OK maybe Nirvana is a strong word, especially considering what we saw last year. Arguably one of the worst American Thanksgiving weekend ever for college football. No intrigue. Very few close games. No drama. It was very disappointing. So let’s hope this year is a whole lot better. To be honest it can’t get much worse than that (and what we saw with the CFP and NY6).
First of all, Happy Turkey Day(s) for all you dang ‘Muricans south of the border (from us). We beat you to the punch by about a month and a half every year and you don’t say anything about it. We appreciate that. Also, you guys have copious amounts of FOOTBAW and usually get Thursday AND Friday off whereas we only get one day (a Monday). So yes there is some jealousy on our end…OK, my end.
Remember, the NFL dominates American Thanksgiving. I do wish they did away with the Thanksgiving night game but it is what it is. So the NFL will have their usual three games on that day which I will probably watch since the NFL always sucks the fans back in at some point and many times that point is Thanksgiving Day.
As for college, it started last night with a bunch of MACtion. Ohio clinched the MAC East and Miami-OH became bowl-eligible. But it really starts tomorrow night. I will do my normal ‘Murican Thanksgiving schedule post format (an asterisk (*) means the game isn’t showing up on the guide yet but should by tomorrow morning).
UPDATE #9: No asterisks now. Every game looks set at this point. I hope.
LSU at Texas A&M (7:30, TSN4, TSN1, TSN3) – This game now means a whole lot of fuck all other than bowl placement. Actually I lied, it probably doesn’t even mean that since the 3rd to 8th selections out of the SEC are all put into a pool and six bowls (Outback, TaxSlayer, Music City, Belk, Texas, Liberty) select out of this pool. I will watch it just to see how often they mention Ed Orgeron’s job security (over/under is set at 83).
UPDATE: Already with our first update. This game will also be on TSN1 and TSN3.
Friday (of the Black variety)
Houston at Memphis (Noon, ABC) – Let’s be honest: the AAC contract for the amount of appearances the conference gets to appear on ABC made this game appear on ABC. By all rights, this slot should have gone to Toledo-Western Michigan but I digress. Possibly the best Group of Five team won’t even win their division so this game means nothing.
Northern Illinois at Kent State (Noon, CBS Sports Network – Rogers/Fibe only) – A game between two teams who will be home for the holidays. Pass.
NC State at North Carolina (Noon,
specialty pack*, TSN1) – The first half of the ACC Coastal Games of Importance is this one. The Tar Heels must win to have any hopes of going to Charlotte Orlando to face Clemson. Lose and VaTech gets the spot.
UPDATE #4: This game has been moved to TSN1 as part of a quadrupleheader of sorts.
Arkansas at Missouri (2:30, CBS) – The (now) traditional Black Friday matchup between Arkansas and Missouri is one that means nothing really. I remember a couple years ago when this game had big implications. Not anymore.
Nebraska at Iowa (3:30, ABC, TSN1) – Farmageddon! I know the true Farmageddon matchup is between Kansas State and Iowa State but no one would watch that game anyways. This game has some fairly big implications. If the Huskers win, it makes Wisconsin’s game on Saturday that much more important since the Badgers would then have to win to go to the Big Ten Championship.
UPDATE #5: This game will now also be part of the TSN1 quadrupleheader.
Boise State at Air Force (3:30, CBS Sports Network – Rogers/Fibe only) – The Broncos must win here to keep their extremely slim New Year’s Six hopes alive. Then they become New Mexico fans Saturday night.
Washington at Washington State (3:30, FOX) – Biggest. Apple Cup. Ever. I defy you to find me another one. This game determines the Pac-12 North champ. Also, the Huskies need to win to have any shot at the College Football Playoff. The Cougs could destroy the Pac-12’s hopes in that regard in one fell swoop.
Toledo at Western Michigan (5:00,
specialty pack, TSN5) – Again, this should have been on at Noon on ABC but I said my piece above. This is for the MAC West title and also to keep Western Michigan in the running for the Cotton Bowl. Lose and the MAC is eliminated from going.
UPDATE #2: Updates coming fast and furious. Thanks a bunch TSN. Anyway, an exodus of stuff off of the specialty pack as this game goes to TSN5.
