Preview Thursday: Week 12 

There are three ranked matchups on the docket in Week 12. 

All three of those ranked games will be previewed later, and there are 12 ranked teams that will play on the road this week. 

PODCAST: Week 11 Recap: Are things getting any clearer?

No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Michigan will play on the road, while No. 2 Ohio State, which dropped one spot in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, will round out its home schedule against Minnesota. 

Jordan Travis and No. 4 Florida State will face North Alabama in a game in which the Seminoles will be heavily favored. The Seminoles are riding a 16-game winning streak and have already clinched a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. 

Here are several games to watch this week. 

No. 22 Utah at No. 17 Arizona 

The first of two Pac-12 Conference matchups this week will focus on key positioning for possible conference title implications. 

Arizona has been one of the hottest teams entering the middle of November. The Wildcats are on a four-game winning streak and have clinched their most wins at 7-3 since the 2017 season. 

Wildcats head coach Jedd Fisch has heard his name involved and tossed around the coaching carousel as teams are already letting go of some coordinators and some head coaches. 

But Fisch isn’t focused on his coaching prospects. To him, his focus is on Arizona football and upending the reigning Pac-12 champion Utah, which has the third-best scoring defense in the conference behind an average of 17.8 points per game. 

“That’s this time of year. When you’re successful and your team’s playing well that’s what happens,” Fisch said. “I think our only focus is beating Utah. This is a great team coming in. I told our team yesterday that you have a chance to — they are the reigning champions. They’re the two years reigning Pac-12 champions. We need everybody focusing on one thing and one thing only and that is Utah football and trying to have the best Arizona football program we can have to go beat Utah’s football team, and we are going to give them everything that we have. We are going to empty the tank, and we need a full house to do that.” 

No. 1 Georgia at No. 18 Tennessee 

Another test stands in the way for Georgia, which will play this week as the top-seeded team in the CFP rankings after overtaking the Buckeyes. 

The Bulldogs earned a top-10 win last weekend when they beat Ole Miss 52-17. Georgia held the Rebels to three points in the second half, and its defense withstood the test of Ole Miss’ offense led by quarterback Jaxson Dart. 

READ: Big Board: Week 12

This week, Georgia will go up against Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III and the Volunteers offense, which ranks fourth in the Southeastern Conference averaging 454.8 yards per game. 

The Volunteers will present a unique challenge to Georgia. Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart kept team strategy close to the vest, as he hopes his team can maintain its perfect 10-0 record against a team that has an upset on its mind. 

“I don’t think you can simulate their pace,” Smart said. “They’re really good at what they do. They’re fast at what they do. We try to, but I don’t really delve into how we practice publicly so we keep that in house but it is tough to simulate.” 

No. 5 Washington at No. 11 Oregon State 

The second Pac-12 matchup of Preview Thursday this week could serve as a sort of Pac-12 championship preview. 

The Beavers enter Saturday’s game at 8-2 and 5-2 in Pac-12 play. They’ve claimed a two-game winning streak having beaten Colorado and Stanford to climb to their highest ranking of the season. 

Oregon State will need some help, though. No. 6 Oregon stands in the way of the Beavers at 6-1 in the conference, and the Ducks’ only loss came to No. 5 Washington. 

The Huskies have been doing some skating recently, and they’ve kept their perfect 10-0 record among six unbeaten teams left in college football. 

READ: Georgia climbs to No. 1 in third CFP rankings

Washington has won each of its past six games by 10 points or less, and they’re atop the Pac-12 standings. 

Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer can see the conference championship on the horizon, and he wants his team to continue taking care of business. 

“I’m proud of the direction we’re going,” DeBoer said. “We put ourselves in a spot now where, I mean, every game does matter but it really has a heightened level of importance, and we’re excited about that. I think our guys really play well when the lights are bright, and that goes into the week of preparation, the energy. They bring it every single day and so big week ahead against a really, really good football team that’s playing really well and well coached, and so we know we have a great challenge going on the road again.”