Happy Friday, friends. There’s no Army Football to watch this weekend, but there is plenty of good college football. Here’s what we’ve got on the schedule this weekend.
#2 Ohio State at #13 Penn State
Another marquee match-up falls victim to Big Noon Kickoff as the Buckeyes travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State. Though Ohio State beat then #5 Notre Dame in their season opener, #13 Penn State should be their toughest opponent to date. Nonetheless, the Buckeyes are 15.5 point favorites on the road. Worse, Penn State has only won this match-up once in the last 10 years. That win came in State College on a blocked field goal that the Nittany Lions took for a touchdown.
After Michigan trounced Penn State in Ann Arbor, this game will determine whether the Big Ten-East is a two-team or a three-team race. An Ohio State win would point all fingers to The Game on Thanksgiving weekend. A Penn State win sets up Michigan to take the lead or maybe a three-way tie atop the division.
#9 Oklahoma State at #22 Kansas State
In a match-up where Army fans will wear purple, the second and third place teams in the Big 12 will battle for control of their own destiny. Win, and you’re on the short track to the Big 12 Championship Game. Lose, and you’re on the outside looking in.0
Whatever happens, TCU is still 2-0 against both these teams, so it would take a major downturn for them to miss the Big 12 Championship at this point. However, Kansas State has a harder schedule remaining, so they need this win more than Oklahoma State.
Manhattan should be a great scene on Saturday as the Wildcats look to move to 4-1 in conference play.
#19 Kentucky at #3 Tennessee
Kentucky has not beaten a team currently ranked inside the Top 25 this year. Now they’re traveling to the third biggest venue in college football to take on the #3 team in the country.
That’s a tough ask.
For Kentucky, this game is about spoiling the Vols’ return to prominence and earning bragging rights. For Tennessee, the Volunteers can preserve their perfect season going into their big match-up against Georgia. Moreover, the possibility of the SEC having three one-loss teams at the end of the year is still very much in play. This game may be the best chance to stop the insanity before the SEC Championship.
Tennessee is favored by 12 points. That’s a surprisingly low number in my opinion. But hey, that’s why I don’t bet on college football.
Saturdays in Knoxville are just different.. ? pic.twitter.com/rWXbwIh27o— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) October 28, 2022
Michigan State at #4 Michigan
This may not seem like a “Top 5” matchup at first glance, but the defending Big Ten Champs had only one regular season loss last year. That loss came at the hands of the Spartans — and maybe the replay officials in East Lansing.
This year, the Wolverines likely won’t leave the game up to the officials. Michigan is bringing a dynamic run-heavy attack into a contest against a Spartan defense that allows 4 yards/carry.
This game should not be close. However, it should tell us a lot about Michigan and whether they are legitimate contenders this year.
#20 Cincinnati at UCF
Because App. State dropped their opener to UNC and Coastal Carolina pooped the bed against Old Dominion, the American Conference is most likely getting the Group of 5 spot this year in the New Year’s Six. But that will be a little less likely if UCF pulls off an “upset” at home this weekend.
What’s funny about that is that the Knights are actually favored in this one. And with Tulane also rolling hot, a Knights win would turn the American Athletic Conference into a three-team race rather than setting up a clear two-team finale. If Cincy wins, however, that would set up a pair of games between the Bearcats and the Green Wave in consecutive weeks for both the regular season finale and conference championship game.
Who’s hoping for chaos?
Temple at Navy
This match-up should tell us something about Navy’s secondary. Temple’s offense isn’t great, but they throw for 200+ yards/game compared to just 80 rushing yards/game. Meanwhile, Navy was supposed to have a really good defense this year, and in 4 of their 7 games they’ve had exactly that. In the others, though, they’ve gotten smoked on the back end. With that, they’re now giving up almost 275 passing yards/game.
For better or worse, the overall outcome probably isn’t much in doubt. Temple can’t stop the run, and Navy, for all their problems, have improved on offense all season. With that, the Mids are now favored by two touchdowns. This writer thinks they’ll cover. The question is more, how will their secondary look, and what will that mean for the rest of their season?
Time/TV update for 11/5@GreenWaveFB at @TulsaFootball – Noon ET | ESPNU@USFFootball at @Temple_FB – 2 ET | ESPN+@NavyFB at @GoBearcatsFB – 3:30 or 4 ET | ESPN2 or ESPNU@UCF_Football at @MemphisFB – 3:30 or 4 ET | ESPN2 or ESPNU@UHCougarFB at @SMUFB – 7 ET | NFL Network— American Football (@American_FB) October 24, 2022
The Old Oil Can
San Diego State and Fresno State will meet in Fresno on Saturday. The two will battle for control of the Mountain West-West. It’s a cool rivalry that dates back to 1923. That’s a very long time considering the size of the schools in question and how far west they’re located. To give you an idea, by 1923 only 5 teams west of the Mississippi had teams that can now claim national championships.
Fresno State is favored by 8.5 with an Over/Under of 41.