Bed­lam could re­set Big 12

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - LEADING OFF - Pa­trick Stevens Spe­cial for USA TO­DAY Sports

NO. 9 OKLAHOMA AT NO. 10 OKLAHOMA STATE Nov. 4, 4 p.m., Fox Sports 1

Line: Oklahoma State by 3 What’s the per­fect thing to help sort out the chaotic Big 12 ti­tle race? Bed­lam, of course.

Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) and Oklahoma State (7-1, 4-1) are part of a four-way log­jam atop the league with Iowa State and TCU, so this game won’t quite set­tle any­thing. But the in-state ri­valry is still the league’s most an­tic­i­pated reg­u­lar-sea­son game of the year, with QB Baker May­field and the vis­it­ing Soon­ers try­ing to up­end QB Ma­son Ru­dolph and the ca­pa­ble Cow­boys.

While the re­turn of the con­fer­ence ti­tle game means the Soon­ers and the Cow­boys will re­main in con­tention for a league crown for at least another week, this game is a de facto Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off elim­i­na­tor — as­sum­ing the Big 12 hasn’t al­ready can­ni­bal­ized it­self so much that no one can make a se­ri­ous run at a semi­fi­nal slot.

Who wins? Oklahoma, 41-38 NORTH­ERN ILLI­NOIS AT TOLEDO

Nov. 2, 6 p.m., ESPNU Line: Toledo by 9 If it’s Novem­ber, it means it’s time for all the weeknight MAC­tion imag­in­able. This could be the best game of the month in the league, with the vis­it­ing Huskies (6-2, 4-0) try­ing to take over sole pos­ses­sion of first in the West Di­vi­sion with a vic­tory over the Rock­ets (7-1, 4-0 MidAmer­i­can). Who wins? Toledo, 35-27 NO. 7 PENN STATE AT MICHI­GAN STATE

Nov. 4, noon, Fox Line: Penn State by 71⁄ 2 It’s ef­fec­tively a Big Ten East elim­i­na­tion game fea­tur­ing teams com­ing off losses. Penn State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) squan­dered a 15-point lead in the fourth quar­ter of its loss to Ohio State, while Michi­gan State (6-2, 4-1) fell in triple over­time at North­west­ern. Look for the Nit­tany Lions to lean heav­ily on RB Saquon Barkley, whose Heis­man Tro­phy can­di­dacy took a mod­est

hit in last week’s de­feat. Who wins? Penn State, 31-17 NO. 15 AUBURN AT TEXAS A&M

Nov. 4, Noon, ESPN

Line: Auburn by 15 Ag­gies coach Kevin Sum­lin frit­tered away some of the good­will he’d col­lected while win­ning five out of six when Texas A&M lost to Mis­sis­sippi State last week. Now, Texas A&M (5-3, 3-2) will try to break the home team curse in its se­ries with Auburn (6-2, 4-1). Since the Ag­gies en­tered the league, the road team has won all five matchups. Who wins? Auburn, 33-20 NO. 3 OHIO STATE AT IOWA

Nov. 4, 3:30 p.m., ESPN Line: Ohio State by 161⁄ 2 Af­ter QB J.T. Bar­rett’s stel­lar per­for­mance against Penn State — 328 yards and four TDs pass­ing —

the Buck­eyes (7-1, 5-0 Big Ten) find them­selves in firm con­trol of the Big Ten East. Iowa (5-3, 2-3) has a way of play­ing teams tough at home ( just ask Penn State, which needed a last-sec­ond score to es­cape). Three of the Hawkeyes’ last four con­tests have ended with a 17-10 score.

Who wins? Ohio State, 24-16 NO. 5 CLEM­SON AT NO. 19 N.C. STATE

Nov. 4, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Line: Clem­son by 71⁄ 2 It’s the big­gest game of the sea­son in the ACC’s At­lantic Di­vi­sion, though nei­ther team can clinch a berth in the league ti­tle game solely with a vic­tory this week. Clem­son (7-1, 5-1 ACC) looked much sharper com­ing out of its bye against Ge­or­gia Tech, ef­fec­tively re­bound­ing from a sur­pris­ing loss at Syra­cuse. N.C. State (6-2, 4-0) saw its six-game win­ning streak end last week at Notre

Dame and must hope an an­kle in­jury that shelved RB Ny­heim Hines in that loss heals in time for the speed­ster to face the Tigers.

Who wins? Clem­son, 24-17 WAKE FOR­EST AT NO. 8 NOTRE DAME

Nov. 4, 3:30 p.m., NBC

Line: Notre Dame by 131⁄ 2 The Fight­ing Ir­ish (7-1) took another step to­ward reach­ing the Play­off with its 35-14 de­feat of N.C. State be­hind RB Josh Adams’ 202 rush­ing yards. This is a re­u­nion week­end, as Notre Dame hired de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Mike Elko away from Wake For­est af­ter last sea­son.

