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College Football Viewing Guide: Separating The Contenders From The Pretenders

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Every week the college football world could be turned up on it's axis. With teams vying for bowl placements and playoff implications abound, it should make for another interesting weekend.

Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

Matchups Among The Ranked Teams

(9) Michigan State Spartans (9-1) @ (3) Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0)

2:30 PM C/T on ABC

Currently the defending champions sit right in the top four playoff spots but haven't played a team that the masses deem significant. Well that all ends as the rival Spartans come to town. The Buckeyes' quarterback controversy is all but over after J.T. Barrett took his title back from Cardale Jones. Their offense has seen it's fair share of struggles as of late but they know this game is huge for their championship-repeat hopes. The Buckeyes are undefeated in the Big Ten at 6-0 but they will have their hands full with the Spartans coming to town. Since Urban Meyer has been at the helm, the Buckeyes have won 30 straight conference games, his only loss came to the Spartans in the 2013 Big Ten Championship game. Do the Spartans have what it takes to pull off the upset?

(18) TCU Horned Frogs (9-1) @ (7) Oklahoma Sooners (9-1)

7:00 PM C/T on ABC

It seems a distant memory since TCU was at the top of the polls but in reality it was merely a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Sooners are surging since their perplexing loss against the lowly Texas Longhorns back in October. Both teams have a loss in the conference but the Sooners can lock up the Big 12 Championship with a win over the Frogs and a win over the first-place ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys on November 28th. It's a big game for Bob Stoops who has his eye on a bigger prize. If the Sooners can find a way to win-out, they'll likely be in the running for one of the playoff spots in the final weeks of the season. Coach Patterson of TCU has other problems on his mind including whether to replace quarterback Trevor Boykin who threw four interceptions in a match with the Cowboys that effectively ended their hopes at a playoff. TCU still has a glimmer of hope to win the Big 12 but they must win out and hope that Oklahoma State falls in both it's next two games. These are two teams going in different directions, which one will prevail?

(10) Baylor Bears (8-1) @ (6) Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-0)

6:30 PM on FOX

Perhaps the best game of the weekend is between two familiar Big-12 foes. The last time these two met, the undefeated Bears got stunned by the Cowboys and their national title dreams went down the drain. The Cowboys sure hope they aren't coming with a dose of payback in their back pocket as this game has major implications. After the Cowboys dismantled TCU, they got themselves in a 17-point hole against Iowa State. Eventually they rallied back and won but they must to do better if they hope to snag a playoff spot in the end. Interesting to note, the Baylor Bears under Art Briles have lost every game against AP Poll's top-five teams and the Cowboys are 4th. In these contests, Baylor has been outscored 149-55, ouch. However, Baylor can win the Big-12 Championship if they win the next three games, all of which are conference games. Big implications abound for these two teams as the Cowboys try to become playoff contenders and remain perfect.

Other Games Of Note

(15) LSU Tigers (7-2) @ (22) Ole Miss Rebels (7-3)
2:30 PM C/T on CBS

Talk about the sky falling? Just a few weeks ago, the Tigers were a national title contender behind the amazing running of Leonard Fournette. Ole Miss was also one of the darlings of college football in September but since both have lost some tough games and now the only hope is to salvage the season; sound familiar Cowboys' fans? Out of the two, Ole Miss still has a shot at the SEC title but that would mean winning the next two games and having Alabama lose in the Iron Bowl against Auburn. LSU is just trying to recover after two excruciating losses against Alabama and Arkansas respectively. Either way, both teams are likely playing for pride and should still make for a good matchup for CFB fans everywhere.

(20) Northwestern Wildcats (8-2) @ (25) Wisconsin Badgers (8-2)

2:30 PM C/T on BTN

Crazy enough in the last eight meetings, these teams have split the results. The only constant between these teams has been the the home team wins. That could possibly be the case again as Wisconsin is coming off a bye week with reinforcements on the way. In those four wins at Randall Camp Stadium, Wisconsin has beat Northwestern by an average 30 points and they've forced ten turnovers. The Wildcats have been turning over the ball quite a bit though they came back from two turnovers to win against Purdue last week. Coach Fitzgerald told the media this week that they cannot do the same against the Badgers and hope for the same result. It will be a tough matchup regardless as both teams are pretty evenly matched.

(24) USC Trojans (7-3) @ (23) Oregon Ducks (7-3)

2:30 PM C/T on ESPN/ Watch ESPN App

This match still carries a lot of weight though it's not the PAC-12 championship preview it was once though to be. USC is tied for first in their division with Utah while Oregon will need some help from the North division. After struggling early on due to Ducks' QB Vernon Adams' injuries, the Ducks have won four straight and look to be the most dangerous team in the conference. The Trojans' aren't short of adversity either after rallying to win four straight of their own despite coach Steve Sarkisian's firing. This is the first time these two teams have met since the 2012 Rose Bowl where the Ducks prevailed 62-51. Both teams are playing with a ton of grit in hopes to have a shot at the conference title though it will take some help from outside sources. Who's got the edge? We'll soon find out.

Those are just a few good ball games on slate for today. Who are you going to be watching and rooting for this fine Saturday?