Undefeated Teams Play Here: ESPN to Feature 10 Unbeaten Schools in Week 9; Notre Dame at Michigan for the First Time Since 2013 on ABC’s Saturday Night Football

College Football

Undefeated Teams Play Here: ESPN to Feature 10 Unbeaten Schools in Week 9; Notre Dame at Michigan for the First Time Since 2013 on ABC’s Saturday Night Football

  • No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Clemson, No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Penn State Among Undefeated Teams Showcased throughout Saturday; No. 16 SMU, No. 17 Minnesota and No. 21 Appalachian State also on ESPN’s Networks 
  • Brookings, S.D. Hosts College GameDay for “Dakota Marker” Game: Unbeaten FCS No. 1 North Dakota State at No. 3 South Dakota State on ESPN+

ESPN will be the home of undefeated teams in college football’s week 9, as No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Clemson, No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Penn State headline ESPN TV networks’ slate which features seven of the nine unbeaten FBS teams in action and a renewal of the Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry in the CFB150 Showcase Game. Saturday’s slate will feature two unbeaten teams in each of the noon, late afternoon and primetime windows, which follows a Thursday night presentation with undefeated and No. 16 SMU at Houston. Adding to the theme, ESPN+ and ESPNU will feature all three of the FCS undefeated teams, including No. 1 North Dakota State in the “Dakota Marker” game vs. No. 3 South Dakota State in Brookings, S.D., the site of College GameDay Built by The Home Depot.

ABC Begins Saturday with No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Penn State on the Road
ABC begins Saturday with Oklahoma at Kansas State (noon) followed by No. 6 Penn State at Michigan State (3:30 p.m.), as the Sooners and Nittany Lions both enter the week 7-0 on the season and 4-0 in their conference. The Wildcats are looking to beat the Sooners for the first time since 2014, while the Spartans will be looking to beat Penn State for the third straight season. Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky and Allison Williams will be in Manhattan, Kan., and Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe are in East Lansing, Mich.

Notre Dame at Michigan Renew Historic Rivalry on ABC’s Saturday Night Football
ABC will conclude Saturday with Notre Dame at Michigan on Saturday Night Football Presented by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s (7:30 p.m.), as the Fighting Irish return to Michigan Stadium for the first time since 2013. Overall, this season’s matchup is the 44th between the two blue bloods, which began in 1887. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor will be in Ann Arbor.

The showdown will also conclude Notre Dame’s own theme week for ESPN College Football 150 in which the Fighting Irish are the focus of The American Game special on Tuesday, October 22 (more information below).

Alabama Without Tua Tagovailoa, Minnesota Off to Best Start in Nearly 60 Years
ESPN will air Alabama (7-0) hosting Arkansas (7 p.m.), which immediately follows No. 17 Minnesota (7-0) welcoming in Maryland (3:30 p.m.) as the network airs back-to-back undefeated teams. The Crimson Tide will play without star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, while the Gophers are off to their best start since 1960 and have earned their highest ranking since 2004. Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy and Tom Luginbill will be in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with Jason Benetti, Rod Gilmore and Quint Kessenich in Minneapolis.

Spotlight on No. 16 SMU: Mustangs Travel for ESPN’s Thursday Night Presentation
ESPN’s Thursday night telecast will feature No. 16 SMU at Houston (7:30 p.m.) on Thursday, Oct. 24, as the Mustangs are now the highest ranked Group of Five school and are 7-0 for the first time since 1982. Adam Amin, Matt Hasselbeck, Pat McAfee and Molly McGrath will be in Houston for the game.

ACC Network and ESPNU Also Air Undefeated FBS Teams
ACC Network airs No. 4 Clemson (7-0) hosting Boston College (7:30 p.m.) and ESPNU televises No. 21 Appalachian State (6-0) at South Alabama (noon).

Additional ESPN Network Highlights:

  • 20 Iowa at Northwestern on ESPN2 (noon)
  • 11 Oregon hosting Washington State on ESPN (10:30 p.m.)
  • ESPN Radio will broadcast No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU (3:30 p.m.), making the LSU Tigers the 11th undefeated teams on an ESPN network.

