Published on NewsOK Modified: November 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm •  Published: November 27, 2013

No. 1 Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC) at No. 4 Auburn (10-1, 6-1), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

Line: Alabama by 10 1/2.

Series Record: Alabama leads 42-34-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Bragging rights, the SEC West title and a spot in the league championship game are on the line. Alabama and Auburn are both also trying to keep their national title hopes alive in a state that has claimed the last four BCS championships.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn's running game versus Alabama's run defense. The Tigers rank second nationally in rushing, averaging 320.3 yards on the ground with 37 touchdowns. Tre Mason is the SEC's No. 2 rusher and quarterback Nick Marshall ranks sixth and keeps defenses guessing with the zone read. Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley leads a run defense that is fifth in the nation, allowing 91.3 rushing yards per game with five touchdowns.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alabama: QB AJ McCarron. The Heisman Trophy candidate doesn't post gaudy stats — except for the 36-2 career record. McCarron does have 23 touchdowns against five interceptions. He faces a defense that just yielded 415 passing yards to Georgia's Aaron Murray but has been effective at harassing quarterbacks. Alabama has allowed two sacks in the past 29 quarters.

Auburn: Marshall. Much of his production in the second half of the season has come on the ground, but Marshall is actually averaging more yards total offense in SEC games (277.7) than McCarron (244.9). All four of his 200-yard passing games have come against SEC defenses, and he will almost certainly have to have some success through the air in his toughest test yet.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is only the second top-five Iron Bowl matchup. No. 3 Alabama beat No. 5 Auburn 31-7 in 1971. The last time the teams had one combined loss or fewer was 1994 when Alabama was 10-0 and Auburn 9-0-1. ... The Tigers are the highest ranked opponent Alabama has faced in the regular season when ranked No. 1. The previous high was No. 5 LSU last season. ... Auburn is 3-8 against No. 1 teams and 1-2 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. ... Alabama hasn't given up an offensive touchdown in the last two meetings, winning 49-0 and 42-14 while allowing one special teams TD and a defensive score. ... This is the first season Auburn has played both Georgia and Alabama at home.

___

No. 2 Florida State (11-0) at Florida (4-7), Saturday, Noon (ESPN)

Line: Florida State by 27 ½

Series record: Florida leads 34-21-2

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Florida State's national championship hopes. The Seminoles are on track to play for the title, but first need to get past rival Florida and the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division champion. Florida, meanwhile, is treating this like a bowl game. The Gators have lost six consecutive games, secured their first losing season since 1979 and will miss a bowl for the first time since 1990.

KEY MATCHUP

Florida State's high-scoring offense vs. Florida's sometimes-stout defense. The Seminoles rank second in the nation in scoring, averaging 55.2 points a game, and have won every game by at least 15 points. The Gators rank second in the Southeastern Conference and seventh nationally in total defense. But the unit also allowed game-clinching drives against Georgia and Georgia Southern this month.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Florida State: Freshman QB Jameis Winston leads the nation in passing efficiency (194.50) and is on pace to break the Football Bowl Subdivision record of 191.8 set by Wisconsin's Russell Wilson in 2011.

Florida: Freshman RB Kelvin Taylor has 188 yards rushing and two touchdowns the last two weeks and will be relied upon to help move the chains, milk the clock and keep Winston & Co. on the sideline.

FACTS & FIGURES

FSU has scored 40 or more points in 11 consecutive games, tying the FBS record set by Texas in 2005. The Seminoles lead the nation with 23 interceptions. ... FSU is the only team in the country to rank in the top five in both scoring offense and scoring defense. They are second in both. ... The Seminoles have scored 71 offensive touchdowns this season. The Gators have 89 in coach Will Muschamp's three seasons. ... Winston has 3,289 total yards this season — only 416 less than Florida's entire team in 2013. ... Florida will honor 17 seniors playing their finale before Saturday's game. ... The Gators are so banged up that just five players who also started the Sugar Bowl in January will start against FSU.

___

No. 3 Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) at Michigan (7-4, 3-4), Saturday, noon EST (ABC)

Line: Ohio State by 14½

Series record: Michigan leads 58-45-6.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Ohio State needs to stay unbeaten to have a shot at playing in the BCS national championship game. Michigan is playing for pride and postseason positioning.

KEY MATCHUP

The Wolverines will likely have to figure out a way to block standout LB Ryan Shazier to have any success on offense. And if that happens, it would be surprising. Michigan has struggled to protect Devin Gardner in the passing game and to open up holes in the running game. Shazier is one of the best linebackers in college football. The Butkus Award finalist leads the Big Ten with 108 tackles, 19.5 for losses and four forced fumbles.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ohio State: RB Carlos Hyde has run for 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games. The senior has 100-plus yards rushing in six straight games.

Michigan: Gardner will have to make plays with his arm and feet to keep it competitive. He has been spectacular at times, scoring five touchdowns in two games and accounting for 503 yards of offense once this season. Gardner, though, had a key fumble late in last week's loss at Iowa and has thrown at least two interceptions in four games.

