How this thing works:
Bold – Make it the primary game
Italics – Make it the backup game
That’s it. All other games are ranked in case things go unexpectedly in the big matchups. Enjoy!
- Michigan at Penn State, ABC – Both are still in play for the Big Ten East. Penn State needs a win here and against Michigan State, and they need Michigan and Michigan State to both beat Ohio State, creating a weird 4-way 6-2 tie. The path for Michigan seems simpler and more likely – hope Ohio State beats Michigan State, and then beat the Buckeyes. Either way, this game has some pretty big conference ramifications, even if neither is a player in the playoff picture. Michigan is a really good team overall that hasn’t looked that great as of late, and Penn State is simply pretty good, but playing at home and improving over the course of the season.
- Memphis at Temple, ESPN U – The Eastern division looked locked down for Temple a few weeks ago, but things have changed, and this is a must-win game. This one also matters for Notre Dame’s resume, which could be on trial a few weeks from now. It should be a nice matchup. I think Memphis is a little better, but they’re on the road, and Temple at this point has more to play for.
- North Carolina at Virginia Tech, ESPN – UNC is still in 1st in the Coastal even if they lose, but the Heels are attempting an assault on the playoff picture, and VT is playing for pride at this point. Even in this situation, no trip to Blacksburg is all that easy.
- Purdue at Iowa, ESPN 2 – I wouldn’t expect anything drastic, but Purdue has beaten a Nebraska team that was better than them, and we’ve all been waiting all year for Iowa to fail, so perhaps this is where the rubber meets the regression road. That said, I rarely bet against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, perhaps the most underrated home field advantage in the country.
- Florida Atlantic at Florida, SEC Network – It features one really good team, which is more than most noon games.
- Illinois at Minnesota, ESPN News – They’re similar in talent and ability, neither is being coached by the guy who was in charge in August, and the loser doesn’t get to go bowling, so there’s some mild interest here.
- Iowa State at Kansas State, Fox Sports 1 – So, one (ISU) is a little better than we thought they’d be, and the other is a little worse. Neither is interesting, so the only upside here is with a close game.
- Rutgers at Army, CBS SN – It could be competitive, as a bad team from New Jersey takes on a bad team from New York. Their F/+ ratings are close, but I just can’t think that Rutgers is bad enough to lose to Army, even after a 3-7 start.
- The Citadel at South Carolina, SEC Network – No.
- Georgia Tech at Miami, ESPN 3 – Lots of sadness in this one…
- Syracuse at NC State, ESPN 3 – Syracuse may not be up for this one after the emotion of the Clemson game last week, and they’re already the worse team and on the road.
- Miami OH at Massachusetts, ESPN 3 – UMass has graduated from awful to bad this year, so they should take care of business against the still-awful Redhawks.
- South Alabama at Georgia State, ESPN 3 – Guys, we are less than a week from Thanksgiving and Georgia State still hasn’t been eliminated from bowl eligibility. All things considered, that’s progress! (note: they will probably lose this game, thus eliminating them from bowl eligibility)
- Fresno State at BYU, ESPN 3 – Cougars will cruise.
- Chattanooga at Florida State, ESPN 3 – The matchup we’ve all been dying to see.
- Michigan State at Ohio State, ABC – You know why.
- USC at Oregon, ESPN – Well, first off, this game should be fun. Powerhouse names, playing with something at stake. Oregon needs one more Stanford loss to move into the Pac-12 title game. USC is in line for the Pac-12 South crown, but they must keep winning to keep a tiebreak going with Utah. Both teams are better than we thought a month ago. It’s good football viewing.
- UCLA at Utah, Fox – If Oregon and UCLA win, it sets up a fun UCLA/USC rivalry game which will serve as a de facto Pac-12 South title game. If Utah wins here, they at least hold serve with USC while they wait for a loss. Either way, good football teams are playing for something that matters.
- Houston at Connecticut, ESPN U – This one shouldn’t be too interesting, but Houston’s undefeated, which adds intrigue. Also, Bob Diaco’s defense has been pretty good, so it’ll be nice to see it go against the Cougar offense.
