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Week 12 National Preview- The Calm

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Welcome to week 12.  Notre Dame is 7-3 and crawling back into the land of the ranked with a 3-7 Boston College squad inbound to South Bend.  On paper this game should be a quick tune up prior to the season finale against a very solid Stanford squad in Palo Alto.  But when it comes to BC I know better than to start counting my chickens.  Here's to hoping for a stress-free comfortable victory.    

On the national scene, the slate of interesting games this weekend is extremely light.  This is the calm before the storm, so if you need to bank any points by getting some jobs done around the house or putting in some time with your significant other, this is your last chance to do it.  Thanksgiving weekend will be chock full of rivalry games that will propel us right into Championship Saturday on December 3rd.  The next thing you know we will be knee deep in Bowl Games. 

With that let's jump in and take a look at the handful of games that I will be keeping an eye on this week.

For those interested in the full TV schedule utilize the link below or one of the others in our left sidebar.

Week 12 College Football TV Schedule

Rankings are per the BlogPoll.

*All times listed below are EST.

Games after the jump.

Tuesday 15 November

Ball State at Northern Illinois 8:00 ESPNU

Check it out another Tuesday night MAC game.  Will these two teams combine for over 120 points too?  That has to stop right?

Wednesday 16 November

Ohio at Bowling Green 8:00 ESPN

Western Michigan at Miami (OH) 8:00 ESPN2

Dueling Wednesday Night MAC games.  Fantastic!

Thursday 17 November

North Carolina at #9 Virginia Tech 8:00 ESPN

The Hokies need to knock off the Heels here to stay on track for that rematch with Clemson in the ACC title game.  

Friday 18 November

#2 Oklahoma State at Iowa State 8:00 ESPN

Okie Light will cruise in Ames setting up a huge showdown with OU in Bedlam on 3 December.  The Pokes will kindly lose that game and throw the BCS into upheaval.

Saturday 19 November

#16 Nebraska at #19 Michigan 12:00 ESPN

The Huskers cruise into the Big House to battle Denard for sole possession of 2nd place in the Big Ten Legends Division.  This is truly the only interesting early game this week. 

Mississippi State at #6 Arkansas 3:30 CBS

The Hogs are still a bit of an outlier in this BCS discussion as they are parked right behind LSU and Bama in the SEC West.  They will tune up against Dan Mullen this weekend before a showdown in Red Stick with LSU the following weekend.

Texas Tech at Missouri 3:30 ABC/ESPN3

#7 Clemson at NC State 3:30 ABC/ESPN

#22 Penn State at Ohio State 3:300 ABC/ESPN

I have to say, there really isn't much grabbing me here.  Tejas Tech has gone into a massive tailspin since knocking off Oklahoma a few weeks ago.  The Faders now need a win against Mizzou or Baylor in their remaining two games to become bowl eligible.  Nice job on that whole firing Leach thing.  Clemson is on cruise control waiting to re-match Virginia Tech in the ACC title game and will make short work of the Fighting O'Briens.  I maxed out my "poor Penn State" broadcast tolerance last Saturday so I likely won't flip over unless it is late in the game and the Bucs are about to put them away.  Running a second TV to keep an eye on these games is questionable.  

Boston College at #24 Notre Dame 4:00 NBC

As per usual the boys are cooking up full previews that will be right on schedule this Thursday.  This Notre Dame squad has exhibited the ability to win comfortably when they should, and they definitely should against a weak BC team this weekend.  I can't wait to hear Mayock fawn all over Kuechly.  See you in the open thread!

Virginia at #23 Florida State 7:30 ESPN2

Early bowl-game scouting.  Nothing more.

#18 USC at #4 Oregon 8:00 ABC/ESPN3

#5 Oklahoma at Baylor 8:00 ABC/ESPN3

This USC vs Oregon contest might be interesting, but I expect that the Ducks will ultimately run away with it.  There should be several gratuitous Lane Kiffin misery shots though.  Can Baylor derail the Sooners prior to Bedlam?  Naaaah.

Cal at #8 Stanford 10:15 ESPN

This one is mandatory scouting for next week.  Stanford will take out their frustrations from last week on the Golden Bears.

What other games should I be trying to keep an eye on?