FACTS & FIGURES:

Ohio State has won a school-record 23 straight games since losing to Florida in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, 2012, and at Michigan to close the 2011 regular season. ... Since the Wolverines won their last Big Ten title in 2003, they have lost eight of nine games against the Buckeyes. ... Ohio State is averaging a Big Ten-best 48.7 points per game, ranking third in the nation. ... Devin Funchess has 686 yards receiving, a single-season record for a Michigan tight end. ... Ohio State will meet Michigan State for the Big Ten title next week in Indianapolis. ... Michigan is hoping for its biggest upset in the rivalry since it was a 17-point underdog and beat Ohio State 13-9 at home in 1996.

___

No. 19 Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC) at No. 5 Missouri (10-1, 6-1), Saturday, 7:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Missouri by 4 1/2

Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-5.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Missouri controls its destiny. Win, and the Tigers take the SEC East and advance to the conference championship game Dec. 7 in Atlanta. Lose, and South Carolina gets the nod based on head-to-head competition. Texas A&M seeks to right the ship and improve bowl position after getting beat 34-10 at LSU last week.

KEY MATCHUP

Missouri defense vs. QB Johnny Manziel. Last year's Heisman Trophy winner directs one of the best offenses in the country, but he had one TD pass with two interceptions last week in a game that ended a run of three straight 50-plus point totals. Manziel was dazzling in a 59-29 victory over Missouri in 2012, throwing for three touchdowns and running for two more. A&M leads the SEC with a 45.7-point average, and Missouri's defense is second in the SEC at 19 points.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas A&M: WR Mike Evans. The sophomore Biletnikoff candidate was shut down by LSU freshman Rashard Robinson last week, held to four catches for 51 yards. He had 287 yards receiving against Auburn and 279 against No. 1 Alabama.

Missouri: RB Henry Josey. The senior scored two of the Tigers' three touchdowns last week. He's all the way back from a serious knee injury that caused a 659-day gap between games before this year's opener. He has four two-TD games and just missed a fourth 100-yard game last week.

FACTS & FIGURES

Schools joined SEC same year after 16 seasons together in Big 12. ... This will be Missouri's first home game in series since 2007 after three straight in College Station, Texas. ... Texas A&M is 11-0 at night last two seasons. ... Texas A&M surrendered 324 yards rushing and 517 total yards last week and had possession for just 19:41. ... Manziel, a redshirt sophomore, reportedly will decide whether to enter the 2014 NFL draft before the school's bowl game. ... Missouri has four double-digit win seasons, three under coach Gary Pinkel. Pinkel is 100-62 in 13 seasons and needs one more win to tie Don Faurot for the most in school history.

___

No. 6 Clemson (10-1) at No. 10 South Carolina (9-2), Saturday, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: South Carolina by 5.

Series record: Clemson leads 65-41-4.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The Palmetto Bowl rivals need victories to shore up BCS hopes. Clemson could cement a second BCS game in three seasons with its first victory over South Carolina since 2008. Though even with a loss the Tigers could end up in the BCS. The Gamecocks would see their chances boosted with a win, although they are also still alive for the SEC East crown.

KEY MATCHUP

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd vs. South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney. A year ago, Clowney got 4 1-2 sacks on Boyd in the Gamecocks 27-17 victory. This summer, Clowney jabbed Boyd was among quarterbacks who were scared of him. Boyd's largely laughed off the comments. Clowney has struggled this season with just two sacks. Boyd's struggled against South Carolina, throwing for 339 yards and taking 14 sacks in three appearances.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Clemson: WR Sammy Watkins has rebounded to the form of his freshman year when he became an All-American. The junior has 78 catches for 1,144 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's had 76 yards and no scores in his two rivalry games.

South Carolina: RB Mike Davis, the younger brother of former Clemson star James Davis, leads the Southeastern Conference in rushing with 1,122 yards and 10 touchdowns.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the first time Clemson and South Carolina have both been ranked in the top 10 when they've played. ... South Carolina carries a program-record 17-game home winning streak into Saturday night. A year ago, Clemson had won 13 straight at home before the Gamecocks' 27-17 victory at Death Valley. ... South Carolina QB Connor Shaw has not lost at home in his career and carries a school-record, 25-5 mark as a starting quarterback. Shaw surpassed ex-Gamecocks passer Todd Ellis for most victories last week. ... The Gamecocks last four-game win streak in the series was from 1951-54. They've never won five straight over Clemson. ... Clowney and fellow DE Kelcy Quarles, both juniors, will take part in South Carolina's Senior Day ceremonies.

___

No. 25 Notre Dame (8-3) at No. 8 Stanford (9-2), Saturday, 7 p.m. (Fox)

Line: Stanford by 14.

