Just because there aren't any match-ups of ranked teams this week doesn't mean there aren't some very compelling games. Let's find out what looks tasty and what might be worth pushing to the side of your plate in this weekend's college football buffet. (All times are Eastern.)
GIVE ME A HEAPING HELPING
Nothing this week looks delicious enough for a full-size serving. Let's move on ...
I'LL HAVE A SCOOP OF THAT, PLEASE
No. 11 Oregon @ Arizona (ABC, 8pm) - Is Chip Kelly on Notre Dame's short list? If he keeps winning, perhaps. This game has a history of being competitive and the Pac-10 bowl picture will be heavily-effected by the outcome.
California @ No. 14 Stanford (Versus, 7:30pm) - It's The Big Game. And this year it looks like Stanford has the hot hand.
I'LL TASTE IT FIRST...
Kansas @ No. 3 Texas (ABC, 8pm) - So...Mark Mangino's had better weeks. The Longhorns will key on QB Todd Reesing and just try to keep their heads down through the rest of the regular-season schedule.
No. 13 Penn State @ Michigan State (ABC/ESPN, 3:30pm) - The Spartan Slide is not something Michigan State is proud of. They'll want to prevent it this weekend if they have any shot of The Land Grant Trophy.
Connecticut @ Notre Dame (NBC, 2:30pm) - Regardless of what happens here, the Charlie Weis Era is all but over. Both teams are playing for bowl seeding but the entire Big East Conference is rooting for the Huskies to win so the Gator Bowl can't take the Irish.
I'LL KEEP THAT IN MIND FOR THE NEXT TRIP
Kansas State @ Nebraska (ESPN, 7:45pm) - Despite last week's loss to Mizzou, if KSU wins this one, they play in the Big 12 Championship game. Nebraska wins and they'll be the ones being sacrificed to Texas.
No. 17 Wisconsin @ Northwestern (BTN, 3:30pm) - Wisconsin has put together a quietly successful season in Madison, capped by last week's blowout of Michigan. Northwestern is coming off two good wins themselves as they try to keep turning their season around.
North Carolina @ Boston College (ESPN2, Noon) - Boston College is 7-3? How did this happen? Did anyone outside of Boston know this? They've got a good chance to keep winning as they boast one of the best home fields in the ACC.
No. 9 Ohio State @ Michigan (ABC, Noon) - The crown jewel of the Big Ten schedule is mostly an afterthought this year. Michigan fans have had it with the unsolicited opinions pouring in about their football program while Ohio State fans aren't exactly feeling too confident heading into the showdown.
I DON'T KNOW...SMELLS KINDA FUNNY...
Arizona State @ UCLA (FSN, 4pm) - The Sun Devils looked good in the 2nd half last week against Oregon. Too bad they looked atrocious in the first. UCLA's season is on the brink and need the win for bowl eligibility.
Virginia @ No. 18 Clemson (ABC/ESPN, 3:30pm) - The "white meat" of Clemson's schedule is here as the red-hot Tigers try to break through the ACC logjam.
No. 4 TCU @ Wyoming (MTN, 2pm) - The Horned Frogs leap into Laramie, WY on Saturday looking for their 11th win this season. Does 5-5 Wyoming want to play spoiler?
Louisville @ South Florida (Big East Network, Noon) - The Bulls are just trying to keep pace in the Big East while the Cardinals need to win to go bowling. It doesn't help that their playing in Tampa, where only bad things happens to Louisville.
Mississippi State @ Arkansas (SEC Network, Noon) - What can the Bulldogs do to beat Arkansas? Score points. Arkansas is the top offense but they're also one of the worst defenses. Arkansas will be keeping their eye on MSU's RB Anthony Dixon.
Duke @ No. 21 Miami (ESPNU, Noon) - Wanna look like you got stuck head-first in a spider web? Here you go, Miami!
NO THANKS, PLATE'S FULL
San Diego State @ No. 23 Utah (Versus, 4pm) - Utah takes on the "quintessential mediocre program" this weekend.
Purdue @ Indiana (BTN, 3:30pm) - While this game might not mean much to you, these two rivals are just begging one another to come get a taste. Even Indiana football fans can find it within themselves to hate in this game.
Florida International @ No. 1 Florida (SUN PPV, 1pm) - The Gators still have to win out this season but are they looking at an extremely lean 2010? Florida will be tested with FIU and Chattanooga this weekend. Tested to see how deep their benches go
Maryland @ Florida State (Raycom, Noon) - Is the problem in Maryland Ralph Friedgen or his revolving door of coordinators? Some Seminole fans might just want this season to go away but there's some good reasons for wanting to go bowling.
Chattanooga @ No. 2 Alabama (SEC Network, Noon) - It's Senior Day in Bryant-Denny and you know what means...creampuff time.
No. 25 Rutgers @ Syracuse (ESPN360, Noon) - It's a new era in this burgeoning rivalry as the two Big East teams are playing for more than just a win. Slowly but surely this is turning into a rivalry game for both teams.
No. 6 Boise State @ Utah State (ESPN2, 9:30pm) - With a frisky Nevada game next week, this is your text book trap game for the Broncos