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Don’t Watch This; Watch That: Week 7 College Football Schedule

ESPNews is basically FOX News for sports fans. Change my mind.

News: The 2018 ESPYS-Red Carpet Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the great silly little unfairnesses of college football fandom is how ESPN chooses to organize its information.

No, this isn’t another rant about ESPN’s leg-humping SEC coverage or the death of their Big Ten blog, which was a bummer, but anyways.* It’s about how whenever I go to the “scores” page for the week (not the Big Ten page, which I’ve now got in my browser’s autofill), it automatically populates the Top 25 games. As if the main reason most people go to ESPN is to learn the “best” teams’ games for that weekend.

This is how we wind up with “casual” Alabama and Notre Dame fans, ESPN. Goddamnit.

*Here is where I put an aside that ESPN’s coverage shift on ESPNews from, y’know, actual news programming to an all-radio lineup is indicative not only of any budgetary and programming struggles the network is facing, but also of the continued slide into “infotainment” that has marked American media. Apologies for the hot-taeky journalism, but it’s a bummer to see ESPN go the way of Fox News and the other cable “news” outlets, where people yelling shitty opinions about the topics of the day now occupies a “news” channel that was originally for news, highlights, and press conferences. Alas.

I was disappointed at the outcome of the Appalachian State-Arkansas State game on Tuesday night. Not because the Mountaineers won, mind you, but because I was hoping Justice Hansen and the Red Wolves’ goofy spread offense would’ve put up a better fight. But the App State defense—man, those guys are legit. And Zac Thomas had a helluva run when he faked a give on a dive, then ran option right and cut upfield, untouched for a 62-yard score. It was sweet, sweet option sex.

Thursday, October 11

Don’t Watch This

Georgia Southern Eagles (-17) at Texas State Bobcats [6:30pm, ESPNU]
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants [7:20pm, FOX]

Watch That

Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-2) at TCU Horned Frogs (3-2)

6:30pm | ESPN | TCU -7 | O/U 64

Every year it seems like we get on Oklahoma State’s jock, and every year they lose some bafflingly stupid game and just completely exit the nation’s collective consciousness, like a memory deleted from some college football Ood-Brain. This year that was to Texas Tech and its fresh, freckle-faced freshman quarterback, Alan Bowman. Texas Tech scores points, is dumb, moving on.

TCU beat Iowa State 17-14. TCU is Iowa in a conference where being Iowa still allows you to sneak up on teams because “Wow! They play defense?” is still uttered by coaches. I dunno, it’s better than Georgia Southern-Texas State.

And now, it’s MNW Edging Into NFL Hot-Take Journalism: I don’t get Eagles-Giants. Hell, I barely get NFL “rivalries” on the field. They are for the fans. I am not convinced that Odell Beckham Jr. and Carson Wentz give one flying fuck about playing against one another, save for the fact that it whips up the weird-talking passions of 70,000 goobers from the ethnic suburbs of Philly and New York, who ride the Amtrak and bitch about the government.

But the FOX machine will convince you it spreads onto the field. Horsefeathers, say I. It only does when the teams (looking at you, Baltimore and Pittsburgh) are stupid enough to forget that they’re making millions of dollars and take cheap shots at one another. And that doesn’t apply (MORE HOT TAKES) to Eli Manning-era New York. It’s like that schmuck gave 2 million Giants fans an Ambien IV drip.


It’s Thursday night, and I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 39%
    (57 votes)
  • 58%
    Texas Tech-Texas Christian
    (86 votes)
146 votes total Vote Now

Friday, October 12

Don’t Watch This

Arizona Wildcats at Utah Utes (-14) [9pm, ESPN]

Watch That

[23] South Florida Bulls (5-0) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-4)

6pm | ESPN | USF -7.5 | O/U 62.5

Air Force Falcons (2-3) at San Diego State Aztecs (4-1)

8pm | CBSSN | SDSU -10 | O/U 45.5

I will take that USF is only favored by 7.5 at the woeful Golden Hurricane as indication that my repeated exhortations to check out a Tulsa game on the TV are correct. Now, Tulsa nearly got doubled up by Houston after keeping the game close, but they were in that sucker until about 5 minutes to go in the fourth. That was fun, hot nonsense in a football game. Good for you, Philip Montgomery.

Of the two late games? I’ll be honest—neither are very good, particularly because both QB Christian Chapman and RB Juwan Washington are out for San Diego State. But you have nothing to do on a Thursday night at 8pm. You can lie to your friends, but you can’t lie to me. And I proclaim AFA-SDSU to be the better of these two games, in part because Kevin Sumlin can suck an egg for his handling of a fun QB in Khalil Tate. I don’t care if the Utes just boatraced Stanford. Air Force just walloped Navy, 35-7, and when given the choice I will watch two Mountain West teams with fun rushing attacks over two Pac-12 teams who beat their chests about Establishing the Run and then lose. If I wanted that, I would tune in to Michigan State games on a weekly basis.

