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Don’t Watch This; Watch That: Week 15 College Football Viewing Guide

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We’re working through some stuff today.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Seattle Sounders FC Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

If you don’t like Minnesotans whining about their misfortune, just skip ahead to the games.

That’s Minnesota United—the Loons, to those in the know—choking away a 2-goal lead with 15 minutes to go in the Western Conference Finals against the Seattle Sounders.

It’s an old story. A stubborn coach, a lack of adjustments, a team fighting odds and with a feel-good story in Emanuel Reynoso, falling agonizingly short. Shooting itself in the foot. Shrinking up, to borrow Ron Swanson’s phrase, faster than an Eskimo’s scrotum.

It’s Gary Anderson from 39 yards. Wide left.

It’s Blair Walsh from 27 yards. Wide left.

It’s Brett Favre throwing across his body and Naufahu Tahi as the twelfth man in the huddle, J.S. Giguere’s comically illegal pads and the Wild falling short, the fucking Rally Monkey and the Piranhas, team under-.500 Astros beating a feel-good Twins team; hell, Glen Mason failing to stop a fucking screen pass and the Gophers blowing their best shot at the Rose Bowl since integration. The continued fucking existence of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Last night, for me personally, Northwestern basketball shoveled just a little extra dirt on the Loons’ failure:

I honestly don’t know what compels such a streak of boneheaded fucking plays.


When does it get better?

As a fan of Minnesota professional sports* and Northwestern collegiate sports, uh...it’s been a week, I guess. And, if I’m being personally introspective, it probably explains my over-the-top frustration with Ohio State getting the benefit of the doubt—a-fucking-gain (Kain Colter got the first down)—at the expense of a little guy.

* Miss me with “the Lynx and the Whitecaps are champions!” I’m well aware of that. I’ve been to more Lynx games in the last decade than Wolves games. You’re welcome to call me a misogynist in the comments if you’d like; my sports self-esteem is tied to the major professional and “amateur” sports. I’m a bad person, just like everyone else who’s not you. Moving on.

I was born late in 1990. Four major sports teams. No championships since 1991.

Ranking the sports accomplishments I’ve seen in my lifetime goes...well, pretty damn quick:

  • Northwestern basketball making the NCAA Tournament.
  • uh...the ‘Cats winning the Big Ten West in 2018 (I grew up a Gopher and didn’t get the wonder that was the 1995-96 Rose Bowl team, not that I was old enough to appreciate it).
  • The Vikings 15-1 season, and we know how that ended.
  • The mid-aughts Minnesota Twins winning division championships.

That’s about it. That’s the list.

There’s no resolution, no end in sight, no denouement that I can predict. It just sucks right now, and it sucks feeling guilty for staking happiness or pleasure or whatever amid a pandemic that’s exposed so many other shitty things in society that I care what a few paid or underpaid athletes do in any goddamn sport.

Yet here I am.

Dumber yet, you’ll go into the comments are say “Well, Cleveland hasn’t won a baseball title since [whenever the hell it was]!” or “I can sympathize—the Padres are ass!” or “I’m a Jets fan!” And you know what? FUCK YOU.

That’s perhaps the stupidest part of it—that I, as a Minnesotan (and a Northwestern fan), have to tell you why I have it the worst and how dare you try to empathize or pretend you know what my outrage and my frustration is.

To flip Richard White’s 1991 (there’s that fucking year again) title, It’s All MY Misfortune and None of Your Own: WE suffer better than all you; WE suffer more than all of you; WE truly know what sustained, consistent heartbreak is.

It’s dumb! It’s selfish! It’s completely unimportant! And yet I found myself rage-walking last night in the wake of Northwestern blowing another lead, thinking about Minnesota United collapsing in its first real shot at national relevance, my friend sending me this article about Mitchell, SD, trying to impose a mask mandate.

I just want a victory. Somehow. Somewhere. I want a win for the little guy. The title-less. The average, the flown-over, the run-of-the-mill. One shitbitchingass kick to sail through the uprights or one Hail Mary to be caught—not in a dumb divisional playoff game, but on the biggest stage. One goddamn time, us to get it right and not point the gun squarely at our collective foot and open fire. One fucking less community elder to die of a preventable disease as absolute goddamn fucking morons deny science, and people—esteemed members of their community—die in the name of others’ freedom.

And here I am, Mad Online about sports.

I don’t have an answer. We’re all suffering.

