Week 11 of the College Football season is somewhat of a lull over last week’s lineup. With only a single ranked matchup on the season, most of the teams playing in the Top-25 have pretty lukewarm competition. Here is the rundown:
Game of the Week: #19 SMU (7-1) @ Tulsa (3-1)
SMU and Tulsa have been one of the most entertaining matchups for the past few years, as every game since 2016 has ended with less than a one-score lead. Last year saw SMU come back from a 21-point deficit to take a victory away from the Golden hurricane in 3OT. While SMU is the main team to talk about on the offensive side with over 500 average yards per game and 40 points per game, Tulsa is no pushover either. They average over 400 yards per game themselves and have scored 30+ points in 4 of their last 5 games. Tulsa also boasts a pretty underrated secondary and sneaky coverage ability against the passing game, which will be fun to watch as SMU QB Shane Buechele will have to lead the passing attack through such a dangerous defense. This will be one of the more entertaining games on the schedule for a rather lacking week.
Game to Watch: #9 Miami U (6-1) @ Virginia Tech (4-3)
Miami is currently on the outside looking in. Being defeated handily by Clemson, and overshadowed by Notre Dame, Miami is sitting at third place in the ACC race to the conference championship and little talk has risen on their ability to crack into a championship berth. Virginia Tech is sitting at 5th place, though a victory could move them to 4th. Both teams boast dominant offenses, though Virginia Tech has seen struggles on the defensive side of the ball. In fact, V Tech is one of the absolute worst teams to stop the run, averaging over 200 yards allowed per game. Not the best situation when facing an explosive offense led by one of the best scrambling QBs in the nation. Expect this game to be a shootout.
#2 Notre Dame (7-0) @ Boston College (5-3)
Wake Forest (4-2) @ North Carolina (5-2)
American Conference Preview
Game to Watch: #19 SMU @ Tulsa
Memphis (4-2) @ Navy (3-4)
Big XII Preview
Game to Watch: TCU (3-3) @ West Virginia (4-3)
Only two games in the Big XII are happening this week, and neither are with the top five teams in the conference. TCU and West Virginia is the only game worth paying attention to, but this game does little to change the Big XII landscape at the moment.
Big Ten Preview
Game to Watch: #23 Northwestern (3-0) @ Purdue (2-0)
With a condensed season for the Big Ten, any matchup that pits first place and second place against each other can send ripple effects across the entire conference. Northwestern is first in the Western Division, Purdue second. Winner takes the lead and holds a championship spot moving forward. Big talking point is the piss poor nature the defense for Purdue currently is in. allowing over 450 yards per game could be a shot in the foot against a ranked team.
#3 Ohio State (3-0) @ Maryland (2-1)
#13 Wisconsin (1-0) @ Michigan (1-2)
Game to Watch: Rice (1-1) @ Louisiana Tech (4-3)
A Rice team that has been plagued with postponed games will be looking to break the current 6 game losing streak they have against division rival Louisiana Tech. The last time Rice beat L Tech was November of 2013. They have a shot this week as Louisiana Tech has struggled significantly on the defensive side: allowing over 400 yard per game and over 30 points allowed per game.
UTEP (3-3) @ UTSA (4-4)
Game to Watch: Toledo (1-0) @ Western Michigan (1-0)
Aside from Central Michigan, both of these teams are looking to break the starting tie for the Western Division in the MAC, and a victory here could see either Toledo or Western Michigan taking that spot early in the season. Both teams are coming off convincing victories from last week, and both have shown good offenses and defenses. This is very much a game that will change the landscape of the MAC’s condensed season.
Miami O (1-0) @ Buffalo (1-0)
Mountain West Preview
Game to Watch: Hawai’i (2-1) @ San Diego State (2-1)
Both teams in this game are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Mountain West front runners. Unless one of the teams in front of them lose, neither team will move up with a victory. If Boise State or Nevade loses, both of these teams could crack the top three of the conference. Point to be made is that both teams have performed well on the offensive side of the ball, but Hawai’i is performing poorly on the defensive side of the ball.
Colorado State (1-1) @ Boise State (2-1)
Air Force (1-2) @ Wyoming (1-2)
Game to Watch: #11 Oregon (1-0) @ Washington State (1-0)
Oregon is THE team in the Pac-12. They are the lone team who can potentially slip into the College Football Playoffs, but must figure out how to convince a committee that is in love with the SEC they deserve to be there with only six games. So far against a weak Stanford team, they have shown they can put up numbers on the offensive side of the ball. This week they must figure out if they can contain a very dangerous and highly balanced offense in Washington State. Both teams have shown to have lapses in defense, so this could end up a shoot out.
Utah (0-0) @ UCLA (0-1)
#20 USC (1-0) @ Arizona (0-0)
Game to Watch: Arkansas @ #6 Florida
Arkansas sits at a hard crossroads of their season. They have alternated win-loss-win-loss and sit at 3-3 as of right now. If they wish to finish the season with a winning record, they must win three of their last four which includes this week’s matchup against Florida, and the season-ender against Alabama. If Arkansas wishes to have any hope of staying in the SEC race, they must pull out a victory this weak. Florida is coming off a dominant win against then-#5 Georgia, and are going against one of the worst tackling teams with Arkansas.
#24 Auburn (4-2) @ Mississippi State (2-4)
#1 Alabama (6-0) @ LSU (2-3)
South Carolina (2-4) @ Ole Miss (2-4)
Sun Belt Preview
Game to Watch: Georgia State (3-3) @ Appalachian State (5-1)
While #15 Coastal Carolina and Troy would be a game people might say should be the game to watch, even if Coastal Carolina loses it would not change their lead in the Eastern Division. A Troy win here though, could knock Georgia Southern down and have Troy climb into third play behind App State. If this were to occur, Troy could have a chance to push into the lead in the future, and hold the tiebreaker over Appalachian State should that be needed. All in all, Troy has a lot more to gain from a victory over the other three teams in the conversation.