And does it really matter? Last week, Texas A&M had a pretty inexcusable loss to Mississippi State yet didn’t drop all that much in the College Football Playoff rankings. I get that you have to take the full schedule into account every time these rankings come out and that any of the rankings before American Thanksgiving are not that important anyway. But it does beg the question if a surprising result would result in CFP chaos? I am not so sure. Let’s say Washington loses to USC. Do the Huskies only drop a few spots? Or do they drop double digits because of what conference they are in and that their non-conference schedule isn’t as good as some other teams? Who really knows. I have to keep telling myself that this will all work out in the end. Still frustrating to see the inconsistencies leading up to that point though.
Alright, time for this week’s schedule. Only one real marquee game but a lot of good and important games this week.
|#17 North Carolina at Duke||7:30 PM||ESPN||TSN2|
|UL-Lafayette at Georgia Southern||7:30 PM||ESPNU||SP|
North Carolina has to win here or it basically gives Virginia Tech the Coastal division title. Duke isn’t as good as last year but still a bit of a dangerous team.
|Boston College at #18 Florida State||7:30 PM||ESPN2||TSN2|
It is probably only meaningful to Boston College’s chances at a bowl game which are slim at this point. I have heard that their APR score is fairly high though so it could be the way they backdoor into a bowl game at 5-7. But they still have to get to 5-7.
|Baylor at #11 Oklahoma||12:00 PM||ABC/ESPN2||TSN3|
|#10 Penn State at Indiana||12:00 PM||ABC/ESPN2||ABC/TSN1|
|Rutgers at Michigan State||12:00 PM||BTN||BTN|
|Northwestern at Purdue||12:00 PM||BTN||SP*|
|South Carolina at Florida||12:00 PM||CBS||CBS|
|Tulsa at Navy||12:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|Mississippi State at #1 Alabama||12:00 PM||ESPN||TSN4|
|Cincinnati at UCF||12:00 PM||ESPNU||TSN2|
|Kentucky at Tennessee||12:00 PM||SEC Network||SP|
|NC State at Syracuse||12:30 PM||ACC Network||WSBK/SP|
|Presbyterian at Kennesaw State||12:00 PM||ASN||Peachtree|
|Miami at Virginia||2:00 PM||FSN Regional||SP|
The very last chance for the Big XII’s CFP hopes rest on the game in Norman between Baylor and Oklahoma. Baylor wins, it all but excludes them from the party. We do have some reverse mirror shenanigans this weekend and this time it is at noon. Everyone who gets ABC out of Minneapolis and east of there will get Penn State-Indiana on ABC and BU-OU on the specialty pack. West of there (like BC and Alberta) would have the reverse. Honestly I don’t know how many people read this blog from BC but there are a few since I have had to answer their questions about why we don’t get ESPN or WatchESPN up here or why certain specialty packs are shitty and things of that nature.
Also, BTN has two games on their network at Noon. As far as I can tell, pretty much everyone will get Rutgers-Michigan State which would normally push the other game (Northwestern-Purdue) to the specialty pack. At this point, I don’t see any evidence of this. It may end up being like when the ACC Network does two games at once. One just never appears.
UPDATE #3: I wondered if this would happen. Miami-UVA, an FSN Regional game, will appear on the specialty pack starting at 2. Yes, 2:00.
|Pittsburgh at #2 Clemson||3:30 PM||ABC||ABC/TSN1|
|Nicholls State at Central Arkansas||3:30 PM||ASN||MyTV|
|#9 Auburn at Georgia||3:30 PM||CBS||CBS|
|Tulane at Houston||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|#5 Ohio State at Maryland||3:30 PM||ESPN||TSN3|
|Illinois at #7 Wisconsin||3:30 PM||ESPN2||TSN2|
|Georgia Tech at #14 Virginia Tech||3:30 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|Army vs. Notre Dame (in San Antonio)||3:30 PM||NBC||NBC|
|Vanderbilt at Missouri||3:30 PM||SEC Network||SP|
TSN stepping up this week with eight games (two during the week, four early, and two in this timeslot). Nice to see for people that don’t have the specialty pack. I am not always fond of TSN just broadcasting the ABC game we already get but it is what it is.
MyTV continuing with giving us odd games in our area. Why a game from the Southland? I don’t get how ASN does their regional setup. Makes no sense. Take southern Ontario for example. By all rights, we should get a MAC game every week unless ASN is not showing a MAC game. This week they aren’t. So I would figure we should get either a Conference USA game or a regional FCS game. Nope. A game from Arkansas. I am confused.
|#22 Boise State at Hawaii||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|#24 LSU at #25 Arkansas||7:00 PM||ESPN||SP|
|Wake Forest at #6 Louisville||7:00 PM||ESPN2||SP|
|USF at Memphis||7:00 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|Minnesota at #19 Nebraska||7:30 PM||BTN||BTN|
|#20 USC at #4 Washington||7:30 PM||FOX||FOX|
|Ole Miss at #8 Texas A&M||7:30 PM||SEC Network||SP|
|#3 Michigan at Iowa||8:00 PM||ABC||ABC|
A lot of games featuring ranked teams here. This is where the two marquee matchups are between ranked teams. From what I saw just from the Bell schedule there is a bit of TBA in the guide although I know that these games will appear, it’s just a matter of where. And this is where TSN having more games makes it a bit of a gongshow for the specialty pack guides because they sometimes struggle to get it correct when there are hardly any games on TSN.