I just want Ohio State to suffer a little more, and me to suffer a little less.

Is that too much to ask?


Thursday

Don’t Watch This

Pittsburgh Panthers (-7, O/U 55) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets [6pm, ESPN3]
{NFL} New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams [7:20pm, FOX/NFL/Amazon]

{CBB} Kansas City Roos at Minnesota (-17.5, O/U 139.5) [7pm, FS1]

{Liga MX} Pumas UNAM vs. Leon [9pm, TUDN]
{NPL SA} Adelaide Comets vs. Campbelltown City [2:50am, YouTube]

Watch That

Florida Atlantic Owls at Southern Miss Golden Eagles

5:30pm | CBSSN | FAU -9.5 | O/U 43

{CBB}

North Dakota vs. South Dakota

5:30pm | ESPN3 | USD -3.5 | O/U 143.5
Dakota Showcase, Sanford Pentagon, Sioux Falls

North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State

8pm | ESPN3 | SDSU -8.5 | O/U 139.5
Dakota Showcase, Sanford Pentagon, Sioux Falls

#24 San Diego State at #23 Arizona State

9pm | FS1 | ASU -2.5 | O/U 142.5

Pitt-Georgia Tech is so bad, ESPN can’t even find a space on ESPNU for it.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s a “Watch That” game, then...

CALL A TIMEOUT, BOO; YOU’RE TRAPPED AND YOU HAVE TWO OF THEM AND WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU TURN IT OVER

Poll

thursday

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    owls-eagles
    (6 votes)
  • 12%
    pats-rams
    (8 votes)
  • 9%
    pitt-wreck
    (6 votes)
  • 7%
    hoops
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    soccer
    (3 votes)
  • 43%
    oh god it’s that kind of a dwt;wt isn’t it
    (28 votes)
  • 12%
    wait we gotta talk about what an adelaide comets is and why you’re watching youtube aussie soccer at 2:50am
    (8 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now

Friday

Don’t Watch This

Arizona State Sun Devils (-11.5, O/U 56) at Arizona Wildcats [6pm, ESPN]

Soccer:

{Bundesliga} Wolfsburgh vs. Eintracht Frankfurt [1:30pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Sassuolo vs. Benevento [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Scotland} Ayr United vs. Raith Rovers [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{La Liga} Real Valladolid vs. Osasuna [2pm, beIN]
{Ligue 1} Saint-Etienne vs. Angers SCO [2pm, beIN]

Watch That

North Texas Mean Green at UTEP Miners

5pm | ESPN3 | UNT -10 | O/U 62.5

Nevada Wolf Pack at San Jose State Spartans

9pm | CBSSN | SJSU -3 | O/U 59

{EPL} Leeds United vs. West Ham United

2pm | NBCSN

The Spartans have not been 5-0 since NINETEEN THIRTY-NINE. Nevada has not been good since Colin Kaepernick had a bright future in football ahead of him. The winner likely gets to go to the Mountain West Championship Game.

I GUESS UNLESS BYU-BOISE PT. II WOULD DRAW MORE EYEBALLS AND SPINELESS FUCKING CONFERENCE LEADERSHIP JUST CHANGES THE RULES AND WELCOMES THE COUGARS BACK IN FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Poll

friday night, snow’s a coming

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    UNT-UTEP, then Nevada-San Jose State
    (6 votes)
  • 26%
    Battle for Arizona, then Nevada-San Jose State
    (16 votes)
  • 11%
    Just Nevada-San Jose State
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    Just an early game
    (1 vote)
  • 50%
    something else entirely
    (31 votes)
61 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Illinois Fighting Illini at #14 Northwestern Wildcats (-14, O/U 40.5) [11am, ESPN2]
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Nebraska Cornhuskers (-10.5, O/U 59.5) [11am, FS1]
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-32, O/U 68.5) at Arkansas Razorbacks [11am, ESPN]
#9 Georgia Bulldogs (-13, O/U 54.5) at #25 Missouri Tigers [11am, SECN]
Utah Utes at #21 Colorado Buffaloes (-2, O/U 47.5) [11am, FOX]
Northern Illinois Huskies at Eastern Michigan Eagles (-6, O/U 54.5) [11am, ESPN3]
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Louisville Cardinals (-1, O/U 63.5) [11am, ACCN]
UAB Blazers (-7, O/U 44) at Rice Owls [12pm, ESPN3]

Watch That

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Maryland Terrapins

11am | BTN | MD -7 | O/U 58

Western Michigan Broncos at Balls Tate Robotbirds

11am | ESPN+ | Balls -2.5 | O/U 67.5

{EPL} Manchester United vs. Manchester City

11:30am | NBC

Noah Vedral against Tua Tagavailoa.
Isaiah Pacheco against Jake Funk.
Greg Schiano against Mike Locksley.

