First off, if you haven’t watched The Godfather trilogy, do so. It is really good…..ok well two out of three ain’t bad. Honestly, the third movie isn’t terrible but compared to the first two editions (which are masterpieces), it’s like comparing a porterhouse or a filet mignon or a nice New York strip to a McDonald’s hamburger. It’s basically a fall off a cliff. This is one of the reasons I did not do a trilogy. Because the third part always disappoints. Which would make no sense with college football because the last third of the season really is the crescendo portion. Games become a lot more important. Big plays become legendary ones. Gaffes become instant YouTube fodder for years. The other reason I didn’t do a trilogy is because that would make the posts that much longer and I want everyone to read through them and not think I am suffering from verbal diarrhea. Or is it blog posting diarrhea? Either way. I’m sticking with four parts.
So now we really get into the nitty-gritty of the college football season. It’s the bulk of conference play here where, in theory, there should be more important games than usual. We shall see if that’s the case. Let’s begin.
Game of the Week: Michigan State at Penn State (3:30, ABC) – It’s crazy to think that four teams in the Big Ten East could conceivably be in the Top 12. Four in one division. Michigan State is arguably the weakest of the four and still a damn good team and a dark horse national title contender. I have two Big Ten games in the afternoon and primetime slots on ABC so honestly they are probably interchangeable so don’t be surprised if this one goes to primetime, especially if both teams are undefeated coming in.
Other Really Important Games: Georgia at LSU (7:15, TSN2) – Georgia kind of has the SEC East by the balls. I don’t see a true contender so unless someone knocks the Dawgs off their perch, they have a pretty good path to the SEC Championship. Cue LSU who has a way of winning big games and losing games they should have won in excruciating fashion. This feels like the former and would give Ed Orgeron a new lease on life (or at least a way to finish out the 2018 season without getting fired). Could go to CBS since right now I have Tennessee-Auburn there.
Wisconsin at Michigan (7:30, ABC) – The other part of the big B1G doubleheader (of sorts). I venture that these two teams, together, would produce a more popular pairing than the MSU-PSU pairing I mentioned earlier. Remember, it’s not always about having the two best teams in a certain timeslot: it’s about which programs are still popular. That’s why Texas still gets some primetime billing despite being mediocre at best since the Colt McCoy days. Also, even though Captain Khaki will probably be coaching next season in Ann Arbor, there will still be rumblings of his potential shitcanning throughout this game (and many games in 2018).
Washington at Oregon (10:45, TSN2) – TSN upping their game (a tiny bit) when it comes to Pac-12 After Dark. A couple more games than last season it looks like when it comes to the late-night slot. Despite the fact I have the specialty pack (I really should share my story about Rogers trying to get me to sign up a couple months ago as it has to do with this) I always like to see TSN putting more college football on their airwaves. I get that the CFL is in full swing for the majority of the college football season and they don’t like competing with the NFL so games almost always appear on Saturdays (until the playoffs). I’d love to see a better mix of live programming from the little TSN has to offer but I will take what I can get. Oh, this should be another good installment of the Pac-12 North Battles, just so you know.
Missouri at Alabama (Noon, TSN2) – Will this be competitive? Who knows. I mean I would like it to be but this is Crimson Tide Juggernaut Express and very little stops them these days. Bigger thing here is that this is probably TSN’s first quadrupleheader of the season. And they are all ESPN games (or at least I am sure they will be). So the specialty packs shouldn’t have a problem with figuring out the rest of the schedule. We all know that last sentence was a lie so let’s just keep our fingers crossed.
Sneaky-Good Underrated Game: UCF at Memphis (Noon, ABC) – OK so not-so-sneaky if you are a college football fan but for many, this game features two programs you don’t get to see much. Plus it will be our pew-pew GOTW. Over/under should be in the 90s. On another note, I probably should have said nothing about there being a ton of important games every week. As soon as I do that, I realize there aren’t THAT many games like that this week. Stupid Bossman.
Best Group of Five Game: UCF at Memphis (Noon, ABC) – See above. Also, it should be one of the three games the American conference should see on ABC. Chances are the War on I-4 on Black Friday will appear there. That leaves two others. This is arguably one of the best of the rest (in terms of conference games) and it’s a week with not a ton of options (save the two Big Ten matchups).
Worst Power Five Game: Rutgers at Maryland (Noon, BTN) – It’s the Money-Grab-By-The-Big-Ten-Game-Of-The-Week!
Game of the Week: Michigan at Michigan State (Noon, FOX) – Feels weird to have this in the supposed death spot at Noon. I do wonder if FOX would want to compete with ABC in primetime though considering ABC will most likely have Oklahoma-TCU. Best to win a timeslot, no? Anyway, this is probably easily the GOTW in what is easily the worst of the four October weekends (still good compared to September and that one week in November that the SEC basically takes off).
