clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Don’t Watch This; Watch That: Week 12 College Football Schedule, and Holy Shit, Ryan Field will be Empty

Your guide to the weekend in college football, and the best things to do in an empty stadium.

Northwestern plays UMass on Saturday.

This is a feature, not a bug, of the ‘Cats 2019 schedule. Pat Fitzgerald and the Athletics Department (which is just a bobblehead on Fitz’s desk) decided they needed a bye week immediately following their trip to Stanford during Week 1, and so the November bye was born.

As you can see, people are terribly enthused about attending this game:

$0 ticket prices—though I think they’ll get you on the fees—lead me to wonder: What would I do if I actually attended this game? There are going to be under 20,000 people in attendance on what is supposed to be a bright but brisk Saturday morning, and good seats are still available!

My suggestions for how you should handle this:

Sample ALL the concessions

Every year or so InsideNU goes full Rovell and details all the new gastronomic offerings at Ryan Field. Is there a burger between two donuts? A pulled pork sandwich that’s somehow “gourmet”? TRY IT ALL! Let us know!

Reenact your favorite gif

Ryan Field popcorn is already stale enough, so why not go for Wazzu fan? It won’t be raining, though, so you’ll need to get your friends to dump water bottles on you as Northwestern goes three-and-out against the worst defense in FBS.

No idea where the stack of cups comes from, but there will be lots of open concourses to run through! I’d be triply impressed if you could do the entire length of the East Bleachers in one go before security gave you a stern lecture and asked you to return to your $5 seat.

Triple bonus points if you can get enough friends (and the Ryan Field camera operator) to reenact this scene:


Only Big Ten eleven teams are in action on Saturday—that means the Illinois Fighting Illini, Maryland Terrapins, and Purdue Boilermakers are off. Goodness knows there are enough Illinois and Purdue fans in the Chicagoland area. Here is how you embarrass Northwestern and get shitfaced on a Saturday:

  • Wear your brightest school colors, make signs, and bring flags.
  • Make Evanston the first stop on your Purple/Red Line bar crawl for the day.
  • Buy 100+ tickets in one section of the stadium: I’d suggest 133 or 104. That’ll cost about about $400.
  • At one coordinated point of the game, begin your team-specific chants. This would include a call-and-response “I-L-L! I-N-I!” or “Boiler Up! Ride the Train!” or whatever it is Purdue does. If both schools decide to come, they could compete to see whose fans are louder!
  • Make such a spectacle of yourselves that BTN and maybe even the Ryan Field camera operators have no choice but to put you on camera.
  • Chant for the video board to put a better game on TV: Might I recommend Michigan State-Michigan?
  • Leave at halftime and go to Sketchbook or Temperance Brewing in Evanston, kicking off the bar crawl in epic fashion: You’ve taken over a visiting stadium you weren’t even playing at.

You will be heroes to the Big Ten. Do it.

Thursday Night

Don’t Watch This

{CBB} Penn State at Georgetown [5:30pm, FS1]
{CBB} Towson Tiers at Florida [6pm, ESPN2]
{CBB} San Jose State at Arizona [7pm, Pac12]
{CBB} Central Connecticut Blue Devils at Arizona State [9pm, Pac12]
{HKY} Michigan State at Michigan [5:30pm, BTN]
{NFL} Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns [7:20pm, FOX/NFL]
{NBA} Dallas Mavericks at New York Knicks [7pm, TNT]
{NBA} Brooklyn Nets at Denver Nuggets [9:30pm, TNT]

Watch That

Buffalo Bulls at Kent State Golden Flashes

6pm | CBSSN | Buffalo -6 | O/U 56

North Carolina Tar Heels at Pittsburgh Panthers

7pm | ESPN | Pitt -4.5 | O/U 50.5

{WBB} #16 Michigan State at #15 Notre Dame

7pm | ACCN

{CBB} Michigan State at Seton Hall

7:30pm | FS1

{VB} #7 wisconsin at #14 Minnesota

8pm | BTN

I’m a little baffled at how Kent State is still hanging around at 3-6—though I’m incredibly impressed that QB Dustin Crum has somehow thrown only 1 INT (with 13 TDs) all year while also leading the flashes in rushing yards (not that 414 is particularly a lot).

