There are many ranked-on-ranked games this college football Saturday, including No. 3 Florida vs. No. 12 Georgia, No. 15 Texas Tech at No. 4 Kansas State, No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 13 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama. This is not a preview of those games. (For more big-picture football content, please visit Andy Staples’ Walkthrough.)
• Locavore football for the environmentally conscious consumer. Devotees of farm-to-fan football, please note these geographic rivalry games on the schedule for Week 9: Temple at Pitt (noon E.T.), NC State at North Carolina (12:30 p.m.), No. 23 Ohio at Miami (Ohio) (3:30 p.m.), and UTEP at Houston (4:30 p.m.).
• Game that should be played at night but isn’t. UTEP at Houston. UTEP being UTEP, and Houston being half responsible for that 72-42 SMU box score that so terrified the daintier set, this one ought to start and end under cover of darkness. It just seems a more fitting setting for whatever wackiness is about to ensue.
• Conference curiosity. We remind you at this time that a) Duke leads its division and is scheduled to play No. 11 Florida State in Tallahassee b) for the Seminoles’ homecoming game. Who is carrying the bigger jinx here? Impossible to discern. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.
• Nonconference curiosities. BYU at Georgia Tech (3:00 p.m.) and Kent State at No. 18 Rutgers (3:30 p.m.).
• Hope is kindled. Maryland, by our scientific count, has lost fourteen starting quarterbacks since the beginning of the 2012 regular season. The Terps will be starting a freshman (Caleb Rowe) with two career pass attempts at the position in Week 9, on the road. But their destination? Boston College! Everything might still be OK! (1:00 p.m.) HONORABLE MENTION: Southern Miss, still winless but heading to Rice this weekend (1:00 p.m.).
• Burniest symbolism. If you’re into historical hexes, Tennessee has fired two head coaches and lost an offensive coordinator following losses to South Carolina. The Vols and No. 17 Gamecocks kick off in Columbia at noon.
• Touchdowns a-happening! Highest potential combined score: No. 10 USC at Arizona (3:30 p.m.).
• Grisliest potential blowout. Colorado at No. 2 Oregon (3:00 p.m.). The Buffs might not even possess the capacity to rack up late-game points like Arizona State, no matter how early the Ducks pull their starters. HONORABLE MENTION: No. 22 Texas A&M at Auburn (7:00 p.m.). Johnny Football may turn back into a freshman pumpkin this season, but not this week.
• Best nightcap. No. 7 Oregon State at Washington (10:15 p.m.) to see if the Beavers can continue their undefeated run. Don’t fall asleep without seeing Sean Mannion and his freshly surgeried knee return to action.