College Football Buffet, Week 9: Michigan State vs. Iowa, Missouri vs. Nebraska Are Must-Eats

Herein Sean Keeley previews every noteworthy game being played this week, and tells you which ones are worth watching, and which aren't, along the way. Plus, TV information! Now, belly on up to the table.

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

No. 5 Michigan State at No. 18 Iowa, ABC/ESPN (3:30 PM ET) - Hawkeye fans are concerned that the football Gods favor MSU this season. Seems like they might be starting to favor Spartan Chris Rucker, who's jail sentence has ended and may be available to play in this one.

No. 6 Missouri at No. 14 Nebraska, ABC/ESPN (3:30 PM ET) - Nebraska has one of the best offenses on standard downs and the best defense in the country on passing downs. The Tigers are sorry to see this series ending now that it's become an even rivalry, they've won four out of the last seven games.

 

I'LL HAVE A SCOOP OF THAT, PLEASE

No. 1 Auburn at Mississippi, ESPN2 (6:00 PM ET) - Ole Miss has steadily improved this year, and may be playing better right now than at any time last season. The Rebels know that while Auburn may be undefeated, they haven't always been dominant, especially on the road.

No. 2 Oregon at USC, ABC/GamePlan (8:00 PM ET) - Big things are expected of the Oregon offense in this game. The question is, can thy do it on the road? Still, size matters and when it comes to comparing the USC and Oregon lines, the Trojans have the clear advantage.

No. 8 Utah at Air Force, CBS College Sports (7:30 PM ET) - TCU gets all the fanfare but these two teams are right behind them in the conference rankings. The Utes are hearing the same old story, sure they're undefeated but who have they played?

Michigan at Penn State, ESPN (8:00 PM ET) - Matt McGloin, the pride of Scranton, will make his first collegiate start for Penn State on Saturday night against Michigan. Despite the gaudy defensive statistics, the Wolverines expect to move the ball against the Lions.

 

I'LL TASTE IT FIRST...

No. 17 Oklahoma State at Kansas State, FSN-National (12:00 PM ET) - It's a tough time for Kansas State defense to see the Big 12 offenses proliferate all around them (and against them). Their day got a little bit easier when it was announced that the nation's leading receiver, Justin Blackmon, will miss the game due to a DUI arrest-related suspension.

Syracuse at Cincinnati, ESPNU (12:00 PM ET) - 5-2 Syracuse could get used to this whole "winning" thing. A big part of that could be whether or not QB Zach Collaros plays for the Bearcats. He's currently considered 50-50.

Tennessee at No. 20 South Carolina, SEC Network/GamePlan (12:21 PM ET) - Tennessee has actually moved the ball fairly well through the air this year, so South Carolina's pass defense will need to be on. Matt Simms is expected to be at 100% for the Vols but was limited in practice.

Florida vs. Georgia @ Jacksonville, FL, CBS (3:30 PM ET) - For the Gators to beat Georgia Saturday in Jacksonville, they have to stop the Bulldogs running game. While this game doesn't have the impact previous ones have, this series is still steeped in traditions and memories.

California at Oregon State, FCS-Pacific (3:30 PM ET) - Despite their record, remember that OSU played third-ranked Boise State and fourth-ranked TCU squads pretty tightly. In recent years, it's seemed like Beavers coach Mike Riley knows exactly how to shut down Jeff Tedford's pro-style attack.

No. 13 Stanford at Washington, Versus (7:00 PM ET) - What's your deal, Washington? Are you the dominant offense led by Jake Locker or the porous defense that's throwing the season away? This one's a battle between two future NFL QB's, Jake Locker and Andrew Luck

No. 25 Baylor at Texas, FSN-National (7:00 PM ET) - Baylor is ranked; Texas is not. Iowa State and UCLA pushed around Texas. At home. Up is down, down is up. It's a confusing time to be a fan of Texas football.

.No. 11 Ohio State at Minnesota, ABC/GamePlan (8:00 PM ET) - Hey, it's Minnesota in prime-time!  While the Gopher offense has had moments, it's the defense that has been a severe disappointment all year long. That said, it still might not be a bad idea to bring in Mike Leach to spice things up.

