Five games Ohio State football fans should pay attention to during the Buckeyes’ bye week

Cleveland 1 month ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State's 6-0 heading into its first off-week this season, but there are still plenty of college football games that fans should be keeping an eye on.

This week features matchups with possible College Football Playoff and Heisman Trophy implications. Here are five noteworthy games to watch on Saturday:

Oklahoma vs. Texas, noon, Fox

There are six teams right now that have a realistic shot at making it into the College Football Playoff and one could be eliminated from consideration this weekend. Oklahoma is on pace to have its quarterback take home the Heisman Trophy for the third-straight season. Jalen Hurts could be the second Heisman candidate to knock off Sam Ehlinger and the Texas Longhorns when the two face off on Saturday at noon.

The two split games last season with Oklahoma winning 39-27 in the Big 12 Championship game. Though that win wasn't enough to get them in the playoff similar to the Buckeyes being left out as the Big Ten Champion, with the way five of the top six teams in the country are playing — and Clemson still undefeated as the reigning champions — any loss would be hard to make up at this point. This game will be Oklahoma's toughest challenge this regular season with Hurts under center.

Wisconsin vs. Michigan State, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

Michigan State's defensive line is second only to Ohio State's in the Big Ten and still, J.K. Dobbins ran for 172 yards and a score on 24 carries. Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor may be the only running back in the conference better than Dobbins and now he'll have his chance to match or outperform those numbers.

Wisconsin is putting itself in a position to be in the conversation for a spot in the College Football Playoff. But to do that, it'll need to be undefeated when it comes to Columbus in two weeks.

Penn State vs. Iowa, 7:30 p.m., ABC

With how the Big Ten is shaping out, Ohio State has two real challenges left on its schedule in the regular season. The Badgers are facing a team that the Buckeyes handled with ease after a rough third quarter. While Penn State is facing a team that the Buckeyes could face in the Big Ten Championship. The Nittany Lions may be the team best equipped in the conference to compete with Ohio State.

But it also needs a statement win this season over a ranked team. Iowa checks off both of those boxes in this primetime matchup.

Alabama vs. Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., CBS

Alabama has had its way with every team it's played so far, but they also haven't played a quality opponent. Meanwhile, Texas A&M ended up with the preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams on its schedule this season. The scenario around this game could be considered a trap game with the Crimson going into College Station. But more than likely, they'll win this game, but should be challenged at times more than they have all season.

This game is their first real test this season, but they may not play a team capable of beating them until LSU comes to town on Nov. 9.

LSU vs. Florida, 8 p.m., ESPN

There are a lot of big games this week, but this one without a doubt tops the list. This is the second time that LSU has faced a team in the top 10. While Florida is without its starting quarterback Feleipe Franks for the rest of the season, the combination of Kyle Trask and Emory Jones has proven to be serviceable. A win for Gators could see them shoot up into the top five in the AP Poll. A win for the Tigers and they may sit at the top of that poll while quarterback Joe Burrow takes the lead in the Heisman race.

Unlike Oklahoma vs. Texas, this game shouldn't be viewed as a win or go home scenario. Both of these teams have two of the hardest schedules in the country. This game is the second-straight week that Florida has played a top ten teams, and they'll face Georgia on Nov. 2. LSU still has three other teams currently ranked in the top 25 on its schedule, including Alabama.

It also gives Buckeye fans a chance to cheer for Joe Burrow on primetime television again.

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