Games to Watch: Week 11

Jacob Martella

  • No. 12 Oklahoma at No. 4 Baylor 
  • Saturday — 7 p.m. — ABC

The Big 12 sees time in the spotlight with ESPN and College GameDay in Waco. Playoff implications are on the line in the showdown between the Sooners and Bears. The Sooners struggled in recent years in this rivalry. They fell 48-14 last year at home. But they may have the upper hand this time around, even on the road. Baylor freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham looked good in his first start at Kansas State, but he hasn’t faced a top defense yet. If Oklahoma can get to him early, it’ll be an upset alert along the Brazos.


  • No. 3 Alabama at No. 20 Mississippi State
  • Saturday — 2:30 p.m. — CBS

The Crimson Tide are at the top of the SEC right now, but that doesn’t mean there’s time to relax. Following the demolition of LSU, Alabama now travels to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have quietly become a contender in the confusion of the SEC West. After effectively shutting down LSU sophomore running back Leonard Fournette, the Alabama defense is tasked with stopping Mississippi State senior quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott has thrown for over 2,300 yards, 18 touchdowns and just one interception, along with seven more scores on the ground. Mississippi State doesn’t have the hype it had last year, but expect the Bulldogs to give Alabama a run for its money and maybe throw another twist into the SEC season.


  • No. 25 Memphis at No. 16 Houston
  • Saturday — 6 p.m. — ESPN2

This game doesn’t quite have the luster — or maybe even the playoff implications — it would if Memphis had won last week. But this is still a huge game for the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers still have a great quarterback in junior Paxton Lynch, who comes into the game with 3,014 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and two interceptions. Houston counters with junior quarterback Greg Ward Jr., with 2,116 passing yards and 13 touchdowns, and senior running back Kenneth Farrow, with 857 yards and 10 touchdowns. This likely won’t impact the playoff, but the showdown in Houston is a must-see.


  • Oregon at No. 7 Stanford 
  • Saturday — 6:30 p.m. — FOX

This game doesn’t have the same feel it had in the past. Oregon’s three losses put it well out of the Pac-12 North race. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t playoff implications on the line for the conference. A Stanford win is a must for a conference that failed to place a team inside the playoff committee’s top five. A loss for the Cardinal would likely doom any chance the Pac-12 has of getting a final-four team, barring anything crazy. That alone is worth tuning in Saturday evening.