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College football on TV: What to watch on Friday and Saturday

Arkansas and Louisiana State play Friday with huge national-title implications. On Saturday, it's a day for rivals, Ohio State at Michigan, Alabama at Auburn and UCLA at USC.

November 24, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • An Arkansas fan will get her wish when No. 1-ranked Louisiana State plays host to the No. 3 Razorbacks in Baton Rouge on Friday with the SEC West Division title on the line.
An Arkansas fan will get her wish when No. 1-ranked Louisiana State plays… (David Quinn / Associated…)

Break out the chips and cold drinks, but let Chris Dufresne handle the remote. Each Friday, The Times' national college football writer handicaps what's worth watching, and skipping, on the weekend's menu of games:

Friday

EARLY

No. 8 Houston (11-0) at Tulsa (8-3)

9 a.m., FS West

Brilliant scheduling, as thousands waking from a post-turkey, tryptophan coma should get an adrenaline jolt from this Conference USA matchup of scoring machines. Houston leads the nation in total offense and scoring, and the teams combined are averaging 1,083 yards and 88 points per game. First team to 50 points wins.

No. 3 Arkansas (10-1) at No. 1 Louisiana State (11-0)

11:30 a.m., Channel 2

The Southeastern Conference dominates college football, and two of its three best teams square off in Baton Rouge with the West Division title on the line. LSU clinches the spot with a win. Arkansas claims the division if it wins and Alabama loses.

Boston College (3-8) at Miami (6-5)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

Miami has declined a bowl bid and Boston College stinks, but you can't think of this day-after Thanksgiving game without thinking of the 1984 game in which Doug Flutie heaved his famous Hail Mary pass at the Orange Bowl.

8 a.m.: Louisville at South Florida, ESPN2; Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois, ESPNU.

9 a.m. Iowa at No. 22 Nebraska, Channel 7.

12:30 p.m.: Colorado at Utah, FS West.

LATE

California (6-5) at Arizona State (6-5)

7:15 p.m., ESPN

Enjoy this post-John Ford production of "How the South was Lost." With USC on probation and the division weaker than green tea, Arizona State was cruising toward the first Pac-12 South title. Three straight losses later, Arizona State now needs to win and hope to end up in a three-way tie with Utah and UCLA. This collapse may cost Dennis Erickson his job, if he doesn't retire first.

4 p.m.: Pittsburgh at West Virginia, ESPN; Texas El Paso at Central Florida, CBSSN.

Saturday

EARLY

Ohio State (6-5) at No. 17 Michigan (9-2)

9 a.m., Channel 7

Ohio State has won seven straight in the series, but that was with former coach Jim Tressel at the helm. Michigan appears poised to reverse course in this fabled rivalry and notch a 10th win that could earn the Wolverines a BCS at-large bid. Michigan needs to beat Ohio State now. It appears Urban Meyer has spent enough "time with his family" and has decided to rescue the Buckeyes' program.

No. 2 Alabama (10-1) at Auburn (7-4)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Viewing enjoyment would be enhanced by watching ESPN's recent documentary on this ridiculous and raucous rivalry: Last year's Iron Bowl was an epic, with Auburn rallying from a 24-0 deficit to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. These schools have won the last two BCS titles.

Oregon State at No. 9 Oregon (9-2)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

Oregon clinches the Pac-12 North and will play host to the first league title game with a win in the Civil War. An Oregon State upset gives Stanford the crown and moves the Dec. 2 title game to Palo Alto.

Missouri (6-5) vs. Kansas (2-9)

12:30 p.m., FS West

Missouri's coach is reeling from a drunk-driving arrest and Kansas ranks last nationally in total defense and scoring defense. Still, this is the Border War and might be the last meeting for some time as Missouri departs next season for the SEC. If this is the end, at least they'll be able to break a series tie of 55-55-9.

9 a.m.: Tennessee at Kentucky, KDOC; No. 13 Georgia at No. 25 Georgia Tech, ESPN; Rutgers at Connecticut, ESPN2; Rice at Southern Methodist, FS West; James Madison at Eastern Kentucky, ESPNU; No. 11 Michigan State at Northwestern, BTN; Iowa State at No. 12 Oklahoma, FX.

9:30 a.m.: Maryland at North Carolina State, Channel 13.

11:30 a.m.: Grambling State vs. Southern, Channel 4.

12:30 p.m.: No. 20 Penn State at No. 15 Wisconsin, ESPN; No. 6 Virginia Tech at Virginia, ESPN2; Duke at North Carolina, Prime; Vanderbilt at Wake Forest, ESPNU; Purdue at Indiana or Illinois at Minnesota, BTN; East Carolina at Marshall, CBSSN.

LATE

Florida State (7-4) at Florida (6-5)

4 p.m., ESPN2

There was a time this game would have been on ABC, or at least ESPN1. But what's the point? This was must-see TV when Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier were the coaches. Now it's two unranked teams playing out a season's string.

No. 22 Notre Dame (8-3) at No. 4 Stanford (10-1)

5 p.m., Channel 7

There are huge stakes involved for Stanford and quarterback Andrew Luck. Victory clinches no worse than a BCS at-large berth for the Cardinal and possibly the Heisman Trophy for Luck. Notre Dame is 8-1 after a 0-2 start and still has outside aspirations of qualifying for a BCS bowl.

UCLA (6-5) at No. 10 USC (9-2)

7 p.m., Prime

"The monopoly in L.A. is over." It's now or never for UCLA's regrettable ad campaign as Rick Neuheisel coaches what could be his last game with the Bruins. USC can't play in a bowl this year, but an impressive effort could help Matt Barkley win the Heisman Trophy.

4 p.m.: Texas Tech vs. Baylor, FS West; Mississippi at Mississippi State, ESPNU.

4:30 p.m.: Washington State at Washington, Versus.

4:45 p.m.: No. 18 Clemson at No. 14 South Carolina, ESPN.

5 p.m.: Iowa State at No. 12 Oklahoma (replay), FX.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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