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Games To Watch: Week 10

Illinois plays Minnesota this week. Here’s what else we’ll be watching — including a biggie in the Bayou.

LSU v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Texas Longhorns, 2:30, FOX

Baylor v Texas
Texas QB Sam Ehlinger is the total package.
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The 6-1 West Virginia Mountaineers head to Austin to take on the 6-2 Texas Longhorns. The ‘Horns are undefeated at home and are looking forward to this game after suffering a close, high-scoring loss to Oklahoma State last weekend. In 2017, Tom Herman’s Longhorns defeated the Mountaineers 28-14. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger threw two TD passes and ran for 68 yards in that game.

This game has Big 12 title implications, and up until this point West Virginia hasn’t faced a defense as good as Texas’.

Penn State Nittany Lions @ Michigan Wolverines, 2:45, ESPN

Michigan v Penn State
Michigan’s defense struggled to contain Penn State QB Trace McSorley a season ago.
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Penn State is breathing a sigh of relief after avoiding a third straight home loss last weekend when they narrowly beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in Happy Valley. Iowa is a good football team, and Penn State was able to come from behind and win.

Jim Harbaugh is 2-1 against Penn State since becoming the head coach at Michigan. The last two of these contests were blowouts: In 2016 Michigan beat Penn State 49-10. In 2017, Penn State avenged that loss 42-13 in State College behind Saquon Barkley’s 223 yards and three touchdowns from scrimmage.

Michigan controls its own destiny towards a Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff appearance. Penn State stands in the way this week.

Oklahoma Sooners @ Texas Tech Red Raiders, 7:00, ABC

Texas Tech v Oklahoma
Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb (no. 9) had two TD receptions against Texas Tech last season.
Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

The OU Sooners are on a six-game winning streak against the high-scoring Texas Tech Red Raiders. Historically these are two of the best offensive football teams in the country, and they’ve been playing against one another off-and-on since 1992.

Oklahoma is in a 3-way tie with Texas and West Virginia atop the Big 12 standings. The Sooners have just one loss on the season (to Texas), with an important road game at West Virginia to end the season on November 23.

OU QB Kyler Murray is still in Heisman contention, and it would certainly help his case if Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa were to have a bad game against LSU — see below.

Alabama Crimson Tide @ LSU Tigers, 7:00, CBS

LSU v Alabama
LSU CB ‘Greedy’ Williams (no. 29) is the best in the nation at his position and a likely top-10 NFL Draft pick.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Many people around the country watch college football for different reasons. Some are NFL junkies and watch the college game to scope out ‘the next best thing’ to arrive in the professional ranks. This game is loaded with talent, first-round talent — and as far as football atmospheres go, nothing compares to the grand stage on the bayou under the lights playing No. 1 team in the country in Alabama.

This football game, and a rivalry which hasn’t seen LSU win since 2011 (a 9-6 OT thriller in Tuscaloosa) is the premier regular season game in the country of 2018. Adding even more zest to this one: LSU and Alabama both had the week off last week and the ‘Tide are two touchdown favorites. These two teams will be equally fresh and well-prepared. Grab your popcorn, everybody.

California Golden Bears @ Washington State Cougars, 9:45, ESPN

Washington v California
Cal QB Chase Garbers has been playing good, mistake-free football these last two weeks.
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

There’s nothing like some Pac12AfterDark in Pullman, Washington, especially when the Cougars are rolling and atop the Pacific 12 Conference standings. Wazzu hosted ESPN’s College Gameday a couple of weeks ago, a defining and symbolic moment for just how far this program has come since the arrival of head coach Mike Leach. Washington State defeated a disappointing, but still dangerous Stanford team on the road last weekend.

The story here is really about the Cal Golden Bears. Cal responded to an ugly loss three weeks ago to UCLA by destroying a bad Oregon State team 49-7 on the road and beating Washington 12-10 last weekend in Berkley. In 2016 and 2017, Washington beat Cal twice by a combined score of 104-34. Cal has five wins and is seeking bowl eligibility for the first time since 2015.

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