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THE ONLY RECURRING PIECE ON SPORTS BLOG NATION DOT COM AND DARE WE SAY ALL OF THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL BLOGOSPHERE WITH A SEMICOLON IN THE TITLE

West Virginia v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

I’ve already settled into a comfortable numbness that this is the year where the rich essentially duke it out the whole year for college football supremacy. Give whoever wins OSU-PSU the 4th slot in the playoffs—the Big XII has Oklahoma and Texas or whomever but will bonk heads right before crossing the finish line, the Big Ten is even worse, and no one in the Pac-12 is worth your time. Just put two SEC teams in the College Football Playoff, see if Clemson can escape a cupcake schedule unscathed, and fire up the “SHOULD UNBEATEN NOTRE DAME GET IN OVER THE BIG TEN CHAMPION” hot take machine.

It’s over. All we College Football Poors can do along the way is hope for more negative-11-yard completions for safeties, 89-yard fumble recoveries for 3rd and goal from your own 3, and people doing weird things in the stands or on the sidelines that provide gifs for the next off-season. And rivalry trophies. Unless you’re Minnesota.

Let’s watch some football.

Thursday Night

Don’t Watch This

South Carolina State Bulldogs at North Carolina A&T Aggies (6pm, ESPNU)
Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams (7:20pm, FOX)

Hi, I’m MNWildcat, and I am a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan. My mom actually hid fun-size Snickers in my soccer cleats like I was Mitch Berger, and in the summer of 1998 my dad held me up over a high fence at Mankato State University so I could get the autograph of an old man who wore the number 1 and a helmet with a single face bar. That old man broke my heart.

I continue to watch this team, despite the fact that they are led by Kork Coupons and just got dunked on by the Buffalo Bills at home. Do not be like me.

Watch That

[22 FCS] Northern Iowa Panthers (1-2) at Indiana State Sycamores (2-1)

6pm | ESPN3 | UNI -19.5 | O/U 52

Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders at Presbyterian Blue Hose

6pm | ESPN+

North Carolina Tar Heels (1-2) at [16] Miami-Florida Hurricanes (3-1)

7pm | ESPN | MIA -17.5 | O/U 56.5

Two things about the early games:
(1) I have never met Lindsey Wilson, but I’m sure (s)he’s a very nice person. Rather than the stanard “LOL IT’S UNFAIR TO MAKE ONE PERSON PLAY A WHOLE TEAM” like the jokes you make when VaTech plays William & Mary, though, I like to think of this is Lindsey Wilson wrestling with his/her faith. You know, like Toby yelling at God outside the church when Jim and Pam have Cece baptized. WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO MEAN TO LINDSEY WILSON, PRESBYTERIAN GOD?
(2) Indiana State has been feast-or-famine, putting up 49 on whoever Quincy is [“LOL SEEMS UNFAIR TO MAKE JACK KLUGMAN PLAY THE WHOLE STATE OF INDIANA; HE’S DEAD”] and 55 on Eastern Illinois, then losing to Louisville 31-7. Northern Iowa is ranked. I can’t lie to you guys — I’ll tune in for about 20 minutes of this as my wife walks in from the kitchen and says “Can’t we just watch another episode of This Is Us?”

I will then watch another episode of This Is Us. Goddamnit.

Miami opened the week at 19.5-point favorites, and...yeah, if you have high hopes for this game, I don’t know what to tell you. UNC—a program, we will remind you, should not exist—lost a close one to a sneaky-good Cal team in Week 1, then got its fucking doors BLOWN OFF by East Carolina, who had just lost to North Carolina A&T. But ECU played South Florida close. And UNC just beat Pitt, 38-35, in a wild one.

Should this be close? NO! But seeing as how now the ACC and other various and sundry East Coast leagues will spend two weeks playing in utterly chaotic conditions each September thanks to what I’m sure are perfectly normal changes in weather patterns and nothing we should be concerned about, no sir, who the fuck knows what’ll happen! Maybe a Calcutta Clipper will blow in off the Jet Stream and this game will be played in a monsoon. ACC Football: Where some disasters are natural!

