USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for Week 12

Historians looking back on this 2018 college football season will certainly be scratching their head at the scenario that is the biggest flashpoint of Week 12. Notre Dame is unbeaten with two games left and has one major test remaining on its path to the College Football Playoff.

That test wouldn't be its biennial season finale at Southern California, though. It would be against Syracuse. Yes, with the Trojans reeling, the No. 12 Orange look like the lone obstacle that stands in the way of the third-ranked Irish making the field. The game will be played on neutral ground at Yankee Stadium with Syracuse not only looking to play spoiler, but also hoping to take a huge step toward a New Year's Six Bowl.

There's also a critical game in the Big 12, but it doesn't involve leaders West Virginia and Oklahoma, who will meet next weekend. Both No. 14 Texas and No. 18 Iowa State remain in the race and will meet in Austin. If the Longhorns win, they would likely just need an Oklahoma loss to clinch their spot. If the Cyclones prevail, a West Virginia loss would likely send them to Arlington, Texas.

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