A large subsection of the games this weekend have been put on pause, or canceled outright, due to ongoing issues surrounding COVID-19. While many teams are unable to play, the Wisconsin Badgers are finally back in action after a brief hiatus of their own.
While there are not nearly as many playoff defining top-10 games as last week, there are a large number of ranked teams taking their talents on the road which can always produce meaningful upsets and plenty of close games.
In our weekly preview, we at B5Q break down the top games on the college football slate across all days and television windows.
Thursday, Nov. 12
Colorado State (1-1) at Boise State (2-1) —> 7 p.m. CST on FS1
Boise State looks to get back to their winning ways this week after taking an L at the hands of BYU last weekend. The Broncos have been battling injuries at the quarterback position this season, but at home they are two touchdowns favorites in this one Thursday evening.
Friday, Nov. 13
Iowa (1-2) at Minnesota (1-2) —> 6 p.m. CST on FS1
Both Iowa and Minnesota have not started conference only play the way that they would have hoped for. Each holding a 1-2 record, a win is needed to keep pace in the West and factor into the conference race. Iowa got a big win last weekend over Michigan State, but they have been inconsistent this year. Can they steal one on the road, or will Minnesota put together consecutive wins of their own?
Other Friday games of interest:
- East Carolina at No. 7 Cincinnati —> 6:30 p.m. CST on ESPN2
Saturday, Nov. 14
No. 10 Indiana (3-0) at Michigan State (1-2) —> 11 a.m. CST on ABC
Michigan State has been a bit of an enigma this season with bad losses to Rutgers and Iowa, but a huge road win against rival Michigan. Indiana on the other hand has proven to be the second best team in the B1G East to this point with wins over Penn State and Michigan to hang their hat on. The Hoosiers have their highest ranking in some time, and have a huge contest with Ohio State next weekend. Do they look ahead to OSU, or are they able to keep their winning streak rolling?
No. 9 Miami (6-1) at Virginia Tech (4-3) —> 11 a.m. CST on FS1
Miami narrowly escaped last week against NC State thanks to quarterback D’Eriq King. The Houston transfer has been lights out for the Hurricanes this season, but his squad are nearly three-point underdogs to Virginia Tech. The Hokies are in must win mode after losing to Liberty last weekend in dramatic fashion, and now the big question is can they bounce back and get a big win?
Other morning games of interest:
- No. 15 Coastal Carolina at Troy —> 11 a.m. CST on ESPN2
- Penn State at Nebraska —> 11 a.m. CST on FS1
- Illinois at Rutgers —> 11 a.m. CST on BTN
- Wake Forest at North Carolina —> 11 a.m. CST on ACCN
- TCU at West Virginia —> 11 a.m. CST on FOX
No. 2 Notre Dame (7-0) at Boston College (5-3) —> 2:30 p.m. CST on ABC
This game feels awfully trappy. Notre Dame is coming off one of the biggest wins in Brian Kelly’s tenure, and have a bye next weekend. We will see if the high of that win lingers against a poky Boston College team that had both North Carolina and Clemson on the ropes late.
No. 20 USC (1-0) at Arizona (0-0) —> 2:30 p.m. CST on FOX
USC and quarterback Kedon Slovis won a close one last week against Arizona State, and are the favorites to come out of the Pac-12 South. Arizona is hoping to be better in year three of the Kevin Sumlin experience, otherwise it might be time for a change at head coach.
No. 23 Northwestern (3-0) at Purdue (2-0) —> 4 p.m. CST on BTN
With the Ohio State and Maryland game canceled, Big Ten Network did some shuffling with the Northwestern and Purdue matchup. The two teams will now square off at 4 p.m. instead of running parallel to the Badgers game. Two of the top contenders in the B1G West right now, Northwestern and Purdue is a big game in the conference race, with Wisconsin firmly rooting on the Wildcats.
Other afternoon games of interest:
- Colorado at Stanford —> 2:30 p.m. CST on ESPN
- Baylor at Texas Tech —> 3 p.m. CST on FS1
No. 11 Oregon (1-0) at Washington State (1-0) —> 6 p.m. CST on FOX
Oregon is the favorite to win the Pac-12, and one of the few playoff contenders that the conference has. A road showdown with Washington State and new head coach Nick Rolovich begins the primetime window.
No. 13 Wisconsin (1-0) at Michigan (1-2) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on ABC
The Badgers are finally back on the field, and enter a crucial stretch of games with Michigan, Northwestern, and Minnesota in a row. The Wolverines have stumbled a bit since their opening weekend win, but Wisconsin has not won in Ann Arbor since 2010. The margin of error for Paul Chryst’s crew is razor thin after missing out on two games, making this a must win.
Other primetime games of interest:
- No. 19 SMU at Tulsa —> 6 p.m. CST on ESPN2
Ready to be back at it pic.twitter.com/Z1WPNKmsRc— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 12, 2020
Utah (0-0) at UCLA (0-1) —> 9:30 p.m. CST on FOX
Utah had their game last week canceled due to complications with Coronavirus, but it appears as though they are good to go this weekend. The Utes are replacing a good amount of talent from last years team, but UCLA is still very much in the early stages of rebuilding.
Cal (0-0) at Arizona State (0-1) —> 9:30 p.m. CST on ESPN2
The second game in a triple-header of #PAC12AFTERDARK games, Cal is opening up their first game on the road against Arizona State and sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels. The Golden Bears are expected to be a solid team this season, these are the types of wins that turn that potential into reality.
Other late night games:
- Oregon State at Washington —> 10 p.m. CST on FS1