Week nine of the college football season is upon us, and it’s getting to be crunch time. If teams across the college football landscape want to be in their conference races at the end of the season, they must start winning big games.
B1G Games to Watch
No. 13 Wisconsin vs No. 3 Ohio State. A bit of the shine came off this matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Wisconsin Badgers after last week when Wisconsin was upset by Illinois, but this is still likely a preview of the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis later this year. Ohio State owns the No. 5 offense and the No. 1 defense in the SP+. Wisconsin boasts the No. 22 offense and the No. 2 defense. If the Badger defense can bottle up Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins, Wisconsin has a chance in this one. If not, Ohio State will add a quality win to its resume. This game kicks off at Noon on Saturday on Fox.
No. 8 Notre Dame vs No. 19 Michigan. The other Top-25 matchup involving a Big Ten team this week, Michigan and Notre Dame is yet another marquee opportunity for the Wolverines this season. Last week in Weekend Game Guide I said, “There comes a time in every season when you just have to win, and many teams—including Michigan—are there” Well that’s still true, and Michigan just has to win this game. Fortunately for the Wolverines, the SP+ actually has them favored in this matchup—owing mostly to Notre Dame’s defense being ranked No. 35. If Don Brown’s defense can keep a lid on the Fighting Irish offense, Michigan has a good chance in this one. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday on ABC.
National Games to Watch
No. 9 Auburn vs No. 2 LSU. The only Top-10 matchup of the weekend, this game between the Auburn Tigers and LSU Tigers will be one of strengths. Auburn boasts the No. 2 defense in the SP+, but only the No. 28 offense. LSU owns the No. 2 offense in the SP+, but only the No. 29 defense. Which will prevail? Only time will tell. Regardless, the winner of this game puts themselves on a collision course with Alabama for the SEC East, so it’s fair to expect plenty of fireworks in this one. Kickoff is on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
No. 15 Texas vs TCU. Despite only Texas being ranked in the Top-25, this matchup between the Longhorns and the TCU Horned Frogs promises to be a closely contested affair. TCU may have lost three of their past four, but two of those games were against ranked teams. Texas, on the other hand, is coming off a close win over Kansas—who TCU decimated two weeks ago. The Longhorns’ defense also leaves a lot to be desired, checking in at No. 77 in the SP+. Vegas has this as a one point game, and the SP+ does as well. If Auburn and LSU isn’t your cup of tea in the 3:30 p.m. slot, this game is slated for the same time on Fox.
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.
|No. 20 Iowa vs Northwestern||12:00 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 13 Wisconsin vs No. 3 Ohio State||12:00 p.m.||Fox||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Illinois vs Purdue||12:00 p.m.||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Liberty vs Rutgers||12:00 p.m.||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|No. 6 Penn State vs Michigan State||3:30 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Indiana vs Nebraska||3:30 p.m.||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Maryland vs No. 17 Minnesota||3:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 8 Notre Dame vs No. 19 Michigan||7:30 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 16 SMU vs Houston||7:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 5 Oklahoma vs Kansas State||12:00 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 21 Appalachian State vs South Alabama||12:00 p.m.||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 9 Auburn vs No. 2 LSU||3:30 p.m.||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|No. 15 Texas vs TCU||3:30 p.m.||Fox||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Oklahoma State vs No. 23 Iowa State||3:30 p.m.||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Arkansas vs No. 1 Alabama||7:00 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Boston College vs No. 4 Clemson||7:30 p.m.||ACCN||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 24 Arizona State vs UCLA||7:30 p.m.||PACN||Pac-12.com|
|California vs No. 12 Utah||10:00 p.m.||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Washington State vs No. 11 Oregon||10:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
What games will you be watching this weekend? Sound off in the comments with the game and why.