College football: What to watch Saturday on TV

Break out the chips and cold drinks, but let Chris Dufresne handle the remote. Each Friday, the Times' national college football writer handicaps what's worth watching, and skipping, on Saturday's menu of games.

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No. 4 Ohio State (8-0) at Purdue (1-6)

9 a.m., BTN

Ohio State needs a quality win against a quality opponent to prove it belongs in the same sentence as Alabama, Oregon and Florida State. So what a lousy time for Purdue to show up on the schedule. Ohio State can't bolster its case against the Boilermakers but can damage it. During last year's 12-0 season, remember, Ohio State needed overtime to beat Purdue in Columbus. Purdue has lost five straight, and its only win this year was against lower-level 1-AA Indiana State.

9 a.m.: Wisconsin at Iowa, Channel 7; Virginia Tech at Boston College, ESPN2; Illinois at Penn State, ESPN; Army at Air Force, ESPNU; Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina Central, ESPN News; Southern Mississippi at Marshall, CBSSN.

Mississippi State (4-3) at No. 14 South Carolina (6-2)

9:30 a.m., KDOC

Our favorite SEC cable channel based in Orange County gets a South Carolina team coming off a dramatic come-from-behind win at Missouri last week. The victory kept the Gamecocks alive in the race for the SEC East title. Mississippi State is what it is. The Bulldogs have defeated the easy teams — Alcorn, Troy, Bowling Green, Kentucky — and lost to Oklahoma State, Auburn and Louisiana State.¿

9:30 a.m.: Wake Forest at Syracuse, Prime.

10 a.m.: Middle Tennessee at Alabama Birmingham, FS West.


No. 23 Michigan (6-1) at No. 24 Michigan St. (7-1)

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

The temperature will be low, an estimated 33 degrees, but tempers should be running hot in this annual battle for state supremacy. Michigan State leads the Legends Division at 4-0 while Michigan (2-1) is playing catch-up as the Wolverines search for their first Big Ten title since 2004. Michigan State's defense is one of the nation's best, giving up only 12.3 points a game.

Navy (4-3) at No. 25 Notre Dame (6-2)

12:30 p.m., Channel 4

Notre Dame bounced back nicely from the Oklahoma loss with impressive wins against Arizona State, USC and Air Force. The Fighting Irish need to win out to have any chance of making a BCS game, yet Navy isn't the pushover it used to be. Notre Dame dominates the series, 72-12-1, but each school has won three games since 2006. The Irish have won the last two by the combined score of 106-24.

Georgia (4-3) vs. Florida (4-3)

12:30 p.m., Channel 2

Can we take our cocktails in the other room? What looked like a possible game of the year in August has dissolved into an SEC East game where the loser will leave with a fourth defeat. Injuries have plagued both teams and you can bet that will be pointed out by the CBS-SEC Network.

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