Poll

It’s Thursday night. Whatcha watchin’?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Vikings-Rams, as the NFL assures me these games are good now!
    (55 votes)
  • 19%
    UNC-Miami
    (25 votes)
  • 14%
    I’ll flip back and forth, sure.
    (19 votes)
  • 24%
    Maybe there’s a new Flip or Flop on...
    (32 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now

Friday

Don’t Watch This

UCLA Bruins (0-3) at Colorado Buffaloes (3-0)

8pm | FS1 | CU -9.5 | O/U 60.5

Watch...That?

Princeton Tigers (2-0) at Columbia Lions (2-0)

5pm | ESPNU | PU -11 | O/U 60

Memphis Tigers (3-1) at Tulane Green Wave (1-3)

7pm | ESPN2 | Mem -14 | O/U 67

Look, in general, when the predicted scores of the college football games on TV are about 37-24, 41-27, and 35-25, should you watch? PROBABLY!

Of course, none of this is to say any of these games will actually be all that good. When in doubt, then, pick the one that’s likely to have more batshit insanity. And that’s Memphis-Tulane. Now, are the Green Wave good? Reader, they are not. They have lost to UAB, which I’m still not sure actually has a football program, Wake Forest in OT, and Ohio State. There are varying degrees to which they have been bad (QB Jonathan Banks is sub-50% throwing and averages 1.0 ypc on 45 attempts, most on the team), but those are degrees that I will attempt to further suss out by watching them stave off Memphis’ railroading them for as long as I can. Seriously, Willie Fritz: Just line Darius Bradwell up at RB.

Memphis might cover this spread by itself—QB Brady White has completed 72% of his 108 passing attempts for 1064 (that’s 10 YPA), 12 TDs and 1 INT; RB Darrell Henderson has 58 carries and is averaging 12.2 YPC. TWELVE POINT TWO! It will be 38-17 at halftime, and I will still tune in for more.

I will doubly be in for more if the man calling the Tulane-Wake Forest game calls this one:

I love shit football. No one should be that excited about Tulane-Wake. I must paint him.

Ivy League football on TV = Yes, watch. Columbia has a bitchin’ fight song and the CUMB (yes, pronounce it how you think you should) is amusing. Absolutely I’ll tune in to this, even if just for a moment.

Poll

How many of these games are you watch on Friday?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    1: Ivy League or bust.
    (11 votes)
  • 8%
    1: Memphis-Tulane
    (9 votes)
  • 27%
    1: UCLA-Colorado
    (30 votes)
  • 7%
    2: Ivy, Pac-12
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    2: Ivy, AAC
    (0 votes)
  • 10%
    ALL FUCKIN’ THREE, BABY
    (12 votes)
  • 36%
    I have a bunch of Homeland episodes burning a hole in my DVR...
    (40 votes)
110 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Arkansas Razorbacks at Texas A&M Aggies (11am, ESPN)
Indiana Hoosiers at . (11am, BTN)
[21] Michigan State Spartans vs. Central Michigan Chippewas (11am, FS1)

Watch That

[12] West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0, 1-0 Big XII) at [25] Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-1, 1-0 Big XII)

11am | ESPN2 | WVU -3.5 | O/U 74.5

Syracuse Orange (4-0, 1-0 ACC) at [3] Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0 ACC)

11am | ABC | Clem -25 | O/U 66.5

Army Black Knights (2-2) at Buffalo Bulls (4-0, 1-0 MAC, 1-0 Big East)

11am | CBSSN | UB -9 | O/U 51.5

Temple Owls (2-2, 1-0 AAC) at Boston College Eagles (3-1, 1-0 ACC)

11am | ESPNU | BC -13.5 | O/U 54.5

West-by-God and Texas Tech’s “fuck it, we’re throwing” offense. If you need anything more than that, you are unfamiliar with college football and I do not want to talk to you anymore. An over/under that opened at SEVENTY-SEVEN! When Kliff Kingsbury secretly lines up under center and throws a touchdown, Big XII football will have finally jumped the shark, and I will still tune in.

