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College Football Week 12: Games and Players to Watch

A look an exciting week 12 of college football.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 brings us four matchups of top 25 teams including a top 5 battle between SEC powers Mississippi State and Alabama. With a little over six months until the 2015 NFL Draft, scouting departments have turned up the heat on the 2014 college football season.

No. 1 Mississippi State @ No. 5 Alabama

The Bulldogs continue their unlikely undefeated campaign through the SEC with another tough matchup with the class of the conference. Bama is looking to knock the Bulldogs off their stoop this afternoon in Tuscaloosa and reclaim positioning in the critical top 4.

State’s ILB Benadrick McKinney is a jack of all trades for the MSU defense, lining up across the formation including rushing the passer. He’ll probably be best suited as a straight up ILB potentially in a 3-4. While his coverage skills need to be worked on he has tremendous NFL prospects.

Bama’s all world WR Amari Cooper figures to be the first WR off the board this spring. NFL Hall of Famer Chris Carter said Cooper is the best WR Alabama has had since Ozzie Newsome. That’s tremendous praise for the young Cooper as Bama’s recent WR history includes Julio Jones. It would surprise me to see a team, like Atlanta did for Jones, trade up into the top ten to select Cooper. Could that team be the 49ers?

No. 11 Nebraska @ No. 22 Wisconsin

This Big10 matchup features two of the top rushing teams in the country. Both RBs figure to be selected in the top two rounds of the draft. Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah runs bigger than his 5-9, 195lbs stature making precise cuts with incredible ball carrier vision. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordan is yet another in the long list of successful Badger running backs to make a name for himself. Looking for his second consecutive 1600+ yard season, Gordan is more of a traditional running back with excellent acceleration and ability to run both inside and out.

I look for both teams to continue to pound the rock. It wouldn't surprise me to see a combined 80+ rushing attempts in this one. If you're a fan of old school, smash mouth football this one if for you.

No. 3 Florida State @ Miami

In what used to be the best rivalry in college football, tonight's prime time features two teams looking to prove they're better than people think. Sounds odd for a FSU team coming in with a 25 game win streak but they've been less than impressive against inferior competition this year causing many to question their position in the college football playoff.

Miami is coming in with a ton of confidence despite a 6-3 record. The 'Canes Duke Johnson is one of the best RBs in the country and continues to impress the more he plays. Johnson combines speed and power and has the Hurricanes humming on offense right now. ILB Denzel Perryman reminds me a lot Navarro Bowman. With similar size and an uncanny nose for the football, Perryman is underrated in draft circles right now.

Here is today’s slate:

Time Road Home TV Streaming
Noon ET No. 18 Clemson No. 24 Georgia Tech ESPN WatchESPN
Noon ET No. 8 Ohio State Minnesota ABC
Noon ET Virginia Tech No. 19 Duke ESPNU WatchESPN
Noon ET South Carolina Florida SEC Network WatchESPN
Noon ET Iowa Illinois Big Ten Network
Noon ET Temple Penn State ESPN2 WatchESPN
Noon ET Army Western Kentucky CBSSN
Noon ET Brown Dartmouth SNY, CSN
Noon ET Wofford Furman WatchESPN
Noon ET Presbyterian Gardner-Webb American Sports Network
Noon ET Bryant Sacred Heart WatchESPN
12:30 p.m. ET Pittsburgh North Carolina ACC Network
12:30 p.m. ET Cornell Columbia FCS-Atlantic
12:30 p.m. ET Bucknell Holy Cross Charter TV3
12:30 p.m. ET James Madison Richmond NBCSN
1 p.m. ET Miami (Ohio) Central Michigan WatchESPN
2 p.m. ET Nevada Air Force ROOT-RM
2 p.m. ET Eastern Michigan Western Michigan WatchESPN
2:30 p.m. ET Rice No. 21 Marshall FSN
3 p.m. ET No. 5 TCU Kansas FS1
3 p.m. ET Appalachian State Arkansas State WatchESPN
3 p.m. ET Wake Forest NC State RSN
3 p.m. ET Monmouth Coastal Carolina WatchESPN
3 p.m. ET Northern Iowa Southern Illinois MVTV WatchESPN
3 p.m. ET William & Mary Towson CSN
3:05 p.m. ET Montana Southern Utah Cowles Montana Media
3:30 p.m. ET No. 1 Mississippi State No. 4 Alabama CBS
3:30 p.m. ET Northwestern No. 15 Notre Dame NBC
3:30 p.m. ET Washington No. 17 Arizona FOX
3:30 p.m. ET No. 11 Nebraska No. 22 Wisconsin ABC
3:30 p.m. ET Middle Tennessee FIU American Sports Network
3:30 p.m. ET Georgia Southern Navy CBSSN
3:30 p.m. ET Indiana Rutgers Big Ten Network
3:30 p.m. ET Oklahoma Texas Tech ESPN WatchESPN
3:30 p.m. ET Memphis Tulane ESPNU WatchESPN
3:30 p.m. ET Charleston Southern Liberty MyTV, LFSN WatchESPN
3:40 p.m. ET Idaho State Montana State ROOT Sports
4 p.m. ET Kentucky Tennessee SEC Network WatchESPN
4 p.m. ET New Mexico Utah State ESPNews WatchESPN
4 p.m. ET Eastern Illinois Jacksonville State WatchESPN
4 p.m. ET Warner Mercer WatchESPN
4 p.m. ET McNeese State SE Louisiana Southland TV WatchESPN
4:30 p.m. ET Hawaii San Jose State Oceanic
5 p.m. ET Troy Idaho WatchESPN
6 p.m. ET No. 25 Utah Stanford Pac-12 Network
7 p.m. ET Louisiana ULM SBC Network WatchESPN
7 p.m. ET Mississippi Valley State Southern COX Sports
7 p.m. ET Albany Villanova American Sports Network
7:15 p.m. ET No. 9 Auburn No. 16 Georgia ESPN WatchESPN
7:30 p.m. ET Texas Oklahoma State FOX
7:30 p.m. ET Texas State South Alabama WatchESPN
7:30 p.m. ET Missouri Texas A&M SEC Network WatchESPN
8 p.m. ET No. 20 LSU Arkansas ESPN2 WatchESPN
8 p.m. ET No. 12 Michigan State Maryland Big Ten Network
8 p.m. ET No. 2 Florida State Miami ABC
8 p.m. ET South Florida SMU CBSSN
10 p.m. ET North Texas UTEP FS1
10:15 p.m. ET San Diego State Boise State ESPNU WatchESPN
10:45 p.m. ET No. 7 Arizona State Oregon State ESPN WatchESPN