The bye week is sometimes one of the best weeks of the year.
A lot of teams have this 9th week off, including Alabama, but sometimes, as today, the Saturday is an excellent one full of playoff elimination games. Better yet, we have a 0% chance of watching Alabama be defeated today by a once-in-a-lifetime quarterbacking performance, unmotivated left tackles, or elebenty fluke turnovers.
So, let sweet madness reign. Deliver unto us heartbreak. Let there be wailing and gnashing of teeth as those who can reckon see the sundering of their dreams. Bring the votive offerings of surrender cobras. Sup upon than endless chalice of lamentation. Conjure forth #MadOnline.
It’s bye week time!
College Gameday is in Columbus (filed under “no s***”) if that’s your thing. Below is your schedule for today in Eastern time, and here’s what we’re watching and why you should care.
Arkansas at Ole Miss (-3) 12:00 EST
Remember how bad Ole Miss was? They’re favored...without Shea Patterson. If Bret Bielema gives the vaguest of a damned about keeping his job, this is an improbable “upset” Arkansas must have. We’ll see how the Hogs are prepared for a clue as to his future, but it may be too late already.
No. 11 Oklahoma State at No. 22 West Virginia (+8) 12:00 EST
Buzz around the Cowboys has faded after they laid an egg in Fort Worth. But, the Pokes can begin to get back in the picture with a road win in the Big 12’s most hostile stadium, against one of its better defenses. The ‘Eers finally picked off a ranked team last week ago, after two narrow brushes on the road. They are a different, more formidable foe at home. Do they eliminate Okie Lite from the playoff picture today?
No. 4 TCU at No. 25 Iowa State (+7) 3:30 EST
The point spread alone is a testament to how far the Cyclone have come under Matt Campbell. There’s no way the 37-year old, second-year head man is not the Coach of the Year at this point in the season. TCU has done its heavy lifting at home. This is the first real road test for the Frogs. Ames is going to be hopping as their ‘Clones try to play way above their heads for a fourth straight week. A loss here, all-but ends the Horned Frogs ‘ chances for the playoffs. Meanwhile, a win adds to TCU’s solid resume.
No. 3 Georgia (-13.5) vs. Florida (JAX) 3:30
Want to shed that choker label, ‘Dawgs? The best team Athens has seen in five years must get it done today in the WLOCP. UGA has done a great job of playing up in big games this season. Is the possibility there that a loose, nothing-to-lose Gator team can catch a tense, mistake-prone Georgia squad? This is usually one of the worst games of the SEC schedule. I don’t recall the last time these two played a good game against one another. Expect no differently today.
No. 2 Penn State at No. 6 Ohio State (-7) 3:30 EST
Huge, huge game. Penn State may be able to afford a loss; but Ohio State cannot afford to not win. The Buckeyes, pegged as a preseason contender, have looked far more competent since they’ve simplified things on both sides of the ball. But, they’ve not necessarily played a team with a pulse after getting blasted by Oklahoma. Urban Meyer admitted that revenge is on his team’s mind — now, let’s see if that translates to preparation, adjustment, and execution. He’s one of the best in the business. Prove it.
Houston at No. 17 South Florida (-10.5) 3:45 EST
Houston has one of the AAC’s better defenses. This one could easily go off the rails for the Bulls and stymie the goodwill that Charlie Strong has gained in his South Florida redemption tour. Can Major Applewhite get a signature road win and take some of the blush off the anticipated USF-UCF showdown?
No. 15 NC State at No. 9 Notre Dame (-7) 3:30 EST
NC State has had two weeks to scheme ways to stop the potent Irish running game. Notre Dame has had the deserved national spotlight this week and is coming off a victory over one of its two archrivals. Is this the week, as against Georgia, the Irish passing game lets them down? Like TCU, a ND win adds to its playoff case. For NC State, it’s a chance to enter the conversation in a serious way.
No. 16 Michigan State at Northwestern (+2.5) 3:30 EST
Don’t actually watch this game. It will be terrible. But, not only will the Big 10’s playoff case take a black eye if the Spartans lose this one, but in fact I think it’s more than 50-50 that they do.
