Projecting the biggest CFB games of 2023: Week 12

This is Part 12 of a series where I go week by week ranking what I expect to be the biggest games in college football. For a longer description of what this series is, start with part 1 here!

Three Big Ten teams are featured this week, they just aren’t in the Big Ten yet. So that means more Pac-12 love. But the best game is obvious. The SEC matchup featured is not only the best game of week 12, but one of the most anticipated games of 2023. 

3rd – UCLA at USC

So USC just had to play Washington, and then Oregon. What’s their reward for getting through that pair of northwest sledgehammers? They get to play inter-city rival UCLA, who is on an upswing, and also capable of winning the Pac-12.

This soon-to-be Big Ten rivalry is for ownership of LA. It’s too bad most of LA cares more about baseball and basketball than football (pro or college). This is the only game for either team where fans can be certain LA will be a majority of the fans in the stands.

2nd – Washington at Oregon State

This series has become a Pac-12 marketing campaign. But now, I get to market Oregon State. 

Oregon State quietly won 10 games last year, quietly upgraded at QB (DJ Uiagalelei from Clemson), and quietly returned most of the 2nd best defense in the Pac-12.

What the hell, this isn’t a team we should be quiet about.

Oregon State also has the privilege of missing USC and getting Utah, UCLA, and Washington all at home. Don’t be surprised if they are in a position to make the conference title game this late in the year.

Washington has been praised plenty in this series, but I’ll give you just a little bit more to love. They return QB, Penix Jr., and WR1, Odunze. That combo helped lead Washington to the #1 passing offense in the Pac-12 in 2022 (not USC). The AP and I are both high on Washington for 2023. The AP has them at 10 in the preseason poll, and I have them all the way up at 6 in my top 25.

1st – Georgia at Tennessee

The SEC East Championship Game. Well, probably.

The winner of this game is very very very likely going to Atlanta to represent the East in the SEC title game. Both teams are head and shoulders above their SEC East compatriots.  


Both teams will have also been breaking in new QBs all season. We will have a much better idea of who these teams are by kickoff than we do now. A safe assumption though: Georgia will have a top 3 defense, and Tennessee will have a top 3 passing offense. That alone would be a reason to watch.

From a gambling perspective, Georgia should be favored, possibly by double digits. Although, Tennessee is at home, and home field means a lot in college. Tennessee knocked off Bama last year; is this the year they get Georgia?

Honorable Mentions: Nebraska at Wisconsin

Who was the best hire of the offseason – Fickell or Rhule? This game is part 1 of a saga where those two coaches will be forever compared. 

Want more Walk On Fan? 

Check out part 11 of this series here.

Check out part 10 of this series here.

Check out part 9 of this series here.

Check out part 8 of this series here.

Check out part 7 of this series here.

Check out part 6 of this series here.

Check out part 5 of this series here.

Check out part 4 of this series here.

Check out part 3 of this series here.

Check out part 2 of this series here.

This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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