Baylor vs. Texas Tech (in Arlington, 6:00, TSN1/TSN4/
TSN5) – TSN is definitely stepping up this weekend although I know they would have preferred a better Baylor team here. And Texas Tech’s defense is horrible. I could see Baylor winning by 60 here.
UPDATE #6: This is where it gets silly. This game is no longer on TSN5. It is on TSN4 in its entirety. And it will be joined in progress on TSN1 once the Nebraska-Iowa game is completed. Yeah.
Cincinnati at Tulsa (8:30,
specialty pack, TSN5) – We could be seeing the last of Tubs in southern Ohio. This time he won’t be the one making the decision on whether he leaves or not.
UPDATE #3: This is getting ridiculous already. This game will follow Toledo-Western Michigan on TSN5. Not on the specialty pack anymore. Actually, no specialty pack at all on Friday for anything.
Arizona State at Arizona (9:30, TSN1
/TSN4/TSN5) – One of the worst Territorial Cups in recent memory. Kind of like a bizarro-Apple Cup. Anyway, the Sun Devils are playing for bowl-eligibility and the Wildcats are playing for, well, nothing since I doubt RichRod will be shitcanned….yet.
UPDATE #7: Seven updates and all before Saturday. Good lord. Alright, this has been moved off of TSN4 and TSN5 completely.
Michigan at Ohio State (Noon, ABC/TSN1) – The Game. Biggest one in exactly a decade. If the Wolverines win, they are one win away for a chance to play for all the gold. A tOSU win gives Penn State the upper hand in the Big Ten East. A shit-ton to play for since a loss might not eliminate either team from the New Year’s Six (or even the College Football Playoff).
Illinois at Northwestern (Noon, Big Ten Network – Rogers only) – With so many options available, why would you subject yourself to this? I guess with the Wildcats needing a win here for bowl-eligibility there’s at least something at stake.
UCF at USF (Noon, CBS Sports Network – Rogers/Fibe only) – The War on I-4 is almost never a war. USF needs a win here and help from East Carolina to get to the AAC Championship Game.
Kentucky at Louisville (Noon, TSN5) – For once, Kentucky isn’t fighting for their bowl lives in the annual Governor’s Cup. Really both teams are playing for nothing although there is a decent shot of Louisville getting to a New Year’s Six bowl so the last thing they would want is to fuck that up.
Virginia at Virginia Tech (Noon, specialty pack) – The Commonwealth Cup. We will know by now whether this game is important or not. Justin Fuente has done a masterful job in Blacksburg and they would be an interesting opponent for Clemson at the ACC Championship.
Purdue at Indiana (Noon, specialty pack) – No. Just no. OK fine, the Hoosiers need a win to go bowling. So there’s something. Not much though.
Georgia Tech at Georgia (Noon, specialty pack – Bell only) – Ah, Clean, Old Fashioned Hate. One of my favourite rivalry games (which is also a very underrated one). Both come in with identical 7-4 records so not as much at stake perhaps as in previous incarnations of the rivalry.
Syracuse at Pittsburgh (12:30, WSBK/WNLO) – If Syracuse gets to 5-7 there’s an outside chance they could be selected for a bowl game if their student-athletes are smart enough. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
UPDATE #8: Boston College-Wake Forest has been added to the specialty pack. This game begins at 3:00.
Notre Dame at USC (3:30, ABC/TSN1) – It will be amazing how many eyeballs will be on this game despite the fact it means very little. Notre Dame is pretty bad and USC has got a lot better. I guess USC has to throw their hat in the ring for the New Year’s Six so my guess is they will try to bury the Irish early.
South Alabama at Idaho (3:30, MyTV) – Idaho is going bowling. I repeat, Idaho is going bowling. And next year is their last at the FBS level. I smile at this bit of irony. Also, USA will get a waiver to go bowling if they win here thanks to the Florida-LSU scheduling change debacle.
Minnesota at Wisconsin (3:30, Big Ten Network – Rogers Only) – We will know by now whether this game means something. Minnesota has not got any love from any pollsters all year. Tracy Claeys has done a quietly excellent job in the Land of 10,000 Lakes this season.
Auburn at Alabama (3:30, CBS) – The Iron Bowl. Verne’s last SEC game. Drink it in people. And maybe stick around even if Bama is up by 40 late in the third quarter.
