Last weekend, we had no matchups between ranked teams. This weekend is the exact opposite, with six matchups between ranked teams. Spoiler alert: we have a game with an unranked team on this list. Make sure to set up multiple televisions in your living room and leave the honey-do list for Sunday. We are planting ourselves on the couch and not moving this weekend, friends. Prepare for possibly the best weekend of the season because whoever arises from the dust will be firmly cemented in the College Football Playoff discussion.
5: #4 Florida State vs Clemson (Noon EST, ABC) – Before the season began, we all thought this would be a top 10 matchup. Clemson stumbled out of the gate, losing on the road to Duke. The Tigers have had a chance to bounce back and have taken care of business against Charleston Southern and Florida Atlantic. Clemson is still one of the most talented teams in the ACC. A win over Florida State would put them squarely in the conversation for the ACC Championship. Cade Klubnik is going to be asked to have the best game of his career. Florida State has one of the most potent offenses in the country, led by Jordan Travis. The Seminoles are currently averaging 47.7 points per game, which ranks seventh in the country. Johnny Wilson, Keon Coleman, and Jahiem Bell are going to be key factors in the passing attack on Saturday night. Clemson’s defense did a great job limiting Riley Leonard through the air earlier this season. The defense got in trouble when Leonard ran the ball. If Travis can replicate Duke’s gameplan, they will be able to find similar success.
4: #19 Colorado vs #10 Oregon (3:30 EST, ABC) – Coach Prime has been one of the biggest surprises of the season. Colorado’s win total before the season was set at 4.5. The Buffaloes should easily surpass the expectations since they are sitting at 3-0. Colorado will face their biggest test of the season as they travel to Eugene to play the Oregon Ducks. Colorado will be without their two-way star, Travis Hunter, who is expected to miss multiple games after taking a vicious late hit against Colorado State. Colorado’s offensive line has been an issue, allowing 16 sacks already this season. Oregon’s defensive line is going to pressure Sheduer Sanders more than any other team this season. Sanders has done a fantastic job eluding defenders, and he will need another stellar game for Colorado to have a chance. Bo Nix is off to another great start for Oregon. The Ducks’ quarterback has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions through the first three games. Troy Franklin and Gary Bryant Jr will test the Colorado secondary, especially without Hunter playing this weekend.
3: #24 Iowa vs #7 Penn State (7:30 EST, CBS) – The annual Penn State Whiteout is here! Arguably the best atmosphere in college football will be the scene when Iowa and Penn State face off on Saturday night. Iowa has been a talking point for the media this season, with Brian Ferentz having a clause in his contract where he needs to average 25 points per game. The Hawkeyes are currently averaging over 28 points per game thanks to a 41-point game against Western Michigan. Iowa brought in Cade McNamara to lead the Hawkeye offense after a run of largely inefficient quarterbacks. Iowa will be missing a key piece on Saturday night after Luke Lachey was announced to miss the rest of the season. Lachey was the leading receiver for Iowa. Look for the Hawkeyes to rely heavily on the run game led by Leshon Williams, Jaziun Patterson, and Kaleb Johnson. Penn State has a chance to make a statement with a win over Iowa. Drew Allar has been better than expected so far, completing 67% of his passes and has not turned the ball over this season. Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton will need to be relied upon Saturday night. The duo has gotten off to a slow start, averaging 120 rushing yards per game compared to 148 rushing yards per game in 2022. Saturday night has multiple good games, but make sure to tune in so you can catch the scene of the Whiteout.
2: #15 Ole Miss vs #13 Alabama (3:30 EST, CBS) – Alabama has never been .500 under Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide are 2-1 with a real chance of losing their second game of the season. Alabama has a quarterback controversy on their hands. Jalen Milroe was benched in favor of Tyler Buchner. Buchner was benched in the middle of the game against USF in favor of Ty Simpson. Nick Saban named Milroe the starter once again. The biggest issue for Alabama has been the offensive line. The Crimson Tide have allowed 10 sacks and 19 tackles for loss over the last two games. While Ole Miss does not have the most furious defensive line, they do have a few players who can rush the quarterback. Isaac Ukwu registered 7.5 sacks in 2022 and already has two in 2023. Jaxson Dart will need to be at the top of his game against the Alabama secondary. The Crimson Tide still have one of the best cornerbacks in the country in Kool-Aid McInstry. A win for Ole Miss will catapult them into the front runners for the SEC East, while a win for Alabama would reassure the fan base that the sky is not falling.
1: #6 Ohio State vs #9 Notre Dame (7:30 EST, NBC) – We had an easy choice for the best game of the weekend. Ohio State is traveling to South Bend this weekend. Two of the most iconic brands in college football will face off on Saturday night. Ohio State started off the season with two lackluster performances before discovering how to play offense against Western Kentucky. The Buckeyes exploded for 35 points in an 11-minute span of the second quarter. Kyle McCord looked comfortable, completing 19 of 23 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. The defense also forced four turnovers against Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are clearly not as talented as Notre Dame, but Ryan Day absolutely wanted to see a strong performance out of his team before heading on the road. Notre Dame has seen a significant improvement on the offensive side of the ball, and most of the success can be attributed to Sam Hartman. Hartman has played mistake-free football, throwing 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions through the first four games of the season. Audric Estime has also been a game-changer for the Fighting Irish. Estime has averaged 8.3 yards per carry and tallied five touchdowns. The key for this game will be the defenses. Whichever defense can force the most mistakes will win this game.
Other notable games: #22 UCLA vs #11 Utah, Arkansas vs #12 LSU, #14 Oregon State vs #21 Washington State, Georgia State vs Costal Carolina, Auburn vs Texas A&M, SMU vs TCU, BYU vs Kansas, Memphis vs Missouri, UCF vs Kansas State
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