It’s never too early to come up with a season altering win. Unfortunately many teams seasons may also be washed away with a loss this weekend. Sure, there are games left to play, and anything can happen, but this week’s result could either put you in pole position or put you behind the 8-ball.
The 5 games that will not just effect these teams, but others within their conference are:
LSU at Georgia– Georgia is in the driver’s seat of the SEC East after beating South Carolina. They own the tiebreaker with the head-2-head win and would need to lose twice in conference for the Gamecocks to re-enter the discussion. This is probably their toughest test left on paper. Win it, and they are almost a lock. This game is big for LSU, but not as much as it is for Texas A&M. The Aggies lose the tiebreaker with Alabama in the West, so they need the Tide to lose twice. LSU almost has to be one of the losses, so they need Georgia to beat LSU to prevent the Tigers from finishing ahead of them too. LSU could lose, and still win the West by simply beating Bama, A&M, and the others out West.
USC at Arizona State- The Sun Devils already have absorbed a conference loss, losing last week at Stanford, so losing to the Trojans would put them in theory 3 games behind USC. Both teams still play UCLA, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, which is worth mentioning because they are a combined 11-1.
Wisconsin at Ohio State- Penn State, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue make up the rest of the division. Honestly its difficult seeing either one of the Buckeyes or Badgers losing to one of those teams this year. If one of the two could afford to lose this game and still win the Leaders division it is Wisconsin I think. Ohio State must still play Northwestern and Michigan on the road. The Badgers toughest games are home to Northwestern and at Illinois.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech- If the Yellow Jackets win, then they have beaten UNC and VT in back-2-back weeks earning two precious tiebreakers. They play at Miami the next week and that could be for the Coastal title if they win because other than a trip to Clemson, it’s hard seeing them losing another game in conference. For the Hokies, they haven’t looked like a contender yet, but falling behind in the race while still having to go to Miami is a bad idea.
Ole Miss at Alabama- Let’s face it, the Tide don’t have a murderers row of a regular season schedule. If they win this week, their toughest games left are home to LSU, and at Mississippi State and Auburn. If Texas A&M is going to win the West, they need some help, and need it this week. They only alternative that I didn’t mention is a three-way tie, in which LSU beating Georgia helps them if LSU beats Alabama and Texas A&M beats LSU. Who knows how the voters vote at the end of the year, but it gives all three a chance. For Ole Miss, well, the dream either lives on or dies in Tuscaloosa.
We’ve had big games in the college football season, but after a couple of sub-par weekends, this weekend will go down as one of the most impactful.