Yep, we have just crossed the median into the second half of the college football season. This is where things get VERY interesting. And we have already had quite a bit of chaos through the first seven weeks of the season. That amount of craziness usually fills a full season…unless you are talking about 2007 or 1990 and we could very well make it to that point…if Bama loses.
Let’s be honest, a lot of crazy shit can happen this year but if Bama loses it could put the entire season in a state of turmoil and who the fuck knows what happens with the College Football Playoff then. Chances are the Tide sneak in as the number four (at this point that is my prediction) but could go higher or be out altogether…ahahaha, no that’s stupid.
Alright on to the good things…this week’s college football schedule. Here we go!
|Miami at Virginia Tech||7:00 PM||ESPN||TSN3/TSN5|
|Troy at South Alabama||7:30 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|BYU at #14 Boise State||10:30 PM||ESPN||TSN3/TSN5|
This is highlighted by the late game out in (probably already chilly) Boise. BYU has the chance to show those darn Big XII presidents what they’re missing and at the same time ruin Boise State’s very slim CFP chances and very good New Year’s Six chances. Also, The U and VaTech play in an ACC Coastal Elimination game. Winner has to somehow beat out North Carolina to get to the ACC Championship game.
|USF at Temple||7:00 PM||ESPN||SP|
|Oregon at California||10:30 PM||ESPN||SP|
|San Jose State at San Diego State||10:30 PM||ESPN2||SP|
Nothing of importance although I am curious to see how far Oregon has fallen. A loss to Cal would almost certainly signify the end for Mark Helfrich.
|NC State at #7 Louisville||12:00 PM||ABC||ABC/TSN4|
|Indiana at Northwestern||12:00 PM||BTN||BTN|
|North Texas at Army||12:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|#10 Wisconsin at Iowa||12:00 PM||ESPN||TSN1|
|Texas at Kansas State||12:00 PM||ESPN2||TSN2|
|Rutgers at Minnesota||12:00 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|UMass at South Carolina||12:00 PM||SEC Network||SP|
|Kennesaw State at Gardner-Webb||12:00 PM||Peachtree||Peachtree|
|Syracuse at Boston College||12:30 PM||ACC Network||WSBK/SP|
As usual, the appetizer to the main games later on has some intrigue. NC State travels to Louisville with a legitimate shot to pull off an upset. Lamar Jackson needs a good game here to keep his hopes of leading the Heisman race going as we are now at that point where some experts almost want him to falter so that they can prove…something, I don’t know what it is. I’m not saying he is a lock to win it (I don’t think he will) but it’s the same feeling we had going into October when Leonard Fournette was WAY out in front of the Heisman race. It wasn’t people saying there was still two months to go; it was people saying that Fournette wasn’t the frontrunner at that point? Seriously? Talk about a try-hard who has gone to HOT TAKE CITY to make himself (or herself) stand out from the crowd. Anyway…
Oh yeah, Wisconsin tries to keep pace with Nebraska as they face Iowa and Charlie Strong hopes not to get fired as his Longhorns travel to Manhattan to face Kansas State. Three TSN games so that is good for you non-specialty pack humans.
UPDATE: Cuse-BC not showing up on specialty pack, at least for Bell customers, as far as I can tell. Still on WSBK out of Boston so we all get the game anyway.
|#22 North Carolina at Virginia||3:00 PM||FSN – Regional||SP|
|Purdue at #8 Nebraska||3:30 PM||ABC/ESPN2||ABC/SP*|
|TCU at #12 West Virginia||3:30 PM||ABC/ESPN2||ABC/SP*|
|Eastern Michigan at #20 Western Michigan||3:30 PM||ASN||MyTV|
|Illinois at #3 Michigan||3:30 PM||BTN||BTN|
|#6 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama||3:30 PM||CBS||CBS|
|Memphis at #24 Navy||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|Tulane at Tulsa||3:45 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|#19 Utah at UCLA||4:00 PM||FOX||FOX|
|Middle Tennessee at Missouri||4:00 PM||SEC Network||SP|
|Charlotte at Marshall||5:30 PM||beIn Sports||beIn Sports|
Here we go. Arguably the game of the year (other than The Game) will be TAMU-Bama. This may be the only real opportunity for an opponent to beat the Tide. Too bad this in Tuscaloosa; otherwise I would have given the Aggies a fighting chance. I kind of do hope they win just for the chaos it might cause but I wouldn’t bet on it.
We also have some reverse mirror fun this weekend. If you receive ABC out of Detroit or anywhere west of there, you will receive the Purdue/Nebraska game on ABC. If you receive ABC east of there you will receive the TCU-West Virginia game on ABC. As per usual, whatever game you don’t receive SHOULD go to the specialty pack. Rogers and Bell have messed this up before but they were spot on last week with it so we should all be fine.
UPDATE #3: Of course it wouldn’t be fine. At least in this area (southern Ontario) Purdue-Nebraska on both ABC and the specialty pack. What a fucking joke.
Finally, FOX has the first game of their doubleheader in this timeslot. It just works out that the Cubs-Dodgers are on FOX Sports One and not the main network. I’m not complaining at all but it just shows that baseball, despite it being the hot ticket here in Toronto this season (and last), is not moving the needle as much as college football does (at least down in many areas of the U.S.).
