It’s incredible to think that after this weekend, some college football teams will have completed 50% of their season. The college football season does seem to fly by, so it’s essential to savor every moment, whether you’re planted on the couch or at the nearest tailgate. Come March, many of us will be eagerly awaiting the return of college football.
Creating a list of the top games can indeed be subjective, and there will always be debates about which matchups are the most exciting. It’s good to know that your list prioritized games involving undefeated teams, even though Alabama vs. Texas A&M didn’t make the cut. College football fans certainly have their own preferences, and there are many great games to enjoy throughout the season.
So, let’s dive into the top five games you’ve selected for week six!
5: #24 Fresno State vs Wyoming (8:00 EST, Fox) – Fox originally scheduled TCU vs. Iowa State, but they had the option to flex the game out in favor of Fresno State vs. Wyoming. Yes, they could have chosen LSU vs. Missouri or Alabama vs. Texas A&M, but this matchup could potentially determine a bid to a New Year’s Six Bowl Game. Fresno State currently boasts a 5-0 record, which includes a shutout victory at Arizona State and a road win against Purdue. Mikey Keene, who transferred in from UCF, has efficiently distributed the ball to their playmakers. Fresno State’s defense ranks among the best in the country, allowing just 17 points per game and holding the 14th spot in total defense. Carlton Johnson leads the nation with four interceptions this season, thanks to his outstanding three-interception performance against Arizona State.
On the other side, Wyoming stands at 4-1 but has had to grind out most of their victories. Their opening weekend upset of Texas Tech surprised the college football world, as many expected the Red Raiders to contend in the Big 12. Wyoming also challenged Texas for three quarters before the Longhorns pulled away late. The Cowboys faced tough battles with Appalachian State and New Mexico but managed to secure the victories. Harrison Waylee is a player to watch in this matchup, averaging 8.6 yards per carry after missing the first two games while recovering from an ACL tear. Waylee’s production has consistently increased each week, with notable performances of 110 yards against Texas, 156 yards against Appalachian State, and 191 yards against New Mexico. Wyoming may not produce flashy box scores, but they consistently find ways to win each week.
4: Maryland vs #4 Ohio State (Noon EST, Fox) – I know Maryland is not ranked, but they’re 5-0 and absolutely should be ranked ahead of some of the other teams in the top 25. Maryland is currently held back by their strength of schedule, which ranks 117th. However, the Terrapins have still taken care of business and shown the ability to have an explosive offense. Taulia Tagovailoa is averaging nearly 300 yards through the air and has amassed 16 total touchdowns. Maryland distributes the ball evenly to four main receivers: Jeshaun Jones, Tai Felton, Kaden Prather, and Corey Dyches, all of whom have at least 18 catches on the season and over 200 yards receiving. Dyches is the only one without multiple receiving touchdowns (he has one).
Maryland will go up against one of the best passing defenses in the country. Ohio State has allowed just two passing touchdowns this season. Notre Dame had most of their success on the ground, with the passing attack relying on their tight end, Mitchell Evans, to create matchup problems in the secondary. One of the keys for this game will be Ohio State’s defensive line creating pressure. Maryland has allowed just four sacks on the season, while Ohio State has only forced five sacks. Maryland challenged Ohio State last season and was actually winning at halftime. Ohio State’s defense has improved, but is it improved enough to slow down Tagovailoa?
3: #10 Notre Dame vs #25 Louisville (7:30 EST, ABC) – Notre Dame survived a scare from Duke, and now they face another undefeated team this weekend when they travel to Louisville. While Louisville may not be as intimidating as Duke, it presents another test for the Fighting Irish. Anyone who claims Notre Dame doesn’t play a tough schedule should take a closer look at their slate this year.
The Fighting Irish will catch a bit of a break on the offensive side of the ball, as Louisville does not have the caliber of defense like Ohio State or Duke. Notre Dame still has an outside shot at the playoffs and needs Sam Hartman to find his rhythm for them to have a chance. Audric Estime is once again proving to be one of the best running backs in the country, as evidenced by his two touchdowns against Duke, including the game-winning run.
