Baylor's Oklahoma test, Purdue's next upset bid and more

The No. 4 spot in college football is held by Oregon. 3 and Ohio State at Number. 4 but Michigan State drops down to No. 7 after Purdue's loss. (2:31).
The second season of Dave Aranda at Baylor was full of turning points. The Bears went from 2-7 to 7-2 last year but suffered a setback last Wednesday in a loss of 30-28 to TCU after Gary Patterson's departure.

Aranda's best measure of how far his Bears are with Oklahoma visiting town is this week. The Sooners won 17 consecutive games and have also won eight consecutive games against ranked conference rivals, just one shy of matching the longest such streak since 1936 in the AP poll era.

Baylor is now 5-0 after a solid home season that included conference wins over Iowa State and West Virginia, as well as a win over BYU. Aranda lost Joey McGuire this week, who was also his assistant coach and coached outside linebackers. However, he said that he isn't worried about the disruption. He stated that the Bears count on their home crowd.

Aranda stated this week, "I think everybody knows what's in store for us there on Saturday. The stage that we have. And the chance that's at our disposal." "And I'm sure everyone knows how much effort it will require."

Caleb Williams, Oklahoma's offensive coordinator, is what the Bears expect. Aranda said he had "injected some firepower" in the Sooners' offense, and that he doesn't mind throwing into tight windows. This will put them to the test.

Baylor's rush offense is ranked eighth in the nation with 230.9 yards per match. Abram Smith, who already has more than 1,000 yards and has six 100 yard games, as well as 11 TDs, leads Baylor's rush defense. Despite their struggles, the Sooners still rank 17th in run defense with 108.2 yards per match. With the return of D.J., the Sooners believe that the defense will improve. Graham and Jalen Redmond, defensive tackle, were defeated by Texas Tech last week. Also, Woodi Washington could return to the field this week. -- Dave Wilson

No. No. 6 Michigan at Penn State (noon ET on ABC): Michigan has had its fair share of consequential games and this weekend's game will no exception.

A win by Penn State would be a setback for Michigan's chances of a Big Ten championship berth. However, a Michigan win would allow Michigan to play Ohio State in one the most meaningful rivalry games that we have seen in recent years.

The home game is for the Nittany Lions so the crowd will be there. Michigan suffered a delay in the first game of the 2019 season at Happy Valley due to the excitement of the crowd. Harbaugh is open to the crowd, but he stated this week that he tried to make use of it as a player.

Harbaugh stated, "Personally, I like to pretend they cheer for me when I'm a player." "I believe I see our players adopting that mindset. Their music is our music. ... ...There are only 11 players per side who can have an impact on the game and the officials.

Harbaugh will be criticized by the crowd, but the efficiency of both programs in the red zone will not go unnoticed.

Michigan is currently ranked 89th in red-zone touchdown percentage. They score a touchdown 55.6% of time that the offense is in the zone. The defense at Penn State ranks second in red-zone efficiency, holding opponents to touchdowns in 29.4% of red zone drives.

James Franklin, Penn State's coach, stated that red zone defense was the main focus this offseason. He attributes the success of recruiting more length in secondary, particularly corners over 6 feet, and being able occupy more space within the red zone due to his size and length. Franklin also credited John Scott Jr., defensive line coach, for creating more awareness and soundness upfront.

"We aren't giving up big plays on screens. Franklin stated that we aren't giving up big scrambles by quarterbacks because I believe we're more disciplined within the pocket. John's arrival was a real shift. We had many discussions, and it was going to change regardless of whether John came in. That's what I believe has helped us."

No matter what the reason, Penn State has made improvements, but the defense will be challenged by Michigan's offense, especially the run.

The Wolverines average 234.1 rush yards per match, which ranks seventh among FBS programs. The defense of Penn State ranks 49th with 137.1 rush yards per game, but there are questions about injuries to Michigan's offense.

Blake Corum, running back, was injured in an apparent leg accident during the Indiana game. He did not return. A.J. Henning, the team's top punt returner, was also injured and was also out of the Indiana game.

Harbaugh did not update the status of these players but stated on his weekly radio program that the team should be able to know their status by mid-week.

It would be a huge impact on a crucial game for both sides if those three couldn't or were limited to play. -- Tom VanHaaren

play 1:08 Finebaum - CFP committee ranks Michigan over MSU is absurd Paul Finebaum criticizes the CFP Committee for ranking Michigan higher than Michigan State.

