This week present yet another tremendous week of college football. It was easy to pick the games at the top to watch, but it became tougher to pick the games at the bottom with a handful of mid-low ranked teams in good matchups – particularly in the Pac-12.
As if there is more for us to figure out, we’ll learn a lot in the Big 12 landscape this week. Can Oklahoma build off their win against Baylor with another against TCU? Can Oklahoma State keep their undefeated bid alive as Baylor looks to bounce back this week. And of course, the Buckeyes finally face some competition – are they for real? Some answers will be questioned in the Pac-12 with UCLA-Utah and USC-Oregon (not listed).
1.) #9 Michigan State @ #2 Ohio State
ESPN’s College GameDay heads to the Horseshoe to cover the biggest Big Ten game of the year. A lot of question marks are on the surface heading into this game. Is Ohio State for real? The Buckeyes have yet to face stiff competition but now finally do so in Michigan State. The Spartans undefeated bid was brought to an end a few weeks ago, but they can still clinch a spot in the conference championship with a win. Michigan State may be without Connor Cook who suffered a shoulder injury this past week. Tyler O’Connor came on and looked alright, but he isn’t ready for a game against one of the best teams in the nation, on the road. The teams have rotated wins the past 4 years, but I don’t see that happening this season. The Buckeyes should squeeze out a victory in a close game at home.
2.) #11 TCU @ #4 Oklahoma
What a game in Norman. The Sooners have emerged as a playoff team after their win against Baylor, another win against TCU would all but solidify that. On the other hand, TCU isn’t looking so hot after barely winning against a Kansas football team. The Horned Frogs won this matchup last season, but have never won in consecutive years. Trevone Boykin may not suit up after suffering an injury that knocked him out against Kansas. All signs point to an Oklahoma win, especially with the way their red hot offense has been with Baker Mayfield leading the charge. If Boykin does play, it’ll be a competitive game with all the makings of a shootout. Oklahoma has a lot to gain from a win.
3.) #10 Baylor @ #5 Oklahoma State
Can Oklahoma State stay undefeated? I’ve been one of their biggest doubters throughout the season, but they’ve continued to prove me wrong. I can definitely see Jarrett Stidham and the Bears pulling off the upset, but I’ve learned not to go against the Cowboys. Even after a win against TCU, I’m not convinced the Cowboys are for real – a win here will prove otherwise. Another Big 12 matchup with all the makings of a shootout. No matter what happens, Oklahoma State will need to beat the Sooners in the final week to take the conference.
4.) UCLA @ #18 Utah
While this matchup doesn’t have the same firepower of the top 3 matchups, I can assure you it’s a game to watch. The way the Pac-12 has played out, any team can win the conference – especially coming from the South division. A win here for the Bruins would likely give them a spot against Stanford in the conference championship, whereas a win for Utah guarantee it for them. A lot is at stake here for both teams. Utah edged out a victory last season by only two points – it’ll be another extremely close game.
5.) #21 Northwestern @ #20 Wisconsin
If you like tough, physical football, this is the game for you. While both teams are out of the conference fight, that doesn’t matter to them, they’ll contnue to battle and play hard ball. The Wildcats won last year’s matchup by 6 points – this year’s game has all the makings of another close game. It looks to be a low scoring in Madison, whos offense will get the last laugh? Both teams have been hanging around the lower portion of the rankings the past couple weeks, the winner will rise a few spots and solidify their spot.