Week 5 Saturday Six-Pack: Conference Play Heats Up

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Conference season kicking into full gear across the nation means nothing but loaded Saturdays for the next nine weeks; well, at least until the week before Thanksgiving. Thanks, SEC.

Week 5 ushers in October, the meat of the college football season, with some tasty offerings from early conference play. Four of the Power Five conferences boast at least one truly marquee matchup. The fifth — the Pac-12 — is far too weird to ever discount from producing must-watch television.

Excluded from the Week 5 Saturday Six-Pack are other outstanding matchups beyond the Power Five. This weekend may not be any bigger for any one conference than the Missouri Valley, which I deemed college football’s best.

The Football Championship Subdivision forerunner features two Top 10 showdowns in Week 5, with Northern Iowa visiting last season’s national runner-up, Illinois State, and four-time defending national champion North Dakota State at South Dakota State.

Another Week 5 contest in the Midwest that didn’t make the Six-Pack but is worth your attention pits undefeated Iowa against Wisconsin. I didn’t include this West division showdown because I’m not entirely sure what to make of either. However, if the Hawkeyes get their first win over the Badgers since 2009, it might be time to start tracking them as conference championship game contenders.

Another bonus I’m throwing in as a quick ADMIRAL ACKBAR TRAP OF THE WEEK is Ohio State’s visit to Indiana. The Hoosiers have had a knack for playing the Buckeyes surprisingly close in head coach Kevin Wilson’s tenure. With Ohio State failing to play up to expectations, and unprecedented interest in Indiana at present, Urban Meyer’s guys should be on alert.

To read the entire Six-Pack, click through the page numbers below.

SATURDAY’S SIX-PACK

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

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So, it’s officially a four-pack. It’s also a pumpkin beer, the scourge of beer-drinking Twitter. Deal with it, haters.

October runs neck-and-neck with November as my favorite month. Temperatures start to dip in my part of the country, basic cable is flooded with horror movies, and Halloween caps the month. October is also prime-time for pumpkin beers, some of which I love.

Always-excellent Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale is my personal favorite. If pumpkin’s your thing, there isn’t any better option to usher in October and the best part of the college football season.