It's weeks such as these when the college football season can get turned upside down.
Only one game on the schedule matches ranked teams - South Carolina at Florida. Another game serves as a good reminder of how drastically the national championship race can change when it's least expected.
Southern California visits Stanford on Saturday, 13 months after the Cardinal ended the Trojans' 35-game home winning streak as a 41-point underdog.
USC was No. 2 in the country when it committed five turnovers and gave up the winning touchdown pass on fourth down with 49 seconds left to Stanford. In a 2007 season filled with memorable upsets, Stanford's stunner ranked among the most surprising.
An improved Stanford team, 5-5 under second-year coach Jim Harbaugh, is only a 23-point underdog as it goes for two straight against USC. The Trojans (8-1) can't afford another loss if they want to stay in the hunt for a national title.
Several other teams with much on the line face lightly regarded opposition Saturday.
the top-ranked Crimson Tide as a 20-point underdog.
Utah tries to stay unbeaten and keep its hopes of reaching the BCS alive at San Diego State. The Aztecs are a 28 1/2-point underdog.
Indiana, 34 1/2-point underdog, can do severe damage to Penn State's Rose Bowl hopes if the Hoosiers can pull off a Stanford-like upset.
And the one game matching ranked teams doesn't figure to be all that close either. Florida is a 21-point favorite over South Carolina and former Gators coach Steve Spurrier.
The picks:
Friday
No. 22 Cincinnati (minus 3 1/2) at Louisville
Bearcats are 1-9 in Battle for the Keg of Nails ... CINCINNATI 27-20.
Saturday
Mississippi State (plus 20) at No. 1 Alabama
Tide won't be Croomed by Bulldogs again ... ALABAMA 27-6.
No. 24 South Carolina (plus 21) at No. 3 Florida
Gamecocks have No. 1 D in SEC; Gators have No. 1 offense ... FLORIDA 37-13.
No. 4 Texas (minus 13 1/2) at Kansas
Jayhawks are 0-6 against Texas in Big 12 play ... TEXAS 48-28.
No. 6 Southern California (minus 23) at Stanford
Trojans have allowed 23 points in six-game winning streak ... USC 34-6.
Indiana (plus 34 1/2) at No. 7 Penn State
Hoosiers' porous D should give boost to Nittany Lions offense ... PENN STATE 49-20.
No. 8 Utah (minus 28 1/2) at San Diego State
BYU ... UTAH 44-13.
No. 9 Boise State (minus 34 1/2) at Idaho
Broncos averaged 59 points in last four games vs. Vandals ... BOISE STATE 59-14.
No. 10 Ohio State (minus 10) at Illinois
Illini beat Buckeyes in Columbus last year ... OHIO STATE 37-17.
No. 11 Oklahoma State (minus 16 1/2) at Colorado
Buffaloes have won 11 of last 13 against Cowboys ... OKLAHOMA STATE 34-24.
No. 12 Missouri (minus 26 1/2) at Iowa State
Tigers can clinch Big 12 North with win, Kansas loss ... MISSOURI 44-17.
No. 13 Georgia (minus 8) at Auburn
Tigers need one more win to be bowl eligible ... GEORGIA 28-14.
No. 16 BYU (minus 4) at Air Force
Cougars have won three straight against Falcons ... AIR FORCE 28-24.
No. 17 North Carolina (minus 2 1/2) at Maryland
Tar Heels victory would help sort out muddled ACC races ... MARYLAND 27-21.
Troy (plus 19 1/2) at No. 19 LSU
Postponed by Hurricane Ike in September ... LSU 35-20.
Boston College (plus 7) at No. 20 Florida State
Home team has lost three straight in series ... FLORIDA STATE 28-17.
California (plus 3) at No. 23 Oregon State
Beavers' Jacquizz Rodgers set Pac-10 freshman rushing record ... OREGON ST 30-24.
No. 25 Tulsa (minus 5) at Houston
Cougars could tie Tulsa for first in C-USA West ... HOUSTON 48-42.
---
Last week: 15-5 (straight); 11-9 (vs. points).
Season: 161-47 (straight); 101-92 (vs. points).

Recent NCAAF Discussions

2016 College Conference Previews on Tue, Jun 2016 by Blade
2016 QB Rankings on Wed, Jun 2016 by Blade
2016 Coaching Changes on Wed, Jun 2016 by Blade

NCAAF Headlines

More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Saban not focused on satellite camps After spending part of last week lashing out about satellite camps, Alabama coach Nick Saban now says...
Thumbnail Briles out, Grobe in at Baylor The Baylor football team has a new coach as Art Briles has been fired and Jim Grobe will be...
Thumbnail Cal lands Davis Webb The Cal Bears may have lost the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft at quarterback, but the Golden Bears seem to have found a good replacement...
Thumbnail FSU dismisses running back The Florida State Seminoles have parted ways with running back Mario Pender after a recent arrest.
Thumbnail Hokies suspend two defenders The Justin Fuente era of Virginia Tech football isn’t off to a great start, as two defensive players have been indefinitely...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages