One of the, um, lesser weeks of the college football season is upon us. No it’s not SEC Sleepwalk Saturday but it’s still not exactly chock full of big-time games on paper. Usually you know what this means right? Almost every time we have a week that doesn’t look to be big we end up with some crazy finishes that reaffirm our love for college football and show us that the games still have to be played. The opposite is not true although sometimes we have had “big” weeks end up being colossal letdowns (see: American Thanksgiving weekend 2015).
Alright it’s on to the schedule. No opening song and dance like the Emmys or Oscars or any other crappy awards show (don’t even get me started on the ESPYs). Just pure information. Smooth, hot, nasty information.
|Alcorn State at Alabama State||7:30 PM|
|#17 Louisville at #24 NC State||8:00 PM|
This should be a very intriguing Thursday night game. Both teams are trying desperately to get close enough to Clemson in ACC Atlantic pecking order (since they’ve pretty much caught Florida State). Winner still has some semblance of a shot at a division title (with NC State having the advantage of not playing Clemson yet). Loser can’t even make the New Year’s Six. It’s pretty much that simple.
|Memphis at UConn||7:00 PM|
|Morgan State at South Carolina State||7:30 PM|
|Boise State at BYU||10:15 PM|
I find it odd that TSN2 has the early ESPN game but not the late one that the early one will certainly flow into thanks to the three hour and fifteen minute timeslot. Nothing too special here especially since BYU has completely shit the bed early on.
FOX Tripleheader. FOX TRIPLEHEADER!!!! I hate the fact we don’t get FOX Sports One and hopefully that changes next season. But it’s always a good thing that FOX is doing more college football on the main network. I get it: people love to hate on FOX. Some of the hate is fully warranted. But some of it is not at all. And listening to GUS JOHNSON! and retired Abercrombie & Fitch model Joel Klatt is a treat as they do a very good job (top three announce team now). Lots of choice. A couple games on TSN stations. Good times. Fall has officially arrived with this kind of schedule!
UPDATE #3: Pitt-Syracuse has been added for Bell at 12:30. I don’t know if other telcos are showing it since it hasn’t showed up on any guide I have seen.
Pretty good afternoon schedule here. Funny thing is that Miami-FSU didn’t show up on the specialty pack this morning, at least a full day after every other game had shown up. My guess is this was an issue with the game being moved from mid-September to this upcoming weekend thanks to Hurricane Asshole (or was it Hurricane Fuckface, I can’t remember). If it hadn’t shown up yet, I would have been under the assumption this would have shown up by Saturday morning. Or, as Bell reps tell me, it may not but the game will still appear because Bell may not get the information in time. That still floors me. How the fuck is that even possible? So the game just appears on a channel that your telco creates and operates? Like magic? And you have no info about it? You must have something. It makes it sound like ESPN has full control over what appears, what channel, whether we get guide information or not, etc. So I guess I should go ahead and blame them for the bullshit earlier in the year of using two of the three Bell Fibe HD SP channels for the fucking SEC Network all god damned day!
UPDATE: Tulsa-Tulane has been moved to Noon and will air on ESPN3. This is due to possible issues surrounding Tropical Storm Nate. Man, the weather is wreaking havoc all over the schedule this season. Nothing has been put in the 4:00 ESPNU slot as of yet and I have a feeling there won’t end up being anything there. Stay tuned.
UPDATE #2: I have really got to learn to be patient. Stop being so TMZ with these updates. Anyway, Western Michigan-Buffalo has moved into the ESPNU afternoon slot and the time has been pushed back to the normal afternoon start time of 3:30. UCF-Cincy stays at 8:00.
I am not quite understanding the ESPNU broadcast windows on Saturday. Are they doing 4-hour windows for a reason? This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless it’s some sort of a test run for something at a later date. I mean it makes more sense than three-hour windows but still. Just seems weird. And yes, the ESPN and ESPN2 games start at 7:15. Let’s see how well that goes. Finally, Big Ten ABC Primetime game means the game starts at 7:30 which I am a fan of.
