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College football TV guide

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

September 14, 2012|Chris Dufresne
  • Nick Saban and Alabama head to Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks.
Nick Saban and Alabama head to Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )

MORNING

Arkansas State (1-1) at Nebraska (1-1)

9 a.m., ESPN2

Arkansas State gets to cash a $1 million check for making the trip to Lincoln. Nebraska needs a team to clobber after last week's tough loss at UCLA. Oregon led Arkansas State, 50-3, with seven minutes left in the first half. Everybody wins.

California (1-1) at No.12 Ohio State (2-0)

9 a.m., Channel 7

The Pac 12 Network hopes to use Cal at USC on Sept. 22 as leverage against distributors (DirectTV) who have yet to offer the network to customers. But there's a decent chance USC and Cal will both be coming off losses. Cal has already lost to Nevada and probably needs to pitch a perfect game to pull off the upset over Urban Meyer's Buckeyes.

9 a.m.: No. 13 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh, ESPNU; Wake Forest at No. 5 Florida State, ESPN; Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn, KDOC; Louisiana Lafayette at Oklahoma State, FS West; No. 16 Texas Christian at Kansas, FX; William & Mary at Towson, NBCSN; Northern Illinois at Army, CBSSN; Eastern Michigan at Purdue, Big Ten Network;* Western Michigan at Minnesota, Big Ten Network;* Charleston Southern at Illinois, Big Ten Network.*

MIDDAY

No. 1 Alabama (2-0) at Arkansas (1-1)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, bless their SEC hearts, are not thrilled Louisiana Monroe's "Shock in Little Rock" upset over Arkansas ruined a marquee matchup of top 10-teams. How do they sell it now? Last Friday, Arkansas was talked about as a possible BCS champion. After the loss, Danielson went on Paul Finebaum's satellite radio show and said an Arkansas win over Alabama would be as big an upset as ULM over Arkansas. To borrow a quote former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton used at the Democratic Convention, "That takes a lot of brass."

12:30 p.m.: Navy at Penn State, ESPN2; North Carolina at No. 19 Louisville, Channel 7; Virginia at Georgia Tech, ESPNU; Texas A&M at Southern Methodist, Prime Ticket; East Carolina at Southern Mississippi, CBSSN; Massachusetts at No. 17 Michigan, Big Ten Network;* Boston College at Northwestern, Big Ten Network;* Northern Iowa at Iowa, Big Ten Network.*

1 p.m.: Portland State at Washington, FX; Miami (Ohio) at Boise State, NBCSN.

AFTERNOON

No. 18 Florida (2-0) at No. 23 Tennessee (2-0)

3 p.m., ESPN

This rivalry isn't half of what it used to be when Gators' Coach Steve Spurrier was flinging barbs at Phil Fulmer and Knoxville's finest. "You can't spell Citrus (Bowl) without UT,' Spurrier used to say back before Tennessee won the national title in 1998. Will Muschamp vs. Derek Dooley doesn't move the needle—it's sort of like Stanford at USC without Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll—but we suppose it has to be acknowledged Florida and Tennessee are ranked and undefeated. Historical note: Tennessee hasn't beaten Florida since 2004.

4 p.m.: Arizona State at Missouri, ESPN2; Western Kentucky at Kentucky, ESPNU.

4:30 p.m.: No. 2 USC at No. 21 Stanford, Channel 11.

EVENING

No. 20 Notre Dame (2-0) at No. 10 Michigan State (2-0)

5 p.m., Channel 7

Stat attack: Notre Dame has lost six straight road games to ranked opponents by an average of 16.7 points. Michigan State has won four straight against top 25 teams at home. So why, we ask Las Vegas, is Michigan State only favored by six? The truth is Notre Dame rarely wins games like this anymore. Michigan State's defense has yet to allow and offensive touchdown and Notre Dame needed to summon a right-hander from the bullpen last week (quarterback Tommy Rees) to lead a comeback against Purdue.

The take-away question: does a Notre Dame loss now count against the ACC?

No. 25 Brigham Young (2-0) at Utah (1-1)

7 p.m., ESPN2

These longtime and bitter rivals, separated by only miles, no longer share a conference affiliation. BYU is football independent while Utah has joined the Pac 12, but that won't dull the senses in a series that can be downright insensitive. After Utah clinched a BCS berth with a crushing 2004 win over BYU in Salt Lake City, a Ute fan held up a sign that read, "Where's Your God Now?"

North Texas (1-1) at No.15 Kansas State (2-0)

9:30 p.m., FS West (delayed)

Delayed? North Texas should ask for this game to be postponed.

5 p.m: Colorado at Fresno State, CBSSN; Utah State at Wisconsin, Big Ten Network;* Ball State at Indiana, Big Ten Network.*

6:15 p.m.: No. 14 Texas at Mississippi, ESPN.

7:30 p.m.: Houston at No. 22 UCLA, Pac-12 Networks; Howard at Norfolk State (delayed), ESPNU.

*The Big Ten Network had added channels for college football. Check your cable or satellite guide.

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