College Football: Making sense of Friday, Saturday games that matter

Three months of college football celebrations and crushing upsets come down to one last weekend of the regular season.

Having trouble keeping track of all the games?

RELATED: What you need to know about Ohio State vs. Michigan

Not sure how they affect conference title games or the playoff picture?

Here’s a look at Friday and Saturday’s biggest games in a nutshell.


** Noon, No. 24 Virginia Tech at Virginia, ABC: The winner in this battle of three-loss teams makes the ACC title game, where it will face Clemson.

** Noon, Toledo at Central Michigan, ESPNU: If Central wins, they earn a spot in the MAC title game against Miami. If they lose, Western Michigan goes.

RELATED: Miami RedHawks prepare for MAC title game

** 3:30 p.m., No. 19 Cincinnati at No. 18 Memphis, ABC: Cincy already has a spot in the American Conference final, but Memphis needs to win to force a rematch between these 10-1 teams next week. If Memphis loses, Navy likely gets the spot.

** 3:30 p.m., No. 20 Boise State at Colorado State, CBSSN: Boise State (10-1) has to keep winning, here and in next week's Mountain West title game, for a chance to leapfrog Cincinnati/Memphis for a "New Year's Six" bowl berth.

** 6 p.m., No. 25 Appalachian State at Troy, ESPN+: Appalachian State (10-1) is the other small-conference team still hanging on with a single loss.


** Noon, No. 1 Ohio State at No. 13 Michigan, FOX: Ohio State has already locked up a Big Ten title game spot and might not even drop out of the top four with a loss here. … But the game still means everything.

** Noon, No. 3 Clemson at South Carolina, ESPN: Clemson, on the other hand, likely would drop out of the top four with a loss. They're also on the road against their in-state rival. But they won't take 4-7 South Carolina lightly after the Gamecocks shocked Georgia.

RELATED: Key OSU defender may not play vs. Michigan

** Noon, No. 4 Georgia at Georgia Tech, ABC: We already know Georgia will play LSU in the SEC finale next week, but with one bad loss already, they can't afford even a close game against 3-8 Tech.

** 3:30 p.m., No. 12 Wisconsin at No. 8 Minnesota, ABC: Winner faces Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game. A Minnesota win keeps them alive in the playoff hunt, although they'd have to beat OSU.

** 3:30 p.m., No. 5 Alabama at No. 15 Auburn, CBS: Neither team will play in the SEC title game, but a win keeps Alabama very much alive in the playoff hunt, just waiting for Georgia, Oklahoma and others to lose this week or next. … But can they win at Auburn with backup QB Mac Jones?

** 3:30 p.m., No. 9 Baylor at Kansas, ESPN: The Bears need to beat the downtrodden Jayhawks, then beat Oklahoma next week in the Big 12 title game to have a playoff shot.

** 7 p.m., Texas A&M at No. 2 LSU, ESPN: Like Ohio State, LSU might have enough cushion that a loss here doesn't eliminate their playoff hopes. But they don't want to find out. Texas A&M has four losses, but those losses were to Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Auburn, and all were respectable.

** 7:30 p.m., Colorado at No. 6 Utah, ABC: A Utah win here, plus a win over Oregon in the Pac-12 title game next week, would put them solidly in the chase for the No. 4 playoff spot. A loss here and the Pac-12 can turn out the lights.

** 8 p.m., No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 21 Oklahoma State, FOX: Oklahoma has a chance to finish the season with back-to-back strong wins, on the road here against their rival, then on a neutral field next week against Baylor. But even that might not be enough for a playoff spot, as their last three weeks have included home wins by 1 over Iowa State and by 4 over TCU.

** Other top teams' games: Rutgers at No. 10 Penn State, 3:30 Saturday, BTN … Oregon State at No. 14 Oregon, 4:00 Saturday PAC-12 … No. 16 Notre Dame at Stanford, 4:00 Saturday, FOX … Florida State at No. 11 Florida, 7:30 Saturday, SEC.

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