Can you believe a quarter of the season is over for most teams? I do this every year. I get way too excited for football sometime around late February and then once it’s here, I am already bemoaning its imminent departure from our lives. I hate that I do this. I was never good at living in the moment. Ne’er fear, dear reader. My labor of love is providing you accurate times, channels, stereotypes, and shoddy analysis to get you prepared for the weekend. This week I am so lax in analysis. If I gave you analysis, I’d have access to press boxes and I’d be a sloppy fat ass in a Hawaiian shirt "beat writing". I’m wearing a Hawaiian shirt, but I did lat pull downs and took a shower today. TO THE GAMES!
All times Central - where the topography is blander than the water chestnut casserole
Wednesday, September 19
Kent State at Buffalo | 6 PM | ESPNU
MACtion! MACtion! MACtion!
Boy do I love the MAC. Their move to play all these weeknight games was a stroke of brilliance. It's also fun that these games are typically played without defenses. 60-55 in triple overtime while neglecting your loved ones? IN.
I'm dubbing this matchup the Battle of Lake Erie. The winner gets to be the lesser of the Mistakes on the Lake. Sadly, they both lose due to their residence in Cleveland and Buffalo. So Rust Belty. I'm going with the Bulls here. Kent State got drilled by Kentucky. Shout out to loyal reader and my father who spent his freshman year at Kent State and tried to walk on to the football team. He was laughed out of the head coach's office. You could have been the Rudy of the Golden Flashes, pops.
Nick Saban went to Kent State.
Thursday, September 20
BYU at Boise State (24) | 8 PM | ESPN
I can't believe that Boise is a brand. This team shouldn't be ranked. I remain bullish on the Latter Day Saints despite their loss in Salt Lake City this past weekend.
"BRONCO MENDENHALL TAKES ON THE BOISE STATE BRONCOS". That one is free, ESPN.
Friday, September 21
Baylor at Louisiana-Monroe | 7 PM | ESPN
Latter Day Baptists have an interesting road game on their hands as well! I've been to Monroe, Louisiana. The whole place smells like the Great Depression deep fried. I love the Warhawks though. I ranked them in my BlogPoll this week. Quarterback Kolton Browning is ALL BALLS. During my research (AskJeeves.com and a six pack) I discovered he is from Mabank, Texas. Where the hell is Mabank you ask? Why, it is only a suburb of Gun Barrel City, Texas. Can I get an AW HELL YEAH?
ULM knocked off Arkansas in famous fashion and damn near took down Auburn. Watch the hell out, Bears. Baylor is favored by 7.5. Aw hell no. I'm taking Warhawk to win outright. Remember, Baylor doesn't play defense.
Saturday, September 22
UAB at Ohio State (16) | 11 AM | Big Ten Network
UTEP at Wisconsin | 11 AM | ESPN2
Maryland at West Virginia (8) | 11 AM | FX
Virginia at TCU (17) | 11 AM | ESPN
Bowling Green at Virginia Tech | 11 AM | ESPNU
These are your early games. Do literally anything else with your time. I guarantee it will be more constructive than viewing this mess.
I'm paid in warm fuzzies to cover this for you, so I have to watch. Thus, my default goes to Holgorsen and the Mountaineers (my default kicks ass). Did you know Geno Smith has the same amount of touchdown passes as INCOMPLETIONS? That fun math is called calculus on the West Virginia campus.
Oregon State at UCLA (19) | 2:30 PM | ABC/ESPN2
The Beavers have played once this year and in that performance, they knocked off Wisconsin. Mike Riley is allegedly on the hot seat in Corvallis, but I've always been a big fan. This game is of interest to me. The Bruins are fifth in the nation in rushing - averaging 311 yards per game. They've owned the city of Houston with victories over Cougar High and Rice. That was augmented by a nice home win over Nebraska. This should be a nice litmus test for the new coaching regime.
Gang, I've had the privilege of visiting many college football venues. I promise you that tailgating at the Rose Bowl on September 22 is sure to be sublime. I am always disgusted that more of the Bruin faithful don't get out of the disgusting ruins of Los Angeles to one of the more peaceful oasis's you could ever find tucked away in Pasadena.
Temple at Penn State | 2:30 PM | ABC/ESPN2
I'm trying to feed you duck confit with a dead squirrel I found under my trashcan. If one of you animals can spin a yarn out of this matchup in the comments, please be my guest.
