Campus Corner

Blair Kerkhoff’s Around the Nation

Game of the Week

Southern California at Utah

One school has a quarterback coming off a school-record seven-touchdown performance. The other is waiting for a starter to take command of the position. Southern California’s Cody Kessler is coming off the performance of a lifetime, matching a Pac-12 record for touchdown passes in last weeks’ victory over Colorado. Utes coach Kyle Willingham has named Travis Wilson his starter for this weekend, but Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson is right there. Both have succeeded and struggled, but it hasn’t kept Utah from a 5-1 start.

Upset of the Week

LSU over Mississippi

LSU an underdog in Tiger Stadium under the lights? Mississippi has been the most consistent team and owns a defining victory over Alabama, and the Rebels handled Texas A&M on the road. But this young LSU team is getting better. The Tigers couldn’t finish the job at home against Mississippi State. The do here.

Others to Watch

Rutgers at Nebraska

A rematch from 1920. That game, won by Nebraska 28-0, marked the first time the Cornhuskers traveled that far east for a game, which was played at the Polo Grounds on Election Day. Warren G. Harding was elected President that day. Among the 15,000 in attendance was Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, the World War I hero who had been a Nebraska professor before the war.

Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh

With successive losses to Duke and North Carolina, the Yellow Jackets are going in the wrong direction after a 5-0 start. The Panthers are coming off a victory over Virginia Tech that stemmed a three-game losing streak. But both teams are in the thick of Coastal Division race.

Michigan at Michigan State

Sparty has won five of the past six meetings and is heavily favored this year. Still, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said it remains the biggest game his team plays. “From my perspective, this is still the most important game on the schedule to for me and for our program,” he said. “This is still a game we point to and say, ‘Hey, this goes beyond our schedule. This goes beyond the future. This is beyond what we’re doing right now.’”

On the horizon

Florida State at Louisville (Thursday)

Might be the Seminoles’ only chance to lose in regular season

Auburn at Mississippi

Next in series of mega-SEC West clashes

Utah at Arizona State

Pac-12 game of the week

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

Friday’s Top 25 Game

No. 6 Oregon vs. California at Santa Clara, Calif., 9 p.m.

Saturday’s Top 25 Games

No. 1 Mississippi State at Kentucky, 2:30 p.m.

No. 3 Mississippi at No. 24 LSU, 6:15 p.m.

No. 4 Alabama at Tennessee, 6:30 p.m.

No. 5 Auburn vs. South Carolina, 6:30 p.m.

No. 8 Michigan State vs. Michigan, 2:30 p.m.

No. 10 TCU vs. Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m.

No. 11 Kansas State vs. Texas, 11 a.m.

No. 13 Ohio State at Penn State, 7 p.m.

No. 14 Arizona State at Washington, 9:45 p.m.

No. 15 Arizona at Washington State, 4 p.m.

No. 16 Nebraska vs. Rutgers, 11 a.m.

No. 19 Utah vs. No. 20 Southern California, 9 p.m.

No. 21 Clemson vs. Syracuse, 6 p.m.

No. 22 West Virginia at Oklahoma State, 2:30 p.m.

No. 23 Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic, 2:30 p.m.

No. 25 UCLA at Colorado, 1 p.m.

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