4:33 PM PDT, September 27, 2013
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:
No. 12 South Carolina (2-1) at Central Florida (3-0)
9 a.m., Channel 7
What looked like an easy "W" on the schedule has suddenly become a prickly test of Southeastern Conference superiority. Central Florida has already notched a win at Penn State and is 3-0 for the first time since 1988. For what it's worth, Steve Spurrier made his South Carolina coaching debut against UCF on Sept. 1, 2005. The Gamecocks held on for a 24-15 win.
No. 11 Oklahoma State (3-0) at West Virginia (2-2)
9 a.m., ESPN
Stillwater to Morgantown has gone from a Wild West stagecoach ride to a regular-season trip in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma State takes on its former offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen, who is dearly missing Geno Smith at quarterback. West Virginia was shut out last week by Maryland.
9 a.m.: Miami (Ohio) at Illinois, BTN; Northern Illinois at Purdue, ESPN2; Miami at South Florida, ESPNU; Southern Methodist at Texas Christian, FS1; Navy at Western Kentucky, ESPN News.
9:30 a.m.: Virginia at Pittsburgh, Prime.
No. 6 Louisiana State (4-0) at No. 9 Georgia (2-1)
12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Georgia got off easy last year when it missed Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M in the SEC West, and played Buffalo and Florida Atlantic in early season nonleague games. Not this year. Georgia faces its third top-10 team in less than a month after losing to Clemson and defeating South Carolina.
This will be an emotional return to Athens for LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who started his career at Georgia but was dismissed after getting into legal trouble.
No. 14 Oklahoma (3-0) at No. 22 Notre Dame (3-1)
12:30 p.m., Channel 4
Oklahoma has just one series win in 10 tries but it was at South Bend. OK, it was back in 1956, but the Sooners will be highly motivated to avenge last year's 30-13 loss at Norman. Last year, Notre Dame used a running quarterback, Everett Golson, to drive Oklahoma's defense crazy. Golson ran for 64 yards and a score. This year, Oklahoma has the running quarterback, Blake "Belldozer" Bell, who is 6-feet-6, 250 pounds and scored 24 rushing touchdowns in two years as Landry Jones' backup.
Noon: Colorado at Oregon State, Pac-12.
12:30 p.m.: Florida State at Boston College, Channel 7; Wake Forest at Clemson, ESPNU; Texas El Paso at Colorado State, CBSSN; Iowa at Minnesota, ESPN2.
1 p.m.: Army at Louisiana Tech, FS1; Houston at Texas San Antonio, Prime.
No. 21 Mississippi (3-0) at No. 1 Alabama (3-0)
3:30 p.m., ESPN
Alabama is favored by 16 points, which seems like a lot for a team that led Colorado State, 17-6, in the fourth quarter last week at Tuscaloosa. Mississippi is 3-0 for the first time since 1989 and will try to play fast on offense to disrupt Alabama's more traditional pace.
No. 23 Wisconsin (3-1) at No. 4 Ohio State (4-0)
5 p.m., Channel 7
If not for Pac-12 referees, this could have been an undefeated showdown in the Big Ten Leaders Division. Wisconsin won the division last year because Penn State and Ohio State were ineligible because of NCAA sanctions. Urban Meyer is 16-0 since taking over at Ohio State and gets starting quarterback Braxton Miller back from a knee injury.
4 p.m.: Texas A&M at Arkansas, ESPN2; Arizona at Washington, Channel 11; Florida at Kentucky, ESPNU.
5 p.m.: Air Force at Nevada, CBSSN.
No. 5 Stanford (3-0) at Washington State (3-1)
7 p.m., ESPN
Washington State loses a little home-field advantage because the game is being played at Seattle's CenturyLink Field. Stanford has bad memories of Seattle, though, after losing to Washington last year. The Cardinal also struggled at home against Washington State before grinding out a 24-17 win. Stanford needs to learn how to finish off games after nearly blowing a 29-0 halftime lead last week against Arizona State.
California (1-2) at No. 2 Oregon (3-0)
7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
This figures to be an exhausting game for the chain-gang crew as it tries to keep up with two of the nation's craziest up-tempo offenses. Oregon is averaging a snap every 18.6 seconds, Cal one per 18.8. Oregon has too much firepower for Cal, but the Bears are very entertaining on offense and boast a top young quarterback in freshman Jared Goff. Cal's losses are to undefeated Northwestern and Ohio State.
7:15 p.m.: Southern Mississippi at Boise State, ESPNU.
7:30 p.m.: USC at Arizona State, ESPN2.
10 p.m.: Alabama Birmingham at Vanderbilt, Prime (tape).
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