Kirk Herbstreit reveals top-performing teams from Week 12

On3 imageby:Barkley Truax11/20/23


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Following a rather laid-back Week 12 schedule, ESPN College GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit has revealed his top-performing teams from this past weekend. 

From statement victories to shocking road upsets — here are the seven teams from across the country that made this week’s list:

Appalachian State

Appalachian State ended James Madison’s hopes at a perfect season, defeating the previously 10-0 Dukes 26-23 in arguably the bigget game in JMU program history.

College GameDay was on hand and Bridgeforth Stadium was packed to see the Mountaineers succomb to the Dukes like every other team this season. Instead, Appalachian State quarterback Joey Aguilar passed for 318 yards and threw for three touchdowns in the massive upset win.

New Mexico State

Auburn-New Mexico State
© Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

New Mexico State stunned Auburn inside Jordan-Hare Stadium, beating down the Tigers 31-10 ahead of Week 13’s Iron Bowl matchup. Quarterback Diego Pavia accounted for three touchdowns through the air, improving the Aggies to 9-3 on the season.

The win was the first in New Mexico State history over an SEC team in program history. Now, they look to Saturday’s matchup against Jacksonville State to improve to 10 regular season wins ahead of the C-USA Championship game on Dec. 1 against the undefeated Liberty Owls (11-0).


Nov 18, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) runs the ball during the first half against the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Washington managed to escape Corvallis with a 22-20 win over Oregon State to remain undefeated on the season. Despite star QB Michael Penix Jr. being held to a season-low 162 passing yards — the Huskies toughed it out in a wild back-and-forth matchup.

College Football Playoff hopes intact if they can take care of business against in-state rival Washington State — a win in the Pac-12 Championship game would easily slide the Huskies into the final field of four on selection day.

Kansas State

Kansas State QB Will Howard and HC Chris Klieman embrace
Will Howard and Chris Klieman/Kansas State Athletics

Kansas State trailed Kansas by two scores in the second half but managed to come back, defeat the Jayhawks 31-27 and keep their Big 12 Championship hopes alive. The Jayhawks turned the ball over three times during the game, which the Wildcats capitalized on to secure the come-from-behind win.

If they can win the regular season finale on Saturday against Iowa State, they’ll have to hope for the odds to fall in their favor to defend their Big 12 title.


Noah Fifita, Arizona Wildcats quarterback
Photo by Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

Arizona just keeps getting better. Improving their win streak to five games, the Wildcats easily handled a ranked Utah team 42-18 at home. They scored 21 points in the first quarter to set the tone against the Utes and never looked back.

The Wildcats still have Saturday’s season finale against Arizona State and then the bowl game — and if they can win out, Arizona will have capped its first 10-win season for the first time since 2014 and the second time since the turn of the century.


South Carolina-Clemson-Williams-Brice Stadium
Clemson vs. South Carolina (Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Clemson has been reminding everyone exactly who they are in recent weeks. Now on a three-game win streak, the Tigers are rolling at the perfect time as they look to ruin South Carolina‘s hopes at a bowl game on Saturday.

The Tigers’ 31-20 win over North Carolina was Clemson’s second win over a ranked opponent in three weeks — and Dabo Swinney’s seat is suddenly a lot cooler than it was a month ago.


UNLV defensive lineman Ryan Keeler died Monday
John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Air Force’s fall from the grace was aided by UNLV on Saturday, who defeated the Falcons 31-27. The win improves the Rebels to nine wins on the season — and will fight for their 10th on Saturday against San Jose State.