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College Sports

Top 25 Preview Capsules

No. 6 Kansas State (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) at Iowa State (4-1, 1-1), noon (FX)

Line: Kansas State by 6 ½.

Series Record: Iowa State leads 49-42-4


If Kansas State loses to the Cyclones, they'll be staring at the very real possibility of two straight Big 12 losses with a trip to No. 5 West Virginia on tap for next week. A win for Iowa State likely gives the program its first spot in the AP poll in seven years.


Kansas State QB Collin Klein and RB John Hubert vs. Iowa State's front seven. Klein and Hubert have been among the nation's tough rushing tandems this season. The Cyclones rank fourth in the Big 12 in rushing defense and will look to force Klein to throw the ball more than he'd like to.


Kansas State. LB Arthur Brown. He causes havoc every week and is up for every major defensive award in the country. Iowa State quarterback Jared Barnett, in just his second start of the season, will need to account for him on every play.

Iowa State. K Edwin Arceo. He's missed three extra points already this season. In what could be a close game, Arceo can't afford to leave easy points on the field.


After months of drought in the Midwest, it's expected to pour in central Iowa on Saturday. But perhaps no two teams in the Big 12 are prepared for sloppy conditions more than the Wildcats and Cyclones, who both like to run the ball ... Iowa State punter Kirby Van Der Kamp has placed 16 of his 31 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line with just one touchback ... Kansas State is 11th in the nation with 43.6 points per game, largely because the Wildcats usually get seven points instead of three. They've scored 29 touchdowns, including 14 total TDs by Klein, with just five field goals.


No. 17 Stanford (4-1) at No. 7 Notre Dame (5-0), 3:30 p.m. (NBC)

Line: Notre Dame by 7.

Series record: Notre Dame leads 17-9.


A victory by the Fighting Irish leaves them undefeated at the halfway point of the season and firmly in the middle of the national championship race, with only a couple more big hurdles (at Oklahoma and at USC) still to clear. Stanford is looking to extend its winning streak in the series to four. It had never even won three before the current run.


Stanford TE Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo vs. Notre Dame's patchwork secondary. Injuries have left the Irish low on experienced defensive backs. One corner is a freshman (KeiVarae Russell), and they have converted receivers at the other corner (Bennett Jackson) and one safety spot (Matthias Farley). Stanford hasn't gotten much from its wide receivers, but it's got a couple of tight ends who might be able to exploit Notre Dame's DBs. Cardinal QB Josh Nunes is going to need some help.WR Ty Montgomery, who has more catches than any other Stanford wideout, is unlikely to play because of an injury.


Stanford: LB Chase Thomas. The senior leads the team in tackles with 31, including six behind the line of scrimmage and 2.5 sacks. He also has an interception, and is a key cog in a rush defense that ranks sixth in the country.

Notre Dame: NG Louis Nix III: LB Manti Te'o and DT Stephon Tuitt get a lot of hype, and deservedly so. Nix, at 326 pounds, clogs the middle, and will be key against a Stanford team that likes to run between the tackles.


Notre Dame is the only team in the country that has yet to trail in a game ...The Irish have gone three straight games without allowing a touchdown, the longest streak by Notre Dame since 1980. ... Stanford has scored 110 points against the Irish in its three-game winning streak. QB Andrew Luck started all of those games for the Cardinal. ... Nunes had his best game last week in a wild 54-48 OT win against Arizona. He threw for 360 yards and ran for three scores. But the Notre Dame defense is very different than Arizona's. ... Stanford has allowed five sacks through five games, the best rate in the Pac-12.


No. 8 Ohio State (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) at Indiana (2-3, 0-2), 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

Line: Ohio State by 17.

Series Record: Ohio State leads 67-12-5.


Big Ten pride. At No. 8 Ohio State, which is ineligible for postseason play or the Big Ten title, is the league's highest ranked team and only of two Big Ten schools in the Top 25. Losing at Indiana would send yet another signal about how much is still amiss in one of the top six football conferences. The Hoosiers have lost 10 straight conference games, dating to an overtime win at Purdue in the 2010 season finale.


Ohio State QB Braxton Miller vs. Indiana's front seven. Miller is quickly emerging as a Heisman Trophy candidate because of his ability to beat foes with his arm or his legs. The Hoosiers made plenty of defensive changes this year in hopes of making significant improvement. But after allowing 37.3 points per game last season and starting this season giving up 23 combined points in the first two games, Indiana's last three opponents have scored 38.7 points per game.


Ohio State: Miller. After leading the Buckeyes to 63 points and running for 186 yards, a school record for a quarterback, against Nebraska, Miller said this about the Buckeyes offense: "I think it can be better." If Miller can do that well against a Nebraska defense that was ranked in the middle of the Big Ten pack in points allowed last week, just imagine what's possible against the Hoosiers.

Indiana: QBs Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld. Since starting quarterback Tre Roberson broke his leg in Week 2, Coffman and Sudfeld have taken turns being impressive. Coffman was hot in the first half in Week 3 against Ball State and after leaving with an injury, Sudfeld rallied the Hoosiers to take a late lead. Sudfeld rallied the Hoosiers again after a dismal first half at Northwestern, but Coffman had a strong game last week against Michigan State.


Ohio State has won 17 straight in the series, dating to a 27-27 tie in 1990. Indiana did win back-to-back games in 1987 and 1988, but the Hoosiers last win before '87 came in 1951. ... Miller is ranked 23rd nationally in total offensive yards per game (303.8) and 11th nationally in rushing (127.2). ... Indiana is averaging 32.8 points per game and has the Big Ten's No. 1 passing offense (305.2). ... Ohio State is second in the nation in interceptions (10). ... In eight career starts, Hoosiers RB Stephen Houston has rushed for 711 yards and averages 5.5 yards per carry.


No. 10 Oregon State (4-0) at Brigham Young (4-2), 3:30 p.m. ABC

Line: BYU by 3 1/2

Series Record: Tied at 5-5


The Beavers are seeking their first 5-0 start since 1939 but will have to rely on a quarterback making his first college start. BYU has had its own QB issues, but Saturday's game is a chance to showcase a top-five defense against a Top 10 team. The last ranked team BYU beat was No. 18 Oregon State in the 2009 Las Vegas Bowl.


Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz hasn't started since high school, but with Sean Mannion out he'll face one of the stingiest defenses, one that hasn't allowed an offense to score in 13 straight quarters. The key will be how Vaz and his line handle the pressure BYU will bring with Ezekiel Ansah, Kyle Van Noy and Spencer Hadley. The Beavers still have the dangerous receiving duo of WRs Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks.


Brigham Young: QB Riley Nelson has missed the last two games with what he said were "back fractures" but insists he's pain-free and ready to go. With freshman Taysom Hill out for the year with a knee injury, the backup is untested James Lark if Nelson can't sustain the hits by a Beavers defense that ranks firstt in the Pac-12 against the run and first nationally in third-down conversions.

Oregon State: Wheaton ranks fifth in the nation in receptions per game and could pose problems for BYU's corners, especially Jordan Johnson, who likes to gamble. Wheaton has caught a pass in 27 straight games and also is a threat on the ground.


BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall was a defensive back on the last Oregon State team to visit Provo, a 10-7 Beavers' upset in 1986. .... The game is homecoming for BYU and the Cougars are wearing all-black uniforms for the first time in the modern era. ... BYU linebacker Uani Unga transferred from Oregon State but his twin, Feti, is still at Oregon State. Both play linebacker and wear No. 41, though Feti is wearing Taumoepeau on his jersey to honor their mother and her maiden name.