If you haven’t watched Mike Leach talk about the “50% stupid[ity]” of having a “run-pass balance,” go do that now. Half the shit he says probably makes no sense if you slow it down and take it objectively, but there’s something about the man that just captures my attention.

Saturday, October 13: Morning

Don’t Watch This

Minnesota Golden Gophers at [3] Ohio State Buckeyes (-29.5) [11am, FS1]
[14] Florida Gators (-7) at Vanderbilt Commodores [11am, ESPN]
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Maryland Terrapins (-24.5) [11am, BTN]
Oklahoma State Cowboys (-6.5) at Kansas State Wildcats [11am, ESPNU]

Watch That

Akron Zips (2-2-⚡) at Buffalo Bulls (5-1)

11am | CBSSN | Buff -11 | O/U 57.5

Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-5-⚡, 0-2) at Northwestern Wildcats (2-3, 2-1)

11am | ABC | NU -6 | O/U 57.5

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-1) at Indiana Hoosiers (4-2, 1-2)

11am | ESPN2 | IA -6 | O/U 51.5

How’s this for a bleak morning slate? I’m recommending you watch two Big Ten games. That’s how dire this has gotten.

For fans looking for a good Northwestern showing, check out the first half. For Indiana, do the first half. For Nebraska and Iowa, the second half is what you’re looking for.

Outside getting pounded by Army, Buffalo has been Good, if walking a bit of a tightrope in games not against Rutgers. But, with wins over Eastern and Central in the MAC, it’s got the inside track to show up in Detroit this November. especially with East front-runners Akron and Toledo at home. Even allowing for a couple losses along the way (because lol a 7-1 MAC East winner?) to Ohio and someone dumb, I like Buffalo and 6’7” Tyree Jackson.


You can only watch one Saturday morning game. You choose...

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Minnesota-Ohio State
    (28 votes)
  • 30%
    (68 votes)
  • 36%
    (82 votes)
  • 4%
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 16%
    (36 votes)
225 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

Pittsburgh Panthers at [5] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-20.5) [1:30pm, NBC]
[7] Washington Huskies (-3) at [17] Oregon Ducks [2:30pm, ABC/ESPN2]
Temple Owls (-5.5) at Navy Midshipmen [2:30pm, CBSSN]
Purdue Boilermakers (10.5) at Illinois Fighting Illini [2:30pm, FS1]
Baylor Bears at [9] Texas Longhorns (-14) [2:30pm, ESPN]
UNLV Rebels at Utah State Aggies (-24.5) [3pm, Facebook/Stadium]

Watch That

[2] Georgia Bulldogs (6-0) at [13] LSU Tigers (5-1)

2:30pm | CBS | UGA -7 | O/U 50.5

[10] UCF Knights (5-0) at Memphis Tigers (4-2)

2:30pm | ABC/ESPN2 | UCF -4.5 | O/U 78

Army Black Knights (3-2) at San Jose State Spartans (0-5)

2:30pm | ESPNU | Army -14.5 | O/U 55.5

Marshall Thundering Herd (3-2) at Old Dominion Monarchs (1-5)

2:30pm | Stadium | Marshall -4 | O/U 58.5

And then we turn around, and it’s a veritable smorgasbord of good college football on Saturday afternoon. I will be tying my tie and heading to a wedding riiiiight about when these kick off, and I am even madder about that thanI am about missing the end of the Nebraska-Northwestern game, when Nebraska’s erratic kicker hits a 55-yarder to win it at the death.

An over-under of 78! That’s even higher than TTU-WVU was. Tune in for 2 minutes to UCF-Memphis, you will see a touchdown. I guarantee it. [/menswearhouse.gif]

I take no joy in watching Washington football. It’s boring as shit. Will Oregon do fun things? Maybe! But these two ranked PAC-12 teams don’t really move the needle for me. Baylor-Texas is a shot in the dark—the Bears have been bad against opponents with a pulse (Duke, Oklahoma by a combined 104-60) and fair-to-middling against mediocre ones (37 points against both UTSA and K-State). Sure, there could be points in Texas-Baylor, it worth tuning in to Texas-Baylor?

Anyhow, in actually-good games, there is Georgia-LSU on CBS. That’s some delightfully quirky SEC football, the East leaders having to go to Death Valley and play a wounded DACOACHO. This is where LSU throws the SEC into chaos. I will take the Tigers straight-up.

