It’s another huge weekend in the Southeastern Conference and Big 12.
Florida can clinch the East Division and a spot in the SEC title game with a victory over Georgia in the annual Cocktail Party game in Jacksonville, Fla.
Kansas State can take command of the Big 12 by defending its home turf against Texas Tech, and look for several programs to become bowl eligible this weekend.Big 12 matchups
•Texas at Kansas, 11 a.m. on Fox Sports KC:
Hope for the Jayhawks? Kansas’ rushing offense has been better than its passing, and Texas enters the game ranked last in the Big 12 in rushing defense. Earlier this week, coach Mack Brown sounded weary talking about The Longhorn Network, which requires him to spend six hours a week taping interviews and shows. “I didn’t ask for it,” Brown said of the network. “We were given a deal we had no input in.”
•TCU at Oklahoma State, 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports KC:
Quarterback J.W. Walsh is likely out for the Cowboys, so it’s back to Wes Lunt, the freshman who started the season, right? Junior Clint Chelf also might get a look for Oklahoma State. TCU is on its second quarterback, Trevone Boykin, who has thrown four touchdown passes in each of the last two games.
•Texas Tech at Kansas State, 2:30 p.m. on Fox (Ch. 4):
The Red Raiders have some K-State in them; strong quarterback play and a stout defense. But Kansas State’s pass defense has been excellent all season, throwing the likes of Oklahoma’s Landry Jones and West Virginia’s Geno Smith off their games. Both squads are superb at ball control and third-down conversions.
•Baylor at Iowa State, 6 p.m. on Fox Sports KC:
The Bears high-flying offense runs smack into the Cyclones’ hard-nosed defense. Iowa State is coming off a 17-point smackdown at Oklahoma State and has only a victory at TCU in conference games. But that’s one more league triumph than Baylor. For both, bowl eligibility is the goal.
•Notre Dame at Oklahoma, 7 p.m. on ABC (Ch. 9):
The battle of wills along the lines could go a long way in determining this game. If the Belldozer (strong-legged reserve quarterback Blake Bell) can do his thing, that means the Sooners will have conquered the Irish’s strength, their front seven. Oklahoma has scored on 32 of 33 red-zone trips with 25 touchdowns. The one the Sooners missed was Bell’s fumble going in against Kansas State, which contributed to the Sooners’ five-point loss.SEC matchups
•Kentucky at Missouri, 11 a.m. on ESPNU:
The Wildcats put themselves in a position to beat Georgia last week, so they haven’t thrown in the towel on the season. This is a huge game for Missouri, seeking its first SEC victory. The Tigers haven’t missed a bowl game since 2004 but they need to find three more victories. They’ll be favored in this one and next month against Syracuse. Hold serve in those and steal one at Tennessee or Texas A (Florida is the longest shot), and Mizzou goes bowling.
•Tennessee at South Carolina, 11 a.m. on ESPN:
Finally, the Gamecocks are out of the meat grinder. They went 1-2, beating Georgia but falling at LSU and Florida, which all but eliminated them from the SEC East race. Despite being benched against the Gators last week, Conner Shaw will start at quarterback for South Carolina.
•Mississippi at Arkansas, 11:21 a.m. on KSMO (Ch. 62):
Back to Little Rock, where the season went off the rails for Arkansas with a loss to Louisiana-Monroe. The Rebels have been surprisingly good but need to find two more victories in the final five game to become bowl eligible.
•Florida vs. Georgia in Jacksonville, Fla., 2:30 p.m. on CBS (Ch. 5):
The favored Gators have the motivational edge having lost this game last season. Plus there’s the business of clinching the SEC East title with a victory. Georgia players have been squabbling with each other this week, but there is no better opportunity to jump back into the national title race than with a victory here.
•Texas A at Auburn, 6 p.m. on ESPNU:
The Aggies have been turnover prone lately, committing 13 in the past three games. They still kept things close against Louisiana Tech and Mississippi but the mistakes cost them dearly against LSU, which scored all three touchdowns in a 24-19 victory after A miscues.
•Massachusetts at Vanderbilt, 6 p.m.:
The Minutemen and Southern Mississippi are the only winless teams in college football. UMass assuredly will remain without triumph after this weekend.
•Mississippi State at Alabama, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN: This will be the Crimson Tide’s most difficult opponent to date. Mississippi State has a solid pass rush that’s helped the Bulldogs keep opponents to 14.4 points per game. Alabama freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper has been terrific with five touchdowns among his 28 catches. Some are calling it the biggest game in Mississippi State history. Perhaps. It clearly would be the biggest victory if the Bulldogs could pull it off.