Notre Dame’s defense has held opponents to fewer than 20 points in five of their first six games and should make it difficult for Louisville to move the ball. The Cardinals have had a solid start in their first year under Jeff Brohm. However, it’s essential to consider the quality of opponents Louisville has faced when setting expectations for Saturday night. Their wins have come against Georgia Tech, Boston College, Indiana, Murray State, and NC State, with three of those victories being decided by a touchdown or less. Notre Dame is significantly better than all five of these teams, including a mutual matchup against NC State, where Notre Dame won by 21 while Louisville won by just three.
Louisville is relying on former Purdue and Cal quarterback Jack Plummer to lead them into this new era. Plummer has been decent so far but will need to elevate his game to a new level against the Notre Dame secondary. Additionally, Notre Dame’s schedule doesn’t get any easier as they face USC next weekend.
2: #20 Kentucky vs #1 Georgia (7:00 EST, ESPN) – Kentucky faces a daunting challenge as they travel to Georgia undefeated, and it’s an uphill battle indeed. Georgia hasn’t lost a home game since 2019 when South Carolina emerged victorious in Athens. Kentucky will rely heavily on Ray Davis, who needs to have another massive game if they hope to defeat Georgia. Davis is coming off one of the most remarkable rushing performances in recent memory, tallying 280 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. He essentially carried Kentucky to victory against Florida with his dominant performance.
Devin Leary, Kentucky’s quarterback, has shown flashes of being a future NFL talent, but he has also had moments where his performance raises questions about his ability to compete at the SEC level. He struggled against Vanderbilt, completing just 51.7% of his passes and throwing two interceptions. His best performances have come against weaker opponents like Akron and Eastern Kentucky. While Kentucky will heavily rely on its rushing attack, Leary will need to step up and make crucial plays in clutch situations if they want any chance of winning.
Interestingly, Georgia has shown vulnerability to the run this season, ranking 39th against the run after consistently finishing first or second in recent years. Auburn managed to gain 219 rushing yards against the Bulldogs, primarily with their quarterbacks using their legs. On the positive side for Georgia, Carson Beck has been improving each week, and the team should have confidence in him as their starting quarterback. Beck boasts a completion rate of 72.1% and has only thrown two interceptions. Although Georgia is still significantly more talented, they haven’t been as dominant as they have been in recent seasons.
1: #12 Oklahoma vs #3 Texas (Noon EST, ABC) – There’s only one game that deserves the top spot this week: the Red River Rivalry/Shootout/Showdown, one of the most legendary rivalries in college football. To make it even more exciting, we have the Texas State Fair happening, providing one of the most captivating backdrops in all of college sports.
This game not only brings tradition and a historic rivalry but also promises an incredible football showdown. Both Texas and Oklahoma enter this game with unbeaten records, a scenario that hasn’t happened since 2008. Oklahoma has been dominant in each of their victories, even though they haven’t faced a significant challenge on the field yet. SMU is the closest they came to a real test, and even SMU lost by three scores to TCU. It’s true that you play the schedule in front of you, and Oklahoma has lived up to the expectations each week.
The most noticeable improvement for Oklahoma has been on the defensive side of the ball. Last year, they gave up 49 points to Texas, and their total defense finished 99th in the nation. This year, they currently rank 31st and are only allowing 10.8 points per game, which ranks 4th in the country. Danny Stutsman has been a defensive force, with 9.0 tackles for loss in just five games, along with two sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery.
Texas, on the other hand, has shown strength on the defensive side as well. While everyone knows about Quinn Ewers, Xavier Worthy, and Jonathon Brooks on offense, the Longhorns’ defense has been impressive. They rank 17th in total defense and will present the first serious challenge for Dillion Gabriel. Their secondary ranks 16th in team passing efficiency defense and has forced six interceptions.
We all witnessed Texas’s impressive victory over Alabama, which showcased their potential under Steve Sarkisian. Winning this game is crucial for Sarkisian and the Longhorns to remain front-runners for the College Football Playoffs. Texas fans are eager to see their team succeed, and the last thing they want is to be overtaken by Oklahoma in what they believe is their year. This game is not just a rivalry; it’s a battle for supremacy and a ticket to the playoffs.