Let’s be honest. LSU-Alabama is a game many were waiting for. And now that the College Football Playoff rankings are here we see the Tigers are at #2 and the Tide are at #4 meaning this could end up being the best regular season matchup between two teams this season. Let us all hope it is not the 9-6 shitshow a few years back that led to Bama getting back into the title game that led to the CFP in the first place. Unfortunately with these types of mega-games, they usually exceed expectations (somehow) or fall flat. Never in between. Let’s hope for the former.
You know, on weeks I can sit down and watch college football from noon until 2 in the morning, I desperately want staggered start times since it would make things so much better. Basically from 2:30 on you could always find a game in the fourth quarter and most of the time you would find at least one close game in there as well. But when I have to beat my PVR into submission (like this coming weekend), staggered times are the last thing I want because you can only record so many games at a time and when you aren’t watching it live, you can’t flip back and forth like you normally would (or more like how I normally would…my remote control hates me). It’s a tough internal struggle. Once my kids are old enough and don’t care if I am around on a Saturday or not (they are getting close to that age now), then I just won’t care and will watch college football all day and be a slob. Maybe I will even share some of the delicious (and highly unhealthy) takeout I usually get. Who knows? Anyway…..I don’t think there was a point to this paragraph.
Alright, on to the cable schedule for this weekend (and the couple days before):
|Ball State at Western Michigan (Thu)||7:30 PM||CBSSN||X||X|
|#20 Mississippi State at Missouri (Thu)||9:00 PM||TSN2||X||X||X|
|Rice at UTEP (Fri)||8:00 PM||CBSSN||X||X|
|BYU at San Jose State (Fri)||11:30 PM||CBSSN||X||X|
|#5 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh||12:00 PM||ABC/TSN4/TSN5||X||X||X|
|Princeton at Penn||12:00 PM||MyTV||X||X|
|Illinois at Purdue||12:00 PM||BTN||X|
|Akron at Massachusetts||12:00 PM||CBSSN||X||X|
|Vanderbilt at #10 Florida||12:00 PM||TSN1||X||X||X|
|Duke at North Carolina||12:00 PM||TSN3||X||X||X|
|NC State at Boston College (also on specialty pack)||12:30 PM||WSBK||X||X||X|
|#16 Florida State at #1 Clemson||3:30 PM||ABC||X||X||X|
|Rutgers at #17 Michigan||3:30 PM||BTN||X|
|Arkansas at #18 Ole Miss||3:30 PM||CBS||X||X||X|
|Utah State at New Mexico||3:30 PM||CBSSN||X||X|
|#8 TCU at #14 Oklahoma State||3:30 PM||FOX||X||X||X|
|USF at East Carolina||7:30 PM||CBSSN||X||X|
|#12 Utah at Washington||7:30 PM||FOX||X||X||X|
|Minnesota at #3 Ohio State||8:00 PM||ABC||X||X||X|
|#2 LSU at #4 Alabama||8:00 PM||CBS||X||X||X|
Normally Florida State-Clemson would be the game of the week but not with LSU-Alabama, on CBS, in primetime, is lurking at the end of the day. Quite a good schedule on top of those two. Since it’s November, it’s the best part of the college football season so many games have a lot of implications…even USF-East Carolina.
Now on to the obviously not complete specialty pack schedule:
|Arkansas State at Appalachian State (Thu)||7:30 PM||X||X||X|
|#20 Mississippi State at Missouri (Thu)||9:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Nevada at Fresno State (Thu)||10:30 PM||X||X||X|
|#22 Temple at SMU (Fri)||8:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Penn State at #21 Northwestern (not appearing on specialty pack)||12:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Kentucky at Georgia||12:00 PM||X||X|
|Virginia at Miami||3:00 PM||X||X||X|
|#9 Iowa at Indiana||3:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Cincinnati at #25 Houston||3:30 PM||X||X||X|
|Army at Air Force||3:30 PM||X||X||X|
|South Carolina at Tennessee||4:00 PM||X||X|
|#7 Michigan State at Nebraska||7:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Navy at #13 Memphis||7:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Iowa State at #15 Oklahoma||7:00 PM||X||X||X|
|Auburn at #19 Texas A&M||7:30 PM||X||X|
|Arizona at USC||10:30 PM||X||X|
|California at Oregon||10:30 PM||X||X|
OK so full disclosure here…I talked with a Bell customer service rep again. A tier 2 rep. I really do wonder if the guy knew what college football was but anyway. He mentioned to me that every station sends their programming info to Bell (and I guess to Rogers and all the rest) and that is how the guide is populated. I asked how the specialty pack would work then since it’s not truly a station, it’s just Bell/Rogers getting the access to games and then shutting back down when they’re done. He said it’s done pretty much the same way. So it kind of sounds like ESPN is sending the schedules and is late most of the time. Part of me is skeptical since a few games are filled in and others are not on Saturdays. I can’t see ESPNU getting their sked to Bell/Rogers on time (like last week) and ESPN2 getting it so late. Also, where do they get the ESPN2 feed from? Maryland-Iowa ended up on both ABC and the specialty pack here (as far as I know) so the feed must be from out west or something. Odd. Anyway, I still think Bell and Rogers are fucking lazy with this. Hopefully we can just get ESPN one day (fat chance I know).
