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Week 8 college football TV schedule and open thread

Here’s what to watch on a day when the Gators don’t play.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Northwestern Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators aren’t playing today. They have a bye week before their annual Jacksonville showdown with Georgia. So, the good news is that Florida can’t lose today, but the bad news is that you won’t be able to see the Gators play. (I stand by that being bad news, despite some sorrowful folks’ opinions about watching their team take the field.)

There is a little bit of everything in the schedule today - rivalries, conference bouts, and two ranked-on-ranked night games. Feel free to hang out in this thread while watching any of today’s games.

Here are our picks for today’s viewing windows:

Early (12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Eastern)

Louisville at Florida State (12:00 p.m., ESPN/WatchESPN): Last year this one was quite amusing for Gator fans, but will it be this year? Neither of these teams has lived up to their preseason hype, having each already picked up three losses at the midway point of the season. We’ll see which team gets a much needed win this afternoon.

Oklahoma State at Texas (12:00 p.m., ABC/WatchESPN): The No. 10 Cowboys travel to Austin for a date with the Longhorns, who are fresh off a fight with another team from the Sooner State. 5-1 OSU has one loss in the ever self-cannibalizing Big 12, to TCU, and hopes to keep their conference title hopes intact.

Maryland at Wisconsin (12:00 p.m., FOX): The No. 5 Badgers face the Terrapins for the third time ever, having never lost to the Fighting Testudos. DJ Durkin’s team is 3-3 - and in keeping with the grand tradition of Maryland QB injury troubles - down to their third string signal caller. Undefeated Wisconsin will look to add a seventh victory to their perfect 6-0 record.

In other games: The rest of the noon shift is honestly pretty butt.

Afternoon (3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Eastern)

Tennessee at Alabama (3:30 p.m., CBS): The undefeated No. 1 Crimson Tide gave up some ground to Texas A&M two weeks ago, but returned to their steamrolling ways against Arkansas last week. No non-Aggie SEC opponent has even mustered a touchdown against the Tide this season, and Tennessee hasn’t mustered one of those against anyone since September 23. This might be a particularly ugly stop on the Butch Jones farewell tour.

Syracuse at Miami (3:30 p.m., ESPN/WatchESPN): Am I only suggesting watching this one because of what the Orange did to Clemson? Yeah, pretty much. The undefeated No. 8 Hurricanes have stayed that way by virtue of winning late against Florida State and Georgia Tech, and could potentially also have some difficulty with ‘Cuse’s potent offense.

Kentucky at Mississippi State (4:00 p.m., SECN/WatchESPN): It is technically true that the Wildcats are in second place in the SEC East - and could very well finish there. We live in a world where the November 18 Kentucky/Georgia game could be the de facto SEC East championship, should the ‘Cats and ‘Dawgs keep winning. The MSU Bulldogs for their part have had an inconsistent season, routing their first three opponents (including LSU), getting routed themselves by the next two (Georgia and Auburn), and picking up a solid win over an abysmal BYU team last week at home.

In other games: Undefeated No. 20 UCF heads to Navy (3:30 p.m.) after having head coach Scott Frost serve as the scout team option QB in practice this week; while Oklahoma plays at Kansas State (4:00), and Indiana visits No. 21 Michigan State (3:30) after taking No. 19 Michigan to overtime last week.

Evening (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Eastern)

LSU at Ole Miss (7:15 p.m., ESPN/WatchESPN); Auburn at Arkansas (7:30 p.m., SECN/WatchESPN): Two different games which I am going to give the same exact brief preview for - the visiting Tiger team is favored over their floundering SEC West host. I don’t know that either of these contests will be particularly interesting, but if you want conference viewing options - these are it.

Michigan at Penn State (7:30 p.m., ABC/WatchESPN): The “big one” this weekend is the College GameDay location event between the No. 19 Wolverines and the No. 2 Nittany Lions. The Wolverines’ formidable defense will face Heisman Trophy front-runner Saquon Barkley in a sizable Big 10 match-up. Penn State finds itself just below Alabama in the polls following Clemson’s stunner with Syracuse, and comes off a bye week to face a three-game gauntlet of what should be stiffer competition than they have faced to date. First up is Michigan, followed by Ohio State, and Michigan State.

USC at Notre Dame (7:30 p.m., NBC): The No. 11 Trojans visit the No. 13 Irish in this battle of one-loss rivals. These teams have traded wins over the last seven years, with Notre Dame picking up four of those victories. Prior to that, USC had bested the Irish eight times in a row. This is the first time since 2009, the last year of that Trojan dominance, that both of these teams are ranked in the top-25 for their meeting.

In other games: Watch wistfully as Will Grier and the WVU Mountaineers shred Baylor (8:00 p.m.), I guess. In the late late shift, Colorado visits reeling No. 15 Washington State (10:45 p.m).

And here’s your schedule table.

Schedule for Saturday, October 21, 2017

Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
Maryland at Wisconsin 12:00 p.m. FOX
Oklahoma State at Texas 12:00 p.m. ABC / WatchESPN
Tulsa at Connecticut 12:00 p.m. ESPNU / WatchESPN
Akron at Toledo 12:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Iowa at Northwestern 12:00 p.m. ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Purdue at Rutgers 12:00 p.m.
Louisville at Florida State 12:00 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN
Idaho at Missouri 12:00 p.m. SECN / WatchESPN
Iowa State at Texas Tech 12:00 p.m. FS1
Temple at Army 12:00 p.m. CBSSN
Pittsburgh at Duke 12:20 p.m. ACCN / WatchESPN
Boston College at Virginia 12:30 p.m. ACCN / WatchESPN
Troy at Georgia State 2:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Kent State at Ohio 2:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Northern Illinois at Bowling Green 2:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan 2:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Buffalo at Miami (OH) 2:30 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Central Michigan at Ball State 3:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Tennessee at Alabama 3:30 p.m. CBS
Syracuse at Miami 3:30 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN
North Carolina at Virginia Tech 3:30 p.m. ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Indiana at Michigan State 3:30 p.m. ABC / WatchESPN
UCF at Navy 3:30 p.m. CBSSN
Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State 3:30 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Georgia Southern at Massachusetts 3:30 p.m.
Arizona State at Utah 3:30 p.m. FS1
Illinois at Minnesota 3:30 p.m.
Oklahoma at Kansas State 4:00 p.m. FOX
Kentucky at Mississippi State 4:00 p.m. SECN / WatchESPN
Oregon at UCLA 4:00 p.m.
SMU at Cincinnati 4:00 p.m.
Louisiana-Monroe at South Alabama 5:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
North Texas at Florida Atlantic 5:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Utah State at UNLV 6:00 p.m.
UAB at Charlotte 6:30 p.m.
South Florida at Tulane 7:00 p.m. ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Southern Mississippi at Louisiana Tech 7:00 p.m.
Rice at UT San Antonio 7:00 p.m.
BYU at East Carolina 7:00 p.m. CBSSN
LSU at Ole Miss 7:15 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN
Michigan at Penn State 7:30 p.m. ABC / WatchESPN
USC at Notre Dame 7:30 p.m. NBC
Auburn at Arkansas 7:30 p.m. SECN / WatchESPN
Wake Forest at Georgia Tech 7:30 p.m. ESPNU / WatchESPN
Kansas at TCU 8:00 p.m. FOX
West Virginia at Baylor 8:00 p.m.
Arizona at California 8:00 p.m.
Wyoming at Boise State 10:15 p.m. ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Fresno State at San Diego State 10:30 p.m. CBSSN
Colorado at Washington State 10:45 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN