The future Big Ten rivals haven’t played with both ranked since 2014. The last time they were both ranked anywhere near this high was 2005, when the top-ranked Trojans hammered the No. 11 Bruins, 66-19. UCLA dropped 62 on USC last season and Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was talking about getting to 60 again this week. Considering the way these two teams play defense, it’s very possible. If USC wins, it’s in the Pac-12 title game. If UCLA wins, it would still have work to do.
LINE: USC by 1 1/2. PICK: UCLA, 52-49.
No. 4 TCU at Baylor
The Horned Frogs (10-0) keep rolling along, winning close games and staying unbeaten. The Bears are coming off their worst performance of the season against Kansas State. Still, Baylor (6-4) has shown it can at times play at a high level and the rivalry between the Horned Frogs and Bears is sneaky intense.
The Ducks’ playoff hopes went out the window last week, but they still control their path to the Pac-12 title game. The Utes would be in great shape to defend their Pac-12 title in Las Vegas with a victory. These two met twice last season, with Utah pounding the Ducks each time to the tune of 76-17.
LINE: Oregon by 3. PICK: Utah, 38-35.
Iowa at Minnesota
The Hawkeyes’ offense has come to life — relatively speaking — and just like that they are well-positioned to defend their Big Ten West title and return to Indianapolis for the conference title game. But who isn’t still alive in the Big Ten West race? Stylistically and aesthetically, this game should be the antithesis of USC-UCLA.
LINE: Minnesota by 2 1/2. PICK: Iowa, 20-17.
No. 24 Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
Not much at stake for Bedlam this year with the Sooners (5-4) still working toward bowl eligibility. But in some ways that makes it even more intriguing. OU has dominated this rivalry (82-19-7). The Cowboys have a chance to win two straight for the first time since 2001-02.