If Saturday’s homecoming matchup against NC State isn’t enough for you, we’ve got another slate of games for you to watch with the playoff bid still alive. Here’s what we have suggested.
Miami at Virginia Tech (Tonight, 7:00 pm, ESPN)
In all likelihood, the winner of this will settle the ACC Coastal Division. If Virginia Tech wins, it will likely narrow the race down to the Hokies and Pittsburgh, who will have their turn with the Panthers next Thursday. If Miami wins, it’ll be down to the Tar Heels and Panthers. Plus, Thursday nights in Blacksburg are always fun to watch. Isaiah Ford (VT) and Stacy Coley (Miami) are two explosive playmakers that can make this game fun to watch.
BYU at #14 Boise State (Tonight, 10:15 pm, ESPN)
In a rare doubleheader of college football, Boise State has a rare spotlight game against a competitive BYU football team. With the Broncos eyeing another New Year’s Six bowl bid, this is a key game in their schedule to help their chances of beating out the likes of Houston and Western Michigan. QB Mark Rypien and WR Thomas Sperbeck are a solid QB/WR duo for the Mountain West. Taysom Hill, who has seemingly been at BYU for 1,000 years, returns to his home state in what has become one of the better rivalries out west.
#1 Alabama v. #6 Texas A&M (Saturday, 3:30 pm, CBS)
For those going to the homecoming game (or watching on ESPN Saturday), this is the game to watch Saturday afterwards. This will either solidify Alabama as an overwhelmingly dominant, all-but-given, SEC West champion (unless Auburn or LSU pull off a wild upset), or have the SEC West wide open with a shocking A&M win. Trevor Knight already beat Alabama once in the Sugar Bowl in 2014, will he join Chad Kelly as the only QB to topple Saban’s Tide twice in the last five seasons?
Kentucky v. Mississippi State (Saturday, 7:30 pm, SEC Network)
You might say you’re better off watching other games as rival fans, and what I’ll say may surprise a lot of you. But, if Kentucky can get bowl eligibility by winning three games against Mississippi State, at Missouri and Austin Peay, that can help Louisville’s strength of schedule. And if Louisville wins out, that will certainly help their argument for the CFP as an at-large bid. On top of Syracuse upsetting the Hokies last week, Louisville’s overall strength of schedule is trending up as of late. This is also a must-win for head coach Mark Stoops, who suddenly has three very winnable games to finally get Kentucky bowl eligible.
#2 Ohio State at Penn State (Saturday, 8:00 pm, ABC)
Another week, another demanding road test for the Buckeyes as they go from Wisconsin to Happy Valley in back-to-back weeks. The Buckeyes have been tested many times at Penn State the last couple of years, and Saquan Barkley (Penn State) is one of the best running backs in the conference. James Franklin is still lacking a marquee win as the Nittany Lions’ head coach, and is likely under pressure to either get a huge win or at least make it competitive.
#10 Wisconsin at Iowa: Noon ESPN (Wisconsin by 3)
TCU at #12 WVU: 3:30 ABC (WVU by 6)
Illinois at #3 Michigan: 3:30 Big10 Network (Michigan by 36)
Purdue at #8 Nebraska: 3:30 ABC (Nebraska by 24)
Oregon State at #4 Washington: 6:30 Pac12 Network (Washington by 37)
The fine people at Athlon’s have put out their list of top duos for College Basketball/Football Head Coaches.
1. Michigan State
Football: Mark Dantonio
Basketball: Tom Izzo
Here’s what makes up an elite coaching tandem: In four of the last five seasons, the football team has reached a major bowl (two Cotton Bowls, a Rose Bowl and Capital One Bowl) in the same season the basketball team reached the Sweet 16 or better. Since Jan. 2014 alone, Michigan State has accounted for:
• A Rose Bowl win and Big Ten football championship,
• An Elite Eight appearance and Big Ten tournament championship,
• A Cotton Bowl win,
• A Final Four and
• A College Football Semifinal appearance and Big Ten title.
Shock. That’s what most of CardNation including myself felt when Louisville was announced the 4 seed in the Midwest bracket. A bracket that will go down as one of the all time hardest including 3 of last years final four (Louisville, Wichita St., and Michigan) and the Cards hated rival Uk. Every analyst on ESPN and CBS last night went out of their way to talk about the difficulty of this bracket BUT after the dust settled and the shock wore off I have come to a conclusion……the Cards got a pretty good draw.