Syracuse is 4-0 and appears to be Fun, though I’m not sure wins over Western Michigan, Furman, Florida State, and UConn mean much—those are all pretty decrepit programs. But the Orange have scored 55, 62, 30, and 51 in those games, respectively, and we know Clemson can score. Tune in to see if Eric Dungey and the Orange make it a game.

Shoutout to Temple, too, for...possibly having recovered from their disgusting season-opening loss to Villanova? The Owls lost by one score to Buffalo, which suddenly makes them look competent/three scores better than _______, then have reeled off multi-score wins over Maryland and Tulsa. Steve Addazio and the Dudes will be looking to bounce back after a Non-Conference Harboring, so expect AJ Dillon early and often to take some of the pressure off Anthony Brown. I like this as a sneaky cover, sneaky fun game.

Finally, though, Nothing But Love for the real New York’s Big Ten Team, the Buffalo Bulls. Tyree Jackson, the 6’7” QB, is legit, y’all, and the Bulls’ paced spread is FUN. Good job, Lance Leipold. Meanwhile, and I mentioned this on the pod (GUEST SPOT!), Army is chugging along at 2-2. A 34-14 loss at Duke is nothing to be ashamed of, and overtime with Oklahoma?! Get me a heapin’ helpin’ of Kelvin Hopkins Jr. and Darnell Woolfolk (who, to remind you, is a 5’9”, 235# converted LB). God, I love Army football. Tune in.

Poll

Good morning! I’ll reserve the table for brunch, but what game should I ask the server who’s also our spin instructor to put on?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    WVU-TTU
    (40 votes)
  • 14%
    ‘Cuse-Clemson
    (20 votes)
  • 16%
    Army-Buffalo THIS IS THE RIGHT ANSWER
    (23 votes)
  • 3%
    Temple-Boston College
    (5 votes)
  • 22%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (31 votes)
  • 13%
    I dislike fun and the premise of these polls
    (18 votes)
137 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

[2] Georgia Bulldogs at Tennessee Volunteers (2:30pm, CBS, UGA -31.5)
[6] Oklahoma Sooners at Baylor Bears (2:30pm, ABC, OKU -23.5)
[18] Texas Longhorns at Kansas State Wildcats (2:30pm, FS1, TX -9)
Cincinnati Bearcats at UConn Huskies (2:30pm, CBSSN)
Purdue Boilermakers at Nebraska Cornhuskers (2:30pm, BTN, Purdue -3)
Florida State Seminoles at Louisville Cardinals (2:30pm, ESPN2)
[14] Michigan Wolverines at Northwestern Wildcats (3:30pm, FOX, Mich -13.5)

Before we get to one of the ugliest afternoon slates of the year, I want to say a word on Jeremy Larkin, the Northwestern sophomore running back forced to retire after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis. I do not know what those words mean, but a doctor friend said he was “basically a ticking time bomb from being quadriplegic.”

I am thankful, knowing this, that Jeremy Larkin was diagnosed and has now retired. I am glad, on top of that, that he will be around the Northwestern football program as a student-coach. He is by all accounts a great guy, and he will continue to be a credit to the program and to Northwestern University. Congratulations on your accomplishments in the purple, Jeremy, and thank you.

Watch That

Pittsburgh Panthers (2-2, 0-1 ACC) at [13] UCF Knights (3-0)

2:30pm | ESPNU | UCF -15 | O/U 66

Old Dominion Monarchs (1-3, 0-2 C-USA) at East Carolina Pirates (1-2, 0-1 AAC)

2:30pm | ESPN3 | ECU -7 | O/U 61

Nevada Wolf Pack (2-2) at Air Force Falcons (1-2, 0-1 MWC)

3pm | ESPNNews | AFA -6.5 | O/U 63.5

These games are terrible. They are just terrible. Five years ago, I tell you you’ve got UGA-TN and OK-Baylor in the afternoon slot, you’re popping popcorn! Florida State-Louisville? “HONEY, GET THE SECOND TV!” Michigan-Northwe—OK some things are just always shitty.

