The first sort-’em-out Saturday of the college football season is here, and no team is facing more pressure than No. 13 Alabama. The Crimson Tide risks being sorted right out of the College Football Playoff race by Georgia.
Five games match ranked teams Saturday, including the Tide visiting No. 8 Georgia. Three more games match an undefeated team against a ranked team, including No. 1 Ohio State at Indiana.
Most of the teams involved in the feature games have yet to lose, so they have a little slack if they slip up. Then there’s Alabama.
Two weeks removed from getting beaten at home by Ole Miss, another loss would put the Tide’s hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff for the second straight season in critical condition.
A similar story can be told for No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 12 Clemson. Huge game in Death Valley, but not an elimination game. Still, the margin between who is in and who gets left out could be determined this weekend.
No. 3 Ole Miss (minus 7) at No. 25 Florida
Rebels Land Shark D could be doing the chomping against the Gators ... Ole Miss 31-13.
No. 6 Notre Dame (plus 1½) at No. 12 Clemson
Irish cannot win the ACC, but they could do some serious damage to its playoff hopes ... Notre Dame 27-24.
No. 13 Alabama (plus 2½) at No. 8 Georgia
For those who find spread football appalling, Tide’s defensive line vs. Bulldogs offensive line is old-school fun ... Georgia 24-21.
No. 21 Mississippi State (plus 6½) at No. 14 Texas A&M
Neither team has been able to run it much so it’s likely Dak Prescott vs. Kyle Allen for the win ... Texas A&M 38-28.
No. 23 West Virginia (plus 6½) at No. 15 Oklahoma
Sooners QB Baker Mayfield against maybe the best secondary in the Big 12 ... Oklahoma 31-23.
No. 1 Ohio State (minus 21) at Indiana
How good are the undefeated Hoosiers? We’re about to find out ... Ohio State 42-20.
No. 5 Baylor (minus 17) vs. Texas Tech
Can Red Raiders be ready for another race after sprinting with TCU last week? ... Baylor 58-38.
Arizona (plus 14) at No. 18 Stanford
No LB Scooby Wright (foot) for Wildcats and maybe no QB Anu Solomon (concussion) ... Stanford 28-17.
Iowa (plus 6½) at No. 19 Wisconsin
Teams play for the Heartland Trophy, a big bronze bull — of course ... Wisconsin 27-17.
Kansas State (plus 8) at No. 20 Oklahoma State
Bill Snyder’s team looking to quietly improve to 5-0 ... Kansas State 28-24.
Purdue (plus 21½) at No. 2 Michigan State
Spartans have been outgained on the season, an ominous sign for a team ranked so highly ... Michigan State 38-21.
Texas (plus 15) at No. 4 TCU
The brutal losses are piling up on Texas and the schedule provides no breaks ... TCU 48-31.
Arizona State (plus 14) at No. 7 UCLA
Sun Devils season is quickly slipping away. Do they put up a fight or pack it in? ... UCLA 38-21.
No. 11 Florida State (plus 20) at Wake Forest
Good week for Seminoles QB Everett Golson to get his act together ... Florida State 37-14.
Minnesota (plus 3½) at No. 16 Northwestern
Wildcats LB Anthony Walker an early contender for Big Ten defensive player of the year ... Northwestern, 23-14.
No. 22 Michigan (minus 16) at Maryland
How good are the Wolverines? Better question might be how bad are the Terps? ... Michigan 35-14.
Washington State (plus 18) at No. 24 California
If you love spread offenses and passes, enjoy ... California 45-28.
Arkansas (plus 7) at Tennessee
Misery Bowl. The winner’s fans will still be pretty miserable, too ... Tennessee 24-17.
Oregon (minus 7½) at Colorado
The Ducks have outscored the Buffs by an average of 54-10 in last four meetings ... Oregon 45-28.
Houston (minus 7) at Tulsa
American Athletic Conference bonkers game of the week ... Houston 48-38.
Nebraska (minus 6½) at Illinois
Lose to the Illini and the honeymoon ends for Huskers fans and new coach Mike Riley ... Nebraska 35-24.
10-9-2 vs. spread.