Game of the week
California at Utah
Raise your hand if you had this meeting as the top Pac-12 game of the first half. Didn’t think so. California, 5-0 for the first time since 2007, is one of the nation’s surprise teams, and Utah has perhaps the most impressive victory in college football this season, 62-20 at Oregon. The Utes’ physicality is their greatest asset, and they’ll need to come up with a solid game plan to defend Bears quarterback Jared Goff.
Upset of the week
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Miami over Florida State
The Seminoles have won five straight in the series, but this time the Hurricanes have the better quarterback. Brad Kaaya passed for 316 yards and two touchdowns against Florida State last season. Turnovers will be the key. Florida State’s offense doesn’t have a turnover this season and the Hurricanes lead the ACC in turnover margin at plus-9.
Others to watch
Oklahoma vs. Texas at Dallas
How bad are things going for the Longhorns, 1-4? The longhorn mascot steer, Bevo XIV, has a life-threatening condition and will miss the game. Big underdogs have shown heart in this season, and that would be Texas in this case. In 1996, Oklahoma was a 22-point underdog and won by a field goal. In 2013, the Sooners were a 14-point favorite and Texas won by 16.
LSU vs. South Carolina at Baton Rouge
This is South Carolina’s home game, moved to Louisiana because of the flooding around Columbia. LSU will have the home fans, but the Tigers are in the good-host spirit. The school’s pep band is learning South Carolina’s fight song and alma mater. The Gamecocks are taking a $3.8 million ticket hit on the game.
Saturday’s Big 12 games
No. 3 Baylor at Kansas, 11 a.m. (Fox Sports 1)
No. 2 TCU at Kansas State, 6:30 p.m. (Fox)
No. 10 Oklahoma vs. Texas, at Dallas, 11 a.m. (ABC)
Iowa State at Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m. (FSKC)
No. 21 Oklahoma State at West Virginia, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday’s SEC games
No. 11 Florida at Missouri, 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
New Mexico State at No. 14 Mississippi, 11 a.m. (SEC Network)
No. 7 LSU vs. South Carolina at Baton Rouge, La., 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 19 Georgia at Tennessee, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
Troy at Mississippi State, 3 p.m. (SEC Network)
Arkansas at No. 8 Alabama, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday’s Top 25 games
Maryland at No. 1 Ohio State, 11 a.m. (Big Ten Network)
No. 4 Michigan State at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
No. 23 California at No. 5 Utah, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Georgia Tech at No. 6 Clemson, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Miami, Fla. at No. 12 Florida State, 7 p.m. (ABC)
No. 13 Northwestern at No. 18 Michigan, 2:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Navy at No. 15 Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. (NBC)
Illinois at No. 22 Iowa, 11 a.m. (ESPNU)
Kent State at No. 24 Toledo, 2 p.m.
No. 25 Boise State at Colorado State, 6 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)