Welcome to rivalry week, everybody!
We’ve reached the final weekend of the regular season and there’s so much on the line. Teams are fighting for bowl eligibility, conference championship game matchups are to be decided and the top teams in the country are fighting to reach the College Football Playoff. On top of that, some of the most heated rivalries in the sport are on the schedule this weekend.
The first big rivalry game of the day was a massive one, with No. 3 Michigan running away from No. 2 Ohio State 45-23 in a battle of two 11-0 teams. The Wolverines used a bevy a big plays on offense to pull off the victory and secure the Big Ten East title. Michigan is one win away from advancing to the College Football Playoff for the second straight year.
Meanwhile, No. 8 Clemson saw its playoff chances go up in smoke with a stunning 31-30 home loss to South Carolina. It ended Clemson’s 40-game home win streak.
In another surprising development, No. 9 Oregon blew a 21-point lead in a 38-34 loss to Oregon State. The Ducks could have secured a spot in the Pac-12 title game with a win, but now they’ll need help to get in.
Here’s what else we’re watching today.
(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)
Time: 7:30 p.m. | TV: ABC | Line: USC -5.5 | Total: 64.5
USC is the Pac-12’s last hope to reach the College Football Playoff. The Trojans can get there by beating Notre Dame and then winning the Pac-12 title game. USC QB and Heisman hopeful Caleb Williams may need to be his usual excellent self for Trojans to get past a surging Notre Dame team. Notre Dame has won five consecutive games to get to 8-3 and surge to No. 15 in the CFP rankings. Stylistically, Notre Dame is a major contrast on offense when compared to USC. The Irish want to control the line of scrimmage and rely on the run game. It’s going to be a fascinating matchup.
Time: 10:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN | Line: UW -2 | Total: 60.5
Washington will already know whether it can play for the Pac-12 title by the time this game kicks off. But even if the conference crown is off the table, the Huskies will be plenty motivated playing in their biggest rivalry game. Last year, WSU snapped a seven-game losing skid in the rivalry in emphatic fashion with a 40-13 win in Seattle that saw the Cougar faithful rush the field at Husky Stadium. Washington State comes in on a three-game win streak, but Washington, with its high-powered passing offense led by QB Michael Penix, represents a step up in competition.