College football is back, and that means our college football viewing guide is back to help you navigate the busy schedule ahead.
Each week we will do the heavy lifting, and figure out the top games that will be playing during each television window across college football. Already in Week 5, more teams are entering conference play, which is sure to add intrigue to a very full slate of games.
Thursday, September 30
Virginia (2-2) at Miami (2-2) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on ESPN
Each sitting at .500 through four games, this is a big game for both Virginia and Miami. The Cavaliers have lost their last two ACC contests, while Miami is playing in their first conference game of the season. With how wide-open their division is, Miami could still be a contender to watch in the ACC.
Friday, October 1
No. 5 Iowa (4-0) at Maryland (4-0) —> 7 p.m. CST on FS1
In a battle of unbeatens, a top-five Iowa heads to Maryland on Friday night. This is a really good clash that features Iowa’s great offensive line and defense, while Maryland has a high-powered offense. Taulia Tagovailoa has played really well this season, and has the Terrapins looking to upset the Hawkeyes on FS1.
Other Friday night games of interest:
- Houston at Tulsa, 6:30 p.m. CST on ESPN
- No. 13 BYU at Utah State, 8 p.m. CST on CBSSN
Saturday, October 2
No. 8 Arkansas (4-0) at No. 2 Georgia (4-0) —> 11 a.m. CST on ESPN
Arguably the game of the day takes place during the same time as the Badgers game. Georgia has a marquee win over Clemson to begin the season, and has dominated in their first two conference games against South Carolina and Vanderbilt. The surprise team of the year so far has to be Arkansas though. The Razorbacks are playing great football under Sam Pittman and already have wins over Texas and Texas A&M. This should be a really fun watch to kickoff the day.
No. 14 Michigan (4-0) at Wisconsin (1-2) —> 11 a.m. CST on FOX
Also taking place during the morning window, Wisconsin hosts Michigan. This could wind up being a rock fight with poor weather conditions and question marks on offense for both teams. As a Badgers dedicated blog this is the priority game of the day, but nationally it certainly isn’t the best game going on.
Other morning games of interest:
- Texas at TCU, 11 a.m. CST on ABC
- Minnesota at Purdue, 11 a.m. CST on BTN
No. 7 Cincinnati (3-0) at No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0) —> 1:30 p.m. CST on NBC
Another top-10 matchup features Cincinnati and Notre Dame. The Bearcats are coming off of a bye week, but with how wide-open the college football landscape is this year they have a chance at a playoff spot. The Fighting Irish are no strangers to the playoff, and this game appears to be the biggest test remaining on their schedule. I would expect a great game on NBC.
No. 12 Ole Miss (3-0) at No. 1 Alabama (4-0) —> 2:30 p.m. CST on CBS
The No. 1 team in the country versus the current Heisman favorite. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin taking on his former team. There are are plenty of storylines in this game, and all signs point toward it being a shootout. Matt Corral is extremely talented for the Rebels, but can he keep pace with Alabama’s offense under Bryce Young?
Other afternoon games of interest:
- No. 3 Oregon at Stanford, 2:30 p.m. CST on ABC
- No. 6 Oklahoma at Kansas State, 2:30 p.m. CST on FOX
- No. 11 Ohio State at Rutgers, 2:30 p.m. CST on BTN
No. 21 Baylor (4-0) at No. 19 Oklahomas State (4-0) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on ESPN2
This game will likely be overshadowed by some of the earlier games on the schedule, but it is a sneaky good matchup. Both teams come into this contest undefeated and the winner will have an early inside track for getting to the Big-12 Championship Game.
Indiana (2-2) at No. 4 Penn State (4-0) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on ABC
Indiana has dropped both of their games against ranked opponents, and does not appear to have the same magic as they did a year ago. However, the Hoosiers did manage to knock off Penn State last year. There is a massive revenge factor in this game which definitely favors Penn State, but it will be interesting to see if Michael Penix can get back on track and make it interesting.
Other primetime games of interest:
- Boston College at No. 25 Clemson, 6:30 p.m. CST on ACCN
- Northwestern at Nebraska, 6:30 p.m. CST on BTN
No. 22 Auburn (3-1) at LSU (3-1) —> 8 p.m. CST on ESPN
Technically this game could fit inside the primetime window or the “after dark” space, but with so few other late night games this one gets my vote. Neither team has looked amazing this year, but they are each still 3-1 with their only losses occurring in non-conference play. It is hard to know what to expect out of this game, but the atmosphere in Baton Rouge should be electric.
Other late-night games of interest: