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L.G. Patterson/Associated Press
The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season were released on Tuesday night, but there were no surprises at the top. If the campaign ended today, the four teams with a chance to play for the national championship would be Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State.
Alabama, Notre Dame and Ohio State have yet to lose a game this season, while Clemson’s only defeat was a 47-40 loss to the Fighting Irish in double overtime on Nov. 7. It’s possible they will meet again in the ACC Championship Game, which could have a large impact on the CFP rankings down the line.
All four teams are in action this week, with Alabama and Notre Dame taking on ranked opponents. The No. 1 Crimson Tide host No. 22 Auburn in the Iron Bowl, while the No. 2 Fighting Irish travel to No. 19 North Carolina.
Here’s a look at the full Top 25 schedule for this week, along with odds and predictions for each.
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Matt Cashore/Associated Press
Friday, Nov. 27
No. 13 Iowa State (-1) at No. 17 Texas, noon ET, ABC; Over/Under 56.5 points
Nebraska at No. 24 Iowa (-13.5), 1 p.m. ET, Fox; O/U 53.5
No. 2 Notre Dame (-5) at No. 19 North Carolina, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC; O/U 68
No. 15 Oregon (-13.5) at Oregon State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN; O/U 64
Saturday, Nov. 28
No. 4 Ohio State (-28) at Illinois, noon ET, Fox Sports 1; O/U 71.5
Kentucky at No. 6 Florida (-22.5), noon ET, ESPN; O/U 61
Maryland at No. 12 Indiana (-11), noon ET, ESPN2; O/U 63.5
Texas Tech at No. 23 Oklahoma State (-11.5), noon ET, Fox; O/U 54
No. 20 Coastal Carolina (-17.5) at Texas State, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+; O/U 58.5
No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (-24.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS; O/U 62.5
Pittsburgh at No. 3 Clemson (-23.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN; O/U 54.5
No. 8 Northwestern (-13.5) at Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2; O/U 41.5
Colorado at No. 18 USC (-11.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC; O/U 64.5
LSU at No. 5 Texas A&M (-14.5), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN; O/U 63.5
No. 9 Georgia (-20.5) at South Carolina, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network; O/U 49.5
Picks in bold against the spread. Odds via DraftKings.
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Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
Notre Dame may only be a five-point favorite at North Carolina this week, but there’s a strong chance it will win by more than that.
The Fighting Irish have impressed during their 8-0 start. They are the only team to beat Clemson this season and have dominated most of their ACC competition.
The Tar Heels are having a solid year, opening 6-2, but they’ve suffered losses to Florida State and Virginia. When the Fighting Irish played the Seminoles on Oct. 10, they won 42-26. But anything could happen on Friday in a competitive game between Notre Dame and North Carolina.
It just seems unlikely that the Fighting Irish are going to lose. Graduate quarterback Ian Book is having an impressive season, having passed for 1,818 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception and rushed for 364 yards and six touchdowns.
Even if North Carolina keeps it close until late, expect Notre Dame to pull away as it continues to solidify itself as a top contender for the national title. The Fighting Irish are unlikely to lose any of their next three games, which should set them up for another matchup against Clemson for the ACC title.
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Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
The Iron Bowl is a rivalry series with a ton of history that has had many exciting moments over the years. However, there’s a decent chance this year’s matchup between Alabama and Auburn will be a one-sided affair.
The Crimson Tide are the No. 1-ranked team in the country for a reason: They’re dominating everybody.
Each of Alabama’s first seven wins have all been by at least 17 points. Over the past two weeks, the Tide outscored Mississippi State and Kentucky by a combined score of 104-3. So, they’re showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Auburn is 5-2 after winning three straight games against Ole Miss, LSU and Tennessee to overcome a sluggish start to 2020. The Tigers lost earlier in the season to Georgia and South Carolina, but they’ve been playing better of late and have some momentum entering the Iron Bowl.
However, Alabama is going to put an end to that. Auburn will have trouble defensively against the Crimson Tide, who rank sixth in the country with 555.2 total yards of offense per game.
Alabama redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones is among the top Heisman Trophy contenders (2,426 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air), and he should lead his team to another impressive victory at home.
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Chuck Burton/Associated Press
Texas has played some competitive games this season. Of its seven contests, three have gone to overtime, including a four-overtime loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 10. That came a week after it lost to TCU 33-31, leaving the team 2-2 after its first four games.
Since then, the Longhorns have won three straight games against Baylor, Oklahoma State (in overtime) and West Virginia. They could keep their resurgence going with victory over Iowa State on Friday, which would be a huge win. The No. 13 Cyclones are 6-2, having lost only one of their first seven games against Big 12 opponents.
It’s not a surprise that Iowa State is only a one-point favorite, though, as this is a matchup that could come down to the wire. For bettors, it’s essentially a pick ’em contest—one that could go either way.
However, it will be the Longhorns who come out on top. They’re playing at home and senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger is having an impressive season, having passed for 1,834 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. Expect him to keep it going while leading Texas to victory.
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