A remote look at Saturday's college football schedule

A remote look at Saturday's college football schedule
Michigan State and defensive end Demetrius Cooper, applying pressure against Jacksonville State quarterback Eli Jenkins last week, will try to slow down Oregon's vaunted offense in a powerhouse showdown Saturday. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

Each week our national college football writer describes how he would handle the television remote Saturday, handicapping what's worth watching, and skipping:



Florida Atlantic (0-1) at No. 2 Alabama (1-0)

9 a.m., SEC Network

This is a bad slate of morning games — an excellent time to mow the lawn, pay bills or walk the dog before USC at Stanford.

Or maybe you really like to watch first-year Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin call plays as much as I do? Most of them should work against Florida Atlantic, coming off a 55-7 loss at Nebraska. FAU doesn't work cheap, as it will receive its second straight $1-million check for allowing a Power Five school to continue its summer conditioning program.

Viewer discretion advised: If Kiffin starts calling too many bubble screens, check out Buffalo at Army on the CBS Sports Network. Or, Akron at Penn State, just to watch Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

9 a.m.: Western Illinois at Wisconsin, BTN; McNeese State at Nebraska, ESPNU; Buffalo at Army, CBSSN; Central Michigan at Purdue, ESPNews; Southern Methodist at North Texas, Prime; Oklahoma at Tulsa, Channel 7; Akron at Penn State, ESPN2; Missouri at Toledo, ESPN; Kansas State at Iowa State, FS1.

9:30 a.m.: South Carolina State at Clemson, KDOC.

11 a.m.: Alabama Birmingham at Mississippi State, FS West.

Noon: Sacramento State at California, Pac-12.


No. 14 USC (1-0) at No. 13 Stanford (1-0)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

This is one of the most anticipated games in the history of this football series. What a contrast of styles and personalities. Steve Sarkisian, coaching at Washington last year, kicked up a dust storm when he accused Stanford of faking injuries to slow down the Huskies' up-tempo offense. Sarkisian has since moved his fast-paced schemes to USC, which ran 105 plays in last week's win over Fresno State. Stanford Coach David Shaw said there is "no animosity whatsoever" with Sarkisian, but that doesn't mean it's true.

No. 15 Mississippi (1-0) at Vanderbilt (0-1)

1:30 p.m., ESPN

Mississippi, considered a dark horse in the SEC West, played more like a plow horse in an opening win over Boise State. Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace had three passes intercepted in the first half and the team committed 14 penalties, including two false starts before its first offensive play. It was a football clinic, though, compared to Vanderbilt, which dropped its home opener to Temple.

No. 7 Michigan State (1-0) at No. 3 Oregon (1-0)

3:30 p.m., Channel 11

Welcome to the first blockbuster nonconference game in the two-week old history of the College Football Playoff. Like USC and Stanford, it's a contrast-of-styles game featuring Oregon's hurry-up offense against Michigan State's stout defense. The winner can present this game as "Exhibit A" if its credentials are brought up later this season before the playoff selection committee. Oregon needs the win to prove its finesse offense can withstand a physical defense.

Michigan (1-0) at No. 16 Notre Dame (1-0)

4:30 p.m., Channel 4

This is the last game, at least for a while, in one of college football's great rivalries. Notre Dame says its new agreement to play five games against Atlantic Coast Conference teams every year forced it to surrender certain games on its schedule. However, Notre Dame on Thursday announced a two-game series against Ohio State, in 2022 and 2023.

Brigham Young (1-0) at Texas (1-0)

4:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

BYU's win over Texas last year in Provo started the skid that led to Mack Brown's not-so-gentle ouster as coach of the Longhorns. Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill shredded the Longhorns for 259 rushing yards in a 40-21 win. Texas won its opener this season even as new Coach Charlie Strong continued to purge the roster. Strong suspended two starting offensive linemen this week, leaving the Longhorns incredibly thin. Last week, center Dominic Espinosa was lost for the season with a broken foot. Starting quarterback David Ash is also out with concussion syndrome.

12:30 p.m.: Ball State at Iowa, ESPN2; Missouri State at Oklahoma State, Prime; Maryland at South Florida, CBSSN; Ohio at Kentucky, ESPNU; Northern Illinois at Northwestern, BTN.

1 p.m.: Georgia Tech at Tulane, ESPNews; Eastern Michigan at Florida, SEC.

4 p.m.: Arizona State at New Mexico, CBSSN; East Carolina at South Carolina, ESPNU; San Jose State at Auburn, ESPN2.

4:30 p.m.: Northwestern State at Baylor, Prime; Sam Houston State at Louisiana State, SEC.


Oregon State (1-0) at Hawaii (0-1)

7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Oregon State needs to be on upset watch against a Hawaii team that nearly ruined Chris Petersen's debut at Washington, as the Huskies escaped the islands with a 17-16 win. Hawaii finished 1-11 last year but lost two games in overtime and four others by 10 or fewer points.

5 p.m.: San Diego State at North Carolina, ESPNews; Virginia Tech at Ohio State, ESPN.

7 p.m.: Memphis at UCLA, Pac-12.

7:15 p.m.: Colorado State at Boise State, ESPN2.

8 p.m.: Texas Tech at Texas El Paso, FS1; The Citadel at Florida State (tape), FS West.