[16] Fresno State at

[1] Southern California

10:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet (in progress)

The game is so touted in Fresno even the former men's basketball team statistician who used to write term papers for basketball players has chimed in. "USC, 31-24," Stephen Mintz said. "A tight first half, but USC proves once again just too tough." He's right: Expect a close game for a half because Fresno State is a legit top 20 team. But USC is one of the best football teams on any level in California. (No offense to the Trojans for putting them in the same class as the San Francisco 49ers.) A Fresno television reporter said it best: "The Trojans' 32-game win streak is older than my daughter."

[8] Alabama at [11] Auburn

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

The Iron Bowl matchup is stronger than it has been in more than a decade. Alabama and Auburn have the best combined record (17-3) entering the meeting since they were 19-0-1 entering the 1994 game. Both schools still have a chance to play in the SEC title game if Louisiana State loses to either Mississippi or Arkansas. Auburn, which has won the past three meetings, is favored by a touchdown. "You can't say that you had a great season unless you beat Auburn," Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle said. "You can go 10-1 and lose to Auburn and people still wonder why we didn't have a good season."

[5] Penn State at Michigan State

4 p.m., ESPN

"Where are we in the BCS standings? I wouldn't know," said Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, before turning to a school official this week for the answer. "We are fourth? Well, that is interesting." Indeed. Hardly anyone expected this before the season. Now the Nittany Lions can clinch the Big Ten's automatic berth in the BCS by beating one of the nation's most inconsistent teams. Michigan State has had its share of highlights this season, including beating Notre Dame in South Bend, but the Spartans still need one more victory to become bowl eligible. But this game is about Paterno; his team can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title for the first time since 1994.

[9] Ohio State at [17] Michigan

1 p.m., WJLA-7, WMAR-2

Remember how this matchup looked in August? Like a must-see affair, a game that would tilt the national title picture. It's not quite that, but it's still a meaningful contest complete with BCS implications. Michigan can earn the Big Ten's automatic BCS berth with a victory and a Penn State loss. Before the year, Michigan's defense was often cited as the reason why the Wolverines wouldn't win the national title. It hasn't been half bad. The defense has given up 21 touchdowns, which is third fewest in the conference behind Ohio State and Penn State. The Buckeyes' defense is always fun to watch, as is their trio of linebackers.

Georgia Tech at [3] Miami

7:45 p.m., ESPN

Probably no team, even that one from Los Angeles, wants to play the 'Canes right now. Miami needs to win its final two home games, today and next week against Virginia, to guarantee a slot in the ACC title game. Once there, Miami will face the school that helped keep it out of the Rose Bowl: Florida State. But first thing's first. Miami's defense made Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick look as if he was playing his first college game. It may do the same to Georgia Tech's Reggie Ball, who has only nine touchdowns to offset eight interceptions.