Yes, the College Football Playoff Committee sends out their first rankings on November 3rd. To me that is entirely too early. Hell, they couldn’t get it done properly after the games on American Thanksgiving weekend. We will have controversy, that is a given. Some team will be ranked too high and another ranked too low and the problem will be “rectified” with some horseshit leap-frogging in the poll to “make things right.” Don’t get me wrong. Should Ohio State have been in the CFP last season? Absolutely. But they shouldn’t have had to leapfrog TCU to get in. They should have been ahead if not VERY close behind. That would have made The Committee’s decision a little more palatable. Oh well, what we should all be not thankful for is that every ESPN employee (except the 350 about to get shitcanned) will get to show their bracket at some point over the next month. I don’t mind debate about the rankings, just don’t show who you want in. Doesn’t matter if it’s Rece Davis or Janitor Bob, their rankings mean sweet fuck all.
Alright, enough of that and on to the task at hand. The TV schedule for this week. Of course this had to be a free weekend for me. One of the worst weeks of the season in terms of game quality. Let’s hope we have some ridiculous finishes so that I don’t feel as bad eating really shitty food and staying up until 2 in the morning…at home.
First off, the cable schedule:
|California at UCLA (Thu)||9:00 PM||TSN4||X||X||X|
|Clemson at Miami||12:00 PM||ABC/TSN1||X||X||X|
|Iowa State at Baylor||12:00 PM||TSN2||X||X||X|
|Pittsburgh at Syracuse||12:00 PM||TSN4||X||X||X|
|Boston College at Louisville||12:30 PM||WSBK||X||X||X|
|Tulane at Navy||1:00 PM||CBSSN||X||X|
|Indiana at Michigan State||3:30 PM||ABC||X||X||X|
|Ohio at Buffalo||3:30 PM||MyTV||X||X|
|Wisconsin at Illinois||3:30 PM||BTN||X|
|Tennessee at Alabama||3:30 PM||CBS||X||X||X|
|Connecticut at Cincinnati||4:30 PM||CBSSN||X||X|
|Utah at USC||7:30 PM||FOX||X||X||X|
|Ohio State at Rutgers||8:00 PM||ABC||X||X||X|
As usual, this is set in stone (for the most part). There is a reverse mirror for the 3:30 ABC game. Most of us will see Indiana take on Michigan State but some will get Texas Tech-Oklahoma (like people who can get ABC out of Seattle I presume). I will watch for this for the next day or so as sometimes the coverage maps don’t come out until Friday which is a bit of an annoyance but it is what it is. All in all, this is a really weak schedule. The best cable game is probably Utah-USC which is pretty sad. As I said before…pray for great finishes. Then again, this is college football. We will get at least one. I mean nothing like Michigan State-Michigan last week but it should be alright.
And now to the bane of my (blogging) existence…the specialty pack schedule:
|Temple at East Carolina (Thu)||7:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Georgia Southern at Appalachian State (Thu)||7:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Memphis at Tulsa (Fri)||8:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Utah State at San Diego State (Fri)||10:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Northwestern at Nebraska||12:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Pittsburgh at Syracuse (no longer on SP)||12:00 PM|
|NC State at Wake Forest||12:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Auburn at Arkansas||12:00 PM||X||X|
|Boston College at Louisville||12:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Penn State vs. Maryland (in Baltimore)||3:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Texas Tech at Oklahoma||3:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Duke at Virginia Tech||3:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Virginia at North Carolina||3:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Missouri at Vanderbilt||4:00 PM||X||X|
|Texas A&M at Ole Miss||7:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Florida State at Georgia Tech||7:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Western Kentucky at LSU||7:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Kentucky at Mississippi State||7:30 PM||X||X|
|Wyoming at Boise State||10:15 PM||X||X||X|
|Washington at Stanford||10:30 PM||X||X||X|
Again, it’s like Rogers and Bell can’t stop tripping over themselves. Why in the blue hell is Pittsburgh-Syracuse on the specialty pack when it’s already on TSN4? I can see that changing to Northwestern-Nebraska which isn’t showing up anywhere yet is a game on ESPN2. When this change will happen? I predict late Friday night. There are five other later games not showing up on the specialty pack either but there are spots for them so they should be there soon. Looks like I will be doing updates over the next day or so. Update: All these games have been added. However, Rogers has removed-Pitt-Cuse but Bell has not. Still don’t think it will appear on the specialty pack but I could be wrong. For now it is still there. Update #2: Pitt-Syracuse officially taken off the specialty pack (since it’s already on a TSN station). As for now, any game with an asterisk beside it is NOT confirmed but should be before the games begin. Another weak schedule here, with Texas A&M-Ole Miss as the headliner. Yikes. Pretty bad. No wonder they put College GameDay at James Madison. And saying that, why couldn’t they pick another school that hasn’t hosted it. Here are a few options they could have taken:
- Syracuse (for Pitt at Cuse) – There is actually quite a bit of college football history in Syracuse. They could use a full hour to talk about Jim Brown and Donovan McNabb. Kind of amazed they’ve never been there before.
