Because No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Alabama are playing each other this weekend, at least one of the top four in the College Football Playoff rankings will win this weekend. But what if three of those teams — namely the Crimson Tide, No. 2 Michigan and No. 4 Cincinnati — plus No. 5 Oklahoma State lose, opening the playoff door for No. 6 Notre Dame and its new coach and who knows what other two-loss team below the Fighting Irish in the rankings?

That’s the kind of chaos we could have after a weekend of conference championship games.

All times Eastern

Friday’s games

Time
Game
TV
7
Conference USA: Western Kentucky at Texas-San Antonio
CBS Sports Network
8
Pac-12: No. 10 Oregon vs. No. 17 Utah
ABC

It has been less than three weeks since Oregon and Utah last played, with the Utes roaring out of the gate in a 38-7 win that ended the Ducks’ (and, again, the Pac-12′s) hopes of a College Football Playoff berth. And it has been only two years since these two teams last met in the Pac-12 title game, with Oregon ruining Utah’s playoff hopes with a 37-15 win in 2019. Behind running back Travis Dye (1,036 rushing yards, 16 scrimmage touchdowns) and quarterback Anthony Brown (642 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns), Oregon averages 214 rushing yards per game, but Utah held the Ducks to 63 in the first meeting and effectively ended things with two touchdowns in the final 27 seconds of the first half, the latter of them Britain Covey’s 78-yard punt return that crushed Oregon’s spirit entering halftime. Tavion Thomas powers Utah’s 13th-ranked rushing attack and has run for 12 touchdowns in his past four games.

Saturday’s games

Time
Game
TV
Noon
Big 12: No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Baylor
ABC
Noon
MAC: Kent State vs. Northern Illinois
ESPN
3
Mountain West: Utah State at No. 19 San Diego State
Fox
3:30
Sun Belt: Appalachian State at No. 24 Louisiana
ESPN
4
SEC: No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 3 Alabama
CBS
4
AAC: No. 21 Houston at No. 4 Cincinnati
ABC
8
Big Ten: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 13 Iowa
Fox
8
ACC: No. 15 Pittsburgh vs. No. 16 Wake Forest
ABC
11
Southern California at California
Fox Sports 1

The big personnel question entering the Big 12 title game between Baylor and Oklahoma State is the health of Bears quarterback Gerry Bohanon, who has missed the past six quarters with a hamstring injury. Bohanon was in uniform and did some light throwing before last weekend’s game against Texas Tech, but Blake Shapen got his first career start and threw two touchdown passes in a 27-24 win. Either quarterback probably will have difficulty with a Cowboys defense that leads the nation in opponents’ third-down conversion percentage and ranks third in yards allowed per game, fifth in points allowed per game and sixth in rushing yards allowed per game. …

For the first time in more than six years, Alabama is an underdog. Its 92-game streak as a betting favorite — the longest since 1978 — is coming to an end in the SEC title game against Georgia. The Bulldogs were the last team to be favored against the Crimson Tide, giving one point in a 2015 regular season meeting. Alabama won that one, 38-10, and ended up winning the national title. By at least one statistical measure — the Fremeau Efficiency Index — this year’s Crimson Tide team is better than the one from 2015, but then again, so is Georgia, which leads the nation in both yards and points allowed per game. The Bulldogs haven’t played a ranked team since mid-October and are an almost certain playoff participant even with a loss, but the motivation to win the SEC and beat Alabama for the first time since 2007 (Nick Saban’s first season as the Crimson Tide’s coach) has to be strong. … Cincinnati hosts Houston in the American title game with a playoff berth probably on the line, and the Cougars are not to be trifled with: They haven’t lost since their season opener, winning 11 straight by an average of 22.2 points. The Bearcats spent the middle part of their season taking their foot off the gas in closer-than-expected wins over bad teams, but they have beaten SMU and East Carolina by a combined 83-27 the past two games. …

Jim Harbaugh got the hard part done, finally beating Ohio State to give Michigan its berth in the Big Ten title game against Iowa. Now there’s the matter of sewing up his first playoff berth with a win over the Hawkeyes. The Wolverines’ defense should have little problem stopping an Iowa offense that ranks a dismal 92nd nationally in the SP+ efficiency metric, but the Hawkeyes’ defense is just as sturdy as Michigan’s, perhaps more so: Senior cornerback Riley Moss was named the Big Ten’s defensive back of the year after picking off four passes in only nine games, and he didn’t even lead the Hawkeyes in interceptions (that honor goes to teammate Dane Belton, who had five picks). But the Wolverines have Big Ten defensive player of the year Aidan Hutchinson (13 sacks, three of them against Ohio State) and running back Hassan Haskins, who was last seen rushing for 169 yards and five touchdowns against the Buckeyes.