The De­mon Dea­cons (5-3) are com­ing off a 42-32 de­feat of Louisville that saw QB John Wol­ford throw for five TDs and rush for a sixth. Who wins? Notre Dame, 34-13

SOUTH AT Nov. Line: NO. 4, 3:30 2 CAROLINA GE­OR­GIA p.m., CBS

Ge­or­gia by 24 It could be clinch­ing day in the SEC East if the Bull­dogs (8-0, 5-0 SEC) can win this game and Mis­sis­sippi de­feats Ken­tucky. Ge­or­gia drilled Florida 42-7 last week as RB Sony Michel rushed for 137 yards and two touch­downs on only six car­ries, while the Game­cocks (6-2, 4-2) be­came bowl el­i­gi­ble for the sec­ond time in two sea­sons un­der coach Will Muschamp with a vic­tory over Van­der­bilt. NO. Who 16 IOWA wins? STATE Ge­or­gia, 35-10 AT Nov. Line: WEST 4, 3:30 VIR­GINIA p.m., ESPN2 2

West Vir­ginia by 21⁄ Iowa State owned ex­actly one vic­tory over a top-five op­po­nent be­fore this sea­son. It just col­lected two in Oc­to­ber, stun­ning Oklahoma and TCU to move into a share of the Big 12 lead. The Cy­clones (6-2, 4-1) have al­lowed just 27 points over their last 14 quar­ters but will be chal­lenged by QB Will Grier and the Moun­taineers (5-3, 3-2). 28-27 Who wins? West Vir­ginia, NO. AT Nov. WASHINGTON 18 4, STAN­FORD 3:30 p.m., Fox STATE

Line: Washington by 21 This is the first in a se­ries of three games this month be­tween the re­main­ing con­tenders in the Pac-12 North. The Car­di­nal (6-2, 5-1 Pac-12) barely sur­vived their trip to Ore­gon State last week as in­jured RB Bryce Love sat out. Stan­ford will need him against the Cougars (7-2, 4-2), who are com­ing off a loss at Ari­zona.

31-28 Who wins? Washington State TEXAS AT Nov. NO. 4, 7:15 12 TCU p.m., ESPN

Line: TCU by 7 The Horned Frogs (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) self-de­struc­ted with three turnovers in the sec­ond half in last week’s 14-7 loss to Iowa State, and they must re­bound quickly to re­tain any Play­off hopes. Texas (4-4, 3-2) dis­patched Bay­lor last week and will look to fin­ish off an up­set af­ter los­ing to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia by a com­bined 11 points ear­lier in the sea­son.

Who wins? TCU, 30-24 Nov. NO. AT SMU 14 4, CEN­TRAL 7:15 p.m., FLORIDA ESPN2

Line: Cen­tral Florida by 131⁄ 2 QB McKen­zie Mil­ton and the vis­it­ing Knights (7-0, 4-0 Amer­i­can Ath­letic) are the last re­main­ing un­de­feated team in the Group of Five con­fer­ences. That gives them a clear path to a New Year’s Six bowl in­vi­ta­tion so long as they can win out. That won’t be easy against the Mus­tangs (6-2, 3-1), who are bowl el­i­gi­ble for the first time since 2012. Who wins? Cen­tral Florida, 38-31 NO. 20 LSU AT NO. 1 ALABAMA Nov. 4, 8 p.m., CBS Line: Alabama by 21

Both teams come out of their open date, and Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) can take a ma­jor step to­ward seal­ing another SEC West ti­tle by earn­ing its sev­enth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory against LSU (6-2, 3-1). The Tigers have scored only 63 points in their last six games against the Crim­son Tide and will need to get RB Der­rius Guice on track against Alabama’s miserly run de­fense to have any chance of pulling an up­set. Who wins? Alabama, 24-7 NO. 13 VIR­GINIA TECH AT NO. 6 MI­AMI (FLA.)

Nov. 4, 8 p.m., ABC Line: Vir­ginia Tech by 3

The host Hur­ri­canes (7-0, 5-0 ACC) can clinch their first trip to the ACC ti­tle game with a vic­tory over the Hok­ies (7-1, 3-1) cou­pled with a Vir­ginia loss to Ge­or­gia Tech. QB Ma­lik Rosier threw three touch­down passes last week for Mi­ami, which holds the na­tion’s long­est win­ning streak (12 games) and hasn’t lost in more than a year. Who wins? Vir­ginia Tech, 23-16 NO. 25 ARI­ZONA AT NO. 17 SOUTH­ERN CAL­I­FOR­NIA Nov. 4, 10:45 p.m., ESPN Line: South­ern Cal by 7

The win­ner will end the week in sole pos­ses­sion of first place in the Pac-12 South. The vis­it­ing Wild­cats (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) have won four in a row since Khalil Tate took over at quar­ter­back, in­clud­ing last week’s 58-37 thrash­ing of Washington State.

The Tro­jans (7-2, 5-1) re­sponded to an ugly loss at Notre Dame two weeks ago with one of their best show­ings of the sea­son, ham­mer­ing Ari­zona State 48-17 be­hind RB Ronald Jones’ 216 rush­ing yards. Who wins? Ari­zona, 35-31 Times Eastern. Odds are courtesy of Play­book.com.

BEN QUEEN, USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Oklahoma State quar­ter­back Ma­son Ru­dolph has 22 touch­down passes and seven rush­ing TDs in eight games this sea­son.

JASEN VINLOVE, USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Mi­ami quar­ter­back Ma­lik Rosier has thrown for 17 touch­downs and has rushed for two in seven games.

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