Three College Football Playoff contenders with the most on the line in Week 11
With three games left in regular season for most teams, it's crunch time for those who are still in the hunt for a College Football Playoff berth but need to move up in the rankings.
Below we'll outline three teams that have the most to gain in Week 11.
No. 4 Washington: vs. No. 20 USC, 7:30 p.m. (FOX)
Washington has the toughest remaining schedule of the teams currently ranked in the top four, despite having the weakest schedule up to this point among those same teams. The Huskies must beat No. 20 USC this weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive. They simply don't have the top tier wins that others in the top 10 have, as their road victory over No. 15 Utah is all they have to hang their hats on right now. Even one loss could be enough to keep Washington out of the playoff.
USC has proven to be a solid team and is much improved from where it was early in the season having won five straight with new starting quarterback Sam Darnold. A win over the Trojans would show the committee that Washington truly can hang with the big boys and should end the argument about whether any one-loss team should be ranked ahead of the Huskies.
No. 11 Oklahoma: vs. Baylor, 12:00 p.m. (ABC)
Despite its two early-season losses, Oklahoma is in prime position to capitalize on late-season chaos in the playoff rankings. The Sooners have an arduous closing schedule, facing Baylor, West Virginia on the road and Oklahoma State. A sweep of those games, and Bob Stoops's squad is in business. Baylor has struggled the past two weeks and dropped from the rankings as a result. However, it is still a challenging opponent.
Oklahoma obviously needs a lot of help to make its way in the playoff conversation, but a beatdown of the Bears is a good way to start. The Sooners have run the table in Big 12 play so far, their two losses coming to Ohio State and Houston. Look for their perfect conference record to continue.
No. 9 Auburn: at Georgia, 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Auburn won't have the ability to move up a whole lot this weekend, but it could jump Texas A&M with a convincing road win against Georgia. The Aggies host to a struggling Ole Miss team that will be without starting quarterback Chad Kelly, so a Tigers road win over a slightly better foe should bump up Gus Malzahn's team in next week's rankings.
A bad showing could see No. 10 Penn State, which travels to Indiana, leapfrog Auburn and create a larger shakeup throughout the top 10. Texas A&M and No. 2 Clemson both boast early-season wins at Auburn, so a third Tigers loss would certainly alter some strength of schedule considerations.
With a trip to Tuscaloosa to face No. 1 Alabama awaiting on Nov. 26, it's critical for the Tigers to put up a good showing this week against real competition. Auburn, like the rest of the SEC, decided to schedule a veritable bye next week.