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College football: What to watch on TV this weekend

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

November 28, 2013|Chris Dufresne
  • Running back Tre Mason and Auburn have made their way into the biggest game of the season when the Tigers host rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl on Saturday.
Running back Tre Mason and Auburn have made their way into the biggest game… (Dave Martin / Associated…)

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

FRIDAY MORNING

Sleep in.

9 a.m.: Iowa at Nebraska, Channel 7; Southern Methodist at Houston, ESPN2; East Carolina at Marshall, CBSSN.

10:30 a.m.: Bowling Green at Buffalo, ESPNU.

11:30 a.m.: Arkansas at Louisiana State, Channel 2.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON

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

12:30 p.m., Channel 11

Both Apple Cup franchises have come a long way since 2008, when the schools entered the late-November game winless in Pac-10 play with one combined win — against Portland State.

Oregon State (6-5) at No. 13 Oregon (9-2)

4 p.m., Fox Sports 1

This would have been a terrific Civil War matchup on Friday, Oct. 25, when Oregon State was riding a six-game winning streak and Oregon was the 8-0 team everyone still wanted to see play Alabama for the Bowl Championship Series title. Since then, the Beavers and Ducks are a combined 1-6.

Noon: Florida International at Florida Atlantic, FS 1.

12:30 p.m.: Fresno State at San Jose State, CBSSN.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Go out.

5 p.m.: South Florida at Central Florida, ESPN.

SATURDAY MORNING

No. 2 Florida State (11-0) at Florida (4-7)

9 a.m., ESPN

Florida State defeated Idaho last week without lifting a finger, and Georgia Southern defeated Florida without completing a forward pass. The Gators aren't even the best team in central Florida anymore. That would be Central Florida.

No. 3 Ohio State (11-0) at Michigan (7-4)

9 a.m., Channel 7

Some people consider this the greatest rivalry in team sports, yet Ohio State's bigger challenge should come next week against Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.

No. 24 Duke (9-2) at North Carolina (6-5)

9 a.m., Channel 7

Hey, look, it's the other greatest rivalry in team sports. It's just the wrong sport. It's rare when the big game involving these schools involves goal posts instead of peach baskets. That said, North Carolina's best strategy would be to go use a form of Dean Smith's four corners stall offense to keep the ball away from Duke. If only the Tar Heels had Phil Ford to run it.

9 a.m.: Minnesota at Michigan State, BTN; Rutgers at Connecticut, ESPNU; Temple at Memphis, ESPN News; Kansas State at Kansas, Channel 11.

9:15 a.m.: Wake Forest at Vanderbilt, KDOC.

11 a.m.: Colorado at Utah, Pac-12.

11:30 a.m.: Grambling vs. Southern at New Orleans, Channel 4; North Texas at Tulsa, FS West.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

No. 1 Alabama (11-0) at No. 4 Auburn (10-1)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Not even the tag-team of Verne and Gary could have imagined having an Iron Bowl like this fall into their laps. The game is only huge because Georgia couldn't knock down a Hail Mary pass two weeks ago. That handed Auburn the most improbable win of the year and kept the Tigers in the national title chase. Alabama's defense has given up 50 points … since Sept. 14. The Crimson Tide is going to have to load up the front to stop Auburn's second-ranked rushing offense. The Tigers are averaging 320 yards per game.

No. 6 Clemson (10-1) at No. 10 South Carolina (9-2)

4 p.m., ESPN2

South Carolina is out to do something it has never done, defeat Clemson five straight times in a series that dates to the origins of "The Chicken Curse." A Clemson win would almost assure the Tigers a BCS at-large berth. South Carolina is finished with Southeastern Conference play but can win the SEC East if Missouri losses at home to Texas A&M.

No. 19 Texas A&M (8-3) at No. 5 Missouri (10-1)

4:45 p.m., ESPN

If this is Johnny Manziel's last SEC game, well, thanks for all the circus plays. Manziel's shaky performance at Lousiana State last week likely cost him a second Heisman Trophy, yet he remains the most mesmerizing player in college football. Knocking off Missouri would cap a great sophomore year and set off fireworks in South Carolina.

Noon: Brigham Young at Nevada, CBSSN.

12:30 p.m.: Boston College at Syracuse, Prime; Baylor at Texas Christian, ESPN2; Penn State at Wisconsin, ESPN; Georgia at Georgia Tech, Channel 7; Purdue at Indiana, BTN1; Virginia Tech at Virginia, ESPNU; Northwestern at Illinois, BTN.

1 p.m.: Iowa State at West Virginia, FS1.

4 p.m.: Notre Dame at Stanford, Channel 11; Tennessee at Kentucky, ESPNU.

SATURDAY NIGHT

No. 22 UCLA (8-3) at No. 23 USC (9-3)

5 p.m., Channel 7

Arizona State choked some drama out of this game by clinching the Pac-12 South last week. It's still UCLA vs. USC, though, with the best face-off of uniforms in college football.

Arizona (7-4) at No. 13 Arizona State (9-2)

6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network

This is what Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott had in mind when he added home-team advantage into the title-game mix. Arizona State has already won the Pac-12 South but a win over Arizona assures the Sun Devils would host next week's Pac-12 title game against Stanford. Arizona's win over Oregon was Rich Rodriguez's first signature victory in Tucson. It's bewildering how the continued excellence of tailback Ka' Deem Carey has been overlooked by the national media.

7:15 p.m.: New Mexico at Boise State.

7:30 p.m.: San Diego State at Nevada Las Vegas.

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