Week 10 preview: Bedlam at its best; Heisman RB rebounds
The first College Football Playoff rankings are out and seven games matching ranked teams this weekend have the potential to make the second rankings look much different.
The seven ranked vs. ranked games match a record for one week in the history of the AP poll. It’s happened five times previously, the last in 2015. Also, unlike many Saturdays, the best games aren’t stacked up in one time slot. Usually, the television networks stuff the prime-time window with most of the day’s best games.
Last week, the 3:30 ET window was overloaded and had fans wearing out their remotes and firing up multiple screens.
On Saturday, a fan can watch games matching ranked teams from noon (No. 3 Ohio State at Iowa) until whenever #Pac12AfterDark (No. 23 Arizona at No. 17 Southern California) ends.
Things to know about week 10 of the college football season.
No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State
Two of the top five offenses. Two Heisman Trophy contender quarterbacks. Two teams with playoff hopes that can’t afford another loss. When it comes to Bedlam, it doesn’t get much better than this one.
Baker Mayfield and the Sooners have won the last two meetings against Mason Rudolph and the Cowboys, though Rudolph hardly played in the 2015 meeting. In the last five meetings, both teams have scored at least 20 points and the winner has reached 33 points in all those games.
By the numbers, the Cowboys have the advantage on the defensive side, ranking 19th in the country in yards allowed per play (4.79). The Sooners defense has been a problem, ranking 71st in the nation (5.63 yards per play).
Mayfield and Rudolph both have a chance to make Heisman statements, but two running backs trying to bounce back are the pick here.
Penn State’s Saquon Barkley was held to 44 yards on 21 carries last week in a loss to Ohio State, though he did have a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and another long scoring run. The seventh-ranked Nittany Lions try to rebound from their first loss of the season against No. 24 Michigan State and its stingy run defense, allowing 2.83 yards per rush.
Later, No. 20 Stanford hopes to have Bryce Love back in action against No. 25 Washington State. The Cardinal played without the nation’s leading rusher last week against Oregon State, and barely escaped with a last-second victory.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
6 — No. 1 Alabama’s winning streak against LSU, the longest in the series since the Crimson Tide won 11 in a row from 1971-81.
13 — Seasons in which Miami has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference without reaching the league championship game. The ninth-ranked Hurricanes can clinch their first division title by beating No. 13 Virginia Tech at home and having Georgia Tech lose at Virginia. Even if the Yellow Jackets don’t help, the Hurricanes will be in great shape with a victory to earn a trip to Charlotte.
36 — Number of plays of at least 30 yards for Arizona, the most in FBS. That includes four runs of at least 70 yards from quarterback Khalil Tate.
75 — J.T. Barrett’s completion percentage during Ohio State’s six-game winning streak.
UNDER THE RADAR
Can Florida and Florida State get bowl eligible? Both need November winning streaks to get there, and that includes a game against each other.
Any chance the Gators (3-4) and Seminoles (2-5) have to salvage their disappointing seasons starts Saturday with games that before the season would have appeared to be gimmes. Florida plays its first game under interim coach Randy Shannon at Missouri. Florida State hosts Syracuse.
Both Florida and Florida State had games cancelled by the hurricanes in September and, for now, will play only 11 games.
HOT SEAT WATCH
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
The Aggies are in danger of another second-half swoon after losing at home to Mississippi State last week to drop to 5-3. Now, No. 14 Auburn comes to College Station. The road team has won each meeting between these teams since A&M joined the SEC in 2012.
Sumlin has not been able to get over the eight-win hump in his last three seasons and Aggies fans want more. To do so, Texas A&M needs to upset the Tigers.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP
More college football coverage: http://collegefootball.ap.org and www.Twitter.com/AP_Top25