College football preview: Plenty to watch Thursday through Saturday
Auburn-Alabama — and locally, the Apple Cup — highlight a busy weekend of college football on TV.
Seattle Times college football reporter
The inbox last week provided this missive from something called the Discover Fan Loyalty poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports: Given a choice of 50-yard line seats to see their favorite team play, or doing Thanksgiving dinner with family, SEC fans (46 percent) were most likely to take the football game.
To which we can only say: Please pass the gravy.
A look at the long weekend’s best college games, chronologically:
Texas Tech at Texas, 4:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1: Most of the suspense around the Longhorns has to do with Mack Brown’s future. Meanwhile, Tech has lost four straight, giving up 202 points.
Ole Miss at Mississippi State, 4:30 p.m., ESPN: State (5-6) is trying to get bowl-eligible. Next time you hear from an SEC honk, remind him that the Bulldogs’ wins are over Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green, Kentucky and Arkansas.
Iowa at Nebraska, 9 a.m., Ch. 4: Huskers coach (8-3) Bo Pelini’s job could be on the line, if that ship hasn’t sailed already.
Arkansas at LSU (AP No. 15), 11:30 a.m., Ch. 7: It was 15 months ago that Arkansas was being mentioned as a 2012 national-title contender, post-Bobby Petrino. Today, the Hogs (3-8) carry an eight-game losing streak, and their wins are over Louisiana-Lafayette, Samford and Southern Miss.
Washington State at Washington, 12:30 p.m., Ch. 13: Grandchildren in the state are already hearing stories about how the Apple Cup was always played the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Oregon State at Oregon, 4 p.m., Fox Sports 1: It has been 30 years since the infamous 0-0 tie in the Civil War. Take it from somebody who was there, it was infamous.
Florida State (2) at Florida, 9 a.m., ESPN: SEC teams tend to take a Saturday off in November against some lower-level outfit, which was the idea last week for Florida — until Georgia Southern upset the Gators, 26-20, Florida’s first loss to an FCS team. It’s going to be the Gators’ (4-7) first losing season since 1979. Seminoles must win to stay on track for the BCS title-game berth.
Ohio State (3) at Michigan, 9 a.m., Ch. 4: There’s a lot of clamor about Ohio State deserving a title-game spot — although not from people who know that the Buckeyes’ four road victims (California, Northwestern, Purdue and Illinois) have a combined conference record of 1-29.
Duke (24) at North Carolina, 9 a.m., ESPN2: Carolina (6-5) has gotten out of a 1-5 hole to get bowl-eligible. Duke, having a dream season at 9-2, clinches the ACC Coastal Division with a victory.
Kansas State at Kansas, 9 a.m., Fox Sports 1: Good thing for Kansas this isn’t on the road, where it has lost 24 straight. Charlie Weis’ team is 3-8, and it’s not going all that well for ex-Skyline High and former BYU quarterback Jake Heaps, either. He’s completing 49 percent for the Jayhawks.
Colorado at Utah, 11 a.m., Pac-12 Networks: If they’re looking for a trophy for this game, they could call it the What-Are-We-Doing-In-This-League Cup.
Alabama (1) at Auburn (4), 12:30 p.m., Ch. 7: This is being called the Mother of All Iron Bowls in Alabama. Imagine the controversy if Auburn (10-1) were to win its next two and leap Ohio State into the national-championship game.
Clemson (6) at South Carolina (10), 4 p.m. ESPN2: They’re meeting as top-10 teams for the first time in history. The Gamecocks have won four straight in the series, while Clemson needs it to ensure a BCS berth.
Notre Dame (25) at Stanford (8), 4 p.m., Ch. 13: The Cardinal will send off seniors, and coach David Shaw is inviting four standouts who will graduate in the spring — defensive end Henry Anderson, linebacker A.J. Tarpley, safety Ed Reynolds and All-America guard David Yankey — to take part, even if they return in 2014. If they don’t, that’s a big hit for Stanford.
Texas A&M (19) at Missouri (5), 4:45 p.m., ESPN: Mizzou (10-1) can get to the SEC title game with a win and also inch toward its first BCS berth against the 8-3 Aggies.
UCLA (22) at USC (23), 5 p.m., Ch. 4: USC hasn’t lost to the Bruins at the LA Coliseum since 1997. Ten-win seasons are still on the table for both teams.
Arizona at Arizona State (13), 6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks: The past three years, the favorite has lost this game. Arizona would love to sustain that streak, which would bump the Pac-12 title game from ASU to Stanford.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Bud Withers
Bud Withers gives his take on college sports, with the latest from the Huskies, Cougs, and the rest of the Pac-12.
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