Weekend Viewer's Guide - Week 11

With a 7:45 start time this week, Florida makes their second appearance with ESPN's featured announcing duo of Mike Patrick and Todd Blackledge on the call. Gator fans are hoping for a more satisfying outcome than the first game those two called this season, the loss to Auburn in Gainesville.

There are several very important games for UF Saturday. With the SEC East up for grabs, there's a chance Florida may already have gotten substantial help toward potentially reaching Atlanta again before they kick off with the Gamecocks.

"ESPN hates the SEC" conspiracy theorists get a boost from this week's Gameday venue. With a critical Auburn at Georgia game pitting numbers 10 and 16 in the latest BCS, this week's College Gameday passes it up to head to Williamstown, Massachusetts for the 122nd meeting of the Division 3 Amherst College Lord Jeffs versus the Williams College Ephs. No, that is not a joke, and the team names are not typos. An Eph appears to be some type of cow, by the way. I've got no clue who Jeff is.

Since the conspiracy theorists are going to be working overtime anyway, this week's ratings are named for other much discussed alleged sports conspiracies over the years. As always, all times are eastern and all games on Saturday unless otherwise indicated.


Auburn @ Georgia (3:30, CBS) - Auburn's defense held Arkansas and their McFadden/Jones pairing to seven points on the road, so this will be a major test for Knowshown Moreno as UGA's featured back. Most years this game is exceptionally close, although last year Auburn was blown out at home. Tuberville's team has been brilliant on the road in SEC play, though, and Gator fans looking for a trip to Atlanta as SEC East champs are hoping they will be again Saturday.

Illinois @ Ohio State 3:30 p.m. (ABC/ESPN) - Ron Zook's squad gave last year's Buckeyes their biggest scare of the season before the Michigan game, losing by just seven. This year's game is in Columbus, but Zook's got the athletes to make life more interesting than usual for a Buckeye defense that's got great stats but has rarely been tested.

Kansas @ Oklahoma State (8, ABC) - Who is this Kansas team and how did they get here? This game will give a lot of fans their first answers to that question. Oklahoma State isn't particularly good, but they have enough to at least test a Jayhawks squad that's coming off a gigantic emotional win at home. The BCS title game is a legit possibility for Kansas if they win out - how will they handle that pressure? Will Mark Mangino look even bigger in high def?


Wake Forest @ Clemson (Noon, ESPN2) - It's November, so it's time for Tommy Bowden to save his job again. Clemson would go to the ACC Championship game for the first time if they can win against the Demon Deacons and then Boston College next week. Clemson's scored 30 or more in every game but one since the opener, but Wake's offense typically scores well also. Special teams are a recurring Clemson nightmare and typically are a Wake Forest strong suit. A late missed field goal proved costly for Wake last week against Virginia, though, snapping a six game win streak.

Arkansas @ Tennessee (12:30, Lincoln Financial) - Darren McFadden alone makes any game worth watching, and the Gators need the Razorbacks to give them some help here. Phillip Fulmer's squad continues to find trouble off the field, with running LaMarcus Coker dismissed from the team last Friday. This week center Josh McNeil's involved in a curious police investigation featuring him being found with three women in his bedroom, a broken window with blood on the frame, and multiple guns. To say there's a possibility of a distraction there seems reasonable.

FSU @ Virginia Tech (3:30, ABC) - Bobby Bowden has never lost to Virginia Tech, including two years ago in the ACC championship game. The Hokies had two extra days to get ready for this one thanks to playing on Thursday last week and should have a rocking crowd behind them. FSU hopes their offense has turned the corner with a nice performance in nasty weather conditions in last week's BC upset.

Texas Tech @ Texas (3:30, ABC) - Texas has lived on the edge all season but got away with it again against Oklahoma State last week after being down 21 in the fourth quarter. Jamal Charles is the Texas offense right now, and Tech's defense is perpetually vulnerable. Mike Leach's offense is always entertaining to see, though.


Louisville @ West Virginia (Thurs 7:30, ESPN) - West Virginia is on the outside looking in at the BCS title game right now, but still is in the discussion should some of the top five stumble. More importantly for them, they have to stay within one game of UConn in the Big East standings to have a shot at the conference's BCS slot. Louisville has been one of the most disappointing teams of the season, but still has some offensive firepower worth watching.

Michigan @ Wisconsin (Noon, ESPN) - The Badgers were ranked No. 7 to start the season - did anyone ever figure out why? They're now 7-3 with no wins against ranked opponents, are missing their best wide receiver and likely their top tailback as well. Michigan's banged up too, but if they don't get caught looking ahead to next week's battle with the Buckeyes they should be fine here.

Air Force @ Notre Dame (2:30, NBC) - How bad can it get for the Fighting Irish? They've just lost to a team beaten the week before by Delaware. They've lost five straight at home for the first time ever. Charlie Weis is making bizarre coaching decisions like skipping possible game winning field goals in favor of trying to covert on 4th-and-8. And now, the Commander in Chief's Trophy is in jeopardy as Air Force comes to town!