Getting back to the schedule, I will try to contain my rage, knowing what I just told you. Yes, the asterisks means the information is not up on any guide. Pretty infuriating to be honest. I don’t know what to make of it. All I know is that however they do things, they make it difficult on anyone who would EVER want to record a game. But hey, what do I know. UPDATE #2: All the games are now appearing on the Rogers SSP. Most of the games are appearing on Fibe and Satellite but not all. They should be finalized by tonight. Also, the two ACC Network games, NC State-Boston College and Syracuse-Louisville have been added to the specialty packs. UPDATE #3: Wow, did I ever jump the gun. It’s 8:15 right now and there is no info on the Bell Fibe specialty pack guide. I had checked online yesterday and saw a lot of the games scheduled in. I should have known better than to consider everything finalized. They have a little more than three-and-a-half hours to fix this. Every damn week. I really do not get it at all. UPDATE #4: I am seriously considering finding a new way to get college football games. It is complete horseshit that Bell Fibe can’t get all the information for the games. Unfortunately in Canada consumers are treated like garbage when it comes to TV. So if anyone has a reasonable way to get these games, let me know. Anyway, I am just ranting after yet another talk with another CSR from Bell. Sometimes I wonder why they even have the U.S. College Sports Package when they fuck it up so often. It’s 11:00 so hopefully in the next hour we get the info. UPDATE #5: Info on the guide is FINALLY up. Ridiculous that it took this long. I was just about to give up for today. Penn State-Northwestern, for some reason, not appearing anywhere.
Games of the Week
#2 LSU at #4 Alabama (8:00, CBS) – Duh. Of course this one is the game of the week. The funny thing is in the end, this game may mean a whole lot of sweet fuck all if Ole Miss runs the table. If that happens, then Ole Miss is in Atlanta in early December and the Tigers and Tide will sit at home and pray that they somehow still get in the College Football Playoff. As I said before, let’s hope this game turns out to be awesome. Doesn’t have to be Kick Six awesome. Just really good will suffice.
#16 Florida State at #1 Clemson (3:30, ABC) – The first CFP rankings come out and Clemson is #1. And I have them running the table. Good stuff. Really this is their only true test until, perhaps, the ACC Championship. Win this one and it is smooth sledding.
#8 TCU at #14 Oklahoma State (3:30, FOX) – Now we get to see the meat of the Big XII schedule. I am amazed at everyone who is amazed at the fact that the highest Big XII team right now in the rankings is at #6 (Baylor). Why are people surprised? None of them have really played anyone. This starts the Big XII playoffs in essence. Loser here may be gone although it’s not a foregone conclusion. With the way things are going, a one-loss Big XII champ may still have a shot at the CFP.
#5 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (Noon, ABC) – OK it looks like the cable schedule is a tiny bit more stacked than the specialty pack schedule. This has to be considered a trap game for the Irish. They seem to struggle with Pitt for some reason. Who knows why but it has to be something Notre Dame is thinking about. If they win out, I can’t see The Committee not picking them. It would be a ratings bonanza…not that that comes into their thought process (yeah, right).
#9 Iowa at Indiana (3:30, specialty pack) – This may be the Hawkeyes toughest game the rest of the season. It would not surprise me one bit to see Iowa run the regular season table to get to 12-0, then go into the Big Ten conference championship game STILL outside the top four. They need to destroy these next four teams and it starts here. The Hoosiers’ defense is hot garbage so Iowa should be able to put up at least 40 on them without trying. They’re going to need all the help they can get to get in the good books of The Committee.
Arkansas at #18 Ole Miss (3:30, CBS) – I could have picked a lot of other games for the last spot here (Minny-tOSU, Navy-Memphis, Cincy-Houston) but I am going with this one because an Ole Miss win here continues the monkey wrench in the SEC West picture. They are honestly an LSU win and an Egg Bowl win away from destroying the SEC’s chances of putting two teams in the CFP. They do have to get by the Fighting Bielemas who are having a ridiculous season. Losing to Toledo. Beating Auburn in four overtimes. Crazy. They know they need to somehow win two of their next four to go bowling and it will not be easy by any means.
Gambling…you know, if I did that sort of thing
I wouldn’t go as far as call it my locks of the week because there are some very good games here. Plus I am not one of those greasy late night pick show hosts. The kind of guy I wouldn’t allow in my house let alone take advice on who to take this week. Anyway, here we go:
LSU over Alabama
Clemson over Florida State
Oklahoma State over TCU (upset to cause a little Big XII chaos)
Notre Dame over Pittsburgh (barely)
Iowa over Indiana
Ole Miss over Arkansas
Ohio State over Minnesota
Memphis over Navy
Houston over Cincinnati
Auburn over Texas A&M (other upset pick o’ the week)
Tonight there is the obligatory NFL Thursday nighter and FIVE college football games, two on cable (one for Satellite…sorry guys) and three on the specialty pack. Should be a good two nights and one full day of football coming up. UPDATE: I have to learn how to count. Four college games tonight. Mississippi State-Missouri only on TSN2.