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Week 4 college football TV schedule and open thread

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Here’s what to watch before the Gators play. 

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators finally get a night game this season - after having to cancel their first scheduled one - but, unfortunately, it comes in Lexington and not Gainesville.

There are plenty of other interesting match-ups to peruse as you settle in for a day of watching and waiting to see Florida take the field. The early shift features two SEC West teams with angsty fanbases and warm-seated coaches, as well as two sunshine state-based teams playing in only their second games of the season. In the afternoon slot, you’ll find two formidable SEC defenses, two Big 12 title hopefuls, and a Big Ten tussle.

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)

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (12:00 p.m., ESPN): For the fourth season, these two will meet at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas. While the past three meetings (all Aggie wins) have made for some entertaining outings, this year both coaches come in with some pressure to win. Sumlin’s Aggies haven’t exactly been impressive this season. They blew a 34-point lead to lose to UCLA in their opener, and then picked up two uninspiring wins, after struggling against Nicholls and trailing Louisiana at halftime. Sumlin’s seat is pretty hot. Bret Bielema has never defeated Texas A&M, and may need this win for the Razorbacks to have more than six this season.

NC State at Florida State (12:00 p.m., ABC): The No. 12 Seminoles finally get to take the field again. After falling to Alabama in their opener, FSU has had the last two weeks off due to the cancellation of one game and the rescheduling of another in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The time off could have actually worked out in the ‘Noles’ favor, as they prepare freshman QB James Blackman to take over the starting job this season with Deondre Francois out for the year. For their part, the Wolfpack opened with a loss to South Carolina, followed by wins over Marshall and Furman. This game was decided by just four points last season.

UCF at Maryland (3:00 p.m., FS1): The start time for this one nearly pushes it to the afternoon shift, but this one might be worth turning to. The Terrapins, led by former Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, upset Texas in week one and flattened FCS Towson in their two games this season. The Knights, like the ‘Noles, have only played one game this season due to Hurricane Irma - their opening blowout of FIU. This statistic is obviously skewed by the fact that these teams have played one and two games, respectively, but presently the Knights and Terrapins rank No. 1 and No. 2 in points per game.

In other games: In what is becoming a weekly feature, this is your ‘Will Grier and the Mountaineers are going to light it up at noon against inferior competition’ warning. WVU heads to Kansas this week. Also at noon is Texas Tech at Houston, which might be a decent show.

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

Alabama at Vanderbilt (3:30 p.m., CBS): The No. 1 Crimson Tide open their SEC schedule in Nashville with the Commodores. Vandy, after three weeks, leads the nation in total defense, and I’ve seen it suggested that they may be able to subdue Alabama on that basis. I’d probably note the opponents that the ‘Dores have conquered on their way to that distinction, but, narratives, I guess. Vanderbilt does have a legit defense, but they also have a pretty pedestrian offense, by most standards.

Taking down the top-ranked Tide is a tall order, and one that I don’t know that the Commodores are up to. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this game start slowly though, with both defenses shining early. Bonus reason to watch: You can scout the ‘Dores before Florida meets them next week.

TCU at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m., ESPN): The No. 16 Horned Frogs visit the No. 6 Cowboys in a clash of two ranked undefeated Big 12 teams. This one wasn’t close last year, and most expect a OSU win at home. QB Mason Rudolph has been a productive leader for the Cowboys, while TCU’s Kenny Hill has had an issue with throwing to the wrong team - including giving up two picks to OSU last year. The Horned Frogs come to Stillwater fresh off of overpowering the Arkansas Razorbacks in week three.

Michigan at Purdue (4:00 p.m., FOX): One of these weeks I’ll be able to stop recommending the No. 8 Wolverines as a possible viewing option. Michigan hasn’t set the world on fire since toppling the Gators, but they have won each week. The Wolverines now take their red zone woes, without WR Tarik Black, to Purdue to face new head coach Jeff Brohm’s Boilermakers, who are fresh off a flattening of Missouri and have showed promise and improvement on both sides of the ball this year. This one has the potential to be much closer than the casual observer may expect.

