Most Meaningful Matchups in College Football - Week 10
It’s hard to believe but we are already at Week 10 of the college football season. I know, I know, it’s going too fast – I feel the same way. We’ve got an intriguing week – not spectacular but there are some important matchups for conference titles as well as some rivalry games on the slate where you can throw the records out. Here are our Most Meaningful Matchups for Week 10>>>>>
10. #22 Penn State @ Maryland – 3:30 PM on FS1: This game may be two now-also-rans in the Big 10 East BUT for both programs and the outlook of the conference it’s a meaningful one. Maryland is one win away from bowl eligibility for the first time since 2016 which really matters and after beating PSU last year, two straight would be a…problem for James Franklin. Meanwhile Penn State needs to get back on winning track. Should be a high scoring game.
9. #17 Mississippi State @ Arkansas – 4:00 PM on SEC Network: There should be points-a-plenty in this game and Arkansas wants to restore more joy to this season while the Bulldogs have been on a roll. This may be one of the funnest games of the weekend.
8. Army vs. Air Force – 11:30 AM on CBS (Arlington, TX): The winner of this game will likely be the Commander-in-Chief trophy winner, Air Force is looking to stay on track with a great season while the Cadets from Army are fighting for another bowl season. Service academy football is always meaningful and this game is no exception.
7. LSU @ #3 Alabama – 7:00 PM on ESPN: This used to be THE game of ANY week. Now it’s only on the list because Alabama needs to keep winning impressively in advance of the SEC Championship Game and it’s the last time Orgeron will coach the Tigers against the Tide. I don’t think there’s any chance the Tigers will win but it’s still an incredibly meaningful game.
6. Tennessee @ #18 Kentucky – 7:00 PM on ESPN2: This is a classic rivalry that used to be absolutely, hopelessly dominated by Tennessee but the tables have turned in recent years. Still, the Wildcats have slid to two straight losses after a great start to the season. Make no mistake, beating Tennessee really matters in Lexington and Volunteers fans would love nothing more than to signal further progress by really ruining Kentucky’s season. Plus it’s a great color combo, orange versus blue.
5. #16 UTSA @ UTEP – 10:15 PM on ESPN2: This might have been the #2 game if UTEP hadn’t lost last week but it’s still the best G5 game of the day. UTSA is undefeated, just resigned their coach to a mega-deal and UTEP is still having an amazing season. El Paso and UTEP’s stadium are one of the really cool locations in college football despite rarely being any good. Worth a tune in. This will have a big impact on the Conference USA title picture as well.
4. #7 Oregon @ Washington – 7:30 PM on ABC: Without question, Washington has been down this year but they righted the ship somewhat recently. Meanwhile Oregon has tended to play down to their competition but IS in play for a playoff birth, the PAC 12’s last chance. They need to win this one and it’s a rivalry game on the road. Should be a good game.
3. #10 Wake Forest @ North Carolina – Noon on ABC: Strangely this game is NOT a conference game – it’s actually scheduled as a non-conference game due to…something…I think the Carolina ACC schools want to be sure they play each other every year. At any rate, the college football media seems to be waiting for the Wake carriage to turn into a pumpkin. So far their innovative and high-scoring offense hasn’t…but North Carolina is perhaps the most talented team on paper they’ve played. The Tar Heels haven’t really stopped anyone this year…but Wake has struggled in that regard too. A win here for the Deacons will signal that they are for real and in for a real fun final three weeks. They are a fun watch.
2. #5 Michigan State @ Purdue – 3:30 PM on ABC: So Michigan State had the best win they’ve had in years…and now have to turn around and play a Purdue team that is pretty average…but has beaten Iowa already after the Hawkeyes had an emotional win over Penn State. This feels like a cold, gray day in West Lafayette that could see a low-scoring battle. I would not be stunned if there was an upset here even though the Spartans should win. Aesthetically it won’t be pleasing but it’s an meaningful game without question.
1. #12 Auburn @ #13 Texas A&M – 3:30 on CBS: The game of the day, the winner here is the clear #2 in SEC West (with Auburn – if they win they are tied with Alabama for #1 and a real threat with the Iron Bowl at home this year). Texas A&M has been very good at home and was playing well before their bye week last week while Auburn comes off a tough but ultimately convincing win over Ole Miss. This game looks to me like a 27-24 type SEC Classic. I think A&M wins…but man Auburn has looked good in recent weeks.
#11 Oklahoma State @ West Virginia – 3:30 PM on ESPN: The Cowboys are still on the outskirts of the college football playoff hunt and in play to be in Big 12 Championship Game but face an upset minded and improving (?) Mountaineer squad on the road.
Liberty @ #15 Ole Miss – Noon on SEC Network: The Hugh Freeze Bowl has lost a little luster with Liberty not performing at the level they did last year (though still solid) and Ole Miss losing last week. This game is meaningful to Ole Miss because they want to show how well they’ve moved on while for Liberty, a win could announce a more permanent stay as a really good mid-major program. The Flames will be joining a conference in a couple years, the Conference USA, this kind of win could be a major stepping stone – could also get Freeze some more job offers.
Marshall @ FAU – 6:00 PM on CUSA Facebook: Yes it’s on Facebook stream (LOL) but it’s probably going to decide that half of Conference USA. That’s what I’ve got.
Navy @ #8 Notre Dame – 3:30 PM on NBC: This matchup always matters but Navy is…not good this year. Notre Dame should win relatively easily but this rivalry is always worth a look.
There it is – lots of 3 star type games, with one real 5 star. As always, feel free to tell me why I’m wrong or talk in general by following me on Twitter at @readycfb and look out for Saturday commentary and hot takes of course!