|Noon||Purdue at Penn State||ESPN|
|Noon||Iowa at Northwestern||ESPN2|
|Noon||Wake Forest at Virginia||LF Sports|
|Noon||Wisconsin at Ohio State||BTN|
|12:30||Nebraska at Kansas||FSN|
|12:30||Vanderbilt at Florida||LF Sports|
|12:30||Kansas State at Iowa State||VERSUS|
|2:30||Navy at Notre Dame||NBC|
|3:30||Cincinnati at USF||ABC (map)|
|3:30||Michigan at Mich. State||ABC (map)|
|3:30||Texas at OK State||ABC (map)|
|3:30||UCLA at Arizona||ABC (map)|
|3:30||Army at Air Force||CSTV|
|3:45||Maryland at No. Carolina||ESPNU|
|5:00||LSU at Alabama||CBS|
|6:30||Missouri at Colorado||FSN|
|6:45||Arizona State at Oregon||ESPN|
|7:15||Rutgers at UConn||ESPNU|
|7:30||Tulsa at Tulane||CSTV|
|8:00||Fla. State at Boston Coll.||ABC (map)|
|8:00||Texas A&M at Oklahoma||ABC (map)|
|8:00||Oregon State at USC||ABC (map)|
|8:00||So. Carolina at Arkansas||ESPN2|
|10:00||Wash. State at Cal||FSN|
I guess they think we've seen enough of this face. Oh, how wrong they are.
- - -
The national viewing schedule today isn't ideal: the two biggest games, Alabama-LSU and Oregon-Arizona State, overlap, so watching the second half of the former means missing the beginning of the latter, and the only other games against ranked teams - Ohio State-Wisconsin and Wake Forest-Virginia - are strictly regional options for those of us watching sans dishes and fancy pay-per-view packages. The monster we all knew was lurking in the Big Ten Network rears its ugly head for the first time in keeping the Buckeyes and Badgers away, while the rest of the country gets an Iowa-Northwestern barnburner. The Pac Ten's efforts to get its marquee game out to a national audience are really to be commended by comparison, but then, neither Arizona State nor Oregon is the national brand Ohio State is, so there's more urgency.
The other theme of the day is validation, for Arizona State and Alabama in particular, one for being undefeated without taking down a top 20 opponent that wasn't already on a two-game losing streak, the other for going overboard about the immediate impact of a coach for whom it dramatically overpaid. Both are underdogs, and both can take unexpected hold of the lead in their respective conferences or fall by the wayside like the upstarts so many people suspect they are.
Then there's Boston College and Kansas, facing their leagues' old masters-turned-serfs, Florida State and Nebraska, and still trying to prove they have the consistency to avoid stumbling in a dangerous situation, when the two more talented teams are significant underdogs.
This is, of coure, the best time of year. All games are in play. Even Notre Dame-Navy!