What to do with a fall Saturday with BYU finally getting a much-needed bye and a chance to recuperate before going up against...Utah Tech? Here's the games to watch, coming from a BYU perspective. Honestly, there's a couple biggies, but overall a pretty uninspiring slate.
Saturday Noon ET
It's a struggle to find a good, relevant game to watch here. Probably the best (of an uninspiring slate) is #7 LSU @ Arkansas (ESPN). It won't make a world of difference, but if Arkansas can knock off LSU, it makes the BYU loss to them look a little better. At this point in the season, we're just hoping for our opponents to put together a strong finish so the season looks a bit stronger. Arkansas defeating LSU would certainly do that - and they're only 3.5 point underdogs
Other options include
#20 Notre Dame @ Navy (ABC): Take what I wrote above and repeat it. Notre Dame is finally ranked, and we want them to stay that way. This one shouldn't be close (ND favored by 17) so less interesting but it's the same idea.
Liberty @ UConn (CBSSN): Continuing with the theme - Liberty needs to keep winning and maybe even bump into the rankings. If there were better games out there, I might recommend something besides team that beat BYU trying to build stronger resumes... but it's either that or watch Ohio St as 40 point favorites over Indiana. Just not a strong window.
3:30 PM ET
It's not the game everyone else will be watching, but the best as a BYU fan in this window is probably #22 UCF @ #17 Tulane (ESPN2). UCF is a future Big 12 member, is 7-2 and ranked, but going up against 8-1 Tulane. Winner will be in the driver's seat in the conference, while the loser will need help to make the championship game. Should be close too, with Tulane favored by only 1 point.
Other games to consider are:
#9 Alabama @ #11 Ole Miss (CBS): Nope, this has nothing to do with BYU. Not even really tangentially. But it's the game everyone is going to watch anyway, it's a Top 11 matchup, and it'll be what people are talking about afterwards. Not that it's expected to be close - Alabama is favored by 12.
For the 3rd game, I'd recommend Louisville @ #10 Clemson (ESPN). It's tough to make any connection here to BYU (1 loss Clemson would probably be ahead of 1 loss TCU if they both were competing for a playoff spot and we want the Big 12 in... so that's a stretch), but this is probably the best game left. If you want a stronger BYU connection you can always watch 3-6 Arizona St @ 5-4 Washington St (PAC12 Network, so you probably actually can't watch it) as future expansion possibilities or 4-5 Iowa St @ 6-3 Oklahoma St (ESPNU) to get a Big 12 game. Iowa St is actually favored against Oklahoma St, so that one might be decent? Again, not a strong window
7:30 PM ET
After two weak windows, here's where we start getting more interesting games. The biggest of this window (and really of the entire day from a BYU mindset) is #4 TCU @ @18 Texas (ABC). TCU is the last, only chance for the Big 12 to make the playoff and would be the first non-Oklahoma team to make it out of that conference. But they've got a tough road and Texas is actually favored by a touchdown.
Others to watch include
#19 Kansas St @ Baylor (7 PM ET, FS1): Another chance for a BYU loss to look a little better in retrospect, Baylor has started to get their act together and could break into the rankings with a win over Kansas St. Of course, that also means that the Big 12 (except TCU) will have completely cannibalized itself at this point. But we want Baylor to look good and this is a chance. They're even favored by 2.5
#25 Washington @ #6 Oregon (7 PM ET, FOX): A quality matchup (both top 25 teams) between rivals with playoff implications (Oregon at #6) and both teams at the heart of various expansion rumors. Sure, why not? Oregon is favored by 13, so maybe that's why not, but it's a decent option.
~10 PM ET
There's again not a huge amount of choice in the late games (only 6 games 9 PM ET or later)...but there's actually some decent options. Best of the bunch is Stanford @ #13 Utah (ESPN). Not only gives a chance to take a look at Stanford (our only known remaining FBS opponent), but again involves two teams at the heart of expansion rumors. The odds of Stanford actually winning are not good (Utah favored by 24), but even in that case, it'll be nice to see what they bring to the table in their last quality matchup (between now and then, Stanford only gets Cal - who has only beat UNLV, Arizona and an FCS team ... while somehow losing to Colorado. Cal is very not good)
San Jose St @ San Diego St (10:30 ET, FS1): With the noise about San Diego St possibly joining the PAC, every loss counts and they're playing a (relative) tough team in San Jose St. Also has the smallest spread of any game during this window with San Jose St favored by only 2.5
As the 3rd option, I'd lean Arizona @ #12 UCLA (10:30 ET, FOX). Not only is UCLA somewhat nationally relevant (with only 1 loss), but this is a chance to look at CougarBoard's favorite expansion candidate. If you want to avoid being sad about wanting Arizona (UCLA is favored by 21), this might not be for you though. In that case, flip over to 6-3 Boise St @ 2-7 Nevada (10:30 ET, CBSSN). It probably won't be any closer (Boise St favored by 20), but at least you'll be able to feel better about beatng Boise St instead of second-guessing if we really want Arizona.