Games to watch: Ohio State against Michigan, Iron Bowl highlight weekend matchups

Clark Dalton

No. 2 Ohio State at No. 13 Michigan

Saturday, 11:00 a.m., FOX

This rivalry features two teams that top college football's all-time win list. Ohio State has dominated opponents this season, averaging 530 yards per game. The Buckeyes also have a stout defense, allowing only 217 total yards. On the other hand, Michigan has been red hot, winning six of its last seven. The Wolverines also have home field advantage in the Big House. The Scarlet and Gray machine face a Maize and Blue team that is on the rise. It sounds like a recipe for another game that will echo the ghosts of the Ten Year War. One thing you can bet on is that both sides of the Toledo strip will be ready.

No. 5 Alabama at No. 15 Auburn

Saturday, 2:30 p.m., CBS

A month ago, Alabama didn’t expect to be here. The Crimson Tide were 9–0, strolling to another playoff appearance before a loss to LSU.  A season-ending injury to junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was just the latest blow to their playoffs hopes, which are now hanging by a thin thread. Now, the National Championship dream rests on the right arm of redshirt sophomore quarterback Mac Jones. Jones has talent — completing 71% of his career passes — but has never faced a test quite like this. The Tigers have been looking for that one big SEC win all season. An opportunity to knock the Crimson Tide out of the playoffs is monumental. The Iron Bowl has been crazy over the past decade, and with these high stakes, it could come down to the wire again.

No. 12 Wisconsin at No. 10 Minnesota

Saturday, 2:30 p.m, ABC

Wisconsin dominated this rivalry from 2004–2017, winning 14 games in a row, The streak was snapped last year when the Golden Gophers walked into Camp Randall and throttled the Badgers 37-15. In 2019, Minnesota is hoping to start its own streak and clinch its first appearance in a Big Ten Championship Game. These teams are polar opposites, as Minnesota relies on the pass, tossing for 247 yards per game, while the Badgers rush for 250 yards per contest. Wisconsin has been a hallmark of consistency, and Minnesota is trying to enter the national conversation. It’s also a great day for the Big Ten with this rivalry having national relevance. 

No. 19 Cincinnati at No. 18 Memphis

Friday, 2:30 p.m., ABC

Whoever wins this game might be the next team that causes mayhem on New Year’s Day. Memphis has been a solid program that has waited a long time to get a shot on the national stage. The Tigers are powered by redshirt junior quarterback Brady White, who has thrown 30 touchdowns this season. The Bearcats stand in their way. Cincinnati knows how to win big games, dethroning UCF, the previous American Athletic Conference champion. If the Tigers win this game, they can claim the throne as the new king.

No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 21 Oklahoma State

Saturday, 7:00 p.m., FOX

One point was the difference between a win and a loss for the Cowboys last year in Norman, Oklahoma. This year, the series moves to Stillwater. Unfortunately for Oklahoma State, redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders is out for the rest of the year with a thumb injury. However, redshirt sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard is good enough to carry a team to victory over a rival, especially against an Oklahoma team that has won its last three games by four points or less.