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Seven Other College Football Games to Watch Besides Penn State-Ohio

Hope you all are night owls.

NCAA Football: Boise State at Oregon State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Didn’t last week feel incredible? I don’t know about you, but I spent 12 full hours taking in college football and was a better person for it. The best part, though? That was only the beginning — it was just Week 1! “We” get to do it all again this Saturday!

I say “we” in quotes because “I” don’t get to partake because I have a wedding at 4:30. But, hey, I am still happy for the rest of you.

No. 1 Alabama at Texas
12:00 p.m. — FOX

Granted this game is on at the same time as the Penn State game, but hopefully the Nittany Lions boat race Ohio so you can flip back to this game every once in a while. While Alabama is nearly a three-touchdown favorite, Texas certainly doesn’t lack talent with Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson, and Xavier Worthy on its offense. Also, you have the added bonus of Nick Saban going against one of his former assistants — Steve Sarkisian.

Prediction: Alabama 45, Texas 21

No. 24 Tennessee at No. 17 Pitt
3:30 p.m. — ABC

With an over/under of 64.5 points set, this should be an up-and-down affair led by two pretty solid quarterbacks in Hendon Hooker and Kedon Slovis. Beyond the fact the game itself should be high-scoring though, this is also impactful to Pitt’s hopes of an undefeated season. Haha, yes I know that sounds like a joke, but look at their schedule: the next ranked team they play is at No. 15 Miami on November 26. If Pitt wins tomorrow, they very well could be looking at an 11-0 start — I think I’m going to be sick.

Prediction: Pitt 34, Tennessee 31

No. 25 Houston at Texas Tech
4:00 p.m. — FS1

The Houston Cougars survived UTSA last weekend, and now head to Lubbock for another in-state matchup. Personally, I’m super intrigued by what Texas Tech is doing under longtime Texas high school football coach Joey McGuire. Obviously, the x’s-and-o’s are supremely important to how successful a program is, but I think having the right culture fit isn’t too far behind. From all accounts, McGuire fits really well at Tech, and nothing would boost his stock more than an early season upset of a strong Houston squad.

Prediction: Texas Tech 31, Houston 24

No. 20 Kentucky at No. 12 Florida
7:00 p.m. — ESPN

Normally, this would seem like a prime spot to pick a Kentucky upset. Florida’s coming off a pretty emotional win over Utah, and you wonder if they can bounce back even if it’s another ranked opponent coming to The Swamp. But two things favor the Gators here:

  1. The late kick helps them as far as not coming out flat.
  2. Kentucky will likely be without All-SEC running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. again. As much as the media loves Will Levis, Rodriguez Jr. is who drives the Wildcats offense. If he doesn’t play, it might be hard for Kentucky to score enough to win.

Prediction: Florida 27, Kentucky 17

No. 10 USC at Stanford
7:30 p.m. — ABC

Lincoln Riley, Caleb Williams, and the rest of the Transfer Portal Crew cruised to a 66-14 shellacking of Rice last week. They’ll have a bit of a stiffer test this week as they go on the road to Stanford, but I don’t know — I don’t get the warm and fuzzies looking at where David Shaw’s program is headed. The Trojans are somehow only 8.5-point favorites, so maybe Vegas knows something I don’t?

Prediction: USC 42, Stanford 17

No. 9 Baylor at No. 21 BYU
10:15 p.m. — ESPN

Is it even controversial to say that this is the best game of the day? Like I have no doubts this is going to be a one-possession game heading into the fourth quarter. Sneaky good quarterback matchup here too between Baylor’s Blake Shapen and BYU’s Jaren Hall.

Prediction: Baylor 28, BYU 24

Oregon State at Fresno State
10:30 p.m. — CBSSN

Don’t look now but Jonathan Smith is building a really solid program at Oregon State — as evidenced by their 34-17 beatdown of Boise State last Saturday night. Can I call them darkhorse Pac-12 contenders? Because I’m going to. Meanwhile, Fresno State is led by one of the better quarterbacks in the country in Jake Haener. Add in the fact this is taking place at Fresno — shoutout Pat Hill’s “anybody, anytime, anywhere” — and this game is going to be loads of PAC-AFTER-DARK fun.

Prediction: Oregon State 33, Fresno State 28