Reminder: Alabama has given three (arguably four) other SEC teams their best coach in school history — Bear at Kentucky, Bebes at A&M, Saban at LSU, and arguably Kirby at UGA. But it is the historical ties between Alabama and A&M that make this one special.
As I noted in the Giving Away Money post this morning, I am fighting through my third day of a migraine. So this won’t be as customarily amusing or in-depth as usual. Only so much Imitrex and Percocet that a man can chew down and still retain a sense of humor. But, here’s your schedule and this morning’s early thread.
Use it wisely: With great power comes great responsibility.
|Arkansas at Ole Miss||11:00 am||ESPN: 206 / Skycast on ESPNU: 208|
|Maryland at Ohio State||11:00 am||FOX (cable) / 4K: 105|
|Michigan State at Rutgers||11:00 am||BTN: 610|
|Northern Illinois at Toledo||11:00 am||CBSSN: 221|
|Oklahoma vs. Texas||11:00 am||ABC (cable)|
|South Carolina at Tennessee||11:00 am||ESPN2: 209|
|Stetson at Marist||11:00 am||ESPN Extra: 788|
|Vanderbilt at Florida||11:00 am||SEC Network: 611|
|West Virginia at Baylor||11:00 am||FS1: 219|
|Bucknell at Lafayette||11:30 am||(NBCSCH: 665 / NBCSCA: 698) *1|
|Georgia Tech at Duke||11:30 am||631,640,646,654,662,663,664,668,669,671,686,693,694,789|
|Marian at Indiana Wesleyan||12:00 pm||ESPN Extra: 790|
|Lehigh at Penn||12:00 pm||(NBCSCH+:: 665-1 / NBCSBA: 696) *1|
|Kennesaw State at Hampton||1:00 pm||ESPN Extra: 791|
|Merrimack at Sacred Heart||1:00 pm||SNY: 639|
|Villanova at James Madison||1:00 pm||NBCSWA: 642 *1|
|Virginia at Louisville||2:00 pm||ACC Network: 612|
|Ball State at Western Michigan||2:30 pm||ESPNU: 208|
|Boise State at BYU||2:30 pm||ABC (cable)|
|Florida State at North Carolina||2:30 pm||ESPN: 206|
|Georgia at Auburn||2:30 pm||CBS (cable)|
|Mercer at Western Carolina||2:30 pm||ESPN Extra: 789|
|MTSU at Liberty||2:30 pm||ESPN Extra: 788|
SJSU at Colorado State
|2:30 pm||FS1: 219|
|SMU at Navy||2:30 pm||CBSSN: 221|
|UConn at UMass||2:30 pm||NESN: 628|
|Wake Forest at Syracuse||2:30 pm||ESPN2: 209|
|Wisconsin at Illinois||2:30 pm||BTN: 610,610-1|
|Cal Poly at Montana State||3:00 pm||ATT (PI: 659 / RM: 683 / RMW: 684 / SW: 674) / RSNW: 687|
|North Texas at Missouri||3:00 pm||SEC Network: 611|
|Penn State at Iowa||3:00 pm||FOX (cable) / 4K: 106|
|SEMO at Austin Peay||3:00 pm||ESPN Extra: 790|
|Buffalo at Kent State||6:00 pm||ESPNU: 208|
|NSU at Houston Baptist||6:00 pm||ESPN Extra: 789|
|DII: Northwood at GVSU||6:00 pm||ESPN Extra: 788|
|TCU at Texas Tech||6:00 pm||ESPN: 206 / 4K: 105|
|UTEP at Southern Miss||6:00 pm||ESPN Extra: 791|
|Wyoming at Air Force||6:00 pm||CBSSN: 221|
|LSU at Kentucky||6:30 pm||SEC Network: 611|
|Michigan at Nebraska||6:30 pm||ABC (cable)|
|Notre Dame at Virginia Tech||6:30 pm||ACC Network: 612|
|Alabama at Texas A&M||7:00 pm||CBS (cable)|
|Georgia State at Louisiana Monroe||7:00 pm||ESPN Extra: 790|
|Utah at USC||7:00 pm||FOX (cable)|
|Memphis at Tulsa||8:00 pm||ESPN2: 209|
|New Mexico at San Diego State||8:00 pm||FS1: 219|
|New Mexico State at Nevada||9:30 pm||CBSSN: 221|
|UCLA at Arizona||9:30 pm||ESPN: 206|
No. 1 Alabama (-14.5) at Texas A&M — This game was circled on the preseason calendar for almost a year; December 2020 A&M was a far better team than the version Alabama beat by 24 points. But, given Aggie’s bad OL, injury situation, and a seemingly-apathetic Jimbo, is it still? I have no clue how A&M gets a W here.
No. 3 Penn State at No. 4 Iowa — For my money, the game of the year so far (and aesthetically, it may be my favorite). You want some defense with your morning coffee? These two very physical, opportunistic teams are the cure to what ails you in the spread era. Watch Iowa’s corners closely. I’m not sure there’s a team that’s better coached at keeping DBs in phase. It’s poetry in a wide-open Big Ten (for a change). I had Iowa as my dark horse in preseason, but who knew that Penn State would rebound to become elite? The talent was there, but now the performance is. Is it too much talent for the Hawkeyes? Maybe...but we all know how Franklin coaches on the road.
