College football coverage map: Fan guide and what to watch on the Week 5 slate

North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Clemson Tigers. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Clemson Tigers. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Our college football coverage map highlights the biggest and most intriguing games to watch for each time slot in Week 5.

A new week of college football action promises to thrill fans with wave after wave of ranked matchups and upset specials.

It starts on Thursday night and stretches all the way to Sunday because of Hurricane Ian forcing games backwards and forwards.

There are a lot of games to keep track of so here’s your strategy guide to getting the most bang for your college football buck this weekend:

College football coverage map: Fan guide and what to watch on the Week 5 slate

Best college football games to watch on Thursday

  1. Utah State at No. 19 BYU — 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  2. South Carolina St. at South Carolina — 7:00 p.m. ET on SEC Network

Whether you’re just a college football fan or you’re a Notre Dame fan and you want to scout the next Irish opponent, it’s an easy pick to watch BYU take on Utah State on Thursday night.

Those who like options can also now check out South Carolina St. and South Carolina battle because of Hurricane Ian but it’s hard to imagine people outside of the state of South Carolina paying attention to that one.

Best college football games to watch on Friday

  1. No. 15 Washington at UCLA — 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
  2. Tulane at Houston — 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  3. San Diego State at Boise State — 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1

The Pac-12 has a marquee matchup between undefeated teams on Friday, so of course, it’s on at 10:30 p.m. ET. East coast night owls and West coast football fans will be in for a treat getting to see which of these conference title hopefuls is actually for real.

Washington has an impressive win over Michigan State under their belt. UCLA has had some shakey performances but Chip Kelly tends to focus on preparation for the Pac-12 slate. Will it pay off? It’ll be worth finding out.

Fans of college football trainwrecks can tune in to Tulane at Houston or San Diego State at Boise State to see how both home teams respond to adversity against solid opponents. The Cougars are 2-2. The Broncos’ offense is in tatters. Both games could be ugly.

Best college football games to watch on Saturday

If you’re watching the early slate…

  1. No. 7 Kentucky at No. 14 Ole Miss — 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  2. No. 4 Michigan at Iowa — 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX
  3. No. 18 Oklahoma at TCU — 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC

This slate has a lot of potential with the obvious starting point: Kentucky vs. Ole Miss. Both ranked SEC squads want to prove themselves as legitimate contenders.

The Wolverines and Sooners could be on upset watch on the road facing Iowa and TCU respectively.

If none of those games turn out to be entertaining and you happen to have the Pac-12 Network on cable or Fubo TV, switch over to Oregon State vs. No. 12 Utah for a potentially competitive matchup.

If you’re watching the afternoon slate…

  1. No. 2 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas — 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
  2. No. 9 Oklahoma State at No. 16 Baylor — 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX
  3. No. 22 Wake Forest at No. 23 Florida State — 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
  4. Iowa State at Kansas — 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2

The early slate could be entertaining. The afternoon slate is full of absolute bangers.

Will Alabama get a game from Arkansas? Will Oklahoma State get revenge for their Big 12 Championship Game loss to Baylor last year? Will Florida State prove they’re for real? Will Kansas force voters to FINALLY put them in the Top 25?

This is the time to watch if you watch any college football this Saturday.

If you’re watching the evening slate…

  1. No. 10 NC State at No. 5 Clemson — 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC
  2. LSU at Auburn — 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  3. West Virginia at Texas — 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1
  4. California at Washington State — 5:30 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Network

Your TV should be tuned to ABC at 7:30 p.m. to catch the big showdown in the ACC between NC State and Clemson. The Tigers have looked shaky enough this season to suggest they’re on upset alert. The Wolfpack have ACC contention in their sights.

There are some non-ranked matchups to keep an eye on as well. LSU could get Bryan Harsin fired at Auburn. West Virginia could turn up the heat on Steve Sarkisian.

Those with Pac-12 Network can check out a matchup between unexpectedly competitive Pac-12 squads with both Cal and Washington State coming in at 3-1 with losses to Notre Dame and Oregon respectively.

If you’re watching the late-night slate…

  1. Arizona State at No. 6 USC — 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
  2. Stanford at No. 13 Oregon — 11:00 p.m. ET on FS1
  3. Colorado at Arizona — 9:30 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Network

Pac-12 After Dark shenanigans will have to come through to make the late-night slate interesting. USC is heavily favored over Herm Edwards-less ASU. Oregon is heavily favored over lowly Stanford.

Neither Colorado nor Arizona are particularly good, which may make this matchup the most intriguing of the bunch.


  1. Eastern Washington at Florida — 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+
  2. SMU at UCF — 1:00 p.m. ET on TBD

Hurricane Ian has moved several games, including two to Sunday afternoon. Is either one worth watching? Not really. Is that going to stop college football fans from tuning in? Nope.

Next. Red Flags: 5 CFB teams on upset alert in Week 5. dark

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