The Bulls and RB stable Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks should run the ball right down the Flashes’ throats, and in the MAC East everyone’s just in the running to finish second to Miami Hydroxide—that is a weird thing to say and yet it is where we’re at—but being this is at Kent State, I won’t rule out an entertaining game.


Thursday night. What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (10 votes)
  • 21%
    (41 votes)
  • 20%
    {CBB} Michigan State-Seton Hall
    (39 votes)
  • 17%
    the NFL
    (34 votes)
  • 35%
    Perhaps I’ll read a nice book
    (69 votes)
193 votes total Vote Now


Don’t Watch This

Long Island Sharks at Villanova Wildcats [1pm, Flo $ports]
{CBB} West Virginia at Pitt [6pm, ESPNU]
{CBB} Elon Phoenix at Michigan [6pm, BTN]
{CBB} Alabama at Rhode Island [6:30pm, NBCSN]
{CBB} Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at Iowa [7pm, BTN+]
{CBB} BYU at Houston [8pm, ESPNU]

Watch That

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Marshall Thundering Herd

6pm | CBSSN | Marshall -2.5 | O/U 56.5

Fresno State Bulldogs at San Diego State Aztecs

8:30pm | ESPN2 | EVEN | O/U 43.5

{CBB} South Dakota State Jackrabbits at Nebraska

8pm | BTN

{CBB} Minnesota at Utah

8pm | Pac-12


10pm | Pac-12

One of the greatest things about being a night owl and having a Pac-12 Network subscription has been excellent the late-night sports viewing. I got to watch the Runnin’ Rebels dispatch Cal on their home court earlier in the week, and now we’ll get back-to-back PAC-12 After Dark! on Friday night.

Beyond that, though, there’s some excellent football! The Herd plow straight ahead with RB Brenden Knox and rely on efficient passing from Isaiah Green, and they’ll meet a great challenge in the Bulldogs’ defense, where CB Amik Robertson has a fantastic 5 INT and 14 PD on the year already.

It’s also being played a day after the 49th anniversary of the crash of Southern Airways Flight 932, which killed at 75 people on board—37 Marshall players, 8 coaches, 25 boosters, and 5 flight crew.

Beyond that tragedy, though, I will admit: I’ve both never been to West Virginia, and I’m ridiculously curious to go (I do need a trip to the papers of Bob Wise at some point, but that’s not happening any time soon).

If I may veer into potentially spidery ground, everything I’ve read and heard about the state just makes it seem like a hilariously fucked-up part of the country with crooked politicians, backwoods brawlers, and coal magnates conspiring to work “digging” into elementary education curricula. Remember, for example, that the governor of West Virginia, a Marshall alum, just two years ago attempted to have incredibly successful HC Doc Holliday fired and replaced by former HC Bob Pruett. (You might remember EDSBS’s take on the matter.)

What the articles mention, as well, is that West-by-God and Marshall played a brief football series (the Friends of Coal Bowl! never mind basketball’s Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic—you guys, I’m starting to think mining interests are dominating West Virginia) when Gov. Joe Manchin and the state legislature forced the (then-good!) Mountaineers into a seven-game set, including the 2011 edition which was called in the fourth quarter after two lightning delays. West Virginia won all seven games, and the series appears permanently on hiatus.

The Manchin family, though, has loomed large in West Virginia politics, and I had the pleasure of learning on one research trip exactly what some national observers thought of the state and the state’s politics:

Marc Dann to Mike Drain, Jan Ruckman, and Bill Dixon, “Subject: West Virginia,” c. June 1986, 1. Box 64, Folder 13, Gary Hart Papers, University of Colorado Archives and Special Collections, Boulder, CO.

That memo (which I’ve edited for space) goes into hilarious, Spurrier-esque detail about West Virginia, including “Jay Rockafeller” (that’s a Jay-Z album, right?), the junior senator whose “base remains $36 million wide and one inch deep,” incredibly derisive remarks about the state’s media...sophistication...and, of course, the coal mining industry and its workers’ willingness to entertain maverick populists.

