Now we are getting into the best part of the college football season (or worst depending on your point of view (see above)). November. Conference play. Where championships can be won or lost. And now, with the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six, more spots to contend for and more chances to screw things up. Plus we always get a 20+ day span in there somewhere of football (college and NFL) every day. It’s the glory days for a football fan.
Going to do three weeks in this post and the save the last (and usually, most glorious) week for the final post in this thrilling series. Let me look up the definition of thrilling…OK thrilling is probably pushing it.
LSU at Alabama (8:00, CBS) – For what feels like the 40th year in a row, Tigers-Tide is your SEC on CBS primetime game of the year. And usually, these two programs are in the top five of the SEC. It’s been a long time since that hasn’t been the case. Again, Ed Orgeron has a chance at being the damn governor of Louisiana if he can win this game (along with the earlier one against Auburn).
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State (4:00, FOX) – BEDLAM! For most of the last decade, this game has been huge. This year’s is no exception. Problem is, it feels like a month later we will see a rematch in the brand spankin’ new (and probably sponsored by Dr Pepper) Big XII Championship game. C’est la vie. It’s football and it’s the Big XII so it’s defense-optional. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
Auburn at Texas A&M (7:00, specialty pack) – I don’t know if I just have Auburn higher than most or what. I don’t hear much about them being a contender. I wonder if it’s the Bama effect. Either way, I see them as a clear Top 20 team (going into the season) and the Fighting Sumlins will be fighting for their ball coach, Kevin of Sumlin, to keep his job (since I am sure anything less than 9 wins will probably mean he is turfed).
Virginia Tech at Miami (3:30, ABC) – This HAS to be the year the Canes finally get to the ACC Championship, right? That was the entire reason they weren’t put in Florida State’s division. Saying that, imagine what the divisions would be like if they were truly geographical (north and south)? It would look like this:
ACC South ACC North
Miami Boston College
Florida State Virginia
Georgia Tech Virginia Tech
Carolina School #1 Pittsburgh
Carolina School #2 Syracuse
Carolina School #3 Carolina School #4
OK maybe it’s a good thing they went the way they went. Sweet Jesus that would be divisions so lopsided that the SEC’s divisions would seem even.
Oregon at Washington (7:00, specialty pack) – Will a rejuvenated Ducks team have a chance against a much superior Fighting Petersens squad? It wasn’t long ago that Nike U had a years-long run as the premier team in the Pac-12 North. It will be interesting to see if Oregon can somehow keep this close or if I should focus on other games in this timeslot.
Honourable mention: Clemson at NC State (Noon, specialty pack), Stanford at Washington State (3:00, Pac-12 Network…I guess this is what happens when every team has to appear at least once on the network), Ohio State at Iowa (7:30, FOX), Texas at TCU (3:30, specialty pack), Minnesota at Michigan (Noon, ABC).
Worst televised game of the week: Bowling Green at Kent State (Tuesday, 7:30, specialty pack) – Well at least it’s not must-see football on Halloween night with this game and Miami-OH against Ohio. This way, since I will probably be busy handing out candy and not at a Halloween party (sometimes I hate my life), I won’t have to pause the game in case something happens that I might miss.
Florida State at Clemson (3:30, ABC/TSN1) – OK I could see this going to ABC in primetime but I already have Michigan State-Ohio State there. So if the Spartans suck (again) and make me look like an idiot (again) I will move this game there. Until that happens, let the disrespect towards the ACC continue. One of the games of the year. By this point in the season, with the ACC continuing to get better, both teams may already have a loss (I predict FSU will have one and the Tigers will have two by this game). So this may truly be a CFP elimination game (or even a New Year’s Six elimination game).
Washington at Stanford (Friday, 10:30, FOX Sports One) – Remember the UW-Utah game last year that went to FS1 and everyone (including yours truly) was a bit miffed and perplexed at the decision (when it was obvious it was because they wanted more eyeballs to FS1 and they didn’t want to fuck around with the World Series which was on FOX that night). Well this year they done did it again! No issue with the World Series; just FOX putting higher quality games on FS1. So we may miss the de facto Pac-12 North Championship. Great. Just great.
TCU at Oklahoma (Noon, FOX) – I think I’m going to like these FOX tripleheaders. I guess in actuality, we are gaining a game (maybe two) a week with this. We won’t get any less ESPN network games (or at least those with the specialty pack won’t). I assume TSN will have the same amount of games as last season more or less. As for this game, I predict the score will be in the 60-50 range with defenders crying for it to stop.
