Only three games remain in the Michigan Wolverines’ regular season, and things are starting to shape out across the country as teams look for positioning with conference championship spots on the line.
Several games on Saturday’s slate have the potential to determine the winners of divisions within conferences. Let’s take a look at the biggest matchups.
No. 6 Michigan Wolverines at Penn State Nittany Lions
- Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 13, Noon ET
- Channel: ABC
- Location: Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania
- Weather: 44 degrees and overcast
- Betting Line: EVEN O/U: 48.5
Penn State had the ultimate start to the season by beating Wisconsin in Madison and topping a solid SEC team in the Auburn Tigers. A midseason cool-off in conference play with losses to Iowa, a 9OT stunner to Illinois, and Ohio State pretty much eliminated its hopes of a Big Ten title this season. The Nittany Lions got back on track last week against Maryland and have the opportunity to play spoiler for the Wolverines.
A loss for Michigan would all but eliminate any hopes of a Big Ten Championship. These are the types of games fans want the Wolverines to be playing in November, but Harbaugh has had little success in these scenarios. Just two weeks ago, the Wolverines fell to Michigan State on the road and didn’t have as dominant of a performance as they should have had against Indiana this past Saturday. It feels like the end of the season collapse fans have become too accustomed to.
To make matters worse, the Wolverines could be without plenty of key contributors who exited in the win over Indiana. Most notable is running back Blake Corum. While Hassan Haskins is PFF’s top-rated back in the country, they’ll need every weapon they can get against a vaunted Penn State defense.
On the other end, Michigan’s top cornerback Gemon Green left the game Saturday as well. Now, the Wolverines have their toughest opponent in the passing game to date awaiting; Jahan Dotson, who is coming off a record-breaking performance. Mike Macdonald and the Michigan defense will have to throw everything they have at Dotson to slow him down if they want to leave with a win in Happy Valley.
No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 13 Baylor Bears
- Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 13, 12 p.m. ET
- Channel: FOX
- Location: McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas
- Weather: 70 degrees and sunny
- Betting Line: Oklahoma -5.5 O/U: 62.5
Since Caleb Williams has taken over at quarterback for Oklahoma, the Sooners have had much more comfortable wins, albeit, against conference opponents they should have beaten handily. Meanwhile, Baylor hasn’t lost at home yet this season even with top 25 opponents like No. 14 Iowa State and No. 19 BYU stopping by. Can the Bears keep that winning streak going and surprise an Oklahoma team that has been on the cusp of an upset so many times this season?
Baylor is coming off a loss to TCU, so it is now two games behind Oklahoma in the Big 12 standings. The top two seeds in the conference meet up in the championship game. As of right now, those teams are Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, who still meet up in the last week of the season. The Cowboys have the tiebreaker over Baylor, as they handed the Bears their first loss of the season in early October. So the Bears need to beat Oklahoma and hope the Sooners slip to Oklahoma State to earn a spot in the conference championship. It’s a bit of a long shot, but is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility.
Other notable noon games: No. 17 Mississippi State vs No. 13 Auburn.
Minnesota Golden Gophers at No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes
- Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 13, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Channel: Big Ten Network
- Location: Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa
- Weather: 43 degrees and snow
- Betting Line: Iowa -5.5 O/U: 37
The Big Ten West needs some shaking out, as there is currently a four-team tie at the top of the division. Two of those teams duke it out with their title hopes on the line in Saturday’s afternoon slate. This one has old-school Big Ten football written all over it: cold and snowy with two teams with strong defenses that love to run the football.
Illinois surprised the Big Ten by beating Minnesota this past Saturday for its second major upset of the season. While Iowa did beat a bad Northwestern team by a measly five points this past week, it lost the previous two to Wisconsin and Purdue, which is exactly why the Big Ten West is so wide open. Hopefully we will have a little more clarity after these two face off in Iowa City.
Other notable 3:30 p.m. games: Purdue vs No. 5 Ohio State
No. 12 Wake Forest Demon Deacons at No. 16 North Carolina State Wolfpack
- Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Channel: ACC Network
- Location: Truist Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Weather: 56 degrees and partly cloudy
- Betting Line: Wake Forest -2 O/U: 66.5
Wake Forest is coming off its first loss of the season, which all but eliminates the ACC from the College Football Playoff this season. However, despite losing to North Carolina last week, it is still undefeated in the conference because the game did not count as a conference game... despite both... being in the... I don’t understand it either.
NC State has very nearly had a perfect season this year and if it weren’t for a one-point loss to Miami a few weeks back, it would be undefeated in the ACC. A win over Wake Forest would propel the Wolfpack to first place in the Atlantic Division with just two weeks to go.
Other evening slate games: No. 14 Texas A&M vs No. 16 Ole Miss Rebels, No. 10 Notre Dame vs Virginia, Nevada vs No. 24 San Diego State