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Iowa-Michigan conundrum leads Saturday’s college football schedule

Auburn and Florida will be competitive, even if there’s not much offense.

Michigan v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

For the second weekend in a row, Ohio State fans have to wait until the sun goes down to see the Buckeyes take on a Big Ten foe that the conventional wisdom suggests could prevent a challenge for the Buckeyes. Tonight, the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes will host the No. 25 Michigan State Spartans at 7:30 p.m. ET in a game to be broadcast on ABC.

However, there’s a full slate of games before the Buckeyes kick off. So, let’s run through the other games that might warrant your attention today.

12 noon ET Window

No. 14 Iowa Hawkeyes at No. 19 Michigan Wolverines | 12 noon ET | Big Nude Noon Saturday on FOX

This one is hard for me. Ohio State doesn’t play Iowa this season, so them winning has little practical value for the Buckeyes; and, the better TTUN’s record is when they eventually get blown out by OSU, the better it will be in the eyes of the College Football Playoff Committee for Ohio State.

But on the other hand, I gain strength from Wolverine tears, so I am incredibly torn. I suppose you could look at this game as a win-win, because no matter the outcome, there is a silver lining.

So, I will begrudgingly, with teeth and fists clinched, pull for Michigan to win — only because it is better for the Buckeyes — but I’m not going to like it.

Late Afternoon Window

No. 7 Auburn Tigers at No. 10 Florida Gators | 3:30 pm. ET | CBS

After the barnburner that was Ohio State-Nebraska last week, ESPN’s “College GameDay” is in Gainesville, Fla. this weekend for what will certainly be a more competitive contest, even though the two teams might not combine to score as many points as the Huskers did last week (7).

Florida is allowing only 8.8 points per game, while Auburn is giving up just 17.2. It has been extremely difficult to run on both teams this season as Florida is allowing only 86.8 yards on the ground per game, and Auburn is giving up only 95.2. Those totals are good for second and third respectively in the SEC thus far.

This game will likely not be much fun to watch, but it will have major implications in the SEC divisional races, and thus the CFP race as well.

Northwestern Wildcats at Nebraska Cornhuskers | 4:00 p.m. ET | FOX

This is the Transitive Property Bowl for Buckeye fans today as OSU’s next opponent (Northwestern on Oct. 18) faces off against OSU’s last opponent (Nebraska). It will likely be a brutal game to watch, but it might give you some insight into what Ohio State will be facing on Friday night in two weeks... not that it’s gonna matter.

Evening Window

California Golden Bears at No. 13 Oregon Ducks | 8:00 p.m. ET | FOX

The Bears were a top-25 team until Herm Edwards did the Herm Edwards thing and Arizona State got the 24-17 win over Cal a week ago. However, the Bears have an incredibly stout passing defense that could keep the Ducks’ second-best Pac-12 passing attack in check.

Going against type, it is Oregon’s defense that has been the story this season, as they lead their league allowing only 262.8 yards per game. Obviously, you’re gonna be focused on the Buckeyes and Spartans, but this could be one to have on a second screen.

Pac-12 After Dark Window

No. 15 Washington Huskies at Stanford Cardinal | 10:30 p.m. ET | ESPN

For lack of better options, the Pac-12 After Dark game to watch tonight will be the Huskies going down to The Farm. Stanford has been really bad this year, losing to USC, UCF, and Oregon in the first five weeks.

If they can keep this game close, it will be a mini-miracle, but after the OSU-MSU game, you’re gonna want something to watch as you dunk on Sparty fans on Twitter, so this looks like your best option.

Check out the complete Saturday schedule here:

Saturday Schedule | Oct. 5

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Utah State at #5 LSU 12:00 PM SEC Network
#6 Oklahoma at Kansas 12:00 PM ABC
Kent State at #8Wisconsin 12:00 PM ESPNU
Purdue at #12 Penn State 12:00 PM ESPN
#14 Iowa at #19 Michigan 12:00 PM FOX
#21 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech 12:00 PM FS1
South Florida at UConn 12:00 PM None
TCU at Iowa State 12:00 PM ESPN2
Maryland at Rutgers 12:00 PM BTN
Tulane at Army 12:00 PM CBSSN
Boston College at Louisville 12:30 PM ACCNX
Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
#7 Auburn at #10 Florida 3:30 PM CBS
Bowling Green at #9 Notre Dame 3:30 PM NBC
#11 Texas at West Virginia 3:30 PM ABC
Ohio at Buffalo 3:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Western Michigan at Toledo 3:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Ball State at Northern Illinois 3:30 PM ESPN3
Arkansas State at Georgia State 3:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Baylor at Kansas State 3:30 PM ESPN2
Illinois at Minnesota 3:30 PM BTN
Air Force at Navy 3:30 PM CBSSN
Virginia Tech at Miami 3:30 PM ESPN
Marshall at Middle Tennessee 12:30 PM None Facebook
Memphis at UL Monroe 12:45 PM ESPNU
Northwestern at Nebraska 4:00 PM FOX
North Carolina at Georgia Tech 4:00 PM ACC Network
Troy at Missouri 4:00 PM SEC Network
Arizona at Colorado 4:30 PM Pac-12 Networks
Western Kentucky at Old Dominion 6:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
#3 Georgia at Tennessee 7:00 PM ESPN
Rice at UAB 7:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
UMass at Florida International 7:00 PM ESPN3
#25 Michigan State at #4 Ohio State 7:30 PM ABC
Tulsa at #24 SMU 7:30 PM ESPNU
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss 7:30 PM SEC Network
California at #13 Oregon 8:00 PM FOX
Pittsburgh at Duke 8:00 PM ACC Network
Liberty at New Mexico State 8:00 PM None
Oregon State at UCLA 9:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
San Diego State at Colorado State 10:00 PM ESPN2
#15 Washington at Stanford 10:30 PM ESPN
#16 Boise State at UNLV 10:30 PM CBSSN