College football TV viewers guide 2016

Texas Tech v TCU
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II tries to get past TCU’s Mat Boesen on Oct. 29.
(Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

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 this weekend’s menu of college football games.



3 p.m.: Central Michigan at Miami (Ohio), CBS Sports Network (CBSSN).


4 p.m.: Temple at Connecticut, ESPN2.

7:15 p.m.: San Jose State at No. 24 Boise State, ESPN2.


Navy vs. Notre Dame at Jacksonville, Fla., 8:30 a.m., Channel 2


These teams are locked in the longest-running intersectional rivalry in college football — 90 games in consecutive years — and Notre Dame has won 76 of them, with a tie. But Navy is 5-2 this season, with a win over Houston, and Notre Dame is 3-5, though the Fighting Irish did manage to defeat Miami last week. Navy’s triple-option attack averages 296.6 yards rushing per game, which is fifth-best in the nation. 

Texas at Texas Tech, 9 a.m., FS1

The over-under line for this game is in the 80-point range. With these offenses — and “defenses” — that might be low. Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the nation’s most prolific passing unit, averaging 500.6 yards per game. That’s 124 yards more than any other team. The Red Raiders are also No. 2 in scoring offense at 47.4 points, though they give up an average of 41.4 points. Texas averages 36 points and gives up an average of 32.8.

Air Force at Army, 9 a.m., CBSSN

If you enjoy the passing game, change the channel. Neither starting quarterback threw as many as 10 passes in their last game. Nate Romine of Air Force completed five of nine for 97 yards and a touchdown in a 31-21 win over Fresno State. He also rushed for 96 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw of Army completed six of eight for 145 yards and a touchdown in a 21-13 win over Wake Forest. He added another touchdown rushing, and gained 65 yards in 27 carries.

Other games

9 a.m.: No. 8 Wisconsin at Northwestern, Channel 7; Vanderbilt at No. 11 Auburn, ESPN; No. 5 Louisville at Boston College, ESPN2; Georgia Southern at Mississippi, ESPNU; Michigan State at Illinois, ESPNews; No. 7 Texas A&M at Mississippi State, SEC Network (SEC); Indiana at Rutgers, Big Ten Network (BTN); Georgia Tech at No. 18 North Carolina, KDOC.



No. 22 Oklahoma State at Kansas State, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7 or ESPN2

Kansas State has one of the nation’s best rushing defenses — which means next to nothing against Oklahoma State’s explosive passing game. Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph has passed for 2,532 yards and 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions. After upsetting West Virginia last week, Oklahoma State can be Big 12 Conference champion if it wins out. Kansas State needs one win to become bowl eligible, two to give Coach Bill Snyder his 200th career victory.

Texas Christian at No. 13 Baylor, 12:30 p.m., Channel 11

This matchup rates high in entertainment value based on what has happened in the recent past. The last three games have been decided by a total of 13 points, including a double-overtime win by TCU last season. The Horned Frogs are used to tight situations; they have played multiple overtimes in four of their last 10 games. Three Baylor running backs and quarterback Seth Russell all average more than six yards per carry, but they will be tested by a tough TCU rushing defense.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold looks to pass against Colorado on Oct. 8.
USC quarterback Sam Darnold looks to pass against Colorado on Oct. 8.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press )

Oregon at USC, 4 p.m., ESPN

Neither quarterback, Sam Darnold of USC nor Justin Herbert of Oregon, began the season as a starting quarterback. Both are freshman, Darnold of the redshirt variety. And both are coming off big games. Darnold passed for five touchdowns against California. Herbert passed for 489 yards and four touchdowns as the Ducks snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over Arizona State.

Other games


Noon: Virginia at Wake Forest, Fox Sports West (FSW); East Tennessee at Mercer, Prime.

12:30 p.m.: No. 10 Florida at Arkansas, Channel 2; Maryland at No. 2 Michigan, ESPN; Syracuse at No. 3 Clemson, Channel 7; No. 23 Virginia Tech at Duke, ESPNU; Oregon State at Stanford, FS1; Brigham Young at Cincinnati, CBSSN; Purdue at Minnesota, BTN.

1 p.m.: Memphis at Southern Methodist, ESPNews; Arizona at No. 25 Washington State, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12); Missouri at South Carolina, SEC.

2:30 p.m.: Florida International at Western Kentucky, beIN1.

4 p.m.: No. 19 Florida State at North Carolina State, ESPNU; Kansas at No. 14 West Virginia, ESPN2; Hawaii at San Diego State, CBSSN.

4:30 p.m.: Iowa at No. 20 Penn State, BTN; Georgia at Kentucky, SEC.


No. 1 Alabama at No. 15 Louisiana State, 5 p.m., Channel 2

LSU has averaged nearly 42 points a game since Ed Orgeron took over as interim coach, and now the Tigers have a healthy Leonard Fournette at running back. Fournette missed three games with an ankle injury, then returned to run for a school-record 284 yards against Mississippi. Fournette was tearing it up last season too, before he ran into Alabama’s defense. The Crimson Tide are not only stingy, they are opportunistic. Alabama has scored nine touchdowns on interceptions and fumble recovery returns.

No. 9 Nebraska at No. 6 Ohio State, 5 p.m., Channel 7

Ohio State is favored by more than two touchdowns. It’s hard to argue the accuracy of the people who set the Las Vegas betting lines, but this one is baffling. In the Buckeyes’ last two games they were upset by Penn State and squeaked past Northwestern, which gained 406 yards in a four-point loss. Nebraska is coming off a 23-17 loss to Wisconsin in overtime at Madison, Wis., where three weeks ago Ohio State defeated the Badgers, 30-23, in overtime.

Other games

5 p.m.: East Carolina at Tulsa, ESPNews.

7:15 p.m.: Utah State at Wyoming, ESPN2; Nevada at New Mexico, ESPNU.

7:30 p.m.: No. 4 Washington at California, ESPN.

Twitter: @MikeHiserman

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