Nothing stellar here, particularly with the start of the LCS series in baseball. Pair of rivalry games dot Thursday night with the Sunflower Showdown between Kansas St. at Kansas on FSN at 7:30pm (FSN's 1st mid-season national Thursday night game since 2000) and the Keg of Nails game on Friday with Cincinnati at Louisville (8pm, ESPN.
That said, they are rivalry games and they could be close and chippy.
The early afternoon is a dog. Missouri at Texas A&M (FSN, 12:30pm) might be the best of a lackluster bunch. Mizzou is coming off a shutout of Colorado and A&M QB Jerrod Johnson has become a turnover machine over the past three games with nine interceptions. Pittsburgh at Syracuse (Big East Network/Game Plan, 12pm) is a must win for the Panthers as their early season struggles could lead them to a lost season with the conference schedule looming.
Arkansas at Auburn leads off the mid-afternoon slate (CBS, 3:30pm) with Cam Newton playing the role of Tim Tebow as the SEC's top spread QB and has a great chance at finishing the year with 2000 passing yards and 1000 rushing yards if he keeps his existing pace. Arkansas can pull back into the SEC West race with a win, but they'll need additional help down the road because of the loss to Alabama if tiebreakers are needed. Ryan Mallett is the key to the Arkansas offense. They'll go as far as he can take them.
Iowa at Michigan is a 2nd matchup of ranked teams (if you use the, IMO, worthless coaches poll) and likely is a referendum for Michigan's slim chances of remaining in the Big Ten race (ABC/ESPN, 3:30pm). QBs are the name of the game here with Denard Robinson and Ricky Stanzi matching up. Robinson had a bad game vs. Michigan St. with his three picks, but still managed 301 yards of total offense. Stanzi has been efficient this year, save for the loss at Arizona. Michigan's defense will be the key. Indiana lit them up through the air and Michigan St. pounded them on the ground.
Texas at Nebraska ups the ante with some off-field antics. The realignment of the summer pitted these two schools against each other as Texas was hailed as the savior of the Big 12 while Nebraska made their decision to move on from the feeling that Texas and the Big 12 South were the decision makers for the conference. The "Red Out Around The World" website initially debuted with a website video that strongly hinted that the Texas game would be one that the Husker fans should gear their season around. Lets be clear though. Nebraska has enough to win the Big 12 North and Texas could get their clocks cleaned by the ground game of the Huskers if the UCLA game is held as the gold standard of a suspect 'Horns defense. Mack Brown has lost three consecutive games as Texas head coach once (last three games of 1999 season: at A&M, vs. Nebraska in Big 12 title game, vs. Arkansas in Cotton Bowl).
And a sneaky one for you who like contrasts in style: SMU at Navy (3:30pm, CBS College). SMU throwing the ball all over the yard vs. Navy's triple option attack. Both teams come in at 4-2 as well.
Ohio St. at Wisconsin starts off the primetime gamees and is earmarked as the game of the night (7pm, ESPN). Wisconsin bounced back with a big win at home vs. Minnesota to tune up for the Buckeyes. OSU hasn't quite challenged themselves since their win vs. Miami. Terrell Pryor has been efficient in several wins this year, but against Miami (OSU's best opponent so far), he completed less than 50% of his passes and in the Illinois game he did not last. Pryor hasn't been that great against the Badgers despite a 2-0 record, 18-32 for 232 total yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs in his two starts, with only 55 rushing yards over the two games.
And if you are so inclined, stay up late and watch Nevada travel to the islands to take on Hawai'i (WAC Sports/Game Plan). Should be plenty of scoring as the strengths of these teams' offenses match up well with the other team's defense and a late game in Honolulu often results in a closer than expected game. The Warriors lead the nation in passing yards per game at 421.7 yards and Nevada ranks 82nd in the nation against the pass. And while the Warriors rushing defense has played well in back-to-back wins over Louisiana Tech and Fresno St., they've also given up 200 plus yards to three opponents and the running game is where Nevada excels, fifth in the nation at 314.3 yards.