By the way, because I only learned this as I was confirming that Air Force plays with NCAA football’s fourth-fastest pace, did you know Northwestern has somehow managed to play the sixth-fastest pace in college football. I blame Mick McCall, but I’m not sure for what. Irregardless, Nevada just hucks it around and they’re probably not gonna win, but they’re gonna score points. Hell yeah.

East Carolina plays even faster. You’re welcome.

I don’t know why I am telling you to watch Pitt-UCF, but you should. Pitt is going to Orlando to take on the Citronauts, Pitt has the vaguest semblance of a defense, and we’re gonna score some damn points in the 4pm hour. Give me the ‘Nauts, 50-37. Fire Pat Narduzzi.

Poll

Might I recommend apple-picking? A walk around the lake as the leaves begin to turn?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Ooh, yes! And then we’ll head to the pumpkin patch and enjoy the corn maze.
    (21 votes)
  • 25%
    No, my Big Ten team plays at this time.
    (34 votes)
  • 16%
    I’m watching...Pitt-UCF, I guess?
    (23 votes)
  • 42%
    SHUT UP, MNW, YOU’LL WATCH NORTHWESTERN LOSE BY 40 AND LIKE IT
    (58 votes)
136 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Night

Don’t Watch This

Florida Gators at [23] Mississippi State Bulldogs (5pm, ESPN, MSU -7.5)
Boise State Broncos at Wyoming Cowboys (6pm, CBSSN, BSU -17)
Iowa St. Cyclones at TCU Horned Frogs (6pm, ESPNU, TCU -11)
Virginia Tech Hokies at [22] Duke Blue Devils (6pm, ESPN2, Duke -4.5)
[20] BYU Cougars at [11] Washington Huskies (6:30pm, FOX, Wash -17.5)
Marshall Thundering Herd at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6:30pm, Stadium, Marshall -6.5)

Watch That

Florida Atlantic Owls (2-2) at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (1-2)

6pm | Stadium/Facebook | FAU -3 | O/U 62.5

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2-1) at North Texas Mean Green (4-0!)

6:30pm | beIN | UNT -7.5 | O/U 64

Holy shit, did you know Western Kentucky lost to Maine? I did not. Ouch.

I had originally told myself that Duke-Virginia Tech might be worth watching, but if Hokies QB Josh Jackson is out with that ankle injury he took in the road loss to Old Dominion (these are strange times we live in), no thanks.

Look, you can see all those P5 and P5-adjacent games listed above. Those are not Good Games. Wyoming has taken a step back, Iowa State will break through against someone but probably not Gary Patterson’s defense, and there is no joy in watching hard-nosed BYU flail about against Washington. Hard, hard pass.

Instead, you KNOW you love the Lane Kiffin comeback, as he just continues to march joylessly through his time in Boca Raton, scoring points and kind of trying to disrupt college football’s standard order but really just waiting for...I mean, where does he go at this point? What jobs will even be open at this year’s end?:

  • ACC: Pitt? Maybe NC State has one of those scheduled bouts of insanity?
  • B1G: Illinois, I guess? We’ve been saying that for ages now, though. And that’s what Lane Kiffin looks like in the Boca sun. You wanna see him in the Poopwind cold?
  • Big XII: LANE TO KANSAS. IT’S BEEN THE LONG CON ALL ALONG. ...often than that, can Kliff Kingsbury have that many more chances?
  • Pac-12: I won’t even pretend to know half the coaches in the Pac-12.
  • SEC: I think half the conference’s coaches turned over last year alone, and it looks like Mark Stoops has found a way to keep his job.

In conclusion, Lane Kiffin will coach at Pitt in 2019. You’re welcome.

Also if you get beIN like I do, check out LaTech-North Texas. Did you know that even season Skip Holtz goes 8-4 or better, he gets a year added to his buyout, and vice-versa? THAT’S A CONTRACT, KIDS. Kirk Ferentz is already looking to swap agents. And Seth Littrell’s doing fun things at North Texas, if you needed actual football reasons. Take the over.

