It is an important week where teams are coming down to the final chances to impress the Committee deciding the College Football Play Off which saw no changes to the top four teams on Tuesday evening. However, the likes of Mississippi State and Alabama have big rivalry games this week as they compete in the Egg and Iron Bowl respectively, while one of those teams won't be involved in the SEC Championship Game next week.
Florida State continue escaping from the clutches of a loss and Oregon remain ahead of them in the Ranking, although both have tough games to play this week ahead of their own Championship Game in the ACC and Pac-12 next week.
Teams like the Baylor Bears, TCU Horned Frogs and the Ohio State Buckeyes remain on the outside of the Play Off picture but all three should be ready to pounce if one, or more, of the top four teams falter in the remaining two weeks. Of those teams, the Buckeyes may have the best opportunity to impress as they take on Michigan in a huge rivalry game and potentially have to play an improving Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game, but it will be interesting to see if they have enough to overtake Mississippi State if the Bulldogs knock off Ole Miss and fail to win the SEC West with an Alabama win.
Some have spoken about the UCLA Bruins potentially being a dark horse to take a place in the final four, but they have two losses on their slate and I am not sure even a win over Stanford and Oregon in back to back weeks would be enough for them to move above three other teams.
Week 14 is the last full schedule of the College Football season and there are plenty of games to be played through the next three days, including a pretty full Friday slate taking advantage of the holiday season in the States.
TCU Horned Frogs @ Texas Longhorns Pick: Over the last few weeks, the Texas Longhorns have improved dramatically from the opening weeks of the season and secured their Bowl eligibility in Charlie Strong's first season when beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Defense has been a strength of this Longhorns team all season, but the Offense is finally producing enough to win games and that might actually be good news for the TCU Horned Frogs.
At this stage of the season, winning big games is very important and I think Texas have improved enough for this to carry some weight for the Horned Frogs as they go on the road.
The TCU Defense is perhaps a little under-rated and I think they will give Tyrone Swoopes some problems to deal with especially if they can play the run effectively. That might make it difficult for the Longhorns to move the ball consistently, although their own Defense has played well enough to give Trevone Boykin and the Horned Frogs Offense some issues.
Texas have made life tough for the Baylor Bears and the Kansas State Wildcats this season, although TCU might have a better balance on Offense to keep Texas guessing. Boykin is a real dual-threat from the Quarter Back position and the Horned Frogs have run the ball effectively enough to open the passing lanes, although this game is going to be close.
Both teams have been well prepared coming off a bye, although I am wary of TCU's poor 1-6 record against the spread as the road favourite in the last three seasons. However, I think Texas exhale a touch after becoming Bowl eligible and TCU have so much to earn by winning this game and that is why I like the Horned Frogs.
Houston Cougars @ SMU Mustangs Pick: Any rivalry game does bring in its own issues to resolve, but it is hard to see how the Houston Cougars fail to dismiss the awful SMU Mustangs who have yet to win a game this season.
The Mustangs have barely been competitive in those losses which has to be the bigger disappointment and they have suffered too many big defeats through the season. Houston should have a lot of success running and throwing the ball against this SMU Defense and the bigger question is whether the Mustangs can score enough points to stay within a three Touchdown number Houston are being asked to cover.
Unfortunately for SMU, the Cougars Defense has played very well all season and they have limited teams on the ground which should allow them to get after a porous Offensive Line that has struggled to protect whoever lines up behind Center for SMU. Houston have turned the ball over and are giving up fewer than 190 passing yards per game and those extra possessions may see them get over this number they are being asked to lay.
SMU are just 1-4 against the spread at home this season and they are just 3-7 against the spread as the underdog, both numbers I expect Houston to increase.
Stanford Cardinal @ UCLA Bruins Pick: For all the success Brett Hundley has had against USC in his career as the UCLA Quarter Back, he is yet to beat Stanford and the Cardinal have won 6 in a row against the Bruins.
However, this Stanford team have struggled this season and UCLA have a huge motivation of getting themselves into the Pac-12 Championship Game. This isn't the Cardinal team that the UCLA Bruins may have been a little intimidated of playing in the past as they are just 4-4 in Pac-12 play this season, while Stanford are just 1-4 against the spread on the road, losing 3 of those games outright.
On the other hand, UCLA have improved in each passing week and looked so good in dismantling the Trojans last week, while some Bruins fans may be hoping a late push for a Play Off place is not out of the question despite the 2 losses on their schedule. UCLA won't have it easy against this Stanford Defense, but there is no doubt that unit hasn't played as well on the road and that is where the Bruins hosting the game could make a real difference.
Add the Offensive struggles that Stanford have faced and the fact they are coming up against a Bruins Defense that has also been improving on a weekly basis and it could be a tough time for David Shaw and his team.
UCLA have improved to 2-0 as the home favourite laying between 3.5 and 7 points this season and Stanford are missing a huge playmaker in Ty Montgomery which suggests the Bruins reach the Championship Game with a lot of momentum behind them.
East Carolina Pirates @ Tulsa Golden Hurricane Pick: I do respect the fact that the Tulsa Golden Hurricane should have success passing the ball against this Pirates Secondary, but I still believe the East Carolina team can keep their slim ACC title hopes alive with a win.
In reality, the best they can hope for is getting a share of the title this season, but they should have the balance Offensively to move the ball up and down the field without too many problems in this one. East Carolina have been guilty of shooting themselves in the foot at times with ill-timed penalties, but making Tulsa's Offense one-dimensional will give them the edge in this game.
One concern is how bad the East Carolina team has been as a road favourite this season, especially when it comes to clearing the spread as they are currently just 1-4 in that spot. However, this Tulsa team lost by 20 plus points against Memphis and UCF, albeit both on the road, and who are more likely to lose the turnover battle which could lead to the Pirates pulling away to also win this one by at least 20 points.
MY PICKS: TCU Horned Frogs - 6.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Houston Cougars - 21 Points @ 1.92 Coral (1 Unit)
UCLA Bruins - 5.5 Points @ 1.92 William Hill (1 Unit)
East Carolina Pirates - 17.5 Points @ 1.92 William Hill (1 Unit)
Week 12: 7-5, + 1.40 Units (12 Units Staked, + 11.67% Yield)
Week 11: 9-4, + 4.34 Units (13 Units Staked, + 33.38% Yield)
Week 10: 6-7, - 1.51 Units (13 Units Staked, - 11.62% Yield)
Season 2014: 61-73-2, - 17.55 Units (149 Units Staked, - 11.78% Yield)