Play it forward: The week ahead in college football

Jordan Canzeri

Running back Jordan Canzeri and Iowa are two wins from a 13-0 season, Big Ten title and a likely spot in the College Football Playoff. Next up: Nebraska.

(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Five things to watch this week in college football:

1. Three-loss UCLA plays at four-loss USC on Saturday with the winner advancing to play Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game in Santa Clara. The Trojans are trying to snap a three-game losing streak in this historic series between crosstown rivals.

2. Surprising Iowa (11-0) is two wins away from gaining a berth in this year’s four-team playoff, but first must avoid a possible upset Friday at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have had a disappointing year but did hand Michigan State its only defeat.

3. The Big 12 bake-off continues this week as Baylor travels to Texas Christian and Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma. The conference is now without an undefeated team as it tries to maneuver for a spot in the playoff.


4. Notre Dame at Stanford is a high-risk game that neither school has to schedule. The Irish need a convincing win to make their playoff case while the Cardinal is hoping a win, coupled with craziness, could get the team back in playoff contention.

5. Michigan has two defeats, Ohio State just suffered its first loss and Auburn is having a down season. Ohio State versus Michigan, though, and Alabama versus Auburn remain two of the best rivalries in sports.

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