By Brad Carroll
The college football primetime games Saturday night has one huge matchup that should determine the Big 12's place in the College Football playoff, while another has two teams trying to work their way into the final four picture, plus another pair of huge rivalry games. Yes, it will be a huge night of action.
We preview, analyze and our college football experts pick the four games against the point spread below. Check out our Friday picks here and our Saturday afternoon picks here. Follow us on Twitter here.
No. 18 Ole Miss at No. 21 Mississippi State, 7:15 p.m., ESPN2
The Spread: Ole Miss -1; Mississippi State +1
Analysis: The Egg Bowl doesn't have the same allure as it did last season, when both Ole Miss and Mississippi State were title contenders during the season. This season, neither is a threat to even be considered an SEC title contender, let alone a national championship team. Both are ranked, but it's been a down season for both, considering the recent success of both programs. Ole Miss is 8-3 on the season, but hasn't been the same since upsetting Alabama on the road. The Running Rebels are 4-3 since that marquee win, with losses coming to Florida, Memphis and Arkansas. Mississippi State is also 8-3 but has won five of its last six games. The loss was a big one, however, a 31-6 home defeat to Alabama. These two teams are close in talent across the board, and while home field is typically a big turning point, Ole Miss should have just enough to get the win at Mississippi State.
Brad's Score: Ole Miss 38, Mississippi State 34
Craig's Score: Ole Miss 17, Mississippi State 13
Glenn's Score: Ole Miss 42, Mississippi State 38
Matt's Score: Mississippi State 24, Ole Miss 20 (upset pick)
No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 9 Stanford, 7:30 p.m., FOX
The Spread: Notre Dame +4; Stanford -4
Analysis: Notre Dame dropped out of the College Football Playoff's final four after a terrible performance against Boston College last week, a 19-16 win. Boston College has the worst offense in the country among big-name schools, losing 3-0 to Wake Forest as a prime example. Notre Dame still has just one loss and the popularity and history that would make the NCAA salivate over having it in the final four. But that win over Boston College may have destroyed their chances if the teams around them keep winning. The Irish's lone loss of the season came against No. 1 Clemson. This game against Stanford would represent another marquee win for the Irish that could sway the Playoff committee. Stanford has two losses already this season, so one would believe it has no shot to make the final four, even with a Pac-12 championship under its belt. With a couple of undefeated teams and a host of one-loss squads, Stanford would need to win this game and then the conference championship and hope enough teams ahead of it fall between now and then. Stanford's success always relies on how well Kevin Hogan plays, as the running game and defense will always be solid. Notre Dame, on the other hand, got terrible performance across the board last week against Boston College, with even star wide receiver Will Fuller struggling. It all adds up to a Stanford home victory.
Brad's Score: Stanford 28, Notre Dame 21
Craig's Score: Stanford 28, Notre Dame 21
Glenn's Score: Notre Dame 25, Stanford 17 (upset pick)
Matt's Score: Stanford 31, Notre Dame 17
No. 13 Florida State at No. 12 Florida, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
The Spread: Florida State -2; Florida +2
Analysis: Florida just might be the worst one-loss team in history, especially considering it comes from the SEC. The last three weeks, the Gators, who are 10-1, have beat Vanderbilt 9-7, South Carolina 24-14 and Florida Atlantic 20-14. Florida will play in the SEC championship game no matter what happens here and could ultimately play a role in whether or not an SEC team makes the College Football Playoff. If Florida beats Alabama in the conference title game, the SEC should be left out of the tournament altogether, as even if the Gators win here at home, there are several teams more deserving of a title shot. Florida State lost its opportunity to play for a championship for the third straight year when it lost to Georgia Tech and No. 1 Clemson this season. This game in the Swamp is a toss-up, where anyway you decided to go would make complete sense. But Florida just can't seem to put together a game worthy of a team to support with any pick, which makes Florida State the selection.
Brad's Score: Florida State 24, Florida 21
Craig's Score: Florida 20, Florida State 17 (upset pick)
Glenn's Score: Florida State 27, Florida 20
Matt's Score: Florida 28, Florida State 17 (upset pick)
No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State, 8 p.m., ABC
The Spread: Oklahoma -6.5; Oklahoma State +6.5
Analysis: This is easily the biggest matchup of the night, as it's a College Football Playoff elimination game. If Oklahoma wins, it will make the Playoff's final four, guaranteed. If Oklahoma State wins, it will have a case to make the Playoff, although it would be a lot harder to move up, and likely impossible at this late stage. A win by the Cowboys actually could help Baylor the most, as the Bears, with a win over TCU and Texas, could move into Playoff position, taking Oklahoma's spot in the tournament. Yes, it's going to be a wild finish for the Big 12. For the Sooners, Baker Mayfield should start at quarterback, which is huge news and could ultimately make the difference in a win or loss. For the Cowboys, a 45-35 home loss to Baylor last week has them reeling, especially since they had a Playoff spot in their hands. The Sooners will make the Playoff committee's job an easy one, but it won't be easy going on the football field. Oklahoma slips past Oklahoma State in a close, exciting game.
Brad's Score: Oklahoma 49, Oklahoma State 45
Craig's Score: Oklahoma State 40, Oklahoma 38 (upset pick)
Glenn's Score: Oklahoma 35, Oklahoma State 31
Matt's Score: Oklahoma State 35, Oklahoma 34 (upset pick)