6. Georgia at Auburn: Here’s the plan for 9-1 Auburn. Grind down the Bulldogs with the running attack that chews up 320 yards a game, and then start the two-week preparation for Armageddon. That’s when Alabama comes to town. Now if only Georgia will cooperate. But the Bulldogs have scored 76 unanswered points against the Tigers going back to the first quarter in 2011.
7. Miami at Duke: Funny, how different the same 7-2 record can feel. Suddenly, Miami is needing to salvage a year that began to go sour at Florida State. Suddenly, Duke is celebrating its first winning season in 19 years and talking about playing for the ACC championship. The Blue Devils’ defense has scored as many fourth-quarter touchdowns this season (2), as it has allowed.
8. Alabama at Mississippi State: Alabama keeps churning its way toward history, winning eight of its nine games by at least 21 points, Nick Saban warns of letdowns and everyone else looks for cracks. Probably none to be found this week. The Tide have outscored Mississippi State 155-34 their last five meetings.
9. Ohio State at Illinois: Evan Spencer will not be doting the “i” in Script Ohio this week, after his brash words about wiping the floor with Alabama and Florida State annoyed Urban Meyer. But all the Buckeyes are starting to grumble about their No. 3 BCS spot and can afford to show no mercy. They’ve won 21 in a row. Illinois has dropped 19 consecutive Big Ten games. You do the math.
10. Oklahoma State at Texas: Texas has made the U-turn of the season with six consecutive wins so the Mack Brown hit squad has been furloughed. In its first three leaky weeks, the Longhorn defense allowed an average of 308 yards per game, with two total sacks. In the six games since, it has allowed an average of 123 yards with 25 sacks. Oklahoma State, with its own Big 12 title designs, has 71 players from Texas on its roster.