Grab your coffee: For the first time this season, Florida is playing in the early slate.
The Gators take on Vanderbilt at noon, returning home to play in The Swamp for the first time in nearly a month. It's a special homecoming day, and not just because today's date makes it "Gators Heisman Day": Florida can clinch the SEC East and book their trip to Atlanta for an SEC Championship game with a win today. Probabilities based on power ratings overwhelming favor the Gators eventually winning the division regardless of today's outcome, but a win seals out all other contenders.
Besides, finishing its schedule strong would set Florida up well not just for the SEC Championship Game but also a potential College Football Playoff berth, with the Gators currently slotted at No. 10 in the committee's rankings.
There is a loaded slate of important in-conference games today, with several unbeatens or one loss teams facing their biggest tests to date, so get comfortable. Feel free to jump back in this thread to discuss this afternoon and evening's games live after the Gators have left the field.
Here are our picks for today's viewing windows:
Afternoon (3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern)
Florida State at Clemson (3:30 p.m., ABC): This game will likely decide the ACC race. Clemson is undefeated, #1 in the recently released College Football Playoff committee rankings and looking to beat FSU for the first time since 2011. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who might be a dark horse Heisman candidate, and the Tigers are averaging 40.6 points per game and have a defense ranked #5 in total defense which is only allowing opponents 17 points on average. One loss Florida State boasts a top 25 defense themselves and their own Heisman candidate in running back Dalvin Cook, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury this season. The Seminoles are likely to continue to deal with some injuries for this one.
Arkansas at Mississippi (3:30 p.m., CBS): The Rebels seem to have regrouped and have returned to their winning ways. But, Ole Miss has played a Kyle Allen-lead Texas A&M and South Carolina those last two weeks. The Razorbacks should present more of a challenge.
TCU at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m., FOX): Both teams are undefeated as the Big 12 enters the meat of its back loaded schedule. The Horned Frogs have a Heisman contender in Trevone Boykin and are looking to keep their playoff and Big 12 Championship hopes alive. This game has big points potential.
Evening (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern)
LSU at Alabama (8:00 p.m. CBS):.The College GameDay "game of the week" and SEC West death match everyone has waited for is finally here. LSU is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the playoff committee's first rankings. They have all world Heisman frontrunner Leonard Fournette. But, they have to travel to Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide, who has been largely dominant following their lone loss to Ole Miss in September. Alabama was ranked, somewhat controversially, fourth in the committee's initial rankings and needs a win here to remain in the SEC West and playoff hunt. This game has been billed as the decider in the SEC West race but Ole Miss, who is on a bye this week, is still very much alive as they could win out and take the division themselves.