Weekend Viewer's Guide - Week Four

After a week of being treated to the high quality production values of CBS, it's back to the ATM security camera level quality of a Lincoln Financial telecast for Gator fans this week. Florida takes on Ole Miss in Oxford, beginning at 12:30 eastern time, meaning fans will have plenty of time to watch other action.

The bad news is that this isn't a very inspiring week for top quality games, although there are several interesting ones within the SEC.

To get in the mood for a game with the Rebels, I recommend you check out the video for Memphis area radio host Chris Vernon's touching musical tribute to Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron, "Colonel Reb is Crying."

This week's ratings are going to be titled for things the state of Mississippi finishes 50th out of 50 states in, but there were just too many to choose from. Instead, we'll work with the rebel theme through the years in pop culture. As always, all games are Saturday unless otherwise indicated and all times are eastern.


South Carolina @ LSU (3:30, CBS) - If South Carolina is really the 12th best team in the country, this is one of the worst years for college football ever. Spurrier tries to pull a shocker, while LSU has some injury issues to work through, including missing star senior WR Early Doucet due to a groin problem.

Georgia @ Alabama (7:45, ESPN) - This is an absolute must win for Georgia to have any realistic hope of making the trip to Atlanta as SEC East champ. Crimson Tide has been good at getting off to 3-0 starts in recent years, but have lost their fourth game in three of the past four. ESPN's College Gameday will be there as well. Look for Nick Saban to deny interest in replacing Lee Corso on Gameday.


Texas A&M @ Miami, Fla. (Thurs., 7:30, ESPN) - Hurricanes look for better results than their last tangle with a Big 12 team in Norman two weeks ago. Aggies are 0-4 in non-conference road games with Dennis Franchione as their coach. With the Canes having just scored 23 against FIU, coach Fran's seat warms up bigtime if that doesn't change this week.

Penn State @ Michigan (3:30, ABC) - Wolverines have owned Joe Pa's guys, winning eight in a row, so they're confident heading into the Big Ten opener. Paterno thinks the spread is a pregame meal, which is good news for the Wolverine defense.

Kentucky @ Arkansas (6, ESPN2) - Both teams had hugely emotional games decided in the final seconds last week - joy for Kentucky, misery for Arkansas. Which team handles the fallout from that best will likely determine the winner here.


Michigan State @ Notre Dame (3:30, NBC) - Irish have officially reached "car crash you can't look away from" status - 14 quarters without an offensive touchdown under play calling genius Charlie Weis. MSU is 3-0, but hasn't beaten anyone impressive and was sloppy last week at home against Pitt. If ND doesn't win this one, an 0-8 beginning starts to become a viable possibility.

Washington State @ USC (8, ABC) - Trojans begin their Pac-10 schedule against an overmatched Wazzu squad. The USC talent's still good enough to make it worth watching.


Oklahoma @ Tulsa (8, ESPN2) - Bob Stoops's team has been the only point of pride for the Big 12. Tulsa can put up points on offense, but hasn't seen a defense like Oklahoma's yet.

UNC @ USF (Noon, ESPN) - Playing as a ranked team for the first time, Bulls can't get caught looking ahead to next week's showdown with West Virginia. Butch Davis has a long road ahead of him to get UNC back to respectability.

Clemson @ N.C. State (Lincoln Financial, noon) - Tommy Bowden's 19-20 on the road in his nine years at Clemson, and he always finds a way to lose games he shouldn't. With N.C. State still without a D-1 win this year, this is one of those games.

Georgia Tech @ Virginia (ESPNU, noon) - Georgia Tech has to demonstrate some passing ability here, as star RB Tashard Choice is dinged up. Should UVA win, a team that lost decisively to Wyoming will be 3-0 in ACC play. If you listen carefully, those sobbing sounds you hear are the sales people in Jacksonville responsible for lining up ACC Championship Game sponsors.

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State (3:30, FSN) - Cowboys appear to be falling apart - there's a QB controversy, their starting center's gone for year with injury, and they lost to Troy badly. If they lose this Big 12 opener at home, all hope of a solid season's officially gone and coach Mike Gundy likely is too once the year's over.

Iowa @ Wisconsin (8, ABC) - Badgers have been as unimpressive as a 3-0 team can be. The Hawkeyes just got beat by a 17-point underdog. How'd the Big Ten Network not get to keep a classic like this for themselves?


East Carolina @ West Virginia (ESPN2, noon) - Mountaineers will score quite a few points. Pirates won't. Bearded guy in hat will wave musket. Steve Slaton and Pat White are still fast. Wake me when they play USF.

Duke @ Navy (1, CSTV) - Bad time for Navy to catch the Blue Devils, as Duke comes in red hot with a one game win streak.

Army @ Boston College (1, ESPN Classic) - BC is going to be 6-0 going to Notre Dame in a few weeks thanks to games like this. The idea a game involving Army qualifies to be on ESPN Classic continues to be amusing.

Maryland @ Wake Forest (3:30, ESPNU) - Of all the ACC games available to watch this week, this is one of them.

Northwestern @ Ohio State (3:30, ABC) - Northwestern just lost at home to DUKE! Let me repeat - DUKE! This game should be almost as intriguing as whether the sun will come up in the east, but not quite.

Colorado State @ Houston (4:30, CSTV) - Houston runs a funky offense that can be entertaining to watch when it's the only game on. Today it's not the only game on.

Rice @ Texas (7, FSN) - Will be as gruesome as Saw 2, only with much more punting.

UConn @ Pitt (7, ESPNU) - Huskies are quietly 3-0. It doesn't get much quieter than Duke, Maine and Temple back-to-back-to-back.

SMU @ TCU (8:30, CSTV) - This year's version of the Frog and Pony show isn't much to see. With back-to-back losses, TCU went from "are they the next Boise State" to "will they get that GMAC Bowl berth in Mobile" in just five days.

Purdue @ Minnesota (9, ESPN2) - The Minnesota coaching change from Glen Mason to Tim Brewster is already paying dividends, as the Gophers definitely don't have to worry about blowing a big lead in their bowl game this year.

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