2017 NCAAF Oracle – Week 12

Valero Alamo Bowl Projection:

Projection Week 12 Big 12 Pac-12
NCAAF Oracle  TCU Washington State

We consider the NCAAF Oracle Ranking below to determine which teams would be selected for the Valero Alamo Bowl. Find out more about how the Oracle works and subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Impressively, (7) Washington State has retained its bid for the Pac-12 representative in the 2017 Valero Alamo Bowl, extending their presence in our projection to three consecutive weeks. After jumping out to an early 13-0 lead in the first quarter, the Cougars managed to fend off (67) Utah late in the game, moving to 9-2 overall with the 33-25 victory. (6) Southern California has already secured the Pac-12 title, leaving (30) Stanford, (7) Washington State, (18) Washington, and (36) Arizona to fight for the Pac-12 spot in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Of those teams, (7) Washington State has the best overall record and is tied for the best record in-conference. This is where it is good timing for the Cougars to have their bye, while the other three teams compete in relatively uncompetitive games on paper. Looking ahead to Week 13, (30) Stanford will have a tough fight against (10) Notre Dame and (7) Washington State will challenge (18) Washington. All that in consideration, (7) Washington State remains the top projection out of the Pac-12.

For the Big 12, guess what, we’ve got a new program projected to enter the ring against (7) Washington State; (15) Texas Christian was unable to remain competitive with (8) Oklahoma last week, despite allowing 0 points in the second half. With their 38-20 loss, the Horned Frogs fell to 5-2 in-conference, placing them in a three-way tie for second with (17) Oklahoma State and (42) West Virginia (the Horned Frogs and Cowboys have the overall edge, sitting at 8-2 to the Mountaineers 7-3 record). Separating the Horned Frogs and Cowboys from the Mountaineers further is the fact that (42) West Virginia has to travel to face (8) Oklahoma in Week 13, not exactly the team you want to face to end your season. As things currently stand, the edge is granted to (15) Texas Christian over (17) Oklahoma State, due in no small part to the September 23rd match-up between the two teams: playing on the road, the Horned Frogs duked it out with the Cowboys in an early-season epic shootout, holding on for a 44-31 win. For those of you wondering, a win like that on the road is absolutely a factor as Oracle projects which teams have the best odds of playing in the 25th anniversary of the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Should (15) Texas Christian make an appearance, it would mark only their second trip deep in the heart of Texas, although that one other occasion was the infamous 2016 slugfest with the Oregon Ducks that took three overtimes before the Horned Frogs could put an end to the madness. As for (7) Washington State, this would be their second appearance as well. However, it has been far longer since the Cougars took this stage, going all the way back to 1994 in a 10-3 win over Baylor, just the second year of existence for the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Here’s an updated look at the standings in the respective conferences:

Pac-12 North: (30) Stanford, (7) Washington State, (18) Washington, (64) California, (59) Oregon, and (126) Oregon State.

Pac-12 South: (6) Southern California, (36) Arizona, (56) Arizona State, (58) UCLA, (67) Utah, and (74) Colorado.

Big 12: (8) Oklahoma, (17) Oklahoma State, (42) West Virginia, (15) Texas Christian, (77) Texas, (39) Iowa State, (80) Kansas State, (68) Texas Tech, (127) Baylor, and (124) Kansas.

