College Football · college football TV schedule

Biggest games of the 2016 College Football season – Part Three!

Now we are in the thick of the conference schedules.  As usual in this time of the college football season, we have a couple of pretty good weeks mixed in with a couple of not-so-good weeks.

Week 7

Stanford at Notre Dame – Last year’s game between the Irish and Cardinal was one of the best games of the year, which ended with Conrad Ukropina’s field goal with no time left to win it for Stanford.  I don’t know if this game can live up to that but it should be interesting, especially without Kevin Hogan calling the plays under centre for Stanford now.  He had a great game against Touchdown Jesus and may have been the difference in the end.  (7:30, NBC)

Alabama at Tennessee – This is where Rocky Top has to show that they are a contendah!  Beat Bama and they can start looking at hotels for the College Football Playoff.  Until that happens though, they will always be considered second-best (at best) in the SEC.  (3:30, CBS)

Ohio State at Wisconsin – Until further notice, tOSU has to be considered the king of the Big Ten.  Yes, I know they lost to Michigan State last year but let’s be honest: they trailed for ZERO SECONDS in the entire game.  Just at the end.  That’s it.  Urban Meyer has seemingly had a juggernaut since he arrived.  Now we see if J.T. Barrett can be the man one last season and bring the Buckeyes back to the big dance.  Wisky will not make it easy on him with their usual top-20 defense.  (8:00, ABC)

Northwestern at Michigan State – It’s like a battle of the bridesmaids in this one.  Michigan State is usually playing second fiddle to either Ohio State or Michigan (except for last season) and Northwestern always plays second (or third…or fourth) fiddle to the Iowas and Wisconsins and even the Nebraskas of the Big Ten West.  Something’s gotta give here.  Loser may play themselves out of their division race.  (3:30, ABC/TSN3)

Ole Miss at Arkansas – It must be tough always looking up at one team in the SEC West.  That’s what these two teams have to do with Bama every year.  Inside the division (so, six games) there can be no mistakes or usually it spells the end of your conference championship hopes.  What I’m trying to say here is the loser of this one basically drops out of the division title race.  (7:00, specialty pack)

Mississippi State at BYU – This is a very interesting non-conference tilt.  One that you rarely see.  A Power 5 team (especially an SEC one) going to an independent that is striving to get into a Power 5 conference.  Let’s hope Taysom Hill hasn’t gotten injured by this point since he plays with such reckless abandon.  (Friday, 9:00, specialty pack)

Honourable mention: Southern Miss at LSU (7:30, SEC Network), NC State at Clemson (3:30, specialty pack), North Carolina at Miami (3:30, specialty pack), UCLA at Washington State (10:30, TSN1/TSN4), Bowling Green at Toledo (3:30, MyTV)

Week 8

Ole Miss at LSU – Another week, another SEC West elimination game.  These happen pretty much every week from October on, except for the shitty week before American Thanksgiving where SEC football is the drizzling shits.  Unless everyone beats everyone else and no one comes out unscathed, every one of these divisional games is hugely important.  It is in Death Valley but during the day (as far as I know) so maybe the Rebels have a chance?  (3:30, CBS)

Wisconsin at Iowa – Let’s call this the Big Ten West Championship right now.  Then we can watch either Nebraska or Northwestern hit it out of the park and make me look like an idiot.  This should be close as Wisconsin will be slightly favoured but the game is at Kinnick Stadium.  Weather really makes no difference since these two teams have been known to play in some of the most horrendous football weather in the nation.  (3:30, BTN)

Texas A&M at Alabama – A few years back this would have been the game of the year.  That was before Johnny Football went Johnny Party and the Aggies were a top-10 team.  Now they could conceivably be considered the worst team in the SEC West (or at least you could make the argument for that case).  However you spin it though, the SEC West is still a bit of a gauntlet.  Bama cannot let up in this one with LSU a couple weeks later.  (7:00, specialty pack)

Oklahoma at Texas Tech – Another trap game much like the one just above. Oklahoma, especially with Baylor being in limbo for now, is the Big XII favourite.  But Texas Tech has Patrick Mahomes running Kute Kliff Kingsbury’s ridiculous offense so don’t be surprised if Tech puts up a bunch of points against the Sooner defense.  Should be closer than many think.  (3:30, specialty pack)

Ohio State at Penn State – Trap Game III: The Reckoning.  Penn State is a team that always seems to come up bigger against better opponents (and invariably coughs up one or two games to inferior teams).  They almost had Ohio State’s number a couple years ago during tOSU’s run to the national title.  With the Buckeyes getting Northwestern the next week, they can’t look past PSU or else any chance at the CFP may go down the toilet.  (8:00, ABC)

TCU at West Virginia – Both teams have a lot to gain here.  TCU can continue their run at the Big XII title as they will need every win they can get to overcome the trio of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Baylor.  West Virginia can continue to help Drunk Uncle Dana keep his job as head coach.  I believe anything less than seven wins and Senor Holgorsen will be shown the door.  (4:00, FOX)

Honourable mention: Memphis at Navy (3:30, CBS Sports Network), Utah at UCLA (8:00, FOX), Oregon at California (10:30, specialty pack), BYU at Boise State (10:15, specialty pack), Arkansas at Auburn (3:30, specialty pack)

