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Wayne Staats | | November 26, 2019

College football Week 13 preview: Top games, what to watch, rankings

5 college football games to watch in week 13

Now that we're in Week 13 of the college football season, we're getting down to must-win games for conference division hopes and more. Below, find our preview of the top games, what to watch for and the weekly Top 25 rankings.

In two key games, No. 2 Ohio State plays No. 8 Penn State and No. 4 Georgia is home against Texas A&M.

College football Week 13 preview: Top games

No. 8 Penn State at No. 2 Ohio State | 12 p.m. Saturday | FOX

Penn State has had some close games lately, but if PSU can play in another tight one this week, that's a good sign. Ohio State has been so dominant through 10 games that the Nittany Lions might feel a little more comfortable if the game is close in the fourth quarter. But a lot will probably have to go right — like somehow slowing down Buckeyes QB Justin Fields.

OSU-PSU: Preview, prediction, how to watch

Texas A&M at No. 4 Georgia | 3:30 p.m. Saturday | CBS

The Bulldogs are going to Atlanta as SEC East champs and would be a tough foe for LSU (the Tigers are one win away from clinching the SEC West). But UGA is also right in the mix for a CFP spot, so there are bigger goals than the SEC title as the Bulldogs play an A&M team that's won four in a row. Georgia can't afford a second loss.

No. 13 Michigan at Indiana | 3:30 p.m. Saturday | ESPN

Indiana was ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 1994 but fell to Penn State by a touchdown last week. Still, it's been an impressive 7-3 season for IU going into this one. But there's one thing missing: a signature win. This could be just that, though Michigan has been on a roll the last few weeks.

Texas at No. 14 Baylor | 3:30 p.m. Saturday | FS1

One of the biggest stories to watch this week will be to see how Baylor responds after blowing a 25-point lead to OU last week. The Bears will have to win out, but Texas is a tough one. Yes, Texas is only 6-4, but QB Sam Ehlinger is capable of carrying the Longhorns to an upset on the road.

No. 25 SMU at Navy | 3:30 p.m. Saturday | CBSSN

Both teams are 5-1 in AAC play, which is tied with Memphis for first in the West (though Memphis has the head-to-head edge on both). The winner stays in the hunt for the AAC title, but they'll need Memphis to lose. SMU has struggled on defense, so Navy should be able to get its ground game going.

Louisiana Tech at UAB | 3:30 p.m. Saturday | ESPN+

Louisiana Tech's loss to Marshall helped open the door wider in the CUSA West. The Bulldogs are 5-1 in the conference, tied with Southern Miss (though Louisiana Tech beat the Golden Eagles), with UAB next at 4-2. The Blazers are the defending CUSA champs and won't give in easily.

Temple at No. 19 Cincinnati | 7 p.m. Saturday | ESPN2

The American isn't shy in giving fans fun games every week, and this one is no different. Temple gave Memphis its only loss of the season (so far) and could end Cincinnati's New Year's Six hopes with an upset here.

No. 6 Oregon at Arizona State | 7:30 p.m. Saturday | ABC

The Ducks have clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game and would love to meet 1-loss Utah for a resume-boosting game. But first Oregon will have to defeat Arizona State and rival Oregon State. The Sun Devils were 5-1 but have since lost four in a row, so the Ducks should get by with QB Justin Herbert and a strong defense.

No. 20 Boise State at Utah State | 10:30 p.m. Saturday | CBSSN

The Broncos keep on winning and would pounce should the AAC champion end up with two defeats and challenge for the New Year's Six spot. But Utah State is going to be ready with what should be a wild atmosphere in Logan, Utah. But Aggies star QB Jordan Love left the Wyoming game and Boise State quarterbacks Hank Bachmeier and Chase Cord could both be out.

WEEK 13 SCHEDULE: Times, TV channels, scores for every game

College football preview: What to watch for this week

Can Alabama still sneak into the College Football Playoff?

With Tua Tagovailoa out for the season, it's the Mac Jones show now at quarterback. With the Tide likely not playing for the SEC Championship, that's a miss for a team without a big win. That means Jones and Alabama need to look really, really, really good against Western Carolina and Auburn to overcome those issues.

