The first sort’em out Saturday of the college football season is here and no team is facing more pressure than No. 13 Alabama. The Crimson Tide risks being sorted right out of the College Football Playoff race by Georgia.
Five games match ranked teams Saturday, including the Tide visiting No. 8 Georgia. Three more games match an undefeated team against a ranked team, including No. 1 Ohio State at Indiana.
Most of the teams involved in the feature games have yet to lose, so they have a little slack if they slip up. Then there’s Alabama.
Two weeks removed from getting beaten at home by Mississippi, another loss would put the Tide’s hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff for the second straight season in critical condition.
Yes, Georgia fans will not be pleased if the Tide beats the Bulldogs between the hedges at Sanford Stadium, but the SEC East should still be theirs for the taking.
A similar story can be told for No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 12 Clemson. Huge game in Death Valley, but not an elimination game. Still, the margin between who is in and who gets left out could be determined this weekend. And we should get a better idea of which teams are truly playoff contenders.
No. 3 Mississippi (minus 7 1/2) at No. 25 Florida
Rebels Land Shark D could be doing the chomping against the Gators ... OLE MISS 31-13.
No. 6 Notre Dame (pick’em) at No. 12 Clemson
Irish cannot win the ACC, but they could do some serious damage to its playoff hopes ... NOTRE DAME 27-24.
No. 13 Alabama (plus 2) at No. 8 Georgia
For those who find spread football appalling, Tide’s defensive line vs. Bulldogs offensive line is old-school fun ... GEORGIA 24-21.
No. 21 Mississippi State (plus 6 1/2) at No. 14 Texas A&M
Neither team has been able to run it much so it’s likely Dak Prescott vs. Kyle Allen for the win ... TEXAS A&M 38-28.
No. 23 West Virginia (plus 7) at No. 15 Oklahoma
Sooners QB Baker Mayfield against maybe the best secondary in the Big 12 ... OKLAHOMA 31-23.
No. 1 Ohio State (minus 21) at Indiana
How good are the undefeated Hoosiers? We’re about to find out ... OHIO STATE 42-20.
No. 5 Baylor (minus 17) vs. Texas Tech at Arlington, Texas
Can Red Raiders be ready for another race after sprinting with TCU last week? ... BAYLOR 58-38.
Arizona (off) at No. 18 Stanford
No LB Scooby Wright (foot) for Wildcats and maybe no QB Anu Solomon (concussion) ... STANFORD 28-17.
Iowa (plus 6 1/2) at No. 19 Wisconsin
Teams play for the Heartland Trophy, a big bronze bull — of course ... WISCONSIN 27-17.
Kansas State (plus 8) at No. 20 Oklahoma State
Bill Snyder’s team looking to quietly improve to 5-0 ... UPSET SPECIAL, KANSAS STATE 28-24.
Purdue (plus 21 1/2) at No. 2 Michigan State
Spartans have been outgained on the season, an ominous sign for a team ranked so highly ... MICHIGAN STATE 38-21.
Texas (plus 15) at No. 4 TCU
The brutal losses are piling up on Texas and the schedule provides no breaks ... TCU 48-31.
Arizona State (plus 13 1/2) at No. 7 UCLA
Sun Devils season is quickly slipping away. Do they put up a fight or pack it in? ... UCLA 38-21.
Wake Forest (plus 19 1/2) at No. 11 Florida State
Good week for Seminoles QB Everett Golson to get his act together ... BEST BET, FLORIDA STATE 37-14.
Minnesota (plus 4) at No. 16 Northwestern
Wildcats LB Anthony Walker an early contender for Big Ten defensive player of the year ... NORTHWESTERN, 23-14.
No. 22 Michigan (minus 16) at Maryland
How good are the Wolverines? Better question might be how bad are the Terps? ... MICHIGAN 35-14.
Washington State (plus 19) at No. 24 California
If you love spread offenses and passes, enjoy ... CALIFORNIA 45-28.
Arkansas (plus 6 1/2) at Tennessee
Misery Bowl. The winner’s fans will still be pretty miserable, too ... TENNESSEE 24-17.
Miami (minus 6 1/2) at Cincinnati (Thursday night)
No QB Gunner Kiel for the Bearcats and QB Brad Kaaya gets to feast on UC’s porous secondary ... MIAMI 35-24.
Oregon (minus 7 1/2) at Colorado
The Ducks have outscored the Buffs by an average of 54-10 in last four meetings ... OREGON 45-28.
Houston (minus 6) at Tulsa
American Athletic Conference bonkers game of the week ... HOUSTON 48-38.
Nebraska (minus 6 1/2) at Illinois
Lose to the Illini and the honeymoon ends for Huskers fans and new coach Mike Riley ... NEBRASKA 35-24.
Last week’s record: 17-5 straight; vs. 10-9-2 vs. spread.
Overall: 58-19; 41-32-3.
Upset specials: 2-2.
Best bets: 0-3.