Iowa Football

College football TV guide: Week 9 schedule, top games to watch

Iowa defensive end Parker Hesse (40) celebrates his quarterback sack with linebacker Kristian Welch (34) last Saturday against Maryland at Kinnick Stadium. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa defensive end Parker Hesse (40) celebrates his quarterback sack with linebacker Kristian Welch (34) last Saturday against Maryland at Kinnick Stadium. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Ahead of Tuesday night’s release of the first edition of this year’s College Football Playoff rankings, there aren’t a lot of marquee matchups this weekend. That will happen when three of the top five teams — No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 LSU and No. 5 Michigan — in the coaches poll are idle.

Here’s the college football TV guide for Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. All times central.

Early window

The last two weeks have seen the No. 2 team in the country go down — and fall hard. Two weeks ago, it was Georgia suffering a 36-16 defeat to LSU. Last week, Ohio State imploded 49-20 at Purdue.

Florida State (4-3, 2-3) got off to a rough start but has won three of its last four and will try to make Clemson (7-0, 4-0) the latest second-ranked casualty Saturday in Tallahassee (11 a.m., ABC).

In Evanston is a pivotal game in the Big Ten West race as Northwestern (4-3, 4-1) tries to prove it’s a better team than the one that barely scraped past Nebraska and Rutgers the last two weeks. The Wildcats host Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1), which could be without starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook (11 a.m., Fox).

Iowa State (3-3, 2-2) returns from its bye week to take on Texas Tech (5-2, 3-1) in Ames (11 a.m., ESPN2). Here’s a breakdown of that game.

11 a.m. games

No. 2 Clemson at Florida State, ABC

No. 19 Wisconsin at Northwestern, Fox

Purdue at Michigan State, ESPN

Bethune-Cookman at Nebraska, BTN

Texas Tech at Iowa State, ESPN2

Massachusetts at Connecticut, ESPNU

Army at Eastern Michigan, CBSSN

North Carolina at Virginia, KCRG 9.2 (11:20 a.m.)

Afternoon window

Most every special season for Iowa football under Kirk Ferentz has featured a signature win over Penn State, other than 2015, when the teams didn’t meet. The Hawkeyes (6-1, 3-1) are riding a three-game win streak into Happy Valley for a top-20 matchup against the Nittany Lions (5-2, 2-2) hoping to follow the pattern set by those other teams (2:30 p.m., ESPN). Here’s a breakdown of the game.

It looks to be a rainy day in Pennsylvania, but there should be plenty of sunshine in Jacksonville for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party as Florida (6-1, 4-1) and Georgia (6-1, 4-1) clash in a meeting of ranked SEC teams (2:30 p.m., CBS). And in Texas, All-American defensive lineman Ed Oliver and Houston (6-1, 3-0) hope to derail South Florida’s (7-0, 3-0) unbeaten season (2:30 p.m., ESPN2).

2:30 p.m. games

Texas Christian at Kansas, FS1 (2 p.m.)

No. 11 Florida vs. No. 6 Georgia CBS

Arizona State at Southern California, ABC

No. 18 Iowa at No. 16 Penn State, ESPN

No. 20 South Florida at Houston, ESPN2

Kansas State at No. 8 Oklahoma, Fox

Illinois at Maryland, BTN

Northern Illinois at Brigham Young, ESPNU

Cincinnati at Southern Methodist, CBSSN

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Primetime window

Texas’ (6-1, 4-0) return to prominence has reached a seven-game win streak following the Longhorns’ season-opening loss to Maryland. The latest test is a night game at an unsteady Oklahoma State (4-3, 1-3) team (7 p.m, ABC).

6 p.m. games

No. 13 Washington at California, FS1 (5:30 p.m.)

No. 17 Texas A&M at Mississippi State, ESPN

No. 22 North Carolina State at Syracuse, ESPN2

Boise State at Air Force, CBSSN

Tulane at Tulsa, ESPNU

7 p.m. games

No. 3 Notre Dame vs. Navy, NBC

No. 7 Texas at Oklahoma State, ABC

Late night window

After nearly completing an epic comeback in which it trailed Washington State 27-0 and rallied to within 27-20 but fell 34-20 on the day of College GameDay’s first trip to Pullman, Wash., Oregon (5-2, 2-2) fell 10 spots to No. 21 in the coaches poll and now faces Arizona (3-5, 2-3) in the on the road (9:30 p.m., ESPN).

9:30 p.m. games

No. 21 Oregon at Arizona, ESPN

Hawaii at Fresno State, ESPN2

San Diego State at Nevada, ESPNU

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