Sports

Here Are The Five College Football Games You Need To Watch Today

College football fans got spoiled last weekend with a slate of match-ups that saw five of the best eight teams lose. And many of those games didn’t involve a team getting blown out–they were honest-to-God great games that kept fans on the edges of their seats throughout.

Week 7 features another good batch that’s set to shake things up even more. The SEC West is pitting their best against one another again, as well as the Big 12’s best so far and the Pac-12’s lone undefeated team doing battle, too. Here’s where you should direct your eyes this Saturday.

No. 13 Georgia vs. No. 23 Missouri, CBS: 12:00 p.m.

It says a lot about the SEC that this match-up would be considered the Big Ten’s conference game of the season, yet it’s only the third-best SEC game this weekend. Granted, it warrants watching because it could decide the SEC Championship’s sacrificial East victim. The key here is how Missouri stops Georgia’s running game, which should be easier since Todd Gurley went Johnny F*cking Football and got suspended. The Bulldogs are in a separate universe when it comes to playing it on the ground, but outside Missouri’s loss to Indiana, Missouri has given up no more than 154 rushing in a game, and held three teams to 119 yards or less. If Mizzou’s Maty Mauk can exploit the Bulldogs through the air (Georgia’s given up 188-plus receiving yards in four of its five games), then the Tigers can wedge themselves back into that vaunted East sacrificial lamb spot.

No. Auburn vs. No. Mississippi State, CBS: :30 p.m.

I don’t get why Mississippi State and Ole Miss are both ranked no. in the AP poll. I mean, I suppose I do, since they both received equal numbers of votes to warrant the designation, but I feel like it’s an affront to both schools, as if voters were like, “eh, they’re both from Mississippi and appear to be good, so here: make them both the same thing.” Rankings really don’t mean anything anymore, what with the college playoff utilizing its own voting commission, but still: take a stand and rank one higher than the other. At this point, I guess that equal ranking reflects my own ambivalence towards both schools. Perhaps a Bulldogs victory over Auburn will allow me and the people who actually vote to rank more insight into truly gauging which arbitrary ranking Mississippi State deserves on a weekly basis.

No. 9 TCU vs. No. Baylor, ABC/ESPN2: :30 p.m.

Don’t look now, but both TCU and Baylor sport the no. 7- and No. -ranked squads in average points allowed nationally. Somehow, that’s not a mistake. Both teams have prevented teams from scoring, which is a mix of playing bad teams (TCU: SMU, Samford; Baylor: SMU, Northwestern St.) and some semblance of defense. Their offenses on the other hand have been extremely potent, of course, with both scoring at least 42 points per game (Baylor leads the nation in points scored per game at 51), and averaging at least 320 yards passing per game. This game will cause a dent in that points allowed average, however, but I’m sure neither team cares as long as they have the chance to lay claim to the top spot in the Big 12.

No. Ole Miss vs. No. 14 Texas A&M, ESPN: 9:00 p.m.

There were a lot of fun pieces to read following Ole Miss’ victory over Alabama last weekend. The best probably came from SB Nation’s Steven Godfrey, who himself is an Ole Miss alum. The most surprisingly insightful part of the article–since all of it was great–was Ole Miss’ record against Alabama. The Rebels are 9-47- against the Crimson Tide, and that surprised me. Alabama is a power program historically, but Ole Miss really has been that bad that it couldn’t have turned that series into something relevant even during ‘Bama’s down years. The win was a win, but as Godfrey alluded to big wins for Mississippi usually portend a great season. A win over the Aggies here puts the Rebels into a spot even rarer than springing an upset on the Tide: national title consideration.

USC vs. No. 10 Arizona, ESPN2: 10:30 p.m.

That no. 10 ranking affixed to Arizona after they dispatched Oregon in Eugene seems suspect. The Wildcats merited a ranking for their upset win, but no. 10? Specious, despite the school’s -0 start. A win against USC–a team that’s ten points away from a top-ten ranking–will go a long way towards disproving that hesitation. But look beneath the surface a little bit more and Rich Rod’s program is turning into an offensive juggernaut: high-scoring and highly spread, a team that can pass and run with the help of its freshman quarterback, Anu Solomon. This game will likely be a shoot-out, as neither squad is known for its defense, but viewers of this late-night Pac-12 fireworks display would be incorrect for wanting anything else.

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