It felt like just yesterday the college football season was kicking off. Now we are just two weeks away from the end of the regular season. While it’s natural to be sad that we are closer to the end of the college football season than the beginning, there are still plenty of great games left on the schedule before the conference championship games, College Football Playoff field, and bowl games are set.
The obvious most anticipated game left on the regular season schedule is the showdown between Ohio State and Michigan next Saturday in Ann Arbor. Since we’ll be talking about The Game plenty over the next week and a half, we are going to shine the spotlight on some of the other interesting contests that will be played over the next two weeks. What we want to know is what regular season game besides Ohio State-Michigan you are most looking forward to.
Today’s question: Aside from Ohio State-Michigan, what regular season game are you most looking forward to?
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: Oregon State vs. Oregon
Since my Dad, uncle, and a few friends live out there, I do have a soft spot for the state of Oregon. I’ve been through Corvallis and Eugene, and I do plan on heading out there next season when Ohio State takes on the Ducks at Autzen Stadium. My dad’s friend & neighbor from across the street played at Oregon years ago, while his son ended up going to Oregon State. Talk about a house divided when “The Civil War” comes around!
While I do love the addition of Oregon to the Big Ten, I do hate that it puts a halt to the annual game against the rivals. Oregon has won 12 of the last 15 meetings between the schools, but Oregon State has won two of the last three. There have been editions of the rivalry that decided which team from the conference would go to the Rose Bowl. 2010 saw College GameDay come to Corvallis for the first time as Oregon needed a win over the Beavers to secure a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. Overall, Oregon leads the series 67-49-10.
Along with being the final meeting between the schools as conference foes, there will be plenty on the line next Friday. Oregon controls their own destiny when it comes to earning a spot in the final Pac-12 Championship Game. Oregon State has a tough game this week against Washington, but it’s not an unwinnable game. If the Beavers are able to beat the Huskies on Saturday night, they could still possibly make the conference title game if they beat the Ducks next week in Eugene.
As if all of that wasn’t enough to raise your interest in Oregon State-Oregon, it falls at the perfect time. Just imagine settling in on Friday night to charge your batteries for Ohio State-Michigan and tuning in to Beavers-Ducks. There’s nothing like a little hate from out west to get you ready to run your rival over. Enjoy one last battle between these two schools since we don’t know when they will meet again.
Matt’s answer: Washington vs. Oregon State
Like Brett, I am going to stick out west and go with a Pac-12 game tonight as the No. 5 Washington Huskies will head to Corvallis to take on the No. 11 Oregon State at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Not only do these teams have two of the best offenses in the country — more so on the Huskies’ side — but there is still a lot at stake for both squads, and (most importantly) the outcome of the game could impact the Buckeyes down the road.
Coming into the week, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. is one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy — although Oregon’a Bo Nix has taken the betting lead — and the UW offense is the No. 1 passing attack in the country, averaging 378 yards per game, better than the No. 2 team in that category — their rival Washington State Cougars — by more than 38 yards per game.
While the Beavers are not quite as prolific, they are the No. 14 scoring offense in FBS at 37.9 points per game, while the Huskies are in fifth with 41 points.
Like Nix and Penix, (the other) OSU quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has found success after transferring from a program that was never able to properly use his talents. More on DJU in a bit, but this game will have massive implications in the race to a Pac-12 Championship berth.
The conference — which will essentially cease to exist in two weeks’ time — does not have divisions, so the two top teams in the standings will play in Las Vegas following the regular season finale. Currently, Washington is leading the league at 7-0, while Oregon is at 6-1; their only loss was to UW 36-33 thanks to a Penix TD pass with 33 seconds remaining in regulation.
However, the Beavs and Arizona are tied in third at 5-2. if Oregon State can pull off consecutive upsets and beat No. 5 Washington and No. No. 6 Oregon in consecutive weeks, that would put them in the conference title game. So, that is a huge opportunity for them, but... let’s be honest. While I have enjoyed the Oregon State story this season, at this time of year, I only really care about how things impact Ohio State.
Despite the fact that (the real) OSU and the Ann Arbor Cheaters are currently ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings, because there are three other Power 5 undefeated teams remaining, the loser of The Game will need some help in order to get back in line for a CFP bid, like Ohio State did in 2022.
However, even in No. 1 Georgia were to somehow lose to No. 18 Tennessee today, if they were to beat No. 8 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, they would almost assuredly stay ahead of the one-loss Big Ten East runner-up. So, if the B1G wants to get a second team in the title bracket, they likely need either Washington or Florida State to lose somewhere along the way, but even that’s not a guarantee.
If Washington does lose tonight, but chalk holds the rest of the way, they would face a rematch with the Ducks in the Pac-12 Title Game, and the winner there would have a leg up over the Harboys (or, I guess maybe the Buckeyes) when it came to stacking resumes. At this point, it would take some extra chaos to not have a Pac-12 team in the CFP... so, we root for chaos!
Honestly, the best way to ensure that two Big Ten teams make the final four is to have FSU lose somewhere along the way, against the vaunted North Alabama Lions today (now that would be chaotic), Florida next week, or against Louisville (most likely) in the ACC Championship Game. The No. 4 Seminoles feel like they have the best chance to lose down the stretch of any of the top five teams, but the last few weeks of any college football season are always so difficult to predict.
Nonetheless, I am going to be eagerly watching tonight’s game out west and rooting for the Oregon State upset. Besides, after DJ’s brother Matayo decided to go to Oregon instead of Ohio State — despite Big Dave loving Larry Johnson and the Buckeye program — I think the least that his older brother could do is help with the far superior OSU’s back-up plan to get into the College Football Playoff.