Things have been pretty crummy here in Hawkeyeland lately. Not many people expected a quarterback and offense that struggled last year to suddenly transform into Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. But I don’t think anybody expected the cratering we’re experiencing this year.
But Iowa’s offense can’t hurt us this week as the Hawks have their bye, which means we can focus solely on other games across the country. Week Seven actually got underway Wednesday night, with Louisiana @ Marshall. Wednesday football is so great for the simple fact that it’s so out of the ordinary. What otherwise would have been your regular, run of the mill hump day, is now capped off with the Ragin’ Cajuns and Thundering Herd. It’s like when you were a kid and after a long day at school your parents surprised you with McDonald’s for supper, for no other reason besides it being a nice treat.
What other nice treats will we have this weekend?
I’m grouping Thursday and Friday together this week because there just isn’t a lot of excitement with any of the games. Baylor has dropped out of the top 25 after suffering two losses, and their match with West Virginia is the highlight of the weeknight lineup.
Saturday, October 15
|#10 Penn State @ #5 Michigan||11:00 AM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|Auburn @ #9 Ole Miss||11:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|#19 Kansas @ Oklahoma||11:00 AM||ESPN 2||WatchESPN|
|Iowa State @ #22 Texas||11:00 AM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Minnesota @ #24 Illinois||11:00 AM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Colgate @ Army||11:00 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Central Michigan @ Akron||11:00 AM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Miami (OH) @ Bowling Green||11:00 AM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Old Dominion @ Coastal Carolina||11:00 AM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Miami @ Virginia Tech||11:30 AM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|Buffalo @ UMass||12:00 PM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|California @ Colorado||1:00 PM||PAC-12 Network||PAC-12.com|
|UConn @ Ball State||1:00 PM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|Vanderbilt @ #1 Georgia||2:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|#3 Alabama @ #6 Tennessee||2:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#8 Oklahoma State @ #13 TCU||2:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|#15 NC State @ #18 Syracuse||2:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Arkansas @ BYU||2:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Gardner-Webb @ Liberty||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Maryland @ Indiana||2:30 PM||ESPN 2||WatchESPN|
|Northern Illinois @ Eastern Michigan||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Kent State @ Toledo||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Ohio @ Western Michigan||2:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Texas State @ Troy||2:30 PM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|Charlotte @ UAB||2:30 PM||N/A||N/A|
|Western Kentucky @ Middle Tennessee||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|#25 James Madison @ Georgia Southern||3:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Wisconsin @ Michigan State||3:00 PM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|Tulane @ South Florida||3:00 PM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Louisiana Tech @ North Texas||3:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Arizona @ Washington||4:30 PM||PAC-12 Network||PAC-12.com|
|Rice @ Florida Atlantic||5:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|LSU @ Florida||6:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Utah State @ Colorado State||6:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|UL Monroe @ South Alabama||6:00 PM||NFL Network||NFL.com|
|Arkansas State @ Southern Miss||6:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|#4 Clemson @ Florida State||6:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|#16 Mississippi State @ #22 Kentucky||6:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Stanford @ Notre Dame||6:30 PM||NBC||Peacock|
|Nebraska @ Purdue||6:30 PM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Memphis @ East Carolina||6:30 PM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|#7 USC @ #20 Utah||7:00 PM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|New Mexico @ New Mexico State||7:00 PM||N/A||N/A|
|North Carolina @ Duke||7:00 PM||ACC Network||FOXSports.com|
|Washington State @ Oregon State||8:00 PM||PAC-12 Network||PAC-12.com|
|Air Force @ UNLV||9:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|San Jose State @ Fresno State||9:45 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Nevada @ Hawaii||10:59 PM||N/A||N/A|
Saturday starts off with a great one in the Big Ten East. FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff comes to us from Ann Arbor for #10 Penn State @ #5 Michigan. While Ohio State is the clear favorite out east, one of these teams will be the Buckeyes’ biggest challenger, so this weekend’s game will be hugely important.
#19 Kansas remains ranked for the second straight and faces an Oklahoma Sooners team reeling from a blowout loss to Texas. The Sooners are one of the biggest disappointments so far this year, dropping all the way from #6 in week four to now unranked. It’s amazing we’ve lived to see the Jayhawks, of all teams, come in to the game ranked higher than their neighbors to the south. #22 Texas, meanwhile, hosts Iowa State on ABC.
Minnesota @ #24 Illinois sees the Illini enter the top-25 after downing offensive superpower Iowa last week. Again, trends we saw earlier in the season have been turned on their heads. Just a few weeks ago Minnesota was the talk of the Big Ten West and now Illinois has jumped to the top of the division.
Ain’t college football great?
The afternoon features three, count ‘em three, top 25 showdowns right off the bat. #3 Alabama @ #6 Tennessee, #8 Oklahoma State @ #13 TCU, and #15 NC State @ #18 Syracuse all kick off at 2:30 pm. It’s great to see games with ranked opponents from three separate conferences within the same window, or frustrating unless you don’t mind hopping from one channel to another. But this is only a problem when games take commercial breaks at the same time, which of course never ever happens.
Now, anyone can crack the AP’s top list given years of established success. But I doubt anyone has ever done it faster than #25 James Madison. The Dukes, who visit Georgia Southern, are ranked after playing only five games at the FBS level. It’s an incredible achievement, as the commonly held belief was that teams making the jump from FCS would experience some growing pains. But James Madison is sitting at first place in the Sun Belt, and they look to continue their success this weekend.
Is it just me or does Clemson never play a game earlier than 6:00 pm? Each week the Tigers seem to always be playing an evening game. This time it’s #4 Clemson @ Florida State. The Seminoles have fallen a bit of late after a hot start, and they’ll have their work cut out for them as Clemson has impressed all season long.
#16 Mississippi State @ #22 Kentucky will be a fun SEC bout, and #7 USC @ #20 Utah will provide some entertainment, as Lincoln Riley’s team looks to knock off last year’s Pac-12 champ. Back here in Big Ten country Nebraska @ Purdue is the only conference game Saturday evening but I wouldn’t exactly call in prime time. Purdue still has a chance at a West division crown...hell even Nebraska does with how trash this division is. For that matter, so does Iowa, mathematically speaking.
Elsewhere, Saturday night features plenty of Mountain West action (“MWaction”?), with Washington State @ Oregon State filling the power 5 spot. Or, depending on these teams’ and the Pac-12’s future, more MWaction.
Enjoy the bye week, Hawkeye fans!