WAKE UP! It’s another morning game for the Tide today, so we’re not going to have rolling open threads. I’ll hit you with this week’s schedule — it’s an important one in the SEC — and you use this one for you general college football thread for the day (I’m also typing this from my hotel room, and the WiFi is awful, y’all.)
It also happens to be a light week, well over a dozen teams have bye weeks, so we’re down 10-12 games from what you’re accustomed to. So, here’s the schedule, all times Eastern. And here’s what we’re keeping an eye on today and why:
No. 1 Alabama at Arkansas +35 SECN 12:00 ESPN — The Tide’s first true road game of 2018 sees Alabama become Vegas’ biggest SEC road favorite in 20 years (and, yes, Tennessee covered back in 1998 — 41-0 at Vanderbilt.) Not much to say about this: let’s get better each week; let’s finally play well in Fayetteville for four quarters; and let’s get home healthy. Roll Tide.
No. 19 Texas vs. No. 7 Oklahoma -8 12:00 FOX — You can be forgiven flipping over to this one during the ‘Bama game. Oklahoma is getting a whole lot of love for beating a whole lot of gross teams — one decent team played, and it went to overtime. It’s also the first time OU has deigned to leave the state of Oklahoma. All of that may matter today, especially to Kyler Murray who has been throwing agains air. Herman’s defense should be a step up in competition. Speaking of: that dude made his name winning big games, including against these same Sooners. The talent is there in Austin; it’s time to actually show some fight.
No. 5 LSU at No. 22 Florida +3 3:30 CBS — Does anyone really think that LSU is the 5th best team in the country or a decent team that has taken advantage of early season overrankings and some mistake-prone, very mortal opponents? That’s what I thought. Dan Mullen isn’t a genius or anything, but the Gators special teams is a lot better than the Tigers passing game. And I think that’s the difference in this low-scoring, grim game of American Football. Someone’s going to do something stupid; just wait.
|#1 Alabama at Arkansas||12:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#19 Texas at #7 Oklahoma||12:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Kansas at #9 West Virginia||12:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Maryland at #15 Michigan||12:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Northwestern at #20 Michigan State||12:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Tulane at Cincinnati||12:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Buffalo at Central Michigan||12:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan||12:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|East Carolina at Temple||12:00 PM||ESPNews||WatchESPN.com|
|Missouri at South Carolina||12:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Illinois at Rutgers||12:00 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Syracuse at Pittsburgh||12:20 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Boston College at #23 NC State||12:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Northern Illinois at Ball State||3:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|#4 Clemson at Wake Forest||3:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#5 LSU at #22 Florida||3:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|Iowa State at #25 Oklahoma State||3:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Ohio at Kent State||3:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Miami (OH) at Akron||3:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Navy at Air Force||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Bowling Green at Toledo||3:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|South Alabama at Georgia Southern||3:30 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|San Diego State at Boise State||3:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|South Florida at UMass||3:30 PM||Eleven/NESN/WTTA||UMassAthletics.com|
|Kansas State at Baylor||3:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Iowa at Minnesota||3:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Indiana at #3 Ohio State||4:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Arizona State at #21 Colorado||4:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|UL Monroe at Ole Miss||4:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|New Mexico at UNLV||4:00 PM||AT&T SportsNet||None|
|Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic||5:00 PM||Stadium||Facebook.com|
|SMU at #12 UCF||7:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|#13 Kentucky at Texas A&M||7:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|UAB at Louisiana Tech||7:00 PM||Stadium||Facebook.com|
|UTSA at Rice||7:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisiana at Texas State||7:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|UConn at Memphis||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Vanderbilt at #2 Georgia||7:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|#8 Auburn at Mississippi State||7:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#10 Washington at UCLA||7:30 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Nebraska at #16 Wisconsin||7:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|North Texas at UTEP||7:30 PM||beIN Sports||beINSports.com|
|#6 Notre Dame at #24 Virginia Tech||8:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Liberty at New Mexico State||8:00 PM||None||Aggievision|
|Washington State at Oregon State||9:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|California at Arizona||10:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Utah at #14 Stanford||10:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Colorado State at San Jose State||10:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Fresno State at Nevada||10:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Wyoming at Hawai'i||11:59 PM||Spectrum Sports PPV||Stadium (App Only)|
Arizona State at No. 21 Colorado (-2.5) 4:00 PAC12N — For weeks I’ve steadfastly refused to rank the Buffaloes. Why? Their opponents are a combined 1-17. They finally face someone who punches back today. The Sun Devils are far more battle-tested after 5 games, but they’ve lost as many as they’ve won mano e mano to big boys. That’s still better than Colorado’s resume. This is one of the most important early conference games in the P12 South, and it’s exiled on some bobo network only available to 12 households in Southern Utah. Do better, Larry Scott.
