Rivalry Week: Coaching futures, playoff spots and more

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UH students respond to reports that suggest Tom Herman is leaving, Tracy Clemons reports. (AP)

This weekend will not only serve up great food, but great football as well. It will be a weekend of rivalry games, narrowing paths to the playoff and for some coaches an audition.

#20 University of Houston (9-3) vs Memphis (8-4)

Call it the Black Friday blues or the curse of Memphis. After mounting a comeback, the No. 20-ranked Houston Cougars were unable to hold on against Memphis, losing 48-44.

The stakes weren't quite what Houston fans were dreaming of in September, but the Cougars still made a major statement with last week's 36-10 upset of a Louisville team that came to campus ranked 5th in the country.



The big question on everyone's mind? Was this Tom Herman's last outing in Houston? Herman's name has been mentioned in LSU, Texas A&M and Texas' search for a coach. Reports say prominent Texas boosters are reportedly putting "extreme pressure" on school administration to fire Charlie Strong and replace him with Herman.

LSU issued a statement late Thursday saying they were aware of the rumors, but wouldn't confirm anything.

LSU has zeroed in on Houston's Tom Herman as its next head coach and could have a deal in place as early as Saturday, sources told ESPN on Thursday.

TCU (6-5) vs Texas Longhorns (5-7)
Quarterback Kenny Hill ran for two touchdowns and TCU beat Texas 31-9 Friday, sending Longhorns coach Charlie Strong to a crushing loss in what may be his final game after three seasons.

Baylor Bears (6-4) vs Texas Tech (4-7). ESPN @5pm.

Which Big 12 team will end its losing streak? Texas Tech and Baylor are both winless in November. Baylor has lost four in a row since getting bowl eligible with a 6-0 start.

The Red Raiders are coming off a distressing 66-10 loss at Iowa State. They have lost three in a row, and six of seven, and will miss a bowl game for only the third time since 2000.

SATURDAY:
"The Game"- #2 Ohio State (10-0) vs #3 Michigan (9-1). ABC13 @11:30am
The journey to the playoff and the Big Ten championship must first make a pit stop at noon in Columbus, Ohio. The entire seasons of at least three teams - and potentially several more - are riding on this regular-season finale.
Ohio State's midseason loss puts the Playoff Committee into an odd set circumstances for which they have no comfortable precedent. If Ohio State wins, and the Nittany Lions take care of business, then Penn State is headed to the Big Ten championship.

Will Ohio State be in the playoff even without a conference championship? That means you have to eliminate some other deserving team. The root of the problem is that every year the Committee will be divorcing one jilted conference or another . There are five power conferences and only room for four in the playoff.

"The Iron Bowl"- #1 Alabama vs #15 Auburn. @2:30pm
The Iron Bowl may not have any Southeastern Conference championship ramifications this season, but the Iron Bowl against Auburn is one of the marquee games in college football every year.

Could a loss derail Alabama's College Football Playoff hopes? No, at least not by itself. The Tide would still have a chance to rebound against Florida in the SEC championship game.

"The Florida Cup" #13 Florida vs #14 Florida State. ABC13 @7pm
Speaking of Florida, one of the biggest rivalries in college sports will be adding another chapter to its history.

The Seminoles' seniors are looking to become the first group to ever go 4-0 against both Miami and Florida in their career while star running back Dalvin Cook -- perhaps in his last home game as well -- eyes a third-straight 100-yard game against the rival Gators. There isn't much College Football Playoff drama here, but there is no shortage of interesting storylines, including LSU's interest in Jimbo Fisher.

No matter the result, the Gators have already secured a place in the SEC Championship Game.

FINAL SCORES:

LSU (7-4) vs Texas A & M (8-4)
Texas A&M fell Thursday in their regular season finale 54-39 to LSU. The Aggies will find out their bowl destination next Sunday.

Related Topics:
sportscollege footballuniversity of houstonuniversity of texasSEC
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