a person to be a public figure with millions of eyes on you. (Links: Yahoo Sports, The Big Lead)
2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: Syracuse vs. Notre Dame
Maybe you thought Syracuse was a fraudulent #12 team in the country thanks to a weak ACC and a top-heavy college football landscape. Even if so, Notre Dame is not a fraud. They took care of their business in dominant fashion and could/should have won the game by more than 33.
Eric Dungey got hurt early for the Orange, but that would not have had a significant impact on the final outcome. The Syracuse defense was not up to the task and even with Dungey, it would have been hard to imagine the Orange keeping up with the Irish.
Notre Dame’s odds of making the College Football Playoff are very high at 11-0 with one game to go. That remaining contest? Against 5-6 USC, a team days or weeks away from firing its coach and sending this season back to Hell whence it came. If the Irish find a way to lose that game, it’s their own fault.
2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State
Mike Gundy strikes again. The Pokes take down another ranked team at home, this time #9 West Virginia. This will all but end the Mountaineers’ chances at surging into the playoff.
It took a wild Oklahoma State comeback to put this one in the books. The Cowboys trailed 31-14 at the half as Will Grier and company had them back on their heels. Things got spicy in the second half, as the Pokes defense held WVU to no points in the third quarter, allowing Taylor Cornelius and the offense to get back into the game at 31-24. Then, a wild fourth quarter ensued. West Virginia’s lead was just to 34-31 before some big-time Dana Holgorsen onions going for it on 4th & Goal at the six. This put West Virginia up 41-31 with 7:37 to go.
On the next drive, Oklahoma State hit back, going 78 yards in just under three minutes to pull back within 41-38. Oklahoma State’s defense came up with another stop, allowing the Pokes offense to come back down the field in the final few minutes and punch in the winning touchdown.
It was a Big 12 game, so 1,157 yards of combined total offense and 60 total first downs should be a surprise to nobody. What is a surprise that Oklahoma State found a way to crawl back into this thing despite being minus-3 in turnovers.
2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: Cincinnati vs. UCF
UCF are the beasts of the American Athletic Conference, now winners of 23 games in a row. They have just won their toughest game so far.
We will let UCF enjoy the win and everything surrounding it, including a thrilling morning with College Gameday in town. This means we will not talk about “what this game means” because we all know the answer and I do not want to set a particular fanbase up for disappointment.
2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: Quick Hitters
Ohio 52, Buffalo 17. The Bulls’ smooth ride to a MAC championship hit a pothole in Athens, Ohio.
#25 Boise State 45, New Mexico 14. Every year, Boise State puts together a solid and respectable season.
#4 Michigan 31, Indiana 20. The Wolverines almost got caught in their own trap game at home before “The Game.”
#1 Alabama 50, The Citadel 17. Take a bow, Citadel: you outscored both LSU and Mississippi State against Alabama.
#14 Penn State 20, Rutgers 7. Penn State gets number eight, while Rutgers is still searching for their second.
#17 Kentucky 34, Middle Tennessee 23. UK had some trouble later on in the game, but found a way. It’s still a great improvement season for the Wildcats.
#19 Utah 30, Colorado 7. The Utes were not listening to those on College Gameday who picked against them.
#21 Mississippi State 52, Arkansas 6. Don’t joke that the Hogs were tied. They definitely lost.
#22 Northwestern 24, Minnesota 14. Practicing shirtless in sub-freezing temperatures is the craze sweeping the nation. It is apparently also the mark of a team that wins, such as Northwestern.
#23 Utah State 29, Colorado State 24. Missed it by that much, Colorado State. Next time, try not to get your game-winning Hail Mary called back.
Temple 27, South Florida 17. The Bulls are fading down the stretch as UCF takes Florida’s center stage again.
Wisconsin 47, Purdue 44 (3OT). After some great wins the Boilermakers have had this year, they still might not get to a bowl.
Iowa 63, Illinois 0. Lovie Smith might want to start laminating copies of his resume.
UCLA 34, USC 27. Clay Helton can borrow Lovie’s laminator when he’s done using it.
Florida State 22, #20 Boston College 21. The Eagles gagged up a very winnable game against the Seminoles, who could still make a bowl.
#15 Texas 24, #16 Iowa State 10. The Horns are closing in on the Big 12 title game, and Red River Showdown II.
#6 Oklahoma 55, Kansas 40. Well, Kansas, at least you scored 40, and you might be getting Les Miles. All things considered, this wasn’t a bad week for you.
#8 Washington State 69, Arizona 28. Wazzu could have dropped 100 on Arizona if they wanted.
2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: How’s The CFP Argument Looking?
For Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame, very strong. Michigan, alright, pending the next two weeks. Oklahoma is hoping someone loses, and Georgia can still fight for it. Ohio State is not looking so good. Washington State does not seem like a team that will make it short of championship weekend chaos. West Virginia is out of the running.
2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: The Big Winner
Our big winner for Week 12 is Notre Dame, who have all but iced the College Football Playoff. Only USC stands in the way, and while I’m sure they will be motivated to hurt the Irish’s chances, the skill might not be there. There is but one obstacle left in the way from a near-certain berth.
2018 College Football Week 12 Scores: The Big Loser
While there were teams like Illinois who lost by 63 and Tennessee who did not bother showing up, we’re looking for an impact loser. This week, it was West Virginia. They blew a 31-14 halftime lead to lose the Oklahoma State game, and with it any chance they had at making the College Football Playoff. Not all is lost, as the Mountaineers can still make the Big 12 title game, but it’s for a trip to the Sugar Bowl now, not the playoff.
The runner-up is Colorado State. On a Hail Mary as time expired, Colin Hill threw a game-winning touchdown pass to win the contest for the Rams and beat #23 Utah State. Except, the Colorado State receiver, Preston Williams, was called for illegal touching as he went out of bounds and was first to touch the ball. This is a loss of down penalty, meaning Colorado State’s touchdown was nullified and they lost the game. The football equivalent of a swift kick to the groin with a steel-toed boot.