Mike Strange: A great day for watching football — outside the SEC, too

Mike Strange
FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2012, fil ephoto, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) signals at the line of scrimmage  during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt in Athens, Ga. Georgia's offense has been largely unstoppable, averaging nearly 50 points over its first five games. But now they face their toughest challenge yet, taking on No. 6 South Carolina and nemesis Steve Spurrier on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2012, fil ephoto, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) signals at the line of scrimmage during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt in Athens, Ga. Georgia's offense has been largely unstoppable, averaging nearly 50 points over its first five games. But now they face their toughest challenge yet, taking on No. 6 South Carolina and nemesis Steve Spurrier on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

Saturday is a monster day for SEC football. Four unbeaten teams clash in two games with national championship implications.

By midnight, either Georgia or South Carolina will be celebrating in Columbia. In Gainesville, either LSU or Florida will be partying hard.

But you already knew that.

On Tennessee's only open date of the season, there are a multitude of interesting college football games beyond the SEC boundaries.

Here are some of them and why it's worth paying attention.

Northwestern at Penn State: The Wildcats are 5-0 and, what do you know, Penn State isn't as pitiful as we imagined. In contrast to Arkansas, the Nittany Lions (3-2) have overcome adversity and won three straight, thanks to a defense allowing only 13.6 points a game.

Bowling Green at Akron: In Year Four at BG, Dave Clawson's offense is averaging a piddling 19.6 points (111th nationally). Maybe Clawson could get some tips from Terry Bowden. The Zips are averaging 492 yards and 38.6 points. That includes 344 and 27, respectively, in Neyland Stadium.

Michigan State at Indiana: Mike Griffith is leaving the News Sentinel after 15 years to jump on the Michigan State beat. We wish him well and hope his first order of business isn't picking up the pieces after a loss to the Hoosiers.

Virginia at Duke: It appears David Cutcliffe has his best team since arriving in Durham. The Blue Devils are 4-1, their only loss at Stanford.

Kansas at Kansas State: While the Jayhawks hope Charlie Weis can lead them out of the wilderness, Bill Snyder just keeps working miracles at K-State. Snyder, who turns 73 on Sunday, is 27-15 in his return to the sideline (since 2009) and has another terrific team (4-0) with victories against Oklahoma and Miami.

West Virginia at Texas: The Mountaineers' first Big 12 road trip is a humdinger. WVU averages 53.0 points and Geno Smith leads the nation in total offense with a staggering 456 yards a game. Texas averages 47.3 points. First team to punt loses.

Miami at Notre Dame: It's not the "Catholics vs. Convicts" of two decades ago but it's not bad. The 'Canes are 4-1, losing only to Kansas State. The Irish are 4-0 and boast the nation's No. 3 defense, allowing 9.0 points a game.

ULM at MTSU: This Sun Belt showdown is the best game in the state today. (Well, the only competition is Rice at Memphis). Louisiana Monroe (2-2)

has won at Arkansas and the Blue Raiders (3-1) at Georgia Tech.

UNLV at Louisiana Tech: Derek Dooley's old team will be 5-0 after tonight. The Bulldogs average 52 points a game and have beaten Houston, Illinois and Virginia.

Nebraska at Ohio State: The Huskers make their first trip to the Horseshoe as a Big Ten member. If you don't like a lot of red on your screen, don't watch this one.

Washington State at Oregon State: The Oregon Ducks get most of the hype in the Pacific Northwest, but the Beavers are 3-0 with victories against Wisconsin (3-2), UCLA (4-1) and Arizona (3-2). Look for Mike Leach's Cougars to walk the plank.

Iowa State at TCU: Iowa State (3-1) is no pushover for a team that suspended its quarterback over a DUI incident. But the Horned Frogs can win with defense. They allow only 7.25 points, second behind Alabama nationally.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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Comments » 12

rockytopwestone writes:

Whuptido !

atnvol#283282 writes:

Sounds like a great early autumn Saturday....gotta love it!

6972 writes:

Go Dawgs; Go Tigers
You might assume that I am not a Spurrier fan or a lizard fan.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to 6972:

Go Dawgs; Go Tigers
You might assume that I am not a Spurrier fan or a lizard fan.

I agree

SevenT writes:

If anyone needs a day off after multiple beatings by superior programs it is Tennessee.

Very likely Kentucky and Tennessee will play the last game of the season with both teams looking for their first SEC win.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to SevenT:

If anyone needs a day off after multiple beatings by superior programs it is Tennessee.

Very likely Kentucky and Tennessee will play the last game of the season with both teams looking for their first SEC win.

not true scum troll, Tennessee plays Vanderbilt before Kentucky. They will have at least that win and probably Miss State also

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to SevenT:

If anyone needs a day off after multiple beatings by superior programs it is Tennessee.

Very likely Kentucky and Tennessee will play the last game of the season with both teams looking for their first SEC win.

Reaaly? As usual you are only half right. UT will be looking for it's 5th SEC WIN! Yeh baby GBO! Maybe it's 6th if bama collapses!

GBO (Be a little more positive there 70)

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to MerlotGoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe we need a trolls kick off. C'mon kns a little help there.

RealisticVol writes:

The article would be improved if you gave TV schedule & time.

6972 writes:

Watched SC embarrass the Dawgs. Brent Musberger mentioned the SC schedule for October and the difficulty ahead with LSU and Alabama. Tennessee was not even mentioned. Hope the team picked up on that. We are ignored! Chaps your butt doesn't it.

RealisticVol writes:

in response to RealisticVol:

The article would be improved if you gave TV schedule & time.

Actually, at this point, maybe it is a service if you don't!

RealisticVol writes:

in response to 6972:

Watched SC embarrass the Dawgs. Brent Musberger mentioned the SC schedule for October and the difficulty ahead with LSU and Alabama. Tennessee was not even mentioned. Hope the team picked up on that. We are ignored! Chaps your butt doesn't it.

Not really. It is what it is.

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