Game of the week
No. 3 Utah at Southern California, 6:30 p.m. Saturday on Fox (Ch. 4)
The preseason favorite takes on the team clinging to hope for the season. That was the preseason theme for this game but the roles are reversed. The Utes, 6-0, have taken control of the Pac-12 South with Southern California, 3-3, which fired coach Steve Sarkisian last week because of alleged issues with alcohol. If Utah needs motivation beyond the opportunity to reach the College Football Playoff, they’re a better underdog in this game.
Upset of the week
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Kansas State over host Texas, 11 a.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1
The Longhorns are about a touchdown favorite because of the teams’ last impression. Texas hasn’t played since upsetting Oklahoma two weeks ago and the Wildcats are coming off a drubbing by the Sooners. But a few things are true about the three teams: Texas-Oklahoma tends to be an unpredictable matchup, the Sooners almost always beat K-State in Manhattan (Bob Stoops is 6-0 there), and the Wildcats almost always beat Texas (6-1 since 2006).
Others to watch
No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 24 Mississippi, 6 Saturday night on ESPN
Both teams have spent time in the top 10. Now both look to return to the victory column. The Rebels were drubbed at Florida and lost to Memphis over the past three weeks. The Aggles couldn’t keep up with Alabama in College Station last weekend. Both are looking for a regenerating victory.
Tennessee at No. 8 Alabama, 2:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS
The SEC maintains the one permanent cross-division scheduling philosophy partly because of his historical matchup. But it hasn’t gone well for the Vols, which has lost eight straight, which coincides with Nick Saban’s arrival at Alabama. Only one of the games has been close, a 12-10 Tide victory in 2009. All of the others have been by at least two blowouts.
Saturday’s Big 12 Games
Kansas State at Texas, 11 a.m. (FS1)
Kansas at No. 14 Oklahoma State, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Iowa State at No. 2 Baylor, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Texas Tech at No. 17 Oklahoma, 2:30 p.m. (ABC)
Saturday’s SEC Games
Missouri at Vanderbilt, 3 p.m. (SEC)
Auburn at Arkansas, 11 a.m. (SEC)
Tennessee at No. 8 Alabama, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 24 Mississippi, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Western Kentucky at No. 5 LSU, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Kentucky at Mississippi State., 6:30 p.m. (SEC)
Saturday’s Top 25 Games
No. 18 Memphis at Tulsa, 7 p.m. Friday (ESPN)
No. 6 Clemson at Miami, 11 a.m. (ABC)
No. 25 Pittsburgh at Syracuse, 11 a.m. (ESPNU)
No. 21 Houston at Central Florida, 11 a.m. (ESPNews)
No. 19 Toledo at Massachusetts, 2 p.m.
Indiana at No. 7 Michigan State, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 23 Duke at Virginia Tech, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 9 Florida State at Georgia Tech, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 3 Utah at Southern California, 6:30 p.m. (Fox)
No. 1 Ohio State at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (ABC)
Washington at No. 10 Stanford, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)