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Don’t Watch This; Watch That


Washington State v Oregon Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

My wife, owing to her job in healthcare that makes the money allowing me to be a slovenly graduate student who writes “profound” historical observations and also the shit you read here, goes to bed considerably earlier than I do. So, by 9:30pm, I am alone in the living room watching TV and catching up on the internet, with the lights on only in here and not in the attached kitchen, where, as you’ll remember, the cat was recently perched in front of the refrigerator because of mouse activity.

We nabbed a pregnant mouse (we think, otherwise it was a fat mouse with a lot of nipples) in one of the traps inside the wall the other week, and then the activity had ground to a virtual halt. It was a positive development, for those of you who remember how my quest to catch and FRYING PAN interloping mice reminded me of the inevitability of Northwestern-Michigan.

Well, of course, last night I’m sitting on the couch, waiting for Colbert to come on (go ‘Cats), and I hear a “THUD” from the kitchen.

I think, in order, “the cat jumped off the chair; he’s not graceful.” That quickly transitioned to “did he just run into the fridge?” to “Ah fuck, a mouse?”

In trots the cat, long in the tooth at 14 years of age and without front claws, triumphantly carrying in his teeth a mouse in its death throes. He squeezes the little fucker as I shout for the wife, who helpfully screams “Oh fuck, there’s a mouse!” as I yell at her to restrain the cat while I hustle into the kitchen. He drops the mouse on the carpet as she whisks him into his arms, and FRYING PAN does its work once again.

We should probably call an exterminator. But the ol’ cat’s still got it.


Don’t Watch This

Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals
Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros

Watch That

Georgia State Panthers (2-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) at Arkansas State Red Wolves (3-3, 0-2)

6:30pm | ESPNU | ArkSt -14 | O/U 57

Stanford Cardinal (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) at Arizona State Sun Devils (3-3, 1-2)

8pm | ESPN | Stan -2.5 | O/U 59

I’m not into Red Sox-Astros. Sorry. Brewers-Dodgers, sure, as the Crew still have that small-market bit going for them, but Houston’s another MLB club that I just don’t enjoy.

The Red Wolves’ spread offense, led by QB Justice Hansen, was shut down by Appalachian State but should thrive against a Panthers defense giving up 7.6 ypp—one of the worst rates in the nation. To be honest, I’d be even more interested in the game if it was at GSU, because I’m super curious to see what the Panthers’ redevelopment of Turner Field looks like. (Probably like this. Cool.)

And also because I saw this headline saying that life expectancy in the Buckhead neighborhood of ATL is 20 years longer than that of Bankhead or English Avenue neighborhoods, the latter of which is just west of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. That’s comforting to me, as when I stayed in Atlanta for two weeks of research at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, I stayed right in the middle of English Avenue. Rode the MARTA 50 bus west from Cameron Alexander and Sunset out to Bankhead, took the Green from Bankhead around to a stop about a mile south of the library, then walked up there. It was an experience, if just because in the 10 days I took that bus route, at least 3 different drivers asked me if I was lost. Met some really great people.

The rise on the line on Stanford-ASU (originally O/U 51.5) has more or less mirrored my interest in the two programs this season: Stanford, the team of plodding down the field and the occasional Bryce Love runs, has relied more on K.J. Costello and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside; and Arizona State, with Eno Benjamin busting off big chunks of yardage (5.7 ypc). Both are bottom-half of FBS teams in total defense (which is super weird to say about Stanford), and, of course, it’s in Tempe. Shit can get weird in a hurry.


What’s the Thursday night fare?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Georgia State-Arkansas State
    (2 votes)
  • 42%
    Stanford-Arizona State
    (60 votes)
  • 11%
    Both college football games
    (17 votes)
  • 17%
    You know when Denver and Arizona meet, you throw out the records
    (25 votes)
  • 26%
    Baseball, probably
    (38 votes)
142 votes total Vote Now


Don’t Watch This

Air Force Falcons at UNLV Rebels (-10) [9pm, CBSSN]
Baseball, probably

Watch That

Colorado State Rams (3-4, 2-1 MW) at Boise State Broncos (4-2, 2-1)

8pm | ESPN2 | Boise -23.5 | O/U 62.5

My wife has today off, and she has come down with a nasty cold. She’s actually still sleeping as of about 8am, which is so uncharacteristic of her that I’m a little concerned I’m going to get yelled at when she wakes up. So I decided to do something nice—make some gourmet coffee instead of our normal breakfast blend. We’ve got some Jamaican double chocolate whatever in there.