The Tide are currently No. 5 and might not drop this week either, unless Penn State shocks Ohio State. But Alabama will have a difficult time holding off some teams. That starts with a 1-loss Pac-12 champion.

Both Oregon and Utah could end up in the top 4 if they win out. If the Ducks and Utes are both 11-1 for their Pac-12 title game, it's easy to see that serving as a play-in game for the CFP.

Alabama might be in a stronger position against a 1-loss Big 12 champion (Oklahoma or Baylor). OU is only No. 9 and moved up just one spot after winning at what was an undefeated Baylor team. But the Sooners will inevitably climb as teams ahead of them lose. And OU will have a conference championship to use in an argument against Alabama.

Ohio State looks like the class of the Big Ten, but if OSU stumbles, the Buckeyes might have a strong enough resume to be ahead of 'Bama — with or without a conference title.

As fun as it is to debate, it's likely things will work themselves out. All Alabama can do is win big against Western Carolina and hopefully Auburn and then hope for chaos everywhere else.

Can anyone wrestle the Heisman from Joe Burrow?

It's getting hard to see anyone but Joe Burrow holding the Heisman next month. But things can change quickly.

UNDEFEATED WATCH: Tracking the three remaining undefeated teams this season

It probably starts with Ohio State QB Justin Fields and Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts.

Fields has 2,164 passing yards with 31 TDs and only one interception while also rushing for 377 yards and 10 TDs. To seriously challenge Burrow, Fields needs to take advantage of national audience for Saturday's game against Penn State. He also still has to play at rival Michigan and possibly the Big Ten Championship Game.

The biggest setback for Fields so far is that he and the Buckeyes have been too good. They haven't needed Fields to play late in games.

As for Hurts, he rallied OU at Baylor and is now up to 3,039 passing yards (28 TDs, 5 INTs) and 983 rushing yards (15 TDs). If the Sooners make a serious push toward the CFP, Hurts will get support. But it might be asking a lot for an Oklahoma quarterback to win the Heisman for the third year in a row. Especially when the favorite is undefeated and has been posting ridiculous lines.

In the end, Fields and Hurts probably need Burrow and LSU to lose. Asking that from Arkansas this week is a lot, but LSU still has Texas A&M and then Georgia for the SEC title (if the Tigers get there). Right now, Burrow's 3,687 passing yards and 38 touchdowns is way too strong to ignore, especially after the thrilling win at Alabama.

College football rankings for Week 13:



LSU (54)

LSU (55)
Ohio State

Ohio State (5)

Ohio State (6)

Clemson (3)

Clemson (4)









Penn State



Penn State

Penn State












Notre Dame

Notre Dame
Notre Dame








Boise State
Boise State

Boise State

Oklahoma State


Iowa State

Oklahoma State

Appalachian State
Southern California

Appalachian State

Oklahoma State
Appalachian State

Texas A&M

Texas A&M

Virginia Tech

San Diego State

Week 13 college football schedule, game times, TV channels

Friday, Nov. 22

Central Arkansas at UIW | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Colorado State at Wyoming | 9:30 p.m. | ESPN2

