clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Don’t Watch This; Watch That, Week 8: Your Guide to the College Football Schedule Has a Modest Proposal

Give us the ButterBurgers, and give us the bowl games, and give us them TOGETHER.

It’s frightening, two or six or seven years into blogging at this place, how I’ve been able to see the few interests that I’ve have converge in this stupid, bloated article that Matt Brown once told me “could probably be two or three different articles.”

One thing that hasn’t changed: no one’s reading it at any length, Matt!

But we march on.

Over the last two years alone, I have been involved in two different bits of content at Off Tackle Empire that have involved me clogging my arteries in the name of ceremony:

How I’ve not yet gotten that sweet, sweet Culver’s sponsorship money, I’ll never know.

But as I felt the last of my arteries finally close up yesterday while I hastily prepared my bowl projections for your eternal amusement, it reminded me that our friends at Culver’s are joining the lucrative respected rewarding hilarious world of bowl sponsorships! And they join a long tradition of weird and fun Division II and III bowl games!

Also, I love the honesty that comes with being a D-III bowl sponsor:

Earlier this year, we asking if the now-likely-defunct Redbox Bowl, hosted at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco Santa Clara, CA, was the worst bowl game in Big Ten history. While you all went with Garden State Bowl—and more on that here!—I am still convinced it’s Redbox.

But given that seemingly ANYONE can have a bowl game now, and that the Fenway Park Bowl—which, why?!—comes into existence this fall, I think it’s time the Midwest stepped up:

Proposing: The ButterBurger Bowl

Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee, WI (alternatively: Lambeau Field or whatever)
When: December 27 AND 28
Who: Big Ten [team #8 or so] vs. Big XII [team #6 or so]
Who, also: WIAC vs. CCIW [first team not in the D-III playoffs for both]

You have alliteration. You have some of the best tailgating lots in the country at Miller Park. You have Northwestern and Iowa State on a Tuesday afternoon. You have a troika of regional-enough airports for transit in General Mitchell, with O’Hare handling budget travelers and Dane County handling the rest.

Can Miller Park actually fit a football field? THAT’S FOR THE NERDS TO FIGURE OUT.

Start things off with the Isthmus Bowl in Madison, if you still want to hold it there—turn it into an undercard kind of deal, with the WIAC and CCIW opening up for the big boys.

Then, the next day? We party.

If this ever comes to fruition, I will wear the Scoopie mascot costume for a substantial portion of the game and dance on the field, if that’s what it takes. Make the Culver’s ButterBurger Bowl happen, Powers That Be. It’s better than a trip to Santa Clara on December 27, anyway.

PS: Good seats still available for the Isthmