Week 7 of the 2020 college football season is underway, and we’re getting closer to the most anticipated contest of the campaign. No. 3 Georgia will travel to face No. 2 Alabama on Saturday in a game that will be featured in prime time on CBS. The cross-divisional game could be a preview of the upcoming SEC Championship Game. And depending on how things unfold, it could also feature two College Football Playoff teams.
Elsewhere around the country, North Carolina is set for its first game as a top-five team since 1997 when it takes on Florida State. The coach that year? Mack Brown. The coach this year? You guessed it, Mack Brown. The Tar Heels have plenty to prove still in this young season, but they have handled their business in ACC play and need to do so again on Saturday. There’s action all over from the AAC to the SEC on this mid-October weekend.
Check out this week’s viewer’s guide with kickoff times, tune-in information and storylines all below.
The biggest games
Louisville at No. 4 Notre Dame — 2:30 p.m., NBC and fuboTV (Try for free): This game received the “… but it’d be funny, right?” upset alert siren on the Cover 3 Podcast. The Cardinals’ defense has to slow the Fighting Irish’s vaunted run game, but there’s some desperation from Scott Satterfield’s team — a preseason dark horse darling — after starting 0-3 in conference play. Notre Dame may be in for a fight.
UCF at Memphis — 3:30 p.m., ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): I don’t care that this game isn’t between two ranked teams. It feels like could be. The reason why it’s not getting more play is that both teams are coming off of losses and open weeks. Don’t let the Knights and Tigers be out of sight, out of mind. These are still two of the AAC’s better teams and it’s an early-season battle to keep afloat in the race towards a conference title.
No. 11 Texas A&M at Mississippi State — 4 p.m., ESPN and fuboTV (Try for free): The Bulldogs’ upset over LSU feels like it was ages ago. Mike Leach’s offense has scored just two touchdowns in the past two games — both losses. Texas A&M is coming off a signature win over Florida. Aggies running back Isaiah Spiller has been good, but Mississippi State’s run defense is stout. A&M can’t afford a hangover game.
No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama — 8 p.m., CBS and CBSSports.com: The most anticipated game of the weekend was thrown a wrench when Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban tested positive for the coronavirus. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, a former head coach at Washington and USC, will lead the way. Despite Saban’s absence, this game will count towards Saban’s unblemished record against his former assistants. Oh yeah, and the alpha spot in the SEC is on the line. This game is layered in storylines.
Other big games
Pitt at No. 13 Miami (FL) — noon, ACC Network and fuboTV (Try for free): This is a pivotal game for both teams, but especially so for Miami. OK, so the Hurricanes couldn’t keep up with Clemson. News flash: a lot of teams can’t. But if Miami has really taken a step forward, one loss can’t become two. Pitt is the type of team to feast on a hangover, too. The Panthers’ defensive front is one of the best in the nation and the offense has a good passing attack. This could be an exciting game in the early slot.
No. 1 Clemson at Georgia Tech — noon, ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): More than anything, we’re waiting on an ACC team to make Clemson work for 60 minutes. The Tigers have won their last nine conference games by at least three touchdowns. Will Georgia Tech catch their top-ranked opponent sleepwalking on the road? The Yellow Jackets have a fun quarterback in Jeff Sims, but that Clemson defense is elite.
Kentucky at No. 18 Tennessee — noon, SEC Network and fuboTV (Try for free): This is about getting back to basics for the Vols. Their supposedly great offensive line didn’t do well in the Week 6 loss to Georgia and Kentucky has a strong defense of its own. Tennessee may not be in the upper echelon of the SEC East yet, but it has to refocus on running the ball in a get-right game — especially with Alabama on the horizon.
No. 5 North Carolina at Florida State — 7:30 p.m., ABC and fuboTV (Try for free): Florida State hasn’t been winning a lot, but it’s found some mojo on offense with quarterback Jordan Travis. Can the Seminoles score enough to keep up with UNC quarterback Sam Howell? The Tar Heels are comfortable getting into shootouts.
Boston College at No. 23 Virginia Tech — 8 p.m., ACC Network and fuboTV (Try for free): It’ll be completely overshadowed by Georgia-Alabama, but don’t sleep on this game. This has some low-key fun potential in the final time slot of the day. Boston College has an impressive one-two punch with wide receiver Zay Flowers and tight end Hunter Long. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec has the arm to get it to them. Virginia Tech has been lights out on offense, too, but just hasn’t been at full strength because of COVID-19. Keep this one on your second screen.