- Orlando (for Houston at UCF) – OK, UCF is terrible this year. But they spent the better part of six years before that being really good. Plus, with Houston there at least there is one good AAC team playing.
- Tampa (for SMU at USF) – OK, maybe not. I mean they haven’t been here but this is a pretty bad matchup.
- Piscataway (for Ohio State at Rutgers) – My guess is ESPN won’t go here because of the fact the Rutgers football program is a dumpster fire right now. Otherwise, this would have been the pick, no doubt about it.
OK so there weren’t that many choices. Not saying James Madison isn’t a good choice since they are historically one of the best FCS programs (and should move up to FBS soon enough). Just thinking the game itself (the Dukes hosting Richmond in the Little Battle for Virginia (Commonwealth Cup Lite?)) should have at least been on ESPNEWS if not ESPNU since this is the weekend it would have been appreciated. I digress.
Games of the Week (if you like to change channels all the time)
This is probably one of the many reasons I am not married anymore. I like to change channels when watching live TV. I’m a guy, what can I say? I also pay extra to get the U.S. College Sports Package and CBS Sports Network so I am damn well going to turn the channel there…a lot. I always stick with a game if it’s close in the 4th quarter but other than that I am all over the map. It’s fun. I’m sure my remote control will die a painful death one day but that’s the price you pay for being a remote control in this day and age.
Texas A&M at Ole Miss (7:00, specialty pack) – This is the de facto game of the week since it’s the only game between two ranked teams. Let’s put this into perspective. Both of these teams lost last week, A&M to Bama, and Ole Miss to Memphis. So neither of them are even top 15. Sad state of affairs. If either team wants a chance at the SEC West title, they have to win here. Loser has to probably run the table to be considered in the New Year’s Six conversation.
Clemson at Miami (Noon, ABC/TSN1) – When a game involving Miami is the second best game of the week, you know it’s not a strong schedule. If Clemson blows The U out of the water, do they fire Al Golden on the field at the end of the game? That would make this game a whole lot more entertaining.
Indiana at Michigan State (3:30, ABC) – Last week’s game between the Hoosiers and Rutgers shows why Indiana still has a LOOOOOONG way to go towards respectability. They had a 20+ point lead on the shitshow that is Scarlet Knights football and they squandered it. Terrible. Knowing the way this season has gone for Sparty, expect them to get out to a three-touchdown lead, take the foot off the accelerator and win by 5 somehow.
Tennessee at Alabama (3:30, CBS) – Is it looking good for the Vols or isn’t it? I can’t tell anymore. They look horrible in allowing Oklahoma, Florida, and Arkansas to come back and beat them. Then they play well and somehow beat Georgia. I don’t get it. I hope we get the Butch Jones lit a fire under their ass Vols rather than the Butch Jones and his coaching staff left their brains at home Vols. Nothing worse than a CBS game that is essentially over by the 5 minute mark of the second quarter.
Western Kentucky at LSU (7:00, specialty pack) – OK LSU should win this game. But if the Hilltoppers’ offense is on their game, LSU better be ready. Brandon Doughty is arguably the best Group of Five quarterback and WKU’s offense is crazy-good. So I expect LSU to win but it will be one of those 55-45 deals where WKU scores a late touchdown to make it look respectable but the game overall gives LSU (and their fans) a bit of a scare.
Utah at USC (7:30, FOX) – OK, I lied. This game isn’t the game of the week on cable but it’s close. Now, if Pat Haden all of a sudden announced he would be filling the college football world in on the next USC head football coach at halftime then this game would rocket up the list. Otherwise it will be watchable because it’s better than the ABC offering that starts half-an-hour later.
Gambling and shit
I have noticed that there is a huge disparity in prizes between the NFL and college football ProLine pools. In the NFL one, the winners share between $400K and $800K which is pretty damn sweet if there’s less than a hundred winners. For the college one, the winners share between $10K and $20K. And people wonder why I don’t gamble on college football. I don’t feel like putting in $20 to get back maybe $500. Not exciting enough. I need that thrill of having almost zero chance of winning a prize of like $100K. Anyway, here are my picks (which have no research or thought behind them):
Ole Miss over Texas
Clemson over Miami
Michigan State over Indiana
Alabama over Tennessee
LSU over Western Kentucky
Utah over USC
Ohio State over Rutgers
Stanford over Washington
Memphis over Tulsa
Oklahoma over Texas Tech
Tomorrow I will have the NFL schedule up (which is a lot easier and a lot less frustrating).