Top FBS Matchups 

Who: Louisville Cardinals at No. 24 West Virginia Mountaineers
When: noon ET Saturday


Who: Texas A&M Aggies at No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners
When: 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday


Who: Southern Miss Golden Eagles at East Carolina Pirates
When: 4 p.m. ET Saturday


Who: No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks at No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks
When: 8 p.m. ET Saturday


Who: No. 1 LSU Tigers at No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide
When: 8 p.m. ET Saturday


Who: No. 17 Kansas State Wildcats at No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys
When: 8 p.m. ET Saturday


Who: No. 5 Boise State Broncos at UNLV Runnin' Rebels
When: 10:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Watch Them Now

41 Courtney Upshaw
6-2 | 265 | Sr. | LB

Key Notes: A Butkus Award semifinalist this fall, Upshaw ranks third on the Bama defense with 26 tackles and is among the national leaders in tackles for loss, ranking 12th with 11.5 including 4.5 sacks. He has helped the Crimson Tide break down opponents all season as UA is first nationally by allowing a paltry 180.5 yards per game -- nearly 50 yards per game less than second-place Michigan State (228.8 ypg). The Tide also lead the country in scoring defense, giving up just 6.9 points per game including only six touchdowns and five field goals in eight games.      

Other Players to Watch this Week: Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State (Jr., QB); Dion Bailey, Southern California (Fr., LB); Stedman Bailey, West Virginia (Jr., WR); Broderick Brown, Oklahoma State (Jr., DB); Sammy Brown, Houston (Sr., LB); Dominique Davis, East Carolina (Sr., QB); Patrick Edwards, Houston (Sr., WR); Bacarri Rambo, Georgia (Jr., DB); Silas Redd, Penn State (So., RB); Sammy Watkins, Clemson (Fr., WR).

Keep Your Eyes on This

In a series that dates back to 1895, it's hard to say that one game may be bigger than any other, but the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between LSU and Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday has all the makings of just that. The contest will be the first SEC game between first- and second-ranked Southeastern Conference teams during the regular season in league history, and just the second at any point. Overall it was the 45th time in history that a No. 1 and No. 2 have squared of and the first since 2006 when top-ranked Ohio State edged past No. 2 Michigan by a field goal. 

Alabama brings in the top-ranked offense and defense in the SEC, and the top defense in the nation. The Tide are holding teams to a miniscule 44.9 rushing yards per game, the top mark in the country. The stout defense has been even better in the second half of games as UA has allowed just one touchdown in the second half of its last four games combined, outscoring opponents 142-7 in that span. No team has scored more than 14 points against the Crimson Tide D this fall, and in total, Alabama has gone 14 consecutive games allowing 14 or fewer points, the program's longest streak since 1992.

While Alabama leads the nation in four defensive categories, LSU is no slouch either. The Tigers are in the top 10 in six categories, including second in turnover margin. While the D has played a large part in that, the offense should get more credit that it has as the Tigers have only turned the ball over three times this season. LSU has lost only two fumbles and thrown just one interception despite the well-publicized changing of quarterbacks the week before the first game. The Tigers' output on offense has come from the hands of QB Jarrett Lee, who has retained his starting position and is 13th nationally in passing efficiency while proving to be one of the best game managers in college football. How well he manages the Bama pressure will be key on Saturday.

We like the matchup. We think this will be a great challenge to our guys and a game of note. Any time you get into a game that is a big game, the piece that you want to do is to allow your guys to focus and prepare.
-- LSU coach Les Miles on playing Alabama

The game in Tuscaloosa is shaping up to be historic in many senses -- more than 600 media credentials, nearly twice the average, are expected to be handed out -- but if you want to guarantee an historic event, head to Las Vegas. Okay, so it's not a guarantee, but who would go against Kellen Moore considering he's tied for the NCAA record with 45 all-time victories? Moore will try to break the deadlock he currently enjoys with Colt McCoy (Texas, 2006-09) when he leads the Broncos against UNLV. Named to the semifinal list for the Davey O'Brien Award this week, Moore is among the top 10 all-time for career touchdown passes (123, fourth) and passing yards (12,877, 10th) and leads the country in completion percentage this fall at 76.3 percent.

There's potential for things to get interesting this weekend as more ranked teams (10) are playing on the road than at home (8). Arkansas is likely glad to be home as it's part of the 'other' SEC top-10 matchup as the eighth-ranked Razorbacks play host to No. 10 South Carolina. Arkansas has made a habit of coming from behind lately, posting second-half rallies in three of its last four games -- all victories -- since its only loss just over a month ago against Alabama. The Hogs boast the ninth-ranked passing offense (321.1 ypg) and hope to use it to get out front early. South Carolina likely won't play along. The Gamecocks are sixth in total defense, one they will rely on even more now that preseason All-American RB Marcus Lattimore is out of action for the year. In three of its last four games, South Carolina has failed to score more than 14 points. In fact, taking away the 54-3 win against Kentucky, it has not scored more than 24 points in a game since Week 2.

Teams don't have to be sexy picks to be productive. Look squarely at Conference USA for the prime examples. Houston is in the rankings and is one of the final five unbeaten teams in the country, while Southern Miss is knocking on the door (it's already in the top 25 in the coaches' poll). USM ranks in the top 25 in seven team statistics, including holding opponents to just 18.5 points per game to rank 17th in the country. The Eagles hit the road this weekend with their league-leading 7-1 record and will face the pass-happy bunch -- with an improving defense -- in Greenville, N.C. East Carolina counters with QB Dominique Davis, who set the NCAA record two weeks ago when he completed 26 consecutive passes in the first half against Navy. Davis also set the NCAA record for most consecutive completions overall, as he had 10 consecutive passes caught to end his previous game, pushing his multi-game record to 36. 

It will be interesting to see how Kansas State responds after last week's mauling at the hands of Oklahoma. The Wildcats were tamed, losing 58-17 while giving up 690 yards of total offense after allowing 337 yards per game in the first seven contests. Lost in the slaughter was the fact that K-State's offense was held to just 240 yards. It has little time to regroup as it has another top-15 team from Oklahoma on the docket as it travels to third-ranked Oklahoma State, ending a brutal stretch that includes three road contests in a four-week span. With the high-powered OSU offense, including the fourth-ranked passing offense in the country, Kansas State will need its defense back in shape starting with junior defensive back Nigel Moore, who ranks second in the country with six inteceptions.  

Where did the Rebels go? Ranked and looking to be heading in the right direction not that long ago, Mississipi is mired in the middle of an 11-game losing streak in Southeastern Conference play. Ole Miss hits the road this weekend to take on Kentucky, looking to break its nation-leading league losing skid. The Rebels are producing just 283.6 yards per game, ranking 115th nationally. The five teams behind Ole Miss? UNLV (116th), Memphis (117), Florida Atlantic (119) and Kent State (120). Oh, and Kentucky at 118th by recording just 265.8 total offense yards per game.  

Case Keenum passed Graham Harrell of Texas Tech for the career passing touchdowns record last week, adding yet another accolade to his growing list. Next up: the career passing yardage mark which he will likely reach this weekend. Keenum has 16,805 career yards through the air entering Saturday's game at struggling UAB, trailing only Hawaii's Timmy Chang, who holds the record at 17,072 yards. UAB is 108th nationally in passing defense, allowing 284.9 yards per game.