It is a light week in terms of quality as most of the SEC has opted to have their Thanksgiving early and devour some succulent FCS turkeys. Maybe take it a little easy this week. Next week we get the rivalry games.
All times Central - belly up to the bar and buffet. It's that time of year when our rolls grow love handles.
Wednesday, November 14
Ohio at Ball State | 7 PM | ESPNU
Toledo at Northern Illinois | 8 PM | ESPN2
Well, well. Isn't this a nice double helping of Mid-American goodness? All four of these teams are bowl eligible and Toledo and Northern Illinois are playing for the West Division title for the third straight year. Keep an eye on Rockets RB David Fluellen. His 1381 yards on the ground are tied for second in the country. Linebacker Dan Molls has 132 tackles on the season which is tied for the lead in the nation.
As for the Huskies, quarterback Jordan Lynch is a monster. He is first in the country in rushing, total yards, and points. He has NINE 100 yard games. This one is going to be fun. The MAC is such a well-run league. Look the hell out for these teams in bowl season. Bruce Feldman has a great piece on this league here.
Saturday, November 17
Northwestern at Michigan State | 11 AM | ESPN2
Iowa at Michigan (21) | 11 AM | ESPN
Oh, look. It's the anti-MAC. Stuffy, boring, antiquated.
USC (18) at UCLA (17) | 2:05 PM | FOX
Remember Matt Barkley? Remember when the ‘ship was SC's to lose? Well it's the middle of November, and Kiffin's kids are looking up in the standings at the crosstown brothers and head coach renowned for lunacy, Jim Mora.
This is the first time that both teams are ranked in this game in seven years. USC has taken a staggering 13 of the last 14 in this series. Does Kiffin need these next couple games to keep his job? My gut - which is never wrong and always round - tells me AD Pat Hayden is not a huge fan of Kiffs.
Bruin senior Johnathan Franklin has been sensational on the ground with 1270 yards averaging 6.4 per clip. The UCLA defense has 25 takeaways which could bode very poorly for the undisciplined, turnover-happy Trojans.
Marqise Lee is one of the finer college receivers I've ever seen.
Are UCLA and USC doing that thing where they both wear their home jerseys? I always thought that was cool. Lots of hate happening at the Rose Bowl.
Wake Forest at Notre Dame (3) | 2:30 PM | NBC
I think the idea of "style points" is absurd, but it would behoove the Irish to paste the Deacons. The Irish have played their best football away from home this year. It's Senior Day, so the emotions should be running high as Manti Te'o plays his final game in Notre Dame Stadium.
Wake is very bad - particularly on offense. I don't think the Irish let them into the end zone on Saturday.
Ole Miss at LSU (7) | 2:30 PM | CBS
This is your featured CBS game this week. I can't make you a Viewer's Guide feast out of a can of Spam and slimy mayonnaise. Tigers roll.
NC State at Clemson (11) | 2:30 PM | ABC/ESPN2
The ACC is a mess. Clemson needs Florida State to slip against Maryland coupled with their own win over NC State to play in front of an empty stadium for the conference title. I've seen a lot of people miffed that the SEC has so many teams in the Top 10 right now. Is Clemson worthy? I certainly don't think so. They'll get their shot next week against the Cocks in Columbia. Spurrier and Dabo war of words!
Ohio State at Wisconsin | 2:30 PM | ABC/ESPN2
This game is mostly about pride at this point. The Buckeyes are leaders of the Leaders division but won't be able to play for the B1G crown. Instead, the Badgers will be representing the Leaders division. How will Buckeye fans remember this season if they go undefeated?
This will be a drunken mess of fan bases.
Utah State at Louisiana Tech (20) | 3 PM | ESPN3
WAC! RIP in advance, WAC football. So sad it had to go down like this. In any event, this tilt is for the final conference title. Can you believe Colby Cameron has over 400 passing attempts without a pick? Astounding. Sonny Dykes is fixin' for a shiny new gig this offseason.
Oklahoma (12) at West Virginia | 6 PM | FOX
West Virginia is on a four game losing streak after a 5-0 start and is giving up 41 points per game. There are some horrifyingly bad defenses in the Big 12.
Kansas State (1) at Baylor | 7 PM | ESPN
Yep. This is your primetime game on ESPN. The worst defense in the country giving up 520 yards per game is hosting No. 1 in a tarped off stadium.
Stanford (13) at Oregon (2) | 8 PM | ABC
Nice. Some good watching here. Autzen should be rocking for the evening feature spot. The Pac-12 North is at stake with the Cardinal still in control of their own destiny. The Duck offense is a joy to watch, but I'm really curious to see how the Oregon front seven handles Stepfan Taylor. In the end, I think the Ducks win by a couple touchdowns after letting Cardinal hang around for a bit. It's what Oregon does best.
Drink of the Week:
Pruno AKA Prison Wine!
I thought about doing the Alabama Slammer, but it looks like something a trashy sorority girl would chug down. We're playing a school from the city where we put our murderers to death this week. NOTE: only make this drink if you are in a real pinch. It's been kindly described to taste like a "vomit-flavored wine-cooler."
- Need to be resourceful. Does your prison have apples, oranges, fruit cocktail, or ketchup? You can make Pruno!
- Add some crumbled bread. The yeast helps the aforementioned fruit to ferment.
- Add the ingredients to a sock or washcloth to keep the fermentation pulp together. Ideally, the sock will be clean, but the alcohol hopefully will kill any bacteria anyway.
- Run under hot water, let soak, and then wait.
Pull this off, and you'll be the most beloved person in prison. Hey, it could be worse!
What did I miss? Enjoy the games, gang.