Our weekly gameday guide features nuggets on some of the weekend’s biggest college football matchups, starting with our viewing suggestions:
Lamest time window: Prime time. Use a mediocre evening slate as an excuse to go out for dinner.
Noon: No. 12 Notre Dame faces No. 18 Wisconsin at Chicago’s Soldier Field. The Fighting Irish are 9-0 in these Shamrock Series neutral-site games.
3:30: No. 16 Arkansas has a legitimate chance of toppling No. 7 Texas A&M in the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. Keep an eye, too, on whether Mike Norvell’s Seminoles show any life against Louisville.
7: It’s still Florida-Tennessee, even though the No. 11 Gators have won 15 of the last 16 in this alleged rivalry.
7:30: Quarterback Spencer Rattler hasn’t been as dominant as expected for No. 4 Oklahoma. A trip to West Virginia could change that; the Mountaineers have given up at least 52 points in their last four games in the series.
10:15: Will USF’s Timmy McClain cement himself as the starting quarterback against one of the season’s most impressive teams, No. 15 BYU?
No. 9 Clemson: The Tigers have the nation’s No. 105 scoring offense (22 points per game) and face North Carolina State’s top-10 scoring defense in a tricky place to play.
No. 14 Iowa State: No, 3-0 Baylor has not played anyone of note. But the Bears have a top-10 scoring defense and held Kansas to 166 yards of offense — the fewest they’ve allowed to a conference opponent in 31 years.
No. 20 Michigan State: Nebraska scared Oklahoma last week. Maybe Scott Frost’s Cornhuskers are making enough progress to knock off the surprisingly undefeated Spartans?
No. 19 Michigan: Former Bucs coach Greg Schiano has brought Rutgers back to respectability, and his 3-0 Scarlet Knights took the Wolverines to triple overtime last year. Rutgers probably won’t win, but this one might be closer than you think.
Eye on the NFL draft
A recent, ridiculously early mock draft from CBS has the Bucs selecting Arkansas defensive back Jalen Catalon. Beyond Catalon, the Texas A&M-Arkansas game has at least four other potential first-round picks: Razorbacks receiver Treylon Burks and Aggies offensive tackle Kenyon Green, defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal and tight end Jalen Wydermyer.
Local of the week
Iowa linebacker/safety Dane Belton (Jesuit High)
Belton recorded his first career interception earlier this season and starts on a defense that ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring and turnovers forced. The junior will try to help the No. 5 Hawkeyes past Colorado State to extend their winning streak to 10 games — the program’s longest since 2015.
Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan will be facing his former team, Wisconsin. Coan was one of the most accurate passers in Badgers history and went 12-6 as a starter there before transferring. If he’s going to earn bragging rights over his ex-teammates, his Irish will have to improve from an unremarkable 3-0 start with wins over FSU, Toledo and Purdue.
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