While a few teams will conclude their schedules next week, Week 13 for the most part is it for the 2018 college football regular season ahead of conference championship Saturday. This is easily the best weekend of football this year, including a nice slate of games on the day after Thanksgiving.By Friday night, the Big 12 Championship Game will be set. No. 11 Texas (rankings from the latest AP Top 25) will qualify for that game by winning at Kansas, which is a 15-point underdog. The Horns have failed to cover in five straight Friday games and starting QB Sam Ehlinger has a banged-up shoulder.
Texas-KU is at noon Eastern, while No. 6 Oklahoma at No. 12 West Virginia kicks off at 8pm ET on Friday. The winner of that game will also play for the Big 12 title. The loser will not – unless Texas is upset. This one opened with OU at -2.5, but it’s now a pick’em. The Sooners have won six straight against WVU and have covered the past four in the series.
Also on Friday night is the Apple Cup, which features No. 16 Washington at No. 7 Washington State, with the Cougars as 3-point favorites. The winner will play in the Pac-12 Championship Game against South Division champion Utah. Wazzu is the Pac-12’s only shot of reaching the College Football Playoff but has lost five straight Apple Cup matchups by an average margin of more than 23 points.
No. 3 Notre Dame doesn’t play in a conference, and the Fighting Irish almost surely will reach their first College Football Playoff with a victory at disappointing Southern Cal in what could be the final game for embattled Trojans coach Clay Helton. The Irish are 10.5-point favorites but 2-6 SU and ATS in the past eight playing at USC. The Trojans are 5-6 and thus wouldn’t even head to a bowl with a loss.
No. 10 Ohio State hosts No. 4 Michigan in the Big Ten Game of the Year. The winner will take the East Division and then be a big favorite over Northwestern in the conference title game. Michigan is a 3.5-point favorite, which is notable because the Buckeyes had been favorites in 51 straight games, the longest active streak in the country. The Wolverines have dropped six straight in the series by an average of 10.5 points. Their last win, though, was the last time they were favored (2011).