Boston College +6 at No. 24 NC State 12:30 ACCN — Like the P12N, the ACC has decided to bury its most watchable game of the day on a regional carrier. Good job, Mark Swofford. Weirdly, BC’s defense is terrible, but the offense has been explosive. And, while they’ve looked good, we know practically nothing about the Wolfpack. We’ll find out a lot more about both today. This could honestly be one of the day’s best games. ACC gonna’ ACC.
No. 8 Auburn at Mississippi State + 3.5 7:30 ESPN2 — If you think Florida and LSU are going to set offensive football back by 20 years, wait till this brick fight starts. I have no idea how Auburn or State are going to complete forward passes against the respective pass rushes, not that Nick Fitzgerald can do that anyway. And, where State is most vulnerable — in the interior run game — is the one area Auburn can’t exploit — their guards and center are woeful. This may be 3-2 all over again.
No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 24 Virginia Tech +7 8:00 ABC — Night games in Blacksburg are a hoot — super rowdy, loud, raucous, and the home team usually can find something to make the Lane Stadium crowd cheer...but probably not tonight. There’s just not enough Hokies offense to realistically spring the upset. But, if the VT defense plays as it has the last three weeks, they’ll have a puncher’s chance against the surging Irish. Brian Kelly needs to overcome his oldest nemesis tonight: consistency.
Keep an eye on:
So, is football in the State of Michigan actually worth a shit or is everyone just going to roll over and show their tummy to a really soft Buckeye team? We take a step forward in answering that question today. These are not great games, but they will be revelatory. Both Michigan teams host quality teams — record aside — and they’re both losable if these two rivals are more worried about next weekend instead of the task at hand. And that especially goes for you, Sparty. So, keep an eye on Northwestern at No. 20 Michigan State (-10) 12:00 FS1 and Maryland at No. 15 Michigan (-17) 12:00 ABC.
Missouri -2 at South Carolina 12:00 SECN — Like the Sooners, this is Mizzou’s first road trip too. They looked passingly competent at times against the Bulldogs and have smoked a lot of bad teams. If the Gamecocks don’t want to write this season completely off, they need the steady Jake Bentley to take the next step and eviscerate the nougaty goodness that is the Mizzou secondary. P.S. I still don’t think Drew Lock is anything but Josh Allen in an SEC uniform. That still may be enough against USCe.
Indiana - 26 at Ohio State 4:00 FOX — Did you see the Buckeyes’ inflammable secondary last week? Gross. Today they face another team that will throw it all over the yard. Any team with a reasonably mobile QB has to be salivating at the terrible play by Buckeye linebackers. Too bad that doesn’t describe Indiana, and too bad they have to try and play defense — that’s usually where the wheels fall off for the Hoosiers. This one feels trappish; just how trappish is anyone’s guess.
Cal at Arizona +2 10:00 FS1 — This is the second of two important crossover P12 games. The Wildcats have been hopeless on offense, and they host a Bears team that has gone back to the future to try to win with defense. That said, Cal just hasn’t been that great at it, consistently playing up or down to the level of their competition. If Kevin Sumlin is going to get his ‘Zona team right against a respectable foe, he’ll never get a better shot than this. The loser is all-but eliminated from the P12CG, and especially if Oskie loses this one.
Utah at No. 14 Stanford — Don’t actually watch this game. It’ll be dreck. But do keep an eye on the score. Does The Tree let Notre Dame beat them two weeks in a row?
Unwatchable Filth of the Day:
Mercy, there’s a lot to choose from. Auburn-Mississippi State, Florida-LSU and Utah-Stanford are all up there. So too shall Iowa-Minnesota be a slog as they mud wrestle for a dumb pig. But, no. We’re going to give the nod to our friends in the Big 12: Kansas State at Baylor — two of the absolute worst P5 teams in the country, and the very dregs of the B12. Snyder quit coaching this team for all intents and purposes four years ago. We are witnessing a beyond painful Brett Favre-as-a-NY-Jet sort of hanging on past your time. The fans are in revolt. The offense is putrid. The defense is slow and untalented. Matt Rhule’s Bears don’t look much more competitive in year two than they did in year one, either. And, now the NCAA is sniffing around and is almost certain to drop a bag of hammers on their heads. Baylor’s secondary is absolutely clueless, and they too have problems scoring. This game will be played before approximately 13,000 people and none of them will care about it any more than you will. But, hey, at least it will be painful to watch!