Saturday Late Night
|New Mexico at Utah State||10:15 PM||ESPN2||SP|
|Colorado State at Air Force||10:15 PM||ESPNU||SP|
|San Diego State at Nevada||10:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSN|
|California at #23 Washington State||10:30 PM||ESPN||SP|
Case in point with the TSN airings: New Mexico-Utah State is on SD only on Bell (as of right now) because, looking at the guide, they are obviously perplexed as to where to put the games so that as many fit on the three HD channels that they have for the U.S. College Sports Package. I mean it isn’t rocket science. It should be relatively easy to figure out. I am pretty sure that job is given to an intern’s assistant to do.
UPDATE #2: UNM-USU is now on HD for Bell. I don’t know why it all of a sudden changed. I try not to think about the process behind it because it’s probably pretty dumb. Or that there’s no real process at all.
Games to set your eyeballs on
#20 USC at #4 Washington (7:30, FOX) – I honestly do not remember the last time FOX had the most important game of the week. It’s been a while. I discussed this game above but this has to be considered the trap game of all trap games for the Huskies. Lose this one and there is a good chance one of the ACC, Big Ten, or SEC is getting two teams into the CFP. USC has been arguably the hottest team in the land since Sam Darnold took over as QB. This should be a good one.
#24 LSU at #25 Arkansas (7:00, specialty pack) – No one really has a chance to catch Alabama so this is probably just to get to a better bowl since the New Year’s Six may also be out of these two teams’ grasp. LSU’s drop in the CFP Rankings was alarming and they may play with a chip on their shoulder, especially since Ed Orgeron’s job may be on the line these last few weeks. Do well and he will probably be made the permanent head coach. If they don’t win their last four, they may look elsewhere.
#9 Auburn at Georgia (3:30, CBS) – OK I lied. Auburn has a chance. A small one. But no mistakes the rest of the way and then they must beat Bama at the Iron Bowl. This is the type of game that could trip them up. This isn’t Mark Richt’s Bulldogs but they are still a good team and you never know what will happen Between The Hedges.
#5 Ohio State at Maryland (3:30, TSN3) – Maryland has been much better than everyone thought. They could become bowl-eligible with a win this Saturday. Not likely to happen but you never know. A Buckeye loss destroys any CFP chances and also makes The Game in two weeks a bit redundant.
Pittsburgh at #2 Clemson (3:30, ABC/TSN1) – The chances of Pitt winning are slim. But they are still there. Clemson would be in rough shape for the CFP with a loss here. A Pitt win makes them bowl-eligible but they do have two more chances (Duke and Syracuse) to do that so it is not imperative to win here to go bowling.
Baylor at #11 Oklahoma (Noon, TSN3) – I have mentioned this above but the Sooners’ (and the Big XII’s) chances at the CFP ride on Oklahoma winning out. If they do, there’s a chance but other things have to happen. Baylor wins this and the Big XII is toast.
Some gambling fun and games
Here a few picks for this week. Warning: these picks may be just as good as the consistency of the CFP Rankings…meaning I wouldn’t put TOO much money on it.
Washington over USC
LSU over Arkansas
Georgia over Auburn (got to have at least one upset, right?)
Ohio State over Maryland
Clemson over Pittsburgh
Oklahoma over Baylor
Boise State over Hawaii
Appalachian State over Troy
West Virginia over Texas
Oklahoma State over Texas Tech
There you go! I did notice last night that Bowling Green-Akron, which was on ESPNU, was not shown, at least on Bell. This happened the previous night with Rogers customers not getting Western Michigan-Kent State for no reason whatsoever. Again, it comes down to the fact that we all pay for a service. The ones that pay for the specialty pack are paying extra to be able to have the opportunity to watch more college football games than what would be normally offered. So to have ANY game appear on the guide and not be shown is complete bullshit. Unfortunately, not a whole lot will change until the current idea of watching TV changes. And with pick and pay, it still hasn’t changed enough. Rogers and Bell (and to a lesser extent, Eastlink, Cogeco, and other smaller cable providers) better hope that things like WatchESPN don’t become available to Canadians because that could change the game for them forever.
Tomorrow is the NFL sked. Enjoy the games everyone!
UPDATE: I totally forgot that the Ravens and Browns play tonight. So yeah there’s that as well. I guess it does have that trainwreck quality as it becomes more and more exciting the longer this Browns losing streak goes on.