Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC
The college football season moves on, whether we’re ready to or not
Even if we’re not ready to stop litigating the loss to Wisconsin, the college football season inexorably marches on. It’s week five, and that means conference races across the college football landscape are starting to shape up.
B1G Games to Watch
No. 12 Penn State vs Maryland. Both teams are coming off bye weeks, and both teams are coming off disappointing performances in the week before that. Maryland took its first loss of the year to Temple, while Penn State was only able to muster a seven point victory against Pittsburgh. If Maryland comes out like they did against Syracuse, they have a chance in this one—especially if Penn State has a Pittsburgh hangover. If not, Penn State should cruise to a 10+ point victory. This game kicks off at 8:00 p.m. on Friday.
Minnesota vs Purdue. This matchup figures to be the closest game in the Big Ten this weekend, and the Vegas line proves it. Just about every sportsbook has this game as a pick ‘em or -1 either way. The Golden Gophers come in as an undefeated team, but they’ve had their fair share of close calls already this year—winning two of their games but just three points and the other game by seven. The Boilermakers have lost two of their first three, but had a strong performance against Vanderbilt. If you’re looking for a game in the 3:30 p.m. slot on Saturday, this one will be on ESPN2.
National Games to Watch
No. 18 Virginia vs No. 10 Notre Dame. One of the few matchups involving two Top-25 teams this weekend, this game pits a Virginia team with something to prove against a Notre Dame team looking for a bounce back win after a closer-than-I-expected loss last week to No. 3 Georgia. Virginia is undefeated and ranked No. 18, but none of their wins have been that impressive. The Cavaliers only beat Pittsburgh by 16, they only beat Florida State by 7, and they only beat Old Dominion by 11. A win against Notre Dame will quiet the critics, and that should have the team motivated and ready to compete. Can Virginia pick off Notre Dame? We’ll find out at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.
No. 21 USC vs No. 17 Washington. The other matchup of two Top-25 teams this weekend features teams who took losses early and are looking to keep moving forward. USC lost in overtime to BYU, 30-27, during week three, while Washington lost to Cal., 20-19, during week two. Both teams have strong offenses, with USC at No. 18 in the SP+ and Washington at No. 15, but Washington has the superior defense (No. 23) compared to USC (No. 52). If Washington can execute on both sides of the ball, they should win this one. With USC traveling to Washington for this game, they’ll need to jump out to a quick start or at least find a way to hang around to have a chance down the stretch. This game is at 3:30 p.m. on Fox.
Just because we’ve highlighted the five games above doesn’t mean they’re the only ones on TV this weekend. Below, we have a list of every Big Ten and Top-25 game taking place this weekend. All games take place on Saturday, unless noted.
Think we missed a game that deserved to be highlighted? Sound off in the comments with the game and why.