#12 Georgia @ #23 Ole Miss 12 Noon Eastern ESPN/Watch ESPN
This is SEC football they way it was always meant to be. The Bulldogs and Rebels getting together to play some football on a late September Saturday afternoon is a time-honored tradition. Georgia comes in with the higher ranking and an undefeated record while Ole Miss is below .500 thanks to a brutal early season schedule, but don't let that fool you. The Rebels are the favorites in this contest and not because of any home field advantage. They are the better team and still being in the top 25 with a losing record is a testament to just how tough the opposition was to start their season. Look for Archie and Eli's alma mater to get back to .500 by the time this one draws to a close.
#11 Wisconsin @ #8 Michigan State 12 Noon Eastern Big Ten Network
If southern football is not your thing then the boys of the upper mid-west offer up an alternative that should be at least as appealing as the one in Dixie. Both the Badgers and the Spartans enter Saturday's game as unbeaten teams, and something has to give as the two schools open conference play. The two schools have not met on the gridiron since 2012 thanks to realignment in the Big Ten, now the teams will have a chance to renew what was shaping up to be a nice rivalry before it was interrupted a few seasons back. The trend up to that point was for single digit margins of victory and with the teams being very evenly matched again this year there is no reason to expect anything different in 2016. Look for Sparty to pull this one out by a field goal.
#19 Florida @ #14 Tennessee 3:30 PM Eastern CBS
The late afternoon finds us back down south for another big rivalry game. The Gators and Volunteers first played each other 100 years ago, but the rivalry between the two schools really started to heat up about the time that the other Manning quarterback arrived at Rocky Top. Those battles perennially had conference and national championship implications. Of late the stakes have not been as high and the games not nearly as competitive as they were in the 1990s. The University of Florida is currently riding an 11-game win streak in the series. Look for that one to change as the homestanding Volunteers get the monkey off their backs with a solid victory that vaults them closer to the top ten.
#18 LSU @ Auburn 6:00 PM Eastern ESPN
The Tigers are going to emerge victorious in this game, but which group of Tigers? The answer to that question might just be significant in determining the future employment of at least one head coach. Either Les Miles or Gus Mahlzahn is going to feel his seat get much warmer shortly after the final gun in this contest. Both men need to find success in short order to keep their alumni happy and their jobs safe. My SBN colleague Alex Kirshner has termed this game the Anxiety Bowl because of the career implications that both coaches face. Losing will not be the nail in the coffin for either coach but a victory will help one of them breathe a little easier. At the end of the day it will be the talent on Miles' roster that makes the difference.
Oklahoma State @ #16 Baylor 7:30 PM Eastern Fox
Interim Baylor head coach Jim Grobe gets his first taste of Big 12 football as the Bears welcome the Oklahoma State Cowboys to Waco. Neither team is playing up to the standard they have set for themselves in recent years. Both offenses have lost a bit of their punch but neither has lost the will to do battle. The game should feature enough offense to get Big 12 fans excited, but don't expect a 700-yard output by either school like the game last year featured. By the time the lights go out on this one, Coach Grobe will have notched his first conference win.
#17 Arkansas @ #10 Texas A&M 9:00 PM Eastern ESPN/Watch ESPN
When you are Jerry Jones you don't have to travel back to Arkansas to watch your school play, you can bring them to your palace to perform against one of the in-state programs and turn a nice profit at the same time. Kevin Sumlin has this year's Aggie team riding high and they are ready to make a run at Alabama for the SEC West crown. To do that they will have to get past a Razorback team that always seems to battle the Ags right down to the wire. If history holds true then this is going to be the exciting finish of the weekend. A&M will notch another tally in the victory column, but it could take an overtime performance for them to do so.
And now for the trap game of the week:
#3 Louisville @ Marshall 8:00 PM Eastern CBS SN
On paper this is a game that the Cardinals win handily. ESPN jokingly asked if Louisville could put 100 points on the board against the Thundering Herd. I say not so fast.
Last weekend's triumph over Florida State was the biggest win in Louisville's football history and there have been plenty of distractions surrounding the rise of the Cardinals. That can cause problems, as can facing a less talented team after dominating a national title contender. If the team comes in taking Marshall lightly this could be the biggest week in the Herd's football history. In spite of a lopsided loss at the hands of an explosive Akron team last week (caused primarily by careless ball handling by quarterback Chase Litton) Marshall does have the ability to run up and down the field with the Cards. They actually out-gained the Zips last weekend. Having a home crowd behind them can make all the difference if Louisville comes out sloppy. Serious national contenders have to put these lesser opponents away early. This is a much more important test than many people realize. If the Herd is within 10 points as the first quarter begins a lot of minds in Huntington, West Virginia, are going to be thinking upset and their Kentucky neighbors from a couple hours down the road are going to be pretty nervous.