clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Don’t Watch This; Watch That

New, comments

Your guide to college football’s week 4 schedule and what to avoid.

Iowa v Wisconsin
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Hi! I’m MNWildcat, and this is What I Want in the Non-Conferen—

...on second thought, let’s not talk about the Big Ten conference. ‘Tis a silly place.

Anyway, this is a conceit that I enjoyed enough last week that I’m willing to do it again. We look at the week’s college football schedule, you tell me the games you think you want to watch, and I tell you why you’re a moron for watching to watch those games. Or, as Hollywood Hawk Hogan more eloquently put it:

If all your football-watching choices are governed by things like rankings, expectations, name brands, “playoff implications,” and the like, then yours is a sad, sad little world. I’ll be tuning in to Oklahoma-ISU, because all possible outcomes of that game are amusing to me, although I’ll be rooting for Iowa State Iowa’s strength of schedule. But if the Sooners murdlerize the Clones like everyone expects, then I’ll be quite happy to enjoy the wacky contrasts of Hawaii-Army and/or the heart-rending struggle against oblivion that is Rutgers-Kansas.

Anywho, among the games I recommended to you last weekend:

  • Miami(FL) at Toledo — Hurricanes, 49-24
  • Nebraska vs Troy — Trojans, 24-19
  • Rutgers at Kansas — LOLOLOLOLOL
  • Army at Hawaii — Army, 28-21
  • Boise State at Okie Lite — Cowboys, 44-21
  • Houston at Texas Tech — Guns Up!, 63-49
  • Arkansas State at Tulsa — Red Wolves, 29-20
  • UMass at Florida Int’l — Sunblazers, 63-24
  • BATTLE OF I-25 (New Mexico at NMSU) — Lobos, 42-25
  • Purdue vs Mizzou — Tigers, 40-37
  • Fresno at UCLA — Bulldogs, 38-14

Fresno-UCLA saved you from a 21-7 Washington-over-Utah snoozefest. You got to watch Nebraska lose to Troy. I apologize for not cluing you into the Northwestern embarrassment against Akron, but I swore I wouldn’t violate the Geneva Convention in this column anymore.

Anywho, I feel pretty good about my recommendations and only regret missing on Nevada-Oregon State being a lol-worthy 37-35 Wolf Pack win and UVA grabbing a 45-31 win over Ohio at Vanderbilt. So...sorry.


Don’t Watch This

Tis week the NFL is the New York Jets at the Cleveland Browns.

Look. I get the Sam Darnold bit. Maybe the Browns could be more exciting, even though Zane Gonzalez just derped them to their 58th straight game without a win or whatever. You’re not watching this game. You don’t care, unless you’re a Browns fan.

Watch That

Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-2) at Temple Owls (1-2)

6:30pm | ESPN | Temple -7 | O/U 55.5

Tulsa let me down last week. I promise you Tulsa won’t let you down again. I mean, maybe they will, because you’d be relying on a...C-USA?...American?...let’s say to be exciting. But Temple beat Maryland! That’s got to be worth something, right?

This one’s on ESPN, and Tulsa has a fun predilection for letting teams score at random. Come, spin the wheel a half dozen times with me, won’t you?


Don’t Watch This

[10] Penn State Nittany Lions (-28) at Illinois Fighting Illini — FS1

Watch That

Florida Atlantic Owls (2-1) at [16] UCF Knights (2-0)

6pm | ESPN | UCF -13.5 | O/U 75

Washington State Cougars (3-0) at USC Trojans (1-2)

9:30pm | ESPN | USC -4 | O/U 53

53 as an O/U in Wazzu-USC?! Bullshit. Friday night PAC-12 games involve at least 80 passes combined, feature at least three 75+ yard touchdowns, and don’t end until 2am. Watch Wazzu-USC. I promise it will happen, or your money back.

Then again, just don’t tune out from ESPN all night. You didn’t see that wrong—FAU-UCF has an O/U of 75. You’ve got a rising star of a coach who’s earned his way from Oklahoma to the defending national champions, and you’ve got nepotism’s bloated, sunburnt poster child. There will be trick plays, optional defense, and...


