The first college football weekend in December has arrived — just like that. The season always flies by faster than you think, but the staggered start to the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic makes it feel as though it has barely started. But with conference championship races winding down, there are still plenty of important games out there — plus one that wasn’t even on the schedule until recently.
That, of course, is No. 13 BYU’s quick road game at No. 18 Coastal Carolina. This is a big win for college football fans everywhere. Yes, a win would help BYU’s case for a big bowl game, but it’s also possible to simply enjoy good football when it comes around unexpectedly. The Cougars and Chanticleers are having breakout seasons.
That’s not all, either. Five top-10 teams will be on the road and some of them can lock up divisions if they haven’t already. With the sport limping to the finish line, let’s cherish whatever games we can get at this point. Let’s help you navigate through a great weekend of college football with a handy viewer’s guide.
All times Eastern
The biggest games
No. 5 Texas A&M at Auburn — noon, ESPN and fuboTV (Try for free): If a top-five team in the College Football Playoff hunt on the road against Gus Malzahn this late in the year isn’t worth your attention, then dare I say that few things are. The Aggies’ defense has been great, especially up front. But Tigers quarterback Bo Nix is 10-1 at home over the last two seasons. Oddsmakers have the line at Texas A&M -7. There could be some early-game intrigue here.
No. 12 Indiana at No. 16 Wisconsin — 3:30 p.m., ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): There will be no Michael Penix Jr. for Indiana, but this is still a high stakes, cross-division game in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers still have top-end receivers Ty Fryfogle and Whop Philyor. The Badgers have played just three games and are hoping Big Ten athletic directors rescind their previous six-game minimum requirement for championship-game eligibility. This has been viewed as a bounce-back game for Wisconsin, which lost to Northwestern the last time it took the field.
West Virginia at No. 9 Iowa State — 3:30 p.m., ESPN and and fuboTV (Try for free): The Cyclones are one win away from clinching a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. It cannot be overstated what coach Matt Campbell has done for this program. It’s been a weird year, but it’s the kind of year Iowa State needed to capitalize on. West Virginia’s defense is good enough to make this a game, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Cyclones can finish off this last challenge.
No. 13 BYU at No. 18 Coastal Carolina — 5:30 p.m., ESPNU and fuboTV (Try for free): A game that was scheduled on Thursday gets front and center treatment in Week 14 — as it should. These are two quality teams and fans of college football are the big winners. Playing Coastal gives BYU a better chance at landing a New Year’s Six appearance and Coastal coach Jamey Chadwell is gaining some steam in the coaching carousel. This is a terrific quarterback battle, too, with Zach Wilson and Grayson McCall. Get excited for this one.
Other big games
No. 4 Ohio State at Michigan State — noon, ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): Buckeyes coach Ryan Day won’t be on the sidelines as he continues to isolate after contracting COVID-19. It shouldn’t matter and Ohio State will likely win comfortably. However, the Buckeyes are the focal point of the college football universe because of how close they are to being ineligible for the Big Ten Championship Game. Whether conference ADs will reverse their six-game minimum probably depends on what happens with Michigan next week. In the meantime, every performance by Ohio State will be put under a microscope.
No. 6 Florida at Tennessee — 3:30 p.m., CBS and CBSSports.com: The Gators can wrap up the SEC East with a win over the Volunteers. Florida is a three-score favorite and Tennessee has lost five straight. Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt might be better served to start preparing for 2021 as Florida should roll. Still, any chance to watch Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts qualifies as must-see television.
No. 23 Oregon at Cal — 7 p.m., ESPN and and fuboTV (Try for free): Oregon is still in the Pac-12 North hunt, but that could take a devastating blow on Saturday if it loses at Cal and Washington beats Stanford earlier in the day. The Golden Bears are 0-3, a disappointing run for the preseason team du jour out west. But two of those losses have been by a combined five points, and the opener to UCLA was a last-minute reschedule. Oregon needs to be careful.
No. 3 Clemson at Virginia Tech — 7:30 p.m., ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): With Notre Dame already plugged into the ACC Championship Game, the Tigers can punch their ticket with a win over Virginia Tech. With the ACC reworking the end-of-season schedule, a lot of the clutter has been removed. For Clemson, it’s win and you’re in.
No. 1 Alabama at LSU– 8 p.m., CBS and CBSSports.com: The SEC on CBS hits you with a double-header on Saturday. This game was supposed to have been played in November, but was postponed due to COVID-19. Normally, this is a monster matchup. Not this year. Alabama’s offense is lights-out and the defense has been making a lot of strides. LSU is a mess and the Tide should wrap up their regular season with a comfortable win — with coach Nick Saban back on the sideline.
Washington State at No. 20 USC — Sunday, 7:30 p.m., FS1 and fuboTV (Try for free): Oh yeah, there’s Sunday night college football. As if #Pac12AfterDark couldn’t get any weirder. The game was moved to allow USC players to return from COVID-19 isolation. The Trojans have lived on the edge a couple of times already. This team is rarely boring.
Best of the rest
- No. 15 Oklahoma State at TCU — noon, ESPN2 and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Texas at Kansas State — noon, FOX and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Ball State at Central Michigan — 2 p.m., ESPNU and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Syracuse at No. 2 Notre Dame — 2:30 p.m., NBC and fuboTV (Try for free)
- No. 19 Iowa at Illinois — 3:30 p.m., FS1 and fuboTV (Try for free)
- No. 24 Tulsa at Navy — 3:30 p.m., ESPN2 and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Buffalo at Ohio — 3:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com
- Stanford at No. 22 Washington — 4 p.m., FOX and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Colorado State at San Diego State — 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com
- Colorado at Arizona — 7 p.m., FS1 and fuboTV (Try for free)
- No. 10 Miami at Duke — 8 p.m., ACC Network and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Baylor at No. 11 Oklahoma — 8 p.m., FOX and fuboTV (Try for free)
- UCLA at Arizona State — 10:30 p.m., FS1 and fuboTV (Try for free)