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College football TV schedule Saturday: Utah-Cal, Mich.-NW top games

From coast to coast, teams are trying to position themselves to be in the playoff hunt starting next month.

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Utah quarterback Travis Wilson (7) looks to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Eugene, Ore.

Ryan Kang/AP

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As we approach mid-October, college football teams are trying to strengthen or improve their poll positions by the time the College Football Playoff rankings first appear on November 3.

To that end, there are a number of important contests on Saturday involving teams in The Associated Press Top 25 poll.

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We'll start with No. 14 Mississippi, trying to bounce back from their first loss of the season at Florida, hosting New Mexico State at noon Eastern time in a game that will be televised on the ESPN SEC Network.

No. 22 Iowa, who made noise last week in beating Wisconsin on the road, will play host to a 4-1 Illinois team at noon on ESPNU.

Third-ranked Baylor goes on the road to meet Kansas in a Big 12 affair at noon on Fox Sports 1.

Also in the Big 12 Saturday, the annual "Red River Shootout" between No. 10 Oklahoma and Texas, named after the river that separates the two states. ABC will televise this game from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas at noon Eastern.

Our final noontime game of note pits No. 1 Ohio State and Maryland from Columbus, Ohio. The Big Ten Network will broadcast this contest.

The Saturday mid-afternoon college football menu includes Toledo, new to the Associated Press poll at No. 24, taking on Kent State. This game will be live streamed on ESPN3, starting at 3 p.m. Eastern.

No. 6 Clemson, fresh off their impressive win over Notre Dame last Saturday night, gets Georgia Tech next at 3:30 p.m. Depending on where you live, this game will be on either ABC or ESPN2.

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Seventh-ranked LSU takes on South Carolina in a game moved from Columbia to Baton Rouge due to the flooding in the Palmetto State capital. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.

Georgia, which fell 11 places to 19th in this week's AP poll, meets Tennessee in a SEC contest you can watch on CBS at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

At that same time, a big game in the Big Ten Conference, as No. 13 Northwestern travels to 18th-ranked Michigan. You can watch this game on the Big Ten Network.

Notre Dame will try to bounce back from its loss at Clemson with a tough home game versus a undefeated Navy team at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.

Saturday night, you can see eighth-ranked Alabama play host to Arkansas on ESPN at 7 p.m. Eastern time, while No. 21 Oklahoma State takes on West Virginia at the same time on ESPN2.

Also at 7 p.m., No. 25 Boise State will travel to Colorado State. You can see this game on the CBS Sports Network.

At 7:30 p.m., second-ranked TCU will be at Kansas State in a game broadcast on Fox. Florida, which moved up 14 spots to No. 11 in the latest poll after beating Mississippi, travels to Missouri to meet the Tigers, also at 7:30 p.m. on the ESPN SEC Network.

The annual encounter between No. 12 Florida State and Miami takes place at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC. Fourth-ranked Michigan State will be on the road at Rutgers on the Big Ten Network at that same hour.

And finally, in what should be an entertaining affair, fifth-ranked Utah will play host to No. 23 California in a 10 p.m. Eastern time kickoff on ESPN.