What could be the game of the year in the Big Ten is going to be played in the early afternoon. No. 1 Ohio State’s home game against No. 4 Penn State has been slotted for a noon eastern kickoff on Nov. 23, it was confirmed today.
FOX has taken a new directive with their spotlight games this season by placing the best game the network has to offer in the noon kickoff slot. It has been seen as a pretty rewarding move for the network as the noon time slot has typically been without any real marquee matchups the way the 3:30 p.m ET time slot has been, and of course the primetime lineup.
If all goes according to plan for the network, they could get a matchup in the next-to-last week of the Big Ten’s regular season with much more than Big Ten East Division hopes on the line. The game could very well carry some heavy playoff implications.
The game could be a matchup of 11-0 teams battling for playoff position, but each team has two more games to get through first. Ohio State’s chances of being 11-0 by the time the Nittany Lions come to Columbus are as good as they can get with Maryland this weekend and Rutgers next week. Penn State’s path to 11-0 may still be expected but should be trickier. The Nittany Lions are playing on the road at No. 17 Minnesota (8-0 Minnesota, by the way) this week. Penn State will host Indiana (7-2 Indiana, by the way) next week before their big trip to Ohio State. Penn State would be the more likely of the two top drop a game given the competition the next two weeks, but the stakes will be incredibly high in all likelihood for each team regardless of what happens between now and Nov. 23.
Ohio State topped the season’s first College Football layoff rankings on Tuesday night. Penn State took the fourth spot in the initial playoff rankings.