Screen Plays: Today's top college football games on TV
- November 3, 2012 - 12:08 AM
NO. 1 ALABAMA AT NO. 5 LSU
7 p.m. on Ch. 4
Records: Alabama 8-0, 5-0 SEC; LSU 7-1, 3-1
The skinny: In what has become the norm this series, the winner lands an inside track to the Southeastern Conference championship game and a prime shot at the BCS title game. Alabama still made it to the final game a year ago despite losing to LSU during the regular season, and then routed the Tigers in New Orleans to finish No. 1. The Crimson Tide might be in position to pull off a similar feat if it loses Saturday, though public opinion would be strongly against two consecutive do-overs. LSU definitely has no room for error, having already lost to Florida.
The stat: Expect a lot of defense. The teams combined for only one touchdown (by Alabama in the BCS Championship Game) in two meetings last season.
Line: Alabama by 9
NO. 2 OREGON AT NO. 18 SOUTHERN CAL
6 p.m. on Ch. 9
Records: Oregon 8-0, 5-0 Pac-12; USC 6-2, 4-2
The skinny: Oregon brings its 12-game winning streak and three consecutive conference championships to Southern California, which hasn't lived up to its preseason hype. The Ducks begin a tough November schedule at the Coliseum. ... The onus will be on Oregon CBs Terrance Mitchell and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu in a matchup against USC WRs Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. The Trojans' dynamic receiving duo combined for 15 catches and 240 yards during USC's victory at Eugene last year, and they've been just as good this season, capped by Lee's 16-catch, 345-yard effort last week in a loss to Arizona.
The stat: Oregon has won 12 consecutive road games since Nov. 7, 2009, and has lost only one conference road game under coach Chip Kelly.
Line: Oregon by 8 1/2
NO. 16 TEXAS A&M AT NO. 17 MISSISSIPPI STATE
11 a.m. on ESPN
Records: Texas A&M 6-2, 3-2 SEC; Mississippi State 7-1, 3-1
The skinny: Texas A&M is trying to continue its successful first season in the Southeastern Conference. The Aggies are putting up big offensive numbers, averaging more than 45 points per game. Mississippi State wants to bounce back from its first loss of the season -- a 38-7 setback against No. 1 Alabama. ... An intriguing matchup will be Aggies QB Johnny Manziel, whose 376.1 yards of total offense per game leads the SEC, against a Bulldogs secondary that has intercepted 12 passes.
The stat: The Aggies have scored first in 13 consecutive games dating to last season.
Line: Texas A&M by 7
NO. 21 NEBRASKA AT MICHIGAN STATE
2:30 p.m. on Ch. 5
Records: Nebraska 6-2, 3-1 Big Ten; Michigan State 5-4, 2-3
The skinny: The Cornhuskers took the inside track to a spot in the Big Ten title game by beating Michigan, but they could give it away just as easily by losing to the Spartans. Michigan State has had a disappointing season but is coming off a victory over Wisconsin and is certainly capable of a big victory at home this weekend. ... Nebraska's dynamic QB Taylor Martinez faces a Spartans team that is No. 1 in the Big Ten in total defense.
The stat: Michigan State's three Big Ten losses this season have been by a combined six points.
Line: Michigan State by 1 1/2
PITTSBURGH AT NO. 4 NOTRE DAME
2:30 p.m. on Ch. 11
Records: Pittsburgh 4-4, Notre Dame 8-0
The skinny: The Fighting Irish are hoping to keep alive the chance of winning their first national championship since 1988. A victory over Pittsburgh would make Notre Dame 9-0 for the first time since 1993. The Panthers are seeking their biggest upset since beating No. 1 West Virginia 13-9 in 2007 to knock the Mountaineers out of the national championship game. ... Pittsburgh has won two of the past three games at Notre Dame Stadium.
The stat: Six of Notre Dame's opponents have scored more than 40 points the week before playing the Irish; none has scored more than 17 against the Irish. Pitt had 47 against Temple last week.
Line: Notre Dame by 17
OKLAHOMA STATE AT NO. 3 KANSAS STATE
7 p.m. on Ch. 5
Records: Oklahoma State 5-2, 3-1 Big 12; Kansas State 8-0, 5-0
The skinny: Everything is at stake for the third-ranked Wildcats. They moved up to No. 2 in the BCS standings, but unbeaten Notre Dame and Oregon are close behind. Kansas State also leads the Big 12, but the Cowboys can pull into a tie for first place with an upset victory. ... The game also carries big weight for Wildcats QB Collin Klein, the Heisman Trophy front-runner who has passed for more than 550 yards the past two weeks.
The stat: Kansas State hasn't beaten Oklahoma State since 2006, and the Cowboys are 17-14 all-time in Manhattan.
Line: Kansas State by 9
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