It’s about time for one of those truly wacky weekends, no?

All times Eastern. Home team listed first.

Thursday, Oct. 20

Time Game TV
7 Virginia Tech vs. Miami ESPN
7:30 South Alabama vs. Troy ESPNU
10:15 No. 14 Boise State vs. BYU ESPN

Boise State, which hosts BYU, is ranked in the Associated Press poll for the 15th straight season. Only seven programs — all of them from Power Five conferences — have longer such streaks: Ohio State (49), Florida State (40), Georgia (20), Wisconsin (20), Oregon (19), Oklahoma (18) and LSU (17). This staying power is even more impressive when you consider that it’s lasted through three coaching regimes: Dan Hawkins, Chris Petersen and now Bryan Harsin. This year’s Broncos (6-0) are undefeated even though they have a minus-3 turnover differential and have just three takeaways on the season, tied with Toledo for the fewest in FBS.

AD

Friday, Oct. 21

Time Game TV
7 Temple vs. South Florida ESPN
10:30 San Diego State vs. San Jose State ESPN2
10:30 California vs. Oregon ESPN

Speaking of AP-poll streaks, Oregon fell out of the top 25 for the first time since 2009 earlier this season and things have only gotten worse since then, with losses to Washington State and Washington by a combined 121-54. As you can see, defense has been an issue: The Ducks are allowing 522 yards per game (ranking 126th out of 128 FBS teams) and 41.8 points per game (125th), that latter stat somewhat skewed by the 70 points Washington dropped on the Ducks on Oct. 8. Oregon has had exactly one losing season since 1993 — going 5-6 in 2004 — but seems destined for a second. Winning at California would be a good way to avoid that.

AD

Saturday, Oct. 22

AD
Time Game TV
Noon Holy Cross vs. Lehigh Comcast SportsNet Plus (in D.C. area)
Noon Gardner-Webb vs. Kennesaw State MASN (in D.C. area)
Noon No. 7 Louisville vs. North Carolina State ABC
Noon Iowa vs. No. 10 Wisconsin ESPN
Noon Kansas State vs. Texas ESPN2
Noon Minnesota vs. Rutgers ESPNU
Noon Connecticut vs. Central Florida ESPNews
Noon South Carolina vs. Massachusetts SEC Network
Noon Kansas vs. Oklahoma State Fox Sports 1
Noon Northwestern vs. Indiana Big Ten Network
Noon Army vs. North Texas CBS Sports Network
12:30 Boston College vs. Syracuse WDCA-20 (in D.C. area)
1 Bucknell vs. Lafayette MASN2 (in D.C. area)
3 Virginia vs. North Carolina Comcast SportsNet (in D.C. area)
3 Stanford vs. Colorado Pac-12 Network
3:30 Towson vs. New Hampshire Comcast SportsNet Plus (in D.C. area)
3:30 Liberty vs. Monmouth MASN (in D.C. area)
3:30 No. 24 Navy vs. Memphis CBS Sports Network
3:30 No. 3 Michigan vs. Illinois Big Ten Network
3:30 No. 8 Nebraska vs. Purdue ABC/ESPN2
3:30 No. 12 West Virginia vs. TCU ABC/ESPN2
3:30 No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 6 Texas A&M CBS
3:45 Tulsa vs. Tulane ESPNU
4 UCLA vs. No. 19 Utah Fox
4 Missouri vs. Middle Tennessee SEC Network
6 No. 21 Auburn vs. No. 17 Arkansas ESPN
6:30 No. 5 Washington vs. Oregon State Pac-12 Network
7 Samford vs. Western Carolina MASN (in D.C. area)
7 SMU vs. No. 11 Houston ESPN2
7:30 Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee State ESPNU
7:30 Kentucky vs. Mississippi State SEC Network
7:30 Maryland vs. Michigan State Big Ten Network
8 Penn State vs. No. 2 Ohio State ABC
8 Texas Tech vs. No. 16 Oklahoma Fox
9 No. 25 LSU vs. No. 23 Ole Miss ESPN
10 Arizona State vs. Washington State Pac-12 Network
10:30 Utah State vs. Fresno State CBS Sports Network
10:30 Nevada vs. Wyoming ESPN2

Duke was able to keep things close with Louisville last week by controlling the clock: The Blue Devils had just two plays longer than 12 yards yet had the ball for 37 minutes and converted eight of 16 third-down conversions. They still lost, but they were the first team this season to truly slow down Lamar Jackson and Co. Similarly, N.C. State converted seven of 15 third downs and its defense forced four turnovers against Clemson on Saturday, but like Duke, the Wolfpack fell just short. So while you’re waiting for the one game on everyone’s mind this weekend (see below), why not check out Louisville-North Carolina State to see if teams have a road map for beating the Cardinals after they looked so unstoppable earlier this season. . . .

Ah, yes, the game of the weekend: Alabama vs. Texas A&M. Turnovers and special teams could tell the story here, as the Aggies have 17 takeaways this season (only Memphis has more in FBS) while the Crimson Tide has scored eight touchdowns this season on interception or fumble-recovery returns plus another three on punt returns. That’s 11 non-offensive touchdowns, the same number of scores that Alabama has given up this season. As of this writing, the Tide is an 18-point favorite over the Aggies, the biggest point spread for a game involving two top 10 teams since 2013, when No. 3 Florida State beat No. 7 Miami by 27 points as a 21.5-point favorite. “We all see it. We’re all aware of it. It adds fuel to your fire. It adds a chip on your shoulder,” Texas A&M wideout Christian Kirk said this week. “It gives you more of a reason to go out there and play harder on Saturday because, still, we sit here 6-0 and we’re ranked sixth in the country, but no one’s giving us respect, and we know that.” . . .

AD

Arkansas has held the ball for an average of 35 minutes 42 seconds this season — only Utah’s time of possession is better nationally, by about five seconds — and in three SEC games, that average has gone up to a ludicrous 39:10. And so Auburn’s task is clear against the Razorbacks: Keep clock-killing drives to a minimum. The Tigers’ opponents have converted on only 31.5 percent of their third-down chances this season, so they have that going for them. . . . James Franklin has led Penn State to a 4-2 record this season, but good starts are nothing new. The Nittany Lions started 4-2 in 2014, Franklin’s first season, and were 5-1 last year. In each of those seasons, the good times were ended by Ohio State in Penn State’s seventh game. Franklin is now 0-6 against ranked teams in his Happy Valley tenure, losing the last four by an average of 27 points. At some point there has to be a marquee win, right?

AD
AD