The stretch run has arrived, oozing intrigue on the local, regional and national fronts. Here are six things to watch Saturday and beyond:
Despite its loss at unranked Utah, the Cardinal is alive in the chase for the national championship but needs several teams, including undefeated Florida State, to lose.
The Seminoles don't have many difficult games left, but one of them comes Saturday against Miami, which is also unbeaten.
Stanford will be finished with practice in time to watch the Sunshine State rivals collide at 5 p.m.
Carey, current owner of the record (366 yards, set last season), is as good, if not better, than Washington's Bishop Sankey.
Last week, Sankey rushed for 188 yards against Cal -- in the first half.
A victory over UNLV would significantly expand SJSU's margin for error in the final month.
A loss to UNLV would force the Spartans to beat San Diego State, Navy and Nevada to avoid a must-win scenario in the finale against No. 16 Fresno State.
Arizona State became the conference's fourth bowl-eligible team Thursday with its blowout of Washington State.
Arizona and UCLA are heavy favorites to join the club , while USC needs one more victory.
Given the strong middle and weak bottom -- everyone's feasting on Cal and Colorado -- it's not difficult to envision a scenario in which nine Pac-12 teams reach the postseason.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, last year's winner and the preseason favorite, is third in the Heisman Pundit's latest straw poll of 10 voters.
Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, who came from nowhere, is second.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, considered a second-tier contender at the start of the season, leads the way. The junior has 20 touchdown passes, nine touchdown runs and zero interceptions.
Mariota's opportunity to solidify his hold on the Heisman next week at Stanford comes two years after Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck lost to the Ducks -- and lost his grip on the trophy.
There are six unbeatens from the power conferences -- more than at this point last year or the year before (or the year before).
If Alabama wins out, the two-time defending champions would assuredly claim one spot in the national title game.
But what if two others run the table?
And what if the spot opposite Alabama comes down to a one-loss champ from the mighty Pac-12 or undefeated Ohio State, from the weak Big Ten?
At this point, there's only one sure thing: Chaos would be a fitting conclusion to the BCS era.
Arizona (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) at Cal (1-7, 0-5), 12:30 p.m. Pac-12
Inside: Ervin gets his shot at running back. PAGE 3
SJSU (4-3, 3-1 Mountain West) at UNLV (5-3, 3-1), 1 p.m.
Inside: Team on rise awaits Spartans. PAGE 3
1. Alabama (8-0) .9937
2. Oregon (8-0) .9517
3. Florida St. (7-0) .9211
4. Ohio St. (8-0) .8840
5. Stanford (7-1) .7918
6. Baylor (7-0) .7645
7. Miami (7-0) .7560
8. Clemson (7-1) .6687
9. Missouri (7-1) .6096
10. Oklahoma (7-1) .6064
Oregon (8-0, 5-0) at Stanford (7-1, 5-1), 6 p.m. ESPN