Saturdays like this one are why college football is the greatest sport on earth. There's a wealth of impactful games, some games that will surely be fun, and some that will just be outright silly. But how can you filter out the watchable from the unwatchable, the wheat from the chaff, the decent from the indecent? (OK, that sentence got away from me a bit.) I'll tell you how: I'll break down the very best matchups for you, giving my inner fan's opinion on what you should place on your big screen TV, what you should watch on your second screen - say a phone, an iPad, or even another companion TV if you're SUPER hardcore - and what you should keep an eye on.
Please note the two usual disclaimers that if your team is playing then obviously that game gets the Big Screen and I am a disrespectin' fool for refusing to put them there, and that all times below are in God's Time (CST). We begin with...
Big Screen: So the big games this week don't get started until the afternoon. Still, this early slate is just plain ol' fine, and the best of the bunch is Texas A&M vs. Auburn (11a, ESPN). Yes, neither has a shot of winning the SEC West and both have discernable flaws, but both also have notable strengths. Matchups involving such clearly defined teams often end up being the most fun, and this one has bowl game stakes!
Second Screen: I agonized over what to put here and ultimately came down on the side of Michigan State vs. Maryland (11a, ESPN2), and not only because I just selected an SEC game and picking two of those for both of your screens somehow feels wrong. Michigan State has been predictably medium-to-good for most of the year, certainly not the class of their division but knocking at the door. And lest we forget, Maryland knocked off Texas this year and otherwise beat the squads they were supposed to beat. Again, two very similar teams - we might be in for some fun.
Watch the Score: South Carolina vs. Ole Miss (11a, SECN), Oklahoma State vs. Baylor (11a, FS1)
Big Screen: This is the single most loaded afternoon block of football I have ever seen, but I think there is a clear Best Game: Georgia vs. Kentucky (2:30p, CBS). I see all the Michigan and Penn State fans pulling out their stabbin' knives, so let me explain. Kentucky is still the where-did-they-come-from team of the season, with a solitary OT loss to Texas A&M. Dominant Georgia has only one loss (to LSU). With weak games left on their schedules, this game is probably for the SEC East and a clear shot at the CFB Playoff - if the winner can manage to beat fearsome Bama.
Second Screen: Here you are, Penn State vs. Michigan (2:45p, ESPN)! I almost put a matchup here that may determine the Big 12 title IMO (and you should keep a VERY close eye on that game; see below), but the Big 10's darlings juuuuuuuust squeak past. Michigan has been taking names this year, and Penn State is still quite good. No clear favorite means likely chaos, which is fun!
Watch the Score: West Virginia vs. Texas (2:30p, FOX), Missouri vs. Florida (3p, SECN), Utah vs. Arizona State (3p, PAC12N), Iowa vs. Purdue (2:30p, ESPN2)
Big Screen: This is a complete no-brainer. Alabama vs. LSU (7p, CBS) is the game of the season, let alone this week. It probably determines the SEC West champion (and if we're being honest, the SEC champion) - which means clear access to the Playoff. Even though Bama has obliterated every squad they've faced this season, if we know anything from years past, the Tide are occasionally allergic to Tigers. And this game is in Death Valley. I am so pumped for this game, and I hope you are too.
Second Screen: Look, Notre Dame should have a hard fight against a ready and raring Northwestern, but Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech (7p, ABC) is going to have SO MANY FREAKING POINTS. Oklahoma is still the clear media favorite in the Big 12 (and thus Playoff) race, while the Red Raiders are the zoomiest and wackiest offense in a conference chock full of them. This game will either get out of hand very quickly because Tech can't play defense, or will become a shootout because neither can the Sooners.
Watch the Score: Notre Dame vs. Northwestern (6:15p, ESPN), Stanford vs. Washington (8p, PAC12N)
Big Screen: As usual, only one good game here: Cal vs. Washington State (9:45p, ESPN). Doze off to the sounds of Mike Leach shaving the poor mediocre Cal Bears bald. And now you have that image in your head forever.
This Saturday follow me on Twitter here, where I'll tweet about all these games using #WatchingCFB. Feel free to chime in with your hottest football takes. Have a glorious weekend!