Week 14 of the college football season is upon us, and there is less than one month of the regular season. The final College Football Playoff rankings will be unveiled on Dec. 20, and the race to the final four is heating up in a hurry.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an effect on the schedule each week, but there is a full slate of games on tap for Week 14. Here is a look at 12 of the top Week 14 games that feature at least one Top 25 team.
The Pac-12 Conference got started extremely late this season, and it's hard to get a true read on each team from this league. The 3-0 USC Trojans will host the 1-1 Washington State Cougars on Friday night to help kick off the Week 14 slate.
Washington State has been dealing with several COVID-19 issues on its team, but the Cougars have been great on offense when taking the field. Washington State has averaged 33.5 points per game through two contests, and it features a balanced offense.
USC is a perfect 3-0 so far in 2020, and it is likely the best shot that the Pac-12 Conference has of reaching the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Kedon Slovis has the Trojans averaging more than 320 passing yards per game, and USC wants to play fast.
The Big Ten Conference has been wildly unpredictable this season, especially in the West Division. The 2-3 Illinois Fighting Illini will host the 4-2 Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday in what could be an interesting matchup.
Iowa has now won four straight games after starting the season 0-2, and defense has led the way for the Hawkeyes. Iowa is allowing less than 17 points per game this season, but there have been some concerns on the offensive side of the ball.
COVID-19 has already hit the Illini hard in 2020, but Illinois has now won two straight games. Illinois is giving up more than 32 points per game, but quarterback Brandon Peters has enough experience to carry the offense.
Illinois had the week off in Week 13, and it will be prepared for this rivalry game. Take the 12.5 points and look for the Fighting Illini to keep this game close against the Hawkeyes.
The 5-3 Texas Longhorns will host the 4-5 Kansas State Wildcats in a battle of struggling Big 12 teams. Texas technically still has a shot at reaching the Big 12 title game, while Kansas State is now in a complete freefall.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has the offense averaging 37.9 points per game, but he has also made some bad decisions with the ball. The Longhorns are giving up close to 30 points per contest, and their defense must play better going forward.
Kansas State blew a huge lead in a 32-31 loss to Baylor on Saturday night, and the Wildcats have issues on both sides of the ball. The Wildcats are running for more than 138 yards per game, but they are also allowing 28 points on defense.
Both teams come into this game struggling a bit, but Texas is still the much better team. Look for the Longhorns to take control early and cover the 7.5-point spread.
The Big 12 Conference race is still wide open, and two of the top teams in the league will face off in this game. Iowa State (7-2) will host West Virginia (5-3) in what could be a preview of the conference championship game.
West Virginia was off in Week 13 as the Oklahoma Sooners had COVID-19 concerns that canceled their game. The Mountaineers are holding opponents to just 17.8 points per game, and their defense will need to dominate in this one.
Iowa State leads the Big 12 at the moment, and a balanced offense has led the way. Quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall have carried the Cyclones to more than 33 points per game.
The team that is able to dictate tempo will win this matchup, and that should be Iowa State on its home turf. Take the Iowa State Cyclones -6.5 over the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday.
Two of the most underrated football teams in the country will square off this weekend when Coastal Carolina hosts Liberty. The Chanticleers are a perfect 9-0 so far this season, while Liberty brings a 9-1 record into this matchup.
Liberty is scoring more than 38 points per game, and the Eagles have not been afraid to take on some big-name opponents. The Eagles are averaging 252 rushing yards per game, led by running back Malik Wills and his 807 rushing yards.
Coastal Carolina is also averaging more than 38 points per game, but its defense has been dominant as well. The Chanticleers are allowing just 16.8 points per contest, and defense will likely be the difference in this game.
Look for a lot of points to be scored in this one, but Coastal Carolina's defense will eventually take control. Bet the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers -6.5 over the Liberty Eagles.
The 6-2 Oklahoma State Cowboys will take on the 4-4 TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday in what will likely be an interesting matchup in the Big 12 Conference. The Cowboys are trying to keep pace in the Big 12 race, while TCU will be looking to play the role of spoiler.
The Cowboys are averaging more than 192 rushing yards per game, but they will likely be without star Chuba Hubbard in this game. Oklahoma State did score 55 points in its most recent game, although it was against a bad Texas Tech defensive team.
TCU put up 59 points in its most recent game against Kansas, but the passing attack is still coming up short. The Horned Frogs are averaging less than 200 passing yards per game, which makes it hard to win in the Big 12.