UConn @ Cincinnati (3:30, ESPNU) - UConn is angry this game isn't getting broader distribution than ESPNU, as they say it hurts their recruiting. If they keep winning, the BCS slot they get will make up for it but assuming this will be a good game for recruiting is presumptuous. Coming off a win against USF in Tampa, Cincy has more than enough offensive creativity to beat the Huskies at home.

Virgnia at Miami, (8, ESPN2) - The final game in the Orange Bowl might bring a tear to the eyes of Canes' fans. That's because their team is awful, although some might miss the dump as well. Seeing how many pieces of the stadium will get stolen as souvenirs could keep the fourth quarter interesting even if the football doesn't.

USC @ Cal (8, ABC) - A month ago this was supposed to decide the Pac 10 and possibly a BCS title game spot. Now, the loser has a great shot at spending the holidays in El Paso at the Sun Bowl. Still, it should be an entertaining game. USC's injuries continue to be a major problem on offense.


Rutgers @ Army (Friday 8, ESPN2) - Many of you don't get ESPNU, so this is the only game on which bumps it up a spot. Rutgers is still looking to get eligible for postseason play - no one's going to take that Texas Bowl title away without a fight. Army is a group of America's finest young men at everything except for playing football, which unfortunately is the thing you're watching them do.

Texas A&M @ Missouri (12:30, FSN) - If you're trying to win a pool on exactly when Dennis Franchione will accept his contract buyout from A&M, he'll make the exclusive info available on coachfran.com in return for U-Haul gift cards. Missouri can't let down here as anticipation builds toward their showdown with Kansas in two weeks for a Big 12 championship game spot.

Kansas State @ Nebraska (12:30, Versus) - Kansas State actually found a way to lose to Iowa State last week, but they looked great compared to Nebraska's beatdown by Kansas. With the Huskers wrapping their season up on the road, there's a remote possibility this could be the last game Bill Callahan coaches in Lincoln, but that's probably just crazy talk. After all, he got a contract extension in September, right?

Alabama @ Mississippi State (12:30, Lincoln Financial) - Sylvester Croom knocking off Mike Shula's Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa last season probably made the Bama job available for Nick Saban in the first place. Croom's squad needs another win to get bowl eligible and hopes to catch Alabama down in the dumps off last week's emotional home loss to LSU.

Arizona State @ UCLA (3:30, ABC) - Karl Dorrell's team may be the most injury riddled squad in college football, but that won't be a good enough excuse for him to hold onto his job after the year. The only entertaining thing about this game will be seeing how Arizona State rebounds from their first loss.


TCU @ BYU (Thurs 9, Versus) - BYU is steamrolling toward a Mountain West Conference championship and a probable Las Vegas Bowl bid. TCU still hopes to get bowl eligible. The resulting human drama will be... well, not too much.

Bowling Green @ Eastern Michigan (Friday 7, ESPNU) - EMU is likely playing for coach Jeff Genyk's job over the last couple of weeks of the season. Expect whoever the analyst is working this game to think that's a shame, because all coaches are wonderful and no one should ever be fired.

Indiana @ Northwestern (Noon, ESPN Classic) - Whoever put this game on the "classic" channel is either clairvoyant or has a sarcastic sense of humor. I'm going with choice number two.

Penn State @ Temple (Noon, ESPNU) - This game is on ESPNU because if you tune in the only person watching it will be you.

North Carolina @ N.C. State (Noon, Lincoln Financial) - Both new coaches seem to be making progress in the second half of their seasons with these programs, but it's still not much fun to watch.

Colorado @ Iowa State (12:30, FSN Regional) - Win this one and Nebraska and home and Dan Hawkins has CU bowling. With 28 and 31 the last two weeks, Iowa State is digging this crazy "scoring" concept after posting 17 or less in all but one of their first eight games.

Wyoming @ Utah (3:30, CSTV) - You could look at this as a matchup of teams who beat UCLA by 38 and ACC co-leader Virginia by 20. Or you could look at it as a matchup of two teams you don't give a crap about - your choice.

Baylor @ Oklahoma (6:30, FSN) - Everyone knows Guy Morriss is gone as coach at Baylor, it's just a question of when they announce it. Don't expect this game to make it more difficult for them to make the move.

UCF @ UAB (7:30, CSTV) - UCF and UAB, U NO C.

Boston College @ Maryland (8, ABC) - Now that BC's been beaten, you don't need to watch crappy ACC games like this and hear about "Heisman winner" Matt Ryan anymore.

Washington @ Oregon State (10:15, FSN) - Avoid this if for no other reason then to not have to put up with your obnoxious buddy snickering every time Beavers comes on the screen and making a lame "they should play South Carolina" joke.

San Diego State @ UNLV (11, CSTV) - Proof there can be too much football on TV. Both teams are awful, both coaches may be fired, and you'd be better off betting on turtle races than trying to gamble on these two teams.

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