Most compelling matchups in college football Week 10

Two ranked-versus-ranked matchups highlight the college football Week 10 schedule, and this weekend’s action is going to be interesting to watch unfold.

The biggest game of the week is taking place in Jacksonville as two top-10 SEC teams clash. The American Athletic Conference will be in the national spotlight on Saturday night on ABC as SMU and Memphis square off in a huge game for that conference.

We’ll dive into those two games and three more examining the most compelling matchups in college football Week 10.

NC State vs. No. 23 Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons have just one loss on record, that being a three-point stunner in an offensive shootout against Louisville a couple weeks back. Saturday afternoon’s game at home against NC State, therefore, is hugely important for this program.

Coming into Week 10 ranked 23rd in the nation, Wake Forest has a chance to continue climbing the national rankings and cementing itself as a viable option for a significant bowl game. And, while NC State has struggled this season, especially on the road, conference rivalry matchups like this tend to produce unlikely results.

The player to watch in this game is Demon Deacons receiver Sage Surratt. Already with 53 receptions for 889 yards and nine touchdowns, he is a big-play machine and well worth the price of admission.

No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 6 Florida

Without a doubt the biggest game of college football Week 10, Georgia vs. Florida figures to be play out like a championship heavyweight fight. Both teams feature defenses that can be indomitable at times. Both teams feature quarterbacks who have the ability to make game-changing throws at any point. Both teams can run the ball thanks to dynamic backs. It’s going to be epic.

Barring the unexpected development, like a special teams touchdown, this game is going to almost certainly boil down to which quarterback can take care of the ball and avoid the big mistake. So far this season, both Jake Fromm and Kyle Trask have been very good at avoiding turnovers overall, with seven combined interceptions between them. The forecast calls for a chance of showers in Jacksonville, which could also impact the way these two quarterbacks play.

No. 9 Utah vs. Washington

The Pac-12 is hanging on by a thread when it comes to a shot at playing in the College Football Playoff heading into Week 10. No. 9 Utah and No. 7 Oregon are the two teams with a remote chance of making it to the tournament, and both have very important games this Saturday (more on Oregon in a bit).

The Utes have been utterly dominating opponents ever since being stunned by USC back in September. With Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss making big play after big play on offense and a defensive front that’s as good as any in the nation, this team is legitimately good on both sides of the ball.

A trip to Seattle is on order this weekend, and the Huskies are still smarting after a loss to Oregon many feel was aided by a bad call at the end of the game. Washington is tough, especially at home, and will give Utah a huge challenge on Saturday.

No. 15 SMU vs. No. 24 Memphis

The American Athletic Conference features some really good, extremely entertaining teams, and two of them are coming together on national television (ABC at 7:30 p.m. ET) Saturday night.

Southern Methodist, led by former Texas quarterback Shane Buechele, is the conference’s best hope for a New Year’s Six bowl bid coming into the game still undefeated with a record of 8-0. The Mustangs are also tops in the AAC with a 4-0 conference record, but Memphis (7-1) is right below them at 3-1 in the AAC.

This rivalry game should feature a ton of offensive fireworks. Memphis and SMU average a combined 82.5 points per game. The two quarterbacks, Buechele and Brady White, have thrown a combined 40 touchdown passes, and both teams feature dynamic running backs who can score in a flash.

This game is going to be a ton of fun, so get your popcorn ready.

No. 7 Oregon vs. USC

This Pac-12 battle is critically important for the No. 7-ranked Oregon Ducks. With one loss on record (back in Week 1 against Auburn), they are hanging by their fingernails as it concerns their playoff hopes and dreams. One more loss, and those dreams are dead.

The USC Trojans have already knocked off two ranked Pac-12 teams this year in Utah and Stanford. Following tough losses to Washington and Notre Dame, the Trojans have gotten back on track with two wins in a row, and freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis is starting to play outstanding football.

Will Oregon’s turnover-happy defense pick Slovis apart, or will the freshman continue to make big plays look easy at home against the Ducks? Will Justin Herbert and the dynamic Oregon run game soar to new heights against a USC defense that’s been suspect this year? The answers to these questions will determine whether the Ducks keep their spot as a fringe playoff contender or fall off the map altogether.