With Texas' Big 12 hopes riding on a victory in Lawrence, Kansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia must battle it out in Morgantown for a spot in the conference title. Here's a look at all of the must-watch games in the final week of the regular season.
No. 6 Oklahoma at No. 12 West Virginia
Friday, 7 p.m., ESPN
If Texas takes care of business at Kansas on Friday morning, this matchup becomes a Big 12 elimination game. After West Virginia blew a 17-point halftime lead and lost a thriller to Oklahoma State, Will Grier and the Mountaineers return to Morgantown in hopes of winning their biggest conference game since joining the league in 2012. Oklahoma has its eyes set on its fourth consecutive Big 12 title and 12th of the millennium. The Sooners only have one loss on the season, so a dominant offensive performance by Kyler Murray and Co. could push Oklahoma to its third playoff in four years.
No. 16 Washington at No. 7 Washington State
Friday, 7:30 p.m., FOX
How do you like them apples? You may prefer them in the Pacific Northwest, in the small town of Pullman, Washington. That is where Mike Leach and Washington State plan to extend their seven-game win streak and defeat archrival Washington for the first time since 2012. Quarterback Gardner Minshew, the FBS passing yards leader, led the Cougars’ offense to 55 first half points and five touchdowns against Arizona last Saturday. A similar performance would ensure Washington State participates in its first ever Pac-12 title game, but Jake Browning and the Huskies have their opponents number. With a win, Washington lands a Pac-12 title game spot and a chance at a third New Year’s Six bowl in three seasons.
No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State
Saturday, 11 a.m., FOX
Scarlet and gray, and maize and blue are separated by complete disdain. Ohio State and Michigan fans share equal hatred for their rival, but the programs haven’t been as equal on the gridiron. The Buckeyes triumphed in 13 of the last 14, including each of the last six in the annual November showdown. Despite the run of success, Michigan is currently ranked higher thanks to a 10-game win streak and a relentless defense led by inside linebacker Devin Bush. The Wolverines will look to execute the job Maryland failed to finish in a 52-51 loss to Ohio State last Saturday. If they’re successful, Jim Harbaugh and the College Football Playoff may finally meet for the first time.
No. 8 LSU at Texas A&M
Saturday, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network
If you love blowouts, perhaps subject yourself to the Iron Bowl. The real competition in the SEC will transpire west of the Texas-Louisiana border in College Station. Texas A&M has fallen to the Tigers in seven-straight years, but with Jimbo Fisher and the 12th Man backing them, the Aggies’ well-balanced attack could give LSU fits. The Tigers demolished Georgia and remain the highest-ranked two-loss team, and a convincing road win — combined with loads of chaos — could sneak the Tigers into the top five.
No. 14 Utah State at No. 21 Boise State
Saturday, 9:15 p.m., ESPN
Who said Rivalry Week was solely dedicated to traditional rivalries? Boise State and Utah State have won a combined 16-straight games, but one of the Mountain West powers will finally succumb to defeat on the blue turf Saturday night. This is not only a Mountain West championship clincher for the winner, but the victor also stays alive for potential New Year’s Six consideration, should UCF slip in its final two games. The always-consistent Boise State boasts the conference’s all-time leading passer in Brett Rypien, who looks to ride off into the sunset on Senior Day with his third ranked win for the Broncos.