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Weekend Game Guide: Things are on the light side

A light week in college football means you can pay full attention to the game you’re actually watching.

NCAA Football: SMU at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The last few weeks have been stacked with marquee match-ups and big teams. This week, four of the top five teams have bye weeks. What the week lacks in quantity it makes up in quality, with each block’s most interesting game looking truly exciting. If you’re a terminal second (or third) screener like me, maybe you can just pick the game you want to watch the most and really pay attention to it instead of dividing your time.

Of course, I’ve been watching college football for long enough to know that if you think the week will have minimal interesting games, it might just be the most chaotic weekend of the season.

B1G Games to Watch

#15 Michigan vs. Maryland. After one of their biggest wins in the Harbaugh-era, Michigan has a chance to go into the bye week rolling with a road match-up against an easy opponent. Mike Locksley’s squad was actually ranked 21st after it rolled Howard and an overrated Syracuse to begin the season, and has pretty much fallen off a cliff since then. Maryland has racked up big losses (and also a big win at Rutgers), and Michigan cannot afford a repeat of the Illinois game if they want to maintain the positive momentum going into the bye.

Northwestern v. Indiana. This off-season, Indiana fans started the #9WINDIANA meme. It seemed like a lofty goal, Tom Allen had gone 5-7 in two straight seasons. Now it’s Halloween and the Hoosiers are already bowl eligible. They should be the favorites in two out of their four remaining Big Ten games, and if they win those a favorable bowl match-up could make the dream a reality. In the first night game ever at Indiana’s Memorial Stadium, they will try to keep the dream alive by taking on a disappointing Northwestern. Northwestern was supposed to be a factor in a wide open Big Ten West race, but has limped to 1-6.

National Games to Watch

#8 Georgia v. #6 Florida. The best game of the day is likely to be the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. As always, Georgia and Florida will take to Jacksonville for this rivalry game, and for the second straight year both will be ranked in the Top 10. Both teams carry a loss, and the winner of this game will be in pole position to win the SEC East and get a shot at Alabama in the Championship Game. SP+ is giving Georgia an almost 7 point advantage. The Dan Mullen era has gotten off to a good start. A Florida win Saturday could announce Florida as national contenders, and have Gator fans Wanting Bama. A Georgia win allows the Dawgs to begin salvaging their season after the loss to South Carolina.

#15 SMU v. #24 Memphis. Who would have guessed when the season began that College Gameday might find itself in Memphis instead of Jacksonville. In Sonny Dykes’ second season, he has the Pony Express rolling with an 8-0 record. 7-1 Memphis is SMU’s toughest test so far. The G5 New Year’s Six bowl berth is guaranteed to be to Dallas’ Cotton Bowl this year, and SMU staying at home for a high-profile bowl would be a great story. But Memphis could upend the fairy tale and take that berth themselves (though an undefeated App St. remains extant), and have favorable conditions to do so. With the game in their house and both advanced stats and Vegas favoring Memphis, a Tigers win gives Memphis the inside track to the AAC Championship. A Mustangs win proves that SMU is real, with a game at Navy their biggest remaining obstacle to making the Cotton Bowl.

The Grid

Like I said, in a week where it seems like there might be a lot of lopsided matchups, we’re sure to have some upsets. Here’s what else you can look forward to this weekend.

Big Ten

Matchup Time TV Streaming
Matchup Time TV Streaming
#15 Michigan vs. Maryland 12:00 PM ABC
Nebraska vs. Purdue 12:00 PM FOX
Rutgers vs. Illinois 3:30 PM BTN
Northwestern v. Indiana 7:00 PM FS1

Top 25 (Thursday)

Matchup Time TV Streaming
Matchup Time TV Streaming
West Virginia v. #12 Baylor 8:00 PM ESPN
Georgia Southern v. #20 Appalachian State 8:00 PM ESPNU

Top 25 (Saturday)

Matchup Time TV Streaming
Matchup Time TV Streaming
NC State v. #23 Wake Forest 12:00 PM ESPN
Virginia Tech v. #16 Notre Dame 2:30 PM NBC
#8 Georgia v. #6 Florida 3:30 PM CBS
#22 Kansas St. v. Kansas 3:30 PM FS1
Wofford v. #4 Clemson 4:00 PM ACCN
#9 Utah v. Washington 4:00 PM FOX
Ole Miss v. #11 Auburn 7:00 PM ESPN
#17 Cincinnati v. East Carolina 7:00 PM CBSSN
#15 SMU v. #24 Memphis 7:30 PM ABC
#7 Oregon v. USC 8:00 PM FOX
#21 Boise St. v. San Jose St. 10:30 PM CBSSN

What game will be on your main screen this weekend? Am I overlooking the Pac-12 home dogs? Let me know in the comments.