No. 9 Colorado (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) vs. No. 4 Washington (11-1, 8-1 Pac 12) (8 p.m. Friday, KDFW/Ch. 4): Washington could be the biggest beneficiary of Colorado’s resurgence. A conference title win against a Top 10 team will give the Huskies a boost ahead of Sunday’s final College Football Playoff rankings. Washington will have to avoid an upset, however. The Buffaloes have played well as an underdog this year, and their only losses came against No. 5 Michigan and No. 10 USC.
No. 1 Alabama (12-0, 8-0 SEC) vs. No. 15 Florida (8-3, 6-2 SEC) (3 p.m. Saturday, KTVT/Ch. 11): Alabama is a solid favorite, going up against a Florida team that has struggled mightily on offense. Alabama ranks No. 1 in the country in scoring defense, rush defense and total defense. The Gators are No. 104 in scoring offense and No. 114 in total offense. Even if Florida were to pull off an upset for the ages, the Crimson Tide probably still would make the playoff field.
No. 3 Clemson (11-1, 7-1 ACC) vs. No. 19 Virginia Tech (9-3, 6-2 ACC) (7 p.m. Saturday, WFAA/Ch. 8): Clemson has survived a rocky season. Close scares — like an overtime win at home over North Carolina State after the Wolfpack missed a chip-shot field goal at the end of the fourth quarter — have kept Tigers fans on the edge of their seats. But going into the final weekend, Clemson is one win away from making the playoff and has big-game experience after reaching the national championship last season.
No. 6 Wisconsin (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) vs. No. 8 Penn State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) (7 p.m. Saturday, KDFW/Ch. 4): The Big Ten champion will probably miss out on reaching the playoff, but this game should still be intriguing. Penn State has emerged from its controversy-plagued slumber of the past few years to become a national power once again. The Nittany Lions are the only team that has beaten Ohio State, yet it is the Buckeyes who have the best shot at making the playoff out of the Big Ten.
Alabama (12-0, 8-0 SEC): The Crimson Tide are the biggest lock to make the playoff, and Alabama has been on course all season. It’s almost boringly predictable. The Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to defend their national title.
Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten): Can Ohio State hold on to a playoff spot after sitting at home this weekend while Penn State plays Wisconsin for the conference championship? While the Buckeyes have just one loss, it was a big one that gives the Nittany Lions a tiebreaker. All eyes will be on the Big Ten during the College Football Playoff selection show.
Clemson (11-1, 7-1 ACC): Win, and Clemson is in. But this season has been so crazy, anything can happen. Virginia Tech could stun the Tigers, or Washington could slip up against Colorado, opening the door for two Big Ten teams or for Oklahoma to slip in.
Washington (11-1, 8-1 Pac 12): Like Clemson, Washington should be in with a win. But it’s never that easy. Expect lots of speculation and wild takes all the way up to Sunday’s College Football Playoff announcement.