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The Weekend That Will Be: Bye Week

Plenty of good games on the tube even if the Hogs aren't playing.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It comes but once a year (most years), and this year the football gods are looking down favorably during our bye week. As for the rest of the season, when Arkansas actually plays football... that's another discussion.

There are a plethora of entertaining games this week with massive consequences, and we have the benefit of not having to dedicate three to four hours of concentration on one game. So let's get to the games

1) #10 Alabama (-4) at #9 Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m., CBS

This is one of those games that sort of snuck up on us. As soon as the schedules were released Alabama vs. Georgia was being talked about. After some offseason changes, all of a sudden the Aggies are undefeated and can take control of the West with a home win. Can they stop Derrick Henry and the Tide's rushing attack? They'll be tested all afternoon. Look for a record crowd, as one of the change was adding an extra 140,000 seats for a full capacity of 526,000 at Kyle Field (some numbers inflated).

2) #8 Florida at #6 LSU (-7), 6 p.m., ESPN

Before Gator starting quarterback Will Grier was suspended for PED use, Florida stood a chance at going into Baton Rouge and winning. They might still win the East, but winning with Treon Harris at the helm will prove much more difficult. LSU's Leonard Fournette will face his toughest test yet against what might be the most talented defense in the SEC.

3) #7 Michigan State at #12 Michigan (-7), 2:30 p.m., ESPN

Little Brother (MSU) has owned the Wolverines during UM's down years. But since Harbaugh arrived, there is no doubt in whether or not he will have success. Can it come this soon? It sure seems that way. Michigan's defense has allowed 14 points in its last five wins, throwing three shutouts, and Sparty, although winning, has looked dismal for much of the season.

4) Southern Cal at #14 Notre Dame (-6.5), 6:30 p.m., NBC

The USC hype train has officially run off of the rails... again. Last time the Trojans fired a coach in the middle of a season the team rallied behind Ed Orgeron and made it to a bowl game. No way that happens this time, no matter Keyshawn Johnson's speech. Notre Dame is still fighting for a playoff spot and will not be derailed this weekend.

5) #17 Iowa at #20 Northwestern (+2.5), 11 a.m., ABC/ESPN2

Somewhere in the Hawkeye State a farmer's corn fields have told the truth and an undefeated Iowa has come to fruition thus far in 2015. This weekend will be the most grueling test for Iowa going forward. A win here could mean an undefeated season. And in case you have young children, here is a website to prepare them for this possibility:

6) Vanderbilt at South Carolina (-2.5), 3 p.m., SEC Network

The Head Ball Coach's last game was a home loss in Baton Rouge because Steve gonna Steve. Now a Spurrier-less Gamecocks return to Columbia still looking for their first conference win. This week will afford them their best chance, even if Vandy is coming off a bye...

7) #13 Ole Miss (-10.5) at Memphis, 11 a.m., ABC/ESPN2

Here is a "rivalry" of sorts that those outside of the South might not knows exists. These two teams are not one the same level of play,and a win here would assuredly open the door to any open job in the country for Tigers coach, Justin Fuente. Half of Ole Miss' student population comes from Memphis and the atmosphere will be buzzing (on many levels).

8) #19 Oklahoma (-4) at Kansas State, 2:30 p.m., ABC

Coming off a loss to hated rival Texas, the Sooners travel again as road favorites. Hopefully, for Bob Stoops sake, they have found some urgency despite being most likely erased from the playoff picture. The Wildcats nearly had their token big-game upset last week over TCU. Weird things can happen in Manhattan, but it's usually at night. Ask Barney Stinson.

9) Penn State (+17) at #1 Ohio State, 7 p.m., ESPN

At some point the lack of production in Columbus will be concerning to me. At this point, though, the Bucks remind me of Florida State from a year ago, playing flat with an overwhelming sense of confidence. The Nittany Lions don't have enough of an offensive threat to threaten that sense of confidence.

10) Other picks

West Virginia at Baylor (-21)

Louisville at Florida State (-7)

Purdue (+24) at Wisconsin

Missouri  at Georgia (-15)

Boston College at Clemson (-15)

Season: 35-32