With Rivalry Week on the horizon next week, college football’s undefeated teams were perhaps looking to the future.
No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU all had to survive close calls on Saturday.
Ohio State held off a furious late rally from Maryland to win 43-30, Michigan beat Illinois 19-17 on a field goal with 9 seconds left, and TCU won 29-28 on Baylor on its own last-second basket.
Even No. 1 Georgia picked up an unconvincing 16-6 win over Kentucky. In the end, everyone did the work to get a high-stakes final weekend of the regular season.
But tonight, the spotlight shifts to the Pac-12.
USC is the only conference team left in the college football playoff race, and its tough home stretch begins with a cross-town trip to UCLA on Saturday night.
There’s also another great game in Eugene as Oregon hosts Utah with significant implications for the Pac-12 title on the line.
We’re also keeping tabs on No. 5 Tennessee, who is in battle in South Carolina.
(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)
Time: 7:30 p.m. | Television: SECN | Line: Ole Miss -2.5 | Total: 64
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin was so close to securing a victory over his former boss, Nick Saban of Alabama, but the Rebels fell heartbreakingly 30-24. Now the 8-2 Rebels are eliminated from SEC West competition and must go on a trip to face Arkansas. A night game in Fayetteville is never easy, and Ole Miss will likely try to lean heavily on his running game like he has all year. Arkansas, meanwhile, is just 5-5 on the year and will have to remove upset bowl eligibility and clinch.
Time: 8 p.m. | Television: Fox | Line: USC-2.5 | Overall: 75.5
It’s a huge weekend in the Pac-12 as USC is the conference’s last remaining playoff contender. The USC offense, led by quarterback Caleb Williams, played at a high level. His defense failed. Things went the same way for UCLA. The Bruins, still battling to reach the Pac-12 title game, have a stellar running game led by QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and RB Zach Charbonnet. These two need to have great nights for UCLA to pull off the upset, especially with how the defense has struggled in recent weeks.
Time: 10:30 p.m. | Television: ESPN | Line: Utah -1.5 | Overall: 61.5
Like the USC-UCLA game, this game is huge for the Pac-12 title race. Utah and Oregon are both 6-1 in the conference, half a game behind 7-1 USC and one game ahead of UCLA and Washington, both of which are 5-2.
QB injuries will be a big factor in this one. While Utah QB Cam Rising appears to be back after missing a game a few weeks ago, Oregon’s Bo Nix is much more of a question mark. He appeared to have hurt his foot or ankle at the end of last week’s heartbreaking loss to Washington. The coaching staff has been silent on Nix’s status, but the fact that Oregon went from a 3-point favorite to a 1.5-point underdog Wednesday night says it all. If Nix can’t go, Ty Thompson will get the nod in this crucial game.
What has happened so far
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