The playoff rankings are out! No, not the CFB Playoff Committee ones. Those do not matter. The OSR ones! Make sure to tune in every Monday to see where the OSR Committee has each team ranked!
There are some huge games to consider this week. Temple is going to test UCF on Thursday night. Georgia and Kentucky are throwing it down in a huge game for both teams, and numerous other important conference games are taking place, but the focus of the College Football world will be on Baton Rouge. #1 Alabama. #3 LSU. Grab a beverage of your choice. Make sure all the grilling is already done. Cuz this should be good. So take a look below and see how we think the games this weekend will play out!
Temple (5-3) vs. #12 UCF (7-0)
Thursday, November 1 - 7:30 PM ET
Spectrum Stadium – Orlando, FL – ESPN
Preview: So much of this game depends on the health of McKenzie Milton, a game time decision with the undisclosed injury that kept him out of last week’s tilt with ECU. Temple is a very good football team, with a defensive line that can cause serious problems for UCF, but Milton’s mobility would be a huge asset to counter the pass rush. At the end of the day, the team that holds onto the football is likely to come out on top. UCF comes in +13 in the turnover battle, Temple -2. If that trend continues, the Temple defense will be gassed, allowing the Knights to run rampant in the 4th.
TU Key Players: RB Ryquell Armstead, LB Shaun Bradley
UCF Key Players: QB McKenzie Milton, DB Richie Grant
Pitt (4-4) vs. #23 Virginia (6-2)
Friday, November 2 - 7:30 PM ET
Scott Stadium – Charlottesville, VA – ESPN2
Preview: As weird as it is to say it...yes, UVA is ranked. Despite the overall records, this one has some serious intrigue. Both teams only have one ACC loss, meaning this game carries some serious weight in the ACC Coastal standings. The Cavaliers are led by dual threat QB Bryce Perkins, the JUCO transfer, who passed for over 200 yards and ran for over 100 yards in last week’s win over UNC. Pitt, meanwhile, boasts a top 25 rushing offense. This game might be closer than most think - remember, Pitt took Notre Dame to the brink. If UVA looks past them at all, this could be a huge upset within the ACC.
PITT Key Players: RB Darrin Hall, S Oluwaseun Idowu
UVA Key Players: WR Olamide Zaccheaus, CB Bryce Hall
#19 Syracuse (6-2) vs. Wake Forest (4-4)
Saturday, November 3 – 12:00 PM ET
BB&T Field – Winston-Salem, NC – ACCN
Preview: For the first time in a long time, Syracuse is ranked and they look really good. This isn’t a fluke either. The Orange have two talented QBs, a nasty receiving core and an athletic defensive front. Wake Forest on the other hand has not been so great. But at home, with not much to lose, weirder things have happened and with Syracuse riding the high of being ranked, you can’t count it out entirely.
SYR Key Players: WR Nykeim Johnson, LB KIelan Whitner
WF Key Players: RB Matt Colburn, DB Essang Bassey
#25 Texas A&M (5-3) vs. Auburn (5-3)
Saturday, November 3 – 12:00 PM ET
Jordan-Hare Stadium –Auburn, AL – ESPN
Preview: Texas A&M looked...not great last week, falling to Mississippi State, and allowing Nick Fitzgerald to throw for 241 yards. If Fitzgerald can put up those kind of numbers on TAMU, imagine what Jarrett Stidham can do. Overall, this should be a lower scoring game, as TAMU tried to control the clock and move the ball methodically. If the Aggies can dominate the ball, they will come out on top. If not, Auburn has a chance to hit some deep shots and find a way to win this.
TAMU Key Players: RB Trayveon Williams, LB Otaro Alaka
AU Key Players: RB JaTarvious Whitlow, LB Deshaun Davis
#6 Georgia (7-1) vs. #9 Kentucky (7-1)
Saturday, November 3 – 3:30 PM ET
Kroger Field – Lexington, KY - CBS
Preview: These SEC contenders are teams that like to run the ball and play tough defense. The biggest difference between these teams is Georgia’s passing game, which is usually fine, whereas Kentucky’s passing attack is pretty much non-existent. If Georgia can settle into its game plan of frequently running the ball with just enough passing from Jake Fromm to keep the defense honest, this game could be over quickly, but if Kentucky can jump the Dawgs early, Georgia is out of playoff contention and Kentucky could go to the SEC title game.
UGA Key Players: QB Jake Fromm, LB Monty Rice
UK Key Players: RB Benny Snell Jr., S Darius West
#13 West Virginia (6-1) vs. #17 Texas (6-2)
Saturday, November 3 – 3:30 PM ET
Royal Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, TX – FOX
Preview: It is becoming increasingly likely that the Big XII championship game will include some combination of Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia, all of which are currently 4-1 in conference play. What does that mean? This game really matters. The loser drops will be a game back without a tiebreaker over the winner, and both Texas Tech and Iowa State are still in the periphery should the three frontrunners falter. This will probably end up being the biggest Big XII game to not involve Oklahoma this season.
