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 Saturday’s menu of games.
No. 24 Northwestern (5-0) at Penn State (3-2)
9 a.m., ESPN
The Big Ten is down report: Northwestern is the only undefeated team in the conference eligible to compete for this year’s Bowl Championship Series title. If Northwestern keeps up the good work and wins the Legends Division, we could be looking at a title-game showdown against Purdue for the Rose Bowl bid. Penn State is to be commended for having a winning record this deep into a season the NCAA had hoped to destroy.
Arkansas (1-4) at Auburn (1-3)
9 a.m., ESPN2
The game the Southeastern Conference doesn’t want you to see! Auburn won the national title two seasons ago, but its only win this season came in overtime against Louisiana Monroe. Arkansas is the first team to go — in a month — from preseason top 10 to the 99-cent bin at the Fayetteville flea market. The Razorbacks’ only win was against Jacksonville State, but SEC schedule relief may be on the way in the form of Kentucky and Mississippi.
8:30 a.m.: Navy at Air Force, Channel 2.
9 a.m.: Connecticut at No. 22 Rutgers, ESPNU; Kansas at No. 7 Kansas State, FX; Boise State at Southern Mississippi, FS West; Michigan State at Indiana, BTN; Boston College at Army, CBSSN.
10 a.m.: Towson at James Madison, NBCSN
No. 4 Louisiana State (5-0) at No. 10 Florida (4-0)
12:30 p.m., Channel 2
The game the SEC will pick you up in a limo to see! LSU is at a crossroads after shaky wins over Auburn and Towson. LSU had five turnovers and 19 penalties in the two games, but a win at The Swamp would make everything better. Florida has had a week to prepare and is looking to avenge last year’s 41-11 defeat at Baton Rouge.
Noon: Arizona at No. 18 Stanford, Channel 11; Virginia at Duke, Prime.
12:30 p.m.: No. 17 Oklahoma at Texas Tech, Channel 7; Illinois at Wisconsin, ESPN2; Georgia Tech at No. 15 Clemson, ESPN; Wake Forest at Maryland, ESPNU; Iowa State at No. 15 Texas Christian, FS West; Tulsa at Marshall, CBSSN.
No. 5 Georgia (5-0) at No. 6 South Carolina (5-0)
4 p.m., ESPN
Georgia leads the all-time series, 46-16-2, but that won’t help the Bulldogs this week. Steve Spurrier, while at Florida, used to dominate Georgia and is now trying to lead South Carolina to a third straight win over Georgia for the first time since the series began in 1894. Georgia’s explosive offense took a hit this week when receiver Michael Bennett was lost to season-ending knee injury. South Carolina’s defense ranks sixth nationally in scoring and is No. 13 overall.
No. 8 West Virginia (4-0) at No. 11 Texas (4-0)
4 p.m., Channel 11
West Virginia scored 70 points against Baylor last week and Texas allowed 36 at Oklahoma State. You think some points will be tallied here? Texas’ defense has been disappointing so far but the offense, led by sophomore quarterback David Ash, is growing up fast. This is one of several prove-it games for West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith in the coming weeks as he navigates through the Big 12 schedule. He is coming off a week in which he threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns.
Miami (4-1) vs. No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0)
4:30 p.m., Channel 4
One of college football’s great rivalries moves to Chicago’s Soldier Field as the surprising Irish continue to climb the rankings. With remaining games against Miami, Stanford, Oklahoma and USC, Notre Dame has the schedule strength to make a run to the top. Miami will never be able to explain its 52-13 loss at Kansas State but is coming off a huge win over North Carolina State in which Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris passed for a school-record 566 yards. Notre Dame is the only FBS team that has not trailed in a game this season.
1 p.m.: Michigan at Purdue, BTN.
3 p.m.: Washington State at No. 14 Oregon State, Pac-12.
4 p.m.: Texas A&M; at Mississippi, ESPNU; Vanderbilt at Missouri, FS West; Fresno State at Colorado State, TWC Sportsnet.
No. 23 Washington (3-1) at No. 2 Oregon (5-0)
7:30 p.m., ESPN
The Pac-12 has six teams ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2002, but that could change after Washington’s trip to Eugene. No rivalry in the league is as bitter as this border-state battle. Oregon has won 27 of its last 28 at Autzen Stadium, but Washington enters invigorated by its 17-14 upset over Stanford. First-year Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is a former Duck who played in the 1990s for current coordinator Nick Aliotti. In fact, Aliotti offered Wilcox some tips on how to slow down Stanford. This week, Wilcox will be out to exploit an Oregon offense that has a Pac-12-high 12 turnovers.
5 p.m.: Nebraska at Ohio State, Channel 7; Florida State at North Carolina State, ESPN2; Hawaii at San Diego State, CBSSN.
7 p.m.: No. 25 UCLA at California, Pac-12.
7:30 p.m.: Southern at Alcorn State, ESPNU.