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National Games to Watch: Week 10

NCAA Football: Utah State at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Utah’s season could very well be defined this week with two key PAC-12 games on the docket with major implications. First, Utah will need to take care of business against in Seattle as they battle the Huskies, followed by Oregon visiting the current PAC-12 south-leading USC Trojans. Both Utah and Oregon will need to come out victorious in order for the Utes to secure sole possession of the South and control their own destiry within the conference. However, if the Utes do prevail, there’s still a whole days worth of football that could have major implications for nation’s 9th ranked team.

#8 Georgia vs #6 Florida - Saturday 1:30 PM MT - CBS

Not only will the loser of this game likely drop below Utah (pending a Utes victory up north), but it adds yet another two-loss team into the mix. If Utah wants to be included in the conversation for a playoff bid, they’ll need as many two loss Power Five teams as they can get.

#15 SMU vs #24 Memphis - Saturday 5:30 PM MT - ABC

At this point, Utah’s possible bowl destinations are seemingly endless. From the CFP to the Rose Bowl to the Las Vegas Bowl, nothing is off the table, including the Cotton Bowl. The 2019 edition of the game pits the highest ranked Group of Five team against an at-large P5 opponent selected by the CFP committee. Ute fans should start familiarizing themselves with the G5 front-runners, which means the undefeated Mustangs of SMU and their conference rivals in Memphis. The victor of this matchup is in the drivers seat to nab their spot in the Cotton Bowl, with Cincinnati and Boise State also sill in the fold.

BYU vs Utah State - Saturday 8:00 PM MT - ESPN2

While this game has no direct impact on the Utes, a BYU victory is becoming more and more important for Utah, whose previous opponents are a combined 30-32, which could be a black mark against the Utes when the CFP committee convenes next week to compile their initial rankings. There are three “easy” wins left on the schedule for the Cougars (Liberty, Idaho State and UMASS), a bowl bid seems likely for the 3-4 rivals, however if they can sneak in wins against a good-but-not-great Utah State and a season finale against San Diego State could improve their resume, therefore improving Utah’s strength of schedule.