A few big games this week could shape the way the College Football Playoff looks at the end of the season. A few rivalry games and conference games highlight the weekend of football. It’s surely going to be exciting.
ACC: 8 Notre Dame at 12 Clemson
This is going to be a showdown of epic proportions. The Fighting Irish are trying to prove their spot in the top ten, while the Tigers want to show that they can win big games. This is certainly their chance.
The Irish have been beat from the get-go this season, but they have done a good job up to this point. The Tigers have yet to have a real challenge, but the week off to prepare for this game could prove to be key. I think the Irish are way too hungry not to come in and get a huge win, however.
Notre Dame wins, 35-31
American Athletic Conference: Air Force at Navy
You know who the most surprising undefeated team right now is? The Midshipmen. They have literally ran over every team they have faced this season and they are looking like a real threat to winning the American their first year ever playing in a conference.
The Falcons gave the Spartans a bit of a run for their money a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t enough to pull off an upset. This game is going to be one to watch simply because of the history between these two schools. Plus, military branch schools always put up a good fight. However, Navy rolls in this one.
Navy wins, 42-24
Big 12: West Virginia at 15 Oklahoma
The Sooners must watch out this week as they welcome in the Mountaineers. West Virginia is scary good and they can put up points at will. Their defense is really terrific as well as they have intercepted nine passes this season, with five of those coming in last week’s dominating win against Maryland.
Baker Mayfield and Skyler Howard should be throwing the ball around the field all day long and I think this comes down to who makes the least mistakes. With Howard only throwing his first interception last week, I think it will be his team that comes out on top.
West Virginia wins, 45-38
Big Ten: 1 Ohio State at 23 Indiana
I usually don’t like putting the same team in the game of the week two weeks in a row, but this was too good not to pass up. The Buckeyes certainly haven’t played like a defending national champion this season and going into play an undefeated Indiana team with one of the nation’s best running backs in Jordan Howard makes this a huge trap game.
The Buckeyes aren’t looking past the Hoosiers, but this game should be a good one for all four quarters. I just can’t see the Hoosiers getting past the Buckeyes, but this could serve as a litmus test for Ohio State heading into Big Ten play.
Ohio State wins, 24-21
Conference USA: North Texas at Southern Mississippi
The Golden Eagles, despite being 2-2, have competed in every game they have played in this season. Quarterback Nick Mullens has looked very good so far this year and he should be able to continue his impressive performance this week.
As for the Mean Green, they are having a bit of an identity crisis at quarterback right now as three different guys have played the position this year with only three touchdowns and five interceptions on the board. Their only weapon right now is the explosive receiver Carlos Harris. He will need to step up this week if North Texas wants to get its first win of the year.
Southern Miss wins, 31-10
MAC: Northern Illinois at Central Michigan
This game features two teams that have played the Big Ten a few times this year and they both looked impressive in the games. The Huskies nearly upset the Buckeyes two weeks ago after their awesome performance defensively.
The Chippewas also played very well against the Spartans in the first three quarters last week. This game should be exciting to watch as both of these teams are always competing for a conference championship.
Northern Illinois wins, 34-26
Mountain West: Fresno State at San Diego State
This game is interesting simply because of Fresno State’s quarterback situation. Their starter at the beginning of the season, Zack Greenlee, was arrested for public intoxication at the beginning of the year. Their next two QBs down the line, Chason Virgil and Ford Childress, have both been lost for the season with injuries.
Greenlee is getting his second shot to lead the team on Saturday and it’s going to be interesting to see how he does after not playing for the last two weeks. The Bulldogs are 1-3 now and they need to turn their season around very quickly.
Fresno State wins, 27-21
PAC-12: Washington State at Cal
The Golden Bears are back in the AP Top 25 for the first time in a long time. Jared Goff has been slinging the ball around the field all season long and he has been looking like a NFL-quality quarterback. He will need to more of that if they want to hold off Mike Leach’s air raid offense.
For the Cougars, there are three different receivers with over 200 yards this year. That is very impressive and they are looking to make a big splash for the rest of the season. If they can hold Goff for long enough, the Cougars could be walking out of Berkeley with a huge win.
Cal wins, 41-40
SEC: 13 Alabama at 3 Georgia
How did you not know this was going to be the game to watch in the SEC? The Bulldogs look like a real threat to win the SEC and get to the College Football Playoff right now. The Crimson Tide are trying to get back on the right track after a devastating loss two weeks ago.
The Bulldogs are a complete team. Greyson Lambert is throwing very well. The rushing attack is scary good. And their defense has played better than ever before. There’s no reason why the Bulldogs don’t come out looking like the best team in the country this week.
Georgia wins, 35-27
Sun Belt: South Alabama at Troy
There is so much hype behind this rivalry game this week, it isn’t even funny. These two teams finally have a trophy to play for in title belt form and this should be a raucous game in Troy.
For the Jaguars, Xavier Johnson running the ball looks very good. He should be a big factor in their victory this week. This game could determine who makes a bowl game at the end of the year.
South Alabama wins, 29-23
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports