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Week 12 college football watch guide: Let’s watch Syracuse blow up the Playoff top 4

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DON’T GET SNAKEBIT, NOTRE DAME.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Notre Dame
When you drop outta the top four.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 of the 2018 college football season holds a strange slate of games. There’s little prediction to be made, but there are a few fireworks on the menu. Notre Dame might get upset! Texas could shit themselves! Pac-12 after dark!

Our watchability rating system takes into account chaos factor, rankings implications, and betting narratives. Week 12 touches a few of those bases, but only with the lightest of treads.

Here we go.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15

FAU at North Texas

8:30 p.m. CT on CBS and streaming online at CBS Sports

OddsShark currently has the line for this game sitting at North Texas -4.5, which renders this Thursday night affair a toss-up. It’s going to get weird, because Lane Kiffin is involved, and it’s the late slot in the midweek. Take the Owls to COVER.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16

Memphis at SMU

8 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and streaming online at WatchESPN

Now we’re talking. What better way to polish off your work week with this chaos game. You’re gonna be drunk enough to actually feel excitement about these two getting together, because Memphis is a touchdown favorite on the road, which is fine as far as it goes, but the over/under is 72.5 POINTS. LET’S GOOO.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 (EARLY GAMES — PICK YOUR POISON)

NC State at Louisville (?)

11:20 a.m. CT on ACC Sports Network (?) and streaming online at WatchESPN

Look, we don’t know either. The Shutdown Fullcast didn’t talk about a single game on this week’s slate, because there’s very little here. Instead, they asked listeners to swap out opponents, and in truth, Louisville and Rutgers should actually play football against each other on Saturday.

No. 12 Syracuse at No. 3 Notre Dame

1:30 p.m. CT on NBC and streaming online at NBC Sports Live

Here’s really where your attentions in the early block should be directed. It’s difficult to say with any certainty whether a single loss this late in the season — and to a team ranked No. 13, albeit SYRACUSE — could sting Notre Dame. Will that drop the Irish from the top four? Is the rest of the field weak or crazy enough to buoy Brian Kelly’s shop into the College Football Playoff? Or will the Irish just go and do the thing and win? This is a big game in South Bend, and I can’t believe I just wrote that.

No. 9 West Virginia at Oklahoma State

2:30 p.m. CT on ABC and streaming online at WatchESPN

Oklahoma State played with Oklahoma down to the wire to make Bedlam truly BEDLAM. West Virginia is on the road. This game holds major, if confusing, Big 12 implications that I don’t fully understand and won’t unravel for you here. Either way, there will be blood.

NIGHT GAMES (DOES NOT INCLUDE THE #PAC12AFTERDARK; THEY ARE A DIFFERENT SUBHEADING)

UAB at Texas A&M

6 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and streaming online at WatchESPN

Here us out.

  1. UAB is two years out from even having a football team.
  2. UAB is good.
  3. UAB ARE DRAGONS.
  4. UAB is capable of beating Texas A&M
  5. Either way, UAB could make this thing interesting.

No. 24 Cincinnati at No. 11 UCF

7 p.m. CT on ABC and streaming online at WatchESPN

Remember the rule: ALWAYS WATCH UNDEFEATED TEAMS, EVEN IF THEY AIN’T IN THE P5.

No. 16 Iowa State at No. 15 Texas

7 p.m. CT on LHN and streaming online at WatchESPN

The schadenfreude will be real, whichever way this goes.

PAC-12 AFTER DARK

Arizona at No. 8 Washington State

Washington State is running out of opponents to snipe them out of a very real argument for a top-four finish in the CFP this year, and that’s wild to think about. Arizona began the year horribly, but the Wildcats have steadily righted the ship and are playing something that resembles college football right now. They have to travel to Pullman, yes, but this late-night date feels like it may spin off the rails. DON’T SLEEP ON THE PAC-12.