That seems to be the theme of the past few weeks. At some point a few upsets will happen that will shake up the rankings. So who falls down the list this week? I have a few ideas but I will get to that after the schedules. First off, the cable schedule:
|Connecticut at East Carolina (Thu)||7:00 PM||TSN3|
|Miami at Virginia Tech (Thu)||8:00 PM||TSN5|
|BYU at Boise State (Fri)*||9:00 PM||TSN2|
|Maine at Rhode Island||12:00 PM||WNYO|
|Maryland at Wisconsin||12:00 PM||BTN|
|Texas at Kansas State||12:00 PM||TSN3|
|Rutgers at Nebraska||12:00 PM||TSN1|
|Minnesota at Illinois||12:00 PM||TSN5|
|North Carolina at Virginia||12:30 PM||WSBK|
|San Jose State at Navy||1:00 PM||CBSSN|
|Michigan at Michigan State||3:30 PM||ABC|
|Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss||3:30 PM||WNYO|
|Mississippi State at Kentucky||3:30 PM||CBS|
|Texas Tech at TCU||3:30 PM||FOX|
|Temple at UCF||5:00 PM||CBSSN|
|UTEP at UTSA||7:00 PM||WNYO|
|Ohio State at Penn State||8:00 PM||ABC|
Man it must suck to not have the college football specialty pack on Saturday night. I get it though; it’s Canada. EVERYONE loves hockey so everyone must want to watch it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hockey and have been a Leafs fan all my life (keep the jokes to yourself). I can’t remember the last time I watched a whole regular season NHL game. I can honestly say it’s been at least five years. My sport of choice is college football so until mid-January I will only watch hockey in highlight form. I do understand there are a ton more hockey fans out there (that also say TSN is in big trouble because of the Rogers Blow-Their-Load NHL deal but I have a different opinion on that). But TSN should be bulking up on as much live programming as they can get their hands on. For the most part, that is what the consumer wants. No offense to SportsCentre (or Sportsnet’s shit-tastic highlights show) but if people want highlights, they can usually go somewhere on the internet to find them. But when these same people want to watch a game live, at least at this point, they go to TSN or Sportsnet (or whatever other channel it’s on). Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the fact that TSN has upped their college football coverage significantly. But they are so scared to put anything on Saturday night that could bring in any sort of ratings because they are under the belief that hockey will destroy them. While that may be true, you have to build a fanbase for other sports to keep people watching your family of networks or otherwise you will eventually become second fiddle to Rogers (as horrible and ridiculous as that sounds). OK I have to step back and take a deep breath….
…here’s the specialty pack schedule while I calm down:
|USF at Cincinnati (Fri)||7:00 PM|
|Troy at South Alabama (Fri)||7:30 PM|
|UAB at Arkansas (Bell only)||12:00 PM|
|North Carolina at Virginia (SD only)||12:30 PM|
|West Virginia at Oklahoma State||3:30 PM|
|Oregon State at Stanford||3:30 PM|
|Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh (SD only – Bell)||3:30 PM|
|Boston College at Wake Forest (SD only)||3:30 PM|
|Vanderbilt at Missouri (Bell only)||4:00 PM|
|Syracuse at Clemson (SD only – Bell)||7:00 PM|
|Ole Miss at LSU||7:30 PM|
|Alabama at Tennessee||7:30 PM|
|South Carolina at Auburn (Bell only)||7:30 PM|
|Arizona State at Washington||10:45 PM|
Again, a pet peeve of mine. TSN has set their games that they will show for the week. So all the other ESPN games that aren’t being shown on a TSN channel should be picked up by the specialty pack. Instead, they have gaps in the schedule and a lot of “TBA.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s left to put on there. Just a decision on what appears on both SD and HD and what only gets an SD channel. Wow, a lot of ranting today. Must be one of those days. I better avoid places with untrained cashiers.