NCAAF Oracle – Week 12

RankTeamRecordTrending
1Alabama(10-0) 1
2Wisconsin(10-0) 2
3Clemson(9-1)--
4Georgia(9-1) 3
5Miami FL_(9-0) 5
6Southern California(9-2)--
7Washington State(9-2) 1
8Oklahoma(9-1) 3
9Central Florida(9-0) 2
10Notre Dame(8-2) 5
11Penn State(8-2) 4
12Ohio State(8-2) 5
13Auburn(8-2) 7
14Boise State(8-2) 5
15Texas Christian(8-2) 6
16Memphis(8-1) 3
17Oklahoma State(8-2) 9
18Washington(8-2) 4
19San Diego State(8-2) 7
20Michigan State(7-3) 4
21Michigan(8-2) 3
22Toledo(8-2) 4
23Troy(8-2) 2
24North Carolina State(7-3) 8
25Ohio(8-2) 17
26South Carolina(7-3) 5
27Louisiana State(7-3) 6
28Florida Atlantic(7-3) 6
29Northwestern(7-3)--
30Stanford(7-3) 11
31Mississippi State(7-3) 10
32Kentucky(7-3) 5
33Army(8-2) 3
34Iowa(6-4) 11
35South Florida(8-1) 13
36Arizona(7-3) 1
37Virginia Tech(7-3) 10
38North Texas(7-3)--
39Iowa State(6-4) 11
40Marshall(7-3) 10
41Wyoming(7-3) 4
42West Virginia(7-3) 5
43Wake Forest(6-4) 9
44Houston(6-3) 14
45Fresno State(7-3) 4
46Alabama-Birmingham(7-3) 7
47Northern Illinois(7-3) 1
48Navy(6-3) 8
49Virginia(6-4) 10
50Texas A&M(6-4) 4
51Southern Methodist(6-4) 11
52Central Michigan(6-4) 6
53Louisville(6-4) 9
54Boston College(5-5) 10
55Florida International(6-3) 9
56Arizona State(5-5) 13
57Western Michigan(6-4) 6
58UCLA(5-5) 10
59Oregon(5-5) 8
60Mississippi(5-5) 11
61Georgia Tech(5-4) 20
62Southern Mississippi(6-4) 2
63Colorado State(6-5) 8
64California(5-5) 7
65Georgia State(6-3) 8
66Appalachian State(6-4) 1
67Utah(5-5) 8
68Texas Tech(5-5) 4
69Temple(5-5) 19
70Missouri(5-5) 15
71Syracuse(4-6) 11
72Minnesota(5-5) 23
73Akron(5-5) 8
74Colorado(5-6) 13
75Middle Tennessee State(5-5) 5
76Utah State(5-5) 10
77Texas(5-5) 6
78Purdue(4-6) 3
79South Alabama(4-6) 19
80Kansas State(5-5) 10
81Arkansas State(5-3) 12
82Tennessee(4-6) 5
83Western Kentucky(5-5) 7
84Miami OH_(4-6) 19
85Maryland(4-6) 3
86Nebraska(4-6) 12
87Buffalo(4-6) 13
88Tulane(4-6) 13
89Vanderbilt(4-6) 11
90Pittsburgh(4-6) 11
91Nevada-Las Vegas(4-6) 4
92Rutgers(4-6) 8
93Old Dominion(4-6) 16
94Duke(4-6) 3
95Air Force(4-6) 9
96Arkansas(4-6) 4
97Louisiana-Lafayette(4-5) 3
98Texas-San Antonio(5-4) 9
99Louisiana Tech(4-6) 6
100Louisiana-Monroe(4-5) 10
101Indiana(4-6) 4
102Florida(3-6) 6
103Florida State(3-6) 6
104New Mexico State(4-5) 5
105Idaho(3-6) 3
106Connecticut(3-7) 2
107Cincinnati(3-7) 1
108Massachusetts(3-7) 8
109New Mexico(3-7) 3
110Eastern Michigan(3-7) 3
111Brigham Young(3-8) 8
112Hawaii(3-7) 2
113Tulsa(2-8) 2
114Kent State(2-8) 1
115Ball State(2-8) 3
116North Carolina(2-8) 7
117Illinois(2-8) 3
118Bowling Green State(2-8) 3
119East Carolina(2-8) 2
120Texas State(2-8) 2
121Nevada(2-8) 3
122Charlotte(1-9) 2
123San Jose State(1-10)--
124Kansas(1-9)--
125Coastal Carolina(1-9) 1
126Oregon State(1-9) 1
127Baylor(1-9)--
128Rice(1-9)--
129Georgia Southern(0-9)--
130Texas-El Paso(0-10)--

As you can see, there was no shortage of exciting movement in the rankings: playing it tight into the 4th quarter against (31) Mississippi State, (1) Alabama remained undefeated as they rolled right on back atop the leaderboard; (2) Wisconsin and baby-Badger-bruiser Jonathan Taylor stayed in the hunt with their 38-14 victory over (34) Iowa, who plummeted 11 spots in the rankings; (4) Georgia got absolutely embarrassed by the surging (13) Auburn Tigers who continued to scratch on the door of the top-10, helped out most recently by this 40-17 win.

There’s clearly plenty of good games with serious ramifications that we could go on about, but two had a way of separating themselves from the herd: (5) Miami_FL and (12) Ohio State. Let’s start where it’s hot before moving north for an icy rivalry game. In the eyes of many, the U is back, now with an exclamation point following that after the Hurricanes took it to (10) Notre Dame in a message-sending game. With this 41-8 rout, (5) Miami_FL effectively stripped (10) Notre Dame down to just the Fighting Irish. It’s hard to say the U can do anything quietly, but they’re now 9-0 on the season and are headed to the ACC Championship with their eyes set on the College Football Playoff. Turning our attention to the north, (12) Ohio State got ready for the latest rendition of their rivalry with “the other” Michigan school, (20) Michigan State. Those looking for a battle of exchanging blows would have been sorely disappointed; the Buckeyes came out swinging with two touchdowns in the first, continuing the pounding in the second quarter with 21 more points. For their effort, the Spartans didn’t just stand there and take this beating, as they flailed an arm in desperation with a field goal before the half was over. The second half was simply a matter of technicality, as (12) Ohio State cushioned their lead with an additional 13 points before winning handily.

