(#12)Syracuse vs. (#3)Notre Dame
2:30 p.m., NBC
This is the big one for this Saturday. Syracuse came just short of upsetting Clemson earlier in the season. Can they actually pull it off this time around? A Notre Dame win is one step closer to reaching the College Football Playoffs for the first time, as the regular season finale is against an underwhelming USC squad. A victory by Syracuse would launch them into the top 10 and give the program some national buzz that has been lacking since Donovan McNabb was behind center for the Orange. This game, which will be played at Yankee Stadium, is a bit of a Sophie’s Choice for Penn State fans— a Syracuse loss would help Penn State’s NY6 Bowl positioning, but that would mean cheering for Brian Kelly and the Irish. This game also gives you an opportunity to point and laugh and Notre Dame’s optically offensive uniforms.
Prediction: Notre Dame-28, Syracuse-24
(#9)West Virginia at Oklahoma State
3:30 p.m., ABC
Oklahoma State was a failed two-point conversion from upsetting in-state foe Oklahoma last week. Now they get another shot at knocking off a top 10 team. The Cowboys may be 2-5 in its last seven games, but are still dangerous. The Mountaineers are still holding on to playoff hopes that could receive a major boost in the next several weeks. Plus, quarterback Will Grier is one of the most exciting players in college football. This game could easily light up the scoreboard and come down to a wild finish.
Prediction: West Virginia-42, Oklahoma State-38
Indiana at (#4)Michigan
4 p.m., FS1
After years of finishing no higher than third in the Big Ten East, Michigan is now in position to get over the hump and reach the playoffs- but first, they must topple the Hoosiers before taking on Ohio State and a potential re-match with Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game. Indiana stands at 5-5, but have a way about playing up to the level of competition and can be a tough out on certain Saturdays. The Hoosiers would also reach bowl eligibility if they can pull off the shocking upset.
Prediction: Michigan-28, Indiana-17
(#24)Cincinnati at (#11)Central Florida
8 p.m., ABC
UCF is riding a 22-game winning streak, yet won’t be considered for a playoff spot by the committee since they are out of the Power 5. At least they have an ABC prime time game to bask in the spotlight. Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati squad could be the team to end the streak, however. The Bearcats boast an incredibly talented backfield in quarterback Desmond Rider, a freshman dual-threat who is hard to stop, and running back Michael Warren II, who is already over the 1,000 yard mark. This has all the makings of a hard-fought battle that goes down to the wire as both teams duke it out for a potential conference championship. Prediction: Cincinnati-34, UCF-31