clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UCF, Cincinnati (yes UCF, Cincinnati) lead college football slate on Cupcake Saturday

Also, the Pac-12 could be getting extra ‘After Dark’ tonight with ‘Zona vs. Wazzu.

NCAA Football: Navy at Central Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Cupcake Saturday, everybody. The second to last weekend of the regular season when every team in the vaunted, beloved SEC — which has six teams in the College Football Playoff rankings, despite half of them having three or more losses — decides to play JV squads mostly from the SoCon.

So, obviously that’s going to hinder the college football watching experience for this Saturday. The day will kick off with No. 10 Ohio State traveling to College Park, Md., to take on the Maryland Terrapins at 12 noon ET on ABC. Obviously all of Buckeye Nation will be tuned into that one, but otherwise... it’s slim pickings.

Either way, let’s check out some of the games worth watching in a thin slate of matchups this college football Saturday.

Early Window

Nothing. There’s literally nothing of interest in this window; at least not of enough interest to split your attention from the Ohio State game. Stick with the Buckeyes until roughly the end of the third quarter when one of those annoying “We’re Notre Dame, we don’t have to conform to the well-established confines of college football scheduling” start times at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Afternoon Window

No. 12 Syracuse Orange at No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2:30 p.m. ET | NBC

Even if Ohio State wins out — defeating Maryland today, No. 4 Michigan next week in The Game, and then No. 22 Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship game — it’s likely that they’ll still need some help above them to make it into the CFP.

One domino that could fall on Saturday that would help them in their quest is this surprising battle of top-15 squads. Syracuse, is out of the running for the ACC Atlantic Coast crown, but this could be a sort of championship game for Dino Babers’ Orange.

However, they will have to face the Domers’ top quarterback Ian Book who returns after sitting out last week’s game against Florida State. Syracuse has pulled off some crazy upsets in the Babers Era, so nothing is out of the realm of possibility, but this one isn’t super likely, especially in South Bend. But, if it does happen, can you imagine the post-game speech Dino is going to give to his team?

Evening Window

No. 24 Cincinnati Bearcats at No. 11 UCF Knights
8 p.m. ET | ABC

Folks, how are you going to talk to your children about the fact that we now live in a world in which Cincinnati and UCF are in the biggest game of a college football Saturday... in Week 12 of the season... against each other?

This is a crazy world that we’re living in these days, but this game actually should be pretty awesome. The defending national champs are one of the best stories — and offenses — in the country this season. The Knights are putting up 44.2 points and 543 yards per game, seventh and second nationally (second and first in the American Conference).

However, Luke Fickell has his UC squad playing a brand of defensive football that will look very familiar to Buckeye fans. The Bearcats are allowing only 14.9 points and 279.8 yards per game, seventh and sixth nationally (both first in the American Conference).

This should be a classic strength vs. strength/something’s gotta give matchup. Being a Central Florida resident and Ohio native, I am oddly excited about this game, and hope that if UCF wins, the national media will finally give the champs the credit that they deserve.

Pac-12 After Dark Window

Arizona Wildcats at No. 8 Washington State Cougars
10:30 p.m. ET | ESPN

Coming into the season, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate was a trendy Heisman Trophy pick coming out of the Pac-12. However, the start to Kevin Sumlin’s first season in the desert did not go so well, and Tate not only looked human, but he looked below average. But, in the last two weeks, things have started to come together for the new staff and offense.

Last week, Tate was 17-for-22 passing with five touchdowns and 350 yards through the air; while running back J.J. Taylor has gone for 404 rushing yards in the past two games. If that continues tonight, that means that the Pac-12 is about to get extra “After Dark,” because this game is already a matchup of the conference’s two top offenses (WSU- 470 ypg, Arizona- 454.1).

There’s not a ton of good football today, but if you slog through it and stay up late, this one should be a nice offensive reward for your dedication and diligence.

Check Saturday’s full slate of games here:

Week 12 Saturday Schedule

Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (ET) TV Streaming
The Citadel at #1 Alabama 12:00 PM SEC Network
#10 Ohio State at Maryland 12:00 PM ABC
Idaho at #13 Florida 12:00 PM ESPNU
#14 Penn State at Rutgers 12:00 PM BTN
Middle Tennessee at #17 Kentucky 12:00 PM SEC Network
Arkansas at #21 Mississippi State 12:00 PM ESPN
#22 Northwestern at Minnesota 12:00 PM BTN
South Florida at Temple 12:00 PM ESPNews
Colgate at Army 12:00 PM CBSSN
Michigan State at Nebraska 12:00 PM FOX
TCU at Baylor 12:00 PM FS1
Pittsburgh at Wake Forest 12:00 PM ACC Network
NC State at Louisville 12:20 PM ACC Network
#19 Utah at Colorado 1:30 PM Pac-12 Networks
#23 Utah State at Colorado State 2:00 PM AT&T SportsNet
Florida Intl at Charlotte 2:00 PM ESPN3
VMI at Old Dominion 2:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
#12 Syracuse at #3 Notre Dame 2:30 PM NBC
UTSA at Marshall 2:30 PM None Facebook
Georgia State at Appalachian State 2:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Western Carolina at North Carolina 3:00 PM ACC Network
UL Monroe at Arkansas State 3:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
#9 West Virginia at Oklahoma State 3:30 PM ABC
#20 Boston College at Florida State 3:30 PM ESPN2
Tulsa at Navy 3:30 PM CBSSN
Texas State at Troy 3:30 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
Louisiana Tech at Southern Mississippi 3:30 PM Stadium
Wisconsin at Purdue 3:30 PM BTN
Bowling Green at Akron 3:30 PM ESPN3
Virginia at Georgia Tech 3:30 PM ACC Network
Miami at Virginia Tech 3:30 PM ESPN
Texas Tech at Kansas State 3:30 PM ESPNU
Iowa at Illinois 3:30 PM BTN
Missouri at Tennessee 3:30 PM CBS
Indiana at #4 Michigan 4:00 PM FS1
UMass at #5 Georgia 4:00 PM SEC Network
Liberty at Auburn 4:00 PM SEC Network
Air Force at Wyoming 4:00 PM ESPNews
Oregon State at #18 Washington 4:30 PM Pac-12 Networks
Georgia Southern at Coastal Carolina 5:00 PM ESPN+ ESPN+
South Alabama at Louisiana 5:00 PM ESPN3
Nevada at San Jose State 5:00 PM ESPN3
Duke at #2 Clemson 7:00 PM ESPN
UConn at East Carolina 7:00 PM CBSSN
UAB at Texas A&M 7:00 PM ESPN2
Kansas at #6 Oklahoma 7:30 PM FOX
Rice at #7 LSU 7:30 PM ESPNU
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt 7:30 PM SEC Network
Stanford at California PPD (Smoke) N/A N/A
Chattanooga at South Carolina 7:30 PM SEC Network
UTEP at Western Kentucky 7:30 PM beIN Sports
#24 Cincinnati at #11 UCF 8:00 PM ABC
#16 Iowa State at #15 Texas 8:00 PM Longhorn Network
New Mexico State at BYU 10:15 PM ESPN2
Arizona at #8 Washington State 10:30 PM ESPN
San Diego State at Fresno State 10:30 PM CBSSN
Arizona State at Oregon 10:30 PM Pac-12 Networks
UNLV at Hawai'i 11:00 PM Spectrum Sports PPV Stadium (App only)