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Week 10 Viewers Guide: MACtion Returns

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Currently top 4 Alabama and LSU highlight this week's action that will make it tough to leave your couch after ND-Pitt.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday Night

Favorite Underdog Venue Time Network Line
Bowling Green Falcons Ohio Bobcats Doyt L. Perry Stadium (BGSU) 8:00 ESPN2 -21.5

Weeknight MACtion kicked off Tuesday night with Toledo losing to Northern Illinois, but there's another option tonight for those looking for a weeknight fix. Both Bowling Green and Ohio have been solid this season. The Falcons lead the East division, and is 4-0 in MAC play. Ohio is second in the division at 2-2, and a win over the division leaders will put them right into the thick of the race. BGSU's coach Dino Babers is a hot coaching candidate, and with all of the openings this season, he'll be in line for a move to a P5 job in the offseason.

Thursday Night

Favorite Underdog Venue Time Network Line
Baylor Bears Kansas State Wildcats Bill Snyder Family Stadium (KSU) 7:30 FS1 -17.5
Mississippi State Bulldogs Missouri Tigers Farout Field (MU) 9:00 ESPN -7.5
Nevada Wolfpack Fresno State Bulldogs Bulldog Stadium 10:30 ESPN2 -4.5

Baylor will surely be up in arms that they're undefeated but still outside the top four in the Playoff Committee rankings. Because of this, they'll be looking to make a statement in their game against K-State in Manhattan. The Wildcats have struggled this season, and there have been rumblings about Snyder stepping down at the end of the season. This game will be the first start for Baylor's true freshman QB Jarrett Stidham who is replacing the injured Seth Russell. Stidham played in a similar system in high school, but it remains to be seen how he'll fare against college level opposition. Stidham has looked good in mop-up duty, but tonight will be the first time he'll take meaningful snaps. In the SEC, Mississippi State travels to Columbia to face the Tigers. When Mizzou scored their last TD, the Cardinals were still in the MLB Playoffs which feels like ages ago. QB Maty Mauk has suspended for the rest of the season after being reinstated for last week's game, so Drew Lock will be back behind center for the Tigers. Dak Prescott will probably be the best player on the field in this one, but even his considerable skills might not make this one watchable. Missouri has played four games this year where less than 25 total points were scored. To round out the night, Nevada faces off against Fresno State in the valley. Nevada's two headed RB duo of James Butler and Don Jackson both have a shot at reaching 1000 yards on the season. Fresno has had serious struggles at QB, and will likely struggle to keep pace with the Wolfpack.

Friday Night

Favorite Underdog Venue Time Network Line
Temple Owls SMU Mustangs Gerald J. Ford Stadium (SMU) 8:00 ESPN2 -13
BYU Cougars San Jose State Spartans Spartan Stadium 11:30 CBSSN -12.5

To kickoff the weekend, last week's Irish opponent travels to Texas where they will face SMU. The Owls gave the Irish quite a scare, but Irish fans will now hope the Owls get back to their winning ways. Temple is still undefeated in the AAC, and SMU is currently winless in conference games. If the Owls can keep picking up wins, it will undoubtedly help the Irish playoff cause. Kicking off at close to midnight on the east coast, San Jose State hosts BYU in a battle between two solid G5 opponents. BYU could be without a majority of its defensive line which could be a serious problem. SJSU RB Tyler Ervin is one of the top backs in the country; Ervin already has over 1100 yards rushing, and a healthy 200+ receiving. If the makeshift Cougars defense can slow him down, they'll be in good position to improve to 7-2.

Early Shift

Favorite Underdog Venue Time Network Line
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pittsburgh Panthers Heinz Field Noon ABC -8
North Carolina Tar Heels Duke Blue Devils Kenan Memorial Stadium (UNC) Noon ESPN2 -8
West Virginia Mountaineers Texas Tech Red Raiders Milan Puskar Stadium (WVU) Noon FS1 -8

There's not a lot of other options during the noon slate which is good since most Irish fans will be focused on ABC. During commercial breaks in the ND-Pitt game, UNC and Duke battling for the Victory Bell is probably your best option. This rivalry game could decide the Coastal Division. UNC is 4-0 in the conference having lost a completely inexplicable game to South Carolina on the season's opening night. Duke lost in horrific fashion to Miami last week when referees blew multiple calls on the final play of the game. The Blue Devils will hope to bounce back and return the Bell to Durham after the Heels won 45-20 last season. Also kicking off at noon, the two teams in middle of the Big XII will fight it out in Morgantown. Both teams have lost to the top of the conference, but have taken care of business against the bottom. West Virginia needs this game to get back to .500, and Texas Tech can reach bowl eligibility with a win.

