No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) at No. 13 LSU (5-2, 3-1 SEC) (7 p.m. Saturday, KTVT/11): Year after year it seems the SEC West is decided in two games — Alabama vs. Auburn and Alabama vs. LSU. While Texas A&M could still factor in the race, it appears 2016 will follow suit. The Crimson Tide are looking more dominant each week, and LSU has seen a resurgence since early season losses to Wisconsin and Auburn led to coach Les Miles’ firing. Interim coach Ed Orgeron has helped LSU regain its swagger, but his chances at landing the permanent position could come down to whether he can lead the Tigers to an upset win and stop LSU’s five-game losing streak to Alabama.
No. 10 Nebraska (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) at No. 6 Ohio State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) (7 p.m. Saturday, WFAA/8): After Nebraska fell at Wisconsin and Ohio State was upset by Penn State, this game became a must-win matchup for both teams. Ohio State can earn its way back into the Playoff by winning out, which would include defeating No. 3 team Michigan. Nebraska could also join the playoff discussion with a road win against a Buckeyes team that has struggled on offense lately.
No. 5 Washington (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) at Cal (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) (9:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN): How will the Huskies react to being snubbed on the first playoff rankings? Either they will come out fired up and make a statement on the road, or they could fall flat and validate the committee’s rankings. Last week Washington escaped Utah, 31-24.Cal has the offensive firepower to put pressure on a Huskies defense that is sound statistically (No. 7 in the country in points allowed at 15.8) but hasn’t been tested much this season. Cal averages more than 530 yards and 40 points a game.
No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC): No one can touch Alabama. The Crimson Tide has outscored most of its opponents with just defense and special teams scores. With freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts still adapting to the college game, Alabama can still get better. That should be a scary thought for the rest of the country. Next up, a tough night road game against rival LSU.
No. 2 Clemson (8-0, 5-0 ACC): Clemson hasn’t looked dominant this season and could have several losses at this point, but the Tigers keep finding ways to win. Last week it was a 37-34 heart-pounding finish at Florida State. That win gives Clemson more quality wins than most teams in the Top 10 not named Alabama.
No. 3 Michigan (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten): Michigan hasn’t played the toughest schedule, but the Wolverines are in perfect position. It will all come down to their game at Ohio State.
No. 5 Washington (8-0, 5-0 Pac 12): Washington fans will be upset that their Huskies are No. 5 in the first Playoff poll, but they shouldn’t fret. An undefeated Washington, which would mean winning the Pac-12 championship, won’t be left out.