Strictly business this afternoon and evening. There’s a lot of good football to get to.
First, here’s your schedule for the afternoon and evening.
|BYU at #6 Wisconsin||3:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|BYU at #6 Wisconsin||3:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|#12 LSU at #7 Auburn||3:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#17 Boise State at #24 Oklahoma State||3:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|SMU at #19 Michigan||3:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Miami (OH) at Minnesota||3:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Lehigh at Navy||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Central Michigan at Northern Illinois||3:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|South Florida at Illinois||3:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Duke at Baylor||3:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|UTSA at Kansas State||4:00 PM||FSN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Colorado State at Florida||4:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|North Texas at Arkansas||4:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Wofford at Wyoming||4:00 PM||None||TheMW.com|
|Eastern Kentucky at Bowling Green||4:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Houston at Texas Tech||4:15 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|San Jose State at #20 Oregon||5:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|New Hampshire at Colorado||5:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Idaho State at California||6:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Bethune-Cookman at Florida Atlantic||6:00 PM||Stadium|
|Eastern Michigan at Buffalo||6:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|#1 Alabama at Ole Miss||7:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas State at South Alabama||7:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Arkansas State at Tulsa||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Alabama A&M at Cincinnati||7:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Delaware State at Western Michigan||7:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Oregon State at Nevada||7:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Middle Tennessee at #3 Georgia||7:15 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisiana at #16 Mississippi State||7:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|UL Monroe at Texas A&M||7:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Missouri at Purdue||7:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Northern Iowa at Iowa||7:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Western Kentucky at Louisville||7:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|UMass at Florida Intl||7:30 PM||beIN Sports||beINSports.com|
|Akron at Northwestern||7:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#4 Ohio State at #15 TCU||8:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|#22 USC at Texas||8:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|New Mexico at New Mexico State||8:00 PM||Eleven Sports||Aggievision|
|Eastern Washington at Washington State||8:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|#10 Washington at Utah||10:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Prairie View at UNLV||10:00 PM||None||TheMW.com|
|#23 Arizona State at San Diego State||10:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Fresno State at UCLA||10:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Southern Utah at Arizona||11:00 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
No. 1 Alabama at Ole Miss (+23) 7:00
For obvious reasons. Alabama may put up 80 on this defense. It’ll be interesting to see who has more eye-popping stats — Tua or the running backs.
No. 12 LSU at No. 7 Auburn (-10) 3:30
This rivalry has a history of weird finishes and its share of improbable results. It is also one of the harder hitting SEC contests. Some flukes aside, this is Old Man Football — he who controls the line of scrimmage, establishes the running game, and avoids mistakes wins. Auburn is a different team at home, is better coached, better along both lines, and while it could happen, it’s hard to see Orgeron’s crew walking out of here with a win.
No. 17 Boise State at No. 24 Oklahoma State (-1) 3:30
The Murder Smurfs are a complete team: a balanced offense led by a 5th-year senior quarterback, a potent running game, and well-coached. If there is a weakness, it is their swarming defense that limits opportunities. You’d like to see a bit more aggression in the secondary, and the pass rush has to improve, especially against the physically imposing Cowboys that can throw and run with frightening efficiency. For all the talk of a shootout, the Oklahoma State defensive line may be the difference-maker in this one: they have generated 27 TFL, including 9 sacks. That in turn has helped the secondary, a group that has defensed 10 passes and created 3 INTs in just two games. So too, watch the Okie Lite offensive line vs. a fairly pedestrian Boise LB corps. Whoever wins this one will have earned their Top 25 juice.
Houston (1.5) at Texas Tech 4:15
It’s not that the Cougars are 2-0; it’s that they’ve looked really good doing so, winning with defense and a crisp passing game. The Red Raiders need a win at home. Badly. If Tech is blown out in this toss-up, and looks unprepared and sloppy again, I don’t know that Kliff survives the weekend....or that he deserves to. Tortilla tossing or pink slips? In either case, these old SWC rivals should serve up an entertaining game.
