Best option: Houston at No. 25 BYU, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN
Can you believe that in the decades of pass-wacky, West-of-the-Mississippi, non-BCS football, BYU and Houston have played exactly once? That was last year, and it was the ridiculawesome 47-46 thriller that BYU won. The rematch is in Provo, so this one might not be as close, but if that means Taysom Hill somehow tops his 545 yards from last year's game, so much the better, right? Buckle up and watch this.
Plan B: Louisiana Tech at North Texas, 8 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Also worth your time is this matchup between two of the better non-AQ programs out there. Dan McCarney's Mean Green came out of nowhere to go 9-4 last year — UNT's best season in a decade — and they're favorites to beat fellow semi-power Louisiana Tech, which appears to be bouncing back after a rough 2013. Odds are that during the third quarter of the BYU game, your Twitter feed's going to turn into people saying, "Hey, there's four minutes left in LT-UNT and it's still close," and then you'll change the channel and have a good time inside a good time.
Best option: No. 8 Baylor at Buffalo, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN
Oh, Buffalo. Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo. Scheduling this game on a Friday night so the whole world could see it was a brave idea. If the Bulls beat Baylor with the eyes of millions upon them, the whole trajectory of Buffalo football changes dramatically! Slight problem: with Baylor, there are two types of opponents. There are the teams who can beat the Bears, and then the teams Baylor beats by 40-plus. And much like the dog breeds whose upper weight specifications are "150-plus pounds," that "plus" is less in your control than you'd like to think.
Plan B: Toledo at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU, WatchESPN
If a severe blowout isn't your thing, perhaps we might interest you in this other Friday evening thriller. That's a sincere designation, by the way — the over/under is currently at 59.5 happy points, so there'll be some touchdowns scored. The game did lose some oomph with Toledo QB Philip Ely going down with a torn ACL, but fortunately for the Rockets, Ely does not play the other 21 starting positions as well, so let's not go overboard.
|Noon ET||East Carolina||No. 17 Virginia Tech||ESPN||ESPN3.com|
|Noon ET||UCF||No. 20 Missouri||SEC Network||ESPN3.com|
|Noon ET||Kent State||No. 22 Ohio State||ABC/ESPN2||ESPN3.com|
|Noon ET||Indiana||Bowling Green||ESPNU||ESPN3.com|
|Noon ET||Syracuse||Central Michigan||ESPNews||ESPN3.com|
|Noon ET||Boise State||Connecticut||ESPN2||ESPN3.com|
|Noon ET||Georgia Southern||Georgia Tech||RSN||ESPN3.com|
|Noon ET||West Virginia||Maryland||Big Ten Network||btn2go.com|
|12:30 p.m. ET||No. 21 Louisville||Virginia||ACC Network||ESPN3.com|
|1 p.m. ET||Eastern Illinois||Illinois State||CSN-CHI||csnchicago.com/page/live|
|1 p.m. ET||Wagner||Monmouth||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||Air Force||Georgia State||ESPN3.com|
|2 p.m. ET||Wyoming||No. 2 Oregon||Pac-12 Network||pac12.com/live|
|3 p.m. ET||Indiana State||Ball State||ESPN3.com|
|3 p.m. ET||UC Davis||Colorado State||FS1||foxsports.com/foxsportsgo|