- Wake Forest at Clemson, ESPN 2 – Like Houston, Clemson’s undefeated, so there’s national interest in everything they do. That said, this game looks less interesting because Wake is less a match for Clemson than UConn could be for Houston, and Clemson is at home.
- LSU at Ole Miss, CBS – It’s a better combination of teams than the Houston and Clemson games, but lower stakes. If LSU wins, Alabama wins the SEC West. Alabama will probably win the SEC West anyway, needing only to beat Auburn regardless of this outcome, but if Ole Miss wins, they stay alive in the West race.
- Northwestern at Wisconsin, Big Ten Network – Should be a pretty good football game (although the better team has HFA), but there’s just not anything at stake. Both need Iowa to lose out to win the West, and that seems unlikely. Iowa might have already clinched the division by kickoff.
- Duke at Virginia, ESPN 3 – Meh.
- Nevada at Utah State, ESPN 3 – Take the Aggies here, but Nevada’s been weird this year. They’re 6-4 but somehow lost to Wyoming and UNLV.
- Buffalo at Akron, CBS SN – A couple of identically talented 5-5 teams get to battle it out for bowl eligibility. Fun. Fun? No?
- Louisiana Tech at UTEP, FSN – I have a morbid curiosity with UTEP, simply because they’re 4-6 but dead last in the F/+ rankings. On a drive for drive and play for play basis, they’re 128th out of 128 teams, yet they’ve found their way into 4 wins. Sometimes weird things just happen. I’m 8-2 in my fantasy football league right now, sitting in 1st place despite being 10th in points scored. Game results have outliers, and 2015 UTEP seems an extreme example of that.
- Louisville at Pittsburgh, ESPN News – Depending on what happens in Blacksburg, Pitt’s chances at winning the Coastal will be either poor or non-existant when this game begins.
- Idaho at Auburn, SEC Network – I’ve said it for years. Nothing preps you for Alabama like the Idaho Vandals.
- Charleston Southern at Alabama, SEC Network – Charleston Southern is 9-1 this year, so this game is probably more helpful to them than it is the Tide.
- New Mexico State at UL-Lafayette, ESPN 3 – Pass.
- Washington at Oregon State, Pac-12 Network – Hey, braintrust at the Pac-12 Network, this is televised but the Arizona/Arizona State game isn’t? Really?
- Mississippi State at Arkansas, ESPN – They’re second tier SEC West schools, but they’re both good and should provide a fairly close contest, even if nothing is at stake.
- Georgia Southern at Georgia, ESPN U – This should be the closest and most watchable UGA/GSU game in history.
- Navy at Tulsa, CBS SN – Navy should cruise here, but weird things happen when teams have their backs to the wall for bowl eligibility, as Tulsa does.
- Tennessee at Missouri, ESPN 2 – Could be closer than it should be, as Missouri has a weirdly favorable home split this year, and they’ve got more to play for at this point.
- Baylor at Oklahoma State, FOX – You know why here as well. Bump the 7:00 games for these.
- Boston College at Notre Dame, NBC – A top 4 team faces a really strong run defense (although BC has little else going for it), but they’re doing so in Fenway Park. All kinds of cool.
- Texas A&M at Vanderbilt, SEC Network – We know the script for much better teams going into Nashville by now – A&M will look uncomfortable, play poorly, and probably win by an unimpressive margin.
- Charlotte at Kentucky, SEC Network – It gets Kentucky to 5-6 heading into the finale, which is something.
- TCU at Oklahoma, ABC – I think the 7:30 game has to remain in focus, because it has an undefeated team (not to mention it should finish first). But this game’s huge too.
- Tulane at SMU, ESPN News – Televised just to keep the equipment warm, I imagine.
- California at Stanford, ESPN – If either Big 12 game is off, make this the backup while the other finishes. If you like chaos in the Pac 12, root for Cal.
- San Diego State at UNLV, CBS SN – Ugh.
- Colorado at Washington State, ESPN 2 – It’s uninteresting, but sometimes it’s just nice to drift off to sleep watching a Mike Leach offense.