I spoke about Clemson and their easy road back to the playoffs as they look to go undefeated again and run the table in the ACC. But let’s see how things will look for the SEC and Big Ten as they have top 25 match ups this week. Let’s take a look.
Top 25 vs. Top 25:
3 Georgia vs 7 Notre Dame
This was a game that was played two years ago when Georgia QB Jake Fromm first took over from then-Georgia QB Jacob Eason, who got injured. Fromm and the Georgia Bulldogs pulled away with a tough fight and won 20-19 after a late defensive stop by Georgia
This season both teams have their eyes set on the playoffs as they look to make it back there again. The winner of this game keeps their chances alive and the other will likely be eliminated for contention, especially if it’s Notre Dame since they don’t belong in a conference.
11 Michigan vs 13 Wisconsin
This game is a conference game that could be a rematch for the conference title if things go right for each team. Unfortunately, one team has to lose and hope that they can bounce back and continue their run all season.
Michigan has the biggest spotlight on them as they have repeatedly failed to win the the Big Ten title. They haven’t even been able to make it to the title game under coach Harbaugh and this season is full of expectations for the Wolverines.
For Wisconsin, it’s about getting themselves back to the title game as well after having a rough couple of seasons. A loss for either team could likely ruin their chances at a playoff look, but could likely meet again.
8 Auburn vs 17 Texas A&M
Auburn is ready to beat Georgia and Alabama this year again, but before we get there they have to beat Texas A&M. The loser of this game like the first two will likely be eliminated from playoff contention.
Auburn had a tough battle in week one against the PAC-12’s Oregon Ducks as they comeback and won 27-21. Quarterback Bo Nix doesn’t seem to be a bad option for Auburn. But let’s see how they do against the stronger opponents in the SEC and eight of the nine remaining games will be against conference opponents including four of them as top 10 matches.
Texas A&M has an even tougher match up and a lot more to prove after losing to Clemson a few week again. They want to be the top team in the SEC, or at least show that they are better than where they will likely end up.
Bounce Back Games:
Southern Cal vs 10 Utah:
I thought we were going to see a better USC team this year after they found a way to beat conference rival, Stanford, with a new QB. The Trojans offense looked great against the Cardinals, but looked like the same Trojan team we’ve been seeing over the past several years.
This is an important game because despite their loss to BYU, the Trojans are still in the race for a PAC-12 title and a major win over a top 10 Utah Utes team will definitely help their case.
Unfortunately, the Utes are for real this year and they could run the table in the PAC-12 and maybe, just maybe save the PAC-12 a spot in the playoffs. All eyes will be on this game Friday night.
Michigan State vs Northwestern
For the second year in a row, the Michigan State Spartans have lost to the Arizona State Sun Devils. And ironically, it was the same way with a bit of a twist. The twist came off the missed field goal penalty against the Spartans.
But this game against Northwestern is their first important of the Big Ten conference. Northwestern was last year’s runner up to Ohio State and they are out to prove that they can do it again. Fortunately for the Wildcats, they won’t have to worry about the tough task of Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State like the Spartans. Who comes out on top though?
9 Florida vs Tennessee
Florida won their game against Kentucky after their loss to them last year and this should be an easy game for them this week.
So you must be wondering why they are on the bounce back list this week even if they won. That’s because of the loss of their QB. I think the Gators will be fine against the Volunteers this week, but let’s see how the QB rotation works as they get into more tougher match ups on the season.
Games of Interest:
23 California vs Mississippi
California is surprising us all early this season as they have already taken down Washington in a nail-biter. But this game against Mississippi, despite not being ranked, will be a tough one.
I honestly think every match up between the PAC-12 and SEC is a tough one because of how history has been repeating itself. Can California continue their surprising run or will this be the first fall?
22 Washington vs. BYU
As mentioned above, Washington has already lost to California and BYU has lost to Utah, but they beat USC. BYU is an independent team and don’t belong to any conference, but they play their third team from the PAC-12 in as many weeks.
This is a must win for the Washington Huskies as they don’t want to fall in the standings and have to play catch up the rest of the season.
15 Central Florida vs Pittsburgh
Central Florida continues their statement season as they plan to play at least one team from each power five conferences. They took down Stanford last week and they should honestly not have a problem with Pittsburgh.
Can Pittsburgh make a statement though? Can they make noise in the early part of the season and get attention from the bigger teams in the ACC? Let’s see how it works out for both teams.
16 Oregon vs Stanford
Oregon and Stanford have both lost a game so far this season, but Stanford has lost back-to-back games and we are hoping to see them bounce back with a nice upset over the Oregon Ducks. Oregon looks to be one of the favorites in the PAC-12 and they could very well take the title this year.
But Stanford is looking for an reason to be talked about in the conference again, and this win will do some justice for them. Can the Cardinals get the upset?
12 Texas vs Oklahoma State
Texas bounced back nicely against a Rice team and was honestly no match. We expected to see that from Texas and I expect to see more this week against the Cowboys.
But there is still the possibly of the Cowboys hooking them horns and possibly ending whatever slim chance the Long Horns have of making the playoffs! Can we see this Big XII match up be a nail-biter?
24 Arizona State vs Colorado
Arizona State is looking good again early this season and they hope to keep the momentum going as they head into conference play.
I mean yeah a second straight win over the Michigan State Spartans is nice, but the Colorado Buffaloes aren’t a team to take lightly. We should see a good PAC-12 match up in this two teams. But can the Sun Devils continue their hot start? Or will the Buffaloes knock them out the top 25?