No. 1 Georgia at Tennessee (3:30 pm. ET, CBS: Georgia hasn’t been in close games since its season-opening win over Clemson (10-3). The Dawgs have been ineffective on defense, resulting in a string of blowouts. In nine games, they've allowed only five touchdowns on defense.

Josh Heupel, Tennessee's coach, stated statistically that Georgia's defense was "maybe as strong as anyone who has ever played this game. I mean, as a unit."

ESPN was told by an NFL coach that the Dawgs have five to six players in their defensive front seven who will likely be selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, even though Anderson has been suspended as a linebacker.

The interesting thing about Georgia's Saturday trip to Neyland Stadium is that the Dawgs will be put to the test defensively in a way they haven’t been this season. Everyone has complained about the Vols' offensive pace, as well as their ability to make explosive plays.

If Tennessee wants to win this game, they must find a way for them to score quickly and reach a Georgia secondary that has been well protected by a dominant defensive front. Tennessee is leading the league in plays over 30 yards and plays over 40 yards this season. Georgia, on the other hand, has allowed only seven plays of 30 or more yards all season.

Heupel's first season as Tennessee's Vols coach has seen the Vols rank third in the SEC for scoring offense with 38.2 points per match. He stated that the Vols must find balance in offense and not allow the Dawgs load up on the pass.

Heupel stated, "You can see how certain games have played out and how their defense has turned the game around in as little as two, three minutes." "So we need to do a great job taking care of the football, then go out and make some plays."

Because they haven't been in that situation this season, it's anyone's guess as to how the Dawgs will react in a fourth quarter game on the road. The Vols' lack of depth on defense is beginning to show in the second quarter. Georgia might just play the running game.

The Vols have suffered from poor quarters and even whole halves in their four losses this season. They were outscored 28-7 by Alabama in the fourth quarter, and they were outscored in the second half against Florida.

Tennessee has been playing above its personnel for much of the season, and has managed to mask its small roster with its fast-paced offense. Georgia coach Kirby Smart is aware that this will present a new challenge for his defense.

It's unique. Smart stated that you don't have to face it every day. "They have done an incredible job by being explosive at the tempo. Chris Low

No. 19 Purdue at Number. 4 Ohio State (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC: Purdue coach Jeff Brohm was likely to smile when his players saw the latest College Football Playoff rankings. The Boilermakers were certainly excited about their first CFP ranking (No. 19 They might have been even more thrilled to see Ohio State, their opponent this week, slip into the top four.

Purdue has defeated two of the top four ranked opponents in the CFP and AP polls in the four previous games. Now Purdue is aiming at the Big Ten's greatest Goliath.

Brohm stated, "I believe we're open to taking some chances against really great opponents that maybe other aren't." "We don't fear the challenge and we look forward seeing how we compare to really tough competitors." Editor's Picks CFP rankings takeaways - Cincinnati has a chance; Big Ten sets for drama Heather Dinich

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The defense at Ohio State has made great strides this season and tries to slow down the offensive's most creative offense. Aidan O'Connell is a hot quarterback, with a completion percentage of 71%. This ranks fifth nationally and puts him on pace to break the team record. David Bell, an All-America nominee who leads the Big Ten in receiving yards (1.003) and is sixth nationally, will be testing a predominantly young Buckeyes secondary.

Ryan Day, Ohio State's coach, said that "this is a new challenge." "We haven't really gone against a style offense like this."

Day reiterated his belief that Ohio State does not need to win with style points after consecutive wins over Penn State, Nebraska and Nebraska. This week, Day is absolutely correct. The Buckeyes must win after what the "Spoilermakers' have done recently. -- Adam Rittenberg

Florida State at Miami (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App: Although this rivalry game has not had any national implications in a while, this year's meeting does have ACC implications. This might be hard to believe given the way these two teams began the season: Miami 0-4, and the Seminoles 2-4. There are major questions about the coaches and direction of their respective programs.

Since then, both teams have made progress but Miami has been the most consistent. After opening ACC play with heartbreaking defeats to Virginia and North Carolina, the Hurricanes have won three consecutive games. The Hurricanes have a win streak that includes a victory over Pitt, the leader in the Coastal Division -- which is why they are still in contention to be in the ACC championship.

