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Home » College football TV schedule: Alabama-Texas takes center stage – The Washington Post

College football TV schedule: Alabama-Texas takes center stage – The Washington Post

Is it so much to ask that we get one game a week like last Saturday’s North Carolina-Appalachian State affair, which featured 489 fourth-quarter yards (!) and 62 fourth-quarter points (!!). Just one. Put U-Conn. in it, doesn’t matter. College football is best when it’s inexplicably preposterous, and we got a heaping helping of that in Week 1.
On to Week 2.
Alabama is a 20-point favorite at Texas as of this writing, a scenario in which Nick Saban-coached Crimson Tide teams usually thrive: They have gone 26-0 as road favorites of at least 20 points under Saban, winning by more than seven points in 25 of them. The only truly close game was last year’s nutty 24-22 Iron Bowl win at Auburn. Last year also saw Saban lose to a former assistant for the first time (to Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M) and the second time (to Kirby Smart and Georgia in the College Football Playoff title game), and Longhorns Coach Steve Sarkisian served under Saban for three seasons, the last two as his offensive coordinator. Texas rolled up on Louisiana Monroe last weekend, prompting some muffled cries of “Texas is back,” but Alabama put a probably more impressive 55-0 hurt on Utah State, which unlike the Warhawks actually could be pretty decent this year. The Longhorns haven’t beaten an Associated Press top-five team since a 20-13 win over No. 5 Nebraska in 2010 and last beat a top-ranked team in 2008, when they vanquished Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry. …
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Tennessee travels to Pittsburgh in the Johnny Majors Classic, with both teams featuring intriguing passers. Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker, who replaced an injured Joe Milton in last year’s loss to the Panthers and has not relinquished the starting job since, threw for two scores and ran for two more in Tennessee’s 49-point blowout of Ball State last weekend. Pittsburgh features Kedon Slovis, the Southern California transfer who replaced Kenny Pickett, who’s now in the NFL. Slovis completed 16 of 24 passes for 308 yards and a touchdown in the harrowing Backyard Brawl win over West Virginia last week, when the Panthers tied the score late, went ahead on M.J. Devonshire’s pick-six with 2:58 remaining and then held on as the Mountaineers’ last-gasp touchdown drive fell just short. …
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The night slate features two late games that may trump going to sleep. BYU hosts Baylor in a matchup of ranked future Big 12 rivals, with the Cougars scheduled to join the conference next season. The Bears won last year’s matchup, rushing for 303 yards in a 38-24 win. It was the first of four games in which BYU allowed at least 210 rushing yards over its final seven games (though they went 5-2 over that stretch). Baylor ran the ball 41 times for 259 yards and seven rushing touchdowns in a season-opening demolition of Albany, so it appears its plan of attack hasn’t changed much. … Fresh off its upset of bewilderingly bad San Diego State, Arizona hosts Mississippi State with something of a pep in its step after going 1-16 over its previous two seasons. The Wildcats held the perennially ground-bound Aztecs to only 62 passing yards on 16 attempts but will face nothing remotely similar to that with Mike Leach’s Bulldogs, who got 450 passing yards and five touchdowns (to five players) from quarterback Will Rogers in a season-opening win over Memphis.

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