12 PM ET #14 Texas vs. #5 Oklahoma on ABC - It’s a Red River rematch for the BIG 12 bragging rights on the biggest stage
The Longhorns fought through a few tough losses but the rest of the BIG 12 shook out in their favor, setting up this rematch. Texas-OU is one of the best rivalry in college football and if their first meeting this season was any indication, this rematch will be even more exciting. OU’s offense is one to be reckoned with and though Texas got the win last time, they don’t want to let the Sooners back in for a second time.
Without the lengthy drives, the clock-chewing drives, there’s a convincing case to be made that the Longhorns likely lose on Saturday, especially when bearing in mind that Oklahoma outscored Texas 21-3 in the final frame.
The good news to that end, however, is the Longhorns didn’t control the clock by sheer luck. Texas has won the time of possession battle 10 times in 12 tries this season, and the Longhorns own a 9-1 record under these circumstances — the lone loss came against West Virginia. If the Longhorns are to secure their second win over the Sooners this season on Saturday, it will almost certainly be because Texas has now won the time of possession battle 11 times in 13 appearances.
What to expect: Let’s roll with the home state Longhorns, who will thwart the Sooners’ playoff hopes by another late-game field goal. BIG 12 Champ in his second season will look good for ol’ Tom Herman.
4 PM ET #1 Alabama vs. #4 Georgia on CBS - An SEC heavyweight rematch of last year’s National Championship game
These two teams made for one of the best National Title games in recent memory as it was the jumpstart to the Tua Tagovailoa-era. The Tide has been rolling and rolling for so long but this team is different than those of Nick Saban’s past. They are blowing the doors off of the opponent and look impossible to stop. For the Bulldogs to have a chance, they have to get a fast start:
If there is a weak point in Alabama as of late, it’s how it’s started games...Nick Saban said as much earlier this week on the coach’s teleconference. The Tide struggled for a half against not just The Citadel but Auburn as well. To say that it is critical for Georgia to take advantage of any letdowns by Alabama in the first half and put up points is, needless to say, crucial.
What to expect: Go ahead and pencil in the Tide for another National Title game, it’s the inevitable.
7:45 PM ET #25 Fresno State at #22 Boise State on ESPN - Can the Bulldogs pry the Mountain West title from the Broncos on the Smurf Turf?
Here we have another rematch of last year’s MWC title game and the Bulldogs have revenge on the mind. It was the Broncos who ruined them last year, beating them twice, and earning the Mountain West crown. That was then, this is now, Fresno has an offense that is doing it’s part but it’s the defense that is capable of shutting it down:
Fresno State’s defense has been dominant all season. The Broncos’ 24 points were the second-most the unit has allowed all season - the most was 27 by Toledo in an easy 22-point Fresno victory on Sept. 29. Junior linebacker Jeff Allison was named MWC Defensive Player of the Year, while defensive back Anthoula Kelly and defensive end Mykal Walker were first-teamers as well. Allison registered 109 tackles
What to expect: Ugh... that Broncos field is so ugly and for that let’s take Fresno State in a three-point victory on the road.
8 PM ET #2 Clemson vs. Pittsburgh on ABC - Will Clemson cruise to playoffs or will Panthers repeat an upset from two years ago?
Remember this nail-biter from 2016? It seems so long since Nathan Peterman threw touchdowns instead of picks. Well, he threw five TD’s that day, on the road no less, as the Panthers outlasted the Tigers 43-42. That game opened up very similar to this one too, does Pitt have another one in them?
The Panthers opened as 20-point underdogs to the Tigers. Some could even argue that it should be more. Clemson has not just defeated its opponents but crushed them. They’ve beaten everyone by 20 points or more this year, with the exception of enduring a pair of close games against Texas A&M and Syracuse.
What to expect: Clemson is legit as they score almost 45 per game, while only allowing less than two touchdowns per game. They roll Pitt in this one as they seem destined for another meeting with Alabama.
8 PM ET #21 Northwestern vs #6 Ohio State on FOX - The Buckeyes crushed Michigan’s playoff dreams last week but the Wildcats could dash theirs
Ohio State jumped back into the conversation when they rocked the Michigan Wolverines and shipped them out of the playoff picture again. The Buckeyes are looking for their third-straight BIG 10 title game win since 2011 but they’re also trying to make an argument for a playoff spot. Northwestern has the playmakers to play spoiler and it hasn’t been easy sailing for Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes this season:
Things have looked shaky all season from the Buckeye defense. Against the likes of Nebraska, Michigan State and Maryland, Ohio State looked mortal. All this came after the humbling at Purdue, which raised all sorts of questions about how viable of a playoff contender Meyer’s 2018 team could be. Fortunately, the offense was able to mask the problems overall.
What to expect: The Buckeyes that just sent Michigan packing for the seventh time are scary, Northwestern has talent but not enough. Ohio State by ten points.
You can find the full slate of college football games right here.