Let’s be honest: from here on out, every week becomes more important than the previous one now in college football. Even, and I can’t believe I am saying this, the week before American Thanksgiving when most of the schedule is garbage. There’s always a few games in there that are supremely important to the conference races and the College Football Playoff itself. This week is no exception. So let’s just dive in to the important stuff shall we?
|#25 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh||7:00 PM||ESPN||SP|
|Ohio at Toledo (Rogers & Fibe)||7:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|Appalachian State at Georgia Southern||7:30 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|California at USC||10:30 PM||ESPN||SP|
Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech face off in what should be an ACC Coastal elimination game. Loser will have no chance to get to the ACC Championship. The winner will still need some help to get there though. Two Sun Belt powers collide and for your late night snack, California (who is better than many thought they would be) faces USC (who is worse than many thought they would be.
|#22 Navy at USF||7:00 PM||ESPN2||SP|
|San Diego State at Utah State (Rogers & Fibe)||8:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|Air Force at Fresno State||10:30 PM||ESPN2||SP|
Kind of a blah night although USF could cause some interesting issues in the AAC if they can beat Navy at home.
|#5 Louisville at Virginia||12:00 PM||ABC/ESPN2||TSN4|
|#24 Penn State at Purdue||12:00 PM||ABC/ESPN2||ABC|
|Minnesota at Illinois (Rogers)||12:00 PM||BTN||BTN|
|Kent State at Central Michigan (Rogers & Fibe)||12:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|#2 Michigan at Michigan State||12:00 PM||ESPN||TSN2|
|UCF at Houston||12:00 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|#10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State||12:00 PM||FOX||FOX|
|Kentucky at Missouri||12:00 PM||SEC Network||SP|
|Boston College at NC State||12:30 PM||ACC Network||WSBK/SP|
At one point, Michigan-Michigan State looked like a potential Game of the Year candidate. Now, um, no. Michigan State has been so surprisingly bad that this game was “relegated” to the Noon slot. At least TSN was smart enough to air it since there are a lot of Michigan and Michigan State fans in Canada (at least as a percentage of all college football fans).
West Virginia travelling to Stillwater to face the Cowboys is now the game of the timeslot. FOX wisely moved this game to Noon and didn’t use their normal timeslot of 3:30 or 4:00 since a) this is the Big XII so the game will probably go long and b) there is no way the World Series would move to FOX Sports One until a college football game ended.
We have some reverse mirror fun at Noon. And by fun, I usually mean it’s a shitshow. All Canadians (except ones in BC) get Penn State-Purdue on ABC meaning UL-UVA would go to the specialty pack. Instead, the Louisville-Virginia game will be shown on TSN4. As of right now, I see indications that PSU-PU is on both ABC and the specialty pack and that will probably be changed to Boston College-NC State since they like to put the ACC Network game of the week on the specialty pack as well for some unknown reason.
UPDATE: PSU-PU now only on ABC. BC-NCSU still not on specialty pack.
|#8 Baylor at Texas||3:30 PM||ABC||ABC|
|Pittsburg State at Northwest Missouri State||3:30 PM||ASN||MyTV|
|#14 Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville)||3:30 PM||CBS||CBS|
|Cincinnati at Temple||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|Northwestern at #6 Ohio State||3:30 PM||ESPN||SP|
|Texas Tech at TCU||3:30 PM||ESPN2||SP|
|Maryland at Indiana||3:30 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|Miami at Notre Dame||3:30 PM||NBC||NBC|
|Samford at Mississippi State||3:30 PM||SEC Network||SP|
A few huge games in this timeslot and none of them feature Miami or Notre Dame. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) would have figured that this game would have had some importance for at least one of the teams. Even if Miami won their remaining games, their chances at the New Year’s Six are pretty much nil. What Miami can do is almost drive a nail in the Fighting Irish coffin for this season with a win.
As for the important games, Baylor goes to Texas hoping to continue their undefeated season. Let’s be honest here: they win out, they go to the College Football Playoff no matter what. Even with their horrific high school-esque non-conference schedule they would be in. One loss may kill that chance though so they can’t slip up. Also, Charlie Strong may be fired after the game so there’s always that for excitement (if you’re excited by those things: and if so you may be a sick bastard).
