There won’t be any games on campus matching ranked opponents this week. That doesn’t mean we don’t have two significant showdowns in college football Saturday.
No. 10 Notre Dame will face No. 15 Wisconsin at Solider Field in Chicago, a neutral site that offers almost the same distance between the two campuses. There’s also the meeting of No. 5 Texas AM and No. 18 Arkansas in Arlington, Texas, which will host the matchup of rivals for the seventh time in eight seasons.
The Fighting Irish enter the game against the Badgers unbeaten, but with many questions about their status as a playoff contender. A win would silence many doubters and they’ll have former Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan leading the offense in an interesting plot twist to the story. The Badgers, already with one loss, can’t afford another if they want to get in the mix for the semifinals.
The Aggies also are in a similar spot to Notre Dame with more questions than they had at the start of the season. Zach Calzada was pressed into action at quarterback after starter Haynes King went down. He struggled until the late stage of a win at Colorado. How he performs against the Razorbacks will be a better litmus test of how far this team can go. Arkansas already has beaten Texas handily and now gets another big name from its neighboring state. A second win against a ranked opponent would prove this program is on the rise in Sam Pittman’s second season.
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Clemson’s visit to North Carolina State is one of two key games to keep an eye on. The Tigers have struggled on offense and the Wolfpack are capable of pulling a surprise. In the Big 12, Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State. The Wildcats have been more impressive than the host Cowboys, but can they win in Stillwater?