The big game of college football Week 10 is the Miami-Florida State battle down in Tallahassee, with both teams undefeated and fighting for position in the national championship race. TheSportsNotebook’s has gone into recent lore with a look back on the high points of the Miami-Florida State rivalry and a preview of Saturday night’s game specifically. Our college football coverage closes its prep for Saturday with a look at the TV schedule that fans have in front of us…
Wisconsin-Iowa (Noon ET, ABC/ESPN2)
Virginia Tech-Boston College (Noon ET, ABC/ESPN2)
Illinois-Penn State (Noon ET, ESPN)
Comments: Wisconsin and Virginia Tech have no margin for error in their push for BCS games, and both have road tests that will present a challenge. The Badgers need to win out and hope for help to get an at-large spot in a major bowl. The Hokies, in spite of last week’s ugly home loss to Duke, can still beat Miami next Saturday, win the ACC Coastal Division and get a crack at Florida State for an Orange Bowl bid. But Virginia Tech’s loss means that can’t afford another slip-up if they want to keep a tiebreaker division title in play.
Meanwhile, both Wisconsin and Virginia Tech will draw feisty opponents. Iowa played Ohio State as tough on the road as UW did and this kind of win is exactly what Kirk Ferentz needs to demonstrate beyond a doubt that his program is back. Boston College is 3-4 and has a shot at a bowl game in Steve Addazio’s first year, after going 2-10 last season. The Eagles will try to give the city of Boston something else to cheer about. That is, if anyone in the Hub notices them.
Michigan-Michigan State (3:30 PM ET, ABC)
Georgia-Florida (3:30 PM ET, CBS)
Navy-Notre Dame (3:30 PM ET, NBC)
Clemson-Virginia (3:30 PM ET, ESPN)
Comments: This is the day of reckoning for Michigan. In spite of the narrow escapes against bad teams, the defensive meltdown and lack of a running game in a loss at Penn State, and the defensive atrocity against Indiana, the Wolverines control their destiny for the Big Ten title. But that presupposes they beat Michigan State in East Lansing. The Spartans haven’t lost a conference game yet and a win gets them a firm chokehold on the Legends Division, and the crack at Ohio State that would come in Indianapolis on December 7.
The same reckoning is here for Georgia and Florida. Both are still just one game back of Missouri in the SEC East and though each lost to the Tigers’ head-to-head, the tiebreaker situation in this division is a very fluid situation, with South Carolina and Tennessee both in the picture. The winner of the Bulldogs-Gators annual grudge match in Jacksonville still has an outside shot of getting to Atlanta. The head coach of the losing team can start working on his excuses for angry alumni as to why a potentially promising season went awry.
Miami-Florida State (8 PM ET, ABC)
Tennessee-Missouri (7 PM ET, ESPN)
Auburn-Arkansas (6 PM ET ESPN2)
Oklahoma State-Texas Tech (7 PM ET, Fox)
Comments: Both SEC games are significant on each side of the conference. Tennessee has three conference losses, but the crazy Eastern Division race means the Vols could be back in it with an upset win over Missouri, an 11-point favorite at home. The status of Mizzou quarterback James Franklin, and his injured shoulder, remains up in the air.
On the Western Division side, Auburn is in great position to make a BCS bowl game if they beat everyone but Alabama, and the Tigers even control their destiny to win the SEC if they win out. Arkansas is hemorrhaging right now, and Auburn can’t show any signs of immaturity on the road.
UTEP-Texas A&M (9 PM ET, ESPN2)
Nevada-Fresno State (10:30 PM ET, ESPNU)
Comments: Texas A&M is giving 47 points against the Miners. Fresno State is a three-TD favorite over Nevada. Fresno, along with Northern Illinois, has to keep winning to make the BCS uncomfortable.