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Best College Football Games Today on TV | 2023 Week 5

Watch USC vs. Colorado and our picks for the best games to watch on the Week 5 college football schedule. Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.We wouldn’t blame you if last weekend’s headlining games felt slightly anti-climactic. Across the schedule, big upsets got replaced by beatdowns of the total and slowly-being-choked-out variety (do you think Nick Saban heard Ole Miss’s smack talk?). But unlike Notre Dame or Ohio State fans, you don’t have to spend all week being mad and/or making legally actionable threats online! As always, the most fun was in the margins.

Along with Washington State winning the unofficial Pac-2 championship and Wyoming pulling out a close win over App State, this column is officially a pro-Virginia Hoos space. Quarterback Anthony Colandrea leads the nation in antics per interception, and this week’s Virginia–Boston College game will air on The CW, continuing its strong tradition of baffling and entertaining programming.

Because variety is important for a well-balanced diet, let’s harness some of the energy from Coastal Carolina’s field entrance and jump around the schedule for this week’s edition of the College Football Watch Guide:

A Heisman winner vs. Heisman contender matchup headlines Week 5’s slate of games, but we’ll also have some fun in the Sun Belt, get our vegetables with an Oklahoma check-in, and wrap up with some Pac-12 after-hours action. Here’s what you need to know about the best college football games for Week 5.

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Watch USC vs. Colorado | FOX

(Here are two disclaimers for anyone who’s sick of the Buffs making an appearance in this column for the third time in five weeks:

  1. Colorado turned a late-night regional rivalry game into ESPN’s fifth-most watched regular season college football game ever, and the ratings for last week’s paving against Oregon nearly tied Ohio State vs. Notre Dame. Coach Prime gets eyeballs! (And we’ve got bills to pay, man.)
  2. Colorado’s schedule slows down after this week, so unless Arizona State suddenly gets way cooler, we promise we’ll take a Buffs break.)

On the field, this game boils down to the Pointing Spider-Man meme. Both teams have phenomenal quarterbacks (defending Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and Shedeur Sanders), high-powered offenses (Trojans wideout Zachariah Branch is good for five highlights per game), and middling to bottom-dwelling defenses that could guarantee a buckets-of-points kind of game.

As for the implications, the Buffs are USC’s first defensive stress test this season. If the Trojans can keep them in check, they might finally be able to pair their best-in-class offense with a serviceable defense. It’ll also be USC’s first 12:00 p.m. game of the season, giving everyone their first chance to see Caleb Williams on a platform that’s not a pirated highlight on YouTube Shorts.

For Colorado, expectations finally returned to earth after last week’s 42–6 disemboweling at Oregon. But like jam band fans enjoying a four-hour show at Red Rocks, Buffs fans can still fall back on some positive vibes. Your team’s fun again! No one wins a national championship off the bat, Deion’s got the rebuild rolling, and the Boulder dispensary celebrity sightings will remain top-notch.

When does USC play Colorado?


Date: Sept. 30
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Channel: FOX

Watch free on FuboTV’s Homefield Shirts of the Week

Based in Indianapolis, Homefield offers officially licensed college apparel with exclusive vintage designs that draw from the history of more than 150 colleges.

This week’s USC picks showcase several vintage USC logos and the very good college doggo George Tirebiter. Our Colorado selections highlight the Rockies and the Buffs’ mascot over the years.

Want these shirts? Click the link below to check out Homefield’s Colorado and USC collections.

More college football TV schedule picks

Watch South Alabama vs. James Madison | ESPNU

South Alabama made headlines after Week 3’s 33–7 upset win against Oklahoma State, and over in Mobile, Ala., the Jaguars have quietly been building a solid Sun Belt squad. Last year, South Alabama went 10–3, and their two regular-season losses were to Troy and UCLA by a combined five points.

Outside of a Week 1 clunker against Tulane, the Jaguars have performed well against their non-conference schedule. This week, they face off against an undefeated James Madison team that’s coming off a 45–38 win against Utah State and tied atop the Sun Belt standings with Georgia State.

When does South Alabama play James Madison?

Date: Sept. 30
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Channel: ESPNU

Watch free on FuboTV

Watch Oklahoma vs. Iowa State | FS1

Oklahoma had its growing pains under coach Brent Venables last year, but this season, they’re back to the scorched-earth Sooners outfit we’re used to seeing. Oklahoma nuked Arkansas State and Tulsa off the field, opened Big 12 play with a 20–6 win against Cincinnati last week, and currently rank a solid 10th in offensive yardage per game.

This week’s game against Iowa State doubles as a lesson in a movable force versus a stoppable object. For yet another year, the Cyclones have saddled an excellent defense with an unwatchable offense. Oklahoma should comfortably beat Iowa State, but they’ll be a good litmus test for the Sooners ahead of next week’s Red River Showdown against Texas.

(Let’s also take a moment to highlight the plight of Cyclones coach Matt Campbell, who went from reportedly turning down a $68.5 million NFL contract to getting heckled post-game by fans on the street. As always, take the bag of money when the bag’s in front of you.)

When does Oklahoma play Iowa State?

