After an exciting Week 9 in college football, in which we saw some instant classics, major upsets, and one conference’s national title hopes fall by the wayside, we are coming down the homestretch of the 2016 college football season. Here are my top three games for Week 10.
1. #17 Western Michigan vs. Ball State
With Boise State’s loss to Wyoming on Saturday, the 17th ranked Western Michigan Broncos now have the inside track to earn the Group of Five’s automatic bid to a New Year’s Six bowl game. It is up to P.J. Fleck’s team to hold up its end of the bargain, however, and for the first time, you can sense the pressure has shifted to the Broncos.
This is the first of back-to-back Tuesday games for Western Michigan, who moved to 8-0 with a 45-31 win over Eastern Michigan on Oct. 22. Ball State, who also plays the next two Tuesdays, are just 1-3 in MAC play but will try to ruin the Broncos’ perfect season.
2. #1 Alabama vs. #15 LSU
A month ago, this looked like it would be a blowout by the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide as the LSU Tigers struggled to a 2-2 start. Now, with LSU playing as well as they have in a while under interim coach Ed Orgeron, this is going to be a typical SEC battle amongst giants. Look at the talent in this game alone – Jalen Hurts, Leonard Fournette, an Alabama defense which scores as much as most offenses.
Both teams are coming off byes. Alabama is undefeated and has been unchallenged for the most part this season, while LSU dealt with adversity, including the firing of Les Miles. Since his dismissal, the Tigers have been running on all cylinders. Geaux Tigers. Roll Tide. This has all the makings of a classic.
3. #9 Nebraska vs. #6 Ohio State
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will be the first to admit that his team has certainly not been playing at its best lately. Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes suffered a hit to their season, losing to Penn State. Last week, they barely escaped with a 24-20 win over Northwestern at home. With the College Football Playoff committee monitoring the top teams very closely in the stretch run, the Buckeyes can ill afford another sloppy performance.
A victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers could change all that. The Cornhuskers fell 23-17 at Wisconsin in overtime last week, and that defeat trimmed their lead in the Big Ten West to one game. A loss in Columbus could put their chances of going to the Big Ten title game at risk with the Badgers now having the advantage in a potential tiebreaker scenario.