Weekend Viewer's Guide - Week Three

After two weeks of "preseason" games, the Gators take center stage again in the college football world. The 3:30 kickoff with Tennessee on CBS should be one of the week's most watched games. In addition, a new SEC-focused pregame show makes its debut on CSTV this week at noon live from outside the O'Connell Center.

The show will originate from the site of each week's CBS broadcast and plans to feature rotating weekly analysts, including former Florida and San Francisco 49ers RB Terry Jackson. This is the kind of programming you'll likely see in a couple of years when the SEC starts its own TV network.

While you're bouncing around the cable dial, you'll inevitably encounter a rerun of some variety of the Law and Order series. Current presidential candidate and actor Fred Thompson, who played DA Arthur Branch on Law and Order the last few years, will be sitting in UF President Bernie Machen's box for this week's game. As a result, the ratings this week are named for former Law and Order actors. Besides the must-see UF and UT, here's what's on the docket. All games are on Saturday unless otherwise indicated, and all times are Eastern.


Arkansas @ Alabama (6:45, ESPN) - The first look at Arkansas against a BCS conference team this year. Houston Nutt normally pulls out the full bag of tricks in this one. If Razorbacks struggle, boosters will meet with Nick Saban about replacing him at halftime.

USC @ Nebraska (8, ABC) - Last year Nebraska seemed happy to keep from getting embarrassed in L.A. The Big-12 desperately needs someone to look impressive against a ranked team. QB Sam Keller has faced the Trojans before at Arizona State and needs to play much better than he has so far. USC has had two weeks to get ready for this one.


Notre Dame @ Michigan (3:30, ABC) - Desperation time, as two of the most arrogant programs in college football try to avoid going 0-3. ND offense is dead last in division one, and you have eight more rushing yards than they do so far. Imagine how badly they'd be doing if Charlie Weis wasn't a play-calling genius. Lloyd Carr will change name to LLLoyd if Wolverines fall short again.

Ohio State @ Washington (3:30, ESPN) - Huskies are 2-0 and looking to prove they've turned program around, while Buckeyes have been ineffective offensively in two home wins. Buckeyes lost on both previous trips to Seattle. The return of OSU WR Ray Small from injury gives them a big play threat.

FSU @ Colorado (10, ESPN) - FSU trailed in the second half against hapless UAB. Now they play a game at mountain altitude that will end around 1:30 in the morning Tallahassee time against a CU team coached by unorthodox Dan Hawkins. The Seminoles are clearly more talented, but there's plenty of possible trouble here.


Texas @ UCF (3:30, ESPN2) - Rare Florida trip for the so far unimpressive Longhorns, who trailed by ten at the half last week against TCU before rallying. UCF's opening their new stadium, looking for a program defining win and has had two weeks to prepare since opening week win at NC state.

Louisville @ Kentucky (7:30, ESPN Classic) - Odds are the score of this one will be larger than the basketball teams put up in December. Last team with the ball wins.

Boston College @ Georgia Tech (8, ESPN2) - This may be a meeting of the two best teams in the ACC. No, really. QB Matt Ryan has looked good in new coach Jeff Jagodzinski's offense for BC but will be challenged by a good GT defense that's always well coached by DC Jon Tenuta.


Oklahoma State @ Troy (Friday 8, ESPN2) - Gator fans root for last week's victims to boost UF's BCS numbers. Extra category credit for being the only game on Friday night.

Pittsburgh @ Michigan State (Noon, ESPN) - Panthers lost at home to MSU last year, already have major injury issues, and their AD left for Arkansas this week. Dave Wannnstedt may have been better off renting instead of buying.

Illinois @ Syracuse (Noon, ESPNU) - Want to see the worst team in a BCS conference? Sorry, Duke's not on TV this week. Syracuse is second worst, and that'll have to do. When a Ron Zook coached Illini squad is favored by 13 points ON THE ROAD, you know they're playing a seriously awful team.

Mississippi State @ Auburn (12:30, Lincoln Financial) - Auburn's offense has played poorly thus far, with QB Brandon Cox sacked an SEC leading seven times to this point. When you are playing MSU after week one, none of your offensive stats are ever supposed to be worse than theirs.

UCLA @ Utah (5, Versus) - Utes have been devastated by injuries, while UCLA's on cruise control early in the season.


Central Michigan @ Purdue (Noon, ESPN2) - The Boilermakers won eight games last year despite never beating a team with a winning record. Games like this are how they accomplished it.

Virginia @ North Carolina (Noon, Lincoln Financial) - Cavaliers scored just 24 in their gimme win against Duke last week, while UNC gave up 34 and lost to East Carolina. The movable object meets the resistible force, and only alums or deranged gamblers could possibly want to watch.

Iowa @ Iowa State (1:30, Versus) - The Battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy has produced some big upsets recently. This won't be one of them. Iowa State's 0-2 with a loss to 1-AA Northern Iowa last week.

Texas Tech @ Rice (3:30, FSN) - Rice lost to 1-AA Nicholls State already this year. You might want to watch UT-UF instead of this game.

FIU @ Miami, Fla. (3:30, ESPNU) - No, there won't be a brawl this year. Yes, the hope there will be is the only reason this is on TV.

Ball State @ Navy (5, CSTV) - When people note how awful Michigan is, no one ever points out the first warning signs of a major problem with their defense was giving up 26 and barely getting by Ball State last November. Go find a tape of that game and watch it again instead of this.

Idaho State @ Oregon State (6:30, FSN) - One week after losing to the Cincinnati Bearcats by 31, Oregon State now challenges the Bengals. Are they nuts? Wait, it's the Idaho State Bengals.... never mind.

BYU @ Tulsa (9, CSTV) - Cougars are coming off a loss to UCLA. After openingon the first night of the season, Tulsa has had sixteen days to get ready for this one.

San Diego State @ Arizona State (10:00, FSN) - The Aztecs lost by 28 points in their opener last week against Washington State. Arizona State's expected to be better than them in the Pac Ten. This will not end well for Monty Montezuma.

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