College Football's Most Meaningful Matchups - Week 11
It’s Week 11 of the college football season. Unlike Weeks 10 and 8, this is an amazing weekend with multiple top 20 matchups as well as important games between top teams and feisty underdogs. Without further ado, here are our Most Meaningful Matchups for Week 11>>>>>
10. Nevada at #22 San Diego State - 10:30 PM on CBS Sports Network: This is the G5 game of the week – as the Wolfpack travel to San Diego to fight the Aztecs for control of the Mountain West…err…West Division. Winner is probably the best team in the conference and odds on favorite to win the title. San Diego State’s punter is worth price of admission by the way.
9. Washington State at #3 Oregon - 10:30 PM on ESPN: While Oregon should win this game pretty easily considering the turmoil Wazzu has undergone, the Ducks have mostly been playing with their food since beating Ohio State on the road and it bit them once already against mediocre Stanford. Washington State has been game in all their matchups since Nick Rolovich was fired for not being willing to submit to government vaccine mandates in the state. This could be a late night firework show although I think being at home probably saves the Ducks.
8. #9 Notre Dame at Virginia - 7:30 PM on ABC: Notre Dame has seemed to get a little better each week and is still, unbelievably, in some level of contention for the College Football Playoff. However, Virginia’s high-flying offense has posed a lot of problems for teams this year and this game on the road is tricky for the Irish. A close and high-scoring game would not surprise me, neither would an upset.
7.TCU at #10 Oklahoma State - 8:00 PM on FOX: This game moved up after TCU’s gutty upset of Baylor under interim head coach Jerry Kill. Oklahoma State has been purring through the Big 12 schedule with only one hiccup. The Cowboys have the best defense anyone’s seen them have in probably three decades but have a popgun offense. This could be an upset special with an invigorated Horned Frogs team or it could be more business-as-usual for OSU. A win for the Cowboys gets them one step closer to a huge Bedlam matchup with Oklahoma and a birth in the Big 12 Title game.
6. #6 Michigan at Penn State - Noon on ABC: Michigan, after losing two weeks ago to Michigan State, has oddly leapfrogged them in the College Football Playoff polls but needs this win over a Penn State team that seems to have righted itself a bit to set up a winner take-all matchup in Big 10 East with Ohio State down the road. Happy Valley is a tough place to play and the Nittany Lions have the talent to take down the Wolverines. This is a huge game for Harbaugh to show that Michigan can win big games on the road against evenly matched teams. A loss here for either team promotes hot seat talk for their coaches – but especially for Harbaugh.
5. #1 Georgia at Tennessee - 3:30 PM on CBS: The Volunteers are vastly improved over a year ago and are a fun team to watch on offense. They can be tricky but they’ve not seen a team with the front 7 of Georgia this season, not even Alabama. Meanwhile Georgia has been suffocating all their opponents but haven’t seen an offense (probably) that is as good as this Tennessee one – and I can’t believe I’m saying that. I expect Georgia to win but Tennessee should come out firing and the crowd will be jacked.
4. #11 Texas A&M at #15 Ole Miss - 7:00 PM on ESPN: This one is a big one for both teams as A&M tries to keep pace with Alabama – hoping for an Iron Bowl loss – to get them to Atlanta while a win for Ole Miss puts them very much in line for a New Year’s 6 Bowl and still an outside shot at an SEC West crown. Expect a mid-level high scoring game but the Aggies will want to pound it out and keep Matt Corral and the Rebel offense off the field. Fascinating contrast in styles.
3. #16 N.C. State at #12 Wake Forest - 7:30 PM on ACC Network: These are probably the two best or most complete teams in the ACC this year (you’re lying if you say you thought that at the start of the season). The winner has a pretty big leg up on winning the Atlantic Division. N.C. State has more talent but Wake has shown up bigger in clutch situations the last couple of years. Should be a high scoring and great game. Too bad it’s on ACC Network.
2. #8 Oklahoma at #13 Baylor - Noon on FOX: Baylor’s surprise loss last week to TCU is the only thing keeping this top 15 matchup at the #2 spot this week. Oklahoma seems ripe for the picking in this road game in Waco. Can Baylor score enough while keeping the Sooner offense slowed down? If they can - they will win. It’s not too late for Baylor to claim second place in Big 12 and a birth in the conference championship game while Oklahoma really needs a convincing win over a strong opponent to impress playoff committee - and keep pace in Big 12 as well.
1. #19 Purdue at #4 Ohio State - 3:30 PM on ABC: This has the feel of one of those classic national television Big 10 Matchups in the 1990’s or early 2000’s when ABC was preeminent in college football production. Purdue has been an absolute giant killer with upset wins over two previously top 4 teams (Iowa and Michigan St.). However, Ohio State is immensely more talented and this game is in the Horseshoe. The worst thing that happened for the “Spoilermakers” is the Buckeyes close game with Nebraska last week - they should be on high alert. Ohio State is looking to solidify a top 4 Playoff standing while Purdue, with a win, would find itself right there with a shot at the Big 10 West crown. This is the most meaningful game of the weekend for all those reasons.
UAB at Marshall - 3:30 PM on CBS Sports Network: Battle between two of the three best teams in Conference USA. Both teams need a win to stay in hunt for CUSA Title game.
Mississippi State at #17 Auburn - Noon on ESPN: Almost always fun when these two get together and Auburn wants to stay on track to maybe still have shot at Atlanta or at least get to 9 wins. Meanwhile the Bulldogs need one win for bowl eligibility and beating Auburn is huge regionally for their recruiting.
North Carolina at #21 Pittsburgh - 7:30 PM (Thursday) – ESPN: Pitt is the Coastal’s best team (probably) but needs to beat a dangerous and talented – if weirdly inconsistent – North Carolina team to stay on pace for ACC Title Game.
Week 11 is an amazing slate of games throughout the day and night. I’ll be traveling and working a lot Saturday unfortunately but as always follow me on Twitter at @readycfb for fresh hot takes, questioning bizarre coaching decisions and stupid announcer mockery.