College football’s slow buildup takes another big step this weekend when the Big Ten gets back in the mix with seven league games on its debut weekend. The Pac-12 is still two weeks out from joining the mix, but this will be the most action-packed football Saturday so far in 2020.
There’s even a trio of late-night games this week, headlined by No. 12 BYU vs. Texas State at 10:15 ET. That means there will be four straight time slots showcasing ranked teams, including a couple contests between ranked foes in the AAC and Big 12 that have conference title implications.
As you try to figure out what to watch and when, check out this week’s viewer’s guide with kickoff times, tune-in information and storylines all below.
All times Eastern
The biggest games
Nebraska at No. 5 Ohio State — noon, Fox and fuboTV (Try for free): How long will it take Ohio State to overtake Notre Dame or Georgia in the polls and move into the top four? If the Buckeyes cover this massive spread against Nebraska and Notre Dame continues to look unimpressive, it might happen Sunday.
No. 2 Alabama at Tennessee — 3:30 p.m., CBS and CBSSports.com: Another week, another game against a former assistant for Nick Saban as he faces Jeremy Pruitt and the woebegone Vols. This one doesn’t carry the hype of last week’s showdown with Georgia, but Alabama’s wide receivers are so good that this team is becoming appointment viewing just to see the ridiculous plays they make.
No. 17 Iowa State at No. 6 Oklahoma State — 3:30 p.m., Fox and fuboTV (Try for free): After Iowa State lost to Louisiana and Oklahoma State struggled against Tulsa in their respective openers, it was hard to see this game meaning so much. But with Texas and Oklahoma each having two conference losses already, this game has big-time implications in the Big 12.
No. 18 Michigan at No. 21 Minnesota — 7:30 p.m., ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): Speaking of games with big-time implications, can you imagine the mood around Ann Arbor if Jim Harbaugh’s sixth season begins with a loss to Minnesota? The Gophers will feel pretty good about their chances of reaching the Big Ten Championship game with a victory here.
Other big games
No. 23 NC State at No. 14 North Carolina — noon, ESPN and fuboTV (Try for free): North Carolina dropped nine spots in the AP Top 25 poll after losing to Florida State. That loss to the Seminoles reduced the national appeal of this week’s showdown with the Wolfpack. But it should still be an impassioned meeting between rivals who are rarely good at the same time.
No. 3 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh — 3:30, ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): With Ohio State joining the mix this week, Notre Dame needs to prove why it belongs in the playoff picture over the Buckeyes. The Panthers will be no pushover.
No. 8 Penn State at Indiana — 3:30 p.m., FS1 and fuboTV (Try for free): The Nittany Lions are supposed to be the top Big Ten challenger to Ohio State. But how will they look without star linebacker Micah Parsons and leading returning rusher Journey Brown? Parsons opted out of the season, while Brown is expected to miss the year with an undisclosed medical condition.
No. 9 Cincinnati at No. 16 SMU — 9 p.m., ESPN2 and fuboTV (Try for free): If there’s going to be an undefeated team come from the AAC this year, it will be the winner of this game. Cincinnati’s solid defense faces its toughest test yet against veteran SMU quarterback Shane Buechele.