What to watch for in an underwhelming Week 13
2:47 | College Football
What to watch for in an underwhelming Week 13
Thursday November 20th, 2014

There's no sugarcoating it this week: The calm that is Week 13 before the storm of rivalry week leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, voting for awards has started, finalists for other awards are being announced and the bowl picture is starting to take shape. Consider this a penultimate episode of the regular season, when we can shore up storylines, experience an unexpected twist or two and set up the finale.

While I'm not expecting anything downright unbelievable (no disrespect to the Catamounts, but Alabama isn't losing to Western Carolina or anything), the second we take our eyes off the screen is when mayhem peeks around the corner and drops some marbles on the ground for our top teams to trip over. 

This is Your Perfect Saturday for Week 13. Let's watch some football together. Because football is great, and so are you.

• STAPLES: How to improve scheduling in playoff era; Week 13 Walkthrough

The early slate

Noon: No. 25 Minnesota at No. 23 Nebraska (ESPN)

What the Big Ten West lacks in playoff contenders, it makes up for with some of the best running backs in the country. Two of them are on display early Saturday as Ameer Abdullah and David Cobb get going in a critical league matchup. The loser of this one is essentially out of the running in the division, while the winner still has an outside shot to play its way into Indianapolis.

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.

Noon: South Alabama at South Carolina (WatchESPN)

Why not see if the University of South Alabama (USA), the official university of the United States, can find a way to upend the Gamecocks? Last week the Jaguars signed an 11-year-old from Saraland, Ala. named Colby Sawyer to a letter of intent. Colby, who has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, was given a locker, scored a touchdown in practice and even participated in the coin toss during South Alabama's win over Texas State. That was pretty cool. 

1 p.m.: Washington State at No. 13 Arizona State (Pac-12 Network)

Nothing like an 11 a.m. local kick out in Arizona with two pretty good offenses to get the point train rolling for the week.

Dog day afternoon

3:30 p.m.: Boston College at No. 3 Florida State (ABC/ESPN2)

Florida State is playing, which means there's a better than good chance that this game will be close. And Boston College played the Seminoles pretty tough last year in Chestnut Hill.

3:30 p.m.: No. 15 Arizona at No. 17 Utah

Arizona and Utah are involved, so this game will come down to a field goal (or the field goal after the iced field goal) in overtime in accordance with the Pac-12 Relativity Theorem.

• ELLIS: Bowl Projections: Where are Arizona, Utah headed in postseason?

Second screen special

3:30 p.m.: No. 16 Wisconsin at Iowa (ABC/ESPN2)

We've said it all year long: Melvin Gordon is a must watch each and every week, and he showed that in a big way last week as he piled up an FBS-record 408 yards in three quarters against Nebraska. With the Big Ten West on the line for the Badgers, this one's definitely worth monitoring.

• ​ELLIS: Can Melvin Gordon catch Marcus Mariota in Heisman race?

3:30 p.m.: No. 8 Ole Miss at Arkansas (CBS)

Arkansas finally got that elusive SEC win it was looking for, and there might be another one coming if the Rebels aren't careful. But if the ACC and ACC-related activities are more your speed, there is that Louisville-Notre Dame game on NBC at this time, as well. Isn't over-the-air, local television grand?

• STAPLES: #DearAndy: Which Week 13 games have playoff implications?

Night moves

7:30 p.m.: No. 20 Missouri at Tennessee (ESPN)

The Tigers control their destiny in the SEC East, but the Volunteers seem to be building confidence each and every week. This one should be fun.

8 p.m.: No. 19 USC at No. 9 UCLA

It's not a stretch to call this rivalry battle the game of the week, as UCLA tries to move one step closer to claiming the Pac-12 South. Watching Brett Hundley square off against Cody Kessler, one of the nation's most underrated passers, should be a worthwhile use of your time.

• RICKMAN: Where do USC, UCLA sit in this week's Power Rankings?

Second screen specials

7:30 p.m.: Oklahoma State at No. 7 Baylor (Fox)

Baylor needs to look good in this one, as style points matter with the Bears trying to close the gap between themselves and TCU in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Cowboys need to win one of their last two games (at Baylor and at Oklahoma) to gain bowl eligible, so there's extra incentive here to spring the upset.

Late night theater

10:30 p.m.: Oregon State at Washington (Pac-12 Network)

Your weekly dose of late-night Pac-12 madness is good for you. As Dr. Steve Brule says, it's "For your health!

Second screen special

10:15 p.m.: Boise State at Wyoming (ESPN2)

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. I know who I want to take me home, and that's Mountain West football.

• INSIDE READ: Which coaches will be on the move this offseason?

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