After the release of the first college football playoff polls on Tuesday, here are the biggest games to watch Saturday:
No. 11 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State (7-1, 4-1), 2 p.m. on FS1
Nothing like a good ol’ Bedlam rivalry that could determine everything for either team. Mostly for the Boomer Sooners who got more to lose than to gain being ranked at No. 5 in the CFB polls. A loss to the Cowboys could hurt their chances of making it to the playoffs, along with being the Big 12 champs. Also if you’re a fan of an NFL team that's desperately in need of a quarterback, this is a game to watch. Both Mason Rudolph of the Cowboys and Baker Mayfield of the Sooners are top NFL prospects and are neck-and-neck statistically. Mayfield has 23 touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 72.3 percent of his passes (second in the country) while Rudolph has 22 TDs to five interceptions and is the nation's leader in passing yards (2,866). Get ready for a shootout in Stillwater.
Pick: Oklahoma 41, Oklahoma State 38
No. 13 Virginia Tech (7-1, 3-1 ACC) vs. No. 10 U. of Miami (7-0, 5-0), 6 p.m. on ABC
The 'Canes are getting much respect. Despite being one of the only teams left that’s still undefeated, they're only ranked No. 10 in the CFB polls. At the same time, Miami has been dodging bullets in the last four games winning only by an average of 4.5 points. When you barely defeat teams like Georgia Tech, Duke, Syracuse and North Carolina, all of which came down to the fourth quarter, not to mention their best win of them all, over Toledo ... are the Canes really back? We’ll see Saturday when the Hokies come to Hard Rock Stadium in a battle for the Coastal division. A win over the Hokies will help a bit, but mainly to clinch the division. A week later, Notre Dame comes to town. A back-to-back win against top 15 teams can give the Canes the boost it needs to be a playoff contender. The main concern for the Canes is can their offense be consistent enough against the Hokies' stout defense.
Pick: Virginia Tech 23, Miami 12
No. 19 LSU (6-2, 3-1 SEC) at No. 2 Alabama (8-0, 5-0), 6 p.m. on CBS
If you follow the SEC, this is marked on every calendar in the South. Because this SEC rivalry matchup can decide whether Alabama coach Nick Saban will make it back to the national championship game. Knowing Saban, being ranked No.2 behind Georgia doesn’t faze the five-time champs. Sort of like the Cleveland Cavaliers holding the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference of the NBA playoffs. Rankings are not important to Saban and why would they be when the Crimson Tide is steamrolling every opponent on their schedule. But this is different because it’s the LSU Tigers. Almost every time the two face each other, it’s a low-scoring defensive matchup with whatever team scores a touchdown first, usually wins. LSU has turned their season around ever since that shocking upset loss to Troy. A win against the Tide could be their first win over Bama in five years. Let that sink in.
Pick: Alabama 17, LSU 6
Wake Forest (5-3, 2-3 ACC) at No. 3 Notre Dame (7-1), 1:30 p.m. on NBC
The Fighting Irish might be the underdog that has more to gain compared to the other top four teams. But at 7-1, it might be the weakest of the four and one more loss could keep the Irish out of playoff contention. Running back Josh Adams has emerged into a star, rushing for 1,169 yards, sixth best in the nation, and nine touchdowns this season. But don’t sleep on Wake Forest. This will not be a walk in the park for the Irish if the team wants to stay in the top four. The Demon Deacons at 5-3 are on a three-game losing streak and are looking to get back on track to be bowl eligible. Wake Forest is capable of hanging with the Irish and look Notre Dame to struggle against the Demon Deacons’ defense as it comes after Adams.
Pick: Wake Forest 24, Notre Dame 23