There’s no nice way to say it — this week is a dud for college football.
It may have looked much better earlier this year, but with some of the sport’s most well-known programs falling off, only a handful of games remain worth your TV time.
Here are the games to keep an eye on this weekend:
TCU at No. 17 Baylor
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Fox
This is one of those games that looked much better at the beginning of the season. Two years ago, the Horned Frogs suffered their only loss of the season in Waco on a last-second field goal by Baylor, falling 61-58 in an instant classic. Last season, the Revivalry was played in near-freezing temperatures and pouring rain, leading to another classic with the Frogs winning in double overtime. Neither team is at the same level this season, but the hate between these two programs is always strong.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 14 LSU
Saturday, 8 p.m., CBS
It’s been 411 days since Alabama last lost a football game. In those 411 days, LSU has five losses. The rough stretch for the Tigers cost Les Miles his job earlier this season, and yet, LSU remains in the top 15 with a chance at an SEC West title. With a bye week to prepare, interim coach Ed Orgeron should have his team prepared to defend home field. But there’s a reason it’s been 411 days since Alabama lost, and Nick Saban isn’t ready for that streak to end.
No. 10 Nebraska at No. 6 Ohio State
Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC
Ohio State may not be undefeated after a loss to Penn State a few weeks back, but the Buckeyes’ conference and national championship hopes remain alive. That’s not too surprising given OSU’s place in college football since Urban Meyer arrived. The real surprise is that Nebraska is likely in the same boat. The Cornhuskers have one loss, by six points at Wisconsin, and may have an easier path to the playoff. A win at Ohio State would be the résumé builder the Huskers need, plus it would all but lock up the Big Ten West with three relatively easy games still to go.
No. 5 Washington at California
Saturday, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
The College Football Playoff selection committee sent a message to Washington this week, placing one-loss Texas A&M in the top four while leaving the unbeaten Huskies on the outside looking in. Washington’s toughest games are already behind them, so secondary factors such as game control will start to become key. That means it’s time for the Huskies to get mean and start blowing out the competition. The Huskies already score the fourth-most points in college football (46.1 per game), so we’ll see how far they push it in the coming weeks.