The first College Football Playoff rankings of the season were released earlier this week, so the stakes are higher and things are about to get serious heading into Week 11.
There are a handful of games on tap this week that could have major implications on the playoff picture. Let’s take a look.
College football Week 11 preview: Top games
*Rankings are from the College Football Playoff Top 25
There is no debate for who gets the “game of the week” designation on Saturday. It’s LSU at Alabama. Both teams are undefeated, both teams are equipped with Heisman contenders at quarterback and both are ranked inside the top three of the AP, Coaches and CFP polls. The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat to represent the West in the SEC title game. The Tigers haven’t beaten the Crimson Tide since 2011.
This is the game-of-the-week runner-up and a big one for the Big Ten. Both teams are undefeated, but this is Minnesota’s biggest test of the season. If the Gophers can pull off the upset at home, they would likely leap over a few teams in the next rankings and throw a wrench in Penn State’s plans. If the Nittany Lions win, it could improve their resume and further cement their place in the playoff picture.
The third game this weekend between two ranked teams is another Big Ten affair, with the Hawkeyes traveling to face the Badgers. This could be a low-scoring game as both sides have top defenses. The Hawkeyes are third in scoring defense, allowing 10.1 points per-game and Wisconsin is just behind at fourth, allowing 11.4 points per-game. Wisconsin has won three straight games vs. Iowa.
N.C. State isn’t a strong team this season, but because Clemson is on the outside of the top four for the College Football Playoff, the Tigers likely need to win every game from here on out. N.C. State isn’t a pushover though. The Wolfpack are 4-4 this season and undefeated at home. And with just four games left, the Wolfpack are fighting for bowl eligibility.
The American Athletic Conference seems to be in the lead to grab the Group of Five bid to the Cotton Bowl, but if its four ranked teams all beat up each other over the next month and Boise State wins out, it will have a case to steal the NY6 bid for the Mountain West. This week, the Broncos have a tough test in hosting the Cowboys for a late-night matchup. Wyoming is 6-2 this season and has a win over Missouri of the SEC.
College football preview: What to watch
Can Joe Burrow improve his Heisman push with a win over Alabama?
An LSU player hasn’t won the Heisman since Billy Cannon took home the trophy in 1959, but Burrow has the chance to end that drought and could improve his resume with a strong performance on the road this week in Tuscaloosa.
Burrow is third in the nation in passing efficiency, second in passing touchdowns, 21st in passing yards per-completion and second in passing yards. His impressive play from the pocket is a big reason why LSU has had an explosive offense this season. But Alabama, with the ninth best defense in the nation, presents a challenge. Burrow has already beaten Texas, Florida and Auburn this season. If he can add a fourth win over a top 10 team, he might be the favorite to take home college football’s highest individual honor.
GET READY FOR BAMA-LSU: Preview, how to watch and all-time series history for Alabama vs. LSU
Here’s who each undefeated team is playing this week…
- No. 1 Ohio State: vs. Maryland | Noon ET | FOX
- No. 4 Penn State: at No. 17 Minnesota | Noon ET | ABC
- No. 12 Baylor: at TCU | Noon ET | FS1
- No. 2 LSU: at No. 3 Alabama | 3:30 ET | CBS
- No. 5 Clemson at N.C. State | 7:30 ET | ABC
UNDEFEATED: Tracking the remaining unbeaten teams
College football rankings for Week 11: CFP, AP, Coaches poll
TV SCHEDULE: Game times and TV channels for every game
Week 11 college football TV schedule
All times Eastern. All schedules and networks subject to change.
