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College football TV guide: Three top-10 matchups highlight weekend of games

Christian McCaffrey
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey runs around UCLA’s Adarius Pickett on Sept. 24.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

Break out the chips and cold drinks but let Mike Hiserman handle the remote. The Times’ deputy sports editor handicaps what’s worth watching, and skipping, on the weekend’s menu of college football games.

FRIDAY

No. 7 Stanford at No. 10 Washington, 6 p.m., ESPN

Christian McCaffrey will have the Friday night college football television audience all to himself, with a breakout performance further solidifying his Heisman candidacy. It could also be a coming-out for Washington quarterback Jake Browning, who has completed 70.5% of his passes, 14 for touchdowns. Stanford has won seven of eight in the series, but is 1-7 against ranked Washington teams on the road.

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Other game

7:15 p.m.: Toledo at Brigham Young, ESPN2.

SATURDAY

Morning

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No. 22 Texas at Oklahoma State, 9 a.m., Channel 7

Texas has an eight-game winning streak in Stillwater, but the Longhorns will have to slow Oklahoma State’s passing game for that to continue. The Cowboys have passed for more than 500 yards in each of the last two games. Texas, which has 11 sacks, should be able to tee off with its rushers because Oklahoma State has no running game.

Notre Dame at Syracuse, 9 a.m., ESPN

If Notre Dame loses this one, it will be interesting to see if Brian Kelly takes personal responsibility or just fires another assistant. This might be the game to switch away from if Georgia Tech takes a run at No. 14 Miami.

Other games

9 a.m.: Alcorn State at No. 20 Arkansas or No. 23 Florida at Vanderbilt, SEC Network (SEC); No. 13 Baylor at Iowa State, FS1; Rutgers at No. 2 Ohio State, Big Ten Network (BTN); Central Florida at East Carolina, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN); Southern Methodist at Temple, ESPNews; No. 14 Miami at Georgia Tech, ESPN2.

9:30 a.m.: Virginia at Duke, KDOC.

11:30 a.m.: Oregon State at Colorado, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12).

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Afternoon

No. 8 Wisconsin at No. 4 Michigan, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7

Not many teams ever have a legitimate shot at defeating Michigan State and Michigan, in back-to-back weeks, at East Lansing and Ann Arbor. But, as JP said in “Angels in the Outfield,” it could happen.

North Carolina at No. 12 Florida State, 12:30 p.m., ESPN

Florida State bounced back strong from a most embarrassing loss, and now the Seminoles defense faces another stiff challenge. North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky has completed 74.5% of his 137 passes for 1,306 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception. And, if Trubisky and the Tar Heels fail to mount a challenge, there’s always the Navy-Air Force option. Each team is 3-0 and the winner of that matchup has won the last 19 Command-in-Chief trophies.

Other games

12:30 p.m.: Navy at Air Force, CBSSN; Louisiana Monroe at Auburn, SEC; No. 11 Tennessee at No. 25 Georgia, Channel 2; Purdue at Maryland or Minnesota at Penn State, BTN; Illinois at No. 15 Nebraska, ESPN2; Kansas State at West Virginia, ESPNU.

1 p.m.: No. 9 Texas A&M at South Carolina, SEC.

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2 p.m.: Oklahoma at No. 21 Texas Christian, Channel 11.

3 p.m.: No. 18 Utah at California, Pac-12.

4 p.m.: Kentucky at No. 1 Alabama, ESPN; South Florida at Cincinnati, ESPNU; Western Michigan at Central Michigan, CBSSN.

4:30 p.m.: Missouri at Louisiana State, SEC.

Evening

No. 3 Louisville at No. 5 Clemson, 5 p.m., Channel 7

Pretty hard to beat this matchup for entertainment value. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has accounted for 25 touchdowns — 13 passing, 12 running — which is as many or more than all but one major college team. Clemson counters with quarterback Deshaun Watson, who started the season as a top Heisman contender after giving Alabama fits in the last national title game.

Arizona State at USC, 5:30 p.m., Channel 11

Really, there’s no truth to any rumor that first-year USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann told Coach Clay Helton that, should the Trojans lose this game, he would need to attend a midnight meeting at LAX.

Other games

5 p.m.: No. 19 San Diego State at South Alabama, ESPNews; No. 17 Michigan State at Indiana, BTN.

6:30 p.m.: Oregon at Washington State, Pac-12.

7:15 p.m.: Utah State at No. 24 Boise State, ESPN2; Wyoming at Colorado State, ESPNU.

7:30 p.m.: Fresno State at Nevada Las Vegas, CBSSN; Arizona at UCLA, ESPN.

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

Twitter: @MikeHiserman


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