Will you turn off ESPN to watch Penn State-Illinois?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Yes, I am a Penn State fan/Thump.
    (69 votes)
  • 24%
    Yes, I’m kinda curious.
    (53 votes)
  • 43%
    Nah, give me ESPN and the points.
    (93 votes)
215 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

[8] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7.5) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (ABC)
Buffalo Bulls (-5.5) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (BTN)
Ohio Bobcats at Cincinnati Bearcats (-8.5) (ESPNU)
Nebraska Cornhuskers at [19] Michigan Wolverines (-18) (FS1)

Watch That

[2] Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) at Missouri Tigers (3-0)

11am | ESPN | UGA -14 | O/U 64.5

[23] Boston College Eagles (3-0) at Purdue Boilermakers (0-3)

11am | ESPN2 | BC -6.5 | 66.5

Nevada Wolf Pack (2-1) at Toledo Rockets (1-1)

11am | CBSSN | Toledo -10.5 | O/U 68

Navy Midshipmen (2-1) at SMU Mustangs (0-3)

11am | ESPNN | Navy -6.5 | O/U 63

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-0) at Maryland Terrapins (2-1)

11am | BTN | MD -1.5 | O/U 47

I can’t, in good conscious, keep advising people to watch Rutgers football. Should Rutgers beat Buffalo? I DON’T KNOW! That, usually, is reason enough for me to watch these games. Not this week.

You want batshit insanity between two MAC-caliber teams? Go watch Nevada at Toledo. The Wolf Pack stunned Oregon State last week with 37 points on the road, and Ty Gangi is an erratic passer but a talented runner. Give it a shot, because they’re not stopping the Rockets, and I’m not optimistic the Rockets can stop the Wolf Pack. Maybe take the over, too.

Look, it’s easy to see that I’m gravitating toward the high-scoring games, but there’s this feeling that Minnesota-Maryland is going to be the kind of rock-fight that it’s impossible not to watch, even if just for a little bit. Will there be a blocked punt? Probably! Will there be 4-5 INTs combined? It seems possible! The winning team will have less than 300 yards of total offense, and it will be B1G as fuck.

Finally, I’ll admit it—I like Drew Lock. I will watch him throw the ball randomly for three hours just like I will now watch almost every Purdue game just waiting for it to fuck up at the end. So treat Purdue football like you do the NBA.


What is your morning game du jour?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    I like Notre Dame (please leave your name in a comment for...reasons)
    (13 votes)
  • 21%
    Georgia-Mizzou, as I too like Drew Lock
    (44 votes)
  • 5%
    Nevada-Toledo, gimme the points!
    (11 votes)
  • 8%
    Navy-SMU, gimme the points!
    (18 votes)
  • 57%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (116 votes)
202 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

[22] Texas A&M Aggies at [1] Alabama Crimson Tide (-26) (CBS)
[4] Ohio State (-37) vs Tulane Green Wave (BTN)
Kansas State Wildcats at [12] West Virginia Mountaineers (-16) (ESPN)
Connecticut Huskies at Syracuse Orange (-27.5) (ESPNN)
Florida International Panthers at [21] Miami-Florida Hurricanes (-26.5) (ESPNU)
[13] Virginia Tech Hokies (-28) at Old Dominion Monarchs (CBSSN)

Watch That

Northern Illinois Huskers (1-2) at Florida State Seminoles (1-2)

2:30pm | ESPNU | FSU -10 | O/U 45

[3] Clemson Tigers (3-0) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-2)

2:30pm | ABC | Clemson -16.5 | O/U 52

Kansas Jayhawks (2-1) at Baylor Bears (2-1)

2:30pm | FS1 | Baylor -7.5 | O/U 55.5

Charlotte 49ers (2-1) at Massachusetts Minutemen (1-3)

2:30pm | Eleven | UMass -7.5 | O/U 58

[17] TCU Horned Frogs (2-1) at Texas Longhorns (2-1)

3:30pm | FOX | TCU -3 | O/U 47.5

Why is VaTech playing at Old Dominion?

This is about as speculative an afternoon slate as we can get. Could any of these games be worth (1) the laughs, or (2) proof that Texas is, finally, back? Sure! But there’s just not a ton here where I’m looking up and saying “Yep, catch me front and center on the couch for this.” If you want anything to do with these games, take the over on Clemson-Georgia Tech and root for the usual Paul Johnson insanity to occur. The Jackets are 5-6 against Clemson in Johnson’s 10-year tenure, but Dabo Swinney’s figured the triple option out.

