That chain looks heavy. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

There are 21 unbeaten teams in this week’s AP top 25 poll, the most after three weeks of a season since 2011, when there were 22. Three of those unbeaten top 25 teams will no longer be unbeaten top 25 teams after Saturday, as there are three games pitting two top 25 teams against each other, one in each time slot. Seems like a pretty nice Saturday.

Time Game TV
Noon Michigan State at Northwestern ABC
Noon No. 11 Michigan at No. 13 Wisconsin Fox
Noon Tennessee at No. 9 Florida ESPN
Noon Southern Mississippi at No. 2 Alabama ESPN2
Noon No. 23 California at Ole Miss ESPNU
Noon No. 4 LSU at Vanderbilt SEC Network
Noon Western Michigan at Syracuse ACC Network
Noon Boston College at Rutgers Big Ten Network
Noon U-Conn. at Indiana Big Ten Network
Noon Louisiana-Monroe at Iowa State Fox Sports 1
Noon Morgan State at Army CBS Sports Network
Noon Elon at Wake Forest NBC Sports Washington (in D.C. area)
3:30 Appalachian State at North Carolina NBC Sports Washington Plus (in D.C. area)
3:30 No. 15 UCF at Pittsburgh ABC or ESPN2
3:30 No. 22 Washington at BYU ABC or ESPN2
3:30 No. 8 Auburn at No. 17 Texas A&M CBS
3:30 Louisville at Florida State ESPN
3:30 Temple at Buffalo ESPNU
3:30 Miami (Ohio) at No. 6 Ohio State Big Ten Network
3:30 SMU at No. 25 TCU Fox Sports 1
3:30 Wyoming at Tulsa CBS Sports Network
3:30 South Alabama at UAB NFL Network
4 Central Michigan at Miami ACC Network
4 Kentucky at Mississippi State SEC Network
4 South Carolina at Missouri SEC Network
7 No. 16 Oregon at Stanford ESPN
7 Old Dominion at No. 21 Virginia ESPN2
7 Ball State at North Carolina State ESPNU
7 Baylor at Rice CBS Sports Network
7:30 Oklahoma State at No. 12 Texas ABC
7:30 Charlotte at No. 1 Clemson ACC Network
7:30 San Jose State at Arkansas SEC Network
8 No. 7 Notre Dame at No. 3 Georgia CBS
8 Nebraska at Illinois Big Ten Network
10 Colorado at No. 24 Arizona State Pac-12 Network
10:15 Toledo at Colorado State ESPN2
10:30 UCLA at No. 19 Washington State ESPN
10:30 Utah State at San Diego State CBS Sports Network

Noontime

Heading into the Michigan-Wisconsin game, the main story line seems to be Jim Harbaugh’s inability to cobble together a truly ascendant Wolverines team in his four-plus seasons, a notion that was fueled by Michigan’s most recent on-field performance: a three-point, double-overtime win over Army in which the Wolverines trailed until late in the third quarter, committed three turnovers and struggled to move the ball against a smaller Black Knights defense. There’s also the fact that Harbaugh’s four previous Michigan teams have gone 8-10 against ranked teams (including 1-5 on the road) and have an 0-6 straight-up record as underdogs, as is the case Saturday. (Wisconsin was a 3½-point favorite as of Friday afternoon.) The Wolverines have lost those six games by an average of 15.5 points. All this talk — there has been two weeks of it, given the Wolverines’ open date — seems to be at least a little grating to Michigan’s players. “We’re not going to apologize for being 2-0,” quarterback Shea Patterson said this week.

Midafternoon

Central Florida visits Pittsburgh, giving the Knights a chance to secure another Power Five scalp before diving into their American Athletic Conference schedule. They clobbered Stanford last weekend for their 25th straight regular season victory and put up at least 30 points for the 29th consecutive game, the longest FBS streak since 1936, all with a quarterback (freshman Dillon Gabriel) making his second career start. The Panthers gave Penn State a game last weekend, falling, 17-10, after Coach Pat Narduzzi made the somewhat curious decision to kick a field goal from the 1-yard line on fourth and goal while trailing by seven points late in the fourth quarter. It clanged off the upright and Pitt lost. ...

If there’s such a thing as an elimination game in mid-September, it might be Auburn-Texas A&M. Both still have to face Alabama, Georgia and LSU, so a win is crucial to their already slim chances of keeping pace in the SEC race.

The late shift

There is only one game on the college football schedule this year that will feature two head coaches with College Football Playoff experience and two quarterbacks with the same at their current schools, and it’s Notre Dame-Georgia. Coach Brian Kelly, quarterback Ian Book and the Fighting Irish got there last year, though the end result — a 30-3 demolition by Clemson — wasn’t great. One year earlier, Coach Kirby Smart and quarterback Jake Fromm got the Bulldogs one step further before falling to Alabama in an overtime barnburner of a title game. Saturday’s game may hinge on Notre Dame’s ability (or inability) to stop the run: Georgia is averaging 7.6 yards per carry, and that’s mostly without 6-foot-7, 340-pound right tackle Isaiah Wilson, who is expected to return from a sprained ankle. Lesser lights Louisville (5.3 yards per carry) and New Mexico (4.6) found some room to run against the Fighting Irish, although both feature running quarterbacks — and Fromm is not that type of signal caller.

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