Saturday, Nov. 23

No. 9 Penn State at No. 2 Ohio State | 12 p.m. | FOX
Kansas at No. 22 Iowa State | 12 p.m. | FSN
Ball State at Kent State | 12 p.m. | ESPN+
Liberty at Virginia | 12 p.m. | ACC Network Extra
Western Carolina at No. 5 Alabama | 12 p.m. | ESPN
Samford at No. 15 Auburn | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 10 Minnesota at Northwestern | 12 p.m. | ABC
East Carolina at UConn | 12 p.m. | ESPN3
Michigan State at Rutgers | 12 p.m. | FS1
No. 21 Oklahoma State at West Virginia | 12 p.m. | ESPN2
UCF at Tulane | 12 p.m. | CBSSN
Illinois at No. 17 Iowa | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network
BYU at UMass | 12 p.m. | FloSports
Dartmouth at Brown | 12 p.m. | ESPN+
Harvard at Yale | 12 p.m. | ESPNU
Wofford at The Citadel | 12 p.m. | ESPN+
San Diego at Jacksonville | 12 p.m. | ESPN+
Hampton at Monmouth | 12 p.m. | ESPN3
Illinois State at Youngstown State | 12 p.m. | ESPN+
Princeton at Penn | 1 p.m. | ESPN+
Stetson at Morehead State | 1 p.m. | ESPN+
Point University at Furman | 1 p.m. | ESPN+
Chattanooga at VMI | 1 p.m. | ESPN3
Morgan State at Howard | 1 p.m. | ESPN3
South Carolina State at Norfolk State | 1 p.m. | ESPN3
North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T | 1 p.m. | ESPN3
St. Andrews at Presbyterian | 1 p.m. | ESPN3
Columbia at Cornell | 1:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Air Force at New Mexico | 2 p.m. | ESPN3
South Alabama at Georgia State | 2 p.m. | ESPN+
Eastern Kentucky at Jacksonville State | 2 p.m. | ESPN3
Murray State at Southeast Missouri State | 2 p.m. | ESPN+
Marist at Valparaiso | 2 p.m. | ESPN+
Western Illinois at Northern Iowa | 2 p.m. | ESPN3
Gardner-Webb at Kennesaw State | 2 p.m. | ESPN+
St. Francis (PA) at Delaware State | 2 p.m. | ESPN3
Boston College at No. 16 Notre Dame | 2:30 p.m. | NBC
Texas State at No. 24 Appalachian State | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Tennessee State at Tennessee Tech | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Georgia Southern at Arkansas State | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Eastern Illinois at Austin Peay | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Alcorn State at Jackson State | 3 p.m. | ESPN3
South Dakota State at South Dakota | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
North Dakota State at Southern Illinois | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Indiana State at Missouri State | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Texas A&M at No. 4 Georgia | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
UCLA at No. 23 Southern California | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
Nebraska at Maryland | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
No. 25 SMU at Navy | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN
North Texas at Rice | 3:30 p.m. | NFL Network
Western Kentucky at Southern Miss | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Marshall at Charlotte | 3:30 p.m. | Stadium
Mercer at North Carolina | 3:30 p.m. | ACC Network Extra
East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt | 3:30 p.m. | SEC Network Alternate
Louisiana Tech at UAB | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
UT Martin at Kentucky | 3:30 p.m. | SEC Network
No. 13 Michigan at Indiana | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN
Pitt at Virginia Tech | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN2
Texas at No. 14 Baylor | 3:30 p.m. | FS1
Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman (Orlando, FL) | 3:30 p.m. | ESPNN
Campbell at Charleston Southern | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
Purdue at No. 12 Wisconsin | 4 p.m. | FOX
San Jose State at UNLV | 4 p.m. | AT&T Sportsnet
Syracuse at Louisville | 4 p.m. | ACC Network
No. 18 Memphis at South Florida | 4 p.m. | ESPNU
California at Stanford | 4 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
UTEP at New Mexico State | 4 p.m. | FloSports
McNeese at Lamar | 4 p.m. | ESPN3
Old Dominion at Middle Tennessee | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN3
Troy at Louisiana | 5 p.m. | ESPN+
Coastal Carolina at UL Monroe | 5 p.m. | ESPN3
Florida Atlantic at UTSA | 6 p.m. | ESPN+
Arkansas at No. 1 LSU | 7 p.m. | ESPN
Kansas State at Texas Tech | 7 p.m. | FS1
Temple at No. 19 Cincinnati | 7 p.m. | ESPN2
Miami at Florida International | 7 p.m. | CBSSN
Tennessee at Missouri | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
Duke at Wake Forest | 7:30 p.m. | ACC Network
Abilene Christian at Mississippi State | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network Alternate
No. 6 Oregon at Arizona State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
Houston at Tulsa | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU
TCU at No. 9 Oklahoma | 8 p.m. | FOX
Oregon State at Washington State | 9 p.m. | Pac-12 Networks
No. 7 Utah at Arizona | 10 p.m. | FS1
Washington at Colorado | 10 p.m. | ESPN
Nevada at Fresno State | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 20 Boise State at Utah State | 10:30p.m. | CBSSN
San Diego State at Hawai'i | 11 p.m. | Spectrum Sports

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