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College Football week 9 - Three big games on Saturday

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A trio of big games dominate today’s college football schedule

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday New York Giants fans, and welcome to another college football Saturday!

We have a trio of big games today that could shape help shape the landscape of college football as we head toward the College Football Playoffs. Today could also help shape the eventual landscape of the 2020 draft as new names are added to the mix of top prospects.

On the other side of things, at least one coach on the sidelines today could have his future determined by whether he wins or loses.

Wisconsin (13) at Ohio State (3)

Fox - noon

We start our Saturday off with a heavyweight match in the Big 10 with Playoff implications. Ohio State is looking to cement their status as one of the four best teams in the country. To that end, a win over Wisconsin would be a big step toward punching their ticket into the post-season.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, is coming off of an embarrassing last-second (literally) loss to Illinois last week. The Badgers have only trailed for one instant this season, but that instant was as the ball sailed through the uprights on a go-ahead field goal as time expired to give Illinois the win. Their path to the College Football Playoffs is now incredibly tight, if not closed completely. If they want to have a chance at playing for the championship, they have to beat a very talented Ohio State team.

Players To Watch

Wisconsin

  • Tyler Biadasz (OC/iOL)
  • Cole Van Lanen (OL)
  • Jonathan Taylor (RB)
  • Zack Braun (EDGE)

Ohio State

  • Chase Young (EDGE)
  • Jashon Cornell (iDL)
  • Robert Landers (iDL)
  • Jeffery Okudah (CB)
  • Shaun Wade (CB) *red-shirt sophomore
  • J.K. Dobbins (RB)
  • K.J. Hill (WR)

Auburn (9) vs. LSU (2)

CBS - 3:30 p.m.

If you like defense, this is a game for you.

As usual, LSU has NFL defenders at every level, and they will likely be off the board by the end of the second day of the draft — if not the second round.

But the story of every LSU game is quickly becoming quarterback Joe Burrow, who suddenly blossomed as a red-shirt senior when LSU switched to a run-based attack to a spread offense. Burrow is now widely considered a first round quarterback and is entering the conversation for the first QB off the board. He has become one of the most accurate and efficient passers in the nation, rarely missing a receiver and putting himself squarely in the Heisman conversation.

Auburn has a good defense in their own right, and DT Derrick Brown brings a blend of size and athleticism that is letting him dominate this season. This game will likely become a “Go-To” for scouts when they evaluate prospects against a high level of competition.

Players To Watch

Auburn

  • Derrick Brown (iDL)
  • Nick Coe (DL)
  • Prince Tega Wanogho (OT)
  • Jack Driscoll (OT)

LSU

  • Joe Burrow (QB)
  • Lloyd Cushenberry III (iOL)
  • Grant Delpit (S)
  • Kristian Fulton (CB)
  • K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE)
  • Rashard Lawrence (iDL)

Notre Dame (8) at Michigan (19)

ABC - 7:30

This one has less to do with the players on the field, though there will be several very good ones, than it does the cloud hanging over the game.

The future of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh might really be on the line in this one. While Harbaugh helped restore Michigan’s stature on the national stage and put them back in post-season contention, his squads have largely failed to win big games against ranked opponents. Those disappointing losses have piled up and if Michigan follows last week’s loss to Penn State with a loss to Notre Dame, Harbaugh could be finished.

Players To Watch

Notre Dame

  • Julian Okwara (EDGE)
  • Khalid Kareem (EDGE)
  • Troy Pride Jr. (CB)
  • Liam Eichenberg (OT)

Michigan

  • Ben Bredeson (iOL)
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR)
  • Joshua Uche (EDGE)