If that doesn’t get you going, I don’t know what does.

In case THAT’S not enough for you, the winner of Western Michigan and Balls Tate goes to the MAC Championship, which I cannot personally confirm is a magical place, but which I would bet would be a cool place to watch Buffalo blow a lead to Northern Illinois.

SINCE, Y’KNOW, WHY FUCKING MAKE ADJUSTMENTS OR USE YOUR SUBS, ADRIAN HEATH? ISN’T LOSING IN A CONFERENCE FINAL BECAUSE YOU’RE TOO STUBBORN A BLAST?!?!?!?!?

Poll

oh good look it’s third-rate rivalry morning

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    hat
    (16 votes)
  • 30%
    chair
    (23 votes)
  • 25%
    railroad tie or delaware or joe biden’s codpiece or whatever
    (19 votes)
  • 5%
    bronco balls
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    buff yoots
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    manx
    (5 votes)
  • 9%
    other
    (7 votes)
76 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

wisconsin badgers (-1.5, O/U 41.5) at #16 Iowa Hawkeyes [2:30pm, FS1]
Michigan State Spartans at Penn State Nittany Lions (-14.5, O/U 47) [2:30pm, ESPN]
Akron Zips at Buffalo Bulls (-32.5, O/U 59) [1:30pm, CBSSN]
Central Michigan Chippewas at Toledo Rockets (-11, O/U 52.5) [2pm, ESPN3]
Houston Cougars (-5, O/U 62.5) at Memphis Tigers [2:30pm, ESPNU]
Washington Huskies at Oregon Ducks (-6, O/U 55) [3pm, FOX]
Tennessee Volunteers (-16, O/U 50) at Vanderbilt Commodores [3pm, SECN]
Duke Blue Devils at Florida State Seminoles (-5, O/U 57) [3pm, ACCN]

Watch That

#13 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Troy Trojans

2pm | ESPN+ | CCU -13.5 | O/U 51.5

Navy Midshipmen at Army Black Knights

2pm | CBS | Army -7 | O/U 37.5

#17 North Carolina Tar Heels at #10 Miami Fluoride Hurricanes

2:30pm | ABC | M(FL) -3 | O/U 67.5

{EPL} Everton vs. Chelsea

2pm | Peacock

Army-Navy will be at West Point for the first time since World War II. That’s something.

What amazes me, though, is that I look at ESPN’s front page and see this fucking dumbass headline:

It still positively bortles my mind that, in a weekend in which you have multiple games that function as virtual play-in games for conference championships, matchups of Top 20 teams that promise to be good and dumb and fun football, and rivalries with big bronze bulls and stupid Monopoly pieces on the line, all you can think about is some fucking moronic, non-competitive rivalry between two shitty places that only matters because about 50 years ago, two raging asshole coaches used higher scholarship rates to be a metric fuckton better than a bunch of other sanctions-crippled schools.

There’s no goddamn reason that Ohio State-Michigan matters except that ESPN says it does.

I’m starting to think not paying attention to Michigan in 2016 was a good idea. Fuck these people.

We got the Chants ranked. The Chants got the Chants ranked.

NOW LET THE FUCKING TEAMS THAT DESERVE TO PLAY FOR A CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP JUST GO AND PLAY FOR A GODDAMN CHAMPIONSHIP. LET ‘EM IN THE PLAYOFF. GIVE UP THIS CRO-MAGNON, PREDETERMINED RANKING BULLSHIT.

Poll

Finally, the crockpot food is ready and the snow is flying and let’s cozy up and watch...