Georgia at Auburn (7:00, specialty pack) – I have this feeling Kirby Smart could be on the hot seat by this point of the season. Just a feeling. It will be interesting to see how the Gus Bus is motoring along. If they are around the Top 10 then that Iron Bowl date becomes bigger and bigger as it approaches.
Notre Dame at Miami (7:00, specialty pack) – Catholics vs. Convicts? Not quite. I am sure there are as many players who have had brushes with Johnny Law in South Bend as there are The U nowadays. It would be fun to get Jimmy Johnson to do some analysis during this game. Not like he does a ton for FOX as it is. But leave Lou Holtz at home. We college football fans have heard enough from this guy (although some of it we may not have understood).
Honourable mention: USC at Colorado (8:00, FOX), Alabama at Mississippi State (Noon, TSN4), Arkansas at LSU (3:30, CBS), Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (3:30, TSN1), Michigan State at Ohio State (7:30, ABC).
Worst televised game of the week: Akron at Miami-OH (Tuesday, 7:30, specialty pack) – I like being able to watch college football on a Tuesday night. I really do. But I know it will be MACtion. And unless you have one of the better MAC teams in the game, it becomes a bit of a struggle to watch (not that anything else is on but that’s beside the point). Also, fans hate it since it makes it tougher to go to the games, which kills the atmosphere a bit, etc. etc. What I’m trying to say is I will watch it but I might not like myself afterwards for doing so.
Michigan at Wisconsin (7:00, specialty pack) – Ah now we get to the shitty SEC Puffball week of college football. You’d think other conferences would have some fantastic matchups to make up for it. But they don’t. It’s really weird. This game would rate no higher than #3 in any other week. Should be a good game but still, when this is the game of the week, it isn’t good. I kind of hope I get to use my PVR this week and not the week following.
LSU at Tennessee (3:30, CBS) – After this game it drops off pretty precipitously. Sad really. And this is EASILY the choice for the SEC on CBS game this week since the rest of the games suck-diddly-uck for the most part. This is basically the put-up-or-shut-up game for both teams. Winner may have a chance at something; loser most definitely will not.
UCLA at USC (10:30, TSN2) – See what I mean? In many years this would have been a legitimately big game. This year, not so much unless the Bruins surprise a lot of people. Don’t get me wrong: they will be better than last year. But USC should take this one in a romp. So watch them lose like 13-9 or something. *wink*
Kansas State at Oklahoma State (8:00, ABC) – This game is getting the ABC primetime game (as far as I can tell at this point). This game. Yeah. Anyway, nice to see Papa Snyder be on the ABC primetime game in what feels like decades. Should be an intriguing coaching battle between Snyder, Mike Gundy and Mike Gundy’s hair.
Nebraska at Penn State (Noon, ABC) – Is Nebraska back? No, not really. I don’t think they will ever be truly back in the Big Ten. Or at least at the same level as they were when they were in the Big Eight. I will be interested to see how long of a leash Mike Riley gets in Lincoln considering what they fired Bo Pelini over (a bunch of consecutive four loss seasons…perish the thought).
Honourable mention: Utah at Washington (8:00, FOX), Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech (3:30, ABC), Texas A&M at Ole Miss (7:00, specialty pack), Kentucky at Georgia (Noon, CBS), Texas at West Virginia (3:30, specialty pack).
Worst televised game of the week: Buffalo at Ball State (Thursday, 7:00, CBS Sports Network) – So the MAC gets the worst game three weeks in a row. Yikes. And from my very scientific calculations, I see they have three of the worst four and four of the worst six. Good god. I mean I will still watch it since the only other game scheduled for that night is Tulsa-USF. I am torn. I love watching college football and to have games on more than just Saturday is awesome. At the same time, with all the games I watch, including games like this to watch seems counterproductive. Then again, it’s on Thursday and they do this on purpose to fit in everyone’s viewing schedule. What a dilemma. And no alcohol to help me out.
Only two weeks to go in this series. The awesome American Thanksgiving week and then Conference Championship the week after. Now that all the conferences except the Sun Belt have championship games, I think CFP rankings will be a little bit easier to figure out. Then again, after what happened last year, it feels like every year will have at least a bit of controversy which is fine by me. Not saying it has to be 2007 or 1990 all over again but it does keep our interest, whether we admit it or not.
Predictions start soon. Well I guess these posts are technically prediction posts as I predict (usually wrongly) the network and time of these games. But yeah, real predictions start soon enough. Also, we are 74 days away. I like summer and all but I do like those days to move fast.