Game of the week
No. 7 Michigan State at No. 12 Michigan, 2:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN
It’s a monster game at Ann Arbor, the first with both programs ranked in the top 12 since 2003, because the Wolverines are ahead of schedule under Jim Harbaugh. After an opening game loss to Utah, Michigan has won five straight and is riding three straight shutouts, the first team to accomplish that feat since Kansas State in 1995, but this is the toughest chore since the opener. Michigan State’s Connor Cook is the best QB the Wolverines will have seen this season. He’s had solid games against Michigan in his career.
Upset of the week
No. 20 Northwestern at home over No. 17 Iowa, 11 a.m. on ABC
The Wildcats are a slight underdog at home after getting trounced by Michigan last week 38-0. But five weeks of terrific play shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s been an amazing start for Iowa, and the Hawkeyes could start considering an undefeated regular season if it finds a way to win at Ryan Field.
Others to watch
No. 10 Alabama at No. 9 Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m. on CBS
59-0. Alabama’s triumph over the Aggies in Tuscaloosa last season was a Texas-sized embarrassment to A&M. The Aggies are playing with a load of confidence this season, but the Crimson Tide knows it can’t lose again with its eye on the College Football Playoff. The SEC West seems to have broken off into a top-four tier with the Tide, Aggies, Mississippi and LSU in contention. That raises the stakes in games against each other.
No. 8 Florida at No. 6 LSU, 6 p.m. on ESPN
Saturday night, after the Gators put the finishing touches on Missouri, this looked like one of the biggest showdowns in the SEC. By ranking and record it is, with both in the top 10 and a combined 11-0. But Florida is now without quarterback Will Grier, suspended Monday for one calendar year for violating the NCAA drug policy. This means the Tigers will play their fourth straight game against a team’s backup quarterback. Still, the Gators defense is superb and faces a big test in LSU running back Leonard Fournette.
Saturday’s Big 12 games
Texas Tech at Kansas, 11 a.m. (FS1)
No. 19 Oklahoma at Kansas State, 2:30 p.m. (ABC)
West Virginia at No. 2 Baylor, 11 a.m. (Fox)
No. 3 TCU at Iowa State, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday’s SEC games
Missouri at Georgia, 6:30 p.m.
No. 13 Mississippi at Memphis, 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State, 11 a.m. (SEC)
No. 10 Alabama at No. 9 Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
Vanderbilt at South Carolina, 3 p.m. (SEC)
No. 8 Florida at No. 6 LSU, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday’s Top 25 games
Penn State at No. 1 Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ABC)
Arizona State at No. 4 Utah, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Boston College at No. 5 Clemson, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 7 Michigan State at No. 12 Michigan, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Louisville at No. 11 Florida State, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Southern California at No. 14 Notre Dame, 6:30 p.m.
No. 17 Iowa at No. 20 Northwestern, 11 a.m. (ABC)
Eastern Michigan at No. 22 Toledo, 11 a.m.