Army-San Jose State is my sneaky OVER pick of the weekend, and I will tell you why:

I mean, look. I recommend a lot of shitty football, but there’s something really admirable about a team putting up 30 points in a quarter and (1) losing, but (2) losing because those are the only points they scored the whole game! It is such a bad, lovable-loser operation in San Jose that Army will bust 4-5 runs of 40+ yards but still find themselves in a dogfight because the Spartans will put up points in stupid ways. Flip over, even if for a second.


Afternoon time! When you’re NOT tuned in to Purdue-Illinois, you’ll check out...

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    (31 votes)
  • 9%
    (14 votes)
  • 7%
    Pitt-Notre Dame
    (11 votes)
  • 7%
    (11 votes)
  • 3%
    (5 votes)
  • 8%
    Army-San Jose State for POINTS DERPS POINTS
    (12 votes)
  • 10%
    Oh look, MNW’s recommending games on Stadium again.
    (15 votes)
  • 32%
    (48 votes)
147 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Missouri Tigers at [1] Alabama Crimson Tide (-28) [6pm, ESPN]
[6] West Virginia Mountaineers (-6) at Iowa State Cyclones [6pm, FS1]
[16] Miami-Florida Hurricanes (-6) at Virginia Cavaliers [6pm, ESPN2]
Virginia Tech Hokies (-6) at North Carolina Tar Heels [6pm, ESPNU]

Watch That

[15] Wisconsin Badgers (4-1, 2-0) at [12] Michigan Wolverines (5-1, 3-0)

6:30pm | ABC | Mich -7.5 | O/U 48

Houston Cougars (4-1) at East Carolina Pirates (2-3)

6pm | CBSSN | UH -16 | O/U 67.5

Florida International Panthers (3-2) at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (3-2)

6:30pm | beIN | FIU -2 | O/U 57

You’ve got Big Ten football, a bunch of weird games/non-needle-movers, and some should-be blowouts in the evening slot, and I know you’re choosing two of the worst fanbases in the Big Ten.

Here’s my hot take on UM-wisconsin: The badger defense is suuuper exploitable, but so was Northwestern’s. Jim Harbaugh will not do anything about it. Michigan will win by bouncing Karan Higdon into that Van Ginkgo-Biloba guy, who announcers will rave about because long hair and wisconsin-based football and call me 10 years from now when he’s busted with a needle in his ass.

Houston-ECU for the points. The Pirates gave up 49 to Temple, 35 to ODU...Houston will score, but the question is if they can stop anyone? Turnovers helped them survive Tulsa, and I’m more convinced this is the defense that gave up 27 to Rice than the one that held Arizona to 18.

Look, bitch about beIN if you watch—it’s an adequate broadcast if you get it, and the Blue Raiders are worth checking in on: they’ve got wins over Florida Atlantic and Marshall, their two losses are to SEC teams, and they could be left standing at the end of the C-USA season. You’re missing out.


The sun goes down, and your TV flips to...

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    (144 votes)
  • 15%
    Literally anything else
    (27 votes)
171 votes total Vote Now

I’m Drunk and Awake, What Should I Watch?

Don’t Watch This

Wyoming Cowboys at Fresno State Bulldogs (-19.5) [9:30pm, ESPNU]
Boise State Broncos (-17.5) at Nevada Wolf Pack [9:30pm, CBSSN]

Watch That

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (6-1) at BYU Cougars (3-3)

9:15pm | ESPN2 | BYU -14.5 | O/U 54.5

[19] Colorado Buffaloes (5-0) at USC Trojans (3-2)

9:30pm | FS1 | USC -7 | O/U 57

One of the biggest decisions for DWT;WT in Week 5 was Nick Rolovich’s decision to sit QB Cole McDonald (who’s thrown about 49 TDs this year already) due to injury. The the ‘Bows still held onto the Paniolo Trophy, 17-13 over a down Wyoming team (which is why Wyoming-Fresno is in the don’t watch column this week). Now the ‘Bows head to Provo, but for a night game against a BYU team that just got exposed by Utah State. Give Cole McDonald a week off to get healthy and prepare against the Cougs? I’m not touching BYU -14.5 with a ten-foot pole. Give me Hawaii to at least cover that, and I’m leaning OVER on this, too.

Raise your hand if you are a non-Nebraska fan who knew that Colorado was 5-0.

Now put it down, you fucking liar.


It’s late! You’re drunk! What’s on TV?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Whatever the bar has on
    (9 votes)
  • 22%
    Hawaii-BYU — go ‘Bows, Official DWT;WT Team of Choice!
    (30 votes)
  • 35%
    (47 votes)
  • 4%
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    (4 votes)
  • 28%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (38 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now

There you have it. Welcome to your usual Thursday/Friday open thread, enjoy the games.