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, November 7th
Oregon at Stanford (8 pm/ESPN) – This is easily the best Thursday night slate ever, and probably he first Thursday night to feature two games featuring only top 10 teams. Oregon and Florida St. keep going back and forth between #2 and #3, but if Oregon wins this one they very likely will own the #2 spot until they lose. Stanford is the highest ranked one loss team thanks to wins over Oregon St., UCLA, Washington and Arizona St. Their only loss was on the road at Utah which has only gotten worse since then. Both teams are coming off a bye, and this one should be great.
Secon Screen Oklahoma at Baylor (6:30 pm/Fox Sports 1) – Baylor is quietly 6th in the BCS, and rightfully so, since their best win is probably against 4–4 Kansas St. According to Jeff Sagarin they have the 93rd toughest schedule so far. To put that into perspective, the much beleaguered Ohio St. Buckeyes have the 81st. Oklahoma has beaten Notre Dame and Texas Tech, but neither of those wins looks great now. Meanwhile the loss to Texas looks better as they keep winning. Baylor has to win this to prove they belong with the big boys, and should move up to #4 if they pull off this win.
Friday, November 8th
Louisville at Connecticut (7:30 pm/ESPN2) – Louisville lost to UCF and their dream season ended. They can still win the Big East though. Teddy Bridgewater has fallen out of the Heisman race, but he is still likely going in the top 5 next season.
Saturday, November 9th
Auburn at Tennessee (11 am/ESPN) – Auburn came out of nowhere this season, sits at #9, and more importantly controls their own destiny. That destiny appears to be a November 30th Iron Bowl matchup with Alabama with a trip to the SEC championship on the line. Auburn has to get by Tennessee this week and Georgia next, and Alabama can’t lose twice between now and then. So the odds are pretty good.
Missouri at Kentucky (11 am/ESPNU) – Missouri has also come from nowhere, and also controls their own destiny as far as making it to the SEC championship goes. But since they have just a one game lead over South Carolina in the SEC East, and don’t have the tiebreaker, they can’t afford to lose. This shouldn’t be the one they lose though.
Florida St. at Wake Forest (11 am/ABC) – This one is worth watching because Jameis Winston is going to win the Heisman and it will be fun to see how many points FSU will win by.
Mississippi St at Texas A&M (2:30 pm/CBS) – Mississippi St. went out and lost like I predicted last week. Now they have to go to College Station to face Johnny Manziel. If they can’t find a way to win two more games to get bowl eligible, Dan Mullen probably gets fired. Meanwhile, Manziel is still looking to become the first repeat Heisman winner since Archie Griffin, and thanks to a couple of losses to good teams, A&M could be that 10–2 SEC team that doesn’t make the SEC championship, but still gets an at-large bid.
Oklahoma St. at Kansas (2:30 pm/Fox Sports 1) – Oklahoma St. hasn’t played Texas, Baylor or Oklahoma yet, which means they are still alive in the Big 12 title race. Kansas hasn’t won a conference game in a couple of years, but this probably isn’t it.
BYU at Wisconsin (2:30 pm/ESPN) – Wisconsin got screwed against Arizona St., and then lost to Ohio St. They are the most likely Big Ten team to get an at-large BCS bid if they can keep winning games. Melvin Gordon is a dark horse for the Heisman and will need a whole lot of guys in front of him to falter, but with Indiana, Minnesota and Penn St. after this one, he has time to pad his stats.
LSU at Alabama (7 pm/CBS) – Game of the day, but lost its luster after LSU lost twice already. LSU would still need Alabama to lose a second time, and Auburn to lose again for them to have a shot at the SEC Championship. Alabama has quietly just been rolling through people. Since week two, they have outscored their opponents 246–26, or an average school of 41–4. LSU has played well, but their only quality win is against Auburn. A close game against Florida without their starting QB didn’t prove a lot. This seems like the week where everyone underestimate’s Bama and they win by 30.
Virginia Tech at Miami (6 pm/ESPN) – Miami got smacked around by Florida St. and it only cost them 4 spots in the polls. Miami still controls their own destiny as far as a rematch with FSU in the ACC Championship goes. The bigger loss last week wasn’t the game, but their star Duke Johnson, who is gone for the year.
Texas at West Virginia (6:00 pm/Fox) – Take away the two late night games (UCLA at Arizona and Fresno St. at Wyoming), and this is the best option. Texas is the only team other than Baylor still undefeated in the Big 12, which means they control their own destiny. Of course they still haven’t played Oklahoma St., Texas Tech and Baylor. Meanwhile West Virginia is 4–5, and 2–4 in the Big 12. They have winnable games left, and finally ended a 3-game losing streak against TCU last week, so maybe Dana Holgerson won’t get fired.
Did I miss any games you will be watching?