UPDATE #2: North Carolina-Virginia added to the specialty pack schedule to start at 3:00.
|#17 Arkansas at #21 Auburn||6:00 PM||ESPN||SP|
|East Carolina at Cincinnati||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|#11 Houston at SMU||7:00 PM||ESPN2||SP|
|Michigan State at Maryland||7:30 PM||BTN||BTN|
|Tennessee State at Vanderbilt||7:30 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|Mississippi State at Kentucky||7:30 PM||SEC Network||SP|
|#2 Ohio State at Penn State||8:00 PM||ABC||ABC|
|#16 Oklahoma at Texas Tech||8:00 PM||FOX||FOX|
Don’t want to call it the underrated game of the week but Arkansas-Auburn is supremely important, especially for Auburn. With only one loss, the Tigers are technically still in the SEC West race and a win here would be huge.
We are back into these idiotic 3-hour windows for ESPN. A big part of the blame for these 6:00 starts has to lie with CBS. As part of their deal with the SEC, an SEC game on ESPN cannot be shown until starting at 6:00 so as to not compete with what is considered the SEC Game of the Week. I just wish they started at 11:30 in the morning. I think it would alleviate some of these issues.
Also, we know how Ohio State deals with Penn State…not very well. For some reason the Nittany Lions can sometimes put a huge scare into tOSU. Just one of those college football things I guess.
Saturday Late Night
|#23 Ole Miss at #25 LSU||9:00 PM||ESPN||SP|
|Fresno State at Utah State||10:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|Wyoming at Nevada||10:30 PM||ESPN2||SP|
I will say I do kind of like the 9:00 start on ESPN for a major matchup. It is usually done around 12:30-1:00 and doesn’t feel too late…oh who am I kidding, I will stay up to watch Wyoming-Nevada like the lunatic I am.
Now these…these are the games you need to watch
#6 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama (3:30, CBS) – A no-brainer for the top spot this week. As I said above, this is the game of the year except for The Game between Ohio State and Michigan. If TAMU somehow wins, it sends the college football world, and especially the SEC West, into a bit of chaos. There’s a good chance the Aggies would be no worse than #3 but Bama would continue to lurk at, say, #5. I still believe the Tide are the only team that could lose one game and still be a lock for the College Football Playoff.
#17 Arkansas at #21 Auburn (6:00, specialty pack) – The SEC West undercard is another great one and should get a lot of eyeballs thanks to the somewhat odd start time (that is starting to become more the norm). Arkansas wins they keep their chances of a New Year’s Six spot alive. Auburn wins and American Thanksgiving weekend could become even bigger, with The Game and the Apple Cup already on the docket and then, potentially, the biggest Iron Bowl since the Kick Six game.
#23 Ole Miss at #25 LSU (9:00, specialty pack) – Don’t think you are seeing the first five to six minutes of this game since there is no way Arkansas-Auburn ends by 9. Many are bemoaning the fact LSU is in the Top 25. To be honest, LSU with everyone healthy (and halfway-decent quarterbacking) is a very dangerous team and could cause a lot of issues down the stretch. No way they make the CFP but a NY6 spot could become available if they can somehow run the table the rest of the way. Same with Ole Miss. Loser has to hope for a New Year’s Day bowl (well January 2nd but you get the idea) at best.
NC State at #7 Louisville (Noon, ABC/TSN4) – The Lamar Jackson Heisman push continues here. Remember, one average game and the experts will shit all over him. And that might happen here as NC State played Clemson very tough last week and should have beat them.
#2 Ohio State at Penn State (8:00, ABC) – ABC’s love affair with the Big Ten continues with this game. However, I don’t mind this since this is one of the better games of the week. I wouldn’t say James Franklin’s job is on the line here: but if the Nittany Lions somehow win, he probably gets through the 2017 season at least. A Buckeye loss opens the door wide open for the Fighting Harbaughs of Ann Arbor.
BYU at #14 Boise State (Thursday, 10:30, TSN3/TSN5) – The Broncos’ last true speed bump comes tonight at home on the Smurf Turf. BYU is very close to being undefeated themselves so Boise should not take them lightly. Plus I always enjoy these two teams when they play late night affairs. Two of the very few Group of Five teams that I would consider college football must-watch teams most of the time.
Alright, place your bets
I have been all over the board with my college football selections this season. A few very good weeks and at least one sub-.500 week. It all adds up to jack shit anyway. So here are my picks with the normal warning to take these with more than a grain of salt:
Alabama over Texas A&M
Auburn over Arkansas
LSU over Ole Miss
Louisville over NC State
Ohio State over Penn State
Boise State over BYU
Wisconsin over Iowa
TCU over West Virginia (let’s call it the upset of the week)
UCLA over Utah (mini-upset in the chaotic Pac-12 South)
Oklahoma over Texas Tech
OK so there are three games tonight with two of significant importance. Also the Packers and Bears play tonight in what is hopefully not a shitty Thursday Night Football matchup. Three games tomorrow night with two of them in the late night slot. Then comes the main event Saturday! Enjoy the games everyone!