By Nhan Doan
No. 23 West Virginia at No. 8 TCU (2:30 p.m., Saturday, FS1)
The upset in Stillwater on Week 4 brings TCU in the driver’s seat for a surprise playoff bid. A victory against West Virginia can be a major push because the Horned Frogs will enjoy a relative comfortable schedule before the make-or-break game at Oklahoma on Nov. 11. Between then, Oklahoma State will have to negotiate West Virginia, then hosting Oklahoma for its season-defining game a week later. If everything goes to TCU’s way, the team might have a chance in the playoff picture.
No. 1 Alabama at Texas A&M (6:15 p.m., Saturday, ESPN)
Similar to five years ago, Texas A&M stands as the only realistic obstacle to prevent Alabama from rolling all the way to the Iron Bowl. The problem? Five years ago, a hyped freshman named Johnny Manziel led the Aggies to the upset. On Saturday, a relatively unknown freshman, Kellen Mond, who started the season as the backup, will be tasked with the improbable job. Alabama has outscored its opponents 125-3 in its past two games. Meanwhile, Mond hasn’t been inspiring since the collapse in the season opener against UCLA, though the Aggies have won four consecutive games since.
Stanford at No. 20 Utah (9:15 p.m., Saturday, FS1)
Bryce Love and the Utes’ defense will face their toughest tests since the beginning of the season. Love, a junior running back, became the first 1,000-yard rusher this season this past Saturday. Love ran for 301 yards on 25 carries, a school record, in the 34-24 victory against Arizona State. Utah has a better running defense this season, having allowed only 87 rushing yards per game. Shutting down Love will be the key for Utah to improve its undefeated streak.