College Football Preview – Week 9

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.

Friday, October 25th

Evening

Main Screen
Boise St. at BYU (7 pm/ESPN) – In September this looked like a promising game, but both teams have lost twice. Boise St. two losses (Washington and Fresno St. both on the road) don’t look too bad now. BYU lost to Utah and Virginia. So there might be more quality here than it appears, but still not the overall impactful game it could have been.

Saturday, October 26th

Morning

Main Screen
Wake Forest at Miami (11 am/ESPNU) – Last week’s crazy batch of upsets totally demolished any quality games from the early slate. Miami is undefeated and ranked 7th right now. They have a HUGE game against Florida St. next week so they can’t get caught looking ahead here.

Second Screen
Vanderbilt at Texas A&M (11:21 am/ESPN3) – Texas A&M is one of two two-loss teams in the top 20, but more importantly QB Johnny Manziel is really in the Heisman race and has a chance to repeat. This could be a chance to pad some stats, although Vanderbilt is better than they have been recently.

Third Screen
Louisville at South Florida (11 am/ESPN2) – Continuing the Heisman watching trend, now that Louisville has lost QB Teddy Bridgewater can just focus on wining the Heisman and being the #1 draft pick. USF has a horrible offense and a horrible defense. They are coming off two straight wins and a bye week, but they will be outmatched in this one.

Afternoon

Main Screen
Texas Tech at Oklahoma (2:30 pm/Fox) – Texas Tech really benefited from teams losing in front of them, and now sit at #10. Oklahoma is ranked 15th, two weeks removed from an upset to Texas. OU remains alive in the Big 12 but might have to win out to get there. This is going to be a challenging game for Tech since OU has a good defense. This is also their first real challenge, and starts a 5 game stretch to close the season that is brutal (@ OU, OKST, KSU, BU, @ TEX). As good as I think Tech can be, this has all the makings of a 1–4 finish that has us forgetting they were ranked 10th at one point.

Second Screen
NC State at Florida St (2:30 pm/ABC or ESPN2) – FSU just dismantled Clemson on national TV and are currently ranked 2nd. The only reason they aren’t #1 is because Alabama has earned the crown until someone stops them. Jameis Winston is the Heisman favorite, and it’s probably his to lose at this point. But this is what the Solid Verbal calls the “letdown, look ahead sandwich” since FSU has Miami next week. Classic “trap” game.

Third Screen
Tennessee at Alabama (2:30 pm/CBS) – No one is talking about Alabama. They are in full-on cruise control at this point. They wins again Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and Ole Miss still look good. No one has stayed within three scores of them in the last 5 games. They have a bye week next week before a huge game against LSU. There is no reason they won’t thump the Vols, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth watching.

Evening

Main Screen
UCLA at Oregon (6 pm/ESPN) – This game went down a notch after UCLA got worked over by Stanford last week. But these are still two Pac 12 heavyweights, and this is only Oregon’s second real challenge of the season. They have a bye next week before Stanford, so this is a big statement opportunity for them. Meanwhile, UCLA is still alive in the Pac 12 South, but a loss will make the rest of the season all must win games. Marcus Mariota is probably 1B in the Heisman race right now, and this one should be full of points.

Second Screen
South Carolina at Missouri (6 pm/ESPN2) – Missouri is quietly 5th in the country, and coming off back-to-back program changing wins against Georgia and Florida. They lost QB James Franklin, but still took care of a tough Florida defense. If they get by South Carolina they should go into Oxford 10–0 on November 23rd. Meanwhile South Carolina just lost to Tennessee and badly needs a bounce back game on the road here.

Third Screen
Baylor at Kansas (6:00 pm/ESPNU) – Stanford vs. Oregon St. isn’t until 9:30 so it doesn’t really qualify, but this one is going to be fun to watch for just one reason, Kansas is not good and Baylor scores a lot. Baylor is up to 8th and get’s a a bye next week to prepare for a three game stretch against Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma St. They can’t look pass Kansas, but they should win this one by 40.

Did I miss any games you will be watching?