Saturday Late Night
|Hawaii at Nevada||10:30 PM|
|California at #6 Washington||10:45 PM|
|#19 San Diego State at UNLV||10:45 PM|
Your normal average late night fare, highlighted by some Pac-12 After Dark with Washington who doesn’t want to be on Pac-12 After Dark anymore. I really do believe the Pac-12 should only have one game on this late…maybe two when conference season really kicks in. More than that means the Pac-12 does stay out of much of the viewing public’s eyes. There are very few people here in the central part of the country that would stay up until 2 or so in the morning like the maniac running this blog. And remember, this includes Pac-12 Network and FOX Sports One games as well. Give the Pac-12 some love! As for the Mountain West they should take what they can get. I get their point more with the Thursday and Friday late night games. A lot of people do not watch those at all (last week’s USC-Wazzu supermatch notwithstanding).
Games to set your eyeballs on
West Virginia at TCU (3:30, FOX Sports One………) – OK this feels like trolling. One of the games of the week and it’s on FOX Sports Fucking One? My god. Next year’s specialty packs better include this channel. It has gotten out of hand and will not get better and we all know it. Anyway, the Mountaineers and Horned Frogs will face off in a game we can see in highlight packages later on in the day. Ugh.
Louisville at NC State (Thursday, 8:00, specialty pack) – After last week’s big Friday matchup, we have a huge Thursday matchup this week. Much like the above game, this is a play-in and play-out game. Loser has no shot at basically anything, even the New Year’s Six. Winner still has a shot to do something special but they will need to beat the front-runner (Clemson in this case, Oklahoma in the above case) to really become a dark-horse contender.
Alabama at Texas A&M (7:15, specialty pack) – Again, it feels like a game Bama may destroy their opponent. But this isn’t the same Texas A&M from that epic comeback loss to UCLA. Kevin Sumlin has saved his job (for now) and a loss to the Tide wouldn’t derail that but keeping it close (or winning) would do wonders for this possibilities of returning to Aggieland in 2018.
LSU at Florida (3:30, CBS) – This doesn’t feel like the SEC game of the week. But it is. Only because they don’t want Alabama’s maximum appearances to hit before the Iron Bowl. Well, two relatively disappointing teams (one way more disappointing than the other) are going to butt heads in a game with a lot of animosity after the shitshow last season with the game being moved due to a hurricane to later in the season and LSU having to have it at home and Florida being dicks early on and all that jazz. Let’s hope it shows this Saturday…as long as it’s not a plethora of targeting penalties.
Washington State at Oregon (8:00, FOX) – I sincerely hope Wazzu doesn’t shit the bed here. The last part of the FOX Tripleheader has a great game that should end up 61-60 and knowing our luck will be 28-27. But if it’s close, let’s call it a win. Plus, as long as the Cougs keep on winning, the better the chance ESPN College Gameday goes to Pullman in November for their game against Stanford.
Honourable mention: Michigan State at Michigan (7:30, ABC); Maryland at Ohio State (4:00, FOX); Wake Forest at Clemson (Noon, TSN4)
Some gambling fun and games
My picks were only so-so last weekend which is better than most weekends. Thank god I don’t put real money down on these games. I hope you take these picks with a grain of salt…more like a chunk of salt. Like a salt lick for a zoo animal.
NC State over Louisville (mild upset?)
Oklahoma over Iowa State (the only question is whether the Sooners will go over the 60 mark or not)
Oregon over Washington State (yes this would be considered an upset)
Alabama over Texas A&M
Michigan over Michigan State
UCF over Cincinnati
BYU over Boise State (I think the Cougars finally get back on track with this upset)
Florida over LSU
Florida State over Miami (would this be considered an upset? I don’t know anymore)
Auburn over Ole Miss
Washington over California
The schedules are up. Can you believe it? Again, I still can’t believe, at least on Bell Fibe, that the SEC Network continues to operate one of their three HD channels. Why they don’t have more HD channels I don’t know. It’s probably ESPN’s choice for them not to, right? Bullshit.
Hey, hey some Thursday Night Football again. I am making it sound way more exciting than it usually is. Saying that, it is obvious the NFL is putting way higher quality matchups on that night than they ever have. Part of it, for sure, is the partnership with CBS and NBC. Part of it has to be their realization that the ratings had sucked and people weren’t watching. Tonight we have New England in Tampa Bay. A good game involving two playoff-calibre teams. Well, a good game on paper. Let’s see how it turns out first.
For a second weekend in a row I will be live-tweeting most of Saturday (@LikeABauce1978). Still trying to piece together why I added the numbers at the end since I have a funny feeling the rest of the Twitter handle isn’t being used by anyone. Should be another fun day of college football. Enjoy the games everyone!