You’re Actually Watching

[4] Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0 B1G) at [9] Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0 B1G)

6:30pm | ABC | OSU -3.5 | O/U 71

[7] Stanford Cardinal (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) at [8] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0, 1-0 ACC)

6:30pm | NBC | ND -5.5 | O/U 53

Look, we know these are the best games, OK? You’re watching them. But with dual 6:30pm kickoffs, you’re gonna need some halftime entertainment, unless the Stanford Band is your thing (which it Extremely Should Be). I will start on Ohio State-Penn State, but I have a soft spot for Stanford and a hate boner for Notre Dame, so the clicker will get a workout if I don’t commit seppuku in the Ryan Field West Parking Lot.

Poll

Pick the game you’ll watch:

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    OSU-PSU
    (142 votes)
  • 4%
    Stanford-Notre Dame
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    One of the others (GOOD FOR YOU!)
    (12 votes)
162 votes total Vote Now

Poll

OK, but this is more fun for me if you choose one of the other games that you’ll watch at halftime:

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Boise-Wyoming
    (15 votes)
  • 19%
    ISU-TCU
    (21 votes)
  • 18%
    VaTech-Duke
    (20 votes)
  • 37%
    BYU-Washington
    (41 votes)
  • 2%
    FAU-MTSU
    (3 votes)
  • 9%
    LaTech-North Texas
    (10 votes)
110 votes total Vote Now

I’m awake and drunk...

Don’t Watch This

USC Trojans at Arizona Wildcats (9:30pm, ESPN2, USC -3.5)

Watch That

Ole Miss Rebels (3-1, 0-1 SEC) at [5] LSU Tigers (4-0, 1-0 SEC)

8pm | ESPN | LSU -10.5 | O/U 59.5

[19] Oregon Ducks (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) at [24] California Golden Bears (3-0)

9:30pm | FS1 | UO -2.5 | O/U 58

Toledo Rockets (2-1) at Fresno State Bulldogs (2-1)

9:30pm | ESPNU | Fresno -8 | O/U 62

Look, I don’t know when it’s gonna happen. You don’t know when it’s gonna happen. DACOACHO doesn’t know when it’s gonna happen.

But at some point, LSU is going to lose in horrifying fashion at home to some shitty SEC team, and Ole Miss—a team that allowed 41 points to Southern Illinois—just might be the team to do that. Also, dear God, Ole Miss kept Matt Luke as head coach?! Shit. Here’s LSU’s inexplicable home loss. Book it. Rebs by 30.

That’s a conditional “Watch That,” mind you. Have an eye on the score, and if it’s got a stupid score in the second half—26-19 LSU, 30-25 Ole Miss, 32.2-pi*r^2 LSU—tune in. But I have a wee sneaky feeling you’ll want to check this one out.

I don’t know what to make of Cal—the Golden Bears are less fun under Justin Wilcox, but turns out when you’re not giving up 40 ppg or whatever, you can actually win games (a 24-17 win over UNC and a 21-18 win over then-#20 BYU). But Oregon has scored a low of 35 and it’s Pac-12 After Dark and you know you need it on at least one channel. Make this your Pac-12 action.

MACtion on West Coast time has to be fun, right? Just this year, Toledo has beaten Nevada 63-44, though that was in boring old GTZ+1. Already, a promising start; now let’s head out west. Toledo’s beaten Wyoming at Memorial in 2012, won the Potato Bowl 42-41 over Air Force in 2011, lost a wild 55-53 contest at BYU (basically MWC) in 2016, and beaten Nevada 37-24 in Reno last year. Give me MACtion on West Coast time, and give me the over.

Poll

Grab another beer. What are you watching?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Whatever the bar has on
    (13 votes)
  • 9%
    Toledo-Fresno, because finally I’ve given in to the idea that MNW has better taste in football than I do
    (11 votes)
  • 26%
    Oregon-Cal, because AP Top 25 teams will always put on a good show and are definitely deserving of our respect
    (31 votes)
  • 22%
    LSU-Ole Miss, as I took a wrong turn at Nashville and wound up in the South
    (26 votes)
  • 29%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (34 votes)
115 votes total Vote Now

This’ll serve as your Thursday- and Friday-night open thread until something better gets posted around here. Behave.