What To Watch: Two Ranked Pac-12 Matchups Highlight Week 12 Games, Georgia Battles Third Straight Ranked Team

By November 18, 2023 (8:00 am)Football

There will be four games this week between ranked teams with the college football season winding down after the third reveal of the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday. The headliner is a top matchup between No. 5 Washington and No. 11 Oregon State in the Beavers home Reser Stadium.

Here are some games to keep eyes on for Saturday:

No. 22 Utah at No. 17 Arizona (2:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network): Despite this being a game between two teams the College Football Playoff selection committee sees as top-25 squads, the game won’t be broadcast on national television.

Regardless, it should be a good matchup. The Utes are coming off just a one-score loss to No. 5 Washington, falling 35-28. In the loss, quarterback Bryson Barnes threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns, and will be a player to watch despite the fact that this game won’t mean much to the College Football Playoff or the Pac-12 race. However, the winner can take home bragging rights and the chance to battle their way into a possible New Year’s Six bowl game.

Arizona defeated the early season media darlings, and since largely abandoned Colorado, just barely surviving a 34-31 fight. Jonah Coleman was the star for the Wildcats with 179 rushing yards despite only taking 11 handoffs.

No. 1 Georgia at No. 18 Tennessee (3:30 p.m., CBS): Anytime the No. 1 team in the country steps onto the field, it is going to get everything but the kitchen sink from its opponents. Nobody dreams of only getting to be a spoiler, but when given the opportunity to, every team wants to be the one that knocks off the best.

Georgia passed the test last week against then No. 9 Ole Miss, beating the Rebels handily by 35 points which was enough for the committee to match the AP Poll ranking and push them over Ohio State to the top spot. It was the most complete this year’s version of the Bulldogs have looked, and that was still without tight end Brock Bowers. It came just one week after they were able to beat Missouri, making the Volunteers the third straight ranked team Georgia matches up against.

Tennessee is coming off of a 29-point loss to No. 9 Missouri. Were they looking ahead to the game against the Bulldogs? Maybe. If they were, would it matter for the outcome of this game? Probably not. Georgia has won 37 consecutive regular season games, and while any team can win on any given day, it would be a big surprise to see the Bulldogs knocked off their pedestal on Saturday.

No. 5 Washington at No. 11 Oregon State (7:30 p.m., ESPN): This game was slotted into a prime-time night slot, and it is deserved between two top Pac-12 teams in the last season before the conference disbands.

If the Huskies are able to pull out another win and remain undefeated, they will clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship. They have had some close calls but have been able to keep their perfect record to this point, surviving No. 6 Oregon in a 36-33 win, beating Arizona by seven, and struggling with Arizona State in a 15-7 win.

Despite the close games, the Huskies’ offense has been very good with Heisman candidate Michael Penix Jr. under center who has thrown for 3,533 yards and 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions as he tries to both win the individual award and push his team into the playoffs to finish the regular season. All the Huskies need to do is survive a top matchup again.

Other notable games on the schedule include:

  • No. 3 Michigan at Maryland (12 p.m., Fox)
  • Rutgers at No. 12 Penn State (12 p.m., FS1)
  • Chattanooga at No. 8 Alabama (12 p.m., ESPN+)
  • UL Monroe at No. 13 Ole Miss (12 p.m., SECN)
  • No. 10 Louisville at Miami (Fla.) (12 p.m., ABC)
  • Wake Forest at No. 19 Notre Dame (3:30 p.m., NBC)
  • Illinois at No. 16 Iowa (3:30 p.m., FS1)
  • No. 20 North Carolina at Clemson (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
  • Minnesota at No. 2 Ohio State (4 p.m., BTN)
  • No. 6 Oregon at Arizona State (4 p.m., Fox)
  • North Alabama at No. 3 Florida State (6:30 p.m., CWN)
  • No. 21 Kansas State at No. 25 Kansas (7 p.m., FS1)
  • Florida at No. 9 Missouri (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
  • No. 7 Texas at Iowa State (8 p.m., Fox)
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