College Football Preview – Week 5

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 26th

Evening

Main Screen
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (6:30 pm/ESPN) – Both teams are just outside of the top 25. Georgia Tech is coming off a big win against North Carolina, while Virginia Tech’s only loss is against Alabama, but they just squeezed past Marshall in three overtimes. A convincing win by Georgia Tech almost certainly lands them in the top 25. The triple option is always fun to watch.

Friday, September 27th

Probably nothing worth watching…

Saturday, September 28th

Morning

Main Screen
South Carolina at UCF (11 am/ABC) – Finally, a very solid week with multiple games at least worth keeping an eye on. UCF pulled off the upset at Penn St., and are probably better than anyone thinks. Road games are no cakewalks in college, and South Carolina needs an unblemished non-conference record if they want a BCS bid.

Second Screen
Oklahoma St. at West Virginia (11 am/ESPN) – West Virginia has lost to both FBS schools it’s played so far, including a 37–0 drubbing at the hands of Maryland. Oklahoma St. appears to be the cream of the Big 12 crop, but haven’t had much of a challenge yet. Coming off the buy week this one should be easy.

Third Screen
Northern Illinois at Purdue (11 am/ESPN2) – Northern Illinois is still undefeated, and might have their eyes on another BCS game if they can go undefeated. Non-conference wins, even against Purdue, will help. Purdue meanwhile, is 0–3 vs FBS schools, and in badly need of a win. They have a bye week next week so they can leave it all on the table.

Afternoon

Main Screen
LSU at Georgia (2:30 pm/CBS) – Easily the game of the day. Because these teams are in opposite devisions in the SEC, a loss here isn’t backbreaking for anyone. Georgia seems to be the favorite in the East, and a win here would likely lock that theory in for now. LSU definitely doesn’t have the quality win Georgia does, and that opening week victory against TCU seems forever ago. Should be a good one.

Second Screen
Oklahoma at Notre Dame (2:30 pm/NBC) – Notre Dame looks shaky. Close wins against Purdue and Michigan St. haven’t left their fans all too confident about how good this team is. Meanwhile Oklahoma hasn’t had a chance to show what it has with their only AQ game coming against a West Virginia team that now looks pretty lousy. OU has the advantage of bye week, and could knock ND from the top 25 with a win here.

Third Screen
Florida St. at Boston College (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – Florida St. is #8 in the country, but wins against Pitt and Nevada aren’t terribly impressive. Boston College doesn’t have a quality win either, and just suffered a lopsided loss to USC. But they are coming off a bye week, and that might be enough to make a game of this one somehow.

Evening

Main Screen
Ole Miss vs. Alabama (5:30 pm/ESPN) – Ole Miss is a very young team with a ton of potential superstars, and their fast start has made the SEC West by far the best division is college football. Ole Miss is coming off the bye week, but the fact that the are on the road doesn’t help. Ole Miss could breakthrough to the top echelon of teams if they could somehow pull off the upset. Meanwhile, Alabama could cement themselves as the best team on the country leading into a stretch of games against Georgia St., Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee, all of which they should win.

Second Screen
Wisconsin vs. Ohio St. (7 pm/ABC) – Essentially a Big Ten semifinal. Since Penn St. is ineligible and Indiana, Illinois and Purdue don’t look very good. Wisconsin’s controversial loss against Arizona St. hurt, but their prize is the Big Ten championship. This will be Ohio St.’s first real challenge, and Braxton Miller will need to show he’s healthy early if he wants to play this one out. Should be good.

Third Screen
Texas A&M at Arkansas (6:00 pm/ESPN2) – Johnny Manziel is always worth watching. A bye week next week means they have nothing to look ahead to. This is Brett Bielma’s first SEC game, and after losing their first real challenge against Rutgers last week, this one won’t be easy. With Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama to follow in consecutive weeks, things are about to get real tough for the Razorbacks.

Did I miss any games you will be watching?