Michigan vs. Illinois, TCU vs. Baylor and more

Before we bask in the glory of Rivalry Week, the Pac-12 will be in the spotlight for Week 12.

USC is the only team from the conference remaining in the college football playoff race, and its challenging final leg begins Saturday night with a trip across town to UCLA.

There’s also another excellent matchup in Eugene as Oregon host Utah, with significant Pac-12 title implications at stake. And before the late-night Pac-12 takes center stage, there are some tricky spots for some high-level teams. That includes No. 3 Michigan’s trip to host Illinois and No. 4 TCU to Waco to face off against Baylor, the Big 12 champion.

(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)

Time: Noon | TV: ABC | Line: UM -17.5 | Total: 41.5

The Wolverines are 10-0 with their much-anticipated showdown with Ohio State coming up next week. But before the trip to Columbus, Michigan will host a team from Illinois who would love to play the role of spoiler. Illinois was 7-1 and ranked 16th a few weeks ago but has since lost back-to-back games to Michigan State and Purdue. The big question will be the health of Illini, who is running back Chase Brown, the nation’s leading rusher. He could face Michigan star RB Blake Corum.

Time: Noon | TV: Fox | Line: TCU-2.5 | Total: 58

TCU always finds ways to win and must continue to do so to secure their place in the four-team playoffs. Seemingly weekly, TCU finds itself in tight games against Big 12 enemies and comes out the other side with a win. Could the Horned Frogs do it again Saturday in Waco? Baylor won the Big 12 last year but is now a long way from returning to the conference title game. This could be more about Baylor trying to destroy the TCU party.

Time: 7:30 p.m. | Television: SECN | Line: Ole Miss -2.5 | Total: 64

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin came so close to beating his former boss, Alabama’s Nick Saban, but the Rebels fell 30-24 in heartbreaking fashion. Now the 8-2 Rebels are eliminated from the SEC West contest and must make a trip to face Arkansas. A night game in Fayetteville is never easy, and Ole Miss will likely try to lean heavily on his running game, as he has done all year. Arkansas, meanwhile, is only 5-5 a year and needs to pull through the upset and clinch bowl eligibility.

Time: 8 p.m. | TV: Fox | Line: USC-2.5 | Total: 75.5

It’s a big weekend in the Pac-12 as USC is the conference’s last remaining contender for the playoffs. USC’s offense, led by quarterback Caleb Williams, is playing at a high level. Not his defense. Things have developed similarly for UCLA. The Bruins, still struggling to reach the Pac-12 title game, have an excellent running game led by QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and RB Zach Charbonnet. These two need to have big nights for UCLA to overcome the excitement, especially given how the defense has struggled in recent weeks.

Time: 10:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN | Line: Utah -1.5 | Total: 61.5

Like the USC-UCLA game, this Pac-12 title race matchup is huge. Both Utah and Oregon are 6-1 in conference play, a half game behind 7-1 USC and a game ahead of UCLA and Washington, both 5-2.

QB injuries are heavily considered in this case. While Utah QB Cam Rising appears to be back after missing a game a few weeks ago, Oregon’s Bo Nix is ​​much more of a question mark. He appeared to have injured his foot or ankle late in the heartbreaking loss to Washington. The coaching staff hasn’t commented on Nix’s status, but the fact that Oregon went from a 3-point favorite to a 1.5-point underdog on Wednesday night says a lot. If Nix fails to leave, Ty Thompson will win in this crucial matchup.