NORMAN, Okla., Sporting Alert – The race for college football playoff spots continues on Saturday with some healthy matchups in Week 12. We will also list the respective TV channels and live online streaming networks, including ESPN3 and WatchESPN that will have coverage of the games.
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There will be two Big 12 clashes of interest, while a certain Big Ten battle involving the defending champion is also high on the list of must-watch games in college football for Week 12.
At Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, defending champ Ohio State will put its undefeated run on the line against Big Ten rivals Michigan State, a game neither side can really afford to lose.
The Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten, No. 3 CFP), have not been as crisp as many had hoped they’d be at this point in the season, and after some low-key, unimpressive performances at the top of term, Urban Meyer’s side knows it must start increasing the intensity, especially on the offense, if they are to retain the national title.
Ranked 11th in college football in rushing yards (244.8), the men from Columbus are expected to keep running the ball, but the connection between J.T. Barrett, who will continue to be the starting quarterback – and star running back Ezekiel Elliott – will be an important combination.
Elliott, who has ran for 1425 yards on the season, has gone 15 straight games with at least 100-yards rushing (the longest active streak in FBS) and he is confident the defending champions have stuff in reserve.
“I think people are still uncertain of what we’ve got,” he said on Wednesday. “This is a statement game, a game we’ve been waiting for all season.”
Michigan State (9-1, 5-1 Big Ten, No. 9 CFP ), despite losing once this season, is still in the running for a college football playoff slot and a win over Ohio State would strengthen their claim.
Quarterback Connor Cook, who sustained a shoulder injury during the 24-7 win over Maryland last week, is expected to start against the Buckeyes, but is he fit enough to handle the heavy workload this game is shaping up to bring.
Ohio State, ranked No. 2 for points against this season, at 13.8, is on a 23 game winning streak, and according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Meyer’s side is the favourite to extend that streak to 24.
Over in the Big 12, Oklahoma State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12, No. 6 CFP) will play host to Baylor (8-1, 5-1 Big 12, No. 10 CFP) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater.
The Cowboys are on a ten-game winning streak, having survived against Iowa State last week when they had to come from a 17-point deficit, and another victory on Saturday against a Bears side that was humbled last week at home by the Sooners, would heighten their quest for a playoff spot.
Baylor, in the meantime, will be desperate to get back on the playing field after its eight-game winning streak was snapped last week by Oklahoma.
Despite the defeat, head coach Art Briles believes his team can still make the college playoff, but will need to win the remain games left on the schedule.
The other Big 12 match on the schedule for Saturday sees Oklahoma taking on TCU at Memorial Stadium in Norman.
The Sooners (6-1, 9-1 Big 12, No. 7 CFP), have been remarkable since losing to Texas in October and Bob Stoops firmly believes they can make the playoff.
And it’s not just the coach and players from Oklahoma who think so, as several college football experts are backing the men from Norman to continue their fine form and break into the top four, even with a defeat on the resume.
TCU, in the meantime, is not quite out of the college football playoff race as yet, but will know where they stand at the end of Saturday’s game.
A win for the Horned Frog (9-1, 6-1, Big 12, No. 18 CFP) would give them some hope, while crushing Oklahoma’s push, but a defeat would end theirs.
In other top 25 pairings, No. 15 LSU travels to No. 22 Ole Miss hoping to stop a two-game skid, No. 24 USC takes on No. 23 Oregon, while No. 20 Northwestern and No. 25 Wisconsin will go head-to-head,
Elsewhere in college football on Saturday, No. 1 Clemson should have their way against Wake Forest, which is on a four-game losing streak and has dropped six of the past seven outings.
No. 2 Alabama play host to Charleston Southern, No. 4 Notre Dame will take on Boston College at home.
NCAA College Football Top 25 Fixtures
Week 12, Saturday, November 21
No. 21 Memphis at Temple 12:00 PM ESPNU, WatchESPN
Florida Atlantic at No. 8 Florida 12:00 PM SECN, WatchESPN
No. 17 North Carolina at Virginia Tech 12:00 PM ESPN, WatchESPN
Purdue at No. 5 Iowa 12:00 PM ESPN2, WatchESPN
No. 12 Michigan at Penn State 12:00 PM ABC, WatchESPN
Chattanooga at No. 14 Florida State 3:00 PM ESPN3, WatchESPN
No. 19 Houston at Connecticut 3:30 PM ESPNU, WatchESPN
No. 15 LSU at No. 22 Ole Miss 3:30 PM CBS
Wake Forest at No. 1 Clemson 3:30 PM ESPN2, WatchESPN
No. 24 USC at No. 23 Oregon 3:30 PM ESPN, WatchESPN
UCLA at No. 13 Utah 3:30 PM FOX
No. 20 Northwestern at No. 25 Wisconsin 3:30 PM BTN
No. 9 Michigan State No. 3 Ohio State 3:30 PM ABC, WatchESPN
Charleston Southern at No. 2 Alabama 4:00 PM SECN, WatchESPN
No. 16 Navy at Tulsa 7:00 PM CBSSN
Boston College at No. 4 Notre Dame 7:30 PM NBCSN
No. 10 Baylor at No. 6 Oklahoma State 7:30 PM FOX
No. 18 TCU at No. 7 Oklahoma 8:00 PM ABC, WatchESPN
California at No. 11 Stanford 10:30 PM ESPN, WatchESPN