Don't expect this game to be close for long as Oklahoma State is the much better team. Take the Cowboys to cover the 1.5-point spread over the Horned Frogs in this matchup.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are the top team in the Big Ten Conference, and they will return to the field this weekend at Michigan State. The Buckeyes are a perfect 4-0 so far this season, while Michigan State is just 2-3.
Ohio State is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19, and it's unclear what players will be forced to miss this game. The Buckeyes are currently averaging 45 points per game, and they will be fine as long as Justin Fields is able to play.
Michigan State stunned Northwestern on Saturday, as the defense really took control of that game. The Spartans are still being outscored by almost nine points per game, and this will be a real test to keep it close.
As long as Ohio State is able to field a team for Saturday, then it will move its record to 5-0. Take the Ohio State Buckeyes -22.0 over the Michigan State Spartans in this Big Ten clash.
The SEC is once again loaded with terrific teams, and one of those teams will be on the road this weekend. The 6-1 Texas A&M Aggies will visit the 5-3 Auburn Tigers on Saturday in what is a huge game for the visitors.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond has thrown for 1,573 yards and 16 touchdowns this season to keep the Aggies in the hunt for the College Football Playoff. This team is also allowing just 22 points per game, and they can get it done on defense as well.
Auburn will be looking to bounce back after a 42-13 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide. This team is scoring less than 27 points per game, and quarterback Bo Nix continues to struggle with his accuracy.
Playing on the road in the SEC is never easy, but Texas A&M is the much better team in this matchup. Look for the Aggies to take control early and easily cover the 6.5-point spread.
One of the biggest rivalry games in the country will take place on Saturday as Tennessee hosts Florida. The Florida Gators are 7-1 so far this season, while Tennessee is just 2-5.
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask has thrown for over 2,800 yards and 34 touchdowns this season and is now the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. The Gators' defense has been overlooked, but that unit is solid as well.
Tennessee has now lost five straight games, and it's hard to see the Volunteers turning things around in this one. This team is scoring just over 20 points per game, and they don't have enough offense to keep this one close.
This might be one of the best rivalries in the country, but this version won't be close. Bet the Florida Gators -17.5 over the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday.
The 2-1 Wisconsin Badgers will host the 5-1 Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday in an important Big Ten showdown. Indiana is just one game out of first place in the Big Ten East, while Wisconsin is just one game back in the West.
Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has been the star of the team this season, throwing for 1,645 yards and 14 touchdowns, but he'll be sidelined for the remainder of the season after suffering a leg injury on Saturday. The Hoosiers also feature a dominant defense that is giving up just 21 points per game.
Wisconsin has played just three games due to COVID-19, and the offense managed just seven points in its last outing. The defense is holding opponents to just 11.7 points per game, but this team must find offense at some point.
Wisconsin just has too many holes on offense to beat an explosive team like Indiana, even without Penix under center. Take the points in this game for sure, but look for the Hoosiers to possibly win this game outright.
The 8-1 Clemson Tigers are huge favorites over the 4-5 Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday in a matchup in the ACC. Notre Dame currently leads the tough ACC, but Clemson is hoping for a rematch with the Irish in the conference title game.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has thrown for 2,236 yards and 19 touchdowns, and that offense can put up points in a hurry. The defense has also been solid all season, but it continues to get overlooked.
Virginia Tech has run for more than 250 yards per game, and that rushing attack will need to be dominant in this one. The Hokies have lost three straight games, and that defense could be a problem in this game.
Don't expect this game to be close for long as the Clemson Tigers will take control early. Bet the Tigers -21.5 over the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday.
One of the best rivalries in the SEC is set to take place on Saturday night, but this game likely won't be that close. Alabama brings a perfect 8-0 record into this game, while LSU is just 3-4 on the season.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones has thrown for more than 2,700 yards this season, and he will likely be a Heisman Trophy finalist later this year. The Crimson Tide are outscoring teams by more than 30 points per game, and they have very few holes.
LSU is scoring 30.4 points per game, but it is also allowing 30.3 points per contest. The Tigers want to score points in a hurry, but this is a dangerous strategy to use against Alabama.
Playing in Baton Rouge is never easy for an opponent, but Alabama won't have any trouble on Saturday night. Look for the Crimson Tide to cover the 28.5-point spread in another rout.
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