Series record: Notre Dame leads 18-9.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Pride, bragging rights and some bowl positioning. Unlike last year's matchup, both teams are already out of the national title picture, and the only way Stanford makes the Rose Bowl — or any BCS bowl — is by beating No. 13 Arizona State next week in the Pac-12 championship game.

KEY MATCHUP

Stanford's run defense vs. Notre Dame's run offense. Stanford is third in the nation against the run, giving up just 89.5 yards per game. Notre Dame ranks 78th in the country in rushing, averaging 157.1 yards. The last Fighting Irish running back to score a touchdown rushing against the Cardinal was Armando Allen in 2008.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Notre Dame: QB Tommy Rees. He completed all four of his passes for 43 yards and the winning TD in Notre Dame's overtime victory over Stanford last year after Everett Golson was knocked out. Rees has thrown for 2,739 yards, 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season.

Stanford: WR/KR Ty Montgomery. The do-it-all junior has been the Cardinal's best playmaker all season and is coming off one of the greatest individual performances in school history — albeit against a 1-11 California team. Montgomery matched a Stanford record with five touchdowns in a 63-13 blowout of the Golden Bears last Saturday. He's 10th in the country in all-purpose yards, averaging 160.91 this season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Stanford has won 15 straight home games. ... Notre Dame has defeated three teams currently ranked in the AP poll: No. 11 Michigan State, No. 13 Arizona State and No. 23 Southern California. ... Stanford has beaten three teams currently ranked: No. 12 Oregon, No. 13 Arizona State and No. 22 UCLA. ... The teams are 6-6 against each other at Stanford Stadium. ... The Legends Trophy is awarded to the winner of the game. ... The teams have met every year since 1988, with the exception of the 1995 and 1996 seasons.

___

No. 9 Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) at TCU (4-7, 2-6), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: Baylor by 13.

Series record: TCU leads 51-50-7.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Baylor's national championship hopes ended with a 49-17 loss last weekend at Oklahoma State, but the Bears can still share in their first Big 12 title — or even clinch it outright and get a Fiesta Bowl bid by winning their last two games if the Cowboys lost their season finale. The Horned Frogs will wrap up their first losing season since going 5-6 in 2004, but the last time they finished with fewer than five wins was a 1-10 record in 1997.

KEY MATCHUP

Shock Linwood and the Baylor ground game that gains a Big 12-best 280 yards rushing per game against the Big 12's top rushing defense (127.8 yards rushing per game). Can Linwood have a bounce-back game against the Frogs? Linwood, effectively the Bears' third-string running back before injuries to Big 12 rushing leader Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, had three consecutive 100 yards games before 14 carries for 29 yards with two fumbles against Oklahoma State. As for Seastrunk (groin) and Martin (knee), coach Art Briles said there is a "good chance that one" of them will be back at TCU.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Baylor: QB Bryce Petty has 26 TD passes with only one interception while throwing for 3,351 yards. He is on pace to set NCAA records with 18.6 yards per completion and 10.2 yards per play. He has also run for 10 TDs.

TCU: QB Casey Pachall, who left school after four games last season and missed five games this year with a broken bone in his non-throwing arm, plays his final game for the Horned Frogs. He has thrown for 887 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions his last three games.

FACTS & FIGURES

Baylor still leads the nation with 56.8 points a game, which is more than the NCAA single-season record of 56.0 by Army in 1944. ... The Bears' 568 points are only 21 shy of tying the school record set in 2011. ... TCU has won its last eight games following an open date, including one earlier this season. ... TCU coach Gary Patterson is 4-1 as a head coach against Baylor, and 4-1 against Bears coach Art Briles (2-0 at Houston, 2-1 at Baylor).

___

Minnesota (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) at No. 11 Michigan State (10-1, 7-0), Saturday, 12 p.m., Big Ten Network

Line: Michigan State by 14 ½.

Series record: Michigan State leads 28-17.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Michigan State has already wrapped up the Legends Division title, and the Spartans will play Ohio State in the conference championship game. Win that, and Michigan State will finally reach the Rose Bowl again after narrowly missing out in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Of course, the Spartans would still like to go to a prestigious bowl even if they lose the Big Ten title game — so they don't want a slip-up here against the Golden Gophers.

KEY MATCHUP

Minnesota RB David Cobb vs. Michigan State's top-ranked defense. The Spartans are ranked No. 1 in the country in total defense. The only team that's been able to move the ball against them with consistent success lately was Nebraska, with its strong running game. Cobb has rushed for 1,010 yards this season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Minnesota: QB Philip Nelson is coming off a 7-for-23 effort against Wisconsin, and the Gophers were held without an offensive touchdown in that game. The road isn't any easier this weekend. Minnesota was held to 96 yards of offense in a 26-10 loss to Michigan State last year.

Michigan State: It took Connor Cook a little while to settle in as the Spartans' starting QB, but in conference play he's completed 61 percent of his passes, with 11 touchdowns and only three interceptions. His best numbers have come against Illinois and Northwestern — two teams that are struggling — but he's avoided mistakes against pretty much everyone.