Colorado at Washington State | 3 PM | FX
I pen to you under the name "ColoradoAg". Make no mistake - I hate the University of Colorado. My kids aren't likely to be college material (genetics, money, etc), but this is the one school I wouldn't pay the tuition. I love the dumpster fire in Boulder. I also love Mike Leach when he doesn't play A&M. The Cougars get to iron out their offense against an atrocious football team. To prepare, they should have their scout team beer bong codeine and stick their arms in a wood chipper. That would be the proper way to prepare for this Buffalo team.
LSU (2) at Auburn | 6 PM | ESPN
Tigers at Tigers. Look, I know what it is like to get fat and content on giggles and juice, but Auburn - the hell? You won a national championship recently. Recruit like it or at least spend like it.
Gene Chizik is not a good football coach. Auburn should be 0-3. Cajun Tigers roll Farm Tigers here.
Rutgers at Arkansas | 6 PM | ESPNU
Vegas has this game as a Pick ‘em. Unreal, right? In another life, I had to take some wealthy Rutgers donors to Birmingham, Alabama for a bowl game. Explaining the charm and nuances of the South to people from New Jersey is akin to taking a Hog to the Guggenheim.
South Carolina State at Texas A&M | 6 PM | GamePlan/ESPN3
I'll stick with the aforementioned other life for a moment. I worked the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando a couple years back with South Carolina State squaring off against Grambling. I was the only white person in the stadium. I'm not just white. I'm Colorado redhead skier gets sunburned by the moon white. And you know what? I loved it. Sorry Ags, their band is better than ours.
Michigan (18) at Notre Dame (11) | 6:30 PM | NBC
I went to this game last year in Ann Arbor. It was a majestic game day experience and a helluva game. I was so confused and dejected after the game that I took a solo walk around town for an hour by myself just muttering.
Well I'm going to the game again this year, and I like the Irish. This ND front seven is mean, fast, and athletic. Call me a homer, but it might be the best front seven in the country. If the Irish take care of the football (still a huge if) they will take Meatchicken handily. When they do, meet me at the Linebacker Lounge for jokes and cheap beer.
In seriousness, read up on Manti Te'o's last week or two if you're feeling sorry for your lot in life. He is a special dude.
Vanderbilt at Georgia (5) | 6:45 PM | ESPN2
I have not watched Georgia this year. Ranked at number five seems like something they'd classically screw up, but stars might be aligned for the Dawgs. Vegas has Georgia -16. That seems... steep?
Kansas State (15) at Oklahoma (6) | 6:50 PM | FOX
Bob Stoops will probably be Bill Snyder when he grows up. The former protégé has the chin and minivan and ownage of Texas to fill the role. This will be a fun game. I've been very hesitant with the Sooners and probably overly bullish on K-State. People are concerned about the Wildcats' performance against North Texas last weekend, but I would argue that their sights might have been set on Norman.
This is going to be a fun one. Collin Klein is a monster. I have this hunch that he is going to find his way to New York for the trophy presentation and I believe K-State is going to contend for the Big 12-2-2+2 title. Upset time in Norman!
Clemson (10) at Florida State (4) | 7 PM | ABC
Nice. The games are getting good. Good offense plays against a good defense. Kenny Chesney picked the games on Gameday last weekend which is just so ESPN. If it isn't Burt Reynolds picking the games this weekend, I give up.
A word on ESPN. Gameday is one of the few things the network does right aside from live programming. Fowler and Herbstreit are the very best in the business and if you don't like Lee Corso on a Saturday morning, the problem is with you. Corso is having is difficulties these days, but Fowler and Herbie are great at helping him out and making the show work. Lee Corso's mug has meant college football to us for decades now, and this pregame crew does it in such a way that all NFL channels try to emulate but can never duplicate.
Oh, and the Noles win. Corso and Reynolds troll Talley for trimey.
Arizona (22) at Oregon (3) | 9:30 PM | ESPN
Nice evening game here to wrap up your Saturday. Dick Rodriguez might be a good fit down in Tucson. This game features two of the highest scoring offenses in the country - offenses that are very similar in strategy and execution. Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas is averaging 17.5 yards per carry, and that number might seem slightly low only because the end zone got in his way. The flyin' Hawaiian Marcus Mariota has been efficient and effective through the air for the Ducks. The offense has been diverse and quite balanced.
Oregon is a huge favorite (-23.5). Autzen is going to be rocking and defenses are going to get emasculated.
Drink of the Week:
Black Velvet! I'm heading back to the land of the (football) Irish this weekend, so I figured I'd go with a drink based in black, beautiful Guinness.
- Guinness stout
- Brut champagne
Sure, kind of dainty I guess, but the added carbonation makes it fun. Fill up half a Collins glass with the Guinness and slowly top off with the champagne. Stir with a rod (or your finger).
That's it for me. What did I miss? Enjoy the games, gang.