SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ George Schroeder breaks down the college football playoff rankings.
USA TODAY Sports
Maybe it is coincidence or just good fortune, but the turning of the calendar to November brings us the biggest weekend of the college football season.
Five matchups between ranked opponents highlight the schedule with major conference championship implications in each of them.
In the Big 12, the Bedlam showdown between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will start to make sense out of a competitive race that currently has four teams at the top of the conference. The Sooners, currently fifth in the Playoff rankings, need another big win for its resume.
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The ACC has two big games that likely will decide the representatives in its title game. In the Coastal, Virginia Tech visits Miami (Fla.). A win by the Hurricanes would all but clinch their first division title, while the Hokies can move to the top of the standings by dealing them their first loss. In the Atlantic, Clemson and North Carolina State are the top two teams with the Wolfpack unbeaten in league play. The Tigers are right behind them with one loss.
Elsewhere, the annual SEC grudge match between LSU and Alabama takes place in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers have had a bumpy season, but a victory would put them in the driver’s seat of the West division. The Crimson Tide still have Mississippi State and Auburn to play, so this is just the start of a rough month.
Finally, Arizona and Southern California square off to determine the leader in the Pac-12 South. Can the Trojans be the first team to stop Wildcats quarterback Kahlil Tate and his running exploits?