In other games: The undefeated USC Trojans travel to Cal at 3:30. There’s not much else of interest this afternoon. I’ll note that Oklahoma plays at Baylor at 6:30, in ‘Games That Would Have Been Interesting A Few Years Ago’ news.

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

Of course, you will be watching Florida at Kentucky, at 7:30 p.m., on the SEC Network.

In other games: I’ll note the other big match-up on the evening agenda is the No. 17 Mississippi State Bulldogs, those recent Tiger tamers, going between the hedges to take a crack at No. 11 Georgia. You could probably get a little bit of this one in before flipping to Gators vs. Wildcats.

And here’s your schedule table.

Schedule for Saturday, September 23, 2017

Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
UNLV at Ohio State 12:00 p.m. BTN
NC State at Florida State 12:00 p.m. ABC / ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Kent State at Louisville 12:00 p.m. ACCN / WatchESPN
Texas Tech at Houston 12:00 p.m. ABC / ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Army at Tulane 12:00 p.m. CBSSN
Texas A&M at Arkansas 12:00 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN
UMass at Tennessee 12:00 p.m. SECN / WatchESPN
West Virginia at Kansas 12:00 p.m. ESPNU / WatchESPN
Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech 12:20 p.m. ACCN / WatchESPN
New Mexico at Tulsa 1:30 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Old Dominion at Virginia Tech 2:00 p.m. ACCN / WatchESPN
Idaho at South Alabama 2:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Ohio at Eastern Michigan 2:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
UCF at Maryland 3:00 p.m. FS1
Alabama at Vanderbilt 3:30 p.m. CBS
Boston College at Clemson 3:30 p.m. ESPN2 / WatchESPN
USC at California 3:30 p.m. ABC / WatchESPN
TCU at Oklahoma State 3:30 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN
Toledo at Miami 3:30 p.m. ACCN / WatchESPN
Rutgers at Nebraska 3:30 p.m. BTN
Georgia Southern at Indiana 3:30 p.m. BTN
Wake Forest at Appalachian State 3:30 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Duke at North Carolina 3:30 p.m. ESPNU / WatchESPN
Louisiana Tech at South Carolina 3:30 p.m. SECN / WatchESPN
Miami (OH) at Central Michign 3:30 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Cincinnati at Navy 3:30 p.m. CBSSN
Michigan at Purdue 4:00 p.m. FOX
Louisiana Monroe at Louisiana 5:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Nevada at Washington State 6:00 p.m. PAC12
Akron at Troy 6:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Georgia State at Charlotte 6:00 p.m.
Oklahoma at Baylor 6:30 p.m. FS1
Western Illinois at Coastal Carolina 6:30 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
UAB at North Texas 6:30 p.m.
Mississippi State at Georgia 7:00 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN
San Diego State at Air Force 7:00 p.m. CBSSN
Syracuse at LSU 7:00 p.m. ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Ball State at Western Kentucky 7:00 p.m.
Florida Atlantic at Buffalo 7:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Bowling Green at Middle Tennessee 7:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Arkansas State at SMU 7:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Wagner at Western Michigan 7:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Penn State at Iowa 7:30 p.m. ABC / WatchESPN
Auburn at Missouri 7:30 p.m. ESPNU / WatchESPN
Florida at Kentucky 7:30 p.m. SECN / WatchESPN
Florida International at Rice 7:30 p.m.
Utah State at San Jose State 7:30 p.m.
UT San Antonio at Texas State 7:30 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
UTEP at New Mexico State 8:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Southern Illinois at Memphis 8:00 p.m. ESPN3 / WatchESPN
Notre Dame at Michigan State 8:00 p.m. FOX
Washington at Colorado 10:00 p.m. FS1
Oregon at Arizona State 10:00 p.m. PAC12
Hawaii at Wyoming 10:15 p.m. ESPN2 / WatchESPN
UCLA at Stanford 10:30 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN