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Weekend Game Guide: You play to win the game

It’s the greatest thing about sports

Arizona State v California Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Week eight of the college football season is here, and in the immortal words of Al Davis: just win, baby. There comes a time in every season when you just have to win, and many teams—including Michigan—are there.

B1G Games to Watch

Indiana vs Maryland. This matchup between the Indiana Hoosiers and Maryland Terrapins feels like a game between two teams currently heading in opposite directions. Indiana is on the upswing, coming off a game where they dunked on Rutgers after pushing Michigan State to the brink in a narrow loss. Meanwhile, Maryland has lost three of four—including bad losses to Temple and Purdue. Maryland nonetheless has the better resume this year, with the early big win over a then-ranked Syracuse team. Will Maryland right the ship, or will Indiana continue improving? This game is on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on BTN.

No. 16 Michigan vs No. 7 Penn State. I’m not one to bounce from crisis to crisis when the coaching staff or team fail to perform, but this game strikes me as one of the most consequential of the Jim Harbaugh era at Michigan. It’s year five, the offense still isn’t a consistently above-average unit, and the team now must go on the road to play a night game against a Top-10 conference opponent. Quite simply, the offense needs to be better than it has been and the defense needs to come to play. Will that happen? We’ll find out on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

National Games to Watch

No. 9 Florida vs South Carolina. I don’t know when the last time was that an unranked team knocked off two Top-10 teams in consecutive weeks, but South Carolina has that chance this weekend against Florida. The Gators are coming off a 42-28 loss to LSU in a game where they looked one dimensional at times. If South Carolina’s defense (No. 15 in the SP+) can bottle up Florida’s passing attack, look for this game to stay close for the duration. If that’s the case, anything could happen in the fourth quarter. This one kicks off at Noon on Saturday on ESPN.

No. 12 Oregon vs No. 25 Washington. It’s still a little early to say that this game between the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies is for Pac-12 North supremacy, but an Oregon victory will certainly put them in the driver’s seat for the division and be a strong indication that the Ducks will be representing the division in the Pac-12 title game. Since Oregon lost to Auburn in their season opener, the Ducks have put together five straight wins—including victories over Stanford and Cal. With that being said, the Huskies are no slouches—checking in with the No. 17 offense and No. 33 defense in the SP+—and they very well could beat Oregon and ultimately win the division themselves. This Pac-12 showdown kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday on ABC.

The Grid

Just because we’ve highlighted the games above doesn’t mean they’re the only ones on TV this weekend. Below, we have a list of every Big Ten and Top-25 game taking place this weekend. All games take place on Saturday, unless noted.

Big Ten (Friday)

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
No. 4 Ohio State vs Northwestern 8:30 p.m. BTN
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Big Ten (Saturday)

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
No. 6 Wisconsin vs Illinois 12:00 p.m. BTN
Purdue vs No. 23 Iowa 12:00 p.m. ESPN2
Indiana vs Maryland 3:30 p.m. BTN
No. 20 Minnesota vs Rutgers 3:30 p.m. BTN
No. 16 Michigan vs No. 7 Penn State 7:30 p.m. ABC
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Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
No. 3 Clemson vs Louisville 12:00 p.m. ABC
West Virginia vs No. 5 Oklahoma 12:00 p.m. Fox
No. 9 Florida vs South Carolina 12:00 p.m. ESPN
No. 11 Auburn vs Arkansas 12:00 p.m. SECN
No. 2 LSU vs Mississippi State 3:30 p.m. CBS
No. 12 Oregon vs No. 25 Washington 3:30 p.m. ABC
Temple vs No. 19 SMU 3:30 p.m. ESPN2
Tulsa vs No.21 Cincinnati 3:30 p.m. ESPNU
Louisana-Monroe vs No. 24 Appalachian State 3:30 p.m. ESPN+
No. 18 Baylor vs Oklahoma State 4:00 p.m. Fox
No. 22 Missouri vs Vanderbilt 4:00 p.m. SECN
Kentucky vs No. 10 Georgia 6:00 p.m. ESPN
No. 17 Arizona State vs No. 13 Utah 6:00 p.m. PACN
Kansas vs No. 15 Texas 7:00 p.m. LGHN
Tennessee vs No. 1 Alabama 9:00 p.m. ESPN
No. 14 Boise State vs BYU 10:15 p.m. ESPN2
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What games will you be watching this weekend? Sound off in the comments with the game and why.