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Midwestern matinees and a little mountain music.

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it's bad for you but you can't get enough
it's bad for you but you can't get enough
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Our picks had a dash of everything last week, a veritable paella of football gathered from all around the country. There were B1G shutouts, Big 12 blowouts, PAC-12 sort-of-near-upsets, PAC-12 actual upsets, and also Tennessee choking away a big lead while Arkansas just abused a defense to run the game out.

  • Doug: West Virginia at Oklahoma
  • Dr. Norris Camacho: MINNESOTA @ NORTHWESTERN
  • thacktor: Texas Tech @ Baylor
  • oscarwildecat: Arkansas @ Tennessee
  • Chuck: ARIZONA STATE @ #7 UCLA, 6:30 PM, FOX
  • Shooter Flatch: OREGON @ COLORADO
  • Our winner of last week's Weirdest Watchlist Game Trophy Award In The Field Of Excellence goes to Chuck. While transitively making the Ags look even better with a road upset of a top ten team, the Sun Devils also got two safeties and had their DC punch a whiteboard in the locker room during halftime to shut Todd Graham up. And of course their not-overly-mobile QB clinched the game with a touchdown run where he carried the entire UCLA defense for 25 yards or so. PAC-12 After Dark.



    Stop me if you've heard this one before: Oklahoma is riding the crest of being one of the top ranked teams in the country in the middle of the season based on a series of solid but not dazzling wins over probably legitimate teams using a cast of players no one outside of the state can name. They are finally back, and this will be the season it all comes together and leads them to the promised land. Call the superintendent, because this one is locked.

    Meanwhile, Texas is playing a brand of football that is unsafe for human consumption. The offense's primary goal of stringing together two consecutive effective plays is largely driven by the desire to not let their Dadaist special teams unit take the field. The defense is forced to spend 68 minutes per game on the field. Charlie Strong heading to Texas was the heroic firefighter in a movie who goes back in to save the family cat right as the tragic background music starts playing. Bevo himself is just another in a long list of Longhorns who will not be in attendance this weekend.

    You want weird? Watch this game, because one of two things will happen:

    1) OU administers the wholesale beating of ass that everyone expects. Social media proceeds to dogpile on the Longhorns as they have done every weekend. Possibly an actual fistfight between UT players breaks out. Even the most die-hard Longhorn-hating Sooner and Aggie fans become queasy watching what is happening to one of the greatest programs in the history of college football. And right when everything is completely hopeless, Bob Stoops goes for two up by four touchdowns with a minute and a half to go, because he is constantly applying for his own job to an unreasonably dissatisfied fan base and also because he is a colossal dickface.


    2) Texas pulls off a stunner and for four glorious quarters manages to not throw three interceptions, snap the ball to Big Tex, wear their helmets backwards, or forget their shoes and be forced to wear Vibram Five Fingers instead. Bob Stoops gets that face on his head. Charlie Strong knows for 24 hours what it's like for people in Austin to love him, and those teenagers on his team get everyone to leave them the fuck alone for a week.

    And college football stays so, so awesome.

    Shooter Flatch

    Wisconsin at Nebraska
    2:30 pm CT

    This should be called the Caucasian Bowl.  The last time this many pasty white people filled a stadium the Lumineers were opening for Mumford & Sons at Mile High in Denver.  The trophy for this game should be a 2 gallon tub of 70 SPF sunblock and a DVD of Sleepless in Seattle.  Neither of these teams are in their prime anymore and both desperately need a win.  Wisconsin has continued its downward trend thanks to AD Barry Alvarez being a cheap ass and immeasurable prick, while Nebraska traded in a Fighting Pelini for Mike Riley.  Riley is laid back and that works perfect for a place like Oregon State, but Nebraska fans expect you to line up with 7 linemen, a tight end, and 3 fullbacks.  You don't even need a QB.  Long gone are the days of BERT and Bo roaming the sidelines for these two proud road-grader style teams.

    (Quick side note here.  I'd love to make a sitcom starring BERT and Bo.  It could be like a reverse Three's Company and the two of them are roommates with Sammy Ponder.  Lee Corso could be their landlord.  Sammy would always be mistaking rather innocent conversations in another room about tight ends and penetration for sexual innuendo.  You wouldn't watch BERT and Bo grope chicks and scream at people at the Regal Beagle??  Somebody get NBC on the phone!!)


