Alabama Football is enjoying a much-deserved off week, as is its next opponent, the LSU Tigers.
Still, there is plenty of good college football to watch this weekend, and several games that could directly impact the Crimson Tide.
No. 1 Georgia (7-0, 4-0 SEC) vs Florida (5-2, 3-1 SEC)
It’s far too early to make conference championship game projections, but divisional races are rounding into form. Alabama Football currently has sole possession of first place in the SEC West, and will play what could prove to be a winner-take-all game against LSU next week.
In the meantime, Georgia and Florida will play a similar contest in Jacksonville, as the winner of this game will make a claim for first place in the East. This game could go a long way towards determining Alabama’s SEC Championship Game opponent, should the Tide make it to Atlanta.
Additionally, this game will provide the first look at Georgia without star tight end Brock Bowers.
No. 3 Ohio State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) at Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten)
Coming off an emotional win over Penn State, Ohio State faces a possible letdown game at Wisconsin. The Badgers haven’t been quite as good as many expected under new coach Luke Fickell, but are currently in first place in the Big Ten West.
Ohio State is a significantly better team, but this is a prime upset spot on the road for the Buckeyes.
No. 21 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) at Kentucky (5-2, 2-2 SEC)
While it shouldn’t have a direct impact on Alabama Football in terms of standings, this SEC East battle will be entertaining to watch for several reasons. Just a week after a deflating loss in Tuscaloosa, the Vols have to travel to Lexington for another tough road game. It will be very interesting to see how Josh Heupel’s team responds.
Additionally, Bama will go to Lexington to take on the Wildcats in just over two weeks. Following what will certainly be a physical and emotional game against LSU, the Tide will be in a similar letdown spot when it goes to Kentucky.
No. 8 Oregon (6-1, 3-1 PAC-12) at no. 13 Utah (6-1, 3-1 PAC-12)
Perhaps the most intriguing game of the week is this battle between two top-15 teams. Oregon and Utah both have one loss and are still in the hunt for a PAC-12 championship.
The Ducks are ranked one spot ahead of Alabama Football, so an Oregon loss on the road could have playoff implications for the Crimson Tide.
No. 4 Florida State (7-0, 5-0 ACC) at Wake Forest (4-3, 1-3 ACC)
Similarly, Florida State is undefeated and would be in the playoff if it started today, so Bama could benefit from a Seminoles’ loss at some point. Florida State has tougher remaining games this season, including games against Miami, at Florida, and a possible ACC Championship bout.
Still, FSU has impressive wins at Clemson and against LSU, so a respectable loss may not be enough to knock them out of playoff contention.
A loss to Wake Forest would be a different story, however, and could eliminate the ‘Noles. Wake is not a very good team this year, but crazier things happen all the time in college football. A road game and an early kickoff make this a dangerous trap game for FSU.
In the Big 12, no. 6 Oklahoma plays at Kansas and no. 7 Texas hosts BYU. Kansas and BYU are both decent teams that have an outside shot at making some noise this weekend.
Oklahoma and Texas are both ranked just ahead of Alabama in the polls, and neither can afford to take a loss. The Longhorns have already lost to the Sooners, and must now play at least a couple games without starting quarterback Quinn Ewers.
While Oklahoma is undefeated, it’s schedule might be too weak to get in the playoff with a bad loss. A loss by either of the Big 12 giants would allow Bama to rise in the polls, but a Texas loss could also make Bama’s own loss to the Horns a little more substantial.
No. 10 Penn State, no. 5 Washington, and no. 12 Ole Miss are all in action against lower-caliber opponents. All three are expected to win easily, but if any one of them get upset it could have major implications on Bama’s playoff chances or the SEC West Divisional race.