Need some help deciding which college football games to watch? Look no further. Each Friday, Times contributor Chuck Schilken handicaps what’s worth watching, and skipping, on the weekend’s menu of games:
No. 8 Washington State (6-0) at California (3-3), 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Statistically speaking, this should be a close one — that is, if the statistics used are number of sacks allowed (the teams each have 23, most in the Pac-12) or rushing offense (they’re the bottom two teams in the conference). Otherwise, this looks like it might be pretty one-sided in favor of Washington State.
4 p.m.: No. 2 Clemson at Syracuse, ESPN.
No. 6 Texas Christian (5-0) at Kansas State (3-2), 9 a.m., FS1
This game features the two active coaches with the most wins at their current schools — Bill Snyder has 205 at Kansas State; Gary Patterson has 153 at Texas Christian. Snyder and the Wildcats have defeated Patterson and the Horned Frogs in three of their five meetings, including a 30-6 rout last year.
Two of the nation’s top offenses will be on display. Texas Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek is passing for an average of 362.2 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions. West Virginia quarterback Will Grier passes for averages of 348 yards per game. He’s thrown for 16 touchdowns but has also had 11 passes picked off.
Rutgers (1-4) at Illinois (2-3), 9 a.m., Big Ten Network (Big Ten)
This is not an important game or a fierce rivalry, but it is a matchup of desperation. These teams will be fighting for their first Big Ten win of the season in what looks like their best chance to get one. Rutgers is coming off a 56-0 loss to Ohio State. Illinois is seeking its first win in more than a month.
9 a.m.: No. 17 Michigan at Indiana, Channel 7; No. 20 North Carolina State at Pittsburgh, Prime; Florida State at Duke, ESPN2; Eastern Michigan at Army, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN); Brigham Young at Mississippi State, SEC Network (SEC); South Carolina at Tennessee, ESPN; Connecticut at Temple, ESPNews; Kansas at Iowa State, FSWest.
9:15 a.m.: Boston College at Louisville, KDOC.
No. 10 Auburn (5-1) at Louisiana State (4-2), 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson has 12 rushing touchdowns, more than anyone in the country. And the Tigers’ defense allows averages of only 13 points and 287.5 yards a game. That’s what awaits Louisiana State as it looks to knock off a ranked opponent for the second week in a row in an attempt to salvage its season.
Georgia Tech (3-1) at No. 11 Miami (4-0), 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Malik Rosier drove Miami 75 yards in the final two minutes against Florida State last week, and his 23-yard pass to Darrell Langham with six seconds remaining lifted the Hurricanes to a 24-20 win. Georgia Tech has the nation’s No. 2 rushing offense, led by Taquon Marshall’s 130.8 yards per game.
No. 12 Oklahoma (4-1) at Texas (3-2), 12:30 p.m., ESPN
The annual Red River Shootout features two first-year head coaches for the first time since 1947. Tom Herman appears to have Texas pointed in the right direction after a double-overtime win over Kansas State. Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma took a big step backward with a loss to 30-point underdog Iowa State.
12:45 p.m.: No. 25 Navy at Memphis, ESPNU.
1 p.m.: Houston at Tulsa, ESPNews; Colorado at Oregon State, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12).
3:30 p.m.: Middle Tennessee at Alabama Birmingham, beIN1.
4 p.m.: East Carolina at No. 22 Central Florida, CBSSN; Texas A&M at Florida, ESPN2.
4:15 p.m.: Arkansas at No. 1 Alabama, ESPN.
4:30 p.m.: Missouri at No. 4 Georgia, SEC; No. 9 Ohio State at Nebraska, FS1; Cincinnati at No. 18 South Florida, ESPNU.
Utah (4-1) at No. 13 USC (5-1), 5 p.m., Channel 7
Utah starter Tyler Huntley is considered day-to-day with an injury, so USC may end up facing backup quarterback Troy Williams. Bad news for the Trojans? The former two-time City Section player of the year out of Harbor City Narbonne High threw for two touchdowns, ran for another and led a late, game-winning drive against them last year.
UCLA (3-2) at Arizona (3-2), 6 p.m., Pac-12
Arizona’s Khalil Tate set a Football Bowl Subdivision record for a quarterback with 327 yards rushing against Colorado last week. UCLA’s Josh Rosen leads the FBS with 427 yards passing per game and is second with 17 passing touchdowns.
Boise State (3-2) at No. 19 San Diego State (6-0), 7:30 p.m., CBSSN
San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny averages 165.5 yards a game, third best in the nation. He’ll be up against the Mountain West’s top defense against the run, allowing 105.8 yards a game. However, it’s San Diego State that has the conference’s stingiest defense in points (19.3) and yards (310.7) allowed per game.
7:15 p.m.: Nevada at Colorado State, ESPN2.
7:45 p.m.: No. 5 Washington at Arizona State, ESPN.
8 p.m.: Oregon at No. 23 Stanford, FS1.