Afternoon Shift

Favorite Underdog Venue Time Network Line
Clemson Tigers Florida State Seminoles Memorial Stadium (Clem) 3:30 ABC -12
Washington State Cougars Arizona State Sun Devils Martin Stadium (WSU) 3:30 FS1 -3
TCU Horned Frogs Oklahoma State Cowboys Boone Pickens Stadium (OSU) 3:30 FOX -5.5
Iowa Hawkeyes Indiana Hoosiers Memorial Stadium (IU) 3:30 ESPN -6.5
Ole Miss Rebels Arkansas Razorbacks Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium (OM) 3:30 CBS -10.5

Clemson hosting Florida State highlights the afternoon slate of games this week. The Tigers sit atop the first edition of the Playoff Committee rankings, and they face their toughest remaining test when the Noles visit Death Valley. Both Everett Golson and Dalvin Cook missed last week's game against Syracuse, but the offense didn't miss a beat with Sean Maguire behind center. Jimbo has been coy about these two player's status for the game, but it's hard to imagine both missing this one. If both players are available (and Everett avoids turnovers), the Noles have as good a chance as anyone to knock off the nation's top ranked team. In a battle of undefeated Big XII teams, TCU faces Oklahoma State in what might have the most interesting playoff implications. Both teams came in ranked lower than expected, but considering how backloaded the Big XII schedule is, they're sure to make up ground with wins. Treyvone Boykin has the Frog offense clicking, but the best defense he's faced was probably Minnesota in week 1. Oklahoma State is undefeated, but has had some close calls against a less than impressive schedule. This is the first week the Big XII meat grinder starts turning, so strap in and get ready to watch the chaos. Washington State will hope to bounce back from their tough loss against Stanford last week. Similarly, Arizona State lost a heart breaker to Oregon in triple OT on a game featuring lots of controversy. The Sun Devils racked up 742 total yards of offense against the Ducks, and Washington State's defense is anything but stout. This has all the makings of a shootout, and it could be fantastic viewing for the neutral viewer. Also at 3:30, undefeated Iowa faces a potential trap game against the Hoosiers in Bloomington. Indiana gave Michigan State a lot of trouble in East Lansing a few weeks ago, and they could be the ones that end Iowa's dream season. Rounding out the afternoon games, Ole Miss hosts Arkansas. Despite Bret Bielema's less than agreeable disposition, Irish fans should probably pull for the Hogs. An Ole Miss loss could eliminate a potential quality win for LSU, and make the Tide's lone loss look a bit worse.

Primetime

Favorite Underdog Venue Time Network Line
Memphis Tigers Navy Midshipmen Liberty Bowl (Memphis) 7:00 ESPN2 -8
Alabama Crimson Tide LSU Tigers Bryant-Denny Stadium (Bama) 8:00 CBS -6.5
Southern Cal Trojans Arizona Wildcats LA Memorial Coliseum 10:30 ESPN -17.5

Irish opponents make up two of the three biggest games of the primetime slate. Sadly, they'll probably be overshadowed by the big game in the SEC. Navy is currently undefeated in the AAC, and they'll face undefeated and 13th ranked Memphis on the road. Keenan Reynolds just tied the NCAA all time rushing TD record, and he'll probably need a few more if the Middies are to pull the upset on the road. In what may end up being a Playoff Quarterfinal, Alabama hosts LSU on CBS. Leonard Fournette will probably need a big game to keep his Heisman campaign rolling along. On the other side, Alabama will try to force LSU into passing situations as untested Tiger QB Brandon Harris is completing fewer than 60% of his passes. The Tide have the defense to slow down Fournette, and the atmosphere should be wild in Tuscaloosa. Hopefully it's a bit more exciting than the 9-6 Game of the Century from a few years ago. To close out the night, Southern Cal welcomes Arizona to the Coliseum. The Trojans need to run the table if they hope to win the PAC-12 South, and will still need some help in the form of a Utah loss. Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster needs just 46 yards to reach 1000 receiving yards this season, and a big game from him, Cody Kessler, and the Trojan defense would go a long way toward helping the Irish strength of schedule. While no one enjoys rooting for SC, it's probably time for Irish fans to take their medicine, and pull for the Trojans the rest of the way.