San Jose State at Fresno State (3:30, CBS Sports Network – Rogers/Fibe only) – The first game on the Saturday sked that means sweet fuck all.
Michigan State at Penn State (3:30, TSN5) – Thank God (for me) that this is the last time we will see Michigan State this season. Talk about disappointment. Other than last week they have been pretty much non-competitive most of the season. Oh, and remember, if Ohio State wins The Game, Penn State can go to the Big Ten Championship with a win here.
Duke at Miami (3:30, TSN2) – Nothing will top last year’s insane finish so they might as well not try. Also, Duke is an obvious APR candidate so a win here will almost assuredly send them bowling.
Navy at SMU (3:30, specialty pack) – If SMU somehow wins, they go bowling. I wouldn’t bet on it. Even with someone else’s money.
Mississippi State at Ole Miss (3:30, specialty pack – Bell only) – I remember only two years ago this was on CBS and it was a hugely hyped game between two teams…oh wait, that was just after CBS made the decision to pick the Egg Bowl over the Iron Bowl and just before both of these teams shit the bed. Good times. Anyway, Ole Miss goes bowling with a win. I don’t trust Mississippi State’s APR score if they do get to 5-7 to be perfectly honest with you.
Florida Atlantic at Middle Tennessee (5:30, beIn Sports) – I don’t know why you would watch this game unless it’s a close game late in the fourth. And even then.
UCLA at California (7:00, TSN2) – Both teams would need a waiver to go bowling with a win. There are other better games to watch.
Western Kentucky at Marshall (7:00, specialty pack) – The Hilltoppers win and they go to the Conference USA Championship game. A loss means Old Dominion would go with a win in their game earlier in the day against the now Butch Davis-led FIU.
South Carolina at Clemson (7:30, TSN3) – Clemson can’t afford a gaffe here. Lose and their CFP hopes are loooooooooooooooooong gone. Have to admit that WILL MUSCHAMP! has done a great job in his first year in Columbia as the Gamecocks are back in the post-season.
Utah at Colorado (7:30, FOX) – Biggest game for the Buffs in two decades. A win puts them in the Pac-12 Championship with a chance to cause some major shifts in the CFP landscape. This is the first time this “rivalry” game has ever meant something.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt (7:30, specialty pack – Bell only) – A Vandy win allows them to go bowling. Chances are, with their school’s reputation, they may go bowling anyway due to high enough APR score.
Florida at Florida State (8:00, ABC/TSN4) – For once, the primetime slate may be the least important part of the whole day. This game doesn’t mean much although it could factor into New Year’s Six positioning.
Saturday Late Night
Colorado State at San Diego State (9:00, CBS Sports Network – Rogers/Fibe only) – The Aztecs squandered any New Year’s Six conversation with their loss to Wyoming last week. This is purely for pride.
Wyoming at New Mexico (10:15, specialty pack) – Huge game. The Cowboys could finish off one of the most miraculous turnarounds in recent memory with a win here as they would get a rematch with SDSU in the Mountain West Championship. If Boise loses on Friday, this game won’t mean anything at all.
Utah State at BYU (10:15, specialty pack) – A bad Utah State team against a decent BYU team. Yeah, I don’t think so…..who am I kidding I will watch it and then collapse afterwards like the complete psycho I am.
Sweet Baby Jesus is that a lot of football. Am I complaining? Hell no! This is going to be awesome. I plan on live-Tweeting as much as I can (@LikeABauce1978 on the Twitter machine). Glad to see TSN step up. People who purchase the specialty pack might be a little miffed to the lack of games this week; however, depending on your provider you could have up to 13 this entire week including last night’s game. So it’s not nothing. Plus, this isn’t the week why you buy the specialty pack. It’s the entire season. The entire body of work so to speak.
As of right now, I predict nine…NINE spots open for sub-.500 teams in bowl games. That is insane. I love college football and all but this is absurd. STOP ADDING BOWL GAMES! Or look at my plan. I’m telling you…gold, Jerry. Gold!
I was going to add my rankings and bowl picks but that is crazy. I will do that next week once the smoke clears a bit. I will try and get the NFL schedule up tomorrow. No guarantees/promises but that’s my hope. Enjoy this people. Because soon enough we will be in the off-season and it will be awful.