Remaining Three FCS Undefeated Teams Play on ESPNU and ESPN+

  • 16 Dartmouth (5-0) welcomes in Columbia on Friday, Oct. 25 on ESPNU (6 p.m.)
  • 13 Princeton (5-0) hosts Harvard on ESPN+ (1 p.m.)
  • 1 North Dakota State (7-0) at No. 3 South Dakota State on ESPN+ (3:30 p.m.) following College GameDay (9 a.m. to noon)

All Games Saturday, October 26 Unless Noted

ESPN College Football 150 Weekly Theme: Notre Dame
The story of college football can’t be told without the story of one of its most legendary programs – Notre Dame. The Irish hold a unique place in college football history – its triumphs, superstars and icons, and its controversies and contradictions. The American Game: Notre Dame airs Tuesday, October 22, at 8 p.m.

With the Fighting Irish’s gold helmets among college football’s most iconic, The Greatest on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. on ESPN will examine the sport’s best uniforms.

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Thu, Oct 24 7:30 p.m. No. 16 SMU at Houston
Adam Amin, Matt Hasselbeck/Pat McAfee, Molly McGrath
Jackson State at Prairie View A&M
Tiffany Greene, Jay Walker
Fri, Oct 25 6 p.m. Columbia at No. 16 Dartmouth
Bill Spaulding, Jack Ford
9 p.m. USC at Colorado
Dave Flemming, Louis Riddick, Paul Carcaterra
Sat, Oct 26 Noon No. 5 Oklahoma at Kansas State
Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Allison Williams
Miami at Pittsburgh
Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Olivia Dekker
No. 20 Iowa at Northwestern
Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Lauren Sisler
No. 21 Appalachian State at South Alabama
Kevin Brown, Andre Ware
Mississippi State at Texas A&M
Dave Neal, DJ Shockley, Dawn Davenport
SEC Network
Bowling Green at Western Michigan ESPN3
1 p.m. Southern Mississippi at Rice ESPN+
Harvard at No. 13 Princeton ESPN+
2 p.m. Ohio at Ball State
Jim Barbar, John Gregory  
3 p.m. New Mexico State at Georgia Southern ESPN3
No. 1 North Dakota State at No. 3 South Dakota State ESPN+
3:30 PM No. 6 Penn State at Michigan State
Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
Maryland at No. 17 Minnesota
Jason Benetti, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich
Syracuse at Florida State
Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman
Virginia at Louisville
Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Kelsey Riggs
Alabama A&M at Alabama State^
Tiffany Greene, Jay Walker
No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU
Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN Radio
Central Michigan at Buffalo
Doug Sherman, Jerrod Cheery
Eastern Michigan at Toledo
Michael Reghi, Dustin Fox
Miami (Ohio) at Kent State
Robert Lee, Tyoka Jackson
Akron at Northern Illinois
Shawn Kenney, Forrest Conoly
North Texas at Charlotte ESPN+
Florida Atlantic at Old Dominion ESPN+
3:45 p.m. South Florida at East Carolina
Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia
4 p.m. South Carolina at Tennessee
Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Alyssa Lang
SEC Network
Duke at North Carolina ACC Network Extra
7 p.m. Arkansas at No. 1 Alabama
Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill
UCF at Temple
Anish Shroff, John Congemi, Kris Budden
Texas State at Arkansas State ESPN+
Troy at Georgia State ESPN+
7:30 p.m. No. 8 Notre Dame at No. 19 Michigan
Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor
Colorado State at Fresno State
Clay Matvick, Ryan Leaf
Missouri at Kentucky
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
SEC Network
Boston College at No. 4 Clemson
Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George
8 p.m. Louisiana Tech at UTEP ESPN3
10:15 p.m. Utah State at Air Force
Mike Couzens, Kirk Morrison, Taylor McGregor
10:30 p.m. Washington State at No. 11 Oregon
Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay/Molly McGrath

^ – will air at 10:30 p.m. on ESPNU; Not all digital games are exclusive
FCS Rankings Used for North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Dartmouth and Princeton


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner


Derek Volner

I work in college sports, which includes football and basketball, with an emphasis on Olympic Sports. Additionally, I handle ESPN’s coverage of high school athletics and recruiting.
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