1. #25 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers vs. Georgia Southern Eagles (9:00 AM PT, ESPNU)
If you haven’t caught a Sun Belt game yet this season, you’re severely missing out on a great college football conference. The games are energetic, the scores are high and the stakes are higher, with the league so competitively balanced. Coastal Carolina hopped into the Top 25, led by a stellar offense that’s posting 40.8 points per game, good enough for 11th in the land. But Georgia Southern is the real deal at 3-1, with their only defeat coming at the hands of then-ranked Louisiana on a walk-off field goal.
2. Ole Miss Rebels vs. Auburn Tigers (9:00 AM PT, SECN)
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin has surely brought excitement to Ole Miss, as well as maybe the country’s most eclectic offense, but the Rebels defense is just really hurting this group. For Gus Malzahn, that could be just the open door that the Tigers need to right their ship at the moment, after a trying 2-2 start. This should be an incredibly fun SEC battle. Lane Train and the Gus Bus.
3. Tennessee Volunteers vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12:30 PM PT, CBS)
Behind Texas, there’s no team except Alabama whose offense has been more prolific this year, yet somehow, the Crimson Tide’s usually stingy defense has been shockingly lackluster. Tennessee could pose an interesting challenge for Nick Saban and company, as Jeremy Pruitt becomes the next former Saban assistant to take a shot at breaking the former helpers’ winless mark.
4. Pittsburgh Panthers vs. #3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12:30 PM PT, ABC)
Talk about heartbreak. Pittsburgh has lost three games by a combined 14 points this season, after starting the year 3-0. They now welcome unbeaten Notre Dame to town, who barely skated by Louisville in an ugly showdown last week. The Panthers are a solid squad, but they didn’t have enough to get over the hump without QB Kenny Pickett. Can they muster an upset of the Irish?
5. #6 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #17 Iowa State Cyclones (12:30 PM PT, FOX)
Iowa State has buried their season-opening defeat to Louisiana with three straight Big 12 victories, including a stellar upset over Oklahoma. Now, the Cyclones are an enigmatic group who will travel to Stillwater in a meeting of two unbeaten squads in conference play. When Oklahoma State is firing on all cylinders, there’s real belief that this is a playoff-level group. But Mike Gundy and company still have work to do, especially with Texas looming one week away.
6. Indiana Hoosiers vs. #8 Penn State Nittany Lions (12:30 PM PT, FS1)
The Big Ten is back and while it would be fun to watch Ohio State’s Justin Fields tear up Nebraska, this battle in the Hoosier State might be better than advertised. Indiana is anchored by QB Michael Penix on offense and DB Tiawan Mullen on defense and welcome a Penn State squad who needs to reshuffle players at almost every position. Can you say upset alert?
7. Missouri Tigers vs. Kentucky Wildcats (1:00 PM PT, SECN)
Missouri’s slate to start 2020 did them no favors, as the Tigers hosted Alabama and then traveled to Tennessee to kick-off the Eli Drinkwitz era. However, the balance on this Tigers team has them believing they can steal wins in the SEC. Kentucky dismantled the Volunteers in a shocking display of prowess for their second-straight victory. Can they avoid the big game hangover?
8. LSU Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (4:00 PM PT, ESPN)
The defending National Champs in LSU are currently 1-2 and possibly dodged a third loss with their game at Florida getting cancelled. That’s a strange spot to be sitting with the multitude of battles still left on their slate. South Carolina will be coming off a hard-fought win on the road over Auburn, which might spur the Gamecocks into getting over the .500 mark against these Tigers.
9. #21 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. #18 Michigan Wolverines (4:30 PM PT, ABC)
The schedule makers handed out a rare favor here. Minnesota is trying to push the magic of 2019’s 11-2 campaign into a second go-round, while Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and his job security has taken over the headlines more than their on-the-field abilities. Both teams have the potential to compete for their respective division crowns, but there’s a lot to prove on both sidelines in this one.
10. #16 SMU Mustangs vs. #9 Cincinnati Bearcats (6:00 PM PT, ESPN2)
The escape artists that are SMU host Cincinnati in a highly-anticipated American Conference clash, with the Bearcats finally ending a nearly three-week lay-off from football. The Mustangs are another high-octane offensive squad, who sit in the top ten nationally in passing yards and scoring, while the Bearcats are a stingy defensive side that hangs their hat on old-school football values. The contrast of these two styles and the conference standings on the line should make an enjoyable nightcap out of this one.