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GBH WATCHLIST: Week 12 gets Shakespearean

is it ribaldry week?

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the WATCHLIST re-creates the Pac-12
the WATCHLIST re-creates the Pac-12
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Last week's WATCHLIST was a pair of upsets and a big undercard. As usual, everyone but me picked great games as Houston-Memphis and Oregon-Stanford were barnburners while Illinois just completely failed to show up against Ohio State. Some folks never learn, and I'm some folks. Kudos to Toad and Shooter for spicing up this buffet.

Now the final few weeks are here and it's time to gorge irresponsibly before our collective eight-month nap. This is a tough weekend, as you're probably scrambling to prepare for the holidays: figuring out what to do with a year's worth of various partially-full boxes of miscellany in your guest room and spending hundreds of dollars on massive quantities of food and intoxicants to prepare for that nice family gathering. But don't neglect your football, folks. These are the games we've pined for.




2:30 PM


You know that scene in Crocodile Dundee where she's all spoiled and proper and not used to his rough-and-tumble rugged lifestyle in the outback? That's this entire game. Watch for these two fanbases to fall madly in love with each other as Northwestern teaches Wisconsin how to survive a sophisticated urban environment with class, and Wisconsin surprises Northwestern with their compassion, insight, and knife size.

Dr. Norris Camacho


Arizona vs. Arizona State
2:30 p.m.

The Territorial Cup is hellacious fun. They don't mess around down in the desert and sometimes the line between "college hijinks" and "matters for homeland security" gets blurred. This is a region of the country steeped in digging minerals from the ground, gathering as much land as you can, and shooting anyone who pissed you off. Football hate just comes naturally.

These two teams are capping off disappointing seasons, and that's a pretty common precursor to this game historically. I recall watching the 2006 game from a bar in Port Aransas: both teams were 6-5 and Arizona had just thrashed Oregon on the road. It was the corner that Mike Stoops never turned: the Wildcats completely no-showed in the second half and lost by two scores. But it was chippy, and it was intense. The rivalryness of it hung in the air.

The stakes are virtually identical this year, as both teams ride five losses into this game. This showdown will feature two of the scowlingest, red-faced coaches outside of Brian Kelly roaming the sideline. RichRod will furiously adjust his ballcap dozens of times. Todd Graham will rub his wristband and blurt obscenities into his drive-thru headset. Both men will make great or terrible coaching decisions and give us a tough game of football.

But go Sun Devils. We love those bad boys.

Shooter Flatch


Mississippi State at Arkansas
6:00 p.m. CST

This game is a perfect illustration of life in the SEC West.  Two weeks ago Mississippi State was 7-2, ranked #24 in the nation, and with three weeks left had serious thoughts of playing in a New Year's Day bowl game in sunny Florida.  And then came the SabanTron3000 and his most recent version of Football Hell.  This year the Tide defense will maul you, rotate twelve DT's that weigh 475 pounds, come at you with linebackers that crush offensive lineman and your backfield, and basically stifle anything you do remotely well on offense.  The Body Blow Theory with Alabama is alive and well this year.

So now what waits for Mississippi State?  Just a road trip deep into the Ozarks to play BERT and his own particular brand of Marauder Ball.  Arkansas has been the Ying to A&M's Yang the last two years.  The Ags love to come out of the gates hot as hell and then October happens. Meanwhile the first 5-6 weeks of the Arkansas football season can best be summed up as fartfumble, and fall down. But for the last two years BERT has managed to have the Hogs playing extremely well down the stretch.  They've won two against ranked teams on the road at Ole Miss and LSU.  Oh and the predicted kickoff temp for this game?  34 degrees.  That's BERT weather.  He will take the field in a track suit and reeking of knackwurst and Schlitz.  The cold weather and boiled pig parts will fuel his desire to run the ball 47 times behind a ginormous offensive line.

To further illustrate, a short passage from Shakespeare's HamBERT

Heaven and Earth, Must I Remember
Why she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on, and yet, within a month-
Let me not think on 't
Frailty, thy name is CLANGA!



Colorado at Wazzu
9:45PM on ESPN2

Like RC Slocum running a draw on 3rd and long, Mike Leach in a #Pac12AfterDark affair is an automatic selection. On the toastiest of seats after a seasoning opening loss to Portland State, the pirate got his crew to swing their swords and has pillaged Eugene and sacked Pasadena. Also, curiously durable Cougar QB Luke Falk may be made out of some kind of adamantium alloy.

This man returned to the game because he was totally good to go just don't ask questions, ok? [hides behind HIPAA shield]

Colorado... Poor Buffs. So close to a big win last week at home over USC. Just like their contest against UCLA. Mike MacIntyre is a modern day Sisyphus.

Being the fine states of Washington and Colorado, smoke a bowl and take Colorado +15, because Leach likes to keep things needlessly interesting.