She still is not out of bed and, for the 30 seconds she was awake, complained she still couldn’t smell. So great job, me.

That’s what Air Force-UNLV is to me—a pot of coffee when my senses have already been dulled. The Falcons were BTFO’d by Navy last weekend, which is a bad look because Navy is not good this year, and the Rebs, for supposedly having a fun spread attack under Tony Sanchez, are 90th in total offense. I was hoping the “hire the Bishop Gorman HC” plan would actually work out, but... 50-14 to New Mexico and 59-28 to Utah State. Yeesh.

Since bad losses to Hawaii (possibly not that bad?) and Illinois State (actually that bad), the Rams have stabilized a bit, but a 12-point win over San Jose State and 2-point win over New Mexico are...unconvincing. So we’ll give them a shot on the Smurf Turf, because at least watching Boise State roll up points is interesting. Brett Rypien is still a dynamic passer, but he tossed 3 picks in a narrow win over Nevada—maybe CSU can keep up in a shootout with the arm of K.J. Carta-Samuels.


Pick your game.

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Air Force-UNLV
    (9 votes)
  • 21%
    (25 votes)
  • 11%
    Flipping back and forth
    (13 votes)
  • 59%
    Something else, as I’m lame
    (68 votes)
115 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Early*

West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

9am | NBCSN | TOT -117/WHU +285/Draw +250

Get fucked, Spurs. COME ON YOU IRONS

*If you feel threatened or annoyed by soccer in your college football, take a long look in the mirror and ask (1) if this is the most productive use of your energy, bitching about it when you could’ve been skimming past these paragraphs, and (2) if watching BTN Tailgate or College Gameday is really worth it.

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Northwestern Wildcats (-20.5) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights [11am, BTN]
[9] Oklahoma Sooners (-8) at TCU Horned Frogs [11am, ABC]
Maryland Terrapins at [19] Iowa Hawkeyes (-9.5) [11am, ESPN2]
Illinois Fighting Illini at [23] Wisconsin Badgers (-25) [11am, FS1]
Auburn Tigers (-3.5) at Ole Miss Rebels [11am, ESPN]

Watch That

[6] Michigan Wolverines (6-1, 4-0 B1G) at [24] Michigan State Spartans (4-2, 2-1)

11am | FOX | Mich -7 | O/U 41

[20] Cincinnati Bearcats (6-0, 2-0 AAC) at Temple Owls (4-3, 3-0)

11am | ESPNU | Temple -3 | O/U 48.5

Miami-Ohio Redhawks (3-4) at Army Black Knights (4-2)

11am | CBSSN | Army -8 | O/U 48

Once again, Iowa will either struggle with Maryland or blow them the fuck out. The new stat that everyone and their mother enjoys tapping their nose and citing, apparently, is “you know Kirk’s failed to cover double-digit spreads in 4 of his last 5 Homecoming games” or something like that. Of course, just like Purdue Harbor, now that we talk about it and come to take it as law, Iowa will win this game by 30. So I won’t be flipping over. Never bet on Iowa.

If you’d have told me Cincy-Temple would feature a combined 10-3 (5-0) record, I’d have called you a damn liar. Is this semi-fraudulent? POSSIBLY! Temple’s record has come with wins over Maryland in the non-con, then Tulsa, East Carolina, and Navy, none of whom are that good (but at least they could outscore Tulsa). Cincy blew out UConn (who hasn’t—more on that later) and scraped past Tulane. But I’m on the Bearcats’ ride, damnit. Let’s see how long they can keep this act up.

Army is an officially-endorsed DWT;WT Team of Choice, and Miami-Ohio is on a bit of a roll (big wins over Akron and Kent State, 29 points in a squeaker to WMU). Gus Ragland has turned into a perfectly cromulent quarterback for the Redhawks, and I’m sold—let’s watch quick-strike Puntin’ Miami against the fun throwback that is Jeff Monken’s resurgent Black Knights, who I honestly think could run the table in 2018.

