Clemson at Miami, 12 p.m. ABC
Miami coach Al Golden got a big win over Virginia Tech last week, eliminating some of the heat on him. A win over Clemson would certainly increase the chances that Golden keeps his job. After hosting the Tigers, Miami’s final five games against at Duke, vs. Virginia, at North Carolina, vs. Georgia Tech and at Pittsburgh. Golden keeping his job isn’t as crazy as it once looked.
For Miami to swing the upset this week, it will need some help from Clemson. The Tigers are simply more talented than the Hurricanes, but crazy things can happen to good teams in noon road games.
Tennessee at Alabama, 3:30 CBS
Tennessee isn’t much of a threat to the Gators in the SEC East since the Gators have the tiebreaker and a favorable final two games in league play, but a loss to the Crimson Tide would essentially eliminate the Volunteers from any sort of chance to get back in the race.
It’s also an intriguing game in the SEC, once a major rivalry that has been one-sided in recent years with Alabama’s success. Tennessee took some of the heat off coach Butch Jones with its win over Georgia two weeks ago, but a win over Alabama would be big for his status among the fan base.
Texas A&M at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. ESPN
Two programs coming off losses that were in the national headlines last week. Texas A&M lost at home to Alabama, severely damaging its chances in the SEC West. Ole Miss lost at Memphis, and while it won’t have an impact on the SEC standings, it does hurt the national perception of the Rebels.
This week’s game is about survival. The loser could see its season fall apart, and the winner holds onto a small hope in the SEC West.
Florida State at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. ESPN2
The Seminoles are the toughest game remaining on the Florida schedule, and they’ll face a test on the road this weekend. The test won’t be as difficult as it looked during the preseason, when Georgia Tech was ranked highly and expected to be a contender in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Instead, the Yellow Jackets have been one of the biggest disappointments in the country.
Florida State is the heavy favorite in this game, and it should be. Dalvin Cook is leading the running game and the entire team, but Jimbo Fisher has turned quarterback Everett Golson from a turnover machine to a quarterback that is protecting the football.
USC at Utah, 7:30 p.m. FOX
The Trojans have been through a lot this season with the firing of head coach Steve Sarkisian. Offensive coordinator Clay Helton took over and helped USC fight with Notre Dame last week, but the effort fell short. Now the Trojans have another opportunity to play spoiler against Utah.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has already been named as a possible fit for the USC job this offseason, but he’s looking to keep his team’s perfect season alive against the Trojans on Saturday.