Other Really Important Games: Mississippi State at LSU (Noon, specialty pack) – Considering how average this week is in terms of game quality, it would not surprise me if this moved from the Noon spot I have it in. Unfortunately for these two schools, I have Bama in the CBS spot so unless it moves to night time this is where it will be. The Bulldogs probably prefer this: anything other than Death Valley at night is preferable for all visiting teams to Baton Rouge.
Auburn at Ole Miss (7:30, specialty pack) – Despite the fact the Rebels aren’t going bowling (again) doesn’t mean the season isn’t important. Matt Luke, despite the fact he had the interim tag removed for this season, is probably still coaching for his job for the future. Maybe I have overrated Ole Miss a bit considering I have them in a lot of important games. Oh well, if it goes off the rails for them I will just say it had everything to do with their opponents as to why I listed them here.
Oklahoma at TCU (8:00, ABC/TSN2) – The (probable) reason why FOX will stay away from putting a really good game in primetime. It’s a funny business, scheduling football games on a network. FOX went through this last year, putting TCU-Kansas (yes THAT Kansas) on in primetime so as to not go up against TWO huge games. Makes perfect sense (although many people didn’t understand the decision and in typical Internet behaviour, they went nuts over it). Sometimes there really is a science to all this stuff. Sometimes.
NC State at Clemson (7:15, specialty pack) – I am always perplexed as to why the Wolfpack play the top ACC teams so well and yet play so terrible against middling-to-bad conference foes. Dave Doeren Shitcan Watch should be in full force at this point, at least among Wolfpack fans. I do wonder if we will see Clemson and Bama basically sleepwalk to the championship like many experts believe they will. I hope not. Having a bunch of College Football Playoff possibilities makes it way more exciting. The same thing can’t be said about all the bowl games we have (and are being added to).
USC at Utah (3:30, ABC) – I could have put this in the Sneaky-Good section but decided against it. This should just be really good. Utah almost always comes into a season underrated. Not saying USC always comes in overrated…but it does happen…often. And without Sam Darnold I will be very interested to see how the Trojans cope this season. The Pac-12 (especially Chris Petersen) should be ecstatic if this does end up in the afternoon timeslot. It’s funny since this whole bunch of games in the late night timeslot thing is relatively new and I think came on with the Pac-12 Network starting up. I still agree that any more than one (or two at most) games in that timeslot is ridiculous and should be avoided at all costs.
Sneaky-Good Underrated Game: Arizona at UCLA (4:00, FOX) – Khalil Tate in action during the afternoon? Sign me up! Plus I am very interested to see how Chip Kelly fares with the Bruins this season. Would be nice to see them become Oregon South with the high-powered offense.
Best Group of Five Game: Florida Atlantic at Marshall (Friday, 6:00, specialty pack) – The weird time looks, well, weird. This happened last year a couple of times and if I recall correctly both times involved a Conference USA game. I guess you get what you can get and if you are C-USA you will take even the smallest of table scraps. I have said it before and I will say it again: Conference USA is just not that good. They always have three or four teams that are good but the bottom third of the conference is probably worse than any other FBS conference out there. And their TV/streaming deals blow. I actually kind of feel bad for the conference as a whole to be honest. Anyway, one of the ways to make your conference look better is to have a team in the New Year’s Six which FAU may do but they have to win games like this handily.
Worst Power Five Game: Kansas at Texas Tech (8:00, FS2) – Two things here. One, Kansas and Rutgers seem to be alternating spots in this section. Not surprising. And two, FS2. Not FS1. F. S. Two. Good lord. Maybe C-USA should get some games on there. Won’t matter to us up here since we don’t get FS1 so getting FS2 will probably never happen.
Game of the Week: Clemson at Florida State (7:15, specialty pack) – This is the game of the week and is probably the biggest margin between the best and second-best games of any week of the season. Both these teams should be (SHOULD BE) really good up until this point of the season. I fully expect a bounce-back season for the Seminoles so don’t make me look bad Taggart! This may move to ABC unless there is a World Series game scheduled that night on FOX since I can’t see them wanting to compete with something like that.
Other Really Important Games: Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville) (3:30, CBS) – It’s Cocktail Party time! I sincerely hope Brad Nessler mentions it since Verne almost always did. Florida better be a whole lot better or…you know what? It doesn’t matter. This is a lot like the Red River Shootout in that how the teams are coming into the game means almost nothing since there have been a few wacky results in the past decade or so. Should be fun! Pop open a cold one (or four), relax and watch (as I will…along with many other games at the same time).
Texas A&M at Mississippi State (7:30, specialty pack) – I actually have this going to the SEC Network of all places. Maybe I should rethink this. The comparisons between Jimbo Fisher and Joe Moorhead will come fast and furious in this one as these are the two biggest hires in the SEC not named Dan Mullen. At this point we will also have a good idea whether either team has even a remote shot at winning the SEC West. If neither do, expect this to fall completely off the list (much to my chagrin).
