Saturday night’s game between Ohio State and Notre Dame is certainly one that we won’t forget. Thankfully the Buckeyes left South Bend with a victory, so it will be a game to remember for all the right reasons. What makes the late victory even better is Ohio State has this week off, so it will not only give the team some time to recover from the emotional win, but it will also let fans kick back and relax this weekend. At least there won’t be a situation like 2017 when the Buckeyes rallied to win 39-38 against Penn State, and then went to Iowa the next week and were throttled by the Hawkeyes.
Unfortunately, this week’s college football schedule isn’t nearly as loaded as what we saw last week. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some good games on the slate, though. Maybe you’re someone who only wants to hurt, so you turn on Michigan State and Iowa on Saturday night. Earlier in the day there could be some hilarity if Kansas is able to go to Austin and upset Texas. Will Notre Dame have a hangover from the loss to the Buckeyes when they have to travel to Duke?
What we want to know this week is what game you are most looking forward to watching since Ohio State is on a bye. This would be the perfect weekend for some chaos around college football since the Buckeyes would only benefit from a bunch of upsets. Usually, the college football weeks that don’t have the sexiest-looking schedules end up being the most entertaining weekends. Hopefully what we see this weekend follows that trend.
Today’s question: With Ohio State off this week, what college football 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: No. 10 Utah at No. 19 Oregon State
The Pac-12 is certainly going out with a bang. Right now the conference has four teams in the AP Top 10, and two other teams in the Top 25. Hopefully, the teams don’t end up cannibalizing themselves because it would be fun to see one or two teams from the conference end up in the College Football Playoff before the schools move on to their new conferences starting next season.
Utah is coming off a 14-7 win against UCLA last week. The Utes are still undefeated despite quarterback Cam Rising having yet to play a snap in a game this year as he recovers from a knee injury. Kyle Whittingham’s team might not be winning pretty so far this year, but they are playing physical football that teams like USC aren’t looking forward to going up against. If Utah is able to beat the Beavers in Corvallis, they’ll have a week off before hosting Cal. That will give Rising even more time to recover, and if he isn’t back on the field by then, it’s hard to see him playing this year.
Oregon State is coming off a loss at Washington State over the weekend. The Cougars jumped out to an early lead, putting the Beavers in a hole they didn’t have enough time to climb out of. This week’s game feels like one where Oregon State is more evenly matched with their opponent because of the similar style of play. Even though the Beavers brought in quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei from Clemson, Oregon State is at its best when they get Damien Martinez and the running game going. Along with a strong running game, the Beavers also have a physical defense.
Friday night’s game isn’t going to be for the faint of heart. There is going to be a lot of hitting in a game that feels like it won’t be decided until late in the fourth quarter. Later in the week, I’ll pick a winner for the game in my national picks, but right now I’m just looking forward to sitting down and watching this game and seeing how it plays out. While it would be fun to see Utah win to stay undefeated, I know Oregon State is going to give the Utes all they can handle.
Matt’s answer: No. 13 LSU at No. 20 Ole Miss
I’m not gonna lie, had Brett not taken Utah and Oregon State, I probably would have gone with that one too. I have long enjoyed and admired Utah and I have been high on the DJU-Train this season, but, since Brett grabbed that Friday night contest, I’m going to turn my attention to Saturday evening.
After the Bayou Bengals fell in the season opener against Florida State, their College Football Playoff chances took an obvious hit. However, given what I expected to be a topsy-turvey year in college football, I knew that whichever blue-blood program lost that game still had a really good shot at making the CFP; in fact, before the season started, I predicted that both would make the final four regardless of the Week 1 matchup.
Of course, LSU doesn’t have any wiggle room left this season if they want to make sure that happens. This week, the No. 20 Ole Miss Rebels will host the No. 13 Tigers in what is essentially a must-win for LSU. I suppose there is a situation in which a two-loss, SEC champion LSU could make the playoff, but that seems like about as long of a longshot as you could imagine. So, the best chance for Brian Kelly’s squad to make the CFP is — unsurprisingly — to go undefeated.
While the SEC West might not be as dominant in 2023 as it has been for the last decade+, running the table in that division is still a formidable challenge. Lane Kiffin’s Rebels come into this weekend’s matchup fresh off of a 24-10 beating at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide, so this game has intrigue on a lot of levels.
Obviously, I am going to be interested to see if my preseason CFP picks can all stay alive for another week, but how LSU squares up with Ole Miss should tell us a lot about three of the teams at the top of the SEC West. Is Alabama as bad as they looked against Texas, or as good as they looked against Ole Miss? What would it mean if LSU runs away from the Rebels in blowout fashion? What if they just barely squeak by on Saturday? Would that indicate that the Tide is back to being the king of the West?
All of those questions are on the table this Saturday when LSU and Ole Miss square off from Oxford at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.