How to watch Houston vs. UCF: Preview, TV time, odds and more

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

It's the game that could decide the American champion.

Alabama-LSU, Oregon-Stanford and Baylor-Oklahoma may be getting more hype nationally, but this may be the most important game of the year in the American. Houston and UCF enter the matchup as the only two unbeatens in conference play, and the winner will be in the driver's seat for the league title and a possible BCS berth.

Each side has just one loss on the year, and the Cougars and Knights are a few plays away from meeting as undefeated teams. Houston's only defeat came against BYU, 47-46, on Oct. 19, and UCF blew a 10-0 halftime lead in a 28-25 loss to South Carolina on Sept. 28.

The numbers

Rankings and records: UCF (6-1, 3-0 AAC) is ranked in every major poll, checking in at No. 21 in the latest BCS standings, and Houston (7-1, 4-0) is in the "others receiving votes" category of the rankings. The Knights have won three of the four all-time matchups, the last a 40-33 victory in 2010

Vegas: UCF opened as 10-point favorite, according to Odds Shark, and the over/under opened at 64.5

Weather: Saturday's forecast in Orlando calls for a high of 80 and a low of 65.

Three names to know

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles ranks third in the AAC in passing, throwing for 267.1 yards per game. He's completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 1,870 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Houston's John O'Korn is just behind Bortles, throwing for 265.1 yards per contest. He's thrown 22 touchdown passes compared to just four picks. O'Korn's favorite target, Deontay Greenberry, leads the conference in receiving at 118.5 yards per game. He has 62 catches for 948 yards and nine scores.

Two things at stake

The conference race. The winner will be the last unbeaten team in AAC play, and will be the favorite to win out and claim the league championship. Whoever wins the AAC will have a chance to play in a BCS game if it finishes above an undefeated Fresno State or Northern Illinois. UCF is in the best position to do that.

How to witness

TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET (Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Jessica Mendoza)

Radio: UCF affiliatesHouston affiliates

Online streaming: WatchESPN; XFINITY subscribers can watch the game here.

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TV schedule guide: The season’s best weekend yet

Behold Stanford, your weird nerd overlord

The problem with star-spangled uniforms, written by a Marine

Thursday fallout: Stanford, Baylor, and the whole ACC won

Long reads: Has Baylor crafted the ultimate football offense?

• Watch Easy Call’s Week 11 picks and nuggets:

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