Five College Football Playoff games of impact for Week 13

Rivalry Week in college football brings a bountiful menu of games fit for holiday viewing. Some will have true playoff implications, while other teams whose place at the head of the line is established will be simply trying to maintain order, as they’ve done for most of the season.

Here are the five games in Week 13 with the most potential impact on the College Football Playoff.

No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State

Saturday, noon ET, Fox

It’s among the more intense rivalries the sport has to offer. This year it has the added element of serving as a playoff eliminator. It’s almost a side note that the game will also determine the Big Ten East champion, earning the winner a date with Northwestern in next week’s conference title tilt. The loser will be all but assured of a New Year’s Six bowl, but it would be viewed as little more than a consolation prize.

In something of a role reversal from recent years in this series, the Wolverines enter the final regular-season weekend looking the part of a playoff contender while the Buckeyes have had their share of good fortune to be 10-1. Even so, Michigan, playing on the road, must still clear the hurdle of ending its six-game series losing streak against the Buckeyes to make the season truly special. The Wolverines’ performance on the defensive side of the ball, the nation’s stingiest unit allowing just 234.8 yards a game, gives them a huge advantage despite the uncertain availability of standout DE Chase Winovich. Michigan should still be able to put plenty of heat on Buckeyes QB Dwayne Haskins, who has superb weapons like WR Parris Campbell and RB J.K. Dobbins but needs time to find them. Wolverines QB Shea Patterson isn’t as prolific as Haskins, but he, too, has a strong supporting cast featuring RB Karan Higdon and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones. Ohio State’s defense has been wildly inconsistent, but LBs Malik Harrison and Tuf Borland can finish tackles if they get help in front of them.

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