College football viewers guide: Baylor-TCU a Friday attraction

College football viewers guide: Baylor-TCU a Friday attraction
Baylor reserve quarterback Chris Johnson, formerly a wide receiver for the Bears, will get the start in a must-win game against TCU on Friday. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

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 the upcoming menu of games.



No. 15 Navy (9-1) at Houston (10-1)

9 a.m., Channel 7

The winner claims the West Division and advances to the American Athletic Conference championship game Dec. 4. Navy is the highest-ranked Group of 5 team and trying to mess up the College Football Playoff bowl presentation party Dec. 6 because Navy plays Army six days later.

No. 4 Iowa (11-0) at Nebraska (5-6)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

Iowa has already clinched the West Division and will play Michigan, Michigan State or Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. However, the Hawkeyes can't afford a loss in Lincoln and expect to stay in the national playoff mix. Nebraska's six losses are by a total of 23 points.

No. 7 Baylor (9-1) at No. 19 Texas Christian (9-2)

4:30 p.m., ESPN

Baylor remains alive for the playoff but is down to its third-string quarterback, former receiver Chris Johnson. TCU hopes quarterback Trevone Boykin can return after he missed last week's Oklahoma loss because of an ankle injury.

Other games:

9 a.m.: Marshall at Western Kentucky, FS1; Western Michigan at Toledo, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN); Miami at Pittsburgh, ESPN2. 11:30 a.m.: Missouri at Arkansas, Channel 2. 12:30 p.m.: Boise State at San Jose State, CBSSN; Washington State at Washington, Channel 11. 1 p.m.: Oregon State at Oregon, FS1. 1:30 p.m.: Massachusetts at Buffalo, ESPNU. 5 p.m.: Tulsa at Tulane, ESPNU.


No. 8 Ohio State (10-1) at No. 10 Michigan (9-2)

9 a.m., Channel 7


One of America's best rivalries gets a new intensity wrinkle with the addition of first-year Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh who, while playing quarterback for Bo Schembechler's 1986 Michigan team, guaranteed a win over Ohio State — and delivered. Ohio State's string of 30 straight regular-season Big Ten wins was snapped last week by Michigan State.

No. 2 Alabama (10-1) at Auburn (6-5)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Two years ago, Auburn defeated Alabama in one of the greatest endings in college sports — Chris Davis' return of a missed 57-yard field goal attempt. The victory propelled Auburn to the last Bowl Championship Series title game. The Tigers can only play spoilers this time as they try to deny Alabama a shot in this season's national playoff.

No. 22 UCLA (8-3) at USC (7-4)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7 or ESPN2

The last teams standing from the rugged Pac-12 Conference South Division square off for a chance to play Stanford in next week's conference title game. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen will attempt to break the record for most touchdown passes thrown against USC, six — set six days ago by Oregon's Vernon Adams Jr.

No. 6 Notre Dame (10-1) at No. 9 Stanford (9-2)

4:30 p.m., Channel 11

Notre Dame rallied for three in the ninth to beat Boston College last week at Fenway Park, yet the selection committee still dumped the Irish to No. 6 in its most recent ranking. Stanford's Christian McCaffrey can make a big push for the Heisman Trophy against a school that has won seven. The Cardinal was counted out of the playoff picture after losing to Oregon — by everybody except the people who actually decide it.

No. 13 Florida State (9-2) at No. 12 Florida (10-1)

4:30 p.m., ESPN

The Southeastern Conference's nightmare scenario is Florida losing this nonconference rivalry game to the Seminoles and then defeating Alabama in the SEC title game, which would likely eliminate the league that dominated the BCS era. Florida State has won two straight in the series and is trying to win three straight in Gainesville for the first time.

No. 3 Oklahoma (10-1) at No. 11 Oklahoma State (10-1)

5 p.m., Channel 7

The annual "Bedlam" game became extra special after the playoff selection committee bumped Oklahoma to No. 3 in this week's ranking. The Sooners have overcome what seemed like a disastrous loss to Texas and are now positioned to make the playoff. Oklahoma State's Cowboys are hoping a win can put them back in contention.

Air Force (8-3) at New Mexico (6-5)

7:15 p.m., ESPNU

These Mountain West Conference teams won at Boise State in consecutive weeks. Air Force already has clinched the Mountain Division and needs the win at Albuquerque for a chance to host the conference title game.

Other games:

9 a.m.: Louisville at Kentucky, SEC Network; Clemson at South Carolina, ESPN; Georgia at Georgia Tech, ESPN2; Virginia Tech at Virginia, ESPNU; Southern Methodist at Memphis, ESPNews; Iowa State at West Virginia, FS1; Southern Mississippi at Louisiana Tech, FS West; Indiana at Purdue, Big Ten Network; Cincinnati at East Carolina, CBSSN. 9:30 a.m.: Duke at Wake Forest, KDOC; Boston College at Syracuse, Prime. 11:30 a.m.: Colorado at Utah, Pac-12 Network. 12:30 p.m.: North Carolina at North Carolina State, ESPN2; Penn State at Michigan State, ESPN; Northwestern vs. Illinois, ESPNU; Texas El Paso at North Texas, FS West; Wisconsin at Minnesota, BTN; Brigham Young at Utah State, CBSSN. 1 p.m.: Kansas State at Kansas, FS1; Vanderbilt at Tennessee, SEC. 2 p.m.: Grambling State vs. Southern, NBC Sports Network. 4 p.m.: Connecticut at Temple, ESPNU. 4:15 p.m.: Mississippi at Mississippi State, ESPN2. 4:30 p.m.: Texas A&M at Louisiana State, SEC. 6 p.m.: Colorado State at Fresno State, CBSSN. 7 p.m.: Arizona State at California, FS1. 7:45 p.m.: Nevada at San Diego State, ESPN2.