Game of the Week
Mississippi State at Auburn
How appropriate that the Bulldogs and Tigers are third and second nationally. Six years ago, these teams met in Starkville and Auburn won, 3-2. It was every bit as ugly as the score suggests, and this year’s game should be terrific. Quarterbacks Dak Prescott of Mississippi State (20 total touchdowns) and Auburn’s Nick Marshall (12 touchdowns) are now part of the Heisman conversation. The winner keeps the upper hand in the ultra-competitive SEC West Division race, but the loser stays in the chase.
Upset of the Week
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Arizona over Southern California
Do don’t look for a Hail Mary ending, although the Wildcats have turned one and the Trojans have been burned by one this season. But the Wildcats are a confident team after handling Oregon in Eugene last week. Arizona has gotten better each week and is playing offense at a high level. Win this one and it could be a special season in Tucson.
Others to Watch
Oregon at UCLA
Were both schools looking ahead to this one? They took stunning losses last week with the Ducks falling at home to Arizona and the Bruins taking it on the chin from Utah. Injuries along Oregon’s offensive line have taken their toll. Marcus Mariota has been sacked 12 times in the past two games. UCLA seeks its first win against Oregon since 2007. Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley leads the nation in completion percentage at 72.8.
TCU at Baylor
TCU picked up a huge victory last weekend, holding off Oklahoma, and the Bears remain undefeated. Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin is coming off the best game of his career, with 318 passing yards and 75 rushing. TCU surrendered plenty of points (33) to the Sooners, but it’s been terrific defensively most of the season. The Horned Frogs get their biggest test Saturday against the nation’s top scoring team. Baylor averages 51 points per game.
Duke at Georgia Tech
Don’t go to sleep on the Yellow Jackets. After an uninspiring 3-0 non-league start, Tech beat Virginia Tech and Miami, Fla., to open ACC play. Georgia Tech has won 10 straight and 18 of the last 19 against Duke, but the Blue Devils have turned the corner on their program. Can Duke’s offense solve the Ramblin’ Wreck’s stingy defense?
ON THE HORIZON
Kansas State at Oklahoma
Next in line of Big 12 showdowns
Notre Dame at Florida State
First regular season meeting since 2003
Texas A&M at Alabama
SEC game of the week always a showdown
Saturday’s Top 25 Games
No. 1 Florida State at Syracuse, 11 a.m.
No. 2 Auburn at No. 3 Mississippi State, 2:30 p.m.
No. 3 Mississippi at No. 14 Texas A&M, 8 p.m.
No. 5 Baylor vs. No. 9 TCU, 2:30 p.m.
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. North Carolina, 2:30 p.m.
No. 7 Alabama at Arkansas, 5 p.m.
No. 8 Michigan State at Purdue, 2:30 p.m.
No. 10 Arizona vs. Southern California, 9:30 p.m.
No. 11 Oklahoma vs. Texas at Dallas, 11 a.m.
No. 12 Oregon at No. 18 UCLA, 2:30 p.m.
No. 13 Georgia at No. 23 Missouri, 11 a.m.
No. 16 Oklahoma State at Kansas, 3 p.m.
No. 19 East Carolina at South Florida, 6 p.m.
No. 22 Georgia Tech vs. Duke, 11:30 a.m.