A couple of quick notes. The BYU-Boise State game will be picked up in progress on TSN2 after the Raptors-Knicks game. Sucks that it has to be this way but the CFL is contracted to be on a specific amount of channels (TSN1 and whatever other channels need to pick it up), regional NHL action is already contracted out, and obviously TSN has the rights to a certain amount of Raptors games. There was no way to show this game in its entirety so the only options were pick it up in progress or allow it to go to the specialty pack. Each has its pros and cons so they’ve done the best they could given the situation. Also, expect all the games with asterisks to eventually appear on the specialty packs. All ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and SEC Network games appear on either the TSNs or on the specialty pack. Also, this season we have received the regional FOX Sports Network ACC games for some reason. They also appear on ESPN3 so that’s probably how they get around that. The same thing happened last week. Half the games weren’t appearing on the guide. By Saturday morning they were there. No need to worry at this point if you don’t see it.
Games of the Week
Ole Miss at LSU (7:30, should appear on the specialty pack) – Arguably the game of the week. This is my first choice of a team dropping down the rankings. As good as Ole Miss has been this season, they are going on the road to Death Valley at night. An absolutely awful combination (unless your Dak Prescott). The Hat doesn’t lose too often in these situations (unless your Dak Prescott) so I can see a bit of an upset here. If the Rebs somehow win thought, then the Egg Bowl could end up being the first ever #1 vs. #2 in-state battle since, I am guessing, Florida State-Miami back in the early 90s.
USC at Utah (10:00, not anywhere near here) – At the start of the season, no one would have figured this would be a key Pac-12 South game. But here we are shortly before Halloween and Utah (UTAH!) is contending in the division. If they win this, they control their fate in the division. Win out and go to Santa Clara (and hope Kyle Whittingham doesn’t take a more high-profile job elsewhere).
Oregon at Cal (Friday, 10:00, again, FOX Sports Fucking One) – How is Cal this good this season? They should be in the basement where they belong. Instead, Sonny Dykes has them playing some good football. Oh and that at should be a versus because this game is in Santa Clara at the Casa de Niners. This is one game where I am almost positive there won’t be an upset (but it wouldn’t be fun if the Bears gave the Ducks a scare?)
Mississippi State at Kentucky (3:30, CBS) – Mississippi State. Kentucky. On CBS. At 3:30. If this doesn’t tell you how insane this season has been, then nothing will. I wouldn’t have bought this happening a month in a half ago. But here we are. Big implications. Bulldogs reinforce themselves as #1 with a win in a probably hostile environment in Lexington (for once). And if the Cats somehow pull this out, they are bowl-eligible and the only viable challenger left for Georgia in the SEC East.
Ohio State at Penn State (8:00, ABC) – Yeah I am a bit tired of the Big Ten hogging the ABC primetime game but this should be a good underrated matchup. The Buckeyes need to win here and next week against Illinois to set up a MASSIVE primetime showdown with Sparty in two weeks. If any team can upset the Buckeyes and make it seem like not as much of an upset is James Franklin and his fighting Nittany Lions. Maybe Christian Hackenburg can start his 2015 Heisman campaign here.
Arizona State at Washington (10:45, specialty pack) – Nice game to finish off the college football week. Both teams need a win here and a loss pretty much eliminates any conference championship talk. This gives me a reason to stay up until about 2 in the morning rather than go to bed like a normal human being. God I love college football.
Picks for you gamblers out there
I will reiterate this here again: I don’t usually gamble on college football. And especially this Saturday when I can watch from noon on (about 14 hours worth) I won’t gamble on the games. I like college football for college football. Just love the games and watching them. I gamble on the NFL mostly since I am not as invested in it personally (as in I won’t spend all day watching unless there’s nothing else to do…and if I have just spent the Saturday watching college football I will have plenty of shit to do on Sunday). Buuuuuuuut if I had to make some picks, here are a few I would make:
LSU over Ole Miss (I feel this will happen but in the end won’t cost the Rebs a CFP spot)
Utah over USC
Mississippi State over Kentucky
Boise State over BYU
Kansas State over Texas
Wisconsin over Maryland
Michigan State over Michigan
Oklahoma State over West Virginia
I will keep this schedule updated until Saturday morning when I sure as hell hope everything is set (it should be but you never know). NFL schedule for tomorrow as usual.