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College football: What to watch Saturday on TV

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 Saturday's menu of games.

October 17, 2013|Chris Dufresne
  • Quarterback Tajh Boyd and Clemson have had plenty to celebrate this season, opening with a 6-0 record.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd and Clemson have had plenty to celebrate this season,… (Tyler Smith / Getty Images )


No. 11 South Carolina (5-1) at Tennessee (3-3)

9 a.m., ESPN

Tennessee coach Butch Jones said South Carolina was as good as any team his Volunteers have faced this year. That's saying something when you consider Tennessee trailed No. 2-ranked Oregon, 59-7, after three quarters. Las Vegas bookmakers have made South Carolina about a touchdown favorite, but Jones has a right to be nervous. Last week, South Carolina crushed Arkansas, 52-7, and limited the Razorbacks to only 37 offensive plays. Tennessee had a bye week to recover from an overtime home loss to Georgia.

Texas Christian (3-3) at No. 19 Oklahoma State (4-1)

9 a.m., Channel 11

TCU needs to fire its schedule maker. The Horned Frogs' three losses this season have come against No. 6 Louisiana State, No. 16 Texas Tech and No. 18 Oklahoma. Next comes a tricky trip to Stillwater, where TCU faces the team picked to win the Big 12 Conference title. If that wasn't enough, Oklahoma State had a bye week to prepare. TCU will rely on a defense that hasn't given up more than 20 points since its season-opening loss to LSU.

9 a.m.: Georgia at Vanderbilt, Channel 2; Texas Tech at West Virginia, FS1; Minnesota at Northwestern, ESPN2; Purdue at Michigan State, BTN; Connecticut at Cincinnati, ESPNU; Navy at Toledo, ESPN News; Southern Mississippi at East Carolina, FS West.

11 a.m.: Charleston Southern at Colorado, Pac-12.


No. 9 UCLA (5-0) at No. 13 Stanford (5-1)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

These evenly matched programs are meeting for the third time since last Nov. 24, and could face each other again in the Pac-12 Conference title game. UCLA is catching a wounded Stanford team coming off a tough loss at Utah. The Bruins will try to exploit a Stanford defensive line weakened by injury. UCLA is surging and could be a top-five national title contender with consecutive road wins against Stanford and Oregon.

No. 25 Washington (4-2) at Arizona State (4-2)

3 p.m., Pac-12 Network

This game will get lost in the national weeds and trees but could end up being the game of the day. Washington needs to rebound after tough losses to Stanford and Oregon; Arizona State's only two defeats have come against Stanford and Notre Dame. Arizona State is explosive, averaging 44 points and nearly 500 yards a game but is giving up 27 points per game.

USC (4-2) at Notre Dame (4-2)

4:30 p.m., Channel 4

If you can't feel any buzz surrounding this game it's because there is none. This is only the 10th time since 1940 that neither team is ranked, but the brilliant contrast of uniform colors alone is reason to tune in for at least a half hour before the start of the Florida State at Clemson game.

12:30 p.m.: Iowa at Ohio State, ESPN2; Auburn at Texas A&M, Channel 2; Oklahoma at Kansas, ESPN; Indiana at Michigan, BTN; Maryland at Wake Forest, ESPNU; Brigham Young at Houston, ESPN News; North Texas at Louisiana Tech, CBSSN; Duke at Virginia, FS West.

4 p.m.: Arkansas at Alabama, ESPN; Louisiana State at Mississippi, ESPN2; Iowa State at Baylor, ESPNU.


No. 5 Florida State (5-0) at No. 3 Clemson (6-0)

5 p.m., Channel 7

The ACC gets its moment in the Palmetto State moonlight with the season's first match-up of top-five teams. The winner becomes the team most likely to play in the Bowl Championship Series title game should Alabama or Oregon slip up between now and December. Clemson is looking for payback after blowing a 27-13 lead last season in Tallahassee in what became a 49-37 loss. The game features two of the nation's best quarterbacks, Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Florida State's Jameis Winston.

Washington State (4-3) at No. 2 Oregon (6-0)

7 p.m., FS1

Just think how good Oregon will be when star back De'Anthony Thomas returns to the lineup. The Ducks have scored 55, 57 and 45 points in three wins despite Thomas being out with an ankle injury. Thomas is close to returning, but Oregon might want to rest him until next week's big game against UCLA. Does green match with pink? No, but that won't stop Oregon from donning pink helmets this week in honor of cancer awareness. You can start counting the Ducks points now against a Washington State defense that gave up 28 fourth-quarter points to Oregon State last week in a 52-24 loss at home.

5 p.m.: Wisconsin at Illinois, BTN; Nevada at Boise State, CBSSN.

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

7:30 p.m.: Oregon State at California, ESPN2.

10:30 p.m.: Old Dominion at Pittsburgh (taped), Prime.

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