College football games to watch: SEC, Big Ten matchups top slate
College football Week 12 games to watch. Rankings reflect those of the Conference Selection Committee:
Indiana at No. 9 Penn State, Saturday, ABC, 9 a.m. PST
The Hoosiers are ranked in the Associated Press poll (No. 24) for the first time in 25 years — just in time to prove they are for real against Penn State in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions are licking their wounds after their loss at Minnesota and could be caught looking ahead to a showdown next weekend at Ohio State that would put them back in the national championship race with a win. If only Indiana starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. wasn’t out for the season with a shoulder injury.
No. 23 Navy at No. 16 Notre Dame, Saturday, NBC, 11:30 a.m. PST
Fans of the Fighting Irish should be dreading Saturday. The Midshipmen have a gifted option quarterback in Malcolm Perry and are trying to play their way into the New Year’s Six bowl conversation with a win at Notre Dame Stadium. By controlling the ball and the clock, Navy will try to make Notre Dame play a mistake-free game to win, and the Fighting Irish could crumble under the weight of that pressure if the game is tight.
The second College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday, and as expected, LSU and Ohio State swapped places to take the top two spots.
No. 4 Georgia at No. 12 Auburn, Saturday, CBS, 12:30 p.m. PST
No team can help the Pac-12 teams’ hopes for the College Football Playoff more than Auburn. The Tigers host No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Alabama in the next three weeks, and if they defend Jordan-Hare Stadium with two huge wins, they’ll clear out the two most prominent teams standing in the way of Oregon or Utah making the CFP. This game will be a defensive struggle, and it will come down to which quarterback — Georgia’s Jake Fromm or Auburn’s Bo Nix — can make plays late.
No. 8 Minnesota at No. 20 Iowa, Saturday, FOX, 1 p.m. PST
No matter what happens from this point, the 2019 Golden Gophers will be remembered as one of the best stories of the season — and one of the best teams in school history. They are undefeated in mid-November and just knocked off a top-five Penn State team, and all they need to do is win two of their next three games to guarantee a Big Ten West division title and a likely matchup with Ohio State for the conference championship. It will be up to coach P.J. Fleck to keep the Golden Gophers on the attack the rest of the way.
No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 13 Baylor, Saturday, ABC, 4:30 p.m. PST
Baylor at 9-0 still hasn’t earned the respect befitting of an undefeated Power Five conference team this late in the season. The Bears have won at Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas Christian, but the totality of that effort hasn’t registered with the CFP committee. This is the game Baylor’s march to the CFP could begin. Consider it a playoff elimination game and, given the way the committee has ranked the Big 12 thus far, the winner will still have much work to do and probably need help along the way.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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