Two major matchups that will bring the Big Ten East race into a clearer focus highlight the final Saturday in the month of October as we head into the homestretch of the 2021 college football season. No. 20 Penn State will head to Columbus, Ohio, to take on No. 5 Ohio State, while No. 6 Michigan will play No. 9 Michigan State in their annual rivalry game in East Lansing, Michigan. The winners of those two matchups will be heading full steam ahead to a potential division title and New Year’s Six bowl berth.
They aren’t the only big games on the slate, though. No. 1 Georgia will tee it up against rival Florida in one of the last big tests the Bulldogs face prior to the SEC Championship Game. If the Bulldogs can hold serve and Kentucky loses, Kirby Smart’s crew will clinch the East Division title.
There will be a lot going on Saturday afternoon and night, so here’s a viewer’s guide to help you navigate through the action.
All times eastern
The best games
No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State — noon on Fox: The Spartans have emerged as one of the most complete teams in the country, and it will have its work cut out for it as it looks to slow the stout Spartans rushing attack led by Kenneth Walker III. If the Wolverines come out on top, it’ll serve as a much-needed rivalry win for coach Jim Harbaugh.
No. 1 Georgia at Florida — 3:30 p.m. on CBS: The SEC on CBS Game of the Week carries a lot of intrigue on both sides of the ball. Gator Nation has become frustrated with coach Dan Mullen’s inability to settle on a quarterback, while Georgia signal-caller JT Daniels’ status is still unknown as he recovers from a lat injury. The Bulldogs are also looking for revenge after Florida got the best of them last season in Jacksonville.
No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State — 7:30 p.m. on ABC: Penn State is coming off of the embarrassing nine-overtime loss to Illinois last week, but coach James Franklin’s crew could get back on track by springing the upset. With that said, his offense might have to win a shootout against the Buckeyes and quarterback C.J. Stroud. Good luck with that.
Other big games
No. 9 Iowa at Wisconsin — noon on ESPN: The Badgers are still lurking in the Big Ten West title race, and a win over the Hawkeyes would be huge heading into the final month of the season. Meanwhile, Kirk Ferentz’s team needs a win to keep their faint College Football Playoff hopes alive.
No. 10 Ole Miss at No. 18 Auburn — 7 p.m. on ESPN: This one will likely serve as a de facto SEC West elimination game. The loser will have two conference losses, which makes a late run at Alabama almost impossible. Keep an eye on Rebels quarterback Matt Corral. An impressive performance on the road against a ranked team would reinforce him as a Heisman Trophy front-runner.
North Carolina at No. 11 Notre Dame — 7:30 p.m. on NBC: The Tar Heels still boast one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Sam Howell, who can open things up in a hurry if teams aren’t careful. Safety Kyle Hamilton won’t play for a Fighting Irish team that still has hopes of reaching its third CFP in four years.
Best of the rest