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College football TV lineup for Saturday

The Times' national columnist handicaps what's worth watching, and skipping, on Saturday's menu of games.

October 18, 2012|Chris Dufresne
  • Notre Dame could be going down this weekend against Brigham Young if starting quarterback Everett Golson (5) is unable to recover from a concussion.
Notre Dame could be going down this weekend against Brigham Young if starting… (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press )


No. 6 Louisiana State (6-1) at No. 20 Texas A&M (5-1)

9 a.m., ESPN

Call this a five-alarm, alarm-clock special. Texas A&M's electric offense, averaging 47 points per game, searches for crevices in LSU's stone-solid defense, giving up 14 points per game. The pregame visual is Tigers defensive end Barkevious Mingo chasing the Aggies' Johnny Manziel all over Kyle Field. Manziel, a redshirt freshman quarterback, is starting to receive Heisman Trophy notice after he set an SEC record with 576 total yards last week against Louisiana Tech. It should be noted Louisiana Tech's defense ranks 119th out of 120. LSU is No. 2.

9 a.m.: Purdue at Ohio State, Channel 7; Virginia Tech at Clemson, ESPN2; Minnesota at Wisconsin, ESPNU; Iowa State at Oklahoma State, FX; Penn at Yale, NBCSN.


No. 22 Stanford (4-2) at California (3-4)

Noon, Channel 11

"Give 'em the Axe" is front-loaded to mid-October as the Big Game becomes a casualty of Pac-12 expansion and scheduling complications. The schools come in with completely different vibes, as Cal is working on a two-game winning streak and Stanford must regroup after last week's overtime loss at Notre Dame. Here's a scouting tip Cal may have picked up on: Stanford likes to run the ball up the middle, often four times in a row with the game on the line. The Cardinal reportedly had one wrinkle in its playbook, but it turned out to be a crease in the page.

Brigham Young (4-3) at No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0)

12:30 p.m., Channel 4

This is a potential "trap" game for Notre Dame in advance of next week's trip to Oklahoma. BYU has lost two games by a total of four points and its big, physical defense will pose problems for a Fighting Irish offense that struggles to score points. Notre Dame's so-far sensational start has been built around its second-ranked scoring defense. The Irish are allowing opponents only 8.67 points per game. This has the makings of a 9-6 finish, or 6-3 if it rains.

Noon: Boston College at Georgia Tech, Prime.

12:30 p.m.: Texas Tech at Texas Christian, Channel 7; Nebraska at Northwestern, ESPN2; North Carolina State at Maryland, ESPNU; Rice at Tulsa, FS West; Michigan State at Michigan, BTN; Indiana at Navy, CBSSN; Nevada Las Vegas at Boise State, NBCSN.

No. 9 South Carolina (6-1) at No. 3 Florida (6-0)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

South Carolina can't afford a second loss in the national title race but might have to play the nation's third-ranked team without injured star running back Marcus Lattimore. Bet on this being a defensive game, in the area of 20-17. Florida is ranked No. 82 on offense, and South Carolina is No. 83. Both schools, though, feature ferocious defenses and there's also nothing like former Florida coach Steve Spurrier returning to his old swamping grounds.


No. 12 Florida State (6-1) at Miami (4-3)

5 p.m., Channel 7

This isn't the game you remember. It isn't played anymore at the rat-trap Orange Bowl and Miami probably doesn't have another "Wide Right" or "Wide Left" in its voodoo bag. Losing at North Carolina State two weeks ago put Florida State's national title hopes in serious peril, but the Seminoles rallied with a crushing win over Boston College.

No. 4 Kansas State (6-0) at No. 17 West Virginia (5-1)

4 p.m., Channel 11

This is an important Big 12 game with national implications but also a possible Heisman Trophy bake-off between West Virginia's Geno Smith and Collin Klein of Kansas State. Smith is still the front-runner, with his 25 touchdown passes and no interceptions. Klein, though, closed significant ground last week when he led his team to a road win at Iowa State on the same day West Virginia was crushed at Texas Tech.

3 p.m.: Colorado at USC, Pac-12.

4 p.m.: Middle Tennessee at Mississippi State, ESPN2; North Carolina at Duke, ESPNU; Kansas at Oklahoma, FS West; Marshall at Southern Mississippi, CBSSN.

No. 1 Alabama (6-0) at Tennessee (3-3)

4 p.m., ESPN

Alabama already picked up another win Thursday when the 2013 SEC schedule was released and it revealed the Crimson Tide would miss Florida, South Carolina and Georgia next year, with key games against Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU to be played in Tuscaloosa. Is it too early to hang another BCS banner? On to the business of brushing aside Tennessee, which is 0-3 in SEC play and has not defeated a top-ranked team since Auburn in 1985.

Utah (2-4) at No. 8 Oregon State (5-0)

7:30 p.m., ESPN2

The Beavers passed a huge test in winning at Brigham Young with backup Cody Vaz at quarterback. Oregon State can't lose focus, though, because Utah is good enough on defense to ruin a team's dream season.

5 p.m.: Penn State at Iowa, BTN.

7 p.m.: Washington at Arizona, Pac-12.

7:30 p.m.: South Carolina State at Florida A&M (delayed), ESPNU; San Diego State at Nevada, CBSSN; Wyoming at Fresno State, TWCSN

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