|3:30 p.m. ET||No. 6 Georgia||No. 24 South Carolina||CBS||cbssports.com|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Alabama A&M||UAB||ASN|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Arkansas||Texas Tech||ABC||ESPN3.com|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Arkansas State||Miami||ESPNU||ESPN3.com|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Iowa State||Iowa||ESPN||ESPN3.com|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Kansas||Duke||RSN|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Miami (Ohio)||Michigan||Big Ten Network||btn2go.com|
|3:30 p.m. ET||NC State||South Florida||CBSSN|
|3:30 p.m. ET||Lehigh||New Hampshire||ASN|
|4 p.m. ET||Louisiana||No. 14 Ole Miss||SEC Network||ESPN3.com|
|4 p.m. ET||Mississippi State||South Alabama||ESPNews||ESPN3.com|
|4 p.m. ET||Minnesota||TCU||FS1||foxsports.com/foxsportsgo|
|4 p.m. ET||Illinois||Washington||FOX||foxsports.com/foxsportsgo|
|4 p.m. ET||Drake||Western Illinois||ESPN3.com|
|5 p.m. ET||Western Michigan||Idaho||ESPN3.com|
|5 p.m. ET||Army||No. 15 Stanford||Pac-12 Network||pac12.com/live|
|6 p.m. ET||Southern Miss||No. 3 Alabama||ESPN2||ESPN3.com|
|6 p.m. ET||Eastern Mich||Old Dominion||Cox 110|
|7 p.m. ET||ULM||No. 10 LSU||ESPNU||ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||Tulsa||Florida Atlantic||FCS|
|7 p.m. ET||Western Kentucky||Middle Tennessee||MyTV30|
|7 p.m. ET||UTSA||Oklahoma State||FSN||foxsports.com/foxsportsgo|
|7 p.m. ET||Abilene Christian||Troy||ESPN3.com|
|7 p.m. ET||Northern Illinois||UNLV||Mountain West Network||themw.com/#!/watch-live|
|7 p.m. ET||Wake Forest||Utah State||CBSSN|
|7 p.m. ET||New Mexico Highland||Northern Arizona||FSN-AZ||foxsports.com/foxsportsgo|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Kentucky||Florida||SEC Network||ESPN3.com|
|7:30 p.m. ET (Indianapolis)||Purdue||No. 11 Notre Dame||NBC||stream.nbcsports.com|
|8 p.m. ET (Arlington, TX)||No. 12 UCLA||Texas||FOX||foxsports.com/foxsportsgo|
|8 p.m. ET||No. 9 USC||Boston College||ESPN||ESPN3.com|
|8 p.m. ET||Tennessee||No. 4 Oklahoma||ABC||ESPN3.com|
|8 p.m. ET||Penn State||Rutgers||Big Ten Network||btn2go.com|
|8 p.m. ET||Navy||Texas State||ESPNews||ESPN3.com|
|8 p.m. ET||New Mexico St||UTEP||Sinclair|
|8 p.m. ET||SE Louisiana||Tulane||ESPN3.com|
|8 p.m. ET||Portland State||Washington State||Pac-12 Network||pac12.com/live|
|9 p.m. ET||Rice||No. 7 Texas A&M||ESPN2||ESPN3.com|
|9 p.m. ET||South Dakota||Montana||Cowles Montana Media|
|10 p.m. ET||No. 16 Arizona State||Colorado||ESPNU||ESPN3.com|
|10:30 p.m. ET||Nebraska||Fresno State||CBSSN|
|11 p.m. ET||Nevada||Arizona||Pac-12 Network||pac12.com/live|
|Midnight ET||Northern Iowa||Hawaii||Oceanic (PPV)|
Best option: UCF at No. 20 Missouri, 12 p.m. ET, SEC Network, WatchESPN
The Tigers' first major test comes at the hands of the Knights, who felt like they let their season opener against Penn State in Ireland slip away. If UCF thought defending PSU QB Christian Hackenberg was tough, they'll absolutely have their hands full with dual-threat menace Maty Mauk and the rest of the Mizzou offense. This game is a bit of a crossroads for both teams, an opportunity to prove some legitimacy or watch it slip away.
Plan B: ECU at No. 17 Virginia Tech, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN
Virginia Tech is riding high off mollywhomping Ohio State in the 'Shoe last week, which means there's Letdown Game potential all over the place, especially with sneaky-good East Carolina dying to play the role of spoiler. ECU just gave South Carolina a tough game in Columbia, losing 33-23, so there's no competition shock for the Pirates.