WVU Key Players: RB Leddie Brown, LB David Long
UT Key Players: WR Collin Johnson, LB Gary Johnson
#14 Penn State (6-2) vs. #5 Michigan (7-1)
Saturday, November 3 – 3:45 PM ET
Michigan Stadium – Ann Arbor, MI – ESPN
Preview: Everyone has penciled in the winner of Ohio State-Michigan for a playoff spot, but both teams need to take care of business before they play each other to end the year. For Michigan, that means beating the forgotten power of the Big Ten East, Penn State. Trace McSorley will probably be the best quarterback Michigan has faced all year, and the Wolverines’ defense will have to hold strong to keep Michigan’s dreams of making the playoff alive. For Penn State, the Nittany Lions are still in contention for their third straight New Year’s Six Bowl. That may sound disappointing for a team with National Championship aspirations, but that is a huge benchmark for any program of any caliber.
PSU Key Players: QB Trace McSorley, LB Micah Parsons
UM Key Players: QB Shea Patterson, S Josh Metellus
#15 Utah (6-2) vs. Arizona State (4-4)
Saturday, November 3 – 4:00 PM ET
Sun Devil Stadium – Tempe, AZ – PACN
Preview: Utah is a physical football team. We watched them blow Stanford off the ball. They have a clear path to the PAC-12 South title, but so does ASU. Yeah, the PAC-12 South is a crazy place. ASU comes off a big W vs USC, and their previous losses to PAC-12 opponents were all by 7 points. In short, this is a good football team that is really close to causing a lot of problems. For Utah, the Junior pairing of QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss has been devastating, scoring 40 points or more in each of their last 4 games. ASU, meanwhile, needs QB Manny Wilkins to give the offense a chance. Wilkins has shined in some moments, but in others looked decidedly lackluster. If he can consistently hit his open receivers, the Sun Devils are very dangerous.
UU Key Players: QB Tyler Huntley, LB Cody Barton
ASU Key Players: WR N’Keal Harry, S Jalen Harvey
Duke (5-3) vs. Miami (5-3)
Saturday, November 3 – 7:00 PM ET
Hard Rock Stadium – Miami, FL – ESPN2
Preview: This is the battle of the current second tier of ACC teams. Times have been tough for the Hurricanes lately, and they will look to bounce back against a pretty solid Duke team that will be playing with some vengeance after a heartbreaking loss to Pitt last week. The Canes will have to get someone going at QB and try to get the running game going, which hasn’t been very existent this season and Duke will need to lock down on defense. They do not want to find themselves in another last second shoot out. Keep an eye on this one.
DUKE Key Players: RB Deon Jackson, S Deondre Singleton
MIA Key Players: WR Jeff Thomas, DB Jaquan Johnson
#4 Notre Dame (8-0) vs. Northwestern (5-3)
Saturday, November 3 – 7:15 PM ET
Ryan Field – Evanston, IL – ESPN
Preview: Notre Dame fans are upset that the playoff committee placed them behind LSU in the initial college football rankings, but none of this will matter if the Irish keep winning. Up next is a trip to Evanston, where Northwestern just upset Wisconsin to take firm control of the Big Ten West. Northwestern’s season has been a rollercoaster; at their worst, the Wildcats lost to Akron, but at their best, they’ve won at Michigan State and beaten Wisconsin. It will take the best version of Northwestern to knock off Notre Dame.
ND Key Players: WR Miles Boykin, CB Troy Pride Jr.
NW Key Players: QB Clayton Thorson, LB Blake Gallagher
#1 Alabama (8-0) vs. #3 LSU (8-0)
Saturday, November 3 – 8:00 PM ET
Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, LA – CBS
Preview: This is quite possibly the biggest game of the season not only for both of these teams but just in general. Top 3 matchup, Death Valley at night and two teams who surely don’t like each other, this is what it’s all about. LSU will be without it’s defensive leader and star Devin White for the first half after a targeting call in their last game, so if LSU can’t get that pressure on Tua Tagovailoa, it could be a fast start for the Tide and a long night for the Tigers. With this game, we have always seen it as a smashmouth, run the ball down each other’s throat and whoever stops it wins, type of game. This likely will not be the case with Tua under center and that’s just plain scary. LSU will come in hungry and amped up and in this environment it will be the Tide’s craziest environment yet. Everyone and their mother will be watching this game.
UA Key Players: WR Jerry Jeudy, LB Dylan Moses
LSU Key Players: QB Joe Burrow, DB Greedy Williams