A viewer’s guide: What college football games to watch this weekend

J.T. Barrett
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett runs for a touchdown against Minnesota on Nov. 15. The Buckeyes topped the Golden Gophers, 31-24.
(Kyle Robertson / McClatchy-Tribune)

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


Indiana (3-7) at No. 6 Ohio State (9-1)

9 a.m., Big Ten Network (BTN)


Indiana is 0-6 against Big Ten Conference competition but 1-0 against teams from the Southeastern Conference East Division with its inexplicable win at Missouri. Ohio State needs to put the hammer down on Indiana just in case it gets in a playoff debate with Missouri.

Charleston Southern (8-3) at No. 10 Georgia (8-2)

9 a.m., SEC Network (SEC)

Charleston Southern blew its chance to beat an SEC team on Oct. 11 when the Buccaneers lost at Vanderbilt, 21-20. You don’t get two chances to beat an SEC team. Georgia moves on despite losing Todd Gurley to a season-ending knee injury. The Bulldogs don’t drop off much with next-man-up Nick Chubb, who has topped 1,000 yards as a freshman while averaging 6.8 yards per carry.


Yale (8-1) at Harvard (9-0)

9:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network (NBCSN)

The 131st meeting of these teams could be one of the best in recent memory. Harvard needs a win to clinch the Ivy League championship and claim its 17th undefeated season. The Crimson seeks its eighth straight win against the Bulldogs. Yale celebrates the 10th anniversary of its 2004 prank in which Bulldog students posed as the Harvard pep squad and performed a flip-card trick that pronounced: “We Suck.”

9 a.m.: Kansas at Oklahoma, Fox Sports 1 (FS1); Minnesota at Nebraska, ESPN; Fordham at Army, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN); Northwestern at Purdue, ESPNU; Southern Methodist at Central Florida, ESPNews; Penn State at Illinois, ESPN2; Texas San Antonio at Western Kentucky, FS West; South Alabama at South Carolina, Prime.

9:30 a.m.: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest, KDOC.

10 a.m.: Washington State at Arizona State, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12).




Boston College (6-4) at No. 3 Florida State (10-0)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

Boston College’s 14-point loss to Florida State last year in Chestnut Hill, Mass., was the closest any team played the Seminoles during the regular season. Florida State has won 26 straight games but has also trailed at the half this season in five of its 10 victories. None of this should lead anyone to believe Boston College is going to pull off the upset.

No. 8 Mississippi (8-2) at Arkansas (5-5)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Watch out for Arkansas. Really. The Razorbacks snapped their 17-game SEC losing streak with a 17-0 home win over Louisiana State. Arkansas appears ready to turn a corner as Coach Bret Bielema tries to refashion his team into the dairy-cow heavy Wisconsin squad he led to the Rose Bowl.

Colorado (2-8) at No. 2 Oregon (9-1)

1:30 p.m., Pac-12


Stop the presses: Marcus Mariota got a speeding ticket? Oregon’s Mr. Perfect was clocked going 80 mph in a 55 mph zone, which is how fast he’s going to look running through Colorado’s defense. “Mr. Mariota was polite and respectful, he was professional and took the citation appropriately and acted appropriately,” state police Lt. Josh Brooks told the Oregonian.

No. 20 Missouri (8-2) at Tennessee (5-5)

4:30 p.m., ESPN

Missouri needs closing wins against Tennessee and Arkansas to clinch its second straight SEC East title. Not bad for a school that never won a Big 12 Conference championship. A Missouri loss would hand the SEC East title to Georgia, which has completed conference play. Tennessee is much improved, but Missouri has won nine straight road games, one shy of the school record.

12:30 p.m.: Georgia State at Clemson, Prime; Texas Tech at Iowa State, FS West; Arizona at Utah, ESPN; Wisconsin at Iowa, ESPN2; Louisville at Notre Dame, Channel 4; Maryland at Michigan, BTN; Lehigh at Lafayette, CBSSN; Syracuse at Pittsburgh, ESPNU; New Hampshire at Maine, NBCSN.

1 p.m.: Western Carolina at Alabama, SEC; South Florida at Memphis, ESPNews; Stanford at California, FS1.

4 p.m.: Samford at Auburn, ESPNU; Miami at Virginia, ESPN2.

4:30 p.m.: Vanderbilt at Mississippi State, SEC; Oklahoma State at Baylor, Channel 11; Richmond at William & Mary, NBCSSN.



No. 19 USC (7-3) at No. 9 UCLA (8-2)

5 p.m., Channel 7

USC debuted in the College Football Playoff rankings this week as “Southern Cal,” which grates on Trojans fans who consider it as off-putting as San Francisco does when it is referred to as “Frisco.” UCLA fans and Lou Holtz make a point to refer to USC as “Southern Cal” every chance they get.

Boise State (8-2) at Wyoming (4-6)

7:15 p.m., ESPN2

Boise State continues to block one-loss Colorado State in the Mountain West Conference Mountain Division. Boise State defeated Colorado State and holds the tiebreaker. If Boise State wins the league, it’s possible the selection committee would pick the two-loss Broncos over undefeated Marshall for the “Group of 5" bowl bid.

5 p.m.: Cincinnati at Connecticut, CBSSN.

7:30 p.m.: Fresno State at Nevada, ESPNU; Oregon State at Washington, Pac-12.

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