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College Football Schedule Week 5: Surprising Compelling Matchups

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On Saturday there are a couple of matchups that amazingly don’t involve an SEC team. Or a Big Ten team.

Boise State is trying to avenge their only loss last season on Thanksgiving night to the Nevada Wolfpack. Ranked No. 3 in the AP and Coaches polls, the Broncos probably would have been shutout of the BCS Championship Game had they won. And at halftime with a 24-7 lead, no one would have thought Boise State was in danger of dropping. But the Broncos potent offense went cold in the windy Reno night, and the Wolfpack finally loaded their pistol offense to send the game to overtime where kicker Anthony Martinez did what his counterpart Kyle Brotzman couldn’t: kick a field goal.

That loss dropped the Broncos in the polls - No. 9 in the AP; No. 10 in the Coaches Poll; No. 11 in the BCS. Instead of a BCS bowl, the Broncos had to settle for the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas against the Utah Utes.

The Broncos moved to the Mountain West Conference from the Western Athletic Conference this season, and Nevada isn’t scheduled to make the same move until next season. But they scheduled the game nonetheless, and this time on the Smurf Turf in Boise we get to see the revenge they will unleash. I’m pretty sure head coach Chris Peterson and 10-year starting quarterback Kellen Moore won’t have any concern that Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick graduated and went to the NFL. It should be a bloodbath.

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Okay, it’s probably not going to be an interesting game, but it’s always fun to watch a game on the Smurf Turf.

Just as this game is on its last legs, the Clemson-Virginia Tech game will be getting underway. Clemson proved they are dangerous at home with consecutive wins against ranked opponents in Auburn and Florida State. Now they have to travel to Blacksburg and face the Hokies. If there is one knock on Clemson, it’s that they never show up in the big games. Head coach Dabo Swinney certainly has the gusto as their head coach since 2008, but his teams haven’t shown that on the field. This one game can dispel that.

With a win, Clemson can all but cement the Atlantic Division title and a berth in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, NC. And, most importantly, they will get some respect from here for the inaugural LAist Top 16 rankings of 2011.

Air Force at Navy. 9:00 a.m. CBS.
Kentucky at LSU. 9:00 a.m. KDOC.
Texas Tech at Kansas. 9:00 a.m. FSWest.
Penn State at Indiana. 9:00 a.m. ESPNU.
Arkansas at Texas A&M. 9:00 a.m. ESPN.
Northwestern at Illinois. 9:00 a.m. ESPN2.
Tulane at Army. 9:00 p.m. CBS Sports Net.
Wake Forest at Boston College. 9:30 a.m. KCOP.
Case Western Reserve at Allegheny. 10:00 a.m. Fox College Sports Atlantic.

Nevada at Boise State. 11:30 a.m. Versus.
Auburn at South Carolina. 12:30 p.m. CBS.
Michigan State at Ohio State. 12:30 p.m. ABC.
Mississippi State at Georgia. 12:30 p.m. FSWest (tape delay from 9:00 a.m.)
Arizona at USC. 12:30 p.m. FS Prime Ticket.
Bethune-Cookman at Miami (FL). 12:30 p.m. ESPNU.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina State. 12:30 p.m. ESPN.
Washington State at Colorado. 12:30 p.m. Fox College Sports Pacific.
SMU at TCU. 12:30 p.m. CBS Sports Net.

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Clemson at Virginia Tech. 3:00 p.m. ESPN2.
Pennsylvania at Dartmouth. 3:00 p.m. Fox College Sports Atlantic.

Texas at Iowa State. 4:00 p.m. FX.
Washington at Utah. 4:00 p.m. FSWest.
Duke at Florida International. 4:00 p.m. ESPNU.

Alabama at Florida. 5:00 p.m. CBS.
Nebraska at Wisconsin. 5:00 p.m. ABC.
Notre Dame at Purdue. 5:00 p.m. ESPN.
North Carolina at East Carolina. 5:00 p.m. CBS Sports Net.

Mississippi at Fresno State. 6:30 p.m. ESPN2.
UCLA at Stanford. 7:30 p.m. FS Prime Ticket.
Oregon State at Arizona State. 7:30 p.m. Fox College Sports Pacific.