Football has been back for nearly two months, and the 2022 season has given us some great moments at the collegiate and professional levels. But this upcoming weekend offers a compelling schedule to fans that we must recognize.
For the NCAA, there will be NINE games involving a top-25 team with a single-digit spread. 15 of the top 20 teams in the country will be involved in these games. There are six games where two top-20 teams will square off. It's almost too much.
The NFL schedule is nothing to sneeze at, either. The marquee matchup will be a rematch between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. These two teams scored nearly 80 points in their Divisional Round game last year. Both teams are averaging over 30 points a game this season.
The main point here is if you're a football fan, the apple picking and pumpkin patch visits will need to wait another week. Let's dive into how you'll need to schedule your time this weekend.
Noon ET Slate
- No. 10 Penn State @ No. 5 Michigan (-6.5)
- No. 19 Kansas @ Oklahoma (-7.5)
- Minnesota (-6.5) @ No. 24 Illinois
In the early games, we have two teams in Kansas and Illinois who likely must win to stay in the top 25. The problem is both teams are currently underdogs by close to a touchdown. Illinois will have the advantage of playing at home, while the Jayhawks will need the always difficult underdog road win to remain among the NCAA elite.
PSU vs. UM is where most eyeballs will be as east coast fans eat their lunch and west coast fans wake up. These two teams have squared off 25 times previously, with Michigan having a 15-10 advantage. However, Penn State pulled off the win the last time these teams played in Ann Arbor.
There are also some rumors coming from the Michigan side that recently fired Carolina Panthers coach Matt Ruhle could be a candidate to replace PSU coach James Franklin. Talk about some next-level gamesmanship from the Wolverines!
3:30 p.m. ET Slate
- No. 3 Alabama (-7.5) @ No. 6 Tennessee
- No. 8 Oklahoma State @ No. 13 TCU (-3.5)
- No. 15 NC State @ No. 18 Syracuse (-3.5)
This is what the French call "Le Juicey." Syracuse being favored might be the most dramatic piece of the afternoon games. NC State owns a 13-2 record vs. the Orange, so Cuse will need to rely heavily on their home field to reverse that trend.
Oklahoma State and TCU are each undefeated teams averaging more than 45 points a game. Sign me up. Tennessee has not beaten Alabama since Nick Saban became head coach. The Volunteers had won 10 of 12 before that, so perhaps this weekend is a chance to turn the Tide (literally). Alabama QB Bryce Young potentially missing this game due to injury is a step in the right direction for the Volunteers.
7:30/8 p.m. ET Slate:
- No. 4 Clemson (-4.5) @ Florida State
- No. 16 Mississippi State (-7) @ No. 23 Kentucky
- No. 7 USC @ No. 20 Utah (-3.5)
Despite FSU not being ranked, their clash with #4 Clemson on Saturday night is still worth watching. The Seminoles have scored the 2nd most points in the ACC this season, and all three of Clemson's 2021 losses came away from the Tigers' home stadium.
Mississippi State and Kentucky have one of the more even histories in NCAA history. This will be the 50th matchup, with Mississippi State has won 25 of the previous 49 meetings. The two teams have also split the last six games they've played.
USC looks primed to be a contender again in Lincoln Riley's first season. The Trojans' No. 7 ranking is the highest since 2017. Utah will try to get its season back on track after a tough loss to UCLA last week.
Let's face it. The NFL is the king of the sports world in terms of watchability. With this being the case, there is a reason to watch Sunday's dozen games. New England at Cleveland might seem like a pass with two backups starting, but it's also a must-win for both teams. Miami is down two QBs right now, but if one of them is healthy for Sunday, it could be a track meet battle against the Minnesota Vikings.
Tampa Bay visiting Pittsburgh won't cause many to hit "record" on the DVR, but it could be the final time Tom Brady takes it to the Steelers. Again, Carolina just fired their coach, and the Rams seem like a dumpster fire right now, but that sloppy mess could still produce an engaging 60 minutes.
Three games merit a bit more excitement this week.
1 p.m. ET Slate
- Baltimore Ravens (-5) @ New York Giants
Through Lamar Jackson's first four seasons, he had never played in Met Life Stadium. This week he makes his second visit there in two months. He and the Ravens beat the Jets in Week 1 and are favored to do the same against the Giants this week.
New York seems poised for a letdown game after upsetting the Packers last Sunday. Plus, you need to factor in that game is being played in London and the effects we have seen on teams. But it also feels like something special building with this Giants team. Lamar vs. Saquon is going to be a fun one.
4 p.m. ET Slate
- Buffalo Bills (-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Bills, their fans, Shooter McGavin, and the tables have all been waiting for this game. Here is just a recap of how their last meeting ended:
- Josh Allen throws a 27-yard touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis, and the Bills get a 2-point conversion (Buffalo leads 29-26, 1:54 remaining)
- Patrick Mahomes hits Tyreek Hill for a 64-yard touchdown pass (KC leads 33-29, 1:02 remaining)
- Allen connects with Davis again on a 19-yard touchdown pass (Buffalo leads 36-33, 0:13 remaining)
- Mahomes hits Hill for 19 yards and then Travis Kelce for 25 yards before Harrison Butker kicks a field goal (Tie Game 36-36, 0:03 remaining)
- KC wins the toss, receives, drives down the field, and Mahomes throws an 8-yard touchdown pass to Kelce (KC wins 42-36)
And if you need even more of a reason to get excited about this rematch, you can watch the highlights on repeat until Sunday afternoon.
Sunday Night Football
- Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (-5)
What a way to end the weekend. Just a beautiful matchup in the NFC East. Both teams are surprises as the Eagles are 5-0 and the only remaining undefeated team in the league. The Cowboys lost starting QB Dak Prescott to injury in Week 1 and have since won four straight with backup Cooper Rush.
This matchup likely will be centered on how the Eagles' offense performs against the Dallas defense. Philadelphia has scored the 2nd most points in the NFC, and the Cowboys have allowed the 2nd fewest points. The good thing for fans is Philly averages 21.2 points in the first half and 5.8 in the second half. So, you might know who's likely to take home the W after two quarters. And after such a long two days of pigskin, it could be okay if you fall asleep by halftime with this one.
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