Games to Watch: Saturday, Nov. 2

Peter Sblendorio

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 5 LSU
This highly-anticipated matchup will have major SEC West title implications on the line. Since its national championship game victory over the Tigers last season, Alabama has continued its dominance through eight games. The Crimson Tide have boasted the nation’s top defense, as they lead the nation in allowing just 8.1 points per game. AJ McCarron has enjoyed a breakout season and is leading Alabama on offense, throwing for 1,684 yards and 18 touchdowns without an interception. LSU also has a Top-Ten defense, as it has held opponents to 14.6 points per contest, and offensively it has typically been strong enough to win. The Tigers are coming off of a pair of wins over ranked opponents in their last two games. The winner of this game will control its own destiny in the SEC West, making it college football’s most intriguing matchup.

Game at 7:00 CT on CBS

No. 24 Oklahoma State vs. No. 2 Kansas State
The Wildcats climbed to the second spot in the BCS rankings after their win over Texas Tech was coupled with Florida’s loss to Georgia, and they will have to be impressive in their final four games to remain ahead of Notre Dame and Oregon.Kansas State’s Collin Klein is likely the Heisman favorite at this point, as he has led the nation’s fifth-highest scoring offense by throwing for 12 touchdowns and rushing for 16 more. Oklahoma State is just as good on offense as the Wildcats, as running back Joseph Randle has followed up his strong 2011 season with 891 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State has been vulnerable on defense at times, but it is on a three-game conference win streak and will look to play spoiler for the Wildcats’ championship hopes Saturday.

Game at 7:00 CT on ABC

No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 17 USC
USC has not been able to live up to its preseason No. 1 ranking, but the Trojans have still been a formidable team. Quarterback Matt Barkley is in the midst of another fine season, throwing for 2,266 yards and 25 touchdowns in eight games, and running back Silas Redd is averaging 5.5 yards per carry after transferring from Penn State. USC has not been able to live up to its preseason No. 1 ranking, but the Trojans have still been formidable. USC has been upset twice and they are yet to beat a ranked opponent. Oregon, on the other hand, has established itself as the team to beat in the Pac-12, and it leads the nation with an average of 53.4 points per game. Four running backs have gained for at least 350 yards for the Ducks this season, while eight different Oregon receivers have notched at least 100 yards through the air. The Ducks are right in the thick of the national championship discussion, while a Trojans win would put a serious damper on their conference rival’s title aspirations.

Game at 6:00 CT on FOX

No. 16 Texas A&M vs. No. 15 Mississippi State
After beginning the year 7-0, Mississippi State suffered its first loss last week against Alabama. Led by a strong defense and the efficient play of quarterback Tyler Russell, the Bulldogs still have a chance at a conference title, but another loss would likely be the nail in the coffin. The Aggies have played better than anticipated, but have been unable to win in their toughest matchups against Florida and LSU. Johnny Manziel has been a revelation at quarterback this season, as he leads the team in both passing and rushing, but he will have a tough task in dismantling the Bulldogs’ defense.

Game at 11:00 CT on ESPN