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WAKE UP: Week 6 Schedule, viewing guide, why-to-watch and morning open thread

Vanderbilt v Georgia
Anyone else finding that Kirby Smart became very hateable, very quickly?
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Today is the midpoint of the regular season, and, with conference play in full swing, a handful of critical games dot the SEC schedule. The most competitive games are this afternoon and evening. But, for fans of scrappy underdogs catching ranked teams slipping, this morning could give you what you need -- either that, or it will be a morning full of blowouts. You’ll know by lunchtime whether you can grab that second nap.

Below is the broadcast schedule for Week 6. College Gameday is in Fort Worth for the TCU-West Virginia Game (more on that during our afternoon thread.)

Here’s what we’re keeping an eye on this morning:

Wake Forest at Clemson (-21.5) 12:00 EST

One of the knocks on Dabo’s teams is that they lose focus throughout the season, playing flat or dropping games to competitive teams that, on paper, they should easily handle. Enter a well-coached Wake Forest team that sits at a quiet 4-1, and has played good ball all season. Clemson shouldn’t lose this one -- probably will not — but it could be a nail-biter if pre-Playoff Dabo shows up and the Tigers sleepwalk. If I were a betting man, I’d peg this as my most likely upset...and that’s not saying much.

Georgia at Vanderbilt (+14) 12:00 EST

Everything we said about Clemson? Apply that to Georgia. Six games into his second season as head man, Kirby Smart’s teams may be shedding that maddening inconsistency that plagues the Bulldogs historically and afflicted UGA in his first year at the helm. Again, UGA should blow the ‘Dores off the field, but with Florida looming, the early road kick off, and having already dispatched Tennessee and Notre Dame, this could be an opportunity for Vandy to catch the ‘Dawgs napping.

Ole Miss at Auburn (-22.5) 12:00 EST

Gus Malzahn may have his weaknesses as a coach; underperforming against conference patsies or playing like crap at home aren’t generally among them. Auburn should do filthy things to the Rebels this morning. But, the game is interesting for a few reasons. 1. It’s a handy point of reference for transitive property football -- how bad is Ole Miss? How good is Auburn? How good is Alabama? And, 2. specifically, how good is an Auburn secondary that has been protected a great deal by the Tigers’ defensive front? I get the feeling that, per usual, Gus’ team is hitting its stride. Today will either inform that opinion or contradict it (if Ole Miss can pull off a momentous upset.)

Penn State at Northwestern (+14) 12:00 EST

Northwestern has to classify as a disappointment. Mentioned by many as a contender for the Big 12 West, the Wildcats sit at .500 on the season and are already 0-1 in conference play. There are some encouraging signs, however. First, NU is undefeated at home. Second, after getting whacked by Duke early in September, the Wildcats are playing much better football. Penn State? Well, you know this offensive juggernaut. But, you also know James Franklin’s history, especially playing on the road: everything we said about Clemson and Georgia applies here. Can the Wildcats catch an unprepared, flat Lions team and spring an upset?

2017 College Football Schedule, Week

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Wake Forest at #2 Clemson 12:00 PM ESPN2
Iowa State at #3 Oklahoma 12:00 PM FOX
#4 Penn State at Northwestern 12:00 PM ABC
#5 Georgia at Vanderbilt 12:00 PM ESPN
Ole Miss at #12 Auburn 12:00 PM SEC Network
Temple at East Carolina 12:00 PM ESPNU
Eastern Michigan at Toledo 12:00 PM CBSSN
Illinois at Iowa 12:00 PM BTN
Texas Tech at Kansas 12:00 PM FS1
Duke at Virginia 12:20 PM ACC Network
Pittsburgh at Syracuse 12:30 PM ACC Network
Central Michigan at Ohio 2:00 PM None
Bowling Green at Miami (OH) 2:30 PM None
Louisiana Monroe at Texas State 3:00 PM None
Florida Intl at Middle Tennessee 3:00 PM None
#23 West Virginia at #8 TCU 3:30 PM FS1
#13 Miami at Florida State 3:30 PM ESPN
#21 Notre Dame at North Carolina 3:30 PM ABC
LSU at #21 Florida 3:30 PM CBS
Minnesota at Purdue 3:30 PM ESPN2
New Mexico State at Appalachian State 3:30 PM None
Ball State at Akron 3:30 PM None
Air Force at Navy 3:30 PM CBSSN
Kent State at Northern Illinois 3:30 PM None
Western Michigan at Buffalo 3:30 PM None
Charleston Southern at Indiana 3:30 PM BTN
Maryland at #10 Ohio State 4:00 PM FOX
Oregon State at #14 USC 4:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
Tulsa at Tulane 4:00 PM ESPNU
Arkansas at South Carolina 4:00 PM SEC Network
Louisiana Tech at UAB 4:00 PM None
Colorado State at Utah State 4:30 PM AT&T SportsNet None
Louisiana at Idaho 5:00 PM None
Marshall at Charlotte 6:00 PM WCCB None
Florida Atlantic at Old Dominion 6:00 PM WTVZ
Army at Rice 6:30 PM beIN Sports None
Georgia State at Coastal Carolina 6:30 PM None
SMU at Houston 7:00 PM CBSSN
Kansas State at Texas 7:00 PM FS1
Southern Mississippi at UT San Antonio 7:00 PM KMYS Facebook
#1 Alabama at Texas A&M 7:15 PM ESPN
#16 Virginia Tech at Boston College 7:15 PM ESPN2
Michigan State at #7 Michigan 7:30 PM ABC
Missouri at Kentucky 7:30 PM SEC Network
Fresno State at San José State 7:30 PM None
#9 Wisconsin at Nebraska 8:00 PM BTN
#11 Washington State at Oregon 8:00 PM FOX
#25 UCF at Cincinnati 8:00 PM ESPNU
Western Kentucky at UTEP 8:00 PM None
Arizona at Colorado 8:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
Stanford at #20 Utah 10:15 PM FS1
Hawai'i at Nevada 10:30 PM CBSSN
California at #6 Washington 10:45 PM ESPN
#19 San Diego State at UNLV 10:45 PM ESPN2
Joe Piechowski, Bruins Nation