All times Central
For the foreseeable future my Saturdays in the fall are consumed by college football. I often include a second, and sometimes third screen in my day, and this year will be no exception. Be that as it may, I figured a good way to preview the college football weekends would be to go through the day and say what I plan to watch on each screen.
Thursday, September 13th
Rutgers at South Florida (6:30 pm/ESPN) – The only game in town. Two Big East teams match-up. This game will likely have impact on the Big East race, but I don’t really think I will watch.
Friday, September 14th
Washington St. at UNLV (8 pm/ESPN) – Definitely a worse game than Thursday night. Pretty much a must win for Mike Leach.
Saturday, September 15th
California at Ohio St. (11 am/ABC) – Ohio St.’s first real test, but Cal has been struggling. Rumors are that Jeff Tedford is on the hot seat and a win here would go a long way towards getting him off. Ohio St. continue to have nothing to play for, but I expect they will pile it on just for show this week.
Virginia Tech at Pitt (11 am/ESPNU) – The morning slate is pretty rough, and this is about as good as it gets. Tech is still my dark horse team, as is QB Logan Thomas when it comes to the Heisman. This road game might be all that stands between them and a 5-0 record heading into more ACC play.
Wake Forest vs. Florida St. (11 am/ESPN) – The only top 5 team playing in the morning, Florida St. is a legitimate championship contender in man people’s minds. Wake pulled out the upset against North Carolina last week but probably won’t have the same luck here.
Alabama vs. Arkansas (2:30 pm/ESPNU) – Arkansas got massively upset last week against Louisiana-Monroe, so much so that they fell all the way out of the top 25 from #8. It’s unlikely they are as bad as they played, but the real question this week is whether or not Tyler Wilson plays. If he does, this is still going to be a challenge for Alabama. On the other hand, it’s their chance to flex their muscles once again.
Boston College at Northwestern (2:30 pm/BTN) – Northwestern is no stranger to fast starts. They started 5-0 in 2010. But this season they have already beaten two AQ-conference schools. There is no way they can be left out of the top 25 if they win this week. More importantly, their next 4 games are against South Dakota, Indiana, Penn St. and Minnesota. That all means that there is a chance they could be 7-0. Even their historic Rose Bowl they couldn’t pull that off.
North Carolina at Louisville (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – Probably the best chance at a third solid game, and a really weak Saturday. Louisville is probably better than they get credit for, but that is what happens when you play in the Big East. This would be a big non-conference win for them.
Florida vs. Tennessee (5 pm/ESPN) – Anytime two top 25 teams from the SEC square off, everyone has to take notice. In this case, both teams need big seasons to guarantee their coaches stay employed, and both teams are 2-0. This is a big match-up in the SEC East, where at the moment Georgia and South Carolina are the prohibitive favorites. Whoever wins this one instantly becomes the third team in the SEC East and likely moves into the top 15.
USC vs. Stanford (6:30 pm/Fox) – Pac 12 showdown. USC is #2 in the country and won’t resist piling it on to show how good they really are. If Stanford puts off the upset they separate themselves from the rest of the Pac 12 and move into the top tier with USC and Oregon. I think that’s a long shot though, and expect USC to roll.
Notre Dame at Michigan St. (7pm/ABC) – Probably on the big screen in my house, this game has a history of being downright crazy. Notre Dame might be better than anyone thought, but still barely got past Purdue. Michigan St. won a close game against Boise St. and needs to show they ware more than just a good defense. I expect this one to low scoring.
Did I miss any games you will be watching?
- Slide all these games down a notch for me personally since I will be watching Michigan vs. UMass [↩]