Oh, right, and a coal magnate’s been going after HBO Last Week Tonight host John Oliver. If you haven’t yet watched Oliver’s response to the frivolous lawsuit finally being dropped...well, you owe it to yourself:


Friday night! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    (10 votes)
  • 28%
    Fresno State-San Diego State
    (34 votes)
  • 33%
    College basketball
    (39 votes)
  • 29%
    It’s state tournament time! Gotta wear my letter jacket to the field and remind everyone that the 1988 Lemmingstown Drunken Savages [name later changed] would’ve won state if I hadn’t’a blown out my knee in the section finals!
    (35 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Massachusetts Minutemen at Northwestern Wildcats (-40.5, O/U 56.5) [11am, BTN]
#5 Alabama Crimson Tide (-20.5, O/U 63.5) at Mississippi St. Bulldogs [11am, ESPN]
#11 Florida Gators (-7, O/U 50.5) at Missouri Tigers [11am, CBS]
#14 wisconsin badgers (-14.5, O/U 51) at Nebraska Cornhuskers [11am, BTN]
Michigan State Spartans at #15 Michigan Wolverines (-13.5, O/U 44) [11am, FOX]
Kansas Jayhawks at #22 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-17.5, O/U 66) [11am, FS1]
VMI Keydets at Army Black Knights [11am, CBSSN]
TCU Horned Frogs (-3, O/U 55.5) at Texas Tech Red Raiders [11am, ESPN2]
UTEP Miners at UAB Blazers (-17.5, O/U 44) [12pm, ESPN3]
{CBB} Oakland Golden Grizzlies at Maryland [11am, BTN+]
{CBB} Columbia Lions at #9 Virginia [11am, ACCN]
{CBB} Ohio at #10 Villanova [11am, FS2]

Watch That

Indiana Hoosiers at #9 Penn State Nittany Lions

11am | ABC | PSU -14.5 | O/U 54.5

Tulane Green Wave at Temple Owls

11am | ESPNU | Tulane -5 | O/U 55

I had to make decisions on the spreadsheet—there were more games on Saturday morning than there were rows before the next header, and it’s not like you can just add cells in a spreadsheet. So I’m pretty sure I forgot about some shit ACC team playing an FCS patsy to get to bowl eligibility on a network that doesn’t exist. Fuck ‘em. Moving on.

Last week I called Temple the most boring team in college football (or did I call Rod Carey the most boring coach?), and they rewarded me with a 17-7 snoozer over South Florida. [Related: How many more years can Charlie Strong have?] Anthony Russo manages games, the defense is good, sunrise, sunset over an empty Link.

So how about some Tulane to liven shit up?! I know the Green Wave have rewarded my enthusiasm with a brief swoon, losing at Memphis and in a thriller at Navy (told ya) before beating Tulsa, but they’ll get their biggest test running on a stout Owls run defense (3.77 ypc). Both of Willie Fritz’s dynamic RBs—Darius Bradwell and Corey Dauphine—have knocks, so we’ll see if, absent either of them, Justin McMillan can avoid turnovers and make enough big plays. Could be exciting to flip over to this one when Northwestern-UMass is 12-3 at halftime.

Go Hoosiers.


Wakey wakey, hands off snakey! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Indiana-Penn State
    (86 votes)
  • 2%
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    (16 votes)
  • 23%
    (55 votes)
  • 24%
    Michigan-Michigan State
    (57 votes)
  • 2%
    Some SEC bullshit
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    I dunno. College basketball?
    (6 votes)
232 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

