Week 11 of the college football season is chock full of matchups between strong teams, and with major BCS implications on the line for some teams, nearly every game this week should be a fight to the finish.
Week 11 began on Tuesday night, but the biggest games came on Thursday. No. 5 Baylor defeated No. 12 Oklahoma (41-12), and No. 6 Stanford upset No. 2 Oregon (26-20). It was a crippling loss for Oregon, as they will likely see a drop in the rankings as a result.
There are more exciting matchups to look out for on Saturday. Mississippi State will travel to No. 11 Texas A&M, and the Bulldogs defense will be looking to grow from the last time they faced Johnny Manziel and the Aggies last season.
BYU at No. 21 Wisconsin also has the potential to be an exciting game, but the most compelling matchup of Saturday's slate of games will come at 8:00 p.m. ET when No. 10 LSU takes on No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. LSU figures to give Alabama their toughest competition to date.
After some of the afternoon games end on Saturday, the focus will shift—at least until LSU-Alabama—to the race for the Heisman trophy. Here are the top contenders looking to improve their cases in Week 11.
Heisman Contenders to Watch
Manziel has a favorable matchup in Week 11 against Mississippi State. Their defense ranks 48th in the nation, allowing 24.3 points per game. They held Connor Shaw of South Carolina to just 10-of-20 passing in Week 10, but four of those completions were touchdowns.
Mike Davis totaled 128 yards on the ground on just 15 carries, so it's clear that the Bulldogs have issues limiting teams on the ground. Manziel should be able to capitalize both in the air and on the ground, and don't be surprised if he racks up 400 total yards.
The key to this one for him will be wide receiver Mike Evans. The 6'5" target makes everything easier for Manziel down the field, as he can easily go over the top of defenses when his receiver gets even a half of a step on his defender.
Look for Manziel to improve his Heisman stock this week.
No. 3 Florida State takes on Wake Forest on Saturday, and quarterback Jameis Winston should put up big numbers against a Demon Deacons defense that allowed 56 points to Clemson when they were ranked No. 3 earlier in the season.
They allow just 19.9 points per game, but that's because of strong defensive showings against teams like Presbyterian, UL Monroe and Syracuse. Don't expect the Seminoles to have any trouble moving the ball down the field.
Winston has 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions on the season. He has also tallied three rushing touchdowns. He is dynamic in the pocket and on the move, and this will make it extremely difficult for Wake Forest to contain him.
He doesn't often make mistakes—which is rare for a young quarterback—and he has the rare ability of recognizing when the defense breaks down. He's not afraid to tuck the ball in and run for tough yards, and that's something the defense needs to keep in mind.
This game might get out of hand quickly, and Winston will be at the front of the blowout. He'll have upwards of 200 yards and two touchdowns at the half, with totals around 400 yards and three touchdowns in the end.