CFB First Glance: Tennessee Needs To Run It Up, TCU Trying To Remain Unbeaten, While The Big Ten Is On A Collision Course

This might be the worst weekend of college football when you look at the overall matchups, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t eyes on what will happen as we head down the stretch. Can Tennessee continue running up the score? Ohio State and Michigan are on a collision course, while TCU is looking to stay unbeaten.

Just because the weekend might be soft when it comes to matchups doesn’t mean we can’t get some type of chaos. Here are a number of games to keep an eye on, as the playoff conversation is reaching a boiling point.

No.1 Georgia Looking To Add To The Problems At Kentucky

Let’s face it, Kentucky losing to Vanderbilt, along with its other three losses has made this game an afterthought. What was once thought of as a game that could throw in wrinkle into the SEC East, the Wildcats will now try to not get embarrassed. On the other hand, Georgia needs to keep everyone healthy as they make their run towards the playoffs.


Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

A few miscues by Stetson Bennett last weekend against Mississippi State kept it within reach until the fourth quarter. If the Bulldogs play like that on Saturday, we could see another close game in the second half. Either way, Georgia should take care of a Kentucky team that looks in disarray, while the SEC Championship game is already set. Not many folks saw this coming in the preseason, but Georgia is 22 point favorites in Lexington.


By the way, LSU is currently a 16-point underdog in early betting released on the SEC Championship game against Georgia.

No. 5 Tennessee Better Try To Run It Up At South Carolina

The Vols need to continue running up the score if they can to have a chance. Tennessee has a distinct advantage in this game on offense and should take advice of a struggling Gamecock secondary. Coming off the drubbing of Missouri, some folks didn’t like Josh Heupel running up the score on the Tigers. Well, I am here to tell you that if Tennessee gets the chance on Saturday, they’ll try to hang 50 on South Carolina.

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 24: Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates after a win over the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee won the game 38-33. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

It’s not personal, it’s business. Sitting at No.5 in the playoff rankings, Tennessee needs to do everything in its power to make these next two games lopsided. It might hurt the feelings of some, but Josh Heupel cannot show mercy to Shane Beamer’s squad. Also, Hendon Hooker is still in the Heisman race, so look for the Vols offense to try and run circles around the Gamecocks.

Tennessee has to make sure they are sitting at the 5th spot heading into the last weekend, which should produce some type of chaos. Forget the outside noise if your the Vols and make it as lopsided as possible in Columbia.

No. 8 USC @ UCLA: The Pac-12’s Last Hope Are The Trojans

After the Oregon loss this past weekend, along with UCLA, it comes down to the Trojans. There’s no need to sugarcoat the current situation, with the PAC-12 currently sitting outside of the conversation and needing help to make the playoff. After Arizona defeated the Bruins, it sent the conference into a tailspin, with USC being the only team that could save them now.

The loss of running back Travis Dye was gut wrenching for this Trojan squad, but they do have guys to fill the large hole that Dye has left.

Caleb Williams #13 and Mason Murphy #76 of the USC Trojans. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Look, it will be tough enough for Lincoln Riley to get his team into the right spot in the rankings heading into conference championship weekend. So, beating up on the Bruins is crucial for any type of chance at sneaking in.

Ohio State And Michigan Are On A Collision Course

The Buckeyes and Wolverines could be playing for the only spot in the playoff for the Big-Ten. First, they both need to take care of business on Saturday. Ohio State will play Maryland, while Michigan will host Illinois. I am not worried about the Buckeyes dropping a game, while the Wolverines might be tested by the Illini for at least the first half. Just handle both teams and lets get to this Thanksgiving weekend showdown that could decide the playoff spot.

TCU Just Needs To Continue Playing Complimentary Football

After defeating Texas this past Saturday, the Horned Frogs have put themselves in a fantastic spot for the College Football Playoff. I expect them to be 4th when the rankings are released Tuesday night, giving them a clear path to the playoff. The win over Texas was crucial, but they need to handle the next two weeks with aggression. Baylor is coming off a lopsided loss to Kansas State and don’t look formidable to TCU, but we’ve all seen crazier things happen.


Max Duggan #15 of the TCU Horned Frogs throws a pass. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Sonny Dykes and his staff will not have to worry about what’s going on around them in the playoff hunt if they just keep winning.

Notable Conference Games

Most of the SEC is playing non-conference games, but we will get Ole Miss at Arkansas. Can both teams bounce back from close losses at home? This will be a test for both Lane Kiffin and Sam Pittman to have their guys ready to go. The Razorbacks have struggled, while Ole Miss came up one play away from beating Alabama.

Only two weeks of regular season college football remain, so enjoy every minute of it. We are marching towards championship weekend, with the new playoff rankings coming out on Tuesday.

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Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.


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