The Cocktail Party and Northwestern-Ohio State are the other two big ones here. I think the SEC is kind of praying Florida loses at least one more game before their game against LSU so that the rescheduled game becomes much less important. This is what happens when you don’t make quick decisions in college football: you end up looking like shit.
|#13 Boise State at Wyoming||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|#7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin||7:00 PM||ESPN||SP|
|#18 Tennessee at South Carolina||7:15 PM||ESPN2||SP|
|#15 Auburn at Ole Miss||7:15 PM||SEC Network||SP|
|New Mexico State at #9 Texas A&M||7:30 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|#3 Clemson at #12 Florida State||8:00 PM||ABC||ABC|
Nebraska-Wisconsin is the end point of B1G Saturday on ESPN. And it’s huge. This is where Nebraska has to put their money where their mouth is. If they win, they look like a serious contender for the College Football Playoff. If they lose, then they may fall back to Pelini levels….meaning four losses.
Clemson-FSU is obviously big as the Noles could put a huge wrench in any ACC CFP plans. Also, Auburn tries to keep the Gus Bus going as they travel to Oxford to face the Rebels.
Saturday Late Night
|UNLV at San Jose State||10:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|Washington State at Oregon State||10:45 PM||ESPN2||SP|
Nothing much here. Washington State will throw for a million yards on Oregon State I assume.
Simply the Best
Best games of the week I mean.
#3 Clemson at #12 Florida State (8:00, ABC) – Remember, this game is in Tallahassee. If it was in Death Valley I would have given the Tigers the easy nod here. This won’t be easy for the Fighting Dabos. However, if they do win this they have a pretty easy stretch to finish the regular season and would almost be assured at least a New Year’s Six spot, regardless of what happens in the ACC Championship.
#7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin (7:00, specialty pack) – There are many, I assume, that wish TSN would do a primetime game. Considering what they schedule at night on Saturdays they probably could do it but that’s only my opinion. This is the de facto Big Ten West Championship. Nebraska clinches before Halloween with a win (barring a complete collapse) and is in play for a CFP berth. Even Wisconsin, with two conference losses, would have a great shot at the division title if it won out from here.
#4 Washington at #17 Utah (3:30, FOX Sports One so we don’t get it) – I can’t remember the last time the third-best game of the week is a game none of us can watch. Most of this has to do with the World Series and FOX having to move their main broadcast window for college football back to Noon. Putting a game on at 10:00 am local would be absurd (although I still believe they should move the first game back to 11:30 in the morning but that’s just me). It’s unfortunate but don’t worry: the rematch will happen in six weeks in the Pac-12 Championship. I can almost guarantee that.
Northwestern at #6 Ohio State (3:30, specialty pack) – tOSU looks to rebound from their stunning loss to Penn State. Meanwhile, Northwestern has quietly turned their season around. A Northwestern win here might make my point about UNL-UW earlier being the B1G West Title game completely wrong as the Wildcats would then have the opportunity (albeit slim) to get to the Big Ten Championship.
#10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State (Noon, FOX) – Early FOX college football. I wish they did this every week, except for weeks they have playoff baseball which is almost none now. Anyway, WVU is a lot like Baylor: if they win out, they go to the CFP no questions asked. But one loss will derail almost everything. And this could be it if they aren’t careful. I assume this game will end around 4:45.
#14 Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville) (3:30, CBS) – The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party invades Jacksonville again. This time it is the Gators trying to hang on to their tenuous SEC East lead over…um, am I seeing this right? Kentucky? Geez. Anyway, a Georgia win puts the entire division into chaos. We could actually get Kentucky in the SEC Championship game. I, for one, would think that would be great…not for CBS though.
I am seriously thinking of devising a new way of picking these games. Maybe rent a chicken for an hour and put down two trays of feed and see which one it goes to. I might actually improve then? Knowing my luck the chicken would walk away and I would have to declare it a tie. Here are my (probably mediocre) picks of the week:
Florida State over Clemson (yep, starting with the upset)
Wisconsin over Nebraska (TWO! TWO upsets! Ah, ah, ah)
Washington over Utah (not doing three in a row)
Ohio State over Northwestern
Oklahoma State over West Virginia (yet another upset)
Georgia over Florida (no I am not drunk picking all these upsets)
Boise State over Wyoming
USF over Navy
Pittsburgh over Virginia Tech
Louisville over Virginia
I am either going to look like a genius or a moron with these picks.
Alright so we have four games tonight and three tomorrow night then the fun starts Saturday. Again, I will be live-tweeting pretty much all day Saturday and feel sorry for it on Sunday. We are now in a stretch of games every damn day between now and November 22nd. It is glorious and the time of year when being a football fan feels oh so good. Enjoy the games everyone!