With three games pitting top-10 teams against ranked opponents, week six could have a significant impact on the BCS race. Beyond that, there are some heated rivalries taking place, as well as some huge games for under-the-radar league contenders. As much as we would like, it is simply impossible to watch every game. This guide will help to efficiently plot your weekend viewing schedule. Seeing that it’s bourbon heritage month, I suggest you grab your Woodford Reserve or Makers and get ready for a great weekend of action. (Editors Note: we also recommend Bulleit)
Note: All times Eastern.
Must See: Rutgers at SMU – I really thought June Jones’ team could be a sleeper if they got past a difficult first-half stretch of tough non-conference games. This game will prove me right, or make me look really foolish. The Knights dropped their only road game in a Week One overtime loss to Fresno State. Coming off their huge Arkansas victory two weeks ago, the Rutgers seems poised to push Louisville in the league. 12:00 pm, ESPN News / WatchESPN app
Sleeper: UCF at Memphis – The Tigers are a pesky little team, and who knows what UCF is feeling after letting South Carolina off the hook last week. 4:30 pm, ESPN 3
Avoid: As for the other two AAC games this week, Louisville at Temple and Cincinnati at USF. UL and UC are a combined 7-1; Temple and USF are a combined 0-8. It is a poopourri!
Must See: Maryland at Florida State – FSU is No. 8 in the nation. They’re not completely in the national title discussion, but close enough that, with a few more wins, they could enter it. Maryland is ranked No. 25 and is playing great football. FSU has played down to its competition, starting slow at Pitt and at Boston College. If they start slow against Maryland, lookout. The Terps could put the score too far out reach for the Seminoles to reel them in. 12:00 pm, ESPN / WatchESPN app
Sleeper: Georgia Tech at Miami – Tech gagged away the Virginia Tech game with a slew of unforced errors, so they should play with some anger. Miami, meanwhile, hasn’t played anybody of worth since the Florida win. Miami’s lack of being tested, combined with the up-and-down health of quarterback Stephen Morris, could mean a potential upset is in the works. This game also has major ACC tittle implications as both teams, along with Va Tech, were expected to contend for a Coastal title. 3:30 pm, ESPNU / WatchESPN app
Avoid: NC State at Wake Forest – General rule of thumb for 2013, avoid anything involving that festering, stinky pile of …whatever Wake Forest is putting out there. Yuck!
Must See: West Virginia at Baylor – I know in my Big 12 Stock Report I said not to jump on WVU since it was only one win, but this is intriguing. You have Baylor’s dominating offense getting their biggest test of the season. I am intrigued to see if the Mountaineers can keep their momentum, and am curious to see the Bears strut their stuff against someone halfway competent. 8:00 pm, Fox Sports 1
Sleeper: TCU at Oklahoma – I’m still holding out hope that the Horned Frogs are a good club. Meanwhile, the 11th ranked Sooners are in the driver’s seat of Big 12 South after Okie State dropped a game last week. Hovering around the top-ten, OU is very much a part of the national title landscape, as long as they keep stringing wins together. 7:00 pm, Fox
Avoid: Texas Tech at Kansas – Rock Chalk is generating 19.3 points a game, good for 105th in the nation. Tech is giving up 13.3, currently 10th best in the land. This should be a blowout, and not worth your time.
Must See: Ohio State at Northwestern – Say what you will about both teams, and they do have their critics, but at the end of the day, this is the nation’s No. 5 team on the road against a top-20 opponent. Between their bye week and two soft opponents in a row, Northwestern has had plenty of time to prepare for this one. This could be their best chance at slaying a team that has tormented them in recent years decades. Obviously there are national title implications for OSU, but Northwestern, at No. 16, is still in the national picture. An OSU loss would also make the Big Ten race wide open, and even bring Wisconsin back into the fold of the Leaders Division. 8:00 pm, ABC
Sleeper: Michigan State at Iowa – The Hawks are coming off their best back-to-back performances in years, and seem to have the mojo flowing. A win would put them at 2-0 in the league and open up the Legends Division even more. MSU, who has been plagued by offensive inconsistency, now faces a nice defensive team on the road. The Spartans’ best hope is to win ugly with that amazing defense. This will be a hard-hitting grudge match. I’m psyched for this one. In fact, let’s make it a must see! 12:00 pm, ESPN2 / WatchESPN app
Avoid: All the Big Ten games are pretty good, but Penn State at Indiana has potential to deflate. The Hoosiers have never beaten PSU. Minnesota at Michigan also has a shot to flop, since the Gophers got exposed last week and Michigan is coming off a bye. I’ll lean towards Minnesota at Michigan; Indiana’s offense at least has the potential to be exciting. The Gophers are just plain boring.
Must See: Washington at Stanford – As the legend Keith Jackson used to say, “Woah nelly!” This one has it all: major national title implications, Pac-12 title implications, Pac-12 North implications, and two hard-hitting, physical clubs. There’s no need to hype it; the two teams speak for themselves. 10:30 pm, ESPN / WatchESPN app
Sleeper: Arizona State at Notre Dame – Last time ASU got a big win, they promptly flubbed on the road. Let’s see how they fare against a Notre Dame team that is still pretty solid, even if they are no longer in the title race. 7:30 pm, NBC
Avoid: Oregon at Colorado – Why is Oregon playing a Mountain West team in the middle of conference play? What’s that? Colorado is in the Pac-12? Oops. It’s hard to tell sometimes. Sorry, Buffs. Wait for basketball season, I guess?
Independent and Non AQ
BYU at Utah State – I realize that I have these two teams featured nearly every week, but I assure you, I am not from Utah, nor am I Mormon. I just really like these teams, and love Chuckie Keeton’s game. Friday, 8:00 pm, CBS Sports Network
UTSA at Marshall – The Herd are off to a deceptively strong 2-2 start. Their two losses were by a combined 11 points, one was an eight point loss in triple OT to Virginia Tech. Meanwhile, UTSA is off to a very quiet 1-0 start in C-USA. I like this Roadrunner team and wish them the best since they are so young. It would be fun to see them make waves in the league race. 2:00 pm, No national listing
Northern Illinois at Kent State – The Flashes were amazing last season, but have been in a bit of a rut to start 2013. Hosting MAC power NIU could be the wake up they need. NIU, on the other hand, looks even better than last year’s Orange Bowl team. Jordan Lynch deserves a Heisman invitation no matter what the cynics say about him, his school, or their league. 3:30 pm, GamePlan / ESPN3
Fresno State at Idaho – The Vandals are coming off a home win over Temple and have been playing a better football this season than they have in recent years. Fresno is a top-25 club looking to jump into the BCS party like some fellow Mountain West schools have done in the past. 5:00 pm, No national listing
Finally, the latest news says all three service academies will get to play, despite the government shutdown. Army heads to Boston College (1 pm, ESPN 3) and Air Force makes the trip to Annapolis to face Navy in the first part of the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy series (11:30 am, CBS). Both are going to be good contests, and you should watch, if for no other reason than to thumb your nose at the government. They almost stole two solid games from us!