University of Washington

5 things to watch in college football in Week 11

TOP GAMES

There are only two games scheduled this weekend between teams both ranked in the College Football Playoff top 25, and one of them is right here in Seattle. That, of course, would be No. 4 Washington’s 4:30 p.m. Saturday matchup against No. 20 USC, which moved into the rankings this week. The other: No. 24 LSU at No. 25 Arkansas in a battle of three-loss SEC teams.

CFP THOUGHTS

So, the Huskies moved up to No. 4 after all. UW debuted at No. 5 in the CFP rankings last week, behind Texas A&M, but an Aggies loss at Mississippi State paved the way for the Huskies to move up. Some thought they might get jumped by one-loss Ohio State, but the Buckeyes instead moved up only one spot to No. 5. Regardless of how those numbers fluctuate in the coming weeks, UW’s path to the playoff remains clear: win out, and the Huskies will surely be in.

HEISMAN UPDATE

The probability of UW quarterback Jake Browning receiving an invitation to this year’s Heisman Trophy ceremony continues to grow. After throwing six touchdown passes in UW’s 66-27 win at California, Browning remains No. 2 on both ESPN and Sports Illustrated’s Heisman projections, just behind Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who faces Wake Forest at home this week.

CAL-WSU IN PULLMAN

Remember 2014, when California beat Washington State, 60-59, on a late night in Pullman? WSU quarterback Connor Halliday set a national record that day by throwing for 729 yards … in a loss. Well, it’s possible these teams could recreate such circumstances when they meet again Saturday night. Cal gave up 704 yards and 66 points last week in a loss to Washington, so Luke Falk and his offensive teammates are probably licking their chops.

CHECKING IN ON THE TOP 3

Will there be any room for the Huskies to move up in the CFP rankings this week if they beat USC on Saturday? Probably not. No. 1 Alabama is a 30-point home favorite over Mississippi State; No. 2 Clemson is a 20 1/2-point home favorite over Pittsburgh; and No. 3 Michigan is a 21 1/2-point favorite at Iowa. No. 5 Ohio State, meanwhile, is a 29-point favorite at Maryland.

Christian Caple: ccaple@thenewstribune.com

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