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College Football Watch Guide - Week 7

Wednesday football and a brand new face in the Top 25

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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?

Thursday, October 13

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Baylor @ West Virginia 6:00 PM FS1
Temple @ UCF 6:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN

Friday, October 14

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Navy @ SMU 6:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN
UTSA @ Florida International 7:00 PM CBSSN

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

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
#10 Penn State @ #5 Michigan 11:00 AM FOX
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
Colgate @ Army 11:00 AM CBSSN
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
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
#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
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
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
Rice @ Florida Atlantic 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
LSU @ Florida 6:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN
Utah State @ Colorado State 6:00 PM CBSSN
UL Monroe @ South Alabama 6:00 PM NFL Network
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
Memphis @ East Carolina 6:30 PM ESPN U WatchESPN
#7 USC @ #20 Utah 7:00 PM FOX
New Mexico @ New Mexico State 7:00 PM N/A N/A
North Carolina @ Duke 7:00 PM ACC Network
Washington State @ Oregon State 8:00 PM PAC-12 Network
Air Force @ UNLV 9:30 PM CBSSN
San Jose State @ Fresno State 9:45 PM FS1
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?

NCAA Football: Texas Tech At Oklahoma State The Oklahoman-USA TODAY Network

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.

NCAA Football: James Madison at Appalachian State David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

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!