Game of the week
Auburn at Mississippi
Both teams had to feel good on Tuesday when the first College Football Ranking was revealed. The Tigers, fourth in the AP poll, were third. Mississippi, which dropped to seventh in the AP poll after falling to LSU, was fourth. It sets up perhaps the first playoff elimination game because the loser will have two losses. At the very least, the loser will need to win out, reach the SEC Championship Game and win that.
Upset of the week
West Virginia over TCU
The Mountaineers’ confidence grows by the week. Undoubtedly coach Dana Holgorsen has an improved team, but there’s also some fortunate scheduling happening. West Virginia plays all its ranked Big 12 opponents at home. The Mountaineers lost to Oklahoma, beat Baylor and have TCU and Kansas State remaining. The Big 12’s most improved defense gets enough stops against Trevone Boykin and pulls off the stunner.
Others to watch
Stanford at Oregon
The Ducks have a Stanford problem. After beating the Cardinal 53-30 three years ago, Oregon has dropped two straight. Stanford has defended Oregon better than any opponent because it plays disciplined defense and has not allowed Oregon to beat it to the outside. With a loss already, the Ducks need this one to remain in the playoff hunt.
Arizona at UCLA
The Pac-12 South seemingly brings a dynamite matchup every weekend. There are two this week, including Wildcats-Bruins at the Rose Bowl. Two years ago in this spot, UCLA won 66-10. It won’t be like that, but veteran quarterback Brett Hundley should have the edge over counterpart Anu Solomon.
Utah at Arizona State
The other Pac-12 showdown has the Utes visiting Arizona State. Utah, coming off a victory at Southern California, is an excellent defensive team and leads the nation with 35 sacks. Running back Devontae Booker leads the league with 166.3 rushing yards. Taylor Kelly returned at quarterback for the Sun Devils last week and looked rusty in a victory at Washington.
On the horizon: Nov. 8 games
Kansas State at TCU
Big 12 and purple showdown
Baylor at Oklahoma
Big 12 undercard
Notre Dame at Arizona State
Irish need a statement victory
Ohio State at Michigan State
Big Ten elimination game
Oregon at Utah
Classic offense vs. defense meeting
Saturday’s Top 25 Games
No. 1 Mississippi State vs. Arkansas, 6:15 p.m.
No. 4 Auburn at No. 7 Mississippi, 6 p.m.
No. 5 Oregon vs. Stanford, 6:30 p.m.
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. Navy at Landover, Md., 7 p.m.
No. 9 Georgia vs. Florida at Jacksonville, Fla., 2:30 p.m.
No. 10 TCU at No. 20 West Virginia, 2:30 p.m.
No. 11 Kansas State vs. Oklahoma State, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Baylor vs. Kansas, 3 p.m.
No. 13 Ohio State vs. Illinois, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Arizona at No. 25 UCLA, 9:30 p.m.
No. 15 Arizona State vs. No. 18 Utah, 10 p.m.
No. 17 Nebraska vs. Purdue, 2:30 p.m.
No. 19 Oklahoma at Iowa State, 11 a.m.
No. 21 East Carolina at Temple, 11 a.m.
No. 24 Duke at Pittsburgh, 11 a.m.