    Anyway, all that's left now is a couple of marginal B1G teams without an identity. They're gonna screw around and let Iowa win the division, and Kirk Ferentz will sign another 20-year extension, which will in turn send another generation of Hawkeye fans into the drunken abyss.  Got damn this is the whitest game preview I've ever typed in my life, all that's missing is an Olivia Newton-John video.  So don't forget to tune in Saturday afternoon to see which team is gonna get physical.


    Northwestern at Michigan

    2:30PM CT

    The bye week is a holiday of sorts. And holidays are a time to reflect and contemplate on our blessings. Blessings like "warm weather climates", "competent offense", and "coeds that know sweatshirts are not appropriate gameday attire". Watch Northwestern play Michigan. Take in what college football resembles in the absence of those things you cherish. Return to work on Monday morning with a new appreciation for the SEC and passing touchdowns, and eternal gratitude toward whoever invented that cowboy boots and sundress ensemble.

    Yes, there will also be a B1G football game on display. One that was far from a marquee matchup when the schedule was announced, but has through circumstance and good fortune become a showdown of two ranked teams with a combined 9-1 record. The Harbaughzation of the Wolverines is well underway, and Northwestern is making hay with a defense led by Mike Hankwitz. Yes, that Mike Hankwitz. RC Slocum protege and the man at the helm in the final days of the Wrecking Crew.

    But most of all on this Saturday, be thankful for the things we have. Things like points. Bet the under 35 - which Baylor will singlehandedly top in the first quarter against Kansas - and tremble in fear at a game likely to be decided by #CollegeKickers.

    Dr. Norris Camacho

    Georgia Tech at Clemson
    2:30 PM | ESPN2

    Saturday, October 3rd. Paul Johnson leers menacingly from the shadows of his dim office as Dabo Swinney gushes emotionally amidst the flashing lights and pouring rain of Saturday night's upset of #6 Notre Dame. Smoldering fury seethes out of every pore and his jawline quivers. These two disparate entities exist on planes so distant from each other that they nearly touch on the other side. They can communicate telepathically, believe it or not, and CPJ's ragey mindwaves have caused the flustered preachercoach to begin speaking in tongues. ESPN hurriedly cuts away from the interview while someone in the production studio simultaneously schedules this game for the prime afternoon slot without fully understanding why. His powers of persuasion reach far and wide.

    The Jackets have been on a three-game losing skid that dates back to a battering in South Bend that was not as close as the 30-22 score would indicate. The Tigers are undefeated following a narrow escape over that same Notre Dame team in a monsoon. Which possibly means Georgia Tech has chosen this game to rush for 400 yards and hang 50 on Clemson.


    Oklahoma State at West Virginia | 6 PM | ESPN2

    SCENE: smoggy fog settles in the hills around Morgantown. The air tastes like coal and doomed dreams. A hoard of 40-somethings who are still stuck in 8th grade gather. A fella who tells you to call him "Dutchy" passes you a kabob of Appalachia mystery meat and grubs. The dipstick from his 1989 Ford Probe is the skewer. You eat, because you're polite, and well shit - it's Saturday night in West Virginia and Dutchy is genuinely more happy than you've ever been in your more polished, refined burg.

    What secret key does Dutchy have to life? He winks gently at a sorority passerby. He's no animal. Dutchy pours some of "Dolly's Cider" in a pair of used Solo cups. You should have known that the only thing "cider" about this smoky kerosene concoction was that a minor part was fermented from something that used to be in the earth. Could be a root vegetable. Could be coal. It burns... Kind of like home.

    Dutchy goes on to tell you about a fella named Dana. "Spins it all over the yard. Part crazy, part gentlemen. His defensive philosophy has incinerated more than one couch in this town. Pappy told me to wary of fellers with slick names. Dana is slick. But, I'll be goddammed if he t'ain't one of us. He's got his struggles. He's got his vices. He's got the hair of a raccoon on chemo. But, by God, he's ours. He'll win this weird new league we're in before it's over. Life ain't easy for us folks, but when we gather for a sip and a smoke out here in Morg'towne, we do OK."

    This ain't your NFL at Jerryworld - it's Saturday night in Coal Country.


    Arkansas at Alabama
    6:00 PM

    Night game at Brian Dennehy stadium! BERT! Saban!

    I'm watching to see Arkansas' Offensive Line tenderize Alabama for the Aggies. Bama should look to win this game, but when you beat Arkansas, you still lose. The Alabama defense is going to be wheeled to "class" for the next week. I'll be honest, I'm a little swamped right now and am just churning out words to fill space. I like football. I like SEC football. This should be a good way to end a nice little Saturday. Let's drink bourbon and tweet about this one, huh?

    Woo pig. Roll Tide.