[1] Southern Cal. at [9] Notre Dame

3:30 p.m., WRC-4, WBAL-11

The hype resembles a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. Reporters actually asked each quarterback separately if he is rooming this semester with Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson's husband, whom USC's Matt Leinart has called "a buddy." (Leinart said it was the weirdest question he has ever heard.) Tickets on eBay are selling for almost $1,800. Notre Dame's pep rally was scheduled to be held at Notre Dame Stadium because of the overflow crowd. What else? Oh, yeah, there are four Heisman Trophy hopefuls competing, including three in the Trojans' backfield now that LenDale White is thriving after a four-touchdown performance against Arizona. Notre Dame's week off undoubtedly will help the Fighting Irish. The defense that plays even marginally well likely will win the game.

[24] Colorado at [2] Texas

3:30 p.m., pay-per-view

Those who still don't believe in unbeaten Texas Tech see this as Texas's most difficult remaining game before what it hopes will be a Rose Bowl berth. This is likely a preview of the Big 12 title game, which isn't expected to be competitive. But Colorado has pounded consecutive Big 12 South Division opponents and is plenty confident. Colorado senior tight end Joe Klopfenstein told the Denver Post: "I think we're going to go in there and beat them. We're really hitting our stride." Colorado Coach Gary Barnett, however, said Texas has no apparent weakness and that he has voted the Longhorns No. 1 all season in the USA Today coaches' poll.

[11] Florida at [10] Louisiana State

3:30 p.m., WUSA-9, WJZ-13

Whichever first-year coach loses this one will feel the brunt of a very large and upset SEC fan base. Already, many fans are irritated on both campuses. The Gators lost, 31-3, to Alabama two weeks ago. And LSU coughed up a 21-0 lead at home in a 30-27 overtime loss to Tennessee three weeks ago. Since then, LSU has beaten its two opponents by a combined score of 71-13. Florida quarterback Chris Leak is still adjusting to Coach Urban Meyer's spread-option offense, having thrown just one touchdown pass in the last two games.

[8] Penn State at Michigan

3:30 p.m., WJLA-7, WMAR-2

Get this: If USC and Texas both fall today, which is unlikely but possible, Penn State would have the nation's longest winning streak if it extends its run to nine straight victories today. That's pretty remarkable for a school whose 78-year-old coach, Joe Paterno, was written off late last season before he secured a commitment from playmaker Derrick Williams. Penn State is the only school among the nine remaining unbeaten teams that will not play another undefeated team before a bowl game. That bodes well for Paterno, but the Big Ten is loaded with dangerous teams -- yes, even Michigan -- despite not possessing the expected handful of powerhouses.

[16] Michigan St. at [15] Ohio St.

Noon, WJLA-7, WMAR-2

Coach Jim Tressel spent the bulk of his weekly news conference fighting off criticism, particularly directed at an offense that has struggled despite an abundance of receiving talent. Tressel said there would be no major offensive personnel changes, despite opinions from local radio show hosts that a change at quarterback is needed. Troy Smith threw an interception that led to the winning touchdown against Penn State, and he also fumbled the ball away. Michigan State, on the other hand, has the Big Ten's best offense. Quarterback Drew Stanton has completed 71.7 percent of his passes and thrown 14 touchdown passes.