Sorry, GF3. I just jinxed everything.

Yes, all this is delaying saying something nice about Michigan-Michigan State. I think it’ll be more of classic JIM, in which he insists, as does Mark Dantonio, on Establishing the Run and charging Karan Higdon into the top-ranked run defense. So could it end up 13-7? Sure! Unless it turns out Michigan is That Good, which I am not emotionally ready for. YOU COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS, NORTHWESTERN. Fuck right off.


Good morning! Grab a beer and some bacon—what’s on the TV?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Michigan-Michigan State
    (112 votes)
  • 1%
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Auburn-Ole Miss
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    (4 votes)
  • 46%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (104 votes)
225 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

[1] Alabama Crimson Tide (-29) at Tennessee Volunteers [2:30pm, CBS]
Colorado Buffaloes at [15] Washington Huskies (-15.5) [2:30pm, FOX]
[18] Penn State Nittany Lions (-15) at Indiana Hoosiers [2:30pm, ABC]
Houston Cougars (-11.5) at Navy Midshipmen [2:30pm, CBSSN]

Watch That

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-3, 0-3 B1G) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-6, 0-3)

2:30pm | BTN | UNL -4 | O/U 55.5

[16] N.C. State Wolfpack (5-0, 2-0) at [3] Clemson Tigers (6-0, 3-0)

2:30pm | ESPN | Clem -17.5 | O/U 56

Florida Atlantic Owls (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) at Marshall Thundering Herd (4-2, 2-1)

1:30pm | Facebook | FAU -3 | O/U 62.5

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (3-3) at Massachusetts Minutemen (2-5)

2:30pm | Eleven | UMass -3 | O/U 71.5

SMU Mustangs (2-4, 1-1 AAC) at Tulane Green Wave (2-4, 1-1)

2:30pm | ESPNU | Tulane -7 | O/U 58.5

Memphis Tigers (4-3) at Missouri Tigers (3-3)

3pm | SECN | Mizzou -9.5 | O/U 74

What a damn afternoon slate of football.

First, on the “don’t watch” games: Colorado is a fraud, which we knew, and I’ll take Washington to cover. The Indiana heartbreak isn’t fun anymore, Alabama can bust out the cigars in the second quarter, and Navy :(*

*Sad reaction does not apply to GF3.

I am incredibly excited that, for a change, I will just be at home and not working or doing anything else on Saturday—and that the wife is at work, because this is a beautiful slate of games. Do I have any personal investments in them? NOPE! Do I want to see just how derpy these get? YUP!

So that’s why Minnesota-Nebraska. There’s no joy in Penn State-Indiana.

There’s also NC State-Clemson, which is just fine. On one of those talking-head yelling programs on ESPN that I had the misfortune of tuning into before USA-Peru on Tuesday (we need to talk about the USMNT coaching search), when somehow Jesse Palmer started screaming that NC State could run the table if they get past Clemson.

I hope that bastard has a Gene Keady combover someday, but I know that modern hair science means that he’ll be cutting glass on that jaw and shilling for Just for Men—Touch of Gray for the next 50 years. I hate myself.

WATCH FOOTBALL GAMES ON ELEVEN AND FACEBOOK. In particular check out the latter, because FAU-Marshall will actually be a very fun game. The Owls have come up on the short side of a close game to MTSU and a shootout with UCF, but they’re going to test a Marshall defense that somehow flies under the radar unless Doc Holliday’s got them at 10-3. For MORE OFFENSE, seriously, O/U 71.5—Andy Isabella, Andrew Ford, and UMass. It is delightfully-stupid football that guarantees points. If Mark Whipple would get a real DC/co-HC in there who would let him run the offense, the Minutemen would be bowling yearly.

Normally I don’t bother with non-BTN conference networks, but Memphis-Mizzou on SEC Network is going to be a beautiful, stupid shootout of the highest order. I will have popcorn.


