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Afternoon / Primetime schedule, viewers guide, why-to-watch, and open thread

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Roll Tide and good afternoon. Here’s the thread to ease you into the night and our exclusive game posts.

We covered some of your afternoon and early-primetime matchups this morning. Among them, Wake Forest hosting Florida State, Indiana at Penn State, and the big SEC tilt between Georgia and Tennessee. Here are some more to keep an eye on this afternoon and evening:

Eastern Michigan at Kentucky -14 (4:00 EST):

The past two seasons the Eagles have rebounded better than any team not named Colorado. If Kentucky let’s last week’s disappointment linger, EMU can take advantage of that on the road.

Arizona State at Stanford -17.5 (4:00 EST)

Is ASU the team that lost to San Diego State or the one who dethroned undefeated Oregon last week? Is Stanford the team that got smoked by USC or the one who rebounded with a really nice win last week demolishing the Bruins? Two .500 teams look to find themselves today.

Iowa at Michigan State - 3.5 (4:00 EST)

Both of these teams are 3-1. Sparty was picked apart by Notre Dame last week, while Iowa was outplayed most of the night and still let a victory slip between their fingers. Like Stanford-ASU and Auburn-State (below,) we find out what the real version of both teams looks like today.

Mississippi State at Auburn -9 (6:00 EST)

Two intriguing teams sporting 3-1 records, with MSU desperately needing a win to keep pace in the SEC. State has the better resume; Auburn the better moral victory (but, don’t they always.) The Bulldogs secondary was exposed last week by the better Bulldogs, but can a sub-par Auburn offense make big plays at home to take advantage of it? Can Nick Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams crack an Auburn defense that is giving up just 3.1 yards per play (best in the SEC)?

Troy at LSU -20.5 (7:00 EST)

Admit it: more than a little part of you would love to see LSU get rolled by the Trojans. The upside? There’s a puncher’s chance. Guice is out; Orgeron is now committed to a two-QB system; the DL still has injuries; the OL is still a hot mess. Can the Sun Belt get a huge pelt?

Memphis at UCF -5.5 (7:00 EST)

Two of the best offenses in the country, led by two of the hottest young coaches in the country. Fireworks aplenty will be had as the 3-0 Tigers travel to the 3-0 Knights. The winner has the inside track on the AAC title and a shot at a big-money New Year’s Six bowl. As we said last night of Wazzu-USC and repeat here: On paper this could be one of the games of the year.

Clemson at Virginia Tech +7 (8:00 EST)

Biggest game of the day without a doubt. Two Top-15 teams with the loser falling behind their ACC peers and letting the door open to some other one-loss teams for playoff consideration. Slow starts and redzone woes have plagued the Tigers, but the defense is something special. The Hokies can score on anyone, but the defense can give up points in handfuls. Like the Tigers, this is another slow starting team. Definitely keep an eye on this game. Are the Hokies back? Were the last two years a Deshaun Watson-led-aberration for Dabo?

South Carolina at Texas A&M -8 (8:00 EST)

Strictly keep-an-eye-on kind of game. With all the injuries the Gamecocks have suffered, the Ags should be able to put this away early. If they stumble at home, the rumblings for Sumlin’s job begin anew, despite the 3-1 record they bring into this game. A road win here would be tremendous for the Gamecocks, down their best playmaker on either side of the ball.

Oklahoma State at Texas Tech +15 (8:00 EST)

Don’t look now, but the Red Raiders are undefeated. The defense is the best its been in the Kliff era, while the offense is the same high octane unit we’re accustomed to. Okie Lite is coming off a game where TCU’s defense absolutely bullied them and the secondary was helpless. Can the Pokes rebound in a tough road matchup? Like Memphis-UCF, pray for the scoreboard operator -- this one is probably going in the 50s on each side. A win here would be the biggest of Kingsbury’s tenure since momma called him back. A loss by Gundy would get the boobirds out again and, rightly, have critics decrying wasted talent and another wasted season.

Here’s the schedule, all times Eastern.

2017 College Football Schedule -

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Northwestern at #10 Wisconsin 12:00 PM ABC
#18 South Florida at East Carolina 12:00 PM CBSSN
Vanderbilt at #21 Florida 12:00 PM ESPN
Houston at Temple 12:00 PM ESPNU
New Mexico State at Arkansas 12:00 PM SEC Network
Maryland at Minnesota 12:00 PM FS1
Rice at Pittsburgh 12:00 PM ACC Network
North Carolina at Georgia Tech 12:00 PM ESPN2
Syracuse at NC State 12:20 PM ACC Network
Central Michigan at Boston College 1:00 PM ACC Network
Indiana at #4 Penn State 3:30 PM BTN
#7 Georgia at Tennessee 3:30 PM CBS
Murray State at #17 Louisville 3:30 PM ACC Network
Florida State at Wake Forest 3:30 PM ABC
Ohio at UMass 3:30 PM NESN
Baylor at Kansas State 3:30 PM ESPN2
UTEP at Army 3:30 PM CBSSN
Navy at Tulsa 3:30 PM ESPNU
Buffalo at Kent State 3:30 PM None
Texas State at Wyoming 4:00 PM None Facebook
Connecticut at SMU 4:00 PM ESPNEWS
Arizona State at Stanford 4:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
Eastern Michigan at Kentucky 4:00 PM SEC Network
Iowa at Michigan State 4:00 PM FOX
Miami (OH) at #22 Notre Dame 5:00 PM NBCSN
#24 Mississippi State at #13 Auburn 6:00 PM ESPN
Akron at Bowling Green 6:00 PM None
Troy at #25 LSU 7:00 PM ESPNU
Charlotte at Florida Intl 7:00 PM BeIN Sports None
Middle Tennessee at Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM WTCN
South Alabama at Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM Local TV
Marshall at Cincinnati 7:00 PM None
North Texas at Southern Mississippi 7:00 PM None
Ball State at Western Michigan 7:00 PM None
Coastal Carolina at Louisiana Monroe 7:00 PM None
Air Force at New Mexico 7:00 PM CBSSN
Memphis at UCF 7:00 PM ESPN2
#11 Ohio State at Rutgers 7:30 PM BTN
South Carolina at Texas A&M 7:30 PM SEC Network
#2 Clemson at #12 Virginia Tech 8:00 PM ABC
#6 Washington at Oregon State 8:00 PM Pac-12 Networks
#15 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech 8:00 PM FOX
Ole Miss at #1 Alabama 9:00 PM ESPN
Nevada at Fresno State 10:00 PM AT&T Sportsnet
Northern Illinois at #19 San Diego State 10:30 PM CBSSN
San José State at UNLV 10:30 PM ESPNU
Colorado at UCLA 10:30 PM ESPN2
California at Oregon 10:30 PM FS1
Colorado State at Hawai'i 11:59 PM Spectrum Sports Stadium iOS app
Joe Piechowski, Bruins Nation