Most college football teams are entering conference play for the first time this weekend. Here are some of the notable matchups across the country.
No.19 Colorado (3-0) at No.10 Oregon (3-0), 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC
Colorado gets its next big test in Deion Sanders’ inaugural season, a week after surviving in double overtime against Colorado State. The Buffaloes have exceeded expectations thus far but will be without two-way star Travis Hunter after he suffered a lacerated liver last week. Oregon begins the season 3-0 after a 10-3 season a year ago, as quarterback Bo Nix tries to prove himself as a true Heisman Trophy candidate and lead his team to contention in the PAC-12.
No.22 UCLA (3-0) at No.11 Utah (3-0), 2:30 p.m. CT on FOX
True freshman Dante Moore has seized the UCLA starting quarterback job and flourished, throwing for 615 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception. He will be playing against the best defense he has faced so far, looking to prove UCLA is for real. Meanwhile, Utah has been playing without starting quarterback Cameron Rising, whose status has yet to be determined for this game. The Utes had some difficulties against Baylor but eventually eked out a win.
No.15 Ole Miss (3-0) at No.13 Alabama (2-1), 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS
Alabama is in unfamiliar territory as it sinks to the 13th ranking amid quarterback issues. The Crimson Tide got a battle from lowly South Florida last week and must be better to win this game. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin would love nothing more than to knock off former boss Nick Saban and establish Ole Miss as a truly elite offense in a loaded SEC.
No.14 Oregon State (3-0) at No.21 Washington State (3-0), 6 p.m. CT on FOX
Both teams are entering the game eager to prove themselves as legitimate competition in a loaded PAC-12 title race. Quarterbacks DJ Uiagalelei and Cameron Ward have led their teams to phenomenal starts, but which defense can step up when their team needs a stop?
No.6 Ohio State (3-0) at No.9 Notre Dame (4-0), 6:30 p.m. CT on NBC
This is the big game of the weekend. Ohio State has left more to be desired in two of its three games so far this season, while Notre Dame has been impressive on offense each week. Experience at quarterback may make a difference as Notre Dame leans on veteran Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman, and Ohio State starter Kyle McCord makes just his fourth start. The winner will assert itself as a legitimate national playoff contender early in the season.
No.24 Iowa (3-0) at No.7 Penn State (3-0), 6:30 p.m. CT on CBS
Iowa playing Penn State is always a good game to highlight, as the two have played many fantastic battles over the years. Both schools are known to have good defenses, but the road team is always at a disadvantage because of the atmosphere each school’s stadium provides. Iowa’s lack of offense has been an issue in recent seasons, but the Hawkeyes have still found a way to come out on top in the last two meetings. Can Cade McNamara help them pull off the upset on the road?