Alabama at Mississippi State among TV games of note

Mississippi State offensive lineman Justin Malone (70) and Elgton Jenkins (74) block for quarterback Dak Prescott (15) as he prepares to pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)
Mississippi State offensive lineman Justin Malone (70) and Elgton Jenkins (74) block for quarterback Dak Prescott (15) as he prepares to pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Credit: Jim Lytle Photography

Credit: Jim Lytle Photography

Break out the chips and cold drinks but let Chris Dufresne handle the remote. Each Friday, the Los Angeles Times' national college football writer handicaps what's worth watching, and skipping, on the upcoming menu of games. All times eastern.


No. 11 Florida (8-1) at South Carolina (3-6)

Noon, ESPN

Steve Spurrier, the winningest football coach at both schools, said this week he would not attend the game. Spurrier, who played at Florida and led the Gators to the 1996 national title, abruptly resigned as South Carolina's coach last month. Spurrier told he will be rooting for South Carolina for a simple reason: "When you work for somebody and they give you a paycheck, that's your team."

No. 3 Ohio State (9-0) at Illinois (5-4)

Noon, ABC

Urban Meyer loses about as often as the Harlem Globetrotters. His Ohio State team owns the nation's longest winning streak, 22 games. This is the fourth time Meyer has coached teams to winning streaks of 20 or more games. Ohio State has not lost in Champaign, Ill., since 1991. Illinois did defeat No. 1 Ohio State in Columbus in 2007.

  • Noon: Pittsburgh at Duke, ESPNews; Georgia at Auburn, CBS; North Texas at Tennessee, SEC Network; Tulane at Army, CBS Sports Network; Texas at West Virginia, ESPNU; Kansas at Texas Christian, FS1; Maryland at Michigan State, ESPN2; Purdue at Northwestern, Big Ten Network; Texas El Paso at Old Dominion, FS West.
  • 12:30 p.m.: North Carolina State at Florida State.


No. 1 Clemson (9-0) at Syracuse (3-6)

3:30 p.m., ESPN2

Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney named Tigers snapper Jim Brown captain for this game to honor the former Syracuse and NFL great of the same name. Syracuse will be lucky to score a "Dirty Dozen."

No. 2 Alabama (8-1) at Mississippi State (7-2)

3:30 p.m., CBS

Mississippi State, led by quarterback Dak Prescott, has a legitimate upset chance. The Bulldogs have won four straight since a 30-17 loss to Texas A&M. Alabama is coming off an emotional win over LSU and has a quick turnaround trip. Mississippi State should be well rested, having not played since a Thursday night win at Missouri on Nov. 5.

No. 21 Memphis (8-1) at No. 24 Houston (9-0)

7 p.m., ESPN2

The American Athletic Conference shakeout continues toward one precious bid to a New Year's Day bowl. Houston is undefeated; Memphis, Navy and Temple have one loss. Yet Houston is behind all three in the latest College Football Playoff ranking. That could change, because Houston has remaining regular-season games against Memphis and Navy and a possible AAC title game showdown against Temple.

Arkansas (5-4) at No. 9 LSU (7-1)

7:15 p.m., ESPN

Arkansas is coming off a victory against Ole Miss in which a crazy lateral play on fourth and 25, in overtime, set up the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversation. LSU, even after last week's setback against Alabama, still has a chance to be champion of the SEC and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff. In 2007, LSU won the national title as a two-loss SEC champion.

Oregon (6-3) at No. 7 Stanford (8-1)

7:30 p.m., Fox

This could be a cat-and-mouse game. Oregon's offense is in high gear again with Vernon Adams Jr. back at quarterback, but the defense ranks No. 117 nationally. Stanford's offense should be able to control tempo and keep the ball away from Adams. Oregon, to have a chance, must score touchdowns, not field goals, and try to limit three-and-out possessions.

  • 3 p.m.: Washington at Arizona State, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12).
  • 3:30 p.m.: Miami at North Carolina, ESPNU; Michigan at Indiana, ABC; Wake Forest at Notre Dame, NBC; Oklahoma State at Iowa State, ESPN; Kansas State at Texas Tech, FS1; Nebraska at Rutgers, BTN; Florida International at Marshall, FS West; Southern Methodist at Navy, CBSSN.
  • 4 p.m.: Kentucky at Vanderbilt, SEC.
  • 7 p.m.: Temple at South Florida, CBSSN; Western Carolina at Texas A&M, ESPNU.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Brigham Young at Missouri, SEC; Tulsa at Cincinnati, ESPNews.


No. 12 Oklahoma (8-1) at No. 6 Baylor (8-0)

8 p.m., ABC

Oklahoma is trying to do what Ohio State did last year -- shake off a bad early loss and climb into the top four in the final playoff ranking. Ohio State went from No. 16 to No. 4 last year, overcoming a home defeat against Virginia Tech. Oklahoma started No. 15 but is playing very well since its October defeat by Texas. The Sooners have a tough enough schedule to make a move with remaining games against Baylor, Texas Christian and Oklahoma State.

Washington State (6-3) at No. 19 UCLA (7-2)

10:45 p.m., ESPN

Pasadena's late-night curfew will be put to test as pass-happy Washington State threatens to send this game into Sunday morning. The Cougars lead the nation with 512 passes, including 157 clock-stopping incomplete passes -- an average of 17.4 per game.

  • 8 p.m.: Minnesota at Iowa, BTN.
  • 10 p.m.: Utah at Arizona, FS1.
  • 10:15 p.m.: New Mexico at Boise State, ESPNU.
  • 10:30 p.m.: Oregon State at California, Pac-12; Wyoming at San Diego State, CBSSN.