Missouri at Purdue (+6.5) 7:30
Does anyone trust Purdue? Does anyone trust Missouri for that matter? If you like the forward pass, this matchup should be your jam. You do get the feeling that this is a bad spot for the Tigers; the Boilers have their backs to the wall at home after an emotional loss followed up by . Meanwhile MU hosts Georgia in next week’s conference opener. Last year the Boilermakers won this one straight-up in Columbia. Does Mizzou return the favor? Drew Lock has to feel unloved with the rise of Jordan Ta’amu, Jarrett Stidham, Jake Fromm and Tua Tagovailoa.
No. 22 USC at Texas (+3.5) 8:00
You get the sense this will be a sloppy, perhaps higher-scoring game won by the team that can generate the most explosive plays. The Texas running game is stout; too bad Tom Herman doesn’t lean on it enough Ehrlinger is not the option for a spread passing attack, but UT loves shoving square pegs into round holes. The USC passing attack is feast or famine, but more than capable of generating chunk plays and eating up big time yardage. Unfortunately for the Horns, the secondary has been victimized by precisely those things. Loser melts down spectacularly.
No. 4 Ohio State (-13) at No. 15 TCU 8:00
This game is getting a lot of run, which only makes sense if you think that TCU is really the 15th best team in the country. I don’t see that. And, nothing they’ve put on the field of play in 2018 indicates they are either. If the Buckeyes show up, dominate the lines as they’re capable of, anOSU should roll to a pretty comfortable win over a Horned Frogs team getting way too much love in the early season. Still, I will tune in for the reason we always do: the Buckeyes are really inconsistent on the road and can lose at any time. If the Fightin’ Gary Pattersons are going to get one, this may as well be it.
No. 10 Washington (-4.5) at Utah 10:00
The trip to Rice Eccles — 5800 feet — is brutal, especially for a team at sea level like the Huskies. With Stanford, these are the Pac 12’s best defenses and points will be at a premium. Two years ago a better Huskies team than this one won with a late punt return. You can see a late play wrapping up the win for one these teams. Washington has the talent advantage, but the Utes are the anti-TCU: this salty team is being undervalued
Fresno State at UCLA (+1.5) 10:00
The Bulldogs are walking into Pasadena the favorites for a reason: A P5 squad can can bully this team with the right mix of power running and solid play in the secondary; neither are the particular bailiwicks of a Bruins squad more trying to establish a culture of winning in Year One under Chip Kelly than actually winning itself. That culture can begin this week: If UCLA can establish the run and mitigate the death-by-a-thousand-cuts Fresno State offense, it may get a quality win under its belts.
Watch Your Butts:
Colorado State (+20.5) at Florida 4:00: This is a sexy pick for a competitive game, but I’m not feeling the upset potential here. Woeful Arkansas was up on the Rams by 18 before imploding. It’s the first trip out of Ft. Collins for CSU too. Before Arkansas gifted Mike Bobo a win, this team was easily the disappointment of the G5. I think it still is. But...if Florida sleepwalks again and struggles, or outright loses? Buddy, that’ll be solid gold meltdown material.
North Texas (+5.5 to +7) at Arkansas 4:00
Before the season started, I circled this game as a possible loss for the Razorbacks. Why? Have you seen the defense they’re trotting out in Fayetteville? The coaching staff? Chad Morris’ secondary could be in profound trouble against North Texas. The Mean Green simply gives zero s**** about running the ball. They will air it out 60 times if they need to. And, against the Hogs’ DBs, it would be coaching malpractice not to. If the Arkansas offense can’t hold serve or again fails to establish some consistency, this will be the SEC’s worst black eye in years.
Tonight’s Unwatchable Filth
Oregon State at Nevada (-3.5) 7:00
Alongside Rutgers and Kansas, the Beavers deserve their own spot in the Power 5 hall of shame. They’re the underdogs to a 1-1 Mountain West team that got blown out by Vanderbilt. And that Ohio State game left a stank that just won’t wash off. Expect both running games to go off tonight, but don’t look for quality football in Reno.
We’ll see you at kick for ‘Bama-Ole Miss. Feel free to refer back to this for the evening schedule. Roll Tide
Which much-hyped matchup is most likely to turn into a blowout?
This poll is closed
LSU - Auburn
USC - Texas
Ohio State - TCU
Boise State - Oklahoma State