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Saturday's college football games on TV

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 Saturday's menu of games.

November 09, 2012|By Chris Dufresne
  • Running back Stepfan Taylor, breaking into the secondary on a touchdown run against Colorado last week, and Stanford meet Oregon State in a key Pac-12 Conference North Division game Saturday.
Running back Stepfan Taylor, breaking into the secondary on a touchdown… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

MORNING

Wisconsin (6-3) at Indiana (4-5)

9 a.m., ESPN2

One of these schools, sorry to say, is going to win the Leaders Division and be within one Big Ten title-game win of earning a Rose Bowl berth. With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible this year because of NCAA probation, there's a chance Indiana could pull a UCLA (circa 2011) and win the division without a winning record. There's also a scenario in which Indiana could clinch a Rose Bowl bid with a losing record, but any further explanation would require ruining someone's breakfast in Pasadena.

9 a.m.: Arkansas at No. 12 South Carolina, Channel 2; No. 11 Louisville at Syracuse, Channel 7; Northwestern at Michigan, ESPN; Army at No. 24 Rutgers, ESPNU; Kansas at No. 25 Texas Tech, FS West; Purdue at Iowa, BTN; Harvard at Penn, NBCSN.

9:30 a.m.: Colgate at Lehigh, CBSSN.

10:30 a.m.: Colorado at Arizona, FX.

MIDDAY

No. 13 Oregon State (7-1) at No. 16 Stanford (7-2)

Noon, Channel 11

If you're looking for Arizona State at USC on the Pac 12 Networks and have DirecTV, this is a good time to sit down and write another letter. DirecTV is frankly not that interested in your interest in USC's Heisman promotion of spectacular receiver Marqise Lee. Channel 11, however, will have plenty of childhood information on new Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan, who takes over for old quarterback Josh Nunes, who took over for a great quarterback, Andrew Luck. In a cable distribution world that made sense, Los Angeles would get the USC game on Channel 11 and the Bay Area would get the Stanford game. Then again, if the world made sense, fans with DirecTV in L.A. would get to be screaming right now at the underperforming Lakers.

Noon: Arizona State at No. 21 USC, Pac-12.

AFTERNOON

No. 15 Texas A&M (7-2) at No. 1 Alabama (9-0)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Nick Saban said this week Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel reminds him of Doug Flutie, which means he does not want the game to come down to a Hail Mary pass. There is something exciting about a game featuring one team that averages 44 points a game going against a team that only gives up nine. It's not a stretch to say Texas A&M's up-tempo spread offense could provide Alabama a sneak preview to Oregon in advance of a possible national title game.

12:30 p.m.: Penn State at No. 18 Nebraska, Ch. 7; West Virginia at Oklahoma State, ESPN2; Maryland at No. 10 Clemson, ESPNU; Baylor at No. 14 Oklahoma, FS West; Minnesota at Illinois, BTN; Air Force at San Diego State, NBCSN.

2 p.m.: Tulsa at Houston, CBSSN.

4 p.m.: No. 22 Mississippi State at No. 9 Louisiana State, ESPN; No. 5 Georgia at Auburn, ESPN2; Vanderbilt at Mississippi, ESPNU; Southern Mississippi at Southern Methodist, FS West; Boise State at Hawaii, NBCSN; Nevada Las Vegas at Colorado State, TWCSN.

EVENING

No. 3 Kansas State (9-0) at Texas Christian (6-3)

4 p.m., Channel 11

The big story is the condition of Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, pulled out of last week's win over Oklahoma State because of an undisclosed injury. Kansas State isn't big on releasing news, but a process of elimination has excluded typhoid and a sprained pinkie toe from the list of ailments that could be holding Klein back. All indications are Klein suffered some sort of injury between his shoulders and the top of his head — but don't quote me on that. The Wildcats really need Klein "in" this game if the Wildcats want to stay in the national title race.

No. 4 Notre Dame (9-0) at Boston College (2-7)

5 p.m., Channel 7

Notre Dame has established itself as, by far, the fourth-best undefeated team in the country with a series of hair-raising/question-raising victories. The Fighting Irish pulled out a triple-overtime win over Pittsburgh last week because Pitt kicker Keith Harper missed a chip-shot field-goal try in the second overtime. They say it's better to be lucky than good, but it's even better is to be lucky AND good.

No. 2 Oregon (9-0) at California (3-7)

7:30 p.m., ESPN

If California wins this Saturday night not-so special in Berkeley, the next sound you'll hear will be the presses at the L.A. Times screeching to a halt and the paper's college football columnist screaming "Wait, this changes everything!" We're counting on Oregon to take better care of business than it did two years ago when it had to squeak out a 15-13 win over Cal on its way to the BCS title game.

7:15 p.m.: Idaho at Brigham Young, ESPNU.

7:30 p.m.: No. 17 UCLA at Washington State, ESPN2; Utah at Washington, Pac-12; Fresno State at Nevada, NBCSN.

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