After initially seeming uneventful, this weekend could make it – or break it – for many top teams, including Georgia and Tennessee.
Remember Remember November 5th.
November 5 wasn’t circled on many calendars before the college season started, but it’s here now—and it’s pretty big. Week 10 includes the biggest game of the season in one time slot, followed by a trap game for one of the playoffs’ starring and a trip to Louisiana for another.
Maryland in Wisconsin (-5)
The Terps are quietly putting together one of the best seasons in over a decade and entering this game with a 6-2 score. One win in the last four games would put this year on par with the best since Ralf Frieden coached the team in 2010. Those two losses also came with one possession each. Here comes Wisconsin though, after a farewell week and is designed to play spoiler. Maryland has a history of being victimized here, and they aren’t favored in this down the road, but this season has been different for them already: Can it last? “
The game to watch: Maryland on the scroll. Jim Leonhard’s defense can feature some amazing pressing packages for your quarterback to scrutinize, and if you’re behind the chains, there’s nothing the Badgers would rather do than take off. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will be back on the court after a knee injury, so Maryland will be as close to full strength as it has been for a long time.
Texas Tech in TCU (-8.5)
The Frogs got what they feel is a dose of disrespect for Playoff on Tuesday. Although they were undefeated, they were ranked behind the Alabama team that lost once. Well, they’ll get their first chance to prove the commission wrong against TCU. If Tech wants to get rid of the discomfort, come up with a bold game plan that will try to create breaks by moving to fourth down.
The game to watch: TCU vs. Slow Start. The Frogs have been starting really slowly in the past few weeks, in fact the fact that they were (barely) ahead against West Virginia was a pleasant surprise. Eventually they will need to get up and stay up late for a game or they may come back to bite them.
Florida Texas A&M (-3)
This is a game that will go a long way to determining if one of these teams will miss a bowl of notes. These aren’t exactly the risks we thought this game would be back in August. But two less-than-stellar campaigns reach their climax at College Station. Can any of these teams get out of their own way?
The game to watch: Conor Wegman vs. Expectations. The freshman took the reins against Ole Miss and did well, but will be tested again against Florida now that the team has made some films on him. The one thing he doesn’t have to worry about is Florida’s Brenton Cox, who was fired from the team after losing to Georgia.
UCF (-3.5) in Memphis, 3:30 p.m.
It’s now unclear who will start the Quarterback’s Knights, and Memphis will need all the help they can get with a faltering defense coming into this game. The UCF will try to jump the Tigers regardless of who plays behind the position.
The game to watch: UCF’s defense against the Memphis attack in the lower red zone. The Knights certainly aren’t bad at defending, but they have a style that’s curved but doesn’t break, especially when things don’t just go into the 20’s overall, but inside the 10’s. Part of that has to do with their effective D run, which has gone a long way to making them a team. Tough to score.
TN in Georgia (-8), 3:30 p.m.
This is the big event, and one we’ve all been waiting for since it became clear Tennessee was real a few weeks ago against Alabama. This is one of the biggest regular season football games not involving Alabama State or Ohio State in years, and it’s a big moment for Dawgs in Sanford Stadium, which doesn’t usually host huge games like this. Tennessee’s offensive really can’t be stopped, but can Georgia’s defense contain it and assert itself in this actual game of the SEC East Championship?
The game to watch: Georgia game vs game scenario. We saw last year at the SEC that if Georgia had to press on attack, the results might not be all that great. If Georgia lags behind, how the fight against Tennessee High School isn’t great will be a major subplot, especially since the health of receiver AD Mitchell remains in doubt. Tight end Brock Bowers gives Stetson Bennett massive safety cover, but they’ll need more vertical threat if they fall behind by several points against the top Tennessee team.
Liberty Arkansas (-14), 4 p.m.
Hugh Friese is back at the Securities and Exchange Commission for a match in a place he’s familiar with: Fayetteville, Arkansas. Coincidentally, the team that beat Arkansas last week (Auburn) just sacked their coach, and there’s definitely a chance that the job freeze will eventually end if some make it into the program.
The game to watch: Rahim Sanders against everyone. Sanders is one step closer to a quick college football title this season with an outstanding campaign. He already passed 1041 on the season averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
Clemson (-3.5) in Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.
Clemson QB DJ Uiagelele returns to where it all began. It was at Notre Dame in 2020 when he sprinted to the scene in what was ultimately a losing bid to fill in for injured Trevor Lawrence. The last time we saw the Clemson signal caller, he was put on the bench for backup while he struggled. He will start the game, but will he finish it?
The game to watch: Notre Dame’s offensive line against the Clemson Front. It doesn’t matter what happens to Clemson’s offense if the Irish fighter can’t score. They are a team in dire need of a playmaker beyond Michael Mayer and their traditional offensive line is none other than this season. That’s no good when you’re up against a completely talented Clemson forehead.
Alabama (-13.5) at LSU, 7 p.m.
That always has stakes, and as a big part of the SEC West Championship picture, it’s no different this year. LSU was left to die after a poor start to the season with two embarrassing losses against FSU and Tennessee, but the Tigers have improved a lot over the past few weeks. That test will be tough, but they have a frenzied Saturday night LSU crowd behind them in what will certainly be a formidable environment.
The game to watch: LSU’s offensive line against the Alabama Front. The status of the LSU line is no longer poor, but it still leaves little to be desired. Texas A&M University showed two weeks ago that if you can’t stop Bama, you’re going to have a bad time. The Tigers must be at their best up front for QB Jayden Daniels to help them keep up with Bryce Young.
Wake Forest (-3.5) in NC, 8 p.m.
Demon-deacons must simply put the stench of the very bad ninth week behind them. Six blows and two more falls were some of the weirdest losses you’ll see this past weekend.
The game to watch: Wake Forest Defense Against North Carolina Offense. With a reserve quarterback due to an injury Devin Leary, Wolfpack was limited in attack. But they’ll have to find a way to keep up with Wake as long as the Deacs score points the way they normally do.
Cal at USC (-21), 10:30 p.m.
How about some Pac-12 after dark? To end the night, unwind with some West Coast business. This isn’t a complete trap game, but USC has a slightly harder time beating Arizona than you might expect, so watch this before bed.
The game to watch: Both teams vs. turnover margin. These two teams live on transformations at an honestly amazing level, ie the ball could Bounce the cal theory and make this game fun. If it doesn’t, watch out for trojans to warp them as expected.