Saturday’s college football games on TV

Noon South Carolina vs. Tennessee ESPN
Noon Northwestern vs. Iowa ESPN2
Noon Missouri vs. Kentucky ESPNU
Noon Pittsburgh vs. Temple MASN
Noon Army vs. Ball State CBS Sports Network
Noon Illinois vs. Indiana Big Ten Network
Noon Old Dominion vs. Delaware NBC Sports Network
Noon Kansas vs. Texas WDCA-20
Noon Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois pay-per-view
12:20 Arkansas vs. Mississippi WDCW-50
12:30 North Carolina vs. N.C. State WTTG-5, WJZ-13

It’s an early slate as bleak as the weather forecast, so perhaps this would be a good time to tie down your house, grill, pet, etc. If you absolutely must watch, you could check out South Carolina-Tennessee to see if the Gamecocks can turn things around after two straight losses, and to see if Volunteers Coach Derek Dooley can douse the flames on his hot seat. Dooley gave Tennessee its first top 25 ranking since 2008 this season, then promptly lost four of his next five games (the only win was over Akron). South Carolina, ranked 17th, will be the Vols’ fifth ranked opponent in their last six games, and Tennessee’s last four games are winnable, but Dooley is in dire need of a win. . . .

North Carolina State has beaten North Carolina five straight times. To reverse the trend, the Tar Heels’ coaches put Wolfpack memorabilia and photos in the locker room this week.

3 Arizona State vs. UCLAFX
3 Georgia Tech vs. Brigham Young pay-per-view
3:30 East Carolina vs. Navy Fox College Sports Atlantic
3:30 Georgia vs. Florida WUSA-9, WJZ-13
3:30 Kansas State vs. Texas Tech WTTG-5, WBFF-45
3:30 Arizona vs. USC WJLA-7, WMAR-2
3:30 Wisconsin vs. Michigan State ESPN2
3:30 Florida State vs. Duke ESPNU
3:30 Rutgers vs. Kent State MASN
3:30 Coastal Carolina vs. Liberty MASN2
3:30 Villanova vs. Towson Comcast SportsNet
3:30 Oklahoma State vs. TCU WDCA-20
3:30 Wyoming vs. Boise State CBS Sports Network
3:30 Minnesota vs. Purdue Big Ten Network
3:30 Miami (Ohio) vs. Ohio pay-per-view
3:30 Bowling Green vs. Eastern Michigan pay-per-view
5:30 Penn State vs. Ohio State ESPN

As Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer pointed out this week, the Penn State-Ohio State matchup will have different coaches for the third straight season. In 2010, it was Joe Paterno vs. Jim Tressel. Last season, the teams were led by interim coaches Tom Bradley and Luke Fickell. Now Bill O’Brien and Urban Meyer have taken control and have both teams playing well. Neither team is eligible for the postseason and the rest of the Big Ten is mediocre, so let’s just call this the unofficial Big Ten title game.

7 Auburn vs. Texas A&MESPNU
7 Vanderbilt vs. Massachusetts pay-per-view
8 Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame WJLA-7, WMAR-2
8 Nebraska vs. Michigan ESPN2
8 Marshall vs. Central Florida CBS Sports Network
8 New Mexico State vs. Louisiana Tech pay-per-view
8:30 Alabama vs. Mississippi State ESPN

Since its 24-19 loss to Kansas State on Sept. 22, Oklahoma has put up 41 points on Texas Tech (which has held five of its seven opponents this season to 14 points or less), 63 points on Texas and 52 points on Kansas. Notre Dame, meanwhile, has topped 20 points just twice this season, and one of those was in the season opener against a Navy team that clearly didn’t have things together yet. Notre Dame’s defense is strong, allowing just 9.4 points (second nationally) and 280.71 yards (sixth nationally) per game, but Oklahoma’s first-string defense has allowed just one offensive touchdown over its last four games. So who knows what will happen when Notre Dame visits Oklahoma for the first time since 1966. . . .

Mississippi State (7-0) is off to its best start since 1999 and has won nine straight games dating from last season, the third-longest streak in the nation. The team with the longest streak: Defending BCS champion and top-ranked Alabama, which hosts the resurgent 13th-ranked Bulldogs on Saturday night.

— Matt Bonesteel