Three to watch
1) Washington at No. 3 LSU, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
You have to admire coach Steve Sarkisian’s creativity: He brought a live tiger to Washington practice this week. Not sure it will help the Huskies against LSU’s defense, though.
2) No. 7 Georgia at Missouri, 7:45 p.m. (ESPN2)
Mizzou’s indoctrination to the SEC should be memorable. Tarboro’s Todd Gurley scored three touchdowns in his Georgia debut, but Mizzou’s defense is tougher than Buffalo’s.
3) No. 16 Nebraska at UCLA, 7:30 p.m. (WRAZ)
The hobbled Cornhuskers make what they hope to be the first of two trips to the Rose Bowl this season in the first big test for new UCLA coach Jim Mora.
Inside the BCS
• The Big Ten already is off to a slow start and might get worse. Wisconsin (at Oregon State), Ohio State (vs. Central Florida) and Michigan (vs. Air Force) each play “loseable” games Saturday against what would be considered “lesser” competition.
That’s a bad public-relations combo for a league coming off a wipeout loss to an SEC power (Alabama beat Michigan , 41-14), a home loss to a MAC school (Ohio beat Penn State, 24-14) and a close call by its defending champion to a Division I-AA team (Wisconsin beat Northern Iowa, 26-21).
• Four Pac-12 teams face ranked nonconference opponents this week in what amounts to the league’s chance to prove it’s not just USC, Oregon and the 10 other guys.
It would be surprising if Arizona (No. 18 Oklahoma State), Washington (No. 3 LSU), UCLA (No. 16 Nebraska) and/or Oregon State (No. 13 Wisconsin) actually won, but at least they have the chance.
College football needs more intersectional games like the ones the Pac-12, albeit at the behest of their own television interests, has lined up Saturday.
Number to know
LSU’s record in night games at Tiger Stadium under coach Les Miles.
1) Matt Barkley, USC
The Trojans’ quarterback makes a rare trip to the east coast to play Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Northwestern scored 42 points on the Orange’s defense last week.
2) Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State
Bell shot up Heisman boards with a 210-yard rushing effort in a win over Boise State. The junior running back should find more running room against Central Michigan.
3) T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
No Trent Richardson? No problem. The true freshman ran for 111 yards on just 11 carries last week in a reloaded Tide backfield. Western Kentucky figures to offer less resistance this week.
Air Force at No. 19 Michigan
This is a tough spot for the Wolverines, who got blown out in a much-hyped meeting with Alabama last week. Fewer people will care about this game, which for Air Force, amounts to a Super Bowl. Air Force is tough, well-coached and runs a quirky offense; that’s a lot to ask of an emotionally flat team like Michigan.