Conference races, playoff spots, and bowl positioning is all up for grabs in the second week of November. After seeing Michigan State and Wake Forest fall from the ranks of the unbeaten in the top 10 last week. Oklahoma, Michigan, and Notre Dame all have tough road tests this week and are on upset alert. Now, let’s get into it as we look at the best matchups in college football with our 2021 week 11 college football watch guide.
Note: All game times are in central standard time
2021 Week 11 College Football Watch Guide
Michigan rebounded strongly from their first loss of the season with a 29-7 win against Indiana on Saturday. Now, they have their toughest test of the season prior to Ohio State as they travel to Happy Valley to face the Nittany Lions as a Big 10 battle kicks us off on our 2021 Week 11 college football watch guide. Penn State started slow but finished strong in a 31-14 victory over Maryland. Jahan Dotson stole the show with 11 catches for 242 yards and three scores. The Nittany Lions will look to be in the spoiler role as a Big 10 Championship and College Football Playoff berth is still within reach for Michigan.
The Sooners bring the longest winning streak in the nation into a brutal November stretch that starts in Waco against the Bears. Oklahoma might come in as one of the most motivated teams in the country based on their initial placement into the playoff rankings. Caleb Williams has thrown 14 touchdowns and just one interception in limited action but his star status will be tested. The Bears came into last weeks game against TCU as one of the best defensive teams in the conference. However, they gave up over 530 total yards from scrimmage to former Oklahoma quarterback Chandler Morris. Can Williams and the Sooners duplicate the effort?
Both of these teams are coming into this game off disappointing performances on Saturday. For Mississippi State, they missed three field goals in a three-point loss at Arkansas. The struggle was so real that Mike Leach has opened the kicking competition to any walk-on interested in trying out. Comparatively, Auburn didn’t have field goal kicking issues but that’s about all that went well for them in a 20-3 loss to Texas A&M. Now, the two worlds collide with both teams desperately needing a victory.
The Bulldogs maintain their stranglehold on the top spot with another dominating performance with a 43-6 victory against Missouri. In one of the most impressive statistics in the country, Georgia has scored more touchdowns on defense than they have given up. But, now they face the best offense they have played against all season as they travel to Rocky Top. Tennessee is one of the most improved teams in the country behind a revitalized offense. Hendon Hooker is a huge part of that in completing nearly 70% of his passes and 21 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. Can the Volunteers provide the magic that will challenge Georgia for the first time all season?
Purdue has a pair of the best wins in the country on the road against Iowa and last week at home against Michigan State. No team in the country has as many top-five wins as the Boilermakers. However, they come into this game 20 point underdogs against the Buckeyes. Austin O’Connell threw for 536 yards and David Bell had 11 receptions for 217 yards last week. Conversely, the Buckeyes struggled to a 26-17 win for their second straight close win. C.J. Stroud threw for 405 yards but also threw two interceptions. The difficult stretch for Ohio State begins this week with Michigan State and Michigan over the next two weeks making this week a possible trap game for the Buckeyes.
Briefly, we’ll go outside the top 25 for a rivalry game in our 2021 week 11 college football watch guide. This is a battle of bitter rivals, but also two much-improved teams. The Seminoles have an outside shot to get to bowl eligibility, while the Hurricanes have won three consecutive games by a total of eight points. After struggling so much early on, Miami has a decent chance to get to an eight-win campaign. This looks to be another shootout in this Sunshine State battle.
Perhaps the biggest matchup of the weekend takes place in Oxford as Ole Miss hosts an extremely hot Aggie ballclub. After a mid-season struggle that saw them lose two straight games against Arkansas and Mississippi State, they have won four straight. They still have an outside shot at reaching the SEC Championship Game with a win here. Meanwhile, the Rebels are in a similar position as a two-loss team. But, with a win here has an outstanding shot at getting to 10 wins in the regular season. With Matt Corral still hobbled, does he have enough against a terrific defense to get another huge win?
Notre Dame is still hanging on to a slim opportunity for a playoff berth. With Georgia Tech, Stanford and no conference championship game the opportunities to stay relevant are becoming slim. Be that as it may, the Irish face one of the best offensive teams in the ACC as they travel to face Virginia on Saturday night. The Cavaliers are sitting at 6-3, but have a tough stretch to end the season against Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech. The ACC Championship Game is still an opportunity they have in front of them, but before that, they can play spoiler. Brennan Armstrong is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country with 34 total touchdowns and will need his best game to win.
Typically, a lame-duck coaching staff makes for many one-sided games down the stretch. However, that’s the furthest from the truth for LSU who in many respects outplayed Alabama last weekend in a 20-14 defeat. However, one can assume they will be equally as motivated in this rivalry matchup against Arkansas. Speaking of the Razorbacks, their win against Mississippi State got them to bowl eligibility and now they are looking for more. An eight-win season is not out of the realm of possibility. But, it all starts with a road win in one of the toughest venues in America.
While the Wake Forest playoff hopes took a major hit, their conference championship aspirations are very much alive. A win over the Wolfpack on Saturday night will go a long way in making that a reality. Sam Hartman is still a Heisman candidate and one of the best quarterbacks in the country. However, the defense has its problems giving up over 38 points per game over the last five games. Now comes NC State who have won six of their last seven and have only given up 27 points total in their last two games. The winner of this game will take firm control of the Atlantic division.