Weekend Viewer's Guide - Week Five

Florida gets one of the featured spots in the college football television world this week. The 8 p.m. kickoff against Auburn will be on ESPN. Expect effusive praise of Tim Tebow from analyst Todd Blackledge, who spent a lot of time with him after watching Florida practice Thursday.

Hopefully play-by-play partner Mike Patrick won't have any more bizarre asides at critical moments like this infamous Britney Spears riff from overtime of last week's Georgia/Alabama game...

Since Patrick is so intrigued by the tabloid trainwreck that is the ex Mrs. Federline, the rating categories this week are named for other potential distractions that might cross his mind during the game. As always, all games are on Saturday and times Eastern unless otherwise specified.

"Boy, I sure hope Lindsay Lohan can find a nice stable guy to date!"

West Virginia @ USF (Friday 8, ESPN2) - The biggest crowd ever to see a USF home game will have Raymond James Stadium rocking. This top-20 showdown between the Mountaineers and Bulls will produce more total points than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will in the month of October.

California @ Oregon (ABC, 3:30) - Cal hasn't beaten a ranked team on the road since 2002. Oregon's offense has looked extremely impressive so far, and Autzen Stadium is a notoriously difficult place to play. This is a Heisman showcase game for Cal wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon.

"Todd, why don't people just give Katie Couric a fair chance?"

Michigan State @ Wisconsin (3:30, ABC) - Badgers have the longest active winning streak in the country but have managed to look completely unimpressive almost every week so far. Mark Dantonio's Michigan State team's undefeated and appears much better at avoiding mental mistakes than his predecessor John L. Smith's teams were.

Florida State vs. Alabama in Jacksonville (5, CBS) - FSU's had two weeks to attempt to fix their offensive problems and reportedly will use quarterback Xavier Lee somehow as part of that plan. Bobby Bowden faces the school he loved as a young man for the first time. Expect Bama fans to claim Nick Saban didn't walk across the St. John's River to get to the game because "he doesn't want to show off".

"Man, Bill O'Reilly needs to eat out more often!"

Mississippi State @ South Carolina (12:30, Lincoln Financial) - Bulldogs have won three straight heading into this one, which is fairly stunning. Redshirt freshman Chris Smelley replaces Blake Mitchell as Gamecocks starter and the defense adjusts to life without linebacker Jasper Brinkley. With Kentucky coming to Columbia five days later, this game may be the tipping point for South Carolina's whole season.

Kansas State @ Texas (3:30, ABC) - Wildcats pulled the stunning upset last year, so the Longhorns shouldn't get caught looking past them. Texas needs to show a lot of improvement with Oklahoma next on the schedule.

Clemson @ Georgia Tech (3:30, ABC) - Typically one of the closest games in college football, although Clemson blew the Yellow Jackets out last year. Georgia Tech is reeling off back-to-back losses, while everyone is waiting for that trip-up game Clemson always seems to have.

USC @ Washington (8, ABC) - The Huskies gave the Trojans a scare last year. They're better and the game's in Seattle this season, but it's hard to believe USC will get caught looking past them again.

"Do you think they'll make Mike Tyson's latest prison stay into a reality show?"

Notre Dame @ Purdue (Noon, ESPN) - Fighting Irish excited to have reached the end zone last week, even if one of their two touchdown drives was only six yards. Purdue is undefeated but hasn't been truly tested yet this year. After this game, they still won't have been.

Oklahoma @ Colorado (1:30, FSN) - Sooners continue to show they're the class of the Big 12. Ralphie the Buffalo's opening charge is likely to outgain CU's offense in the first half.

Maryland @ Rutgers (3:30, ABC) - Terrapins blew a 21-point second half lead against Wake Forest last week and then lost 25 yards in their only overtime possession. Unless they've mentally rebounded really fast, the ACC is about to catch yet another out of conference whipping.

Louisville @ N.C. State (3:30, ESPNU) - If you like scoring, this is must see TV. A Louisville team capable of giving up 38 to Syracuse and 42 to Middle Tennessee State is a candidate to set records for defensive ineptitude. N.C. State's not good, but they're better than Syracuse.

UCLA @ Oregon State (6:30, FSN) - UCLA getting beaten by 38 against a Utah team that was shut out by UNLV the next week may be the single strangest non-Appalachian State related result we've seen this year. They rebounded well last week, but it's hard to trust any Karl Dorell coached team.

Cincinnati @ San Diego State (10, Versus) - The Bearcats are ranked for the first time since 1976. They typically get very little TV exposure, so this likely walkover game might be worth a look.

Arizona State @ Stanford (10, FSN) - Dennis Erickson has the Sun Devils ranked, while Jim Harbaugh's Stanford squad has been much more competitive than expected in Pac-10 play.

"You know, Paris Hilton really is the American people's princess."

LSU @ Tulane (Noon, ESPN2) - LSU will wear white helmets, purple jerseys and white pants for the first time ever as part of a limited edition jersey promotion. Money from sales will go toward the "Let Me Play" New Orleans fund aimed at helping youth sports in the city. So, for a good cause, LSU will be fashion victims. Meanwhile, Tulane will actually be victims.

Temple @ Army (Noon, ESPNU) - The Owls are more competitive this season, much like a cockroach who won't die quickly after being sprayed. It's still not entertaining to watch.

North Carolina @ Virginia Tech (Noon, Lincoln Financial) - UNC has to be looking forward to their game with Duke, because they can't compete with anyone decent right now.

Baylor @ Texas A&M (12:30, Versus) - Dennis Franchione lost to Baylor High as Aggies coach once before. If he does it again, he won't get a chance to do it three times.

Air Force @ Navy (1, CSTV) - Neither of these teams is going to get the Commander in Chief's Trophy away from Charlie Weis without a fight.

UTEP @ SMU (4:30, CSTV) - SMU coach Phil Bennett's farewell tour continues, even if they haven't told him yet.

Pittsburgh @ Virginia (7, ESPNU) - A reunion of former AFC East coaches Al Groh and Dave Wannstedt. Not just anyone is capable of failing as a head coach on both levels.

Ohio State @ Minnesota (8, ESPN2) - The V-chip allows parents to program their TV to screen out objectionable programming. Hopefully someone will soon develop a G-chip that will do the same for Minnesota football games.

BYU @ New Mexico (8:30, CSTV) - You do know UF-Auburn's on, right?

Washington State @ Arizona (10, FSN) - Remember how the old Championship Wrestling from Florida show would have "loser leaves town" matches? This is one of those, although the winner may wind up leaving town, too.


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