It’s rivalry week across college football, which means there are plenty of intriguing matchups to prepare for. Many of the games are for bragging rights — but for a few, the outcome will have national ramifications.
B1G Games to Watch
No. 1 Ohio State vs No. 13 Michigan
The game. Harbaugh vs Day. Fields vs Patterson. It’s Michigan and Ohio State, and that’s all you really need to say. Ohio State needs to beat Michigan and then whoever the Buckeyes play in the Big Ten Championship Game to solidify a spot in the College Football Playoff. Michigan has no shot at either. It’s playing simply for bragging rights, for a chance to get the monkey off its back after having not won The Game since 2011. Ohio State has obviously dominated the recent games in the series, but Michigan has been on fire in its past few games led by Shea Patterson at quarterback. The senior has thrown 21 touchdowns this season, including 10 in his last three contests. He will need to be at his best Saturday if the Wolverines expect to take down the Buckeyes. The game kicks off at Noon on Fox.
No. 12 Wisconsin vs No. 8 Minnesota
The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe features two Top-25 teams from the Big Ten. Minnesota is in the midst of a one-loss season, a surprising success in year two under P.J. Fleck. Meanwhile, Wisconsin is wrapping up a year that began with College Football Playoff aspirations, but has now been all about finishing strong after two mid-season losses to Illinois and Ohio State. Wisconsin once boasted a strong defense, posting four shutouts on the year. But down the stretch, the Badgers have struggled a bit, surrendering 22, 21 and 24 points in their last three games against No. 18 Iowa, Nebraska and Purdue, respectively. Minnesota has been much of the same, also featuring a Top-10 defense. The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe will likely be an old fashioned Big Ten battle, with strong defense, powerful rushing attacks and an appreciation for the well executed punt. The game will begin at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.
National Games to Watch
No. 5 Alabama vs No. 15 Auburn
This year’s Iron Bowl isn’t as hyped as some of the recent matchups, but should still bring a fair amount of excitement. Alabama comes into the contest without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa due to injury. Redshirt sophomore Mac Jones will get the start, coming off a stellar performance against Western Carolina in which he threw for 275 yards and three scores. ‘Bama is just outside the College Football Playoff at the moment, and a big win over the Tigers could motivate some on the committee to give the Tide a nudge up. Auburn enters the game fresh off a 52-0 blowout of Samford. The Tigers feature a Top-15 defense that could have its ears pinned back as it eyes an inexperienced quarterback playing in the biggest game of his career. The game will begin at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
No. 7 Oklahoma vs No. 21 Oklahoma State
The 8-3 Oklahoma State Cowboys have won four straight games since beginning the year 4-3, but in that time they played a grand total of one team with a winning record. Oklahoma is one poor defensive showing against Kansas State away from an undefeated season and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Jalen Hurts has excelled in Lincoln Riley’s offense after transferring from Alabama and will be looking to finish his regular season with a big win. The game starts at 8 p.m. on Fox.
The aforementioned games aren’t all that’s in store this weekend. Below are lists of Big Ten and Top-25 matchups. All games take place on Saturday unless otherwise noted.
Big Ten (Friday)
|No. 17 Iowa vs Nebraska||2:30 p.m.||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
Big Ten (Saturday)
|No. 1 Ohio State vs No. 13 Michigan||12:00 p.m.||Fox||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Indiana vs Purdue||12:00 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Northwestern vs Illinois||12:00 p.m.||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Maryland vs Michigan State||3:30 p.m.||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Rutgers vs No. 10 Penn State||3:30 p.m.||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|No. 12 Wisconsin vs No. 8 Minnesota||3:30 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 24 Virginia Tech vs Virginia||12:00 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 19 Cincinnati s No. 18 Memphis||3:30 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 20 Boise State vs Colorado State||3:30 p.m.||CBSS||CBSSports.com|
|No. 25 Appalachian State vs Troy||6:00 p.m.||ESPN+||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 3 Clemson vs South Carolina||12:00 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 4 Georgia vs Georgia Tech||12:00 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 5 Alabama vs No. 15 Auburn||3:30 p.m.||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|No. 9 Baylor vs Kansas||3:30 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Oregon State vs No. 14 Oregon||4:00 p.m.||PACN||Pac-12.com|
|No. 16 Notre Dame vs Stanford||4:00 p.m.||Fox||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Texas A&M vs No. 2 LSU||7:00 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 23 Iowa State vs Kansas State||7:00 p.m.||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Colorado vs No. 6 Utah||7:30 p.m.||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Florida State vs No. 11 Florida||7:30 p.m.||SECN||WatchESPN.com|
|No. 7 Oklahoma vs No. 21 Oklahoma State||8:00 p.m.||Fox||FoxSportsGo.com|
There really is a plethora of good matchups this weekend. Let us know what games you’re most excited to check out in the comment section below.