As conference play starts in full force this weekend, so do games that really matter. With the Big 10 holding down five of the top twenty AP rankings spots, and the SEC claiming seven, it’s no surprise these conferences take center stage. Here’s a quick preview of the four biggest games tomorrow:
No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 8 Michigan State
11 am Central
Here’s a fun fact I bet you didn’t know – the Badgers and Spartans have won five of the last six Big Ten championships. Fun fact number 2, they’ll square off for the first time since 2012 when the two clash in East Lansing tomorrow.
The Badgers are 10-1 when scoring first and 12-0 when leading at halftime under head coach Paul Chryst.
The Badgers are 3-0 for the first time since 2011 and have won 10 of their last 11 games since falling to Iowa in last year’s conference opener.
The Spartans are coming off a huge win over Notre Dame and looking to defend their Big 10 championship.
Michigan State has won 10 of its last 13 games against ranked foes.
Prediction: The Spartans stay undefeated with a 24-17 home win.
No. 12 Georgia at No. 23 Ole Miss
11 am Central
The Bulldogs are coming off a thrilling come-from-behind 28-27 victory over Missouri. Despite leading by as many as 21 points, the Rebels saw their hopes of upsetting top-ranked Alabama dashed last week.
Ole Miss is only 10-14 against ranked teams under Hugh Freeze.
Georgia has a 10-game winning streak against the Rebels.
Prediction: The Rebels break the hold the Bulldogs have had on them and take home a 31-28 victory.
No. 19 Florida at No. 14 Tennessee
2:30 pm Central
One of the nation’s best rivalries renews in a game with big early season implications. Both squads enter at 3-0, but the Gators have plenty of momentum on their side as they have won the last 11 meetings against the Volunteers.
The Gators lead the country in total defense (129.7 yards per game) and scoring defense (4.7 points), and rank second in rushing defense (42.3 yards) and passing defense (87.3 yards).
Tennessee has scored 12 offensive touchdowns and is averaging only 2:00 in time of possession on those drives.
Prediction: Look for Tennessee’s early season “luck” to run out against the Gators. Florida rolls into Knoxville and knocks off the favored Volunteers with it’s stout defense 21-13.
No. 17 Arkansas vs. No. 10 Texas A&M (at AT&T Stadium in Arlington)
8 pm Central
No. 17 Arkansas is 3-0 and has already defeated one top-25 team on the road (TCU). Texas A&M is also perfect on the season, and won its SEC opener Saturday against Auburn.
Texas A&M has won the last four meetings, including back-to-back overtime wins in 2014 and 2015.
Saturday marks the first time both teams entered the game as ranked opponents since 2011.
Prediction: Trevor Knight plays big under the bright lights of a nationally televised game and Kevin Sumlin notches his 40th win as the Aggies head man in a 38-35 OT thriller.