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Full Week 5 college football schedule guide: Pac-12, SEC lead the way

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Thursday's UCLA-Arizona State tilt might be the best of Week 5, but Saturday's got several intriguing SEC matchups, including Arkansas-A&M at JerryWorld.

Thursday

Best option: No. 11 UCLA at No. 15 Arizona State, 10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1, FoxSports.com

Spread: UCLA -4
Read: Bruins NationHouse of Sparky

There are 18 games involving ranked teams this week; 17 of them are against unranked foes, and then this lone Top 25 matchup, which might steal the whole weekend's show. UCLA has looked talented but vulnerable, even as it chugs along at 3-0. The Bruins' highest margin of victory was eight points at Virginia, and if superstar QB Brett Hundley's not at 100 percent, it might be difficult for UCLA to keep pace with Arizona State's spread attack, which also has a banged-up quarterback.

Plan B: Texas Tech at No. 24 Oklahoma State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN

This isn't really an either-or situation, as the two games are two-and-a-half hours apart, and you'll know by the kick of the UCLA-ASU game whether this one's worth sticking around to see the final gun or not. Oklahoma State QB Daxx Garman has been stellar in relief of injured starter J.W. Walsh, but after seeing Arkansas smash the Red Raider defense on the ground in Week 3, the Cowboys are likely eager to get a big day out of RB Rennie Childs.

Keep it in mind: Appalachian State at Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU, WatchESPN

The Sun Belt is the Fun Belt, and on Thursday it welcomes its two newest members to the joys of mid-week national television attention. Georgia Southern is surprisingly stout and really should have beaten Georgia Tech and NC State earlier this year, while Appalachian State is ... well, it's not about to beat an ACC team anytime soon.

Friday

Best option: Fresno State at New Mexico, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2, WatchESPN

Spread: Fresno State -3
Read: Mountain West Connection

It's one of the nation's most pass-committed offenses (Fresno) and one of the nation's most run-committed offenses (UNM) and a pair of utterly miserable defenses tasked with stopping them. I don't know if you were expecting the Super Bowl on a Friday night in September, but how anyone can complain about a pillow fight with an over/under of 73 points frankly escapes me.

Plan B: Middle Tennessee State at Old Dominion, 8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1, FoxSports.com

MTSU-Old Dominion! For when Fresno State and New Mexico is just too much to handle!

Saturday

Time Road Home TV Streaming
Noon ET Tennessee No. 12 Georgia ESPN ESPN3.com
Noon ET USF No. 19 Wisconsin ESPNU ESPN3.com
Noon ET UTEP No. 25 Kansas State FSN, SSO foxsports.com/foxsportsgo
Noon ET Wyoming No. 9 Michigan State ESPN2 ESPN3.com
Noon ET Northwestern Penn State Big Ten Network BTN2Go.com
Noon ET Iowa Purdue Big Ten Network BTN2Go.com
Noon ET Tulane Rutgers ESPNews ESPN3.com
Noon ET TCU SMU CBSSN
Noon ET Vanderbilt Kentucky SEC Network ESPN3.com
12:30 p.m. ET Colorado State Boston College RSN, NESN, ROOT nesn.com/live-stream
12:30 p.m. ET Western Mich Virginia Tech ACC Network ESPN3.com
1 p.m. ET Army Yale FCS-Atlantic
1:30 p.m. ET Maryland Indiana Big Ten Network BTN2Go.com
1:30 p.m. ET Akron Pittsburgh ESPN3.com
2 p.m. ET Eastern Illinois Ohio ESPN3.com
3 p.m. ET Bowling Green Massachusetts ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET (Arlington, TX) Arkansas No. 6 Texas A&M CBS CBSSports.com
3:30 p.m. ET FIU UAB ASN, CSN
3:30 p.m. ET Kent State Virginia ESPN3.com ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Miami (Ohio) Buffalo ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Minnesota Michigan ABC ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET No. 1 Florida State NC State ABC/ESPN2 ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Wake Forest Louisville ESPNU ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. ET Western Kentucky Navy CBSSN
4 p.m. ET Louisiana Tech No. 5 Auburn SEC Network ESPN3.com
4 p.m. ET Colorado California Pac-12 Network pac-12.com/live
4 p.m. ET Temple Connecticut ESPNews ESPN3.com
4 p.m. ET Texas Kansas FS1 foxsports.com/foxsportsgo
4:15 p.m. ET No. 16 Stanford Washington FOX foxsports.com/foxsportsgo
5 p.m. ET UTSA FAU
5 p.m. ET South Alabama Idaho ESPN3.com
5 p.m. ET Southern Alcorn State ESPN3.com
6 p.m. ET Cincinnati No. 22 Ohio State Big Ten Network BTN2Go.com
7 p.m. ET Boise State Air Force CBSSN
7 p.m. ET North Carolina Clemson ESPN U ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Missouri No. 13 South Carolina ESPN ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Rice Southern Miss FCS
7 p.m. ET Central Michigan Toledo ESPN3.com
7 p.m. ET Troy ULM ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. ET New Mexico State No. 17 LSU SEC Network ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. ET Duke Miami ESPN2 ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. ET Memphis No. 10 Ole Miss FSN foxsports.com/foxsportsgo
8 p.m. ET No. 7 Baylor Iowa State FOX foxsports.com/foxsportsgo
8 p.m. ET UNLV San Diego St ESPN3.com
8 p.m. ET (East Rutherford, NJ) No. 8 Notre Dame Syracuse ABC ESPN3.com
8 p.m. ET Texas State Tulsa ESPNews ESPN3.com
8 p.m. ET Washington State Utah Pac-12 Network pac-12.com/live
9 p.m. ET Illinois No. 21 Nebraska Big Ten Network BTN2Go.com
10:30 p.m. ET Nevada San Jose State CBSSN
10:30 p.m. ET Oregon State No. 18 USC ESPN ESPN3.com

