We’re beginning to get a clearer picture of what the race for the College Football Playoff will look like. With conference play finally beginning for most teams, true contenders will begin to emerge. Last week’s games left something to be desired, but this week the slate is absolutely loaded. All games will be listed chronologically and all times listed are Central Time. All rankings reflect the AP Poll.
Thursday September 29
UConn @ #6 Houston
TDECU Stadium – Houston, TX
Why you should watch: Weird, crazy things tend to happen in Thursday night games. Houston is looking to run the table and have a shot at making the Playoff. UConn is looking to get back to a bowl game for the second straight year.
Friday September 30
#7 Stanford @ #10 Washington
Husky Stadium – Seattle, WA
Why you should watch: It’s a pair of top 10 teams. This game will probably decide the outcome of the Pac-12 North division. Christian McCaffery has been unstoppable for Stanford and Chris Petersen finally seems to have gotten it rolling at Washington.
Saturday October 1
#22 Texas @ Oklahoma State
Boone Pickens Stadium – Stillwater, OK
Why you should watch: Texas had a bye week to attempt to correct some defensive issues, which if they’re able to do so, could lead to a run at the Big XII title. Oklahoma State’s season has fallen off the rails with losses to Central Michigan and Baylor.
Navy @ Air Force
Falcon Stadium – Colorado Springs, CO
Why you should watch: Not only are they service academies, they’re also both undefeated. Troy Calhoun and Ken Niumatalolo are criminally underrated coaches. Both schools also run the triple option. Both teams are playing for the Commander In Chief’s Trophy (along with Army).
#11 Tennessee @ #25 Georgia
Sanford Stadium – Athens, GA
Why you should watch: After beating Florida last week, Tennessee could grab a stranglehold on the SEC East with a win against the Dawgs. Georgia will still be smarting from the beating they took in Oxford last Saturday. The Verne Lundquist Farewell Tour enters its fifth week.
#8 Wisconsin @ #4 Michigan
Michigan State – Ann Arbor, MI
Why you should watch: The second of three top 10 matchups this week. Wisconsin comes in having already won two massive games (against LSU and Michigan State). It’s the first real test of the season for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.
Oklahoma @ #21 TCU
Amon G. Carter Stadium – Ft. Worth, TX
Why you should watch: TCU seems to have bounced back after a tough OT loss against Arkansas. Oklahoma had a bye week to figure things out after getting mashed by Houston and Ohio State in the first three weeks.
Memphis @ #16 Ole Miss
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium – Oxford, MS
Why you should watch: After Memphis crushed Ole Miss last year, this may be turning into a real rivalry game. Memphis’ offense has been explosive under new coach Mike Norvell, but Ole Miss will be the best defense they have faced yet.
#3 Louisville @ #5 Clemson
Memorial Stadium – Clemson, SC
Why you should watch: The biggest game of the week. A matchup of top 5 teams. Preseason Hesiman Trophy favorite DeShaun Watson takes on current Heisman Trophy favorite Lamar Jackson. Bobby Petrino and Dabo Swinney are two of the best coaches in the game.