1. Washington Huskies
Opponent: at 11 Oregon State | Time: Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC) | Spread: ORST -2.5
This is the real put-up or shut up time for the No. 5 ranked Washington Huskies.
Still left out of the Top 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings despite earning wins over Oregon, Arizona, USC, and Utah this season, Washington will have to prove itself yet again this week in what might be its biggest test of the regular season outside of the Ducks coming to Husky Stadium -- and it just so happens to be the team in the same state.
Oregon State is not as traditional of a Pac-12 power as Oregon or Washington, but Jonathan Smith and the Beavers have this thing cooking right now. They are not a perfect team and the defense is still worse than it was a year ago, which isn't great when facing Washington, but Damian Martinez and one of the best offensive lines in the country have asserted their will more often than not and D.J. Uiagalelei has made strides from his time at Clemson.
Perhaps most importantly, the Huskies have to go on the road to Corvallis, one of the most underratedly difficult places to play in college football. That's been even more so true under Smith, who is 14-2 against the spread as a favorite at home with the Beavs. And lo and behold, Oregon State is favored in this matchup as well.
This game has the makings of a shootout with the inconsistency of Washington's defense combined with the prowess of Oregon State's offense, and vice versa. With the Beavers having a major home-field advantage, Washington will have to fight tooth and nail to keep their perfect regular season alive.