Another weekend of underperforming college football matchups lies ahead, with this being the final Saturday of meaningless games…on paper. Georgia has a trip to Kentucky that looked better in September. Ohio State and Michigan are playing tuneup games ahead of next week’s showdown. TCU appears to remain undefeated, with Tennessee hot on their heels.
In the PAC-12, a showdown in Los Angeles between USC and UCLA takes center stage as Oregon tries to recover against 10th-seeded Utah.
Although the SEC championship game has already been determined, there are still a number of intriguing games to be played around the conference. Can Arkansas win again against a strong Ole Miss squad? Tennessee is looking to stay within striking distance of the college football playoffs with a game against South Carolina.
Not the best weekend for the SEC, led by Georgia-Kentucky
Georgia @ Kentucky (3:30 ET CBS)
Let’s face it, Kentucky’s loss to Vanderbilt made this game an afterthought. What was once viewed as a game that could make a splash in the SEC East, the Wildcats will now only try to tie closely with the Bulldogs.
Georgia needs to keep everyone healthy as it races to the playoffs. This will be a different type of offense the Bulldogs will face as Kentucky is more of a pro style mixed with RPOs. Can Will Levis and Chris Rodriguez do enough to keep this game tight? Sure, but how does the Wildcats offensive line keep Levis off his back? That’s my main concern for Kentucky.
It may not look as we envisioned it two months ago, but Mark Stoops should have his team ready to go by Saturday afternoon. It shouldn’t matter, however, as the Georgia defense will be ready for any type of unorthodox play-calling we see from the Wildcats. I entrust the business to Stetson Bennett and Kirby Smart. Georgia 34, Kentucky 20
Tennessee @ South Carolina (7:00 p.m. ET ESPN)
The Vols travel to Columbia to make another impression on the playoff committee. A win won’t impress Boo Corrigan and his squad of select members much, but a goal at will certainly wouldn’t hurt. Tennessee should look after this South Carolina team, which has been struggling to put together anything resembling a cohesive offense of late.
It didn’t help the Gamecocks case that MarShawn Lloyd missed recent games, but I don’t see his current questionable status on Saturday mattering much. The Vols know they’re on the cusp of something special with a playoff appearance, and Hendon Hooker is still in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy. I expect them to present themselves offensively.
To quote the movie Remember The Titans, this is what Tennessee should be saying all the time on Saturday nights: “Run it up Herman, Leave No Doubt.” Tennessee 45, South Carolina 20
• The only other games that fascinate me this weekend in the SEC are in Fayetteville and Nashville. The Razorbacks have lost two games in a row and don’t look the part without KJ Jefferson while Ole Miss comes to town hoping to forget the end of Alabama. I expect Lane Kiffin to heat it up in a cold environment. Ole Miss 30, Arkansas 21
• I’m certainly not predicting a surprise, but Vanderbilt celebrates its first SEC win in over 1,100 days after beating Kentucky. With Florida coming to town, Billy Napier is hoping his team isn’t sleepwalking. Just pay attention to this one, we’ve seen crazier things this season.
Outside the SEC, across the country
• Can UCLA take on USC this weekend after losing to Arizona? Yes, I expect the Bruins to cause a lot of trouble for Lincoln Riley and his Trojans. A rivalry game where USC needs the win to stay in the playoff talk is the recipe for an upset. If anything, the quarterback duel should be fun as Caleb Williams and Dorian Thompson-Robinson go head-to-head. I like it when the Trojans win in the fourth quarter. USC 34, UCLA 30
• After defeating Texas, the Horned Frogs are looking to remain undefeated en route to Baylor. We all saw TCU defense buffed last weekend, but we’ll need offense to pick them up behind Max Duggan. After the 31-3 loss to Kansas State, I would envision Baylor coming out this week to redeem himself against the country’s third-ranked team. It won’t be enough as Kendre Miller will have a great day rushing the ball. TCU 37, Baylor 24
• After sending a thriller to Washington last weekend, Oregon are looking to react against 10th-ranked Utah. This is a tough game for the Ducks as Cameron Rising will go to Eugene to hurl the football. If Dan Lanning can’t get his secondary to play better this week, backup quarterback Ty Thompson will have to go nuts considering Bo Nix is questionable. Oregon 33, Utah 27
Enjoy the weekend, we’re just blessed with another Saturday of college football in the regular season. Keep following OutKick and @TreyWallace_ for the latest news.