GAME OF THE WEEK: Michigan State vs. #7 Michigan - 7:30 PM (ET) ABC
This is always a really fun game to watch because even if the Spartans are unranked, they’ll give their best to the Wolverines. Michigan isn’t taking the 3-1 Spartans lightly either. Both teams have a lot riding on a victory:
“The reasons people are paying attention to this weekend's matchup goes beyond just rivalry now.
For Michigan State (3-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) and Mark Dantonio, this game has the chance to be a signature win of the season and give them their second conference win (only one a season ago).
For Michigan (4-0, 1-0), Harbaugh has the chance to notch a winning record against the Spartans (2-1) and find out if he has the starting quarterback for the rest of the season in John O’Korn.
With the chance to put the last memory in the Big House between the two teams behind them, Michigan is suddenly playing in a high stakes games with the Spartans many didn’t see coming into 2017.”
SEC Showdown in College Station: #1 Alabama vs. Texas A&M- 7:15 PM (ET) ESPN
The SEC’s cream of the crop doesn’t include the Aggies just yet but they’ll be looking to put up a good fight against the best team in the country. The problem is how do you stop a team like Alabama:
“What’s the blueprint this week? Hard to say, since no one has beaten the Tide this season. Florida State came the closest at the start of the year, losing 24-7. The Noles struggled to get much going offensively, but the Tide were worse in efficiency. FSU also did a good job of limiting their points/opportunity, and if not for 3 bad turnovers and some explosive passing by Alabama (and Deondre Francois getting murdered), it might have been even closer.
With all that said, this Alabama squad is clicking a lot better offensively than it was in Week 1. If we sell out to stop the run, the secondary will probably give up some big plays, but I think it might be our only chance.”
BIG 12 Battles: #23 West Virginia vs. #8 TCU, 3:30 PM (ET) FS1
We get some good BIG 12 games this weekend starting with the Mountaineers and Horned Frogs. It’s currently a 13-point spread in favor of TCU but two Top-25 teams could make it a lot tighter.
“13 points is way to large a spread for this matchup between two Top 25 teams. The Eers haven’t really been tested since the opening weekend of the season, when they laid an egg offensively against Virginia Tech. After hearing about how bad their defense is for two weeks, they should have an inspired effort on the big stage, and I expect them to have made some adjustments to improve that facet of their game. Offensively, they present a difficult challenge for the TCU secondary, as Grier can really sling it and throws a beautiful deep ball. It’s not all that different than the game in Stillwater, other than this time it’s the Eers coming to town with their backs against the wall.
If we are to truly believe in the 2017 Horned Frogs, this is the game that shows us why. It’s one thing to win a big game on the big stage as an underdog, it’s something entirely different to keep winning. And that’s what TCU needs to do Saturday.”
Battle of Struggling Offenses: Kansas State vs. Texas Longhorns, 7 PM (ET) FS1
The Texas Longhorns started out their BIG 12 play with a big win against Iowa State. This week, Kansas State will be coming to town to matchup with the surging Longhorn defense. One thing will be stopping the Wildcats’ quarterback Jesse Ertz:
“He's so impressive,” said defensive coordinator Todd Orlando on Wednesday. “I went back and watched multiple years of film. He's dynamic in terms of running the ball. He really can turn it on. He's got great vision. He's instinctive.”
“You can sit there and have a guy 1-on-1 against him and a majority of the time he's going to make you miss,” Orlando said. “Our kids absolutely respect his game. I do, personally, as a coach because I've been doing this a very long time. He plays with an unbelievable savvy.”
A Downward Spiral: LSU @ #21 Florida Gators, 3:30 PM (ET) CBS
LSU has been in a tailspin after losing to Troy State in their “Homecoming game”. LSU is dealing with all kinds of consistency issues and it won’t get any easier with travelling to the Gators. However, the Gators are dealing with a big blow to their receiving corps:
“Florida Gators sophomore wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland has been a burgeoning star and big-play threat for the Gators practically since his enrollment in 2016. Now, for the first time, it seems he’ll miss a game due to injury: Florida’s Jim McElwain told reporters in his Monday press conference that Cleveland will be “out, or expected to be out” for Saturday’s game with LSU, and perhaps longer, with a high ankle sprain.
Cleveland left Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt at multiple junctures with injuries, but did not return after having his legs caught under a tackler on a play in the fourth quarter.
McElwain revealed that Cleveland is in “a boot” — likely a walking boot to stabilize his sprained ankle — but also joked that the high ankle sprain, typically an injury that takes up to a month to heal, would keep Cleveland out until spring practice, so it’s hard to say his prognosis is fully medically accurate.”
Will LSU be able to take on a weakened offense? Will this downward spiral continue for the Tigers?
To check out all of the game times and TV channels, go here.