College Momentum from the Maxwell Football Club presents a list of must-see games this week, topped by Ohio State at Michigan and Alabama at Auburn. Plus, the finalists were announced earlier this week for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards.
Note: CollegeFootballPoll.com's Dave Congrove is a voting member for each of those awards.
The finalists for each award were announced earlier this week.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (Jr.)
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford (Jr.)
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (rs-Sr.)
Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State (Sr.)
Minkah FItzpatrick, DB, Alabama (Jr.)
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia (Jr.)
Ohio State at Michigan - Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
The Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium is set, with East Division champ Ohio State facing West winner Wisconsin. But first, there's the annual rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines. Ohio State has dominated the series of late, winning five straight and 12 of the last 13. And it'll have to make it six in a row to maintain hopes of earning a playoff berth. For Jim Harbaugh, who has yet to defeat Urban Meyer since returning to his alma mater, this is a particularly important game since Michigan has already dropped its three toughest conference games to Penn State, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Alabama at Auburn (Fla.) - Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Iron Bowl matters, regardless of records and circumstances. When the SEC West and potentially a playoff spot rest on the outcome, it's an epic event, both in and out of the state. The Tigers are rolling, winners of four straight, including a 23-point shellacking of then-undefeated Georgia. The top-ranked Tide is vulnerable, saddled with a spate of injuries on defense. However, Auburn has struggled against Alabama this past decade, beating Nick Saban's teams just twice in the last nine tries. These rivals are similarly constructed around power running games, top 10 defenses and quarterbacks who can improvise when the pocket collapses.
Notre Dame at Stanford - Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET (ABC)
Stanford can be forgiven if it occasionally diverts attention to the scoreboard Saturday night. If Washington State falls at Washington, which kicks off at the same time, the Cardinal will capture the Pac-12 North Division and face South champion USC a week later. Meanwhile, Notre Dame will be visiting the Farm in a renewal of an emerging rivalry that's taken place every year since 1997. While the Fighting Irish fell out of serious playoff contention following a lopsided loss to Miami two weeks ago, a win this weekend would all but guarantee a New Year's Six bowl invitation.
Washington State at Washington - Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
It's the annual Apple Cup, with an added twist. If the Huskies can defeat the Cougs for a fifth consecutive year, they'll deny their instate rivals a rematch with USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Of course, if Wazzu can break through in Seattle, which hasn't happened in a decade, the team will play in its first-ever league title game. U-Dub will look to shake off a disappointing second half of the year that's included road losses to Arizona State and Stanford. At Husky Stadium, though, the program is undefeated in 2017 and has won 13 of its last 14 home contests.