Need some help deciding which college football games to watch? Look no further. Each Friday, Times contributor Chuck Schilken handicaps what’s worth watching, and skipping, on the weekend’s menu of games:
8:30 a.m.: Western Michigan at Toledo, ESPNU. 9 a.m.: No. 2 Miami at Pittsburgh, Channel 7; Baylor at No. 12 Texas Christian, FS1; Northern Illinois at Central Michigan, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN); Navy at Houston, ESPN. 11:30 a.m.: Missouri at Arkansas, Channel 2.
South Florida (9-1) at No. 15 Central Florida (10-0), 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Standing between Central Florida and its first-ever undefeated regular season is American Athletic Conference rival South Florida, whose only loss this season was by four points to Houston. The winner is AAC East champ and gets “War on I-4” bragging rights.
Mike Riley could be coaching his last game with Nebraska. The Cornhuskers haven’t won fewer than five games in a season since 1961.
12:30 p.m.: New Mexico at San Diego State, CBSSN.
In men’s water polo, these are the top seeds for the upcoming NCAA championship tournament; in football, both teams need a win to become bowl eligible. Attention UCLA and Jedd Fisch: Cal is 2-0 against interim head coaches this season.
5 p.m.: No. 25 Virginia Tech at Virginia, ESPN; Texas Tech at Texas, Channel 11.
No. 9 Ohio State (9-2) at Michigan (8-3), 9 a.m., Channel 11
Ohio State can keep its slim College Football Playoff hopes alive with a big win here. Third-year Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh seeks his first win in “The Game” and will probably have to rely on third-string quarterback John O'Korn.
9 a.m.: No. 7 Georgia at Georgia Tech, Channel 7; Kansas at No. 19 Oklahoma State, FS1; East Carolina at No. 20 Memphis, ESPNU; Florida State at Florida, ESPN; Louisville at Kentucky, SEC Network (SEC); Indiana at Purdue, ESPN2; Connecticut at Cincinnati, ESPNews; Tulane at Southern Methodist, CBSSN. 9:15 a.m.: Boston College at Syracuse, KDOC. 9:30 a.m.: Duke at Wake Forest, Prime.
No. 1 Alabama (11-0) at No. 6 Auburn (9-2), 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
This Iron Bowl has massive playoff implications. The winner plays Georgia for the Southeastern Conference title, meaning Auburn could earn an additional chance to impress the CFP committee.
These rivals will play for the Milk Can trophy this week and then for the Mountain West championship next week. Fresno State has the conference’s best defense; it will try to slow the Broncos’ dual quarterback attack of Brett Rypien and Montell Cozart.
12:30 p.m.: No. 5 Wisconsin at Minnesota, Channel 7; No. 10 Penn State at Maryland, Big Ten Network (Big Ten); North Carolina at North Carolina State, ESPNU; Iowa State at Kansas State, ESPN2. 12:45 p.m.: West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma, ESPN. 1 p.m.: No. 16 Michigan State at Rutgers, Channel 11; No. 22 Northwestern at Illinois, FS1; Vanderbilt at Tennessee, SEC; Temple at Tulsa, ESPNews. 1:30 p.m.: Arizona at Arizona State, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12). 2 p.m.: Southern at Grambling State, NBC Sports Network. 4 p.m.: Oregon at Oregon State, ESPN2. 4:30 p.m.: No. 3 Clemson at No. 24 South Carolina, ESPN; Texas A&M at No. 18 Louisiana State, SEC; Texas San Antonio at Louisiana Tech, ESPNU.
A huge late-season game against Notre Dame could give Stanford’s Bryce Love a boost in the Heisman Trophy race. Notre Dame is playing for a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game. Stanford fans will have one eye on the Washington State-Washington game.
No. 13 Washington State (9-2) at No. 17 Washington (9-2), 5 p.m., Channel 11
Washington has won the Apple Cup four years in a row, but a Washington State win gives the Cougars the Pac-12 North title. Otherwise, Stanford faces USC in the conference championship game.