College football games on TV today

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With a season-high four matchups between top 25 teams, perhaps this will be the Saturday when we finally get a little chaos. The top six teams in the AP preseason poll remain undefeated, and Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State and LSU still constitute the top six teams in this week’s poll. They won’t all be undefeated come season’s end — Alabama and LSU play Nov. 9 — but it doesn’t speak well for the parity of the sport when all have been so dominant early on.

Time Game TV
Noon No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Texas in Dallas Fox
Noon No. 16 Michigan at Illinois ABC
Noon South Carolina at No. 3 Georgia ESPN
Noon No. 23 Memphis at Temple ESPN2
Noon Miami (Ohio) at Western Michigan ESPNU
Noon Mississippi State at Tennessee SEC Network
Noon Maryland at Purdue Big Ten Network
Noon Toledo at Bowling Green CBS Sports Network
12:30 Georgia Tech at Duke NBC Sports Washington (in D.C. area)
1:30 Villanova at James Madison MASN (in D.C. area)
2 Fordham at Georgetown WDCW-50 (in D.C. area)
3:30 No. 1 Alabama at No. 24 Texas A&M CBS
3:30 Florida State at No. 2 Clemson ABC
3:30 No. 25 Cincinnati at Houston ESPN2
3:30 BYU at South Florida CBS Sports Network
3:30 Washington State at No. 18 Arizona State Pac-12 Network
3:30 Michigan State at No. 8 Wisconsin Big Ten Network
3:45 Connecticut at Tulane ESPNU
4 Texas Tech at No. 22 Baylor Fox Sports 1
4 UNLV at Vanderbilt SEC Network
4 Iowa State at West Virginia ESPN
4 Rhode Island at Virginia Tech ACC Network
7 Mississippi at Missouri ESPN2
7 Fresno State at Air Force CBS Sports Network
7:30 Southern Cal at No. 9 Notre Dame NBC
7:30 No. 10 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa ABC
7:30 Louisville at No. 19 Wake Forest ACC Network
7:30 Arkansas at Kentucky SEC Network
7:30 Navy at Tulsa ESPNU
7:30 Nebraska at Minnesota Fox Sports 1
8 No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU ESPN
8 No. 15 Utah at Oregon State Pac-12 Network
10:15 Hawaii at No. 14 Boise State ESPN2
10:30 Wyoming at San Diego State CBS Sports Network
11 Washington at Arizona Fox Sports 1

Noontime

Texas seems like the natural pick in the annual Red River rivalry game with Oklahoma: Longhorns Coach Tom Herman has thrived as a point-spread underdog (going 13-3-1 against the spread over his career in that situation) and Texas has covered six straight regular season games against the Sooners, all of them as an underdog (they’re getting about 10 points Saturday). Plus, the Longhorns probably wield the best defense Oklahoma has seen this season. But they also have given up 23 passing plays of at least 20 yards (tied for 112th nationally), and the Sooners are tied for 10th in the nation with 28 such plays on offense. Kansas did a pretty good job slowing QB Jalen Hurts’s third straight Oklahoma Heisman Trophy-quarterback march, limiting the Sooners to 21 first-half points last weekend with a defensive package that tried to rattle Hurts with disguised blitzes. Expect the Longhorns to follow that road map.

Midafternoon

Playing the No. 1 team in the country once per season is bad enough. With Saturday’s game against Alabama, Texas A&M will have done it twice over its first six games, which just doesn’t seem fair. The Aggies, one of five schools to face the top-ranked team twice in a season since the AP poll began in 1936, couldn’t get anything going on offense in a 24-10 loss at then-No. 1 Clemson on Sept. 7. Another historical trend working against the Aggies: Nick Saban’s former assistants are 0-17 all-time as head coaches against him. Texas A&M Coach Jimbo Fisher was Saban’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at LSU. …

Speaking of Clemson, the Tigers will look to regain their swagger — and maybe that No. 1 ranking — against Florida State after their almost-loss to North Carolina two weeks ago. Clemson had an open date to think about how the Tar Heels were a two-point conversion away from taking a very late lead. Florida State seems to have righted the ship at least somewhat after a shaky start that included a loss to Boise State and a near-loss to Louisiana Monroe, both at home.

The late show

Sure, go ahead and play Iowa under the lights at Kinnick Stadium. In 2016, undefeated and third-ranked Michigan visited Iowa City for an 8 p.m. Eastern kickoff and left with a 14-13 loss. The next year, in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff that ended after dark, Ohio State walked in ranked No. 3 in the country and walked out with a 55-24 loss. Iowa now hosts Penn State with a 4-4 record in its past eight home games against top-10 teams, and only one of those losses was by more than 10 points. There’s just one issue: The Hawkeyes gave up eight sacks in last week’s loss to Michigan, and the Nittany Lions average a national-best five sacks per game. …

In 72 games as Florida’s offensive coordinator earlier this century and then its head coach for the past season-plus, Dan Mullen never has been as big as an underdog as he is Saturday against LSU (13½ points as of Friday night). This comes even after the Gators beat then-No. 7 Auburn last weekend. Mullen seems to be taking the pregame perception in stride. “Do we get those points before the game starts?” he said this week. “If they gave us those points before the game started, then I would definitely use them. If we walked in and it said Florida 14, LSU 0, I would definitely use that. The rest of it’s irrelevant.”

Read more:

As LSU revels in its newly brilliant offense, it can thank the William & Mary coaching tree

John Feinstein: Wake Forest is 5-0 and acting like it’s been there before

Miami has the Turnover Chain. Maryland has a throne of towels.

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