Iowa at Penn State (Noon, ABC) – A game that could very well end up in primetime on ABC but will most likely end up here. Then again I look at the schedule and realize I put Kansas State-Oklahoma in that spot and might have to change my mind. This all comes down to how many times each Power Five conference gets to be in primetime on ABC (or on ABC in general) during a season…well everyone except the SEC. The B1G gets the bulk of those games already so to pile on more makes no sense because it won’t happen. The Big XII and Pac-12 tend to get very few of these games so during somewhat down weeks is when they tend to get the prime spot in the schedule. At times, this feels like advanced calculus trying to figure this stuff out.
Texas at Oklahoma State (3:30, ABC) – The Grill vs. The Mullet. Should be good. We hope. Mike Gundy’s glorious mullet stars in this one that should feature a pile of yards and a pile of points and questions about Texas…….should I say it? Yeah I will……questions about TEXAS BEING BACK. Ugh. I wish they would just win the Big XII so we can cut it with that shit.
Wisconsin at Northwestern (3:30, specialty pack) – This used to be the quintessential setup for the ESPN2 Big Ten game at Noon. Northwestern hosted like half of those (at least it probably felt like that) and you would never put a blue-blood program in that slot. Ever. And Wisky seems just outside that blue-blood tier despite their successes lately. Both of these teams will be somewhat underrated coming into the year and one of these teams (probably Wisconsin) will invariably be boatraced by the B1G East champ in the Big Ten Championship. I feel like Nostradamus sometimes with these usually spot-on predictions.
Sneaky-Good Underrated Game: Oregon at Arizona (5:45, Pac-12 Network) – If I am right on this prediction then God help us all. Then again, at some point I might have to sign up for that weird international Pac-12 Network feed that’s out there. Especially if the specialty pack goes away or gets cut drastically (which wouldn’t surprise me with the greedy bastards at Bell and Rogers).
Best Group of Five Game: USF at Houston (3:45, specialty pack) – I was so tempted to put Louisiana Tech/Florida Atlantic here but it will probably go to Stadium or Facebook or MySpace or some shit like that and at that point I would feel like I was trolling everyone. Both games have merit as both games will feature New Year’s Six favourites (USF and FAU) along with teams juuuuuuuuust outside that are looking to spoil the party (Houston and LaTech).
Worst Power Five Game: Oregon State at Colorado (2:00, Pac-12 Network) – First of all, nice to see some newcomers here at the party. Rutgers and Kansas are the kings of this castle but not the only members of the round table. Secondly, the Pac-12 Network could be running quite the extremes here with this game leading into the UO-AU game I discussed above. Finally, I am honestly getting sick of all these new platforms and shit like that. Can someone create a sports-Netflix type of thing? Like you log in, pick a sport, then choose whatever live game you want. I would easily pay like $70 a month just for that. It would be glorious! Which means it will never happen. And if it does, it will be invented in the States and we will get it in Canada about eight years later.
So I was wrong. There aren’t a whole lot more important games in this part of the season. Pretty much the same and in some weeks, even less. But still good football that is for sure…if you leave the Worst Power Five games out.
Preview magazines are a-flowin! Got Street & Smith’s and Athlon. Getting Lindy’s soon and getting the digital copy of the Phil Steele magazine. I can’t wait until late July to get that. Or mid-August if you pair it with the NFL one. That’s way too late for me to find out what’s going on in the Texas State secondary. I mentioned it before but this is when it feels like college football season is fast approaching.
The CFL starts tomorrow night. I will watch a bit until college football begins in late August. It’s not appointment viewing for me anymore although I am a bit intrigued by the whole Johnny Manziel thing. I might even buy tickets to go see a Ti-Cats game. Thankfully it’s a beautiful well-thought-out stadium with great sightlines because the location is straight trash. I still don’t get the mindset of why they did that but anyway: not my stadium, not my problem. Have a great week everyone and I will get the last set of important games up as soon as I can.
Oh yes the story of Rogers trying to sign me up. It was one of those door-to-door people canvassing the area to hopefully sign up at least one household. Such a crappy job but perfect for young people so they at least have that one shitty job in life that they know they don’t want to go back to which motivates them to be better. Anyway, the Rogers deal was good. But there was one hitch. The Super Sports Pack. I said this is great but I need a really sweet deal for the Super Sports Pack since I get the U.S. College Sports Package for only $100 a YEAR. The Super Sports Pack is like $35 a month or something. I mean you get a lot of sports on that but I wouldn’t watch most of it. So not worth it for me. This guy decided to contact Rogers and get back to me the next night. In the meantime, I told Bell about this deal. They weren’t able to match it but they gave me some discounts and were really good about the whole thing. I was honestly impressed and I am glad they made the effort. Then the Rogers guy came back and I told him that I wasn’t interested despite the fact he got a bit of a deal for me (I think the SSP was knocked down to like $30 a month…big deal). He was shocked. I also got a phone call from what I assume was his manager who was also shocked. I said flat out that if they gave me just the college football I would be very happy. But they can’t. So until that changes I will never go with Rogers. And even then I still might not go with Rogers but that is another long-ass story. Story time over. Now everyone can have a great week!