Ohio State is halfway through their 2021 regular season schedule. Before tackling the second half of their regular season schedule, Ohio State will get a week off this week. The bye week will not only help the Buckeyes refocus with some big games on the horizon, it will also give those Ohio State players that are dinged up some time to recover and work their way back to full strength.
While Ohio State players might love having some time off, the weekend might not seem quite the same to fans. Some fans might welcome not having to watch Ohio State this weekend because it will give them time to work on some projects around the house, or maybe take a weekend trip. Who knows, this might even be a busy weekend for weddings, since there are some fans who wanted a fall wedding, but not when it would conflict with an Ohio State game.
Then there are other fans who will spend Saturdays in the fall watching football, no matter who is playing. It’s hard to blame those fans, especially after what we went through last year when the season was so disjointed. Others see this as a chance to get a look at some of the other teams that might be fighting for a College Football Playoff spot along with Ohio State.
Today’s question: With Ohio State on a bye week, what game are you most looking forward to watching this week?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: UCF v. Cincinnati
Even though Cincinnati’s toughest remaining test during the regular season won’t come until they face SMU later in the year, the Bearcats can’t sleep on UCF. Cincinnati has won the last two meetings with the Golden Knights, but UCF has pushed the Bearcats to the limit, with Cincinnati winning each game by just three points.
This is a game Cincinnati should win. Then again, nothing is a given in college football anymore. Just look at Saturday night, where Alabama lost to an unranked Texas A&M team. Anything can happen, which is why the Bearcats need to handle their business if they want to shake up the College Football Playoff.
If anything, I thought it Cincinnati was going to lay an egg, it was going to be last week. The Bearcats could have had a bit of a letdown against Temple after they went to South Bend and beat Notre Dame. That wasn’t the case. Luke Fickell had has team ready to play, with the Bearcats easily defeated the Owls 52-3.
If we can’t spend a Saturday in the fall rooting for Ohio State, we might as well root for somebody who used to play and coach the Buckeyes. Cincinnati might have terrible chili and some loser professional sports teams, but that shouldn’t stop us from rooting for the Bearcats to add a little bit of fresh blood in the CFP. Hopefully they are able to keep rolling with a win over a UCF team that will be looking to add to the chaos we have already seen this year around college football.
Meredith’s answer: No. 2 Iowa vs. Purdue
I’m going to have to go with Iowa vs. Purdue. Remember that time Iowa ruined Ohio State’s season in Iowa City back in 2017? Yeah, me too.
It doesn’t help that Purdue did the same thing in West Lafayette back in 2018.
This time around, the Boilermakers are traveling to Kinnick Stadium to take on the No. 2 Hawkeyes. On the surface, this game doesn’t look all that exciting. In reality, this game shouldn’t be all that exciting. Purdue is 3-2 with losses to Notre Dame and Minnesota and their best win over Oregon State. While their scoring defense looks good on the surface (the most points they’ve allowed all season was 27 to Notre Dame), the Boilermakers really don’t have the strength of schedule to attest to its validity.
Iowa, of course, looked every bit the defensive powerhouse in its matchup against No. 4 Penn State last week. The Hawkeyes are fourth in the nation in scoring defense and eighth in total defense, and the offense does just enough to be dangerous.
But Purdue has had Iowa’s number lately, with the Boilermakers taking three of the last four against Kirk Ferentz’s squad. And the Hawkeyes will be looking to avoid a hangover against a sleeper in the Big Ten.
As an aside, I’ll also let my own bias rule for a moment, and say that the other game to watch this week is the matchup of my alma mater, the 5-1 Air Force Falcons, against the 3-3 Boise State Broncos. The Broncos are coming off their win of the season over the then-No. 10 BYU Cougars, but I’m going to be a homer here. Go Air Force!