The weather in Texas changes on a dime. One minute, it’s sweltering, sweaty weather with the sun beating down on you. Then, an angry storm cloud dumps buckets of rain and hail on your head. Then, all your flowers die because of the biting, frosty winds behind the cold front that tanks the temperature for a good 24 hours.
I love weather; the unpredictable, wild glory of it. It’s the world happening in a way no human can understand, only approximate it with handheld radars and forecasts and weathermen gesturing at colors on a digital map.
And a college football season — heck, every college football Saturday — operates the same way.
Every fan faces a storm front. What will it bring? What comes after? We don’t really know. We can guess, look at rankings and statistics. But we won’t know until it all crashes down. It’s wonderful.
Below is my best approximation of how this week’s college football weather will break upon you. Let’s dive into this week’s forecast.
As the year goes on, our college football scheduling overlords get better at scheduling the best games later in the day. So once again, we’re back to an early afternoon block of time during which you can safely not watch college football without suffering ill effects. Leaves are probably falling now (unless you live in Texas like me), so I’d get a jump on ’em. If you wait until they’re all down, the cleanup could take decades. Just trust me and knock out what you can before the Afternoon Slate hits, then kick back and enjoy a relaxing rest.
Texas Tech at TCU
Slim pickings in this slate; I told you. Except for this humdinger. The Red Raiders got exposed by Baylor last week, but they still have a lethal pass-first attack that puts defenses on their back foot. Quarterback Behren Morton may have opportunities to shine this game if he can find them — TCU ranks 104th in pass yards allowed. It’s also a classic lookahead spot for the Frogs, as they head to Austin for a big game against Texas next week. Can head coach Sonny Dykes keep his team chugging along?
Maryland at Wisconsin
Sure, why not? No one wants to see what Florida will probably do to poor Texas A&M. The Terps are secretly decent this year, and after an early injury, quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will be back under center. He can take advantage of Sconnie’s blah secondary. And if he does, it might spell doom for the Badgers, who just haven’t been able to get going this year. Quarterback Graham Mertz isn’t exactly elite, and there’s only so much running back Braelon Allen can do. A win over Maryland would put Wisconsin one victory from bowl eligibility, and could jumpstart it out of its sputtering funk.
Watch The Score
Florida at Texas A&M (12p/11a, ESPN)
Tennessee at Georgia
Time for another Game of the History of the Century of the World! This one should live up to the billing. These teams are both top-tier on paper. Quarterback Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs have handled their schedule, but (forgive me), THEY AIN’T PLAYED NOBODY. Aside from Week 1 against Oregon, when they basically out-talented the Ducks, their highest-profile victory was last week against a limping Florida. But they’re also a more complete team than Tennessee. The Vols, meanwhile, are terrifyingly efficient on offense. The defense is greatly improved but lacks pop in the secondary. Should we expect something incredible here? I do.
Oklahoma State at Kansas
The Big 12 is really testy and fascinating this year, with a ton of good teams fighting it out for dominance amongst themselves. Here are two of them. The Cowboys have really struggled on the road, and they’re headed to Lawrence after a stinging 48-0 loss to Kansas State. They rely on an overwhelmingly fast, pass-heavy attack to outscore their opponents, and with the Jayhawks’ profound lack of defense, they might just have the perfect neck-crack opportunity here. But Kansas is on a three-game slide, looking for some chiropractic relief of its own after a bye week to prepare. Quarterback Jalon Daniels is practicing again, but good ol’ Mr. (Jason) Bean will likely be under center. At its best, Kansas spreads teams out and runs all over them. This should be fun.
Watch The Score
Syracuse at Pitt (3:30p/2:30p, ACCN)
Baylor at Oklahoma (3p/2p, ESPN+)
Liberty at Arkansas (4p/3p, SECN)
Listen to our Week 10 Picks podcast
Alabama at LSU
Bama’s mad. It made that clear on Homecoming two weeks ago, obliterating Mississippi State before taking a bye and reloading for its last four regular season games. The Tide begin in Death Valley with the Tigers. They have no clear weaknesses beyond occasional trouble defending high-octane passing attacks. LSU does not have that. The Tigers have racked up a quiet 6-2 record behind a balanced offense and defense, and are also coming off a bye. The key here may be whether quarterback Jayden Daniels has the game of his life. Hey, no pressure!
Texas at Kansas State
The other two games in this slate were strong contenders for this spot, but this one has intrigue that I like. Texas is somehow back in the top 25 despite no high-profile victories and multiple struggles. It’s coming off a bye week, hoping quarterback Quinn Ewers has developed solid rapport with receivers and isn’t afraid to be aggressive with the pass. Running back Bijan Robinson, of course, will do his part in Manhattan. The Wildcats do have weaknesses: they aren’t overly spectacular on defense (though they sure looked it last week against Oklahoma State), and even after taking a big step forward, quarterback Will Howard is not the kind of passer to kill you with deep shots. Consider this a tussle for second place in the conference, as the Horns aren’t out of that race yet. If you want, though, take something below instead.
Watch The Score
Clemson at Notre Dame (7:30p/6:30p, NBC)
Wake Forest at NC State (8p/7p, ACCN)