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Everything that's on the line this college football weekend

Everyone's talking about the 12 games that won't be played this weekend, which is indeed a record, but that ignores the 48 that have already been played or are still on. Of those 48, more than half carry conference title implications.

Let's dive in.

No. 19 SMU (7-1, 4-1 AAC) at Tulsa (3-1, 3-0 AAC) -- 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Here we have a conference game where one competitor has played eight games and the other four. Battle-hardened SMU visits well-rested Tulsa in essentially an American semifinal game: a Tulsa victory means Philip Montgomery's team could drop one, and maybe even two, games and still make their the conference title game. An SMU triumph means Sonny Dykes's Ponies would need to beat either Houston or East Carolina and they'd score a rematch with Cincinnati for the conference title.

Neither program has ever reached the American Championship. Suffice to say, this game is a big deal for each side.

No. 9 Miami (6-1, 5-1 ACC) at Virginia Tech (4-3, 4-2 ACC) -- noon ET, ESPN
Wake Forest (4-2, 3-2 ACC) at North Carolina (5-2, 5-2 ACC) -- noon ET, ACC Network
No. 2 Notre Dame (7-0, 6-0 ACC) at Boston College (5-3, 4-3 ACC) -- 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Notre Dame's win over Clemson put the Irish alone in first place. Clemson, by virtue of that 42-17 spanking they administered back on Oct. 10, holds a clear edge over Miami for second place.

This means Notre Dame and Clemson's path is clear, as is everyone else's. If you're Miami, you need to keep winning and one more Clemson loss. If you're one of the league's three 2-loss team, you need to keep winning and absolute chaos above you.

And lest you think chaos is unattainable, consider this: The last time Notre Dame beat the No. 1 team in the country, the Irish lost to Boston College a week later and that No. 1 team wound up winning the national title.

BIG 12
Five teams control their respective destinies to reach the title game. All five are off this week.

No. 10 Indiana (3-0) at Michigan State (1-2) -- noon ET, ABC
No. 13 Wisconsin (1-0) at Michigan (1-2) -- 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
No. 23 Northwestern (3-0) at Purdue (2-0) -- 7:30 p.m., BTN

With Ohio State off, Indiana plays for sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East as a touchdown favorite in East Lansing. That is an actual thing that is happening.

In the West, Northwestern can all but wrap up its second division title in three years with wins over Purdue and then Wisconsin next week.

Florida Atlantic (3-1, 3-1 C-USA) at Florida International (0-3, 0-1 C-USA) -- 7 p.m. ET Friday, CBS Sports Network
Middle Tennessee (2-5, 2-3 C-USA) at No. 16 Marshall (6-0, 3-0 C-USA) -- noon ET, CBS Sports Network
UTEP (3-3, 0-2 C-USA) at UTSA (4-4, 2-2 C-USA) -- 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Southern Miss (2-5, 1-2 C-USA) at Western Kentucky (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) -- 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

The C-USA state of play is cut and dry. Marshall leads the East by a game, as does UAB in the West.

But that leaves a strange set of challengers sitting a game behind each leader, such as 0-3 FIU and 2-5 Southern Miss.

#MACtion: great for television exposure, bad for FootballScoop's On the Line feature.

Fresno State (2-1) at Utah State (0-3) -- 2:30 p.m. ET, FS2
Hawai'i (2-1) at San Diego State (2-1) -- 4 p.m. ET
Nevada (3-0) vs. New Mexico (0-2) -- 6:30 p.m. ET, FS2 (at Las Vegas)
UNLV (0-3) at San Jose State (3-0) -- 10:30 p.m. ET, FS2

It comes as no surprise that Boise State sits atop the Mountain West standings, who moved to 3-0 in league play with a 52-21 win over Colorado State on Thursday night.

Behind them, in a division-less season, is a 5-team horse race. Nevada and San Jose State are both charging toward a potential MW Championship play-in game on Dec. 11, while Fresno State, Hawai'i and San Diego State are fighting to hang around long enough to ruin things for two of the three undefeated teams.

No. 20 USC (1-0) at Arizona (0-0) -- 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox
No. 11 Oregon (1-0) at Washington State (1-0) -- 7 p.m. ET, Fox
California (0-0) at Arizona State (0-1) -- 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Utah (0-0) at UCLA (0-1) -- 10:30 p.m. ET, Fox
Oregon State (0-1) at Washington (0-0) -- 11 p.m. ET, FS1

Separation Saturday arrives in the Pac-12, where five of the league's six games will separate wheat from chaff.


Well, this isn't nearly fun as it we hoped it would be, is it? Four cancelations have left us with just six active teams this Saturday, four of them (Ole Miss, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt) are a combined 6-17.

South Alabama (3-4, 2-2 Sun Belt) at No. 25 Louisiana-Lafayette (6-1, 4-1 Sun Belt) -- 2 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Both Sun Belt divisional races are clear. No. 15 Coastal Carolina and App State are two games ahead of the rest of the East and, barring a total collapse, will decide the division title (God willing) next Saturday.

The West will be decided this Saturday. Everyone else on that side has at least four losses, leaving just South Alabama and ULL. Billy Napier's team won both of the Sun Belt West championships to date after the title game was established in 2018, in addition to sharing two titles from the league's pre-championship era. South Alabama has never won a championship of any kind since the program's 2009 launch, making this the biggest game in USA history.