What’s on for the afternoon?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    (77 votes)
  • 16%
    Penn State-Indiana
    (27 votes)
  • 1%
    That stupid cigar game
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    (5 votes)
  • 18%
    Clemson-NC State
    (30 votes)
  • 12%
    One of the infinitely-more fun games down the slate
    (20 votes)
162 votes total Vote Now


Step outside your comfort zone—which one of these are you watching?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    FAU-Marshall...on Facebook?!
    (22 votes)
  • 11%
    Fine, I will try UMass football on Eleven.
    (12 votes)
  • 19%
    I guess SMU-Tulane counts as "outside my comfort zone"?
    (20 votes)
  • 48%
    Sigh...SEC Network it is.
    (50 votes)
104 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Night

Don’t Watch This

UConn Huskies at [21] South Florida Bulls (-34) [6pm, CBSSN]
[10] UCF Knights (-21) at East Carolina Pirates [6pm, ESPN2]
[22] Mississippi St. Bulldogs at [5] LSU Tigers (-6.5) [6pm, ESPN]
Fresno State Bulldogs (-13) at New Mexico Lobos [6:30pm, ESPNU]

Watch That

[2] Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0 B1G) at Purdue Boilermakers (3-3, 2-1)

6:30pm | ABC | OSU -13.5 | O/U 68.5

[12] Oregon Ducks (5-1, 2-1) at [25] Washington State Cougars (5-1, 2-1)

6:30pm | FOX | Wazzu -3 | O/U 68

North Texas Mean Green (6-1, 2-1 C-USA) at UAB Blazers (5-1, 3-0)

6:30pm | beIN | UAB -1.5 | O/U 54.5

Before we open up these games, I want to throw out a special shout-out to the UConn Huskies, whose defense is giving up 658 ypg, 9.21 ypp, and nearly 4000 yards in just 6 games—the next-closest, because you asked, is Louisiana-Monroe, with 3624 yards 7 games. Leave some identifying marks for the coroners, South Florida.

Speaking of, UCF is now in 2017 wisconsin mode, where they’re running through a conference slate leading up to the AAC championship, so they’re gonna hang 60 on anyone in their way. Sorry, ECU. It’s your turn to die.

After my warning about Iowa covering home spreads and some Mailbag fun later today about Purdue Harbor...I’m committing the same crime and recommending Purdue-Ohio State. I have made a lot of life mistakes.

Important Married Life Question: My wife works on Saturday. I will sit at home in my underwear, drinking beer, eating pizza, and watching football. How do I handle the awkward conversation when she gets home? Do I spray some air freshener, put on a clean shirt, and play it off like I’m not that drunk and slovenly? Do I steer into the skid and hide in the basement, hoping I can ride this out for a while until she finds me? Do I do some yardwork on a commercial break and try to pretend like I was more productive than I actually was? HELP.

Anyways, Oregon-Wazzu is Gameday, meaning that weird WSU flag that’s always in the background at College Football Gameday is coming home. It feels like Pullman is just already a super-weird place, and if you give everyone a 10-hour head-start on drinking...

This game will be a delightfully-weird shitshow, and when Ohio State is up by 30 at halftime, I’ll be flipping back and forth between Oregon-Wazzu and UNT-UAB. Because fuck you, UNT-UAB is going to be fun as hell. But I’m watching Oregon-Wazzu for the upset potential, even if Wazzu is favored. Call it a Cougaring. I’m going places in life.


Saturday Night’s Alright for..

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Fighting (as in MNW’s about to get his ass yelled at)
    (24 votes)
  • 51%
    (82 votes)
  • 25%
    Ducking? Cougaring? Both of these things seem like reasonable outcomes of a drunken day in Pullman.
    (41 votes)
  • 8%
    (13 votes)
160 votes total Vote Now

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

Don’t Watch This

San Jose State Spartans at San Diego State Aztecs (-28, O/U 43!) [9:30pm, CBSSN]

Watch That

Arizona Wildcats (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) at UCLA Bruins (1-5, 1-2)

9:30pm | ESPN2 | UCLA -8 | O/U 56

Oh shit, the wife’s awake, and she’s the angry kind of sick. If only I had more time to think of a metaphor for UCLA football. Enjoy the games, y’all.


Late night viewing! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    (14 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    Whatever the bar has on
    (8 votes)
  • 6%
    (8 votes)
  • 3%
    (4 votes)
  • 20%
    (27 votes)
  • 3%
    (5 votes)
  • 15%
    (20 votes)
  • 32% i passed out hours ago
    (43 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now