College football on TV this Saturday

Jameis Winston

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and the reigning national champion Seminoles open their season Saturday night against Oklahoma State. (Sam Greenwood / Getty Images / November 30, 2013)

Each week our national college football writer describes how he would handle the television remote Saturday, handicapping what's worth watching, and skipping:


Penn State vs. Central Florida, in Dublin, Ireland

5:30 a.m., ESPN2

Celebrate the dawn of the James Franklin era with a traditional Irish breakfast special for the Croke Park Classic in Dublin. Wish these teams luck with a plate of rashers, baked beans, halved tomatoes, black and white pudding and some Irish Brown bread. Then watch Penn State go to work with sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg, while Central Florida breaks in a new quarterback after passing Blake Bortles on to the NFL.

No. 5 Ohio State vs. Navy, in Baltimore

9 a.m., CBS Sports Network

One team enters the season riding a two-game losing streak with huge questions at quarterback. The other team is Navy. This figured to be a tough game for Ohio State even with quarterback Braxton Miller. Navy gave the Buckeyes a scare in 2009, losing, 31-27, in Columbus. The Midshipmen are also coming off a 9-4 season in which they won their last five games. Navy has stability at quarterback with option-master Keenan Reynolds, who rushed for 31 touchdowns last season. With Miller out, Ohio State plugs in freshman J.T. Barrett, who hasn't thrown a pass that counts since his junior year in high school.

Appalachian State at Michigan

9 a.m., ESPN2

"Where were you when?" Appalachian State stunned the Wolverines, 34-32, in Ann Arbor on opening day 2007. Appalachian State has since moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision but isn't as talented as the '07 team that went on to win the 1-AA national title. What people forget about 2007: Michigan ended the season with a win in the Capital One Bowl over defending national champion Florida, led by Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.

9 a.m.: UCLA at Virginia, ESPN; Indiana State at Indiana, ESPNews; North Dakota State at Iowa State, FS1; Western Michigan at Purdue, ESPNU; Northern Iowa at Iowa, BTN; Tennessee-Martin at Kentucky, SEC.

9:30 a.m.: Georgia Southern at North Carolina State, KDOC; Wofford at Georgia Tech, FS West.



West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama, in Atlanta

12:30 p.m., Channel 7

Nick Saban will use this game as a tryout for the quarterback job, replacing Heisman runner-up AJ McCarron. What's the hurry? Alabama doesn't have a meaningful game until Florida comes to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 20. And Florida is coming off a 4-8 season. Fighting for the chance to lead Alabama to another national title are Jacob Coker, a transfer who left Florida State after he was aced out by Jameis Winston, and senior Blake Sims.

Rice at No. 17 Notre Dame

12:30 p.m., Channel 4

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