There are three games this weekend between teams ranked in the top 25, including a pair of top-10 matchups. Of most interest will be No. 1 Alabama’s visit to No. 9 Tennessee (12:30 p.m., Ch. 7). No. 2 Ohio State also plays a top-10 opponent on the road, visiting No. 8 Wisconsin (5 p.m., Ch. 4). And No. 22 Arkansas hosts No. 12 Mississippi (4 p.m., ESPN).
About those Alabama and Ohio State games: they actually could have implications for Huskies, who are currently ranked No. 5 in both polls and are very much a part of the College Football Playoff picture. A loss by the Crimson Tide or Buckeyes would likely allow UW to move into the top four in the rankings, and while that doesn’t really matter this early in the season, it would help the Huskies’ chances of securing a playoff spot if they remain unbeaten.
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It seems it would take a lot for anyone to overtake Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, but Huskies quarterback Jake Browning continues to lurk not too far behind. ESPN has Browning fourth in its latest Heisman watch poll, behind Jackson, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett. Sports Illustrated has Browning third. Fox Sports reporter Bruce Feldman has him second. If the Huskies really do run the table, there is a good chance Browning receives an invitation to the Heisman ceremony in New York.
East Carolina has a 2-4 record and hasn’t been particularly prolific offensively, but Jones, a senior receiver, is putting together an incredible statistical profile. He leads the country with 84 receptions in six games, an average of 14 catches per contest. He had a school-record 22 catches in a single game earlier this season. The nation’s No. 2 pass-catcher, Louisiana Tech’s Trent Taylor, has 18 fewer receptions than Jones in the same number of games. If you’re curious, Freddie Barnes holds the NCAA single-season receptions record, snagging 155 passes for Bowling Green in 2009.
Pac-12 game of the week
With the Huskies on a bye this week, you have an entire Saturday to sit back and watch other Pac-12 teams. The last two games of the day should be the most interesting. Arizona State plays at Colorado, a battle of two one-loss Pac-12 South teams jockeying for position in the division standings. And at 7:30 p.m., UCLA visits Washington State. The Bruins, the media’s preseason Pac-12 South favorite, are trying to avoid a 1-3 start to league play. The Cougars are trying to improve to 3-0 and keep pace with the Huskies.