No. 20 Washington State at Washington
12:30 P.M., FOX
Do I even need to tell you how disappointed I was to learn that the winner of this game gets to hold on to a generic trophy for a year and not a ceramic, apple-shaped mug? Both of these teams have been oh-so-mediocre for the better part of the 21st century, so this rivalry has lost a little bit of luster. Mike Leach is fresh off of possibly directly contributing to his star quarterback having to be stretchered off a field last week, while Chris Petersen seems poised to take the Huskies to a bowl game in 2015, a year when his team was projected to win four games by Las Vegas and three games by me.
Washington 27, Washington State 23
No. 4 Iowa at Nebraska
12:30 P.M., ABC
CFP Committee, here’s how you know you’ve screwed up the rankings: when your No. 4 team is favored by two points over 5-6 Nebraska, which is so bad that the Husker athletic director had to give Mike Riley a vote of confidence IN HIS FIRST YEAR. Anyway, the talent on both teams is fairly equal, and we can’t shake the feeling (which is completely supported by looking at Iowa’s schedule!) that the Hawkeyes aren’t actually an elite team and are due for a disappointing game.
Nebraska 21, Iowa 17
Oregon State at No. 17 Oregon
1:00 P.M., Fox Sports 1
We’d support a motion for every iteration of this rivalry to be named after an actual Civil War battle, and this one would pretty clearly be Pickett’s Charge.
Oregon 100, Oregon State 0
No. 7 Baylor at No. 19 TCU
4:30 P.M., ESPN
If TCU wins here and Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma, it’s easy to imagine the Big 12 being shut out of the playoff once again. So if you like carnage, root for the Horned Frogs. For posterity, it remains very strange that Baylor has a good football team.
Baylor 45, TCU 35
No. 8 Ohio State at No. 10 Michigan
9:00 A.M., ABC
This is your weekly reminder that Michigan is a bizarre end-of-game punting situation away from being in pole position in the Big Ten and likely being in line for a playoff bid, exactly one year after Brady Hoke went 5-7 and somehow managed to lose to Rutgers and Maryland in the same season. It just goes to show you that when you can hire a flesh-eating alien wearing a Jim Harbaugh skin suit to be your head football coach, you do it. What I mean by that is Harbaugh is a really weird guy who kind of scares me. Ezekiel Elliot just went all BRO message board on Urban Meyer’s play calling, so you have to imagine there’s some dysfunction on that side of this matchup. Ride with Captain Crazypants.
Michigan 24, Ohio State 21
Colorado at No. 23 Utah
11:30 A.M., Pac-12 Network
If Colorado still had Sefo Liufau, we might even go with the Buffs in an upset here, since they’ve been playing better over the last half of the season. With Cade Apsay at quarterback, though, the Buffs are way too limited offensively, and could run into a buzz saw against what should be, all things considered, a pretty pissed off Utah team after its season went up in smoke last week.
Utah 24, Colorado 10
Penn State at No. 5 Michigan State
12:30 P.M., ESPN
Michigan State -11
Big Ten football is just absolute trash. Penn State is a garbage team that is somehow 7-4, and its best win is probably a two-point road loss to Northwestern. Michigan State is less garbage-y, but remains a team that would be 8-3 in the Pac-12 right now. A Penn State win would increase the carnage quotient in college football, but Penn State might not score any points.
Michigan State 20, Penn State 6
No. 22 UCLA at Directional California
12:30 P.M., ABC/ESPN2
Whenever you have one of these late season games against a local directional school, it can be a letdown spot.
UCLA 38, USC 24
No. 18 Ole Miss at No. 21 Mississippi State
4:15 P.M., ESPN2
Mississippi State is a three-loss team with no good wins so OF COURSE the Bulldogs are ranked No. 21 in the country with a good opportunity to break into the top 15 with a win in this game.
Mississippi State 34, Ole Miss 31
No. 13 Florida State at No. 12 Florida
4:30 P.M., ESPN
Florida State -2.5
Alright guys, this is where it gets serious: we absolutely want the Seminoles to win this one. If Florida takes another loss, the Gators are completely eliminated from Playoff contention, but Florida has already won the SEC East, which means that the SEC Nuclear Scenario is completely alive — if Florida then beats Alabama in the SEC Championship game, the SEC will not have a team in the Playoff. Some people just want to see the world burn, and at this point, that’s all you should want as a UCLA fan.
Florida State 28, Florida 20
No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 9 Stanford
4:30 P.M., FOX
This is a pretty obvious situation to root for Stanford, even if you are still working out your issues with the Cardinal in therapy. Notre Dame is led by the most unlikable head coach in college football in Anger McRedface, and we’re not totally sure that David Shaw is actually smug, or if we’re just projecting because he coaches Stanford. Most people seem to think this will be a defensive struggle, but those people haven’t watched Stanford this season. There will be points.
Stanford 35, Notre Dame 31
No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State
5:00 P.M., ABC
Oklahoma has the best names for its rivalries. Red River Shootout and Bedlam both sound like the titles of pulp Westerns written by Louis L’Amour. Oklahoma vaulted all the way up to No. 3 in the rankings last week, which was nice to see, if completely inconsistent with anything the Committee has said or done before. Oklahoma is one of the few Big 12 teams that is familiar with the defensive side of the ball, so we’ve got to go with the Sooners here in a squeaker.
Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 35
Arizona State at California
7:00 P.M., Fox Sports 1
What a way to cap off the night: a battle of two wildly disappointing 6-5 teams with nothing really to play for! Cal has been sneaky bad for a while now, while ASU has spurts of actually looking like a team that should have been better this year. It’s nice to see that Cal has completely reclaimed its program from the 1990s and before: in peak season, with a bunch of upper classmen and experienced starters, Cal can hope to maybe go 7-5 if things break right!
ASU 37, California 31
Season to date ATS: 77-72-1, Last week ATS: 7-5, UCLA ATS: 9-2