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Weekend Game Guide: Calm before the conference storm

There aren’t many big matchups this weekend

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Army at Michigan

It’s week three, and many teams are playing their final non-conference game of the regular season. While that means conference games will start in earnest next week, it also unfortunately means that this week is a bit of a snoozefest when it comes to games that promise to be compelling.

B1G Games to Watch

No. 21 Maryland vs Temple. After Maryland’s trouncing of Syracuse last week, this game against Temple will offer another data point to help gauge exactly how good Maryland really is this year. If the Terrapins come out and stomp Temple (No. 44 in the SP+), they are likely a bonafide upper second-tier Big Ten team that could win eight or nine games and go to a decent bowl. If they struggle, maybe last week’s performance against Syracuse was an outlier. We will find out which is the case at Noon on CBS Sports.

No. 19 Iowa vs Iowa State. Iowa is riding high after two wins to kick off the season, but this week could be the beginning of their fall back to Earth this season. Iowa State is no slouch at No. 37 in the SP+, and a defense that ranks No. 21. Iowa also has a good defense (No. 17 in the SP+), but is only ranked No. 56 when it comes to offense. Expect this game to be a low-scoring slug fest, which could portend struggles for Iowa later in the season when they have to travel to Michigan, play Penn State, and travel to Wisconsin later in the year. This game kicks off at 4:00 p.m. on FS1.

TCU vs Purdue. After their win over Vanderbilt last week, the Boilermakers have an opportunity to string together two wins in a row and build some momentum heading into their conference schedule when TCU comes to town this weekend. This game figures to be a test for Purdue, as their strength this season (offense) will be up against a Top-20 SP+ defense in TCU. But if the Boilermakers can get Elijah Sindelar going, perhaps Purdue can piece together enough defensive stops to pull out a win. If not, things could get ugly for Purdue. This game is in the 7:30 p.m. slot on BTN.

National Games to Watch

No. 9 Florida vs Kentucky. After Florida struggled against Miami in week one, many college football prognosticators began to wonder exactly how good the Gators really are this year. A strong win over Tennessee-Martin helped to assuage some concern, but it was still just a win over an inferior component. Against Kentucky, Florida finally has an opponent who is more or less of the same caliber. If Florida cruises to a multi-TD victory, their struggles against Miami are firmly in the past. If Florida can’t put much distance between itself and the Wildcats, the Gators could be in trouble this season. This game starts at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN.

Florida State vs No. 25 Virginia. After a surprising loss to Boise State to open the season and a squeaker of a 45-44 victory over UL Monroe, the Seminoles are in free fall. They have a chance to arrest that free fall against Virginia. This game pits the strength of both teams against each other. Despite early season struggles, Florida State owns the No. 9 offense in the SP+ while Virginia holds the No. 19 defense. For either team to win, they’ll need to own their respective side of that battle. This game starts at 7:30 p.m. on the ACC Network.

The Grid

Just because we’ve highlighted the five games above doesn’t mean they’re the only thing on TV this weekend. Owing to feedback from JVSquad in the comments section of last week’s article, we have a list of every Big Ten and Top-25 game taking place this weekend. All games take place on Saturday, unless noted. Do you like this new, more svelte grid? Weigh-in down in the comments.

Big Ten

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
No. 6 Ohio State at Indiana 12:00 p.m. Fox
No. 21 Maryland at Temple 12:00 p.m. CBSSN
Eastern Michigan at Illinois 12:00 p.m. BTN
Pittsburgh at No. 13 Penn State 12:00 p.m. ABC
Georgia Southern at Minnesota 3:30 p.m. BTN
UNLV at Northwestern 3:30 p.m. BTN
Arizona State at No. 18 Michigan State 4:00 p.m. Fox
No. 19 Iowa at Iowa State 4:00 p.m. FS1
TCU at Purdue 7:30 p.m. BTN
Northern Illinois at Nebraska 8:00 p.m. FS1
Maize n Brew

Top-25 (Friday)

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
No. 20 Washington State at Houston 9:15 p.m. ESPN
Maize n Brew

Top-25 (Saturday)

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Arkansas State at No. 3 Georgia 12:00 p.m. ESPN2
New Mexico at No. 7 Notre Dame 2:30 p.m. NBC
No. 2 Alabama at South Carolina 3:30 p.m. CBS
Stanford at No. 17 UCF 3:30 p.m. ESPN
No. 24 USC vs BYU 3:30 p.m. ABC
Idaho State at No. 11 Utah 4:15 p.m. Pac-12 Networks
Kent Sate at No. 8 Auburn 7:00 p.m. ESPN2
No. 9 Florida at Kentucky 7:00 p.m. ESPN
Lamar at No. 16 Texas A&M 7:00 p.m. ESPNU
No. 1 Clemson at Syracuse 7:30 p.m. ABC
Norwestern State at No. 4 LSU 7:30 p.m. SEC Network
Hawaii at No. 23 Washington 7:30 p.m. Pac-12 Networks
Florida State at No. 25 Virginia 7:30 p.m. ACC Network
No. 5 Oklahoma at UCLA 8:00 p.m. Fox
No. 12 Texas at Rice 8:00 p.m. CBSSN
Portland State at No. 22 Boise State 10:15 p.m. ESPN2
Montana at No. 15 Oregon 10:45 p.m. Pac-12 Networks
Maize n Brew

Think we missed a game that deserved to be highlighted? Sound off in the comments with the game and why.