Week 11 college football viewers’ guide: Unbeaten Oklahoma looks to gain CFP committee’s respect
The Sooners, one of three unbeaten teams playing Saturday, have work to do over the final three weeks to boost their standing.
Week 11 of the college football season features some pretty scary matchups, with three of the remaining four FBS undefeated teams in action Saturday.
No. 4 Oklahoma (-5 ½) at No. 18 Baylor, noon, Fox29
The Sooners (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) own a 17-game winning streak, the best in FBS, yet are still looking for respect from the College Football Playoff committee, which ranks them No. 8. They can gain that respect in the last three weeks of the regular season competing against the teams closest to them in the conference standings, and likely will play one of them again in the Dec. 4 Big 12 title game.
Oklahoma averaged 46.3 points in freshman quarterback Caleb Williams’ three starts since he rallied the Sooners from a 21-point deficit to defeat Texas last month.
The Bears (7-2, 4-2) saw their chances for a spot in the Big 12 championship game take a hit last week with a loss at Texas Christian. They have the conference’s top rushing attack (230.9 yards per game) and their offensive line allowed one sack in their last four contests.
Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Baylor 37
No. 1 Georgia (-20) at Tennessee, 3:30 p.m., CBS3
Already with a berth reserved in the SEC title game, the Bulldogs (9-0, 7-0) will seek to finish their conference regular season with their first-ever 8-0 record. Their defense continues to be the story, allowing just five touchdowns and 59 points overall, their fewest through nine games since 1971.
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However, the Volunteers (5-4, 3-3) will provide a test for Georgia on their home field. They knocked off No. 18 Kentucky last week, 45-42, their first win over a ranked team since 2018, despite holding the ball for less than 14 minutes. They average 38.2 points per game and their 2.92 plays per second is the nation’s best.
Prediction: Georgia 34, Tennessee 20
Purdue at No. 6 Ohio State (-21), 3:30 p.m., 6ABC
Call them the Spoilermakers. After upsetting Michigan State, its second win of the season over a top-five opponent, Purdue (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten) can become the first unranked team since Illinois in 1959 to defeat three top-10 opponents in the same season. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell averaged 343 passing yards the last four weeks.
The Buckeyes (8-1, 6-0), who enter the weekend in fourth place in the CFP rankings and own a 24-game win streak in Big Ten play, seemed a little sluggish at times the last two weeks. They were pushed for three-plus quarters against Penn State before taking the win, and they appeared a bit underwhelming in defeating Nebraska.
The Boilermakers are part of a four-way tie for first in the wacky Big Ten West.
Prediction: Ohio State 38, Purdue 24
Minnesota at No. 19 Iowa (-5), 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
This game for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy matches two teams that are part of the four-way logjam for first place in the Big Ten West. The Hawkeyes (7-2, 4-2) will have a new starting quarterback, Alex Padilla, who might be able to inject some juice to the offense, and a sturdy defense that feasts on interceptions (19, first in FBS).
The Golden Gophers (6-3, 4-2) last week became the second team this season to lose at home to Illinois. Their numbers at running back have been reduced by injuries, and quarterback Tanner Morgan threw one touchdown pass and four interceptions in his team’s three losses.
The game probably means more to Iowa since it loses the tiebreaker in the West to Purdue and Wisconsin, both of which defeated the Hawkeyes.
Prediction: Iowa 19, Minnesota 13
No. 11 Texas A&M (-2 ½) at No. 12 Mississippi, 7 p.m., ESPN
The Aggies (7-2, 4-2) picked up a big win last week over Auburn to stay on Alabama’s heels in the SEC West, and own the tiebreaker if they win their last two conference games and the Crimson Tide falter. But those games are on the road, beginning with a tough matchup against the Rebels (7-2, 3-2).
Mississippi’s Matt Corral is the only FBS quarterback with 2,500 yards passing and 500 yards rushing this season. But Texas A&M is second in the nation in points allowed at 14.7 per game, and its defense limited Auburn and quarterback Bo Nix to just three points.
Prediction: Texas A&M 28, Mississippi 21
No. 7 Notre Dame (-6) at Virginia, 7:30 p.m., 6ABC
The Fighting Irish (8-1) need to rise five places from their No. 9 ranking in the CFP to get into the playoff, but winning their last three games might not even be enough. The Cavaliers (6-3) are sure to be their toughest remaining test with an offense that leads the nation with 545.2 total yards per contest.
Virginia is hoping quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who leads the nation in total offense (425.3 yards per game) and has thrown for 3,557 yards and 27 touchdowns, will be able to play after being injured two weeks ago. The Notre Dame defense is ranked pretty much in the middle in most major categories.
Prediction: Virginia 38, Notre Dame 34