Mississippi State at Texas A&M (+2.5) 7:15 EST
Two 5-2 SEC West teams vying to stay relevant as divisional runner-up. A win gets the Bulldogs back on track in the national conscious. For A&M, it is another opportunity to show that the UCLA game was just a fluke. The wildcard will be how often and how well Nick Fitzgerald is called upon to pass. Otherwise, with Aeris Williams, Trayveon Williams, and Keith Ford -- along with two mobile quarterbacks -- this should be a good old-fashioned #RTDB special and a pretty good game.
SOMEONE’S GETTIN’ FIRED: Tennessee at Kentucky: To say that Stoops and Butch are on thin ice is to underrate how perilously rotten the frozen water beneath their feet really is. Kentucky has been putrid, despite its 5-2 record. Tennessee has the record it could have reasonably anticipated, but has played poorly getting there. The loser of this game, a rivalry no less, is gone. If it’s Butch, playing with a freshman QB and without its sole offensive playmaker, he could be fired before he gets back on the bus tonight.
BIG 12 UPSET SPECIAL? Texas Tech travels to No. 10 Oklahoma to face the nation’s worst pass defense. This game should be weird.
BONUS: Pac 12 Upset Specials in the Grand Canyon State: Arizona State can knock off reeling No. 21 USC at home and No. 15 Washington State travels to surprisingly competent 5-2 Arizona, where they can absolutely lose. Losses by both of these squads tonight effectively eliminates the PAC 12 from the playoffs, no matter how well Washington finishes down the stretch. Wins by the favorites here can really help the playoff fortunes for the winner of the Apple Cup.
|Buffalo at Akron||11:30 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|#5 Wisconsin at Illinois||12:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#8 Miami at North Carolina||12:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#11 Oklahoma State at #22 West Virginia||12:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Rutgers at Michigan||12:00 PM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|Arkansas at Ole Miss||12:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas at Baylor||12:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisville at Wake Forest||12:20 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Virginia at Pittsburgh||12:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|California at Colorado||2:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Florida Intl at Marshall||2:30 PM||None||Facebook.com|
|Kansas State at Kansas||3:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Air Force at Colorado State||3:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|San Jose State at BYU||3:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|#2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State||3:30 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#3 Georgia at Florida||3:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#4 TCU at #25 Iowa State||3:30 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#14 NC State at #9 Notre Dame||3:30 PM||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|UCLA at #12 Washington||3:30 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#16 Michigan State at Northwestern||3:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Georgia Southern at Troy||3:30 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Appalachian State at UMass||3:30 PM||NESN/Eleven||UMassAthletics.com|
|Louisiana Tech at Rice||3:30 PM||None||FloFootball.com|
|Indiana at Maryland||3:30 PM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|Houston at #17 South Florida||3:45 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Vanderbilt at South Carolina||4:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky||4:30 PM||Stadium||Twitter.com|
|Austin Peay at #18 UCF||5:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisiana Monroe at Idaho||5:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Utah at Oregon||5:45 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Texas State at Coastal Carolina||6:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Missouri at Connecticut||6:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Old Dominion at North Texas||6:30 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Minnesota at Iowa||6:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|UAB at Southern Mississippi||7:00 PM||None||CUSA.tv|
|Mississippi State at Texas A&M||7:15 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Duke at #13 Virginia Tech||7:20 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|New Mexico at Wyoming||7:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Tennessee at Kentucky||7:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Nebraska at Purdue||7:30 PM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|Georgia Tech at #7 Clemson||8:00 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas Tech at #10 Oklahoma||8:00 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|UT San Antonio at UTEP||8:00 PM||KMYS||CUSA.tv|
|Arkansas State at New Mexico State||8:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|#15 Washington State at Arizona||9:30 PM||Pac-12||Pac-12.com|
|UNLV at Fresno State||10:00 PM||AT&T SportsNet||None|
|Boise State at Utah State||10:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|#21 USC at Arizona State||10:45 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|San Diego State at Hawai'i||11:15 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|