Several games throughout the land will have national significance because of the impact the winners and losers will have on the College Football Playoff committee’s ultra secret discussions. In addition to the games below, Auburn, at No. 3, better guard against Texas A&M’s upset hopes.
Notre Dame at Arizona State, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Brian Kelly has been talking up Notre Dame’s schedule, but this is only the third ranked team the Irish have faced, and one of those – Stanford – now has four losses. At Nos. 9 and 10 in the College Football Playoff rankings, these teams are championship dreaming. Do lucky clovers grow in the desert? The Irish might need one.
Kansas State at TCU, 7:30 p.m., Fox
While it’s not an SEC West schedule, the gauntlet seemingly never ends for TCU. Kansas State is the fifth ranked team in six weeks for the Horned Frogs, who are four points from being undefeated. If anybody can figure out how to slow TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, it’s Jedi Master Bill Snyder.
Ohio State at Michigan State, 8 p.m., ABC
Here are two teams with one loss that need a win to get a little love from the CFP committee. Especially the Buckeyes, who are still trying to shed the shadow that comes with that debacle against Virginia Tech. Words have been flying between the teams this week. Who will back them up?
Alabama at LSU, 8 p.m., CBS
Crimson Tide fans probably wished that LSU had fallen earlier on the schedule, because the Tigers are improving every game and were the first to cool Hotty Toddy Ole Miss. Alabama quarterback Blake Sims has been watching film to mimic AJ McCarron’s poise. He’ll need it on a Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
Oregon at Utah, 10 p.m., ESPN
It’s tough to keep the eyes open for these West Coast contests, but Oregon better not sleep on Utah. The Utes have proven more than troublesome, having already defeated USC and UCLA and losing to Arizona State in overtime. Expect Marcus Mariota to be the difference if it’s close at the end and he can avoid the top sack team in the FBS.
REMINDER: If you have trouble finding this blog with AJC.com’s layout, please bookmark this landing page: collegefootball.blog.ajc.com.