Staying in-state, (25) Ohio earned the designation as our best positive mover of the week within the top-25 (+17) thanks to a 38-10 win over (22) Toledo. Unfortunately for them, (19) San Diego State received the opposing honors from dropping the most in the rankings (-7), a tough break for the Aztecs considering they were on a bye this past week. Let’s see if veteran running back Rashaad Penny can put his team on his back and keep (19) San Diego State on the outskirts of the top-20.

NCAAF Oracle: Poll prediction feature for Week 12

The current top 20 teams are listed in the columns below. In the rows, we indicate the chances each team has to be ranked in that column by the end of the week.

Rk Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
1 Alabama 42% 33% 18% 6% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
2 Wisconsin 40% 12% 10% 15% 13% 7% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
3 Clemson 10% 23% 18% 12% 15% 13% 7% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
4 Georgia 8% 21% 17% 5% 5% 13% 16% 11% 4% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
5 Miami FL_ 0% 6% 16% 18% 8% 3% 5% 10% 14% 11% 6% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
6 Southern California 0% 4% 14% 18% 12% 6% 8% 12% 12% 9% 4% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
7 Washington State 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 7% 15% 23% 25% 18% 8% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
8 Oklahoma 0% 0% 1% 5% 13% 18% 17% 14% 12% 10% 6% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
9 Central Florida 0% 0% 3% 8% 13% 13% 8% 4% 3% 6% 10% 11% 10% 6% 3% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0%
10 Notre Dame 0% 0% 3% 10% 16% 13% 6% 1% 0% 1% 4% 9% 13% 12% 7% 3% 1% 0% 0% 0%
11 Penn State 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 8% 13% 13% 9% 4% 1% 1% 4% 9% 13% 12% 7% 2% 0% 0%
12 Ohio State 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 4% 8% 12% 12% 9% 5% 4% 8% 12% 13% 9% 4% 1% 0%
13 Auburn 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 4% 7% 7% 5% 5% 8% 8% 7% 7% 8% 8% 8% 7% 5% 3%
14 Boise State 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 9% 14% 13% 7% 4% 5% 9% 11% 10% 7%
15 Texas Christian 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 4% 9% 12% 11% 7% 4% 4% 6% 8% 9% 8%
16 Memphis 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 2% 5% 8% 10% 10% 8% 5% 3% 2% 3% 6% 7%
17 Oklahoma State 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 3% 6% 10% 11% 9% 6% 3% 2% 2%
18 Washington 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 3% 7% 11% 11% 9% 5% 2% 2% 2%
19 San Diego State 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 5% 10% 13% 11% 7% 3%
20 Michigan State 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 4% 9% 13% 12% 7% 3% 1%

Once again, the number of teams vying for the (1) ranking has been trimmed of excess fat, leaving us with (1) Alabama at 42%, (2) Wisconsin at 40%, (3) Clemson at 10%, (4) Georgia at 8%. It appears as if (2) Wisconsin might have the toughest match-up in Week 12, taking on (21) Michigan at home. This isn’t to say the other three contenders will have a cake-walk, but with (1) Alabama facing Mercer, (3) Clemson facing Citadel, and (4) Georgia facing (32) Kentucky, it’s not as if any of these games are must-watch television.

Two interesting games to keep an eye on, in terms of potential movement, would be with (5) Miami_FL and (6) Southern California. In Miami’s case, they’re by all means trending in the right direction, and their competition – (49) Virginia – is trending in the wrong direction, not to mention the U is home. While the Hurricanes can’t claim that dubious (1) spot, there is a 6% chance of them emerging from Week 12 at (2). However, should the improbable happen and they lose their unbeaten bid this week, Miami could plummet all the way back down to (12), a crushing blow after all the strides they have taken. A loss would most likely secure them between (8) and (10), but to even consider blowing this game would be sacrilege to the Hurricanes. As for (6) Southern California, their game is hands-down more intriguing on paper, as it is against cross-town rival (58) UCLA. Coming into this season, the narrative was centered around Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold and Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen as the front-runners for the Heisman, and the top-available quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL draft. As of a week ago, neither field general was even on the ESPN Heisman Watch, as both have gone through rough stretches throughout this season. While the Bruins season is effectively over at this point, (6) Southern California still has a 4% chance of climbing to (2) this week, assuming there is some external help. With an overall record of 9-2 and an in-conference record of 7-1, not only have the Trojans clinched the Pac-12, but there is still hope for them to secure one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff. If the Bruins can play spoiler at the Los Angeles Coliseum, all of that hope for (6) Southern California could quickly dissipate, with potential for the Trojans to fall to (12). More likely, however, would be a braced-fall anywhere from (7) to (10), but this still would not be enough to hold onto any hope. All that said, (5) Miami_FL and (6) Southern California find themselves in similar situations heading into Week 12, and both want a taste of that top-4, but to break through that ceiling, they’ll have to indirectly go through four formidable foes: the Crimson Tide, Badgers, Tigers, and Bulldogs.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend.

Written and published by Tyler Caldwell

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