Wednesday, Nov. 6
Thursday, Nov. 7
Friday, Nov. 8
Saturday, Nov. 9
No. 4 Penn State at No. 17 Minnesota | 12 p.m. | ABC
Vanderbilt at No. 10 Florida | 12 p.m. | ESPN
Florida State at Boston College | 12 p.m. | ACC Network
Maryland at No. 1 Ohio State | 12 p.m. | FOX
Texas Tech at West Virginia | 12 p.m. | ESPN2
Purdue at Northwestern | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network
UMass at Army | 12 p.m. | CBSSN
East Carolina at No. 25 SMU | 12 p.m. | ESPNU
Western Kentucky at Arkansas | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 12 Baylor at TCU | 12 p.m. | FS1
North Alabama at Monmouth | 12 p.m. | ESPN+
Georgia Tech at Virginia | 12:30 p.m. | ACC Network Extra
Yale at Brown | 12:30 p.m. | ESPN+
San Diego at Stetson | 1 p.m. | ESPN+
Harvard at Columbia | 1 p.m. | ESPN+
North Carolina A&T at Morgan State | 1 p.m. | ESPN3
Kennesaw State at Campbell | 1 p.m. | ESPN+
Gardner-Webb at Presbyterian | 1 p.m. | ESPN+
VMI at Furman | 1 p.m. | ESPN+
Howard at South Carolina State | 1:30 p.m. | ESPN3
Cornell at Penn | 1:30 p.m. | ESPN+
UTSA at Old Dominion | 2 p.m. | ESPN3
Morehead State at Valparaiso | 2 p.m. | ESPN+
Eastern Kentucky at Southeast Missouri State | 2 p.m. | ESPN3
Norfolk State at North Carolina Central | 2 p.m. | ESPN3
Bethune-Cookman at Delaware State | 2 p.m. | ESPN3
Jacksonville State at Tennessee Tech | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Stanford at Colorado | 3 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
Charlotte at UTEP | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
South Alabama at Texas State | 3 p.m. | ESPN3
Eastern Illinois at Tennessee State | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Youngstown State at South Dakota | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Missouri State at Southern Illinois | 3 p.m. | ESPN3
Illinois State at South Dakota State | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Alcorn State at Grambling | 3 p.m. | ESPN3
Wofford at Mercer | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Chattanooga at Samford | 3 p.m. | ESPN3
No. 2 LSU at No. 3 Alabama | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
No. 16 Kansas State at Texas | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN
Illinois at Michigan State | 3:30 p.m. | FS1
Southern California at Arizona State | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
UAB at Southern Miss | 3:30 p.m. | NFL Network
Louisville at Miami | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 19 Wake Forest at Virginia Tech | 3:30 p.m. | ACC Network
Georgia Southern at Troy | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
UConn at No. 20 Cincinnati | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN
East Tennessee State at Western Carolina | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Western Illinois at North Dakota State | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Princeton at Dartmouth | 3:30 p.m. | ESPNU
New Mexico State at Ole Miss | 4 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 18 Iowa at No. 13 Wisconsin | 4 p.m. | FOX
North Texas at Louisiana Tech | 4 p.m. | Stadium on Facebook
SE Louisiana at Central Arkansas | 4 p.m. | ESPN+
Houston Baptist at Nicholls | 4 p.m. | ESPN+
Sam Houston State at Abilene Christian | 4 p.m. | ESPN+
UT Martin at Austin Peay | 4 p.m. | ESPN+
Georgia State at UL Monroe | 5 p.m. | ESPN+
Indiana State at Northern Iowa | 5 p.m. | ESPN+
Incarnate Word at Stephen F. Austin | 5 p.m. | ESPN3
Florida International at Florida Atlantic | 6 p.m. | Stadium
Hampton at Charleston Southern | 6 p.m. | ESPN3
Missouri at No. 6 Georgia | 7 p.m. | ESPN
Washington State at California | 7 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
Appalachian State at South Carolina | 7 p.m. | ESPN2
Utah State at Fresno State | 7 p.m. | CBSSN
No. 5 Clemson at N.C. State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
No. 15 Notre Dame at Duke | 7:30 p.m. | ACC Network
Liberty at BYU | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU
Tennessee at Kentucky | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
Lamar at Northwestern State | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Iowa State at No. 9 Oklahoma | 8 p.m. | FOX
Wyoming at No. 22 Boise State | 10:15 p.m. | ESPN
Nevada at San Diego State | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN2
San Jose State at Hawai’i | 11 p.m. | Spectrum Sports
Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, USA Today, Bleacher Report, FanSided and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and is a member of APSE, USBWA and NASR. He’s on Twitter at @primetimeMitch.
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