Weekend Viewer's Guide - Week Nine

For the third consecutive game, Florida will be in the SEC's featured national matchup on CBS as they take on Georgia at 3:30. As a result, CSTV's SEC tailgate show will also be on the air at noon with former Gator quarterback Shane Matthews as a guest analyst.

Amuse yourself by counting how many times someone makes a reference to the fact the game's no longer supposed to be called the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. By making it a no-no, the schools have actually succeeded in getting it mentioned much more. Way to go, guys.

Gator revelers at the big game in Jacksonville will want to find a place with a television immediately after the action wraps up, because Saturday night has several games which should be of particular interest. Since we're almost to Halloween, this week's categories are named after some of the options kids will find in their bags while trick or treating. As always, are times are Eastern and all games are Saturday unless otherwise indicated.


USC @ Oregon (3, FSN) - This is a Rose Bowl and BCS title elimination game. Quarterback Dennis Dixon will have a great chance to showcase himself for the Heisman Trophy should Oregon pull off the win. Oregon's favored by a field goal, making this the first time USC's been an underdog since their season opener at Auburn in 2003. The Trojans are getting healthier after a series of injuries took a major toll on their offense earlier in the season.

Ohio State @ Penn State (8, ABC) - The Buckeyes have lost five of their seven visits to Happy Valley and continue to be uninspiring on offense. The question is whether the Nittany Lions can avoid miscues themselves, as turnovers have frequently cost them this season. No Penn State players have been arrested this week, so the team appears more focused than usual.


West Virginia @ Rutgers (Noon, ABC) - WVU has just one road game remaining after this. With the Mountaineers already at No. 7 in the current edition of the BCS, they become a serious threat for the title game should they escape New Jersey with a win. Last year's three overtime thriller between these two was one of the best games of the season.

South Carolina @ Tennessee (7:45, ESPN) - Both teams know this is a must win for any realistic shot at the SEC East, and both are coming off stunning losses last week. The Vols were blown out by Alabama and pressure is building again on Philip Fulmer, while Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks have scored six points in their last six quarters. The quarterback carousel is spinning fast for South Carolina - Spurrier played two in last week's loss to Vanderbilt and says he may use a third, more mobile one against the Vols.

Cal @ Arizona State (10, FSN) - The unbeaten team in the most danger this weekend may be Arizona State. Cal is coming off back-to-back close losses, but they've owned the Sun Devils in recent years. The Bears have won the last four in a row, all by 17 points. Arizona State is playing their first game is playing their first game since losing their starting tailback for the season.


USF @ UConn (3:30, ABC) - The Huskies are ranked despite having two wins come directly as the result of embarassingly bad blown calls by Big East referees. USF still has a good shot at the Big East's BCS bid even though their Cinderella status as the No. 2 team was done overnight.

Kansas @ Texas A&M (7, ESPN2) - The Jayhawks are still undefeated and ranked in the top ten, making this a chance for Dennis Franchione to try and notch an elusive "big win" at home. Texas A&M's squad ends the year with four games against teams currently ranked 16th or higher after a very soft early schedule.

Duke @ FSU (8, ESPNU) - FSU comes into this game off a loss for the fourth consecutive year, and it's typically been a good place for them to rebound. FSU has won all 15 meetings by an average of 36 points. Despite all that, Bobby Bowden's decision to switch starting quarterbacks again from Xavier Lee to Drew Weatherford has Seminole fans on upset alert. Duke has put up points at times this season and played a close game with Miami, but is still a one win football team the Noles should be able to throttle. A loss would make missing a bowl a likely possibility for FSU.


Boise State @ Fresno State (Friday 9, ESPN) - Two of the consistently better non-BCS programs square off. Boise State's offense is always fun to watch and they've won five of the last six in this series.

Colorado @ Texas Tech (Noon, ABC) - The home team has won every game in this series. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach this week compared his players poor performance in last week's loss against Missouri to Judge Lance Ito getting distracted by the hoopla during the OJ Simpson murder trial. Unfortunately for Leach, Ito is a better tackler than most of his players.

North Carolina @ Wake Forest (Noon, Lincoln Financial) - If Nebraska was smart, they'd try and hire Jim Grobe away from Wake Forest. He'd give them the run oriented offense fans crave with the creativity their old option attack had lost. With a win here, the Demon Deacons become bowl eligible again and still are a possibility for a return trip to the ACC title game.

Mississippi State @ Kentucky (Noon, Lincoln Financial) - Sports Illustrated has a special SEC 75th anniversary issue out. In a press release to promote it, SI refers to the SEC's greatest coaches: Bear Bryant, Frank Broyles (who, um, didn't coach in the SEC since Arkansas joined in 92), Steve Spurrier and MSU's Sylvester Croom. No, I'm not joking. So here's your chance to watch one of the four greatest SEC coaches against a pretty good Kentucky team trying to rebound from last week's loss to UF. Sounds like a better idea than reading that SI special issue, anyway.

Nebraska @ Texas (3:30, ABC) - This week on his radio show, Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said they'll be "watching out for Limas Sweed." Considering the Texas wide receiver was declared out for the season three weeks ago, the Cornhuskers defense should be able to handle that. Apparently it's important to keep expectations low in Lincoln right now.

Clemson @ Maryland (3:30, ABC) - Tommy Bowden used a dictionary at his weekly press conference to claim there's no difference between what his RB James Davis said in guaranteeing a Clemson victory and Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen's earlier remark "we expect to win." Hopefully for Clemson fans Bowden's gameplan is more inspired than that argument was. Maryland's last two ACC games were decided by a combined three points and another went to overtime, so expect this one to be interesting late.

UCLA @ Washington State (6:30, FSN) - Dangerous road game for the Bruins, unbeaten in the Pac-10 and coming off a big win against Cal. Karl Dorell's lost three of four to Wazzu while at UCLA, and the one win went to overtime. With Dorell's remarkable ability to lose games to hopelessly overmatched opponents (Notre Dame this year, for example) this has possible upset written all over it.

UCF @ Southern Miss (Sunday 8, ESPN) - When it comes to parity, no one does it better than Conference USA. Five teams are 4-3, including both of the teams in this game. Both have one conference loss, making this a critical game for the East division race. It's the only Sunday night college game, so plan accordingly.


Michigan State @ Iowa (Noon, ESPN2) - How does this painful to watch Iowa team keep getting put on national TV every week? I thought the Big Ten Network was supposed to protect us from seeing games like this.

Delaware @ Navy (1, CSTV) - Delaware teams are known as the Fightin' Blue Hens, because they're way tougher than just plain old Blue Hens.

Arizona @ Washington (3, FSN Regional) - The Mike Stoops Farewell Tour hits Seattle - good seats still available! Notre Dame has the week off, so Fighting Irish fans can tune in and root for their former coach Tyrone Willingham. Ok, maybe not.

Minnesota @ Michigan (3:30, ESPN Classic) - Two teams from the Big Ten get together. One lost at home to Division 1-AA Appalachian State, one lost at home to Division 2 North Dakota State. But have you heard how tradition-rich and prestigious the conference is?

Virginia @ N.C. State (4:30, ESPNU) - The Cavaliers have won their last three games by a combined total of four points. If the ACC Championship game was today, it would be UVA against Boston College. With that matchup looming, Jacksonville business owners better make a lot off UF and Georgia fans this weekend.

Rice @ Marshall (4:30, CSTV) - Rice has one win, which is one more than Marshall. "We are Marshall" is now a confession, not a cheer.

The Heath Cline Show airs daily from 11-1 on Gainesville's Star 99.5 FM

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