Big 12 Conference
Who: No. 10 Texas Christian (10-2, 7-2 Big 12, CFP No. 11) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1, CFP No. 3)
When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV/Radio: KVVU-5; KWWN (1100 AM, 100.9 FM)
Line: Oklahoma -7; total 63½
Series: Oklahoma leads 12-5.
What’s at stake?: A win likely will put Oklahoma in the playoff for the second time in three years and give Lincoln Riley, 34, a conference title in his first year as coach. TCU has an outside shot at a playoff spot and seeks its first conference title since 2014.
Key matchup: Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson vs. TCU defense. Anderson gained 290 yards from scrimmage and scored four touchdowns the first time these teams met. He had 151 yards and two touchdowns rushing and 139 yards and two scores receiving in Oklahoma’s 38-20 win a few weeks ago. TCU has the nation’s No. 2 rushing defense.
Players to watch: TCU: DE Mat Boesen. He was ejected in the second quarter of the first meeting between the teams. He had 5½ sacks against Baylor last week, a half-sack short of the NCAA record. He leads the Big 12 with 11½ sacks and has a sack in all but one of the last seven games. Oklahoma: QB Baker Mayfield. The front-runner for the Heisman Trophy lives for the spotlight and big moments. He gets his final chance to impress voters before they have to make their final decisions. He is on track to break his own FBS record for passing efficiency in a season.
Who: No. 4 Auburn (10-2, 7-1 SEC, CFP No. 4) vs. No. 6 Georgia (11-1, 7-1, CFP No 6)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
TV/Radio: KLAS-8; KRLV (1340 AM, 98.9 FM)
Line: Auburn -1; total 47½
Series: Georgia leads 57-56-8.
What’s at stake?: The winner is essentially guaranteed a spot in the College Football Playoff. Both went 8-5 a year ago, and Auburn looked down and out after squandering a 20-point lead at LSU. The Tigers bounced back from that excruciating loss with a five-game winning streak, which included a 40-17 rout of Georgia three weeks ago, when the Bulldogs were sitting atop the CFP rankings, and a 26-14 victory over then-No. 1 Alabama last Saturday.
Key matchup: Georgia RBs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel vs. Auburn’s defensive front. In the last meeting, the Tigers shut down Georgia’s running game, which leads the SEC with an average of 265.7 yards. Chubb managed 27 yards on 11 carries, while Michel was held to 21 yards on nine carries. They’ll need some help from their offensive line, which must do a better job against a stellar Auburn front led by OLB/DE Jeff Holland.
Players to watch: Auburn: RB Kerryon Johnson. He went out late in the Alabama game with a shoulder injury, and it’s not known if he’ll be able to play. Even if he does try to go, his effectiveness may be limited. That would be a huge blow to Auburn’s running game, which is powered by Johnson’s 1,276 yards and 17 touchdowns. Kam Martin, Malik Miller and Devan Barrett (who have rushed for a combined 620 yards) would have to step up. Georgia: LB Roquan Smith. A finalist for three national awards, the 225-pound junior leads a Georgia defense that has allowed just 13.8 points per game. He’s also eager for redemption after the Bulldogs were torched for 488 yards (237 rushing) by Auburn.
Who: No. 25 Fresno State (9-3, 7-1 MW, CFP No. 25) vs. Boise State (9-3, 7-1)
When: 4:45 p.m. Saturday
Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
TV/Radio: ESPN; no radio
Line: Boise -9; total 50½
Series: Boise State leads 13-6.
What’s at stake?: The Mountain West title is at stake a week after the Bulldogs knocked off the Broncos in Fresno to close out the regular season. It’s an awkward scenario as both knew before last week’s 28-17 Fresno State victory that they would meet each other in the conference title game. The question was where the game ended up and despite having the head-to-head victory the game was put in Boise due to cumulative computer rankings. The winner likely ends up in the Las Vegas Bowl opposite a Pac-12 opponent.
Key matchup: Fresno State QB Marcus McMaryion vs. Boise State’s secondary. How much did the Broncos learn from their mistakes of last week? McMaryion carved up Boise State’s secondary for 332 yards and two touchdowns, including an 81-yard strike to KeeSean Johnson in the fourth quarter after the Broncos had pulled within 19-17. It was the first time this season McMaryion topped 300 yards passing, although he previously had games of 296 and 299 yards.
Players to watch: Fresno State: Johnson. There are few players to have come through Fresno held in as high regard as Henry Ellard. Johnson can topple one of Ellard’s records against the Broncos. Johnson needs one catch for a school record of 34 straight games with at least one reception. Johnson leads the Bulldogs with 64 catches and eight touchdowns. Boise State: QBs Brett Rypien and Montell Cozart. Boise State continues to mix its quarterbacks with Rypien getting the majority of the snaps and Cozart getting worked into the action in certain stretches. Rypien was solid last week against Fresno State throwing for 2798 yards but didn’t have a touchdown. It was Cozart who had the Broncos one TD pass.
Big Ten Conference
Who: No. 3 Wisconsin (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten, CFP No. 4) vs. No. 8 Ohio State (10-2, 8-1, CFP No. 8)
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
TV/Radio: KVVU-5; no radio
Line: Ohio State -6; total 51
Series: Ohio State leads 58-18-5.
What’s at stake?: The Badgers and Buckeyes are playing for a possible playoff ticket. Wisconsin also is trying to extend its school record undefeated season and claim its first Big Ten title since 2012. But if the Buckeyes capture their 36th conference title, they might need help to reach college football’s final four.
Key matchup: Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett vs. Wisconsin defense. Barrett says he is healthy enough to play after missing the end of last week’s game with a knee problem. When he has been good this season, he’s been very good. But he couldn’t finish the Michigan game because of a knee injury. The Buckeyes could really use his mobility against one of the nation’s stingiest defense.
Players to watch: Wisconsin: RB Jonathan Taylor. The Big Ten rushing champion has been sensational all season and put himself into Heisman Trophy contention by giving the Badgers a different look. Taylor is a breakaway threat, averaging 150.5 yards per game and 7.0 yards per carry. Ohio State: Barrett and QB Dwayne Haskins. Of course, the Buckeyes want their starting quarterback healthy enough to start and finish Saturday. But if Barrett needs to come out, they will turn to Haskins, a redshirt freshman, who was good in relief last week against Michigan and could try to duplicate Cardale Jones’ fill-in performance in the 2014 title game against Wisconsin.
Atlantic Coast Conference
Who: No. 7 Miami (10-1, 7-1, ACC, CFP No. 7) vs. No. 1 Clemson (11-1, 7-1, ACC, CFP No. 1)
When: 5:05 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
TV/Radio: KTNV-13; no radio
Line: Clemson -9½; total 46½
Series: Miami leads 6-4.
What’s at stake: Win and you’re in. The ACC champion looks as if it has a no-doubt-about-it spot in the College Football Playoff. The loser will most likely get the ACC’s regular spot in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.
Key matchup: Clemson QB Kelly Bryant vs. Miami defense. Bryant has capably succeeded Tigers national championship passer Deshaun Watson to get the team a step away from its third straight playoff appearance. But the Hurricanes are second in the ACC with 39 sacks and take pride in harassing quarterbacks.
Players to watch: Miami: QB Malik Rosier. Rosier has thrown for 2,807 yards and 25 touchdowns after taking over from three-year starter, Brad Kaaya. His ability to move the Hurricanes will be tested by Clemson’s defense. Clemson: RB Travis Etienne. Etienne has broken out of a four-player backfield to lead the Tigers with 720 yards and 12 TDs. His combination of strength and speed makes him dangerous to bring down.
The Associated Press