Eye on the NFL draft
We don't know whether Ohio State redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins will leave school early for the draft. But Bucs fans looking for possible Jameis Winston replacements should keep an eye on him against Northwestern. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound prospect threw six touchdown passes last week against a Michigan defense that had allowed only seven through the first 11 games.
In 2014, Ohio State thumped Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten title game to leapfrog TCU for the final playoff spot. The Buckeyes ended up winning the national championship. Urban Meyer might need a similar performance to have a shot at getting ahead of Oklahoma, so expect Ohio State to try to run up the score again, this time on surprise West champ Northwestern.
One of Georgia's only weaknesses is in the red zone. The Bulldogs scored touchdowns on only one of three red-zone opportunities in their only loss (to LSU). Their overall touchdown rate (64 percent) ranks 51st nationally. Georgia can't settle for field goals and hope to upset the best 'Bama offense of the Nick Saban era.
Stat of the week
Alabama has won all of its first 12 games by at least 20 points. The last team to accomplish that feat was Yale in 1888. No team has even won 10 consecutive games by at least 20 points since Boise State in 2002.
With a win over Pitt in the ACC championship, the Tigers would become the first team to win four consecutive outright ACC titles. The last Power Five team to win four consecutive conference title games was Florida (1993-96). But Pitt has some history on its side, too. The Panthers have beaten a team ranked No. 2 each of the last two season (Clemson in 2016, Miami last year).
Red River (reprise)
The first meeting between Oklahoma and Texas was close (a last-second 48-45 Longhorns win). The Big 12 championship should be a tight one, too. Three of the Sooners' last four games have been decided by one score. So have seven of Texas' last eight games. Oklahoma is 4-1 in one-possession games; the Longhorns are 6-3.
"12-0 football team. A senior class that's won 52 games. We got people complaining. Give me a break. If 12-0 ain't good enough, it's time to seek other places." — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. Psst, Dabo… If you think Clemson is bad, you definitely don't want to replace Nick Saban at Alabama.
By the numbers
1 —Team in Division I-A history with at least 500 yards of offense in nine conference games: This year's Sooners
15-0 — Alabama coach Nick Saban's record against his former assistants, including last year's national title win over Georgia's Kirby Smart
9 —Consecutive victories for Northwestern away from home
25 —Consecutive bowl appearances by Virginia Tech (the new longest in the country, after Florida State's 5-7 season). The Hokies must beat Marshall to extend that streak to 26
3 — Teams with a chance to win three consecutive conference titles: Clemson, Oklahoma and Appalachian State
4 —Meetings between Fresno State and Boise State in a 371-day span, including Saturday's Mountain West title game. The combined score of the previous three: Fresno State 59, Boise State 58
18-2 —Former Bucs assistant Jeff Tedford's record at Fresno State when trailing after three quarters. Both losses are to Boise State
49 —Career games for Texas TE and captain Andrew Beck (Plant High) entering the Big 12 championship