College football coverage map: Fan guide through the Week 3 slate

Key Lawrence, Oklahoma Sooners, Rahmir Johnson, Nebraska Cornhuskers. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Key Lawrence, Oklahoma Sooners, Rahmir Johnson, Nebraska Cornhuskers. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

College football fans will have plenty of games to watch heading into the Week 3 slate.

Although it may be hard to top last week’s overall shenanigans, you still have some college football games to watch in Week 3.

Odds are, we are not seeing three teams ranked inside of the Top 12 all fall at home as Notre Dame did to Marshall, Texas A&M did to Appalachian State and Florida did to Kentucky. Then again, we are early enough in the season where it is still a bit of a feeling-out process among the teams at play. Fortunately, we have the distinct luxury to watch it all unfold right from our couch.

There is a right way to watch as many good games as possible this weekend, and I will show you.

College football coverage map: How to watch all the best games in Week 3

Here is an outline of all the games that will be played on Saturday. The map is from 506 Sports.

Friday night (Sept. 16)

There are two games being played on Friday night. The first will be a critical meeting between ACC Atlantic rivals, as the Louisville Cardinals will host the Florida State Seminoles. Had U of L lost to UCF in Orlando last Friday, this would have been a must-win for Scott Satterfield. If Florida State wins, Mike Norvell could start the year out 3-0. Air Force at Wyoming will also be on, too.

Most important games

  1. Florida State at Louisville: 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  2. Air Force at Wyoming: 8:00 p.m. ET (CBSSN)

Saturday early afternoon (Sept. 17)

There is a trio of games you will want to pay attention to in the first window of the Saturday afternoon slate. Old Big Eight rivals Oklahoma and Nebraska will clash in Lincoln as part of Big Noon Kickoff. Even though the Sooners have a first-time head coach in Brent Venables, this will be the first game Nebraska plays after Scott Frost was fired. Mickey Joseph is serving in the interim.

If Old Big Eight football does not float your boat, go over to ESPN to watch a pair of SEC East rivals duke it out at Williams-Brice. Yes, unranked South Carolina hosts the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs in Columbia. Georgia should win this rivalry game comfortably, but Shane Beamer is a former Kirby Smart assistant and former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler is now leading the Gamecocks.

With Oklahoma-Nebraska on the big TV and Georgia-South Carolina on presumably the other, the game you will want to stream on the laptop or tablet is UConn at Michigan. This will be the last of three cupcake, non-conference games for the Wolverines. While Jim Mora is entertaining, this game is all about how Jim Harbaugh manages his quarterbacks and who will start in Big Ten play.

Most important games

  1. No. 6 Oklahoma at Nebraska: 12:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
  2. No. 1 Georgia at South Carolina: 12:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  3. UConn at No. 4 Michigan: 12:00 p.m. ET (ABC)

Saturday late afternoon (Sept. 17)

There are two games worth seriously watching in the late afternoon window, as well as two to keep close tabs on. No. 22 Penn State at Auburn is the featured CBS game of the week. With last year’s game being spectacular in Happy Valley, we should expect nothing less in this one down on The Plains. The loser of this big game will have its fanbase turn on Bryan Harsin or James Franklin.

The other game of note is happening on FOX with No. 12 BYU taking on No. 25 Oregon in Eugene. This is a must-win game for Dan Lanning’s Ducks. Even though BYU and Georgia are two incredible non-conference opponents, this is Oregon. Figure it out. As for Kalani Sitake’s Cougars, if they win this after beating Baylor last week, BYU is the runaway favorite to win the Group of Five.

As far as the two other games to monitor, keep an eye on Cal at Notre Dame, as well as Ole Miss at Georgia Tech. Wins for the Golden Bears and Rebels will be good, but this is more about how bad can things get for Marcus Freeman in South Bend and Geoff Collins in Atlanta. Freeman is not getting fired in his first year on the job, but Collins is a dead man walking for the Ramblin’ Wreck.

Most important games

  1. No. 22 Penn State at Auburn: 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
  2. No. 12 BYU at No. 25 Oregon: 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
  3. California at Notre Dame: 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
  4. No. 20 Ole Miss at Georgia Tech: 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

Saturday evening (Sept. 17)

While there is no must-see game in the Saturday evening window, surely, one of these four will tickle your fancy. The best one is probably No. 11 Michigan State at Washington. Mel Tucker might be coming, but Kalen DeBoer could be the answer to all of Washington’s prayers. Look for the Spartans to get more than they bargained for when they take on the Huskies in Seattle Saturday.

If you want a game that screams why college football is awesome this week, Texas Tech at No. 16 North Carolina State could be that one for you. It is a rare battle between interesting Power Five teams. Joey McGuire has yet to lose in Lubbock, while Dave Doeren could have his best team in Raleigh to date. Something has to give, right? Either way, we are all winners with this ballgame.

Finally, you may want to keep an eye on weird stuff happening in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night, as Mike Leach plans to raid some air on Brian Kelly’s family. This is an underrated SEC West rivalry and one that has gotten a little spicer with Kelly coming down to the SEC. And if you want to watch an elite football team do what it does, you can watch Ohio State wallop Toledo on FOX.

Most important games

  1. No. 11 Michigan State at Washington: 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
  2. Texas Tech at No. 16 North Carolina State: 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  3. Mississippi State at LSU: 6:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  4. Toledo at No. 3 Ohio State: 7:00 p.m. ET (FOX)

Saturday late night (Sept. 17)

Let’s be real. The late-night games this week are awesome. Although it is technically not an absurdly late start time, No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M could be something special. This is a desperate Aggies team who may be making a quarterback change. As for Miami, the Hurricanes can make a big statement by beating an overrated Aggies team at Kyle Field under Mario Cristobal.

We also have a pair of interesting Pac-12 vs. Mountain West games on tap for your enjoyment. Fresno State could have No. 7 USC on upset alert, while No. 14 Utah tries to gain some positive momentum by beating San Diego State at Rice-Eccles. Either way, it would not be shocking if either of these West Coast affairs go down to the wire. Do not wake up and be totally blown away.

Most important games

  1. No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M: 9:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  2. Fresno State at No. 7 USC: 10:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
  3. San Diego State at No. 14 Utah: 10:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

The only thing left to be said is you have some college football games to watch this weekend!

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