Week Nine provided us with the third big upset of the season with Oklahoma joining Wisconsin and Georgia in getting defeated by unranked teams. Week 10 offers a couple of highly ranked PAC 12 schools who should be on upset watch. Could we have a team come out of nowhere to give us a fourth upset that could rock the college football world? Let’s dive into the week 10 college football watch guide to see where that could happen?
The American conference gets the national stage in terms of the primetime game of the week as SMU travels to Memphis. Also, we have a College Football Playoff elimination matchup between Florida and Georgia in the Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Will our week 10 college football watch guide clear the national picture a little bit more?
Note: All game times are in central standard time
Week 10 College Football Watch Guide
UCF has a relatively weak schedule down the stretch as they finish with Houston, Tulsa, Tulane, and USF. They still have an outside shot at the American Athletic East division but must win out and have Cincinnati lose twice. However, on Houston’s side, they proved they still have some bite left in nearly upsetting SMU last week. It will be an uphill climb, but at 3-5 with an upset here it gives them a chance for a bowl bid should things go their way.
Michigan finally got the big win they were looking for in the blowout victory over Notre Dame last weekend. But, Wolverine fans must wonder if it was too little too late. Now, the Maize and Blue must take care of business and not worry about a letdown this week. Conversely, Maryland has been one of the most shocking teams in the country this year. They started 2-0 and scored 142 points. Since then, they are 1-5. In two games against ranked opponents, they have been outscored 111-10. Ouch!
Wake Forest is the conference lone remaining ranked team outside of Clemson. They started the season 6-1 with the lone upset loss to Louisville. The Deacons have some uncertainty at quarterback with injured Jamie Newman a likely game-time decision. Meanwhile, North Carolina State is just trying to get settled at quarterback with neither Matt Mckay or Bailey Hockman solidifying themselves at this point. Expect a low scoring contest.
Notre Dame is forced to re-evaluate their goals after getting hammered by Michigan. The best case for the Irish now would be a New Year’s Six bowl game. The Irish are still carried by a tremendous one-two punch of Ian Book and Tony Jones. Meanwhile, after the blowout loss to Duke the Hokies have won three straight and are in the thick of the logjam of the ACC coastal division. A win here would give Virginia Tech some much-needed momentum going into the stretch run.
So much is on the line here in Jacksonville for both the Bulldogs and the Gators. An inside track in the SEC East and still very much alive in the College Football Playoffs is up for grabs. For Georgia, they have been struggling somewhat offensively this year. They have only scored 17 and 21 points respectively in their last two games. Meanwhile, the Gators are trying to get back in this series after losing the final two. Florida’s schedule is a little easier down the stretch so a win here could set up a special season in Gainesville.
Have we really got to the point where one of the biggest rivalries in college football is down to fighting for bowl eligibility? Unfortunately, that’s where we are as both schools come in at 4-4 on the season. For the Hurricanes, they’ve not received the production they would like at quarterback as N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams have started multiple games. Meanwhile, the same could be said for Florida State with James Blackman and Alex Hornibrook. However, Cam Akers has been a constant force. Even with the rivalry losing some of its national appeal, the passion will still be there.
We have our second matchup in the Commanders in Chief series this season. Navy beat Air Force 34-25 earlier in the year. For Army, it has been an uncharacteristically struggling season for the Black Knights. They arrive in this game losers of the last four games and badly need a win just to get back to a bowl. Meanwhile, Air Force can reach bowl eligibility with a win here. They are 5-2 with losses to Navy and Boise State. These games are part of the tremendous pageantry of college football.
It’s been a strangely disappointing season for the Huskies. They’ve dropped two games at home and find themselves playing the spoiler role versus challenging for the conference. Be that as it may, Washington has an opportunity to do just that in a tough environment in Husky stadium. Conversely, Utah has conference and the playoffs in their sights. However, they desperately need a win here to stay tied with USC for the conference lead. If the Utes were to stumble here, they likely will be out of the conference and national race.
All eyes are on the American Conference this weekend as Memphis welcomes the primetime and ESPN College Gameday audience as they host SMU. SMU comes into this game the current leader for the New Years Six game as the highest-ranked non-power five team. But, for this game, the quarterback matchup should decide the winner of this game. Shane Buechele comes into the matchup with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the year. Comparatively, Memphis counters with Brady White. With the Appalachian State loss last night, the winner has a clear track to perhaps the biggest bowl game in the history of each program.
Virginia and North Carolina head up the logjam that is the ACC Coastal. This could be a perspective game for North Carolina. With a tougher schedule down the stretch, this game tends to be more critical in terms of a division title. However, after a two-win 2018, could they be happy with bowl eligibility? Now, Virginia was one of the preseason favorites but they are reeling after losing three of their last four. The Cavaliers are at home for their last three games of the year, so a win here would certainly give them the inside track to face Clemson.
The Ducks are living dangerously. On one hand, they have a stranglehold on the PAC 12 North and will play in the conference championship game in December. On the other hand, they are that close to having back to back losses. Justin Herbert is now gaining some votes in the Heisman race as Oregon climbs up the rankings. For all of the noise around the program, Southern Cal is actually leading the PAC 12 South. They are also undefeated at home this season which includes a big win over Utah. Can they stay hot at home and give the country another top 10 upset?