As for the Big XII action...let’s all believe in Kansas, huh? Just to give Rutgers that one thing.

Look, I will never stop pushing UMass on Eleven Sports. Are the Minutemen bad? Hell yeah they are. Is Charlotte bad? Hell yeah they are. But the 49ers survived a close one with Old Dominion on Thursday in some bad midday football, and given that this one’s on Eleven in the afternoon, I’m gonna chase this dragon for a while.

I hope Northern Illinois walks into Doak Campbell and beats the Seminoles by 20. I don’t have strong thoughts on Willie Taggart but I love seeing FSU suffer.


I am forcing you to choose a Saturday afternoon game to watch. CHOOSE.

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Bama-TAMU, because I have accidentally stumbled across this Big Ten blog
    (28 votes)
  • 7%
    I am an Ohio State fan
    (13 votes)
  • 41%
    NIU-FSU for the laughs
    (74 votes)
  • 26%
    (47 votes)
  • 8%
    Charlotte-UMass! Eleven Sports! MNW, I’m coming over with beer; have the popcorn popped.
    (15 votes)
177 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at [6] LSU Tigers (-21) (ESPNU)
[14] Mississippi State Bulldogs (-10) at Kentucky Wildcats (ESPN2)
North Carolina State Wolfpack (-5.5) at Marshall Thundering Herd (CBSSN)
Florida Gators (-4.5) at Tennessee Volunteers (ESPN)
East Carolina Pirates at South Florida Bulls (-22.5) (ESPNN)
[24] Michigan State Spartans (-4.5) at Indiana Hoosiers (BTN)

Watch That

Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-1) at [15] Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0)

6pm | FS1 | OkSt -14 | O/U 77.5

[7] Stanford Cardinal (3-0) at [20] Oregon Ducks (3-0)

7pm | ABC | Stanford -1.5 | O/U 56

[18] Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) at Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0)

7:30pm | FOX | wi -3 | O/U 43.5

If I’m going to sit down and watch football on Northwestern’s bye week, it’d better be (1) some shootout nonsense, or (2) a trainwreck you can’t walk away from.

You can figure out which of these games fits which role.

This feels like a harsh judgment of Michigan State-Indiana, as OL’ BRASSY is a timeless classic. But how many of these games have been passable? The 2016 slopfest and the Legend of Griffin Oakes was one thing, wbut a 17-9 slopfest? Some routs before that? Nah. Tell me when to flip over, but other than that, I’m all good.


Which evening game will you be watching?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Texas Tech-Okie Lite, because GIVE ME THE POINTS
    (9 votes)
  • 7%
    Stanford-Oregon, as I have a neckbeard and enjoy the finer points of a glass of red wine
    (18 votes)
  • 19%
    OL’ BRASSY! Give me the derp!
    (48 votes)
  • 69%
    wisconsin-Iowa, because life is pain, highness
    (173 votes)
248 votes total Vote Now

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

Don’t Watch This

Arizona State Sun Devils at [10] Washington Huskies (-17) (ESPN)

Watch That

Air Force Falcons (1-1) at Utah State Aggies (2-1)

9:30pm | ESPN2 | USU -11 | O/U 61.5

Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-1) at San Diego State Aztecs (2-1)

9:30pm | CBSSN | SDSU -11 | O/U 50.5

One of the worst developments ever is that Hawaii home games are not nationally broadcast. They play Duquesne at 11pm GTZ, and that’s dumb. If I were commissioner of college football, every day would be Hawaii football day.

Anyways, you’ve got an Air Force/Utah State game that will be an interesting conversation starter at the bar:

Cute girl/guy: “...Utah and AF? Why are you watching this?”
You: “Because it’s college football, and they’re scoring a lot!”
Cue girl/guy: [/walks away]

No one said we do this for the chicks/dudes, people.


It’s 9:30! What am I turning on?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    (52 votes)
  • 17%
    Air Force-Utah State
    (33 votes)
  • 10%
    Eastern Michigan-San Diego State
    (20 votes)
  • 44%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (83 votes)
188 votes total Vote Now