Well, Buckeye fans, the college football Saturday gets started early for us again this week, as our No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1, 5-1) will travel north to the state that will not be named to face off with the No. 18 Michigan State Spartans (6-3, 4-2) in a noon ET kickoff. The game will be broadcast on FOX, and is one of only a very few number of games of interest in Week 11.
The schedule is “highlighted” by a pair of contests that look like they should be exciting, but will instead likely instill an added sense of existential dread in the minds of any college football fan outside of Tuscaloosa or Clemson. Of course, in saying that, I realize that both ‘Bama and Clemson will now inevitably end up going down to the wire, which I will have no problem with, but I just don’t see that happening.
Either way, let’s check out some of the games worth watching in a thin slate of marquee matchups this college football Saturday.
Let’s checkout the other major games that you should be keeping your eyes on today:
Navy at No. 12 UCF | 12 noon ET | ESPN2
The defending national champion Knights will play host to the Midshipmen in a battle of contrasting styles. We understand that with Ohio State, in what will likely be a grueling battle against Sparty in this window, you probably won’t be looking for another game to watch, but if you are, this one could be fun.
UCF is currently ranked third nationally in total offense, putting up 548.8 yards per game, while Navy is ranked 102nd in the country, allowing 441.4. That’s not good for Ken Niumatalolo’s squad.
The differences between the two teams will also be evident in how deliberate they are on offense. UCF has the fourth lowest time of possession in the FBS with just 26:02.88 per game. Conversely, Navy is sixth best, holding onto the ball for 34:11.78 per contest thanks to their vaunted triple-option attack.
The Knights are likely going to pick up their 22nd straight win today, but it could be a compelling watch on a second screen.
Wisconsin at No. 20 Penn State | 12 noon ET | ABC
Again, with the Buckeyes playing at the same time, you will likely be occupied watching that one, but with your free eye, you could do worse that keeping it on this one, as a loss by the Badgers (6-3, 4-2) will effectively end their chance at a Big Ten Championship appearance. Penn State (6-3, 3-3) has already likely been eliminated from B1G contention.
No. 16 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama | 3:30 p.m. ET | CBS
Look, I understand that S&P+ has the Bulldogs ranked 11th, and they are the third best SEC team in those rankings behind ‘Bama and UGA — 11 spots ahead of LSU and 16 spots ahead of Florida, both of whom are ranked ahead of Miss. St. in the College Football Playoff rankings.
But, with all due respect to first-year head coach Joe Moorhead, I just can’t imagine this one being close. Let’s look at the stats:
Alabama is ranked first nationally in scoring offense with 51.3 points per game. Mississippi State is ranked 66th with 29.1. That is quite the scoring advantage for the Crimson Tide.
Now, admittedly, Mississippi State is currently second in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 12.3 points per game. But, their advantage is pretty thin in that department, as Alabama is ranked seventh nationally in that category, giving up just 14.1 points.
S&P+ suggests that this will be a nearly four-touchdown victory for ‘Bama as they continue their march to college football and, eventually, world domination.
Northwestern at. No. 21 Iowa | 3:30 p.m. ET | FOX
Since that game likely won’t be all that close after the first quarter, why don’t you stick on FOX after the Buckeye game, and check out this Big Ten West contest. The Hawkeyes are the only B1G West team ranked in the latest edition of the CFP rankings, despite the fact that they currently sit in fourth place in the division.
At this point, it would take a ton of chaos for the Hawkeyes to find themselves playing for the conference crown in Indianapolis come the first of December. However, Northwestern (5-4, 5-1) doesn’t need any help to eventually take on the East division champ. All the Wildcats have to do is take care of business.
As the only West team with a single conference loss, if Pat Fitzgerald’s team can beat Iowa (6-3, 3-3) today, they will have a pretty easy route to the title game, with only games against Minnesota (4-5, 1-5) and Illinois (4-5, 2-5) remaining.
So, while they wouldn’t be able to officially punch their ticket to Indy with a win this afternoon, if NU does beat Iowa, things will look pretty good for them to take on the Buckeyes or Wolverines for the B1G title.
No. 2 Clemson at No. 17 Boston College | 8 p.m. ET | ABC
Remember what I wrote about the Mississippi State and Alabama game above? Yea, ditto here. This game is a contest in ranking only. Two weeks ago, the Tigers made easy work of another alleged conference challenger when they pummeled NC State, 41-7. And, the S&P+ rankings have BC and NC State ranked pretty darn close — 38th and 40th respectively — so, if you are expecting more of a fight from the Eagles than you saw from the Wolfpack, don’t hold your breath.
However, this is college football, and this is Clemson. So, since there’s not a lot of other compelling CFB action tonight, it will be worth checking out... just in case BC goes all Flutie on Dabo.
Check Saturday’s full slate of games here:
Week 11 Saturday Schedule
|#10 Ohio State at Michigan State||12:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|South Carolina at #11 Florida||12:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Navy at #12 UCF||12:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|TCU at #13 West Virginia||12:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Wisconsin at #14 Penn State||12:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Ole Miss at #20 Texas A&M||12:00 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|Akron at Eastern Michigan||12:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Tulsa at Memphis||12:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|SMU at UConn||12:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Kansas at Kansas State||12:00 PM||Fox Sports Net||FoxSportsGo.com|
|BYU at UMass||12:00 PM||Eleven/NESN||UMassAthletics.com|
|Lafayette at Army||12:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Vanderbilt at Missouri||12:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Illinois at Nebraska||12:00 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Maryland at Indiana||12:00 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|North Carolina at Duke||12:20 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Troy at Georgia Southern||1:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|North Texas at Old Dominion||2:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|UCLA at Arizona State||2:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Charlotte at Marshall||2:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Liberty at #25 Virginia||3:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Middle Tennessee at UTEP||3:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Bowling Green at Central Michigan||3:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|#18 Mississippi State at #1 Alabama||3:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#5 Michigan at Rutgers||3:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Oklahoma State at #7 Oklahoma||3:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|#8 Washington State at Colorado||3:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#9 Kentucky at Tennessee||3:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Northwestern at #16 Iowa||3:30 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Baylor at #24 Iowa State||3:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|New Mexico at Air Force||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh||3:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Purdue at Minnesota||3:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|San Jose State at Utah State||4:00 PM||None|
|Appalachian State at Texas State||4:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|East Carolina at Tulane||4:00 PM||ESPNews||WatchESPN.com|
|Western Kentucky at Florida Atlantic||5:00 PM||Stadium||WatchStadium.com|
|Arkansas State at Coastal Carolina||5:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Georgia State at Louisiana||5:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|UL Monroe at South Alabama||5:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Oregon at #15 Utah||5:30 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Auburn at #6 Georgia||7:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Miami at Georgia Tech||7:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Florida Intl at UTSA||7:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Rice at Louisiana Tech||7:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Temple at Houston||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|South Florida at Cincinnati||7:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|#3 LSU at Arkansas||7:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Florida State at #4 Notre Dame||7:30 PM||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|#17 Texas at Texas Tech||7:30 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Southern Mississippi at UAB||7:30 PM||beIN Sports||beINSports.com|
|#2 Clemson at #22 Boston College||8:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Oregon State at Stanford||9:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|California at USC||10:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|UNLV at San Diego State||10:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Colorado State at Nevada||10:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|