Saturday games of varying degrees of interest, grouped in highly subjective categories. For more in-depth preview content, visit Andy Staples’ Walkthrough.
• Biggest game we feel like we couldn’t predict if our lives depended on it: No. 3 Kansas State at TCU, 7:00 p.m. ET. We’re still harboring a dream that seemed far-fetched just a few short weeks ago, a dream inspired by Tom Fornelli suggesting that if Bill Snyder takes home the crystal football this year, he’ll break it in half and make two hard candy dishes. The ‘Cats, at 9-0, are one of six undefeated teams remaining in FBS play. No gimme games remain, but then again, they haven’t played a gimme game since Oct. 6 against Kansas. In their past three outings, they’ve beaten three ranked opponents by a combined score of 154-68.
The Horned Frogs, no slouches on defense, will pose a greater threat to K-State’s undefeated season if the Wildcats take the field without starting quarterback Collin Klein. The Heisman frontrunner’s status for Saturday has been carefully guarded almost since the moment of his injury during last week’s game against Oklahoma State. It’s entirely possible we could see this contest played out without either team fielding the quarterbacks that topped the depth charts at the year’s outset. Only one thing is for certain: This will be the purplest football contest of the regular season.
• Most promising undercard matchup: It’s a late one this week, but one we feel is worth staying up for. Fresno State at Nevada, 10:35 p.m., will do its part to shape the future of a still wide-open Mountain West.
• Locavore ball: For those of you who prefer to keep your tourism dollars in-state and celebrate the traditional simplicity of farm-to-fan football, please enjoy Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan (1:00 p.m.), Kent State at Miami (1:00 p.m.) and Wake Forest at NC State (3:00 p.m.).
• Grisliest potential blowout: Kansas at Texas Tech, noon. Seth Doege wants Heisman consideration, and the Jayhawks can’t defend the pass (or the run) (or much of anything, really).
• Pointiest potential pointsplosion: West Virginia at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m. Despite some recent skids, these are still two of the top 10 scoring offenses in the country, both averaging more than 40 points per game. And just in case the shootout potential wasn’t high enough already, both mascots will be armed:
Heading to Stillwater Oklahoma this weekend. Excited to be around another mascot that carries a real gun with him!
— Jon Kimble, Mtnr (@WVUMascot) November 8, 2012
• Best mascot symbolism. Oregon State at Stanford, 3:00 p.m. Beavers versus trees! Bawww!
• Saddest event we still technically have to call a football contest: UMass at Akron, with a combined record of 1-18, 2:00 p.m.
• Idle curiosities: Games that intrigue us for no really good reason: Army at Rutgers, noon, with the Black Knights fresh off a pantsing of Air Force and the Scarlet Knights having just been upset by Kent State. Both teams have knights as mascots, so perhaps we’ll see jousting at halftime.
Also, Georgia at Auburn, 7:00 p.m. We insist the Bulldogs got all their lollygagging out of their systems with that early bit of sleepwalking against Ole Miss, but we live with a notoriously pessimistic Georgia grad, and right now about all he’s happy about is that tickets will be cheap.
• Ill-advised upset alert: UCF at UTEP, 7:00 p.m. Central Florida leads Conference USA East. UTEP is in last place in Conference USA West. But it’s El Paso at night, which produces a strange energy we are partial to. Whatever. It’s the alert itself that’s ill-advised, really.
• Best nightcap: Oregon at Cal, 10:30 p.m. Revenge is a dish best served white-hot, Cal defender who should know better than to anger Chip “Chuckles” Kelly.