Tue, Dec 10, 2019

The penultimate week of college football’s 2019 regular season has arrived, and while there may not be many marquee matchups from noon to night, there’s just enough top-tier college football to keep you satisfied Saturday. It all started as the day kicked off with Ohio State and Penn State meeting in a key Big Ten showdown. Will the Buckeyes continue their onslaught as they aim not only for a College Football Playoff berth but the No. 1 overall seed, or will the Nittany Lions play spoiler against their hated rivals?

Later in the afternoon, Georgia put its own CFP candidacy on the line when it hosts Texas A&M in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. While the Bulldogs will advance to the SEC Championship Game regardless of the result, they could eliminate themselves from the national title chase with a loss against an Aggies squad still looking for a signature win this season. That is just one of three massive afternoon games before a nightcap that includes two big-time Pac-12 showdowns that will also have an impact on the CFP. Will we see any major upsets, or will Saturday simply serve as a prelude to Rivalry Week and the close of the 2019 regular season?

With action starting early in the day and continuing late into the night, let’s take a look at the biggest games on the schedule Saturday along with our college football picks and predictions for what will transpire in those contests. Our CBS Sports college football experts have picked every game both straight up and against the spread, giving you ample opportunity to decide how to make your picks ahead of kickoff. All times Eastern

No. 8 Penn State at No. 2 Ohio State (-18.5) – Noon on FOX: Penn State’s play in recent weeks made this spread a lot larger than I was hoping to see, but I’m still leaning the Buckeyes’ direction. It’s a bit scary to lay the points here, but I believe Ohio State is just that much better than nearly every other team in the country. Penn State can win this game, and it can definitely cover, but I think the Buckeyes cover more often than not. Of course, keep in mind that, while Ohio State has won each of the last two meetings, each win came by a single point. So there might not be a wrong answer when it comes to picking this spread. Pick: Ohio State (-18.5) — Tom Fornelli

Texas A&M at No. 4 Georgia (-13.5) – 3:30 p.m. on CBS: It’s hard to tell if Georgia’s offense is vanilla by necessity or design. Either way, it’ll stay vanilla on Saturday afternoon against Texas A&M. The Bulldogs can’t afford to take risks against the Aggies that could come back to bite them and knock them out of the CFP race. As a result, they’ll rely on their strength — the defense — and win a low-scoring affair that will be completely devoid of style points. Pick: Texas A&M (+13.5) — Barrett Sallee

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Texas at No. 14 Baylor (-5.5) – 3:30 p.m. on FS1: The X-factor in this game has to be Texas wideout Devin Duvernay. He’s already over 1,000 yards receiving on the season and should have been a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist. However, he has two career catches for 17 yards against Baylor, a team he originally committed to out of high school. Combine his need for a big game with Texas’ desperation, and a slight upset is brewing in Waco. Pick: Texas (+5.5) — Ben Kercheval

No. 13 Michigan (-9.5) at Indiana on ESPN: While Michigan is playing great right now, can it be trusted to maintain that high level of play in a sandwich spot on the road against a good Indiana team? Michigan may have won 23 straight against the Hoosiers, but Jim Harbaugh’s wins in the series have been by 7, 10, 7 and 11. With Michigan State in the rearview and Ohio State coming up next, Harbaugh and his staff have been challenged with keeping the Wolverines’ focus on Indiana. I’m going out on a limb and saying they are able to continue this streak, adding to the anticipation for next week’s regular season finale. Pick: Michigan (-8.5) — Chip Patterson

No. 6 Oregon (-14.5) at Arizona State – 7:30 p.m. on ABC: This one barely missed Upset Alerts. Oregon comes into this game playing its best football at the right time. However, with the division locked up and an opponent that’s lost four straight, will it let its guard down? This is a trap spot, for sure. With bowl eligibility on the line, I expect Herm Edwards’ team to surprise some. Whether it can pull the outright upset, we’ll have to wait and see, but in a grind-it-out rock fight, I like the Sun Devils to keep it within two touchdowns. Pick: Arizona State (+14.5) — Ben Kercheval

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