Utah vs. #12 UCLA: The Bruins are creeping up the poll. Rightfully so. This is a Fox Sports 1 game at 10:00 and I can’t think of anything better to do rather than dressing up as a Ute and cheering on Utah. UCLA is a dangerous team, but it is not going to hurt my feelings if they find themselves with their first loss on the road Thursday night.
#16 Northwestern vs. #4 Ohio State: I’ve said before that I do not believe Ohio State should be ranked as high as they are. I do like the Buckeye offense, but the defense???????? The Wildcats have a very good offense and get this game at home after a week off. Meanwhile, Ohio State just had Wisconsin at home and came away with the win by 7. If I have anything purple in my closet I’ll be wearing it Saturday night.
#15 Washington vs. #5 Stanford: The Cards need the top to start shaking up. There has been a lot of activity behind the Cards, but not a lot in front of them. This is an opportunity to give a loss to the Cardinal and start seeing that shake-up happen. This game being Palo Alto hurts UW’s chances, but they are a solid team and it may be a job interview for Steve Sarkisian to USC.
#25 Maryland @ #8 Florida State: This is a divisional match-up one last time. The Noles found themselves in hot water this past weekend on the road vs. Boston College, but does get Maryland at home. Maryland football did Louisville a BIG FAVOR when it made its move into the Big Ten, it can do another one here by beating FSU. Maryland losing could indirectly help the Cards by moving Rutgers & UCF towards the entry point of the poll too. But it won’t be in time for Rutgers unfortunately.
Syracuse vs. #3 Clemson: It is definitely a different Syracuse team than last season, but the Orange are always tough in the Carrier Dome and anything can happen whenever Clemson isn’t playing top flight competition. Getting a Clemson loss would be HUGE for the Cardinals. But it isn’t likely at all.
Tennessee vs. #6 Georgia: This isn’t your grand-daddy’s Tennessee and Georgia is for real. On paper UT doesn’t stand a chance, BUT, UGA is coming off of a BRUTAL 4-game stretch against Clemson, South Carolina, and LSU. This could be a BOUNCE game for the Bulldogs but that is the only way this really good UGA team missteps on Saturday.
Mississippi State vs. #10 LSU: The Tigers always seem to stick around, after losing to Georgia this past weekend Mississippi State can end the meaningful part of their season this week in Starkville. It’s a long shot but I’d say that MSU is capable of pulling off the upset. Getting LSU two losses would be huge as they are yet to play A&M and Alabama.
TCU @ #11 Oklahoma: The Horned Frogs need a win to start building towards a winning season. TCU has dropped games to LSU and Texas Tech, but remains a very good challenger to the Sooners. OU is a big NAME team that if they continue to win will be hard for the voters to resist putting in front of Louisville. So they need to go down. I’ve seen quite a bit of Sooner football this year, and I am not a believer but they will have plenty of tests coming to prove me wrong.
Kentucky vs. #13 South Carolina: Finally a situation where Card fans can legitimately hope UK wins a game. Louisville needs bumps in their strength of schedule, South Carolina has a lot of great games coming up. But let’s be honest, Kentucky on the road versus the Gamecocks isn’t a realistic chance. Even potentially without Connor Shaw.
Georgia Tech vs. #14 Miami: The Hurricanes are coming together down in South Florida and their 4-0 start is bad for business in Louisville. The fertile recruiting ground gets tougher and Miami has a top flight schedule that could eventually bump the Cards. It’s time for the Yellow Jackets to put the brakes the “U” and restore the status quo of the last 4 years.
West Virginia @ #17 Baylor: The Mountaineers just took down previously 11th ranked Oklahoma State in Morgantown and now have an opportunity to knock off another undefeated/ranked team in Baylor this week. WVU must travel to Waco, TX this time, but the Big 12 is bound to be crazy all season.
Rutgers vs. SMU: Rutgers is on Louisville’s schedule. SMU isn’t. The Cards need the Scarlet Knights to come in next Thursday 4-1 and to be a legitimate contender.
Ohio vs. Akron: The Bobcats are 3-1 since losing to the Cards on opening weekend. They can be a big help by winning the games on their schedule. Every little bit helps.
Minnesota @ #19 Michigan: The Gophers could help muddy some of the water on the back end of the poll and really hurt Ohio State’s Computer Rankings here. Michigan is going to lose eventually, might as well start on Saturday and get another undefeated team off the board.
Colorado vs. #2 Oregon: It is sure to be an emotional scene in Boulder for the first football game since the devastating flooding that disrupted life a few weeks ago. Still, the Buffaloes just do not have the athletes to keep up with the Ducks, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this one is closer longer than most expect as CU will come out on an emotional high in front of its home crowd.
Georgia St. vs. #1 Alabama: The GSU Panthers……oh nevermind.