Date: Sept. 30
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Channel: FS1

Watch free on FuboTV

Watch Oregon State vs. Utah | FS1

Oregon State kicks off its Pac-12 revenge tour this week against the Utes in Corvallis, Ore. On the field, the Beavers and resurgent quarterback DJ Uiagalelei blazed through their non-conference slate and narrowly lost to Washington State last week in a 38–35 squeaker.

Meanwhile, Utah gave UCLA quarterback Dante Moore a brutal welcome to the Pac-12 in a 14–7 Utes win. Utah’s gone a perfect 4–0 despite injuries to quarterback Cam Rising and a raft of other players—their gameplans have largely been built on a great defense alongside a MacGuyver-esque approach to offense with their available players.

Off the field, we’re Beavers and Washington State fans for purely chaotic neutral reasons. Rationally, we know it’d take a lot for either team to get past Oregon, Utah, and USC unscathed.

But after being shanked and pushed into a gorge by two-thirds of the Pac-12, how good would it be to have a Pac-12 Championship Game filled with triumphant Beavs or Cougs fans booing Pac-12 execs off the field? Dream the change you want to see in the world, folks.

When does Oregon State play Utah?

Date: Sept. 29
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Channel: FS1

Watch free on FuboTV

Watch Syracuse vs. Clemson | ABC

Syracuse looks to continue its winning hot streak as they face off against the Tigers this week. Quarterback Garrett Shrader’s a do-it-all player for the Orange, as he’s paired a solid passing line (972 yards and a 6–3 touchdown touchdown-to-interception ratio) with an additional 316 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

This week’s game will also tell us a lot about Syracuse’s hot start. After Clemson, the Orange will play against ACC frontrunners UNC and Florida State.

When does Syracuse play Clemson?

Date: Sept. 30
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Channel: ABC

Watch free on FuboTV

Strive For 325: Week 5

Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz had a historically bad season last year. As a result, Brian Ferentz’s contract got reworked: Iowa won’t renew his contract if the team scores fewer than 325 total points this season. Every week on Strive For 325, we’ll track Iowa’s current point total and progress toward Ferentz’s offensive goal.

You scored as many points as Iowa did last week, as the Hawkeyes suffered a grisly 31–0 loss against Penn State and dropped their point total down to 21.25 points per game. This week, the Hawkeyes have a winnable game against a dismal Michigan State team that’s approaching spiraling territory. Use the hashtag #StriveFor325 to follow along all season.

A football field graphic. Source image courtesy Wikipedia user Xyzzy n.

Best college football schedule this weekend

Wondering who’s playing college football today? Here are the rest of our picks for the best games from the Week 5 college football schedule. For a complete list of games and channels, head to the NCAA’s college football TV schedule and times page.

Best Week 5 college football games

Game Date Time (ET) Channels
Louisville vs. NC State Friday, Sept. 22 7:00 p.m. ESPN
Utah vs. Oregon State Friday, Sept. 22 9:00 p.m. FS1
USC vs. Colorado Saturday, Sept. 30 12:00 p.m. FOX
Penn State vs. Northwestern Saturday, Sept. 30 12:00 p.m. BTN
Florida vs. Kentucky Saturday, Sept. 30 12:00 p.m. ESPN
Louisiana vs. Minnesota Saturday, Sept. 30 12:00 p.m. BTN
Clemson vs. Syracuse Saturday, Sept. 30 12:00 p.m. ABC
South Alabama vs. James Madison Saturday, Sept. 30 12:00 p.m. ESPNU
Arizona State vs. Cal Saturday, Sept. 30 3:00 p.m. PAC-12
Georgia vs. Auburn Saturday, Sept. 30 3:30 p.m. CBS
Michigan vs. Nebraska Saturday, Sept. 30 3:30 p.m. FOX
Kansas vs. Texas Saturday, Sept. 30 3:30 p.m. ABC
Indiana vs. Maryland Saturday, Sept. 30 3:30 p.m. BTN
Houston vs. Texas Tech Saturday, Sept. 30 3:30 p.m. FS2
Baylor vs. UCF Saturday, Sept. 30 3:30 p.m. CBS
Missouri vs. Vanderbilt Saturday, Sept. 30 4:00 p.m. SEC Network
Hawai’i vs. UNLV Saturday, Sept. 30 4:00 p.m. SSSEN/MWN
New Mexico vs. Wyoming Saturday, Sept. 30 4:00 p.m. MWN
LSU vs. Ole Miss Saturday, Sept. 30 6:00 p.m. ESPN
Oregon vs. Stanford Saturday, Sept. 30 6:30 p.m. PAC-12 Network
Iowa State vs. Oklahoma Saturday, Sept. 30 7:00 p.m. FS1
Coastal Carolina vs. Georgia Southern Saturday, Sept. 30 7:00 p.m. NFL Network
Troy vs. Georgia State Saturday, Sept. 30 7:00 p.m. ESPN+
Texas State vs. Southern Miss Saturday, Sept. 30 7:00 p.m. ESPN+
Notre Dame vs. Duke Saturday, Sept. 30 7:30 p.m. ABC
Alabama vs. Mississippi State Saturday, Sept. 30 8:00 p.m. ESPN
Washington vs. Arizona Saturday, Sept. 30 10:00 p.m. PAC-12 Network
Nevada vs. Fresno State Saturday, Sept. 30 10:30 p.m. FS1

Data effective as of post date.

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