It seems just like yesterday that we were pining for college football.
The dog days of summer don’t feel all that far away, and yet, Saturday is the sixth week of the college football season.
We’ve learned a great deal through the first month of the season: Alabama and Georgia are the two best teams in the country, the Pac-12 is in danger of missing out on the playoff for the fifth straight year, and the Big 10 is much more than just Ohio State.
It’s time to dive into the college football slate. Join me as we take a look at the games to watch in week six.
No. 6 Oklahoma vs No. 21 Texas – 12:00 p.m. ET, ABC
The Red River Rivalry has a new feel this year. With Texas and Oklahoma making the decision to leave the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025, they’ve left their conference of 25 years in a tough spot.
But it certainly doesn’t diminish the significance of the game, and the stands will once again be packed after the pandemic-impacted 2020 matchup.
“Excited that we get to get back to the Cotton Bowl with a more normal atmosphere. I missed that in the epic clash last year,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said. “We say it every year but I think it can’t go underappreciated. The best parts of this job (are) to get to coach, play and compete in this game.”
For Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian, it’s his first time experiencing the rivalry as he looks to return a program to glory that has lost three straight to the Sooners.
The Longhorns have bounced back with three consecutive victories after getting smoked by Arkansas in week two. Texas quarterback Casey Thompson took over under center halfway through the loss, and running back Bijan Robinson heads into the game leading the Big 12 in rushing yards.
Oklahoma is 5-0, but they’ve hardly looked dominant, winning their last three games by a combined 16 points.
It’s one heck of a way to start off the day as you just never know what you’re going to get when Texas and Oklahoma clash.
No. 17 Ole Miss vs No. 13 Arkansas – 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
With both SEC West teams coming off performances in which they were thoroughly outclassed, Saturday’s game will go a long way in understanding which team is for real.
The Razorbacks were never in their game against Georgia, held to 162 total yards in a 37-0 romp. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin embarrassed himself before the game when he told viewers to “get your popcorn ready,” then heading into halftime in a 28-0 hole, eventually losing 42-21 to Alabama.
For the sake of the fans, let’s hope both teams show up in week six.
The Arkansas defense is elite, ranked ninth in yards allowed per game, and will be tasked with slowing Matt Corral and the fourth-ranked offense in the nation.
“What I decided was we need to move on,” Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said this week. “We’ve got good coaches and they went over what we need to improve on from the game. Our players, there were a lot of tears — it was tough on us Saturday. That’s what you want to see; you want to see it means something to them, and I knew it did.”
“At some point you can’t let that loss end up being two. You can’t let Georgia beat you when we play Ole Miss. We moved on.”
No. 18 Auburn vs No. 2 Georgia – 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
“The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” will be renewed at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.
Auburn has won two straight since their loss to Penn State in week three, but needed late game heroics to beat Georgia State and needed a fourth quarter rally to beat LSU.
Stetson Bennett is expected to start in place of injured QB JT Daniels, as the Bulldogs go for their fifth straight win in the series.
“We are excited to be headed over to Auburn and play what we think is a good football team,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “They just won a big game on the road. I’ve known Coach (Bryan) Harsin for a long time. He does a tremendous job. It’s a really tough place to play. I’ve always thought their stadium and the experiences I’ve had [there], it’s one of the toughest places to play in the conference. They have tremendous support and fans. Our guys have to be mentally prepared to go on the road in the SEC. We are excited for the opportunity.”
Georgia’s defense is flat out nasty, giving up just 177.8 yards and 4.6 points per game through their first five games.
No. 3 Iowa vs No. 4 Penn State – 4:00 p.m. ET, FOX
The last time Iowa played in a top-5 matchup at home, it was 1985 and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was an assistant coach for the Hawkeyes.
“You’ve thought of these games ever since you were a kid,” Iowa defensive end John Waggoner said. “These are the games you want to play in.”
Iowa turned over Maryland seven times last week — including six interceptions — in a 51-14 drubbing that catapulted them over Penn State in the rankings.
The Hawkeyes offense is ranked 119th in the nation in yards per play, but is seventh in the nation in yards per game defensively.
The Nittany Lions defense is third in the nation in points given up per game (12.0 ppg).
Penn State head coach James Franklin brings his Nittany Lions to Iowa City looking to establish themselves as the Big 10 favorite for the College Football Playoff.
“It’s a tough environment,” Franklin said when asked about playing at Kinnick Stadium. “There’s no doubt about it. We’ve got a lot of respect for that school and that community and the support that they give their football program. Obviously, there’s special things about it. Obviously, the wave to the children’s hospital is, I think, one of the better traditions in college football. You know, whenever you can support people in challenging times, you want to do that. It’s something that I think is very unique to college football and very unique to the University of Iowa.”
Nebraska vs No. 9 Michigan – 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
We’re granted another interesting Big 10 matchup when Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh brings his Wolverines to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Scott Frost has his Huskers playing much better football after a wildly disappointing opening week loss to Illinois, now sitting at .500 on the season.
Michigan is 5-0 and coming off a strong performance against Wisconsin, outscoring the Badgers 25-7 in the second half.
“I think Nebraska is really impressive,” Harbaugh said. “They’re playing their best football. It was a dominating performance (last week). You look back at their games that they played. They’ve all been close against outstanding opponents.”
“It’s going to be a big challenge. No different really from what we were facing last week. We’re in the same situation, getting ready to play a really hungry team, a team that’s hitting their stride.”
Texas A&M vs No. 1 Alabama – 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS
This game looked a whole lot different two weeks ago, when Texas A&M was undefeated and sitting at No. 7 in the polls. Now, they’re unranked after back-to-back losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State.
Alabama is coming off a dominating win over Ole Miss, they boast the nation’s third-ranked scoring offense, and they’ll be 18-point favorites in College Station. Good luck to the Aggies.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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