No. 16 Stanford at Washington
Saturday, 3:15 PM
One of the least talked about rivalries in college football, the Cardinal and Huskies face off with Pac-12 championship and College Football Playoff implications at stake. Stanford bounced back two weeks ago with a 35-0 win over Army after falling to USC at home the week prior. Meanwhile, Washington is 4-0 including a big 44-19 win over Illinois two weeks ago. The biggest battle will be between the Husky offense and the Cardinal defense, which has given up only 4.3 points per game this season. Last year, this matchup came down to the wire, with Stanford winning 31-28. There’s no reason the same outcome will not happen again this year.
Arkansas vs. No. 6 Texas A&M
Saturday, 2:30 PM
Last year, this wasn’t much of a matchup with the Aggies still riding Johnny Manziel and the Razorbacks struggling to keep up in the SEC West. This year, although Texas A&M has proven so far that it wasn’t all Manziel, Arkansas has been one of the surprise teams in the conference. The Razorbacks finished the 2013 season with a dismal 3-9 record — including a nine-game losing streak — but they’ve started this season with a 3-1 record, including a win at Texas Tech where they ran for 438 yards. The Aggies might be one of the top teams in the SEC this season, but expect them to get a big test from the Razorbacks this Saturday.
Missouri at No. 13 South Carolina
Saturday, 6 PM
Last year’s matchup was decided by a missed field goal in overtime, and there’s nothing to suggest it won’t be that close again this year. Both the Tigers and Gamecocks head into the game with 3-1 records and disappointing home losses — South Carolina was crushed by Texas A&M in the opener, and Missouri lost to Indiana last week. South Carolina has the most to lose in this matchup as a loss would drop the Gamecocks to 2-2 in conference play, two games behind Missouri, who would be 1-0 in the SEC with a win and in great position to win the SEC East. With redshirt sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk leading Missouri again and head coach Steve Spurrier seeming to have South Carolina back on the right path, this should be the best game of the weekend.
Oregon State at No. 18 USC
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Saturday, 9:30 PM
Although this matchup may not look like much on paper, the history between these two programs says otherwise. Oregon State hasn’t been much of a power in college football, but it pulled off upsets of USC in each of their past three meetings in Corvallis, Oregon — including an upset against the then-No. 1 Trojans in 2008. But, USC looks like a much different team than the ones under former head coach Lane Kiffin, and current head coach Steve Sarkisian will have his team ready coming off a bye week. The saving grace for the Trojans is that this game is at The Coliseum in Los Angeles. Still, don’t count the Beavers out.