Keep it in mind: Kent State at No. 22 Ohio State, 12 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2, WatchESPN
Kent State is not, how you say, so good at the footballs. Ohio State should be good and should have no problem with this one, but without a superstar like Braxton Miller to clean up mistakes, the Buckeyes are just a talented but young team with a long way to go.
In case of emergency: Indiana at Bowling Green, 12 p.m. ET, ESPNU, WatchESPN
Indiana's dangerously close to falling off the "worth watching" scale, as beating Indiana State 28-10 was nowhere near wacky. That said, the line has shifted an insane 10 points, from BGSU favored by a field goal to Indiana by a touchdown, so something's up here, and it's not really clear what that is. Keep an eye on it.
Best option: No. 6 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina, 3:30 p.m., CBS, CBSSports.com
As the only game of the weekend between two Top 25 teams, this takes the title of "Game of the Week" by default. But regardless of what's on, it's a potential classic with major SEC East implications. And, you know, the recent history of insanity. Todd Gurley is staking his claim for Heisman candidacy, and South Carolina's defense needs to shore up the holes in a bad way. And yet, better teams than Georgia have come into Williams-Brice Stadium and left empty-handed.
Plan B: Arkansas at Texas Tech, 3:30 p.m., ABC, WatchESPN
Hey, the SWC gang is getting back together! For you young whippersnappers, the Southwest Conference was a bunch of teams from Texas, plus Arkansas, who played football against each other and cheated like absolutely crazy. There'll be none of that in this game, unless Razorbacks RB Alex Collins shows up in a gold Trans Am or something — do they even make Trans Ams anymore? — but aside from the nostalgia you'll get two disparate but maybe-prolific offenses squaring off against each other.
Keep it in mind: Illinois at Washington, 4 p.m., Fox, FoxSports.com
This statement has a shelf life of roughly four days, but we'll say it: Illinois might be worth watching. The Illini are 2-0, which is something not a lot of the Big Ten can claim, and they might have made Wes Lunt into a serviceable quarterback. Washington's favored by a pair of touchdowns, but it's a young team with a new coach, so, you never know.
In case of emergency: Iowa State at Iowa, 3:30 p.m., ESPN, WatchESPN
It's that bleak a slate this afternoon. ISU's winless. Iowa has a 12-point margin on the season after facing an FCS team and a MAC team. This one's going to be a barnburner. Oh god, the barn's on fire! MY BARN! NOOOOOO! This is why you don't schedule football games in Iowa!
Best option: No. 12 UCLA vs. Texas in Arlington, 8 p.m., Fox, FoxSports.com
Texas is reeling after getting utterly mauled by BYU for the second straight year. That was the Longhorns' worst loss at DKR since UCLA scorched the Austin earth, 66-3, in 1997, dooming John Mackovick's tenure. And wouldn't you know it, UCLA's back in town! Brett Hundley and company probably aren't going to drop another "Rout 66" on the 'Horns, but the Bruins are still dangerous and looking for a resounding win after two unimpressive ones.
Plan B: Tennessee at No. 4 Oklahoma
Oklahoma's a heavy favorite, but this is the first time we'll see Trevor Knight face a defense with a pulse since the Sooners' stunning Sugar Bowl win over Alabama last season. Butch Davis needs his Vols to play the game of their lives to have a chance, but don't be surprised if Tennessee's within single digits at the break.
Keep it in mind: Rice at No. 7 Texas A&M, 9 p.m., ESPN2, WatchESPN
This boasts the highest over/under of any nationally televised game this weekend at 71 points, so even though A&M's supposed to smash the Owls, you'll get your money's worth. Keep an eye on whether the Aggie defense looks even remotely prepared for the grind of the SEC, and whether Kenny Hill can truly learn the ways of the trill.
In case of emergency: Nebraska at Fresno State, 10:30, CBS Sports Network
It's late-night football with two papier-mâché defenses, so this is going to be great for Bo Pelini's blood pressure. This one's going past midnight even in Nebraska's central time zone. Let's get weird.