Week 9

Michigan at Michigan State – Nothing (and I mean NOTHING) can be better than last year’s ridiculously crazy finish.  Other than The Game against tOSU, this is the one the Wolverines (and Jimmy Harbaugh) want to win more than any other game this year.  They could go 2-10 and as long as the two wins were over Sparty and Bucky then Harbaugh would get a contract extension.  It’s too bad we won’t have Sean McDonough anymore calling games as his call was brilliance of the insanity of the last 7 seconds of last year’s tilt.  (8:00, ABC)

Clemson at Florida State – The ACC Coastal Championship.  Or is it the Atlantic?  Who gives a fuck.  It’s the better division’s title game and the one that could decide who represents the ACC in the College Football Playoff.  Being that this game is in Tallahassee, don’t write off the Noles just yet despite the fact Clemson is one of the favourites to run the table this season (again).  (3:30, ABC)

Northwestern at Ohio State – I remember a few years back I was moving one weekend and the only sliver of college football I got to watch that weekend was five minutes of this game at a bar before they changed it to Hockey Night in Canada.  I was sad.  Anyway, hopefully this year I get to watch this game (I will find a way I’m sure).  Another of the landmine games that tOSU has to endure to get themselves back to the Big Ten Championship.  A win here could propel the Fighting Pat Fitzgeralds into the catbird seat in the Big Ten West.  (5:30, TSN2)

Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville) – Ah, the annual World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (shhhhh, don’t tell the NCAA).  I won’t say it’s always a good game but it’s usually an important one since these two teams have combined for at least 50% of the SEC East titles since the SEC went to divisions (16 out of 24 to be exact).  So even though Tennessee is the prohibitive favourite this season, one of these teams will challenge them (and the loser of this game is probably eliminated from that opportunity).  (3:30, CBS)

Washington at Utah – The forgotten few of the Pac-12 might end up meeting again at the end of the season in the Pac-12 Championship.  Washington seems to have a better shot than the Utes but both teams seem ready to take that next step up.  And wouldn’t that just make the broadcasting executives happy right?  I can’t imagine any of them being happy with this matchup as they are two of the worst markets in the Pac-12.  Which means I hope it happens.  (10:30, specialty pack)

Miami at Notre Dame – Maybe it’s me just watching too much classic college football but this has to have the FEEL of a big game, yes?  We know the Canes have more than struggled over the past decade but if Brad Kaaya breaks out and becomes a true Heisman contender then you never know.  Plus the Irish are almost assured of at least a top 25 this season so this could be one of the sneaky-good games of the season.  (3:30, NBC)

Honourable mention: Texas Tech at TCU (Noon, FSN which means there is no chance we get this), West Virginia at Oklahoma State (Thursday, 8:00, FOX Sports One…I see a trend here), Auburn at Ole Miss (Noon, specialty pack), Stanford at Arizona (9:00, specialty pack), Appalachian State at Georgia Southern (Thursday, 7:30, specialty pack)

Week 10

Alabama at LSU – Let’s be honest.  For the past decade, every Alabama-LSU game, even the shitty defensive affair that one year that was one of the most unwatchable football games ever, has been a huge game and pretty much worthy of the hype.  This year is no exception.  LSU seems to be climbing back up the mountain and it wouldn’t be totally out of the realm of possibility to see the Tigers beat Bama in Death Valley at night on the only primetime game of the year on CBS.  (8:00, CBS)

TCU at Baylor – Let’s just say Baylor won’t be too affected by all that happened there recently.  What that means is that this game becomes huge and the Sooners watch with a whole lot of interest.  Baylor’s offense is still one of the best in the land and TCU seemed to follow in Big XII tradition by having a crazy good offense last year as well.  So this game should take about six hours and the over/under should be set at about 120.  (3:30, FOX)

Navy vs. Notre Dame (in Jacksonville) – The Irish have to take Navy seriously nowadays.  No more easy victories for Touchdown Jesus in this series.  This makes all those ACC games Notre Dame gets to play that much more important.  This is the first of the CBS tripleheader and an odd start time (11:30 in the morning).  Being a neutral site also brings this game up a notch in the rankings.  (11:30 am, CBS)

Oregon at USC – Two teams that many are writing off as not quite good enough to win their division.  Well, include me in there since I don’t think either of them will either.  Oregon has brought in another FCS quarterback (this time it’s Dakota Prukop from Montana State) and USC has to see what they get from a full year of Clay Helton and also having a new quarterback.  This could very well be an elimination game for one of these teams.  (7:00, specialty pack)

Georgia Southern at Ole Miss – Georgia Southern has seen a meteoric rise in the past few years.  And it has totally been due to on-field performance, not moving up to a higher division because you are in a good market or some shit like that.  It’s the kind of program that will soon have that Houston or Boise State or BYU reputation: a team that you almost don’t want to face in non-conference play because there is a good chance you might lose.  Ole Miss better be very careful because this isn’t your older brother’s SEC November non-conference schedule.  (Thursday, 8:30, specialty pack)

Wisconsin at Northwestern – One of the many elimination games in the Big Ten that might not be elimination games at all especially if everyone beats everyone else.  All that will accomplish is make it so no one gets a CFP bid out of the division or conference.  This should be a good one despite the fact that Wisky is no longer a guarantee for 300+ yards rushing per game.  (3:30, specialty pack)

Honourable mention: Florida at Arkansas (3:30, CBS), Iowa at Penn State (7:30, BTN), Nebraska at Ohio State (8:00, ABC), Florida State at NC State (3:30, ABC), Oklahoma State at Kansas State (7:30, FOX)

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