We’re approaching the home stretch of the college football regular season.
And though Week 11 doesn’t have the top-tier matchups we saw in Week 10, there is an array of games with College Football Playoff and conference title implications. High on that list is Arkansas, which hosts No. 7 LSU after its massive upset of Alabama. Elsewhere, No. 4 TCU is a touchdown underdog on the road against Texas and there’s also a fascinating matchup between two-loss Alabama and Ole Miss.
Time: Noon | TV: ESPN | Line: LSU-3.5 | Overall: 63
Improbably, LSU is now in the driver’s seat in the SEC West in Brian Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge. The Tigers pulled off a massive upset last week, shocking Alabama with a gutsy two-point conversion in overtime that resulted in a thrilling one-point win. This is a tricky spot where it feels like a letdown is possible. LSU is going on the road for an early kickoff against an Arkansas team that just laid an egg at home and lost to Liberty as a two-touchdown favorite. This is an Arkansas team that was ranked in the top 10 in late September. Now it’s 5-4 and looking to play the role of spoiler.
Time: 3:30 pm | TV: CBS | Line: Alabama -11.5 | Overall: 64.5
It’s early November and Alabama has two losses and is on the outside looking in when it comes to the College Football Playoff picture. It’s an unfamiliar position for Nick Saban’s program, and now the Crimson Tide are headed back on the road to face a one-loss Ole Miss team coming off a bye. On the other side, Lane Kiffin would love to get a win over his former boss — a win that could all of a sudden make the Rebels much more viable in the national title picture. Ole Miss started the year 7-0 but didn’t play many above-average opponents during that stretch.
Time: 3:30 pm | TV: ESPN2 | Line: Tulane-1.5 | Overall: 54.5
This is a massive game in the American Athletic Conference race and in the New Year’s Six bowl picture. At 8-1 overall and 5-0 in AAC play, Tulane is in first place in the AAC and is the highest-ranked Group of Five team at No. 17. UCF, at 7-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play , is next in line at No. 22. There are no other G5 teams currently ranked, so the winner of the AAC is the leader in the clubhouse to clinch a spot in the Cotton Bowl.
Time: 7 pm | TV: FS1 | Line: BU -2.5 | Overall: 53.5
Behind undefeated TCU, the Big 12 race is mighty crowded. The top two teams in the league make the championship game, and Kansas State, Texas and Baylor are all sitting at 4-2 in conference play. K-State, though, lost to Texas last week, so the Wildcats really need to go into Waco and get a win on Saturday night. Baylor, meanwhile, has quietly strung three consecutive wins together after a two-game losing streak to open October. The Bears took care of Kansas and Texas Tech before going to Norman to beat Oklahoma last week. Kansas State is a step up in competition for Baylor, which won the Big 12 title last season.
Time: 7:30 pm | Television: ABC | Line: Texas-7 | Overall: 64.5
While Big 12 title implications are also at play in this game, the stakes are much bigger for TCU. The Horned Frogs, now 9-0 on the year, moved up to No. 4 in the CFP rankings on Tuesday night. To get to this point, TCU has been winning a lot of tight games. In fact, six of its nine victories have been decided by 10 points or fewer. And many of those wins have been come-from-behind efforts. Perhaps that high-wire act explains why the Horned Frogs are seven-point underdogs in Austin on Saturday. Texas has been viewed favorably by the oddsmakers all season; a visit from Alabama was the only time the Longhorns have been underdogs on the year. But UT hasn’t always lived up to that billing. Texas enters this game with a 6-3 record, though all three of those losses came by one possession.