Tough week for Badgers


John K. Kim /Chicago Tribune/ TNS

Northwestern wide receiver Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman (81) celebrates after making a touchdown reception against Wisconsin in the second quarter on Nov. 21.

Boh Suh, Staff Writer

Week 12 is a sad week for the Wisconsin Badgers fans. With the loss against Northwestern, the chance of the Badgers making the playoff is likely gone unless Northwestern loses twice, and Wisconsin beats Ohio State, and Oregon loses, and many other “IF”s.

However, I am hopeful because Badger fans may have been too confident for the team after the first two games, especially Graham Mertz’s performance in week 1 (20 for 21 with five touchdowns against Illinois).

Northwestern is a great team and beating them on the road has been a difficult task for the Badgers. I still expected Wisconsin to pull away with a win this week, but it happens. I am still hopeful for Mertz-led Badger for the future because a game like this is what makes the team better.

No. 22 Auburn vs. No. 1 Alabama – My pick: Alabama. The Iron Bowl is always an exciting game to watch, but there is definitely a difference between Auburn and Alabama this year.

No. 2 Notre Dame vs No. 25 North Carolina – My pick: North Carolina. Remember, North Carolina almost pulled off upset against No. 1 Clemson? I think North Carolina will do that again and bring some chaos in college playoff.

No. 3 Ohio State vs Illinois – My pick: Ohio State. The top 10 matchup against Indiana was a close one, which may make people think Ohio State may not be as dominant. The game against Illinois will show how dominant Ohio State can be.

Pittsburgh vs. No. 4 Clemson – My pick: Clemson. Clemson will be in a full form when Trevor Lawrence, a starting quarterback for the team returns (likely this week). Even without Lawrence, Pittsburgh should not be a problem for this team.

Louisiana State University (LSU) vs. No. 5 Texas A&M – My pick: Texas A&M. I still think that Texas A&M has the best chance to make the playoff without winning their conference if Alabama wins out, but there is not much talk about this team. Am I missing something?

Kentucky vs. No. 6 Florida – My pick: Florida. Florida has been rolling, and Kentucky is not going to stop this talented team. The toughest challenge for Florida would be the Southeastern conference (SEC) championship game against Alabama (or is it too early to tell?)

No. 7 Cincinnati vs. Temple – My pick: Cincinnati. With Wisconsin falling out of the picture, the chance for Cincinnati making the playoff increases slightly. There is a great chance that this team may not be picked as top four because of its conference, but the only thing Cincinnati can do is keep winning.

No. 9 Oregon vs. Oregon State – My pick: Oregon. Every game is important this season for Pacific-12 (PAC-12) teams this year. This game will be much closer than the matchup against top 10 vs non-ranked team, but Oregon will still get a win and get closer to a playoff spot.

No. 11 Northwestern vs. Michigan State – My pick: Northwestern. Do you know what is going to be out of control scenario? Northwestern loses against Michigan State this week. With Wisconsin likely out of the playoff picture, I root for the Big Ten teams to make it to the playoff.

Maryland vs. No. 12 Indiana – My pick: Indiana. A loss by a TD at Ohio State? For any teams, that is an accomplishment. It makes me nervous for Wisconsin and Indiana game on Dec. 5.

No. 13 Georgia vs. South Carolina – My pick: Georgia. Remember when South Carolina beat Georgia to end their chance for the playoff last year?

No. 14 Oklahoma vs. West Virginia – My pick: Oklahoma. Oklahoma has bounced well after a 1-2 start. They are rising, and they seem to have a great team, but it is not likely for them to make it to top four this year. However, the Big 12 conference title is not out of reach.

No. 15 Iowa State vs No. 20 Texas – My pick: Texas. Both Iowa State and Texas have bounced back nicely from earlier losses. This will be a close game, but I believe Texas will bring a victory.

No 16. Coastal Carolina vs. Texas State – My pick: Coastal Carolina. Coastal Carolina is still undefeated, and they have been rolling. Whether a team is in Sun Belt conference or in other conferences, 8-0 record is impressive. Keep rolling!

Minnesota vs. No. 18 Wisconsin – My pick: Wisconsin. The key to succeed in sports is how can you bring your momentum back after a close loss or the loss that likely eliminates the playoff hope? That is the homework for Wisconsin this week. Thankfully, Minnesota has been struggling this season as well, so there is a good chance for Wisconsin to get a win.

Colorado vs. No. 19 University of Southern California (USC) – My pick: USC. Both teams are undefeated so far, which is unfortunate because one team will get a loss. The best hope for the PAC-12 conference is USC keep winning. Of course, Colorado players would not agree with that.

Texas Tech vs. No. 21 Oklahoma State – My pick: Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State fell from the best team of the Big 12 conference to umm.. possibly not making it to the Big 12 championship game. There is still a chance, but not likely.

No. 23 Louisiana vs. University of Louisiana Monroe (UL Monroe) – My pick: Louisiana. It is difficult to root against a 0-8 team… I hope that UL Monroe gets a win this year.

No. 24 Tulsa vs. Houston – My pick: Tulsa. Tulsa has a great season so far, and its only loss coming against Oklahoma State. With Oklahoma State falling, that loss became worse, but Tulsa can still represent American Conference to match against Cincinnati.