#23 Navy Midshipmen at #16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7, O/U 54) [1:30pm, NBC]
Idaho State Bengals at BYU Cougars [2pm, ESPN3]
Troy Trojans (-7, O/U 60.5) at Texas State Bobcats [2pm, ESPN3]
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Arkansas State Red Wolves (-12.5, O/U 60.5) [2pm, ESPN+]
ULM Warhawks at Georgia Southern Eagles (-7, O/U 57.5) [2pm, ESPN+]
#2 Ohio State Buckeyes at Rutgers Scarlet Knights [2:30pm, BTN]
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at #3 Clemson Tigers (-34.5, O/U 59.5) [2:30pm, ABC]
#4 Georgia Bulldogs (-2.5, O/U 41) at #12 Auburn Tigers [2:30pm, CBS]
#18 Memphis Tigers (-10, O/U 68.5) at Houston Cougars [2:30pm, ESPN2]
West Virginia Mountaineers at #24 Kansas State Wildcats (-14, O/U 48) [2:30pm, ESPN]
Central Michigan Chippewas at Balls Tate Cardinals (-2.5, O/U 58) [2:30pm, CBSSN]
Kentucky Wildcats (-10.5, O/U 44) at Vanderbilt Commodores [2:30pm, SECN]
Syracuse Orange at Duke Blue Devils (-9.5, O/U 54) [3pm, ACCN]
Wyoming Cowboys at Utah State Aggies (-6, O/U 50) [3pm, ESPNU]
Stanford Cardinal at Washington State Cougars (-10.5, O/U 63.5) [3:30pm, Pac12]
Rice Owls at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (-14.5, O/U 47.5) [3:30pm, ESPN+]
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (-28, O/U 53.5) at South Alabama Jaguars [4pm, ESPN+]
Southern Miss Golden Eagles (-16.5, O/U 52.5) at UTSA Roadrunners [5pm, ESPN+]
{CBB} Chicago State Cougars at Purdue [1pm, BTN+]

Watch That

#3 Weber State Wildcats at #4 Montana Grizzlies

2pm | PlutoTV Montana channel

#5 Northern Iowa Panthers at #9 South Dakota State Jackrabbits

2pm | ESPN3

#19 Texas Longhorns at Iowa St. Cyclones

2:30pm | FS1 | Iowa St. -7 | O/U 65.5

#8 Minnesota Golden Gophers at #20 Iowa Hawkeyes

3pm | FOX | Iowa -3 | O/U 44.5

Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors at UNLV Rebels

3pm | Facebook | Hawaii -7 | O/U 73.5

Notre Dame’s bullshit sellout streak has ended. Thank a Navy man, if you see him.

You get TWO Top 10 FCS matchups this week in two football-crazy towns, and College Gameday is going to Waco. They’re going to need to Branch David Pollack’s segments out into a cultural spot or two, methinks, before Chip and Joanna stop by to pick the Bears to win and put some nice shiplap all over the Gameday set.

And, I mean, I’ll have Minnesota-Iowa on, sure, but if you think Hawaii-UNLV setting land-speed records won’t be cued up on my phone, you’re fucking crazy.


Saturday afternoon, the sun’s out, yardwork’s done, and you’re watching...

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    (159 votes)
  • 1%
    Hawaii-UNLV, for sure
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    Texas-Iowa State, just to spite Iowa
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    FCS matchups! You beauty!
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    Navy-Notre Dame
    (7 votes)
  • 3%
    (8 votes)
  • 12%
    Ohio State-Rutgers
    (30 votes)
  • 5%
    ...matter of fact, I think another leaf just fell. Off to the yardwork!
    (13 votes)
236 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

#1 LSU Tigers (-21, O/U 65.5) at Ole Miss Landsharks [6pm, ESPN]
#17 Cincinnati Bearcats (-14, O/U 49.5) at South Florida Brahman Bulls [6pm, CBSSN]
Air Force Falcons (-10.5, O/U 61) at Colorado State Rams [6pm, ESPN2]
#10 Montana State Bobcats at UC Davis Aggies [6pm, Eleven]
#25 Appalachian St. Mountaineers (-16, O/U 62.5) at Georgia State Panthers [6:30pm, ESPNU]
South Carolina Gamecocks at Texas A&M Aggies (-10.5, O/U 50.5) [6:30pm, SECN]
Louisville Cardinals (-4, O/U 57) at N.C. State Wolfpack [6:30pm, FS1]
{CBB} Troy at Indiana [7pm, BTN]

Watch That

#10 Oklahoma Sooners at #13 Baylor Bears

6:30pm | ABC | OKU -10 | O/U 67.5

Arizona State Sun Devils at Oregon State Beavers

6:30pm | FS1 | ASU -3 | O/U 58.5

UCLA Bruins at #7 Utah Utes

7pm | FOX | Utah -21 | O/U 52

{CBB} St. Bonaventure Bonnies at Rutgers

6:30pm | ESPN+ | James Naismith Classic, Toronto, ON

Rutgers basketball returns to the site of football’s greatest triumph. I refer, of course, to their 2008 International Bowl win over mighty Balls Tate.

