Lamest time window: Prime time, but there are big games all day.
Noon: The loser of No. 7 Michigan State’s trip to No. 5 Ohio State (ABC) is out of the College Football Playoff hunt.
3:30: No. 21 Arkansas at No. 2 Alabama (CBS) is fine. But SMU at No. 3 Cincinnati (ESPN) is more interesting and more important.
4: Dan Mullen desperately needs a win at Missouri (SEC Network).
7:30: No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 24 Utah (ABC) loses luster because the teams will probably meet again in two weeks for the Pac-12 title. Instead, see how Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes respond against Virginia Tech and its interim coach (ACC Network).
10:30: Oregon State reaching bowl eligibility is an impressive feat. Beating Arizona State (ESPN) would be, too.
Local of the week
Marshall safety Brandon Drayton (Largo High)
The redshirt senior had a career-high 14 tackles last week against Alabama Birmingham. He’ll look to build on that strong performance against Charlotte to help keep the Thundering Herd’s division title hopes alive.
Eyes on the Irish
Don’t forget about Notre Dame as a playoff contender. The Irish are ranked eighth by the selection committee with three teams ahead of them almost guaranteed a loss (two from Michigan/Michigan State/Ohio State and the loser of the presumptive Georgia-Alabama SEC championship). That means Notre Dame will be looking for a win and style points against Georgia Tech and its embattled coach, Geoff Collins.
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker can (somewhat) justify the reported 10-year, $95 million extension that’s in the works when his No. 7 Spartans face No. 5 Ohio State. Michigan State upset Urban Meyer’s No. 2 Buckeyes in 2015 in a game that helped the Spartans make the College Football Playoff. If it’s going to happen again, running back Kenneth Walker will have to dominate. Good luck against a revamped Buckeyes defense that hasn’t allowed more than 113 rushing yards in their last eight games.
By the numbers: Week 12
31.4 — USF’s scoring average when quarterback Timmy McClain starts
11.3 — USF’s scoring average when McClain doesn’t start
5.22 —Yards per rush by Missouri (15th nationally)
4.39 — Yards per rush allowed by Florida (No. 91 nationally)
2010 —The last time Wrigley Field hosted a college football game until this weekend, when Northwestern plays Purdue
3 — Times Michigan State has beaten Ohio State since 2011. That’s the most of any Big Ten team
45 — Yards needed for Miami’s Charleston Rambo to become the fifth 1,000-yard receiver in Hurricanes history.
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