Saturday Meal Plan: Your Week 9 TV Viewer's Guide

The Saturday Meal Plan fills you in on what to watch, when to watch and where to watch every Saturday during the college football season.

I'm not going to lie to you. After some of the matchups we've seen in recent weeks, the schedule for this Saturday is a bit light.

The fact of the matter is that if you want to sleep in this week, I'm giving you the green light. There aren't any really interesting games until the afternoon, and even those games leave something to be desired.

All that said, I often find that the Saturdays when you don't expect a lot to happen are when things go off the rails.


Wake Forest at No. 7 Miami -- ESPNU, Noon (All times Eastern)

You might think this is a game in which Miami will roll easily, but it's important to remember last week when Stephen Morris decided he just wanted to start throwing interception after interception in a touching tribute to former Cane Jacory Harris. You should also remember that Miami gets the Seminoles next week, and there's a chance they could get caught looking ahead.

No. 20 Louisville at South Florida -- ESPN2, Noon

Louisville's slim national title hopes came to an end last week, but it's not entirely eliminated from a conference title and a BCS bowl berth. It just can't afford to screw up again. And make no mistake, losing to this South Florida team would be screwing up.

No. 24 Nebraska at Minnesota -- ESPN, Noon

Nebraska's been flying under the radar a bit in recent weeks, as it was largely written off after losing to UCLA at home. However, this is a team that could still find itself playing for a Big Ten title come December, and I'm guessing it'll be ranked a bit higher than No. 24 come the end of the season.

Houston at Rutgers -- ESPN News, Noon

The American Athletic Conference is keeping the Big East tradition of having roughly 40 teams in contention for the conference title alive into the second half of the season. Both of these teams still have a shot at a BCS berth, though the loser of this game will be at a real disadvantage.

Northwestern at Iowa -- Big Ten Network, Noon

I cannot stress enough how boring it is to watch the Northwestern offense without Kain Colter and Venric Mark playing. Thankfully Colter will be back this week, because if not the combination of Northwestern's offense with Iowa's offense could set civilization back generations.

Pittsburgh at Navy -- CBS Sports Network, 1 p.m.

I'm always a sucker for the triple option, so I'll probably be flipping over to this game a bit on Saturday morning.


Tennessee at No. 1 Alabama -- CBS, 3:30 p.m.

We've had some fantastic games on CBS this season, with both Vanderbilt-Georgia and Texas A&M-Auburn last week. Will this game follow that same dramatic formula? Alabama is heavily-favored but Tennessee has looked good in recent weeks. The only thing I know is that if it is an Alabama blowout Tide fans better stay in their seats or else they're going to make Saban mad.

North Carolina State at No. 2 Florida State -- ABC/ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.

It's easy to think Florida State is going to blow out the Wolfpack given the way the Seminoles have played in their last two games, but don't be so sure. The last four times an unranked N.C. State team has played a ranked Florida State team it's been the Wolfpack that's won the game. The latest example took place just last season. 

Michigan State at Illinois -- ABC/ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.

What does Michigan State have to do to get ranked? It's 6-1 on the season and has one of the best defenses in the nation. I know the Big Ten is down this season, but don't hold that against the Spartans. Unfortunately for Sparty, I'm not sure how a win over Illinois will change anybody's mind.

No. 9 Clemson at Maryland -- ESPN, 3:30 p.m.

There were four Maryland players injured while I typed this sentence. Seriously, this is a battle of a team licking its wounds against a team that wishes the only thing it had was wounds. Personally I wouldn't expect this one to be a contest for much more than a half, if even that much.

No. 10 Texas Tech at No. 15 Oklahoma -- Fox, 3:30 p.m.

I'm actually very interested in this game because even though it's undefeated, I just don't have an idea of how good Texas Tech actually is. I think we'll get a better idea in this game because, even with the Sooners looking less than impressive in their last two games, it's not easy to go in to Norman and knock them off. If Texas Tech does, well, it's time to start taking the Red Raiders seriously.

Duke at No. 14 Virginia Tech -- ESPNU, 3:30 p.m.

Did you realize that Duke is already 5-2? I don't know how the season will finish, but David Cutcliffe has been a magician for that program. And he'll need a lot of those tricks this weekend against one of the best defenses in the country in Virginia Tech.

West Virginia at <span data-shortcode= State" data-canon="Kansas Jayhawks" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> -- Fox Sports 1, 3:45 p.m.

This is one of those games that just looks so entirely boring that it will probably be a shootout featuring 100 points. 

Utah at Southern <span data-shortcode=" data-canon="California Golden Bears" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> -- Pac-12 Network, 4 p.m.

While this game doesn't have any kind of impact on the Pac-12 South, it does involve two teams who could really use a win here if they want to go bowling this season. 

Notre Dame at Air Force, CBS Sports Network, 5 p.m.

Air Force has been bad this season, but as we saw last week, should Tommy Rees get banged up and have to leave this game, Notre Dame can look really bad as well. Also, the Irish are without Louis Nix at defensive tackle, so there's a slight chance this game could get interesting.


No. 12 UCLA at No. 3 Oregon -- ESPN, 7 p.m.

This game has a chance to be good, but it looked a lot better a few weeks ago before UCLA started losing a lot of players to injury. Maybe we're in for a shock, here, but I'm expecting Oregon to run away with another one in Eugene.

No. 21 South Carolina at No. 5 Missouri -- ESPN2, 7 p.m.

You keep thinking Missouri is going to lose, but Missouri just keeps on winning. Now the Tigers are in a position where they can essentially wrap up the SEC East race with a win over the Gamecocks at home on Saturday night. These are things that are actually happening. 

No. 8 Baylor at Kansas -- ESPNU, 7 p.m.

So. Much. Blood.

Texas at TCU -- Fox Sports 1, 7:30 p.m.

All the points in this game will be scored by Baylor against Kansas. 

Penn State at No. 4 Ohio State -- ABC, 8 p.m.

Ohio State has won it's last 19 games, but it seems like nobody really thinks this team is all that good. Part of that is due to the fact that the Buckeyes just don't blow anybody out. And if Ohio State wanted to change that perception, doing so on national television in primetime would probably be a good chance to do so. 


No. 6 Stanford at No. 25 Oregon State -- ESPN, 10:30 p.m.

This game is starting late for most of the country, but it's worth staying up for. In fact, it might just be the best game of the day. I know Oregon State is only ranked No. 25 and lost to Eastern Washington to start this season, but this team is a lot better than most people think. We could see an upset in Corvallis.

No. 17 Fresno State at San Diego State -- ESPN2, 10:30 p.m.

Fresno State is the non-AQ school most likely to crash the BCS party in January, so you might as well get acquainted with them now. 

California at Washington -- Fox Sports 1, 11 p.m.

Washington had been bruised and battered in recent weeks, and man does it need a win right now.  Luckily it has Cal on the schedule next.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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