With the imminent return of Greg Schiano, Knights fans, start dreaming! Someday, once again, you, too, can kick the ass of a MAC team in a bowl game in Canada!


It’s disgusting how early the sun goes down now. To cope, I will have a fifteenth beer and cue up...

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    (96 votes)
  • 5%
    Arizona State-Oregon
    (9 votes)
  • 4%
    (8 votes)
  • 6%
    Butgers Rasketball or other college hoops fun
    (11 votes)
  • 7%
    Air Force-Colorado State
    (12 votes)
  • 19%
    Don’t think I didn’t see you sneak Eleven Sports in there, MNW...
    (32 votes)
168 votes total Vote Now

It’s Late and I’m Drunk...

Don’t Watch This

New Mexico Lobos at #21 Boise State Broncos (-28, O/U 59.5) [9:15pm, ESPN2]
Arizona Wildcats at #6 Oregon Ducks (-27.5, O/U 68.5) [9:30pm, ESPN]

Watch That

#24* Southern Oregon Raiders at #18* Montana Western Bulldogs

9:30pm | Eleven Sports Network | NAIA Rankings*

USC Trojans at California Golden Bears

10pm | FS1 | USC -6.5 | O/U 48.5

{CBB} USC at Nevada

10pm | CBSSN

Reader, does it matter that Southern Oregon and Montana Western are possibly made-up schools playing NAIA football? IT DOES NOT. You don’t want to see Boise State slaughter a grieving New Mexico squad, and you don’t need to see Oregon make its case that the PAC-12 really isn’t that bad by beating the shit out of Arizona.

Instead, might I recommend turning on Eleven Sports Network and inventing a backstory for the Raiders-Bulldogs rivalry?

It all began in 1924, when then-Southern Oregon Normal College, a trade school for loggers and occasionally teachers who would teach those loggers, headed east to play Montana State Teachers College. Unfortunately, Montana at the time was split into warring Montana State factions, between the Montana State Teachers College, home of the Bulldogs, and Montana State College, home of the Bobcats. One taught teachers and the other taught miners, and you best be sure at sundown that you knew whether you were in a teachers’ town or a miners’ town.

Well, when the Raiders’ train car arrived in Dillon the night before their game with the Bulldogs, ol’ Southern Oregon looked around, though “No man would play football in this godforsaken town,” and continued right on to Bozeman. When the Raiders arrived, to the bewilderment of Montana State College students, they were given a map from the school’s geography department, turned around, and sent back to Dillon in search of a game.

Arriving just 10 minutes before kickoff, the Raiders proved up to the challenge, whipping the Normal College boys in a 18-2 rout. Afterwards, they waved the map in front of a Montana State Teachers College player’s face, taunting him that they only needed “a map and 10 minutes!” to beat the Bulldogs.

Enraged, one MTSC player ripped the map out of the Southern Oregon player’s hands, and a fracas ensued—a real donnybrook, complete with shadow-boxing, old-timey hopping up and down, and a lot of “What ho!” and “I’ll punch you right in the mush!” When the dust subsided, it was agreed that Southern Oregon and Montana State Teachers College, to settle their differences on the field, would play each year for a wooden plaque with the map etched on it. Today, Southern and Western meet, each year, in the “Ten Minutes and a Map” Classic (sponsored by Inland Cellular).

USC and Cal also play, it’s probably the best game of this crap night outside some NAIA brilliance on Eleven.


It’s late, you stumble into the bar, and you ask for...

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    (30 votes)
  • 0%
    Boise State-New Mexico
    (1 vote)
  • 5%
    Southern Oregon-Montana Western
    (9 votes)
  • 9%
    (15 votes)
  • 8%
    whatever the bartender has on
    (14 votes)
  • 16%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (26 votes)
  • 40%
    the fuck is the matter with you, MNW
    (64 votes)
159 votes total Vote Now

Happy college football, everyone.