Texas A&M may be on bye this week, but that doesn’t mean college football stops. On the contrary, there are some great matchups this week that are well worth your time, either because they have a potential impact on A&M, or just because they should be great games. Let’s rank ‘em.
All betting lines* courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
1. No. 10 Ole Miss at No. 18 Auburn
6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN
Line: Auburn -2.5
A battle of two ranked SEC West foes still to come on Texas A&M’s schedule, need I say more? The Aggies still control their own destiny against both of these teams, so there’s no obvious rooting favorite, but if you are looking to maximize A&M’s resume for a potential New Year’s Six Bowl (or a very outside shot at the Playoff), I believe Ole Miss is the play here. It might mean that Auburn is unranked when they visit Kyle Field on Nov. 6, but it would also ensure that the Ags have a chance to knock off a top 10, one-loss Rebel team on the Road two weeks later. That could be a second signature win in addition to Alabama.
2. No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State
11 a.m., Fox
Line: Michigan -4.5
Two Big Ten undefeateds in a rivalry game is prime bye week watching material. Not to mention that whichever one of these teams loses, might just fall below the Aggies in the rankings.
3. No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State
6:30 p.m., ABC
Line: Ohio State -18.5
The Buckeyes are heavily favored, but man an upset here would really shake up the rakings and set up a ton of drama over the final month of the season
4. No. 1 Georgia vs. Florida
2:30 p.m., CBS
Line: Georgia -14
What we originally thought was a pretty good Florida team (they took Bama to the wire, after all) has definitely taken a step back after losses to Kentucky and LSU, but this is a rivalry game, and strangers things have happened. Georgia has looked unstoppable so far this season, but in a year where everything has seemed to go counter to expectation, why should The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party be any different?
5. No. 9 Iowa at Wisconsin
11 a.m., ESPN
Line: Wisconsin -3
This is the second straight week that a top ten team enters the weekend as a road dog. It came to fruition as Oklahoma State lost in Ames last week, so let’s home it can happen again in Madison to hand the Hawkeyes their second loss. Iowa going down would knock them out of the top ten, and almost certainly behind the Aggies, in next week’s rankings.
6. No. 19 SMU at Houston
6 p.m., ESPN2
Line: Houston -1
Normally this would be a very forgettable AAC game, but SMU is currently 7-0 and ranked, while Houston is 6-1. The winner puts themselves in the driver’s seat to make the conference championship game, and for SMU, would potentially set up a very high-profile matchup against No. 2 Cincinnati in a few weeks.
7. Texas at No. 16 Baylor
11 a.m., ABC
Line: Baylor -3
This game doesn’t impact A&M in any tangible, way, but it does involve two of our most historic rivals, so a little Saturday schadenfreude (no matter who wins) is always fun.