Each week our national college football writer describes how he would handle the television remote on Saturday, handicapping what’s worth watching, and skipping:
Texas (3-4) at No. 11 Kansas State (5-1)
9 a.m., ESPN
It took Kansas State football about 80 years to get rolling but the program is now a win over Texas from its 500th victory. Coach Bill Snyder has 183 of those wins and he got to Manhattan in 1989. It proves one man can move a mountain or, in this prairie state’s case, at least a mole hill.
Rutgers (5-2) at No. 16 Nebraska (6-1)
9 a.m., ESPN2
Rutgers has waited 94 years to avenge its only other meeting with Nebraska — a 28-0 loss in 1920 at the Polo Grounds. That Nov. 2 was the same day Warren G. Harding was elected U.S. president. Harding later had a stadium in Wyoming named after him: Teapot Dome. Saturday’s game in Nebraska is for all the seeing-red Rutgers players who said back in 1920, “We’ll get you next time.”
No. 25 UCLA (5-2) at Colorado (2-5)
11 a.m., Pac-12 Networks
Those of us still without access to the Pac-12 Networks will receive live re-creation of game, with sound effects, from a studio at Buffalo Bill’s Museum & Grave at Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colo.
9 a.m.: Alabama Birmingham at Arkansas, SEC Network; Memphis at Southern Methodist, ESPNews; Minnesota at Illinois, ESPNU, Maryland at Wisconsin, Big Ten Network ; North Texas at Rice, FS West.
9:30 a.m.: North Carolina at Virginia, KDOC.
10 a.m.: San Jose State at Navy, CBS Sports.
10:30 a.m.: Pennsylvania at Yale, NBC Sports.
No. 1 Mississippi State (6-0) at Kentucky (5-2)
12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Mississippi State plays as No. 1 for the first time after getting a bye week to bask in the glory of its win against Auburn. Quarterback Dak Prescott has emerged from nowhere, a.k.a Starkville, to become a leading candidate to win the Heisman Trophy. Prescott has completed 61.5% of his passes and 93.7% of the class work he missed after his team’s last Southeastern Conference trip to Louisiana State.
Michigan (3-4) at No. 8 Michigan State (6-1)
12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Michigan should send a thank-you note to the Big Ten schedule maker who put the Wolverines in East Lansing for a second straight year. No one in Ann Arbor needs to see Michigan suffer another ugly loss at home. Michigan’s goal is to net one rushing yard, which would be a 49-yard improvement over last season’s game in which the Wolverines were held to minus-48.
No. 3 Mississippi (7-0) at No. 24 Louisiana State (6-2)
4:15 p.m., ESPN
You’ll know Ole Miss is for real if it wins this game against the much-improved Tigers. LSU had no luck beating anyone in the SEC West so it crossed over to the weaker side to score wins against Florida and Kentucky. Mississippi’s top-ranked defense will be the toughest LSU’s offense has seen since facing its own defense at Thursday’s practice.
No. 4 Alabama (6-1) at Tennessee (3-4)
4:30 p.m., ESPN2
This looks like a knockout in Knoxville until you consider Alabama has been a different team on the road. The Crimson Tide is 2-1 away from Tuscaloosa. Alabama defeated West Virginia by 10 at a neutral site but managed just 31 total points going 1-1 in true road games at Mississippi and Arkansas.
12:30 p.m.: Texas Tech at Texas Christian, Channel 11; West Virginia at Oklahoma State, ESPN; Florida Atlantic at Marshall, Fox Sports 1; Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh, ESPNU; Oregon State at Stanford, ESPN2; Boston College at Wake Forest, FS West.
1 p.m.: Vanderbilt at Missouri, SEC; Nevada Las Vegas at Utah State, ESPNews.
2 p.m.: Temple at Central Florida, CBSSN.
3 p.m.: Arizona at Washington State, Pac-12.
4 p.m.: Syracuse at Clemson, ESPNU.
4:30 p.m.: South Carolina at Auburn, SEC.
No. 13 Ohio State (5-1) at Penn State (4-2)
5 p.m., Channel 7
This matchup does not bode well for Penn State, which has dropped two games after a 4-0 start and lost last season’s game in Columbus, 63-14 — the most lopsided defeat in Penn State history. Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett has 17 touchdown passes, with one interception, in his last four games.
No. 20 USC (5-2) at No. 19 Utah (5-1)
7 p.m., Fox Sports 1
Utah quarterbacks have combined to throw for nine touchdown passes this season. USC quarterback Cody Kessler threw seven touchdown passes last week.
No. 14 Arizona State (5-1) at Washington (5-2)
7:45 p.m., ESPN
This may seem like a late start, but at least it is being played in a town where you can get a strong cup of coffee.