 

 

I'LL KEEP THAT IN MIND FOR THE NEXT TRIP

Clemson at Boston College, ACC Network/GamePlan (12:00 PM ET) - The Eagles head into their home game against Clemson a little shorthanded. With the exception of last season's football game, games in this series have been pretty close since BC joined the conference.

Louisville at Pittsburgh, Big East Network/GamePlan (12:00 PM ET) - Don't look now but Louisville is winning games and shutting out conference opponents. The Panthers were hoping to have star DE Greg Romeus back for the game but he's not quite ready yet.

Texas Tech at Texas A&M, (3:30 PM ET) - Mike Sherman has yet to name a starting quarterback for this game. It might not matter as both offenses have been inconsistent all year long.

Kentucky at No. 21 Mississippi State, ESPNU (7:00 PM ET) - Kentucky fans are glad to be wrong about the potential of QB Mike Hartline. It's the youth of their defense seems to be the biggest factor for their issues.

 

I DON'T KNOW...SMELLS KINDA FUNNY...

West Virginia at Connecticut, ESPN2 (Friday, 8:00 PM ET) - The loss to Syracuse made West Virginia fans want to throw their shoes. UConn's season is going down the toilet but Randy Edsall wants you to know that he's not stupid.

No. 22 Miami (FL) at Virginia, ESPN (12:00 PM ET) - Miami is getting some its swagger back. It's also getting it's flop back.

Northwestern at Indiana, Big Ten Network (12:00 PM ET) - Indiana might just have the worst OOC schedule in the nation. A loss to Northwestern would diminish all of the early-season wins and make it difficult for them to get in bowl consideration.

Purdue at Illinois, ESPN2 (12:00 PM ET) - The charred remains of the Purdue football team get no sanctuary this week as they travel to Illinois. The Illini are a much better team than they seemed to be at the beginning of the season, which is concerning for the Boilermakers.

No. 15 Arizona at UCLA, FSN-National (3:30 PM ET) - Arizona's QB problem is a good one to have, both of them are playing well. UCLA's many problems on the other hand...

Wake Forest at Maryland, ESPNU (3:30 PM ET) - Wake Forest is in the bottom 22 in nearly every defensive category that matters, and that includes a win over Presbyterian. Though the Terps are 5-2, they haven't exactly played well against the top tier teams they've played.

Vanderbilt at No. 19 Arkansas, FSN-S/FSN-SW/Sun/GamePlan (7:00 PM ET) - Arkansas fans have spent a good chunk of this football season bemoaning the offense's inability to convert on third downs and its tendency to rack up penalties. Don't look now but Vandy is No. 1 in the SEC...in graduation rates

Washington State at Arizona State, (7:00 PM ET) - ASU fans think Dennis Erickson should be ashamed for losing so badly last week after a bye. The Devils come into this game desperate for a win to stay alive in bowl contention.

Colorado at No. 9 Oklahoma, ESPN2 (9:15 PM ET) - No biggie, Dan Hawkins. You're jut 0-3 in the Big 12 heading to Oklahoma this week. Oklahoma's defense faces a Colorado team that ranks 8th in the conference in passing and 10th in rushing.

 

NO THANKS, PLATE'S FULL

Northern Illinois at Western Michigan, MAC Network/GamePlan (12:00 PM ET) - It's the biggest NIU-WMU game of all time...which means something different to most people.

San Diego State at Wyoming, The Mtn. (2:00 PM ET) - The season is on the line for the Wyoming Cowboys. They'll have to win out the rest of the season in hopes of going to back to back bowl games for the first time since '98.

Tulsa at Notre Dame, NBC (2:30 PM ET) - Notre Dame's game against Tulsa will go on as regularly-scheduled in the wake of student assistant Declan Sullivan's passing, but the school will honor Sullivan with helmet decals and a moment of silence.

William & Mary at North Carolina, ESPN3com (3:30 PM ET) - The Heels will see a familiar face lining up against them when the Tribe comes to town...former QB Mike Paulus

Utah State at No. 24 Nevada, ESPNU (10:30 PM ET) - Colin Kaepernack has quickly descended the Heisman hype mountain that he climbed a few weeks back.

No. 4 TCU at UNLV, CBS College Sports (11:00 PM ET) - One site gave UNLV a 7.7% chance of winning this game. Even that seems generous.

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