With last week’s utter chaos in the top four still fresh in everyone’s mind, the penultimate week of college football’s regular season is setting up to be a little more sedate.
After No. 3 Louisville’s loss to Houston on Thursday, most of the other teams in the top 10 are highly favored before a hefty helping of rivalry games next week.
Here are some things you need know about Week 12:
No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 10 West Virginia
Both teams weren’t ranked in early October but find themselves seven weeks later meeting in primetime and still having a fleeting chance of getting into the College Football Playoff.
After starting 1-2 the Sooners (8-2, 7-0 Big 12, No. 9 CFP) have won seven straight and are averaging 48 points during that span. The Mountaineers (8-1, 5-1, No. 14 CFP) are led by quarterback Skyler Howard, who is 17th nationally in total offense.
Since the Big 12 went to round-robin play in 2011, the champion has not had an unbeaten record in conference play.
Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield has a chance to make his bid for a trip to the Dec. 10 ceremony in New York with a primetime game.
Mayfield has 21 touchdown passes over the past five games, which is the most by a Sooners’ quarterback in a five-game span. The junior leads the nation in passing efficiency (195.2) and yards per pass attempt (19.9).
NUMBERS TO KNOW
33.8 – Percent of the time Alabama has been ranked No. 1 in Nick Saban‘s 10 seasons as coach. The Crimson Tide host Chattanooga on Saturday.
6 – Straight meetings where the road team has won in the Ohio State-Michigan State series. The second-ranked Buckeyes have won in their past five trips to East Lansing dating back to 2004.
2 – Times in Atlantic Coast Conference history a team has faced top five teams in back-to-back games. Wake Forest faces No. 5 Clemson this week after hanging tough for three quarters at No. 3 Louisville last week before losing 44-12.
356 – Games since Florida has been shut out. The 21st-ranked Gators travel to LSU in a game that was rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew in October.
9 – Straight wins by Harvard over Yale. The 133rd playing of The Game is on Saturday as the Crimson look to clinch a share of its fourth straight Ivy League title.
OFF THE RADAR
Wyoming is bowl-eligible for the first time since 2011, but it can take a huge step toward clinching a division title in the Mountain West if it can defeat No. 24 San Diego State.
If the Cowboys (7-3, 5-1 Mountain West) defeat the Aztecs on Saturday and New Mexico next week, it wins the Mountain Division title. No. 22 Boise State needs to win out and hope that Wyoming loses one of its two remaining games.
The Aztecs (9-1, 6-0), who have a 17-game winning streak in conference play, have already clinched the West Division.
The game is also a matchup of two of the top three rushers in the Football Bowl Subdivision. San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey leads the nation in rushing (1,779), while Wyoming’s Brian Hill is third (1,417).
COACH IN NEED OF A WIN
Rich Rodriguez is on the longest losing streak of his career as Arizona has dropped seven straight. The Wildcats, whose last seven-game skid came in 2004, travel to Oregon State on Saturday and face a Beavers’ squad that has dropped five straight.
Arizona’s first seven Pac-12 opponents are a combined 37-14 in league play, while its last two – Oregon State and Arizona State – are 3-11
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.