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Chants-Trojans
    (7 votes)
  • 30%
    Army-Navy
    (30 votes)
  • 2%
    UNC-Miami
    (2 votes)
  • 16%
    battle for bull
    (16 votes)
  • 21%
    PEW PEW PEW
    (21 votes)
  • 5%
    i’ll just be over here crying because my entire existence is predicated on that non-competitive rivalry and without it what college football could i possibly watch
    (5 votes)
  • 16%
    something else
    (16 votes)
97 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Boise State Broncos (-11.5, O/U 47) at Wyoming Cowboys [5pm, CBSSN]
LSU Tigers at #6 Florida Gators (-23, O/U 68.5) [6pm, ESPN]
#22 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-5, O/U 49) at Baylor Bears [6pm, ESPNU]
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at TCU Horned Frogs (-21.5, O/U 51.5) [6pm, FS1]
Auburn Tigers (-6.5, O/U 49.5) at Mississippi State Bulldogs [6:30pm, SECN]

{MLS Championship} Columbus Crew vs. Seattle Sounders [7:30pm, ABC]

{NCAAH} #14 Ohio State at #15 Notre Dame [6pm, NBCSN]

{MBB} Nebraska at #8 Creighton [6pm, BTN]

Watch That

Appalachian State Mountaineers at Georgia Southern Eagles

5pm | ESPN3 | App -9.5 | O/U 45

#15 USC Trojans at UCLA Bruins

6:30pm | ABC | USC -2.5 | O/U 62

Virginia Cavaliers at Virginia Tech Hokies

7pm | ACCN | VaTech -3 | O/U 63

{NCAAH} #13 St. Cloud State at #1 North Dakota

4:05pm | NCHC.tv [Roku, FireTV]

Three rivalry games that should actually be fun and worth a damn:

  • Deeper Than Hate is 3-3 since the two teams have joined the FBS. This is a rivalry where fans tore down the goalposts, “accidentally” rammed one goalpost through the visitors’ fucking bus window, and then stomped on their pizza order.
  • USC-UCLA is always aesthetically pleasing for the Red-vs-Blue uniform matchup, but goddamn are the Trojans swaggering into this one after they dismantled Washington State on Sunday night. It’s unlikely USC cracks the Top 10 and makes a serious College Football Playoff push, but at this point I want to see them try.
  • The Commonwealth Cup resulted in UVA breaking a fifteen-game losing streak last year.

Can you imagine? Losing to a rival fifteen straight times?

ALMOST LIKE LOSING EIGHTEEN FUCKING STRAIGHT PLAYOFF GAMES AND FINDING NEW WAYS TO BLOW THEM EVEN WHEN IT’S NOT THE FUCKING NEW YORK GODDAMN YANKEES.

I hope Derek Jeter gets his ass eaten by a rabid beaver.

Poll

Rivalry night!

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Deeper Than Hate
    (11 votes)
  • 23%
    Battle for Los Angeles or whatever
    (15 votes)
  • 1%
    Commonwealth Cup
    (1 vote)
  • 7%
    Other football
    (5 votes)
  • 10%
    Hockey?
    (7 votes)
  • 9%
    Basketball?
    (6 votes)
  • 30%
    Watch the MLS Cup and hate yourself more, MNW
    (20 votes)
65 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...

Don’t Watch This

Utah State Aggies at Colorado State Rams (-13, O/U 51.5) [8:30pm, CBSSN]
San Diego State Aztecs at #18 BYU Cougars (-17.5, O/U 47) [9pm, ESPN2]
Fresno State Bulldogs (-12, O/U 60) vs.* New Mexico Lobos [9:30pm, FS2]
* at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas
UNLV Rebels at Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (-20, O/U 57) [10pm, Team1Sports (phone app)]

{CBB} Iowa State at #3 Iowa [8pm, BTN]

Watch That

Stanford Cardinal at Oregon State Beavers

9:30pm | ESPNU | Stanford -3 | O/U 52.5

California Golden Bears at Washington State Cougars

9:30pm | FS1 | Cal -2.5 | O/U 53.5

Honestly, you get past 9pm and anything’s a crapshoot. The Pac-12 is awful.

I’ve worked through it. Let’s just get drunk and act surprised when it happens all over again.

Poll

It’s late, I’m drunk, and I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Stanford-Oregon State
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    Cal-Washington State
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    Utah State-Colorado State
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    San Diego State-BYU
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Fresno-New Mexico from Vegas, apparently
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    UNLV-Hawaii
    (0 votes)
  • 22%
    Cy-Hawk
    (15 votes)
  • 14%
    Literally whatever is on the TV, I can’t be bothered to change it
    (10 votes)
  • 11%
    How about a nice game of darts?
    (8 votes)
  • 23%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (16 votes)
67 votes total Vote Now

Enjoy the games, everyone. Go ‘Cats.