Control Your Remote: Your Saturday TV schedule, dominated by SEC

Streeter Lecka

Florida-South Carolina and Texas A&M-LSU are the marquee games of Week 8 in college football, along with Kansas State-West Virginia.

The SEC East hierarchy should be determined by the early evening on Saturday, and the SEC West's race for second place will have a winner by mid-afternoon. The evening's schedule is lighter on the nation's most-ballyhooed conference, though, and may be better for it, as four games will compete for your eyeballs again in primetime in Week 8. As always, Control Your Remote is here to help you figure out the week's college football TV schedule and determine what to watch and when.

Your guide to the guide: First Choice means this is the must-see game in that block; Last Button Option means you should have that "last" or "return" button on your remote ready to flick back during commercials; Know The (Channel) Numbers runs down games you'll want to find when Twitter tells you something nutty happened; Cover The Spread is a suggestion for how to feed yourself. All times listed are Eastern.

Early Block (noon to 3 p.m. Eastern)


First Choice: Texas A&M vs. LSU (noon, ESPN). It's a shame that this game, which has a really good chance of being the day's best, is in the early window when anyone attending a game will be able to give it only two-thirds of their divided attentions at best. Johnny Manziel is a delight to watch, unless you're a fan of the team his Aggies are playing, and LSU looked like a team with some of its swagger back after Les Miles' bunch ran over South Carolina last weekend. Name to know so you'll sound smart: Jeremy Hill, LSU's freshman running back. He ran for over 100 yards against the Gamecocks last week, and should figure heavily in the Tigers' plans this week.


Week 8 picks: Take A&M over LSU

Last Button Options: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech (noon, ABC/ESPN2). Remember when Clemson was a top-10 team? That was weird. The Tigers' porous defense and Virginia Tech's middling offense are made to gum each other to death, but Clemson's offensive talent and scheme still deserve your attention.

Vanderbilt vs. Auburn (12:21, SEC Network). Because Vanderbilt's favored over Auburn, which may never happen again.

Know The (Channel) Numbers: Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State (noon, FX).

Cover The Spread: LSU fans smell like corn dogs, and are in the rare and unfortunate position of having to get up by 11 a.m. local to see their team play, so improvise a brunch with corn dogs in it. Refer to Spilly if necessary.


Late Afternoon Block (3 to 7 p.m. Eastern)

First Choice: Florida vs. South Carolina (3:30 p.m., CBS). Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks lost their chance to make this unequivocally the best season in South Carolina history last week in Baton Rouge, but the Head Ball Coach coming home for a game that could determine the SEC East title makes this the day's biggest game before even talking about the players on the field.


Florida should win, Lattimore or no Lattimore

Jeff Driskel's running ability will remind you a bit of Tim Tebow, but the Gators' anemic passing game and stout defense have fans thinking back to the 2006 national championship team quarterbacked by Chris Leak. And that team played one of the games of the year against South Carolina, known as the "'Cock Block," which saw Jarvis Moss block two field goals, one at the end of the fourth quarter, to The Swamp's delight.

Marcus Lattimore is expected to play in the game, but South Carolina's bellcow running back may not start, and could be slowed after suffering a bruised hip against LSU.

Last Button Options: Cal vs. Stanford (3 p.m., FOX). On the 30th anniversary of The Play, the Big Game gets its first-ever October edition. Count on Stanford trying to grind out a win.

TCU vs. Texas Tech (3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2). After the Red Raiders shattered West Virginia last week, they get a Casey Pachall-less TCU team that slowed Baylor last Saturday. Without the West Virginia and Baylor defenses involved, expect fewer points this week.

Know The (Channel) Numbers: Notre Dame vs. BYU (3:30 p.m., NBC): Two religious institutions prepare to commit sins against offense; Louisville vs. South Florida (3:30 p.m., ABC): Cardinals should blast Bulls, but USF's pulled upsets before; Northwestern vs. Nebraska (3:30 p.m., ESPN2/ABC): If Nebraska loses, Bo Pelini's face will turn the purple of the Wildcats' helmets.

Cover The Spread: The best game of the evening block begins at 7 p.m. Eastern, so make sure to get your orders for takeout or delivery in early, or start the smoker earlier than usual.

Evening Block (7 to 11 p.m. Eastern)

First Choice: West Virginia vs. Kansas State (7 p.m., FOX). Geno Smith and the Mountaineers didn't just crash to earth against Texas Tech; they left a crater upon a re-entry much more dramatic than Felix Baumgartner's. But they could still win the Big 12, and getting back on the saddle against a tough K-State squad is the first step. Collin Klein leads a Wildcats offense that plods foes to death, and the Kansas State defense is plenty stingy, giving up no more than 21 points this year despite seeing Oklahoma and Miami to this point.


The K-State rope-a-dope to take down another?

Last Button Options: Miami vs. Florida State (8 p.m., ABC). The likely plot of this game is an FSU blowout, given how much more talent the 'Noles have than their in-state rivals. But Florida State's already lost one game to an overmatched opponent on the road in the ACC this year, and the Hurricanes have been made to lick their wounds after a few stinging blowout losses. If there was a game that Miami would put up a fight in for pride's sake before the sword of Indianapolis falls on its program, it'd be this one.

Tennessee vs. Alabama (7 p.m., ESPN). Knowledgeable college football fans are going to talk themselves into Tennessee maybe putting Alabama in a hole early thanks to a few big plays and get disappointed when Tyler Bray remains Tyler Bray. Casual fans can just enjoy Alabama crushing another foe.

Texas vs. Baylor (8 p.m., ABC). The smell is both defenses. But at least David Ash and Nick Florence should be able to do some things; Florence will have every reason to drop 50 on the Longhorns after Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina called him a system quarterback this week.

Know The (Channel) Numbers: You may be tempted to watch Iowa play Penn State, but you should resist that temptation.

Cover The Spread: You don't know what to eat for dinner by now? I can't help you.

Late Night Block (10 p.m. Eastern onward)

First Choice: Oregon State vs. Utah (10:30 p.m., ESPN2). Utah's got a solid defense and a superb defensive tackle, Star Loutulelei, but the Beavers have a better defense as a whole. Both teams have turned to backup quarterbacks, so expect a defensive struggle.

Cover The Spread: Ice cream, and you should go to your local supermarket and find the special edition holiday flavors that are out. Don't settle for the hegemony of the Neapolitan flavors!

Check the national college football scoreboard right here, and look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.

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