The 2020 college football season is entering its stretch-run. Uncertainty, postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19 are abound, but that doesn’t mean that Week 12’s schedule lacks intrigue.
The highlight of the weekend will take place Saturday afternoon in Columbus when No. 3 Ohio State squares off against No. 9 Indiana in the biggest game of the young Big Ten season. The conference also features a ranked-on-ranked matchup between No. 10 Wisconsin and No. 19 Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois. It’s hard to believe, but this game could serve as a de facto Big Ten West title game. Saturday night in Norman, No. 18 Oklahoma will host No. 14 Oklahoma State in the “Bedlam” rivalry.
The SEC had its marquee game between Ole Miss and No. 5 Texas A&M canceled, but top-ranked Alabama is back in action vs. Kentucky and No. 6 Florida will hope to stay in the national title race at Vanderbilt.
The ACC, unfortunately, had most of its games canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 issues, including No. 4 Clemson at Florida State, which was canceled just hours before kickoff on Saturday. Still in play, however, is Virginia Tech at Pitt with plenty of intriguing storylines to follow. Plus, No. 21 Liberty plays another ACC foe in NC State on Saturday night.
Let’s take a spin around the country and set you up with a viewer’s guide to all of Saturday’s action.
All times ET
The biggest games
No. 9 Indiana at No. 3 Ohio State — noon, Fox and fuboTV (Try for free): The Hoosiers are one of the darlings of the college football world, and a win over the Buckeyes would be their biggest win in several decades. It would also cement them as the Big Ten favorite heading into the stretch run.
No. 14 Oklahoma State at No. 18 Oklahoma — 7:30 p.m., ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): The Cowboys still have a shot at the College Football Playoff and the Sooners, who have been hot on offense, would love to play spoiler. If Mike Gundy’s crew breaks the Sooners’ five-game winning streak in the series, the CFP race will suddenly get very interesting.
No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 19 Northwestern — 3:30 p.m., ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): It’s hard to imagine that the Wildcats could take the Big Ten West and have a shot at the College Football Playoff in mid-December, but it’s a distinct possibility based on the rest of their schedule. They’ll have to get by a Badgers team that is not only explosive in the ground game, but knows what it feels like to be in the national title race.
Kentucky at No. 1 Alabama — 4 p.m., SEC Network and fuboTV (Try for free): The Crimson Tide haven’t played since Halloween, and they get to knock the rust off against the best pass defense in the SEC. It isn’t exactly a sexy matchup, but Tide quarterback Mac Jones is set up for a potential Heisman Trophy moment against the Wildcats.
No. 20 USC at Utah — 10:30 p.m., ESPN and fuboTV (Try for free): Pac-12 after dark will be wildly intriguing. The Trojans have provided two of the wildest games of the season over the last two weeks and the Utes will kick off their season in the hopes of making the conference championship game. It’s early(ish), but this game could be the one that decides the Pac-12 South.
Other big games
No. 6 Florida at Vanderbilt — noon, ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): No, this shouldn’t be much of a challenge for the Gators. But we better savor the play of Gators quarterback Kyle Trask as he continues his Heisman run. He’ll have to do it without star tight end Kyle Pitts for the second straight week. But as we saw last weekend, that might not matter all that much.
San Diego State at Nevada — 3:30 p.m., CBS and CBSSports.com: The SEC’s loss is the Mountain West’s gain. The Aztecs and Wolf Pack get a rare national TV game in the most prominent window of the college football weekend. Plus, we get to see Wolf Pack quarterback Carson Strong. If you don’t know the name … you will soon.
No. 7 Cincinnati at UCF — 3:30 p.m., ESPN and fuboTV (Try for free): The Bearcats are not only in the driver’s seat in the AAC, but have a decent shot at making the College Football Playoff. Standing in their way is a Knights squad that has plenty of experience playing on a big stage. This is the biggest game of the AAC season thus far.
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Best of the rest
- Appalachian State at No. 15 Coastal Carolina — noon, ESPN and fuboTV (Try for free)
- LSU at Arkansas — noon, SEC Network and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Georgia Southern at Army — noon, CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com
- North Alabama at No. 8 BYU — 3 p.m., ESPN3
- UCLA at No. 11 Oregon –3:30 p.m., ESPN2 and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Kansas State at No. 17 Iowa State — 4 p.m., Fox and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Tennessee at No. 23 Auburn — 7 p.m., ESPN and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Mississippi State at No. 13 Georgia — 7:30 p.m., SEC Network and fuboTV (Try for free)
- No. 21 Liberty at NC State — 7:30 p.m., ESPN3
- Boise State at Hawaii — 11 p.m., CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com