Week 10 in college football is absolutely loaded. There are seven games between Top 25 teams. There are upsets looming as Big Ten contenders venture into hostile territory. Pac12AfterDark hasn’t been nearly weird enough this season and it’s about time we had some mayhem. This Saturday is going to a hellscape and we prepare with a viewing guide.
#7 Penn State at #24 Michigan State (10 am, FOX)
Penn State has looked like a College Football Playoff contender, but a week after losing to Ohio State in what may be the game of the year, they head to East Lansing to take on a weird Michigan State team. The Spartans are an awful team, I must clarify, but they have the strange ability to make every opponent also awful. Trace McSorley bailed out the Lions at Iowa earlier this season, and he and Saquon Barkley may have to play perfectly to avoid falling into the Spartan’s contagious malaise.
#9 Wisconsin at Indiana (11 am, ABC)
The Badgers won’t lose because their rushing ability is utterly overwhelming, but the Hoosiers have grown famous for playing top teams way too closely for their game to be comfortable. I’m guessing Indiana has a solid three quarters and maybe even a lead, but Wisconsin will raze them to the ground in the fourth.
#6 Ohio State at Iowa (1:30 pm, ESPN)
Iowa is very similar to Michigan State, but instead of making their opponents suck as badly as them, the Hawkeyes infect visiting teams with the mistake virus. Whenever a ranked team goes into Kinnick Stadium, they’re bound by natural law to muff a punt, shank a short field goal, or something else to give Iowa whatever edge they need to put together an upset bid. The Buckeyes should win, but they can’t overlook the cosmic power of Kinnick.
#15 Iowa State at West Virginia (1:30, ESPN2)
I’m not ready for the Cyclones to end their destructive run through the heart of the Big 12. For the sake of chaos, we must cheer as hard as we can for the ‘Clones to contain Will Grier and the Mountaineers air attack.
Anything Can Happen
#4 Clemson at #20 NC State (1:30 pm, ABC)
This doesn’t fall into the upset category because when there’s a decent chance regulation ends in a 0-0 tie, it’s anybody’s game. Clemson and NC State boast the top defenses in the ACC and neither team has looked particularly impressive on offense. Low-scoring games can be fun if both teams are constantly beating the shit out of each other. We’re hoping to see exactly that in this blazing 4/20 matchup.
#21 Stanford at #25 Washington State (1:30 pm, FOX)
Stanford and Wazzu are somehow both enigmatic this late in the season. The Cardinal offense is Bryce Love, period. Without him last week, they nearly lost to Oregon State. Considering the Cougars were just dominated on the ground by Arizona’s newfound Heisman contender, Khalil Tate, there’s a solid chance that all Stanford needs is Love. Stanford has the chance to put up some points, but so too do the Cougars. Stanford has struggled defending the pass this season and they’re about to go against Luke Falk, who’s going to finish his career as the most prolific passer in Pac-12 history. Expect madness in this Pac-12 slate.
#5 Oklahoma at #11 Oklahoma State (2 pm, FS1)
Folks,,, there’s a reason they call it Bedlam. I’m not sure how Stanford-Wazzu got on FOX and moved this game to FS1, but this could very well be the most exciting game on the docket. Baker Mayfield leads a ridiculously fun Sooners offense as he looks to add to his legend as a big game demigod. Mason Rudolph, meanwhile, leads an offense that isn’t quite as fun, but they’re just as lethal. Both defenses are solid, but this has all the makings of a classic Big 12 shootout.
#13 Virginia Tech at #10 Miami (6 pm, ABC)
Polar opposite of Bedlam, the Hokies and Canes are set to embark on a defensive battle that is apparently all the rage in the ACC this season (Louisville games excluded). VT and Miami are both quarterbacked by exciting dual threats — who strangely have identical statlines of 2,000 yards passing, 17 TDs, 4 interceptions and 200 yards rushing — but they’re both mistake-prone and facing opportunistic defenses. Chaos in this game won’t be like the Sooners and ‘Boys lighting up the score, but it should be plenty fun to watch these defenses create havoc for 60 minutes.
Colorado at Arizona State (7 pm, Pac-12 Networks)
If Colorado’s offense shows up on the road, this game should be classic Pac-12 football. ASU’s defense is amazing, unless it’s awful — either way, Phillip Lindsay is going to get 40+ touches. Manny Wilkins is fantastic when he has time to throw, but only if his line contends with the Buffs for worst in the conference — if the Buffs can get to him, they could get stops critical for a road win.
#22 Arizona at #17 USC (8:45 pm, ESPN)
Arizona-USC is going to be the most Pac12AfterDark game we’ve seen this season as Sam Darnold battles Khalil Tate in a high-stakes wager of who can be responsible for the most touchdowns. As fun as Darnold is to watch when he’s not dismantling your favorite team, but he’s going against Ralphie Report’s official favorite non-CU player. The ideal outcome is that Darnold dices up the defense on 10-play, 75-yard touchdowns every drive, only to be outdone by 1-play, 75-yard touchdowns by Tate.
This would be the most exciting game of the week, if not for ...
BAYLOR AT KANSAS (10 AM, FSN)
IF I’M UNABLE TO WATCH 0-8 BAYLOR TAKE ON 1-7 KANSAS BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE FSN ON MY CABLE PACKAGE, I’M GOING TO LEARN HOW TO DRIVE, STEAL A CAR, DRIVE TO LAWRENCE AND SNEAK INTO THE (EMPTY) STADIUM SO I CAN EXPERIENCE THE GAME OF THE CENTURY. IS IT POSSIBLE FOR BOTH TEAMS TO LOSE? DOES A GAME EVEN HAVE AN OUTCOME IF NO ONE IS THERE TO WATCH IT? CAN DEATH EXIST WITHOUT THE ESSENCE OF LIFE? THIS GAME POSES MANY QUESTIONS THAT CAN ONLY BE ANSWERED THROUGH CELESTIAL UNDERSTANDING AND I’M GOING TO FREAK OUT IF MY CABLE PACKAGE DENIES ME FROM UNIVERSAL TRUTH.