We’re getting close to the home stretch of the college football season. The contenders are really beginning to separate themselves from the pretenders. Several games this week could go a long way in determining who wins each conference and who gets closer to an elusive berth in the College Football Playoff. And with the CFP Committee rankings coming out in the next week or so, everybody wants to impress. Here are the best college football games to watch in Week 9. All games are listen in chronological order and all times listed are Central Time. All rankings reflect the most recent AP Poll. And remember, if your team doesn’t make this list, it’s only because I hate them.
Thursday, October 25
Baylor @ #13 West Virginia
Milan Puskar Stadium – Morgantown, WV
Why you should watch: Despite suffering a loss and having a game cancelled, West Virginia is still in the hunt for the Big XII title. Will Grier may not be the Heisman frontrunner anymore, but he and WR David Sills are still probably the best combo in college football.
Friday, October 26
Miami @ Boston College
Alumni Stadium – Chestnut Hill, MA
Why you should watch: It’s the best of a much of mediocre Friday night games. It feels like Friday night games always used to have importance to them, but with college football being played three times a week and the NFL playing three times a week, it just feels like it’s lost it’s luster. Speaking of losing luster, the Miami Hurricanes turnover chain does not appear to be working as well this year as it did last year.
Saturday, October 27
#2 Clemson @ Florida State
Doak Campbell Stadium – Tallahassee, FL
Why you should watch: This game has been the premier ACC game for the better part of the last decade. There was a stretch where both teams were good at the same time, but Florida State has fallen off the face of this earth over the last two seasons. Willie Taggart is on way over his head with the Noles and Dabo Swinney shows no signs of slowing down at Clemson.
#7 Georgia vs. #9 Florida*
TIAA Bank Field – Jacksonville, FL
Why you should watch: This is a hill that I will die on with legions of Dawg and Gator fans. The powers that be can try to change it all they want, but this game shall forever be known as The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. This game is one of perhaps five college football games that should always be played at a neutral site. This is the biggest game in this rivalry since 2012, as both teams are ranked in the Top 10 and control their own destiny in terms of the SEC East race.
#18 Iowa @ #17 Penn State
Beaver Stadium – State College, PA
Why you should watch: It’s a battle of two ranked teams. Penn State has kind of fallen off after a hot start and Iowa is very quietly going about their business and may be a contender in the B1G West.
#21 USF @ Houston
TDECU Stadium – Houston, TX
Why you should watch: Sneaky good game in the American right here. USF is undefeated and is in the midst of their third straight excellent season. Houston meanwhile has just one loss on the year (on the road against a solid Texas Tech team). Commissioner Mike Aresco is definitely pulling for the Bulls to remain undefeated as an undefeated USF against an undefeated UCF on Thanksgiving weekend would be a massive draw for the conference.
#3 Notre Dame vs. Navy*
SDCCU Stadium – San Diego, CA
Why you should watch: There are some Notre Dame fans that want to see this rivalry come to an end, because the theory goes that Notre Dame has nothing to gain and everything to lose from this game. But as one of the great upholders of college football tradition, it would be criminal for the Irish to not play this game. The reason this game gets played every single year is that during WWII, the Naval Academy lent enough students to Notre Dame to keep the doors of the school open and they’ve played every year since. Since 2007, Navy has been very competitive in the series (after losing 43 in a row, the Mids have won four in the last eleven.)