Wisconsin has bye week this weekend, like a myriad of college teams around the nation. In fact nine teams in the updated AP-Top 25 have a week off.
With so many teams not playing, this weekend is on the lighter side for marquee match ups. If you have things to do this weekend, the early morning slate is probably the best time to be away from the television.
Here is a snapshot of the top match-ups across the college football landscape.
Thursday, Oct. 31
West Virginia (3-4) @ No. 12 Baylor (7-0) —> 7 p.m. CST on ESPN
Baylor is one of nine undefeated FBS teams remaining. This weekend Baylor welcomes a West Virginia team that has been inconsistent this year under new head coach Neal Brown. West Virginia lost a lot of talent from last year's team, and will be entering enemy territory without the weapons that Baylor has. I expect Baylor to win this one, but stranger things have happened before.
Other game of note: Georgia Southern @ No. 20 Appalachian State.
Friday, Nov. 1
Navy (6-1) @ UConn (2-6) —> 7 p.m. CST on ESPN2
UConn is one of the worst teams in college football. Last year the Huskies were regarded as the worst defensive team ever according to advanced stats. Navy on the other hand has been one of the more consistent teams in college football over the past decade, sans last season. Navy is back in business with quarterback Malcolm Perry running triple option offense. The offense is a thing of beauty when it is going well.
Saturday, Nov. 2
No. 14 Michigan (6-2) @ Maryland (3-5) —> 11 a.m. CST on ABC
Maryland has been a bit of a head scratcher this season. After a hot start the Terps have been struggling. Michigan is the better team. Michigan has the better players. Michigan has the better coach. Everything points towards an easy Wolverine win, however coming off of a big win over Notre Dame there is always the possibility of a let down on the road (see Wisconsin, damn you Illinois).
Nebraska (4-4) @ Purdue (2-6) —> 11 a.m. CST on ABC
With such a rough early time slot, this is probably the most intriguing morning game for Badger fans. Wisconsin will face both division foes later this year. Nebraska has not lived up to lofty preseason expectations, nor has Purdue. Scott Frost and Jeff Brohm are the coaching darlings of the conference, it will be interesting to see which one exits victorious.
Other morning games of interest: NC State @ No. 23 Wake Forest, Houston @ UCF.
No. 8 Georgia (6-1) @ No. 6 Florida (7-1) —> 2:30 p.m. CST on CBS
The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” will be the game of the day. On paper these two teams are both playoff caliber. To keep the possibility of the playoff a reality both teams desperately need to win. This matchup should be a fun defensive battle. Florida’s front seven is scary good, while Georgia has one of the most talented rosters in the country. This SEC rivalry game will be played in Jacksonville, so neither team will have the home field advantage, but Florida is coming off of a bye week to prepare. Game on.
No. 9 Utah (7-1) @ Washington (5-3) —> 3 p.m. CST on FOX
Outside of a loss at USC, Utah has looked very good this season. The Utes, lead by Zack Moss and Tyler Huntley, have been able to run through most of the Pac-12. Washington on the other hand has taken their lumps. Jacob Eason has been solid but the Washington offense as a whole has not played great against good defenses. Utah has one of the best defenses in the conference. A Husky win would shake up the complexion of the Pac-12 in a major way.
#Pac12FB leads the way with three finalists for the Johnny Unitas @GoldenArmAward. No other conference has more than one.— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) October 30, 2019
Congrats to @UW_Football's Jacob Eason, @oregonfootball's Justin Herbert, and @Utah_Football's Tyler Huntley.#BackThePac pic.twitter.com/DQSRRcehf9
Other afternoon games of interest: Virginia Tech @ No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 22 Kansas State @ Kansas, Miami @ Florida State, TCU @ Oklahoma State,
No. 15 SMU (8-0) @ No. 24 Memphis (7-1) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on ABC
Game Day rarely goes to see non-power five programs. This is the site on Saturday. The game has a lot of intrigue, and will give fans a glimpse of two top teams in the AAC. SMU remains undefeated, while Memphis has only lost on the road to Temple. Memphis head coach Mike Norvell will have his team up for this game, and the offensive fireworks on both sides could be fun.
No. 7 Oregon (7-1) @ USC (5-3) —> 7 p.m. CST on FOX
USC head man Clay Helton seems to be coaching for his job every week the past two seasons. He has the Trojans still on track to make the Pac-12 championship game if they can run the table. Oregon has been playing great since a loss to Auburn opening weekend. Oregon runs the ball very well, and leans on their defense. If Justin Herbert for Oregon can play well, this game could be very good in the Coliseum at night.
Other primetime games of interest: Virginia @ North Carolina, Northwestern @ Indiana, Cincinnati @ East Carolina, Ole Miss @ Auburn, UAB @ Tennessee.
Colorado (3-5) @ UCLA (3-5) —> 8 p.m. CST on Pac-12 Network
There aren’t many great games on late. UCLA has been feisty this year at times, and they are playing much better down the stretch. This is probably the best of the late night games that involve Power Five teams.
No. 21 Boise State (6-1) @ San Jose State (4-4) —> 9 p.m. CST on CBSSN
Boise State is coming off a trip up at BYU. Can the Broncos get back on track, or do they fall out of the rankings after another poor showing?