Currently, ESPN FPI gives Pitt a 67% chance of winning the Coastal. Next is Miami at 17%. The Hurricanes must win to get to Charlotte, North Carolina. They need help. In essence, Miami must lose to at least one ACC match over the last three weeks. It's possible to go the easy way: Pitt loses to North Carolina on Thursday, and then Pitt wins over Virginia on November 20. It's easier said than done.

A month ago, no one was discussing the possibility of Miami making the ACC championship. Instead, all the talk was about coach Manny Diaz returning for another year. Miami's win over Florida State is the longest winning streak in the series, going back to 2000. A win over Florida State would be significant not only for Diaz's future but also for Miami's hopes of winning the ACC championship. -- Andrea Adelson

No. No. 15 Ole Miss (7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App: Matt Corral's ankle doesn't seem to be getting better.

Although rest might be the best option for Ole Miss' star quarterback (and it is), there are no other options. He cannot continue to miss practice as he did last week, just like he did during the win over Liberty. There's no week off.

Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss coach, said Corral is in a position where he's regaining the injury every Saturday. "I think that this week will be very similar than last week."

Corral is still able to pass the ball downfield and stand in the pocket, but his mobility issues are a problem. Look at what happened against Liberty. Jerrion Ealy ran 70 yards, and the Rebs ran for 72 yards on 27 carries.

Ole Miss' offense will be limited if Corral doesn't keep it in the option games. Ben Brown, the senior offensive lineman, was also lost for the season due to a torn quad.

Corral already has his top three receivers.

Dontario Drummond was injured in his hamstring and missed the Liberty game. Braylon Sanders has been out of his walking boots and is currently recovering from an ankle injury. However, Kiffin says that he's not 100%. Jonathan Mingo may not be able to return from the broken foot until a possible bowl game.

Quarterback-turned-receiver John Rhys Plumlee had a career day against Liberty, catching seven passes for 110 yards, but he has only seven catches for 54 yards in four SEC games this season.

Kiffin stated that the Texas A&M defense is the best Ole Miss has ever seen in terms of personnel and is loaded with NFL-caliber talent.

He said, "These guys are elite, elite players." -- Alex Scarborough

Washington State is No. 3 Oregon (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN: The off-field drama involving Nick Rolovich, former head coach of Washington State, dominated Washington State's season. However, the Cougars did something that few outside their fan base noticed: They began to win.

Wazzu is the only Pac-12 team to have won four consecutive games. This tie the longest streak with Oregon. Autzen Stadium's game is crucial for the Ducks' College Football Playoff hopes. However, it also presents a huge opportunity for the Cougars. With a win, they would be in first place in North. The Cougars will be strong contenders for the Pac-12 title with Arizona on the field and Washington reeled in the Apple Cup.

Mario Cristobal, Ducks coach, said that they were "really impressive" against other teams and how they won. "The way they force turnovers... playing with passion, executing at an high level because at end of day, playing hard is great, but execution and playing hard is what sets apart the truly good teams from others. They're doing that.

In conference play, the Cougars have made 16 turnovers, four more than any other team in the league and seven more than Oregon. WSU is just 3-14 against an unranked Oregon team, but many of the WSU players have had success against the Ducks. WSU had won four consecutive victories against the Ducks before their wins in Oregon in 2019 and 2020. This was also when both teams were ranked 2018. The Cougars are blessed with two of the best offensive players in the conference in Jayden de Laura (quarterback) and Max Borghi (running back), but they know that playing at Oregon will be the toughest challenge they'll face all year.

Jake Dickert, WSU acting coach, stated that the biggest reason why they have my respect and admiration is not only because of their players. They're well coached, their plans are detailed and attack people every week. They win the line of Scrimmage. Their details, their discipline, and their self-control are what they show.

"You can't do the same thing they did and become No. These things are what make the No. 3 team in the country.

The Ducks' 31-24 overtime loss to Stanford at Stanford looks worse than it did Oct. 2. Kayvon Thibodeux, despite a slow start because of injury, has shown the talent that will make him one the first players to leave the board for the 2022 NFL draft. The five quarterback rushes he has made in the last four games is nearly the same as his 24 previous games with the Ducks ((6)).

It is impossible to understate the magnitude of this game and it will be so for Oregon throughout the remainder of the season as long as they keep winning. It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which it could lose again but still make the playoff. WSU's loss is the worst case scenario. It opens up the possibility for the Cougars reaching the Pac-12 title games, which will be played in Las Vegas. Kyle Bonagura