Early shift

Best option: Tennessee at No. 12 Georgia

Spread: Georgia -17
Read: Rocky Top TalkDawg Sports

Todd Gurley has reached appointment-viewing territory. Georgia's nowhere near out of the Playoff picture at this point, so count on a spirited effort with Tennessee visiting. The Vols have looked competitive, and at some point a team that hangs around and hangs around and hangs around is going to pick off one of these good teams. Careful, Dawgs.

Plan B: Vanderbilt at Kentucky

It's not great competition, but basement-level SEC football is still probably better than middle-of-the-pack football in most other conferences, so you can at least have that. Vandy showed a pulse last week for the first time all season before South Carolina overwhelmed the 'Dores. Kentucky's also looking to get into the SEC win column for the first time, having dropped a heartbreaker to Florida in three overtimes, but the 20-3 win over Ohio prior to that was a solid win (seriously!).

Keep it in mind: Maryland at Indiana

Indiana, by dint of losing to Bowling Green then going to Missouri and beating the reigning SEC East champs, should always be on your radar because there's no telling what the Hoosiers are capable of on any given week—just that it'll be close and probably heartbreaking. The Hoosier defense looked surprisingly capable last week, and it'll have its hands full again with arguably the best WR corps in the Big Ten, led by Maryland's superman Stefon Diggs.

In case of emergency: Wyoming at No. 9 Michigan State; South Florida at No. 19 Wisconsin, UTEP at No. 25 Kansas State

I mean, maybe one of these will be close? Or maybe you just want to watch a merciless blowout. Well, if you're that kind of sadist, this trio of ranked games is your Golden Corral Endless Pain Buffet.

Middle shift

Best option: Arkansas vs. No. 6 Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Spread: Texas A&M -8.5
Read: Arkansas FightGood Bull Hunting

This'll be the Razorbacks' and Aggies' fourth year playing in Jerry Jones' billionaire playground, and it's a continuation of one of the Southwest Conference's best rivalries. More than that, it should be an entertaining game, with Kevin Sumlin's explosive spread offense facing Bret Bielema's bruising ground game. Arkansas isn't the pushover it was in 2013, but A&M has also proven it's not simply the Johnny Manziel Show by trouncing all foes with Kenny Hill at QB. Should be fun.

Plan B: No. 16 Stanford at Washington

Up in the Pac-12 North, Oregon's happy to see any losses that someone else can hand to its rivals. Stanford's a legit contender to that division title, and Washington ... well, no. But the Huskies are serious contenders to wreak a little havoc, and knocking off Stanford is a plausible part of that.

Keep it in mind: No. 1 Florida State at NC State

The Wolfpack faithful will be aching for an upset in this one, and if the Wolfpack pull it off, it would make FSU 1-4 in its last five trips to Carter-Finley Stadium. But even with the Jameis Winston saga entering weirdersordid-er territory, Florida State is by far the more talented team.

In case of emergency: Minnesota at Michigan

Well, watch it on TV if you didn't buy your two Coca-Colas first, anyway. Also, the Wolverines are favored by double digits, so there's no way they can get thumped at home again ... right?

Late shift

Best option: Missouri at No. 13 South Carolina

Spread: South Carolina -5.5
Read: Rock M NationGarnet and Black Attack

This was a much more compelling game before Mizzou let Indiana waltz into Columbia and steal a victory, but that upset didn't have a direct effect on the SEC East race, so the stakes are the same as they were before. "GameDay" is in Columbia (the one in South Carolina, obviously), so the atmosphere's going to be rocking. The SEC East has already been a little weird this year; let's shoot for pants-on-head crazy.

Plan B: Cincinnati at No. 22 Ohio State

The problem with college football slates like this week's isn't that there won't be any exciting, compelling games; it's that it's sort of difficult to intuit which ones will be good and which will be meh. If there are five games with 14-point spreads, odds are fine that one of them will be an upset. Now pick which one ahead of time. Not really that easy. Cincy's still got Butch Jones' guys, Ohio State's still got a freshman at quarterback -- weirder things have happened.

Keep it in mind: Oregon State at No. 18 USC

Beavers QB Sean Mannion is one of the most prolific passers in Pac-12 history, and he's looking to add some signature wins to his resume. This would qualify, and USC's defense is just porous enough that it's a possibility. Then again, the Trojans are favored for a reason, and the top-to-bottom talent level at the Coliseum is flat-out better.

In case of emergency: No. 7 Baylor at Iowa State

This was a 71-7 massacre last year, but remember, Iowa State won (by 14!) the last time the teams tangled in Ames. ISU is awfully young on offense and in its secondary, so as much as anything the Cyclones are hoping Baylor comes out flat — an A-level performance by the Bears, and this one's over, no matter how well ISU is prepared.