Your perfect Saturday: The ultimate TV guide to Week 3 in college football
A scary thing happened to me this week. When interviewing Cincinnati's Tommy Tuberville, he reminded me that as of Saturday there are only 84 days left in the regular season (unless you're Army or Navy). That's 12 more college football Saturdays, which seems like a lot until you realize we're flying through the first three weeks in the time it takes Brent Musburger to say "You are looking live..."
In happier, more uplifting news: There are 12 more college football Saturdays left in the regular season! And to make the most of them, we have to know what to watch. That's where I come in.
Here's Your Perfect Saturday for Week 3.
The early slate
The Hokies are coming off one of their better nonconference wins in recent memory after dispatching Ohio State in Columbus, 35-21. Their reward is a date with an angry beehive of a team in East Carolina that gave South Carolina a run for its money last week and has made a habit of spoiling teams' seasons like a curse out of a Stephen King novel. The Pirates' tandem of quarterback Shane Carden and wide receiver Justin Hardy trying to operate against a stingy Bud Foster defense is worth checking out.
In a week devoid of a plethora of worthwhile matchups, this one stands out. UCF may have found a quarterback in Justin Holman, who entered the Knights' opener in the third quarter to nearly led them to a win over Penn State in Ireland. His next quest is to take advantage of an inexperienced Missouri secondary and try to avoid Markus Golden, which isn't easy because as I'm typing this I'm pretty sure Markus Golden is about to sack m---OOF.
Second screen specials
These are games that are tailor-made for your tablet, extra laptop, giant phone or any other device you use to stream things. Go crazy.
Take any opportunity you can to watch Rakeem Cato because the C-USA's TV agreement needs some work. Ohio beat Marshall last year thanks to some key turnovers, so the Thundering Herd want to get revenge -- and keep hopes of a potential undefeated season alive.
I like the idea of this game an awful lot. Clint Trickett has looked pretty dang good so far for the Mountaineers, and Maryland has fun players like Stefon Diggs and Deon Long who can break a game open at any give time.
Dog day afternoon
3:30 p.m.: No. 6 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina (CBS)
For two weeks everybody's been saying how great Georgia is. For two weeks everybody's been saying how bad South Carolina is. The game is in Columbia. Steve Spurrier is crafty even when he has a seemingly bad lie (golf joke). So essentially you either get a sneaky good game in which the Gamecocks play for an upset, or Georgia wins in a rout meaning that Todd Gurley runs through 100 people. Either way, it's worth a watch.
A contrast of styles, like pouring a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red wine into one big bowl and drinking them together. It probably won't taste very good, but it'll get the job done.
What other games involve police departments smack talking each other?
Second screen specials
4:30 p.m.: Mississippi State at South Alabama (ESPNEWS)
Not many clear-cut upset alerts out there this week, but this one is jumping out at me with a big alarm siren and a blinking red light. Mississippi State is playing at South Alabama, and South Alabama's initials are USA. Be very careful, Dan Mullen.
4 p.m.: Minnesota at TCU (Fox Sports 1)
Can Minnesota save the Big Ten? Okay, maybe it isn't that big of a deal, but it is one of the last few chances the conference has to get a big nonconference win.
*Just missed the cut: 4:00 p.m.: Illinois at Washington (Fox) – more points points points.
8 p.m.: Tennessee at No. 4 Oklahoma (ABC)
The spread of this one doesn't indicate that it'll be close -- Oklahoma is favored by 21 -- but when you're dealing with young players, you never know what to expect. Tennessee could go out there, fool around and find a way to upset the Sooners. Butch Jones' team certainly has the talent to play at that level. But the more likely scenario is that Bob Stoops finds a way to overpower the front line of the Volunteers, control the clock and win in Norman.
8 p.m.: Penn State at Rutgers (Big Ten Network)
Now that the Nittany Lions are postseason eligible, we need to start paying a lot more attention to them other than in the "Wow, this team is kind of fun" way. Penn State could very well have a chance to win the Big Ten. But all that chatter will die down if James Franklin can't find a way to beat a Rutgers team that suddenly looks formidable with Ralph Friedgen as offensive coordinator. Penn State and Rutgers: the Big Ten rivalry you never knew you cared about until this week.
8:15 p.m.: No. 12 UCLA at Texas (Fox)
UCLA has looked not so good. Texas has looked worse. These games usually end up being really, really entertaining.
Second screen special
7:30 p.m.: Kentucky at Florida (SEC Network)
Kentucky running back JoJo Kemp guaranteed a win over Florida, and that wasn't such a good idea. Both these teams are trying to prove something -- the Wildcats want to be taken seriously (guarantees aren't usually the way to do that), and the Gators want to show they've put 4-8 behind them – so something's got to give here.
8 p.m.: No. 9 USC at Boston College
Cross-country trips sometimes lead to weirdness especially under the lights. Boston College didn't exactly look inspired in its loss to Pitt last Friday, but we'll see what Steve Addazio's dudes are made of against a marquee rival.
Late night theater
10 p.m.: No. 16 Arizona State at Colorado (ESPNU)
Tune into this one to watch Sun Devils running back D.J. Foster put up yards on yards on yards. And stay to see if receiver Jaelen Strong, who could have a bright future in the NFL, can make some acrobatic plays.
Second screen special
10:15 p.m.: Nevada at Arizona (Pac-12 Network)
It's going to be a lot of fun watching first-team All-Hair selection Brock Hekking try to tackle the versatile Nick Wilson, who has stepped into Ka'Deem Carey's shoes nicely for the Wildcats so far. Nevada has already toppled one Pac-12 opponent. Can the Wolf Pack make it two?