No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 21 Texas — I do believe, folks, that the wrong team is favored here. The Sooners have a knack for turning it on as the season goes along. But how do you stop a team that has ran for 300 yards in three of their last 4 games. The Longhorns have a new identity: and it is lining up and crushing people at the point of attack. Spencer Rattler remains heartbreakingly (or hilariously) inconsistent. Can UT’s defense finally put it together with their offense for one game? Or do the Sooners continue to torment their wannabe-SEC rivals?
Be Ready to Grab the Remote
No. 9 Michigan at Nebraska — After their first-game yips, the Cornhuskers have been playing very, very well. They should have gotten the W in Norman, in fact. They blanked the Buffalo Bulls. And they’re doing it with defense. The Wolverines look like an entirely different team this year than last, but they’ve had a reasonably gentle schedule too. And we know how bad Harbaugh is on the road. This is the biggest game at Nubber in years, and hte point spread is so small, for a reason — it’s a winnable game for the once-proud Huskers.
LSU at No. 16 Kentucky — After last week’s derpy loss, LSU now enters a five-game swing against all ranked opponents, and nothing about the Tigers should make you feel good about their chances. This game has tended to have some wild finishes over the years, but if UK shuts down the Tigers, don’t rush the field — the Wildcats have been the better team. Is this the one that gets Ed O fired? Tune in!
No. 2 Georgia at No. 18 Auburn — Is Georgia the No. 2 team in the country? Maybe. Is Auburn the No. 18? Absolutely not. We saw with the Georgia State game that whatever Faustian bargain the Tigers made with SEC officials is still in play. So, UGA will have to play 11-on-15. I still don’t think either of these teams are complete, although they excel in some facets: For UGA, it’s bullying people on defense. For Auburn, it’s moral victories. Will Kirby pull a Kirby here? Or will UGA make the short drive to that cow pasture and do what we think they can? I’m betting the latter (literally), but you never know.
No. 13 Arkansas at No. 16 Ole Miss — I started cranking a lot of numbers this week, and it looks like the Hogs are in for a few losses now, after their early season feel-good story...including this one. But, the Rebels have enough holes in their roster to lose this one as well. Contrasting styles from two of the 2019 slam dunk SEC hires. Winner squares off with Auburn for right to be SEC-West runner-up
Boise State at No. 10 BYU — It took a while this year for the Cougs to get the media’s Top 10 recognition BYU has earned (I’ve had them around 10 all year, BTW). But now that they’re here, they face their third rival in the first half of the season, and arguably their most dangerous. And this is after already demolishing Utah and Utah State — the Boise State Broncos. If anyone can lose a heartbreaker, it has been this Boise State team. And last week against Nevada exposed something we didn’t know existed: the Broncos’ inability to throw the ball or play passing defense. Will the rivalry matter here? Or is it a matter of being just too good?
No. 14 Notre Dame at Virginia Tech — After getting thoroughly walloped last week by Cincinnati (at home, no less), what will the Irish be doing for an encore? Why, having a quarterback controversy! NBD: it’s just Lane Stadium under the lights, one of the loudest nastiest places to play in the country. Not a good week to be rethinking your entire offense, Brian. This game is a pick’em for a reason: Tech is probably better than we think; ND a little worse. This could be fun...or it could be an ugly mess. Probably the latter, but you never know!
Not a better damn entrance in any sport, ever. Why can’t we have nice things, Greg Byrne?!
A lot of people are going to be pointing to that UConn - UMass game, but that’s wrong. Those teams aren’t playing bad or playing dumb. They just have no talent, and it shows when they face D1 programs. In fact, I actually think the UConn/UMass tilt will be a very competitive, reasonably well-played game.
It certainly will not be as bad as this week’s unwatchable filth: Florida vs. Vanderbilt. As we covered last week in Giving Away Money (and I hope you took UConn +14, as advised), Vanderbilt is so very, very bad. Worse, they’re not even a fun-bad, like Ole Miss last season. No. They’re a 1990s sort of Vandy-boring-bad. They do nothing well, nothing fun, and do it with no talent.
QUICK: Name Vanderbilt’s football coach without googling. You couldn’t, could you?
Florida is on a 7-game streak in the series; leads the nation in rushing against the No. 119 rushing defense, and Vanderbilt has beaten the Gators just 4 times in the last half-century. Since 1968, the game has only been decided by single-digits 5 times: so, even when Florida loses, it’s not competitive.
You couldn’t pay me to watch a minute of bad, boring football, badly-coached. After all, we have the NFL tomorrow.
We’re just keeping you around for the academic profile and baseball at this point, Dores.
Without doing an internet search, do you know the name of Vanderbilt’s football coach?
This poll is closed
Not a clue
Yes, but I’m related to him and/or have a gambling problem