The 12th week of the college football season offers several key matchups:
Where: Rose Bowl; Los Angeles, Calif.
Time: 3:05 p.m. ET
Buzz: Rivalry games are some of the best matchups in college football and while USC has dominated this series in recent years – five straight wins going back to 2006 – that doesn’t diminish the importance of this game. Besides bragging rights, the winner of this one wraps up the Pac-12 South and earns a spot in the league’s championship game. Expect there to be points-a-plenty. Both of these teams average more than 400 yards of total offense and 36 points per game.
Where: Camp Randall Stadium; Madison, Wis.
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Buzz: These teams are co-champions of the Big Ten’s Leaders Division, but only Wisconsin will get the chance to play for another conference championship thanks to Ohio State’s postseason ban. The Buckeyes are one of just four unbeaten teams in the FBS. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball needs one touchdown to tie the NCAA record for career touchdowns (78) set by Miami of Ohio RB Trent Prentice.
Where: Mountaineer Field; Morgantown, W.V.
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Buzz: Talk about two teams going in different directions. Oklahoma has won five straight Big 12 contests, while West Virginia has lost four straight after opening the season 5-0. Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith has put up big numbers this season – 3,041 yards passing with 31 touchdowns and only three interceptions – but Oklahoma has the one of the best passing defenses in the country.
Where: Autzen Stadium; Eugene, Ore.
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Buzz: Oregon’s national championship hopes hinge on whether it can survive its most difficult stretch of the season. The Ducks host Stanford Saturday before traveling to Corvallis for a rivalry game against Oregon State next week. A win by Oregon means the Ducks will once again host the Pac-12 championship game, facing either UCLA or USC. A loss, meanwhile, effectively ends Oregon’s national title hopes.
Where: Floyd Casey Stadium; Waco, Texas
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Buzz: Kansas State looks to continue its perfect season against the Bears. A win by the Wildcats clinches at least a share of the Big 12 championship and the league’s automatic BCS bowl spot. It also keeps Kansas State on track to earn a spot in the BCS championship game. The Wildcats’ vaunted defense looks to slow down Baylor’s high-powered offense led by quarterback Nick Florence.
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