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Weekend Game Guide: Rivalry week is here

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Michigan-Ohio State among several big time matchups

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

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 Grid

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)

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
No. 17 Iowa vs Nebraska 2:30 p.m. BTN FoxSportsGo.com
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Big Ten (Saturday)

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
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
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Top-25 (Friday)

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
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
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Top-25 (Saturday)

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
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
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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.