Each Thursday, we’ll bring you some key matchups from around the country so you can plan your weekend accordingly.
#20 Kansas State at Iowa State
This week, as far as the Big 12 goes, the biggest game of the weekend has to be the first conference matchup of the year. Kansas State heads to Ames, Iowa to take on the Cyclones. Before the season, this game looked like a mismatch in the Wildcat’s favor, but after Iowa State was hammered by North Dakota State last weekend, this game has the potential to be a blowout. K-State pummeled Stephen F. Austin last weekend, and if I know anything about Bill Snyder, he has probably saved plenty of tricks that could be used this weekend. Then again, maybe he won’t waste some of his ideas on an Iowa State team that will most likely not pose any real threat. Kickoff is at 11:00 AM CT on Saturday and can be seen on Fox Sports One.
Michigan at #16 Notre Dame
This game always gets plenty of attention even if one or both of the teams are irrelevant to that season’s college football landscape. It’s obviously too early to make that assumption for this season, but the game is significant for another reason. Because Notre Dame is now obligated to play ACC teams starting next season, this is the final installment of the fabled Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry for a while. After controversial words were uttered last year by Irish coach Brian Kelly, this year’s final installment could be a feisty one. The game starts at 6:30 CT and can be seen on NBC.
#7 Michigan State at #3 Oregon
This is the biggest game of the weekend, bar none. Michigan State has legitimate playoff aspirations this year, and a win in Eugene against the powerful Ducks would look great on their resume. This game could likely be a preview to the Rose Bowl Game in most seasons, but with that game being a national semifinal this season, this game could have even more significance. If I can only watch one game this weekend, I’m opting for this one. It can be seen at 5:30 CT on Fox.
#14 USC at #13 Stanford
If you need a stop-gap between the early games and the showcases on Saturday night, the Pac-12 has you covered. The Trojans of USC head up north for an early season conference test with the Cardinal of Stanford. These early season rankings are never really what they’ll be in the weeks to come, but this game has the feel of a game that could impact the Pac-12 standings at the top of the league. Game time: 2:30 CT on ABC.
#24 Missouri at Toledo
The outcome of this game is probably not in question but it does represent Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel’s return to Toledo for the first time since he left in 2001 to take over the Tigers. With most of the emotion gone (or whatever happens when you play your former team) after the Tigers beat the Rockets 38-23 last season in Columbia, I expect the always professional Pinkel to quietly go about his business in Toledo and for MU to win handily. This game is on ESPN and starts at 11:00 AM CT.