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Ah, rivalry weekend. Saturday is filled with games like Michigan-Ohio State, South Carolina-Clemson, Kansas-Missouri. In some, like Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, a lot is on the line, while others, like Brigham Young-Utah, just promise to be entertaining games between teams that genuinely do not like each other. Sadly, is one of the last great days of football. So enjoy it. Let’s get to the matchups.
8 p.m., No. 13 Oklahoma at No. 9 Oklahoma State, ABC (Regional)
Announcers: Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews
This year’s Bedlam Rivalry game is basically a winner-take-allÂ showdown (with â€œallâ€ being the Big 12 South title and a berth in theÂ conference title game), but it’s a little more complicated.
Oklahoma State can win the Big 12 South with a victory,Â but if Oklahoma wins (and Texas AM beats Texas), there will be aÂ three-way tie atop the division, with Bowl Championship Series standing as the likelyÂ tie breaker. That would favor the winner of this game. (These teamsÂ would have identical conference and division records and would be 1-1Â against the other two teams.) Intriguing circumstances.
This is the first time that the Cowboys have won 10 games in a season,Â but they are onlyÂ slight favorites at home. Oklahoma and Texas have owned this divisionÂ over the years. The last team other than them toÂ win the Big 12 South was Texas AM in 1998.
The South is 10-4 in Big 12 championship games. In what has been a topsy-turvyÂ season in the Big 12 (Baylor beat Texas in Austin) itÂ would only be fitting that a team other than Texas or Oklahoma wouldÂ represent the Big 12 South in the title game.
Keep an eye on Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, who has beenÂ having a tremendous season and is finally getting some Heisman buzz.
Noon, Michigan at No. 8 Ohio State, ABC
Announcers: Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Quint Kessenich
Noon, No. 10 Michigan State at Penn State, ESPN2
Announcers: Todd Harris Tim Brown
3:30 p.m., Northwestern at No. 7 Wisconsin, ABC/ESPN (Regional)
Announcers: Dave Pasch, Bob Griese, Chris Spielman and Jeannine Edwards
There is a logjam atop the Big Ten. These teams all have one loss and one conference loss andÂ are 1-1 against each other. In the B.C.S. standings, they are all within a couple of places of one another.
If Ohio State loses, and the other two win, then MichiganÂ State goes to the Rose Bowl. So Wisconsin will be rooting for theÂ Buckeyes, but not too much. If Ohio State whips Michigan decisively and Wisconsin struggles to beat Northwestern (without quarterback Dan Persa), then the Buckeyes could leapfrog the Badgers. And if the Spartans win for the firstÂ time in Happy Valley and record their 11th win for the first time, could they leapfrog anyone?
Michigan State has been living on the edge, squeaking outÂ comeback victories. Wisconsin has been rolling. Ohio States has been getting the job done since losing to theÂ Badgers a month ago.
Penn State has a young walk-on at quarterback,Â while Northwestern is without its quarterback and best player. JoeÂ Paterno says he is coming back next season. Ohio State is looking toÂ tie a record with a share of its sixth straight Big Ten title.Â Michigan is looking to snap a losing streak to its biggest rival. AÂ lot going on Saturday in the Big Ten.
3:30 p.m., No. 5 Louisiana State at No. 12 Arkansas, CBS
Announcers: Craig Bolerjack and Steve Beuerlein
The Tigers are at the top of the one-loss teams but will need to find a way to win to stay there. This game will feature an intriguing matchup between a great L.S.U. secondary and Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, who has thrown for more than 300 yards eight times this season. The Arkansas offense leads the SEC in passing, while L.S.U.’s defense allows a league-low 151 yards per game through the air. This ought to be an interesting chess match.
Each teams won a squeaker last week â€” L.S.U. over Mississippi and Arkansas over Mississippi State â€” and this ought to be close as well. It seems like a long time ago that L.S.U. was saved by an inexplicable Tennessee penalty for having too many men on the field. Now the Tigers are in the thick of the race for a B.C.S. bowl, something that seemed highly unlikely when people were calling for Les Miles’s head this season.
3:30 p.m., Florida at No. 22 Florida State, ABC/ESPN (Regional)
Announcers: Bob Wischusen and Brian Griese
The rivalry has been a bit one-sided of late, with the Gators winning six in a row, but this might be Florida State’s best shot at getting back to winning. The Seminoles have struggled to recapture their past glory. The Gators, on the other hand, have been a premier program in the past decade but have fallen on hard times this season. Their offense has been struggling, to say the least, as Florida has been unsettled at quarterback and receiver.
Back-to-back losses to North Carolina State and North Carolina may have knocked the Seminoles out of the A.C.C. race (they need an N.C. State loss on Saturday to go to the conference title game), but this is still a big rivalry for pride and in-state recruiting.
3:30 p.m., No. 23 North Carolina State at Maryland, ESPN2
Announcers: Dave Lamont and J. C. Pearson
North Carolina State is a win away from facing Virginia Tech in the A.C.C. title game. Florida State was a near-unanimous preseason pick to win the Atlantic division, but the Wolfpack beat the Seminoles on national TV this season and came up with a big come-from-behind victory over North Carolina on the road last week to control their destiny here.
N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson has come on of late and had one of his best performances against North Carolina last week. He leads the A.C.C. with an average of 270 yards passing per game and has thrown for 24 touchdowns and run for 7 more.
4 p.m., No. 3 Texas Christian at New Mexico, Versus
Don’t forget about the Horned Frogs. Although many expect Boise StateÂ to overtake them in the B.C.S. standings if the Broncos beat Nevada, T.C.U. is ranked third in the B.C.S. and feels it has a caseÂ to be in the national title discussion. Respect the Horned Frogs.
Noon, Virginia at No. 16 Virginia Tech
Noon, Cincinnati at Connecticut
Noon, Boston College at Syracuse
12:30 p.m., Kansas vs. No. 14 Missouri
3:30 p.m., Brigham Young at No. 20 Utah
3:30 p.m., No. 24 Iowa at Minnesota
4 p.m., Kansas State at North Texas
7 p.m., No. 18 South Carolina at Clemson
7 p.m., No. 25 Mississippi State at Mississippi
7:30 p.m., Oregon State at No. 6 Stanford,Versus
7:30 p.m., Wake Forest at Vanderbilt
7:45 p.m., Georgia Tech at Georgia
8 p.m., Notre Dame at Southern California