By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Conference races reaching boiling point
spt ap Blackmon
Oklahoma States Justin Blackmon, who has emerged as perhaps the top receiver in all of college football, navigates downfield after making a pass reception during a Big 12 Conference game earlier in the season. OSU, ranked No.12 in the latest poll by The Associated Press, plays Kansas in Lawrence on Saturday, with kickoff set for 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium. - photo by AP Photo

With three of the four unbeaten teams sitting it out, this weekend is all about the conferences races.
The Big Ten could lose some clutter at the top with No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 8 Ohio State playing on the road, while No. 14 Virginia Tech can lock up its fourth trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
In the Big 12, No. 9 Nebraska can lock up the North Division and potentially eliminate No. 18 Texas A&M from contention in the South, where No. 16 Oklahoma is trying to stay close to first-place No. 12 Oklahoma State.
Iowa realistically fell out of the Big Ten race when it lost to Northwestern last week, leaving Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin all tied for first with 5-1 records.
The Hawkeyes can clear a path to the Rose Bowl for Michigan State by beating Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State. If the Spartans and Badgers tie for the league championship, Michigan State goes to Pasadena because it beat Wisconsin.
In a three-way tie, the BCS standings decide which team plays in the Rose Bowl and Wisconsin currently leads the race, with Ohio State next and then Michigan State.
The Badgers, coming off an 83-20 victory over Indiana, are at Michigan on Saturday, so expect Wisconsin’s offense to keep rolling against the Big Ten’s lowest rated defense. Michigan State is home against Purdue.
Tyrod Taylor and the Hokies can lock up another ACC Coastal crown by winning at No. 24 Miami. The Hurricanes, who have never played in the conference title game since joining the league in 2004, would remain alive in the division race with a victory.
Nebraska needs to win either of its final two games to earn a second straight trip to the Big 12 title game. The Cornhuskers visit College Station, where the Aggies are rolling but need lots of help to catch Oklahoma State.
Justin Blackmon and the Cowboys should have an easy time at Kansas on Saturday, before finishing the season at home against Oklahoma. If the Sooners can win at Baylor, the Bedlam game in Stillwater will be for the Big 12 South.

Georgia State (no line) at No. 10 Alabama — Former Tide coach Bill Curry leads this fledgling FCS program ... ALABAMA 60-0.
Fresno State (plus 30½) at No. 3 Boise State — Broncos keep the pedal to the floor ... BOISE STATE 55-21.
Mississippi (plus 16) at No. 5 LSU — Chance to play for national title still being contemplated in Baton Rouge ... LSU 31-13.
No. 6 Wisconsin (minus 5) at Michigan — History is with Michigan, 17-1 vs. Badgers at home; the present is not ... WISCONSIN 42-28.
No. 7 Stanford (minus 7) at California — Golden Bears have allowed 49 points in five home games ... STANFORD 21-17.
No. 8 Ohio State (minus 3) at No. 21 Iowa — Buckeyes have only 16 sacks, will need more pressure to stop Ricky Stanzi ... IOWA 27-21.
No. 9 Nebraska (minus 2½) at No. 18 Texas A&M — Huskers took it easy on Taylor Martinez last week to get ready ... TEXAS A&M 17-13.
Purdue (plus 20) at No. 11 Michigan State — Spartans can smell roses ... MICHIGAN STATE 37-14.
No. 12 Oklahoma State (minus 24) at Kansas — No chance Cowboys let down before Bedlam ... OKLAHOMA STATE 48-10.
No. 13 Arkansas (minus 3) at No. 22 Mississippi State — Razorbacks have won 13 of 15 in series, but lost last trip to Starkville ... ARKANSAS 28-17.
No. 14 Virginia Tech (minus 2½) at No. 24 Miami — Beating Hokies would be a season-changer for Hurricanes ... MIAMI 28-24.
No. 15 Missouri (minus 11) at Iowa State — Cyclones lost QB Austen Arnaud for season with knee injury ... MISSOURI 31-14.
No. 16 Oklahoma (minus 7½) at Baylor — Sooners have lost four straight Big 12 road games ... OKLAHOMA 35-30.
Troy (plus 22) at No. 17 South Carolina — Expect a bit of a hangover for Gamecocks ... SOUTH CAROLINA 34-14.
New Mexico State (plus 38) at No. 19 Nevada — Colin Kaepernick could become first QB with three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons ... NEVADA 65-10.
No. 20 Southern California (minus 3) at Oregon State — Trojans have lost four straight games in state of Oregon ... USC 35-24.
No. 25 Utah (minus 3) at San Diego State — Utes have led by a combined score of 73-0 at half in last two meetings ... SAN DIEGO ST 34-24.
Last week — 17-5 (straight); 12-10 (vs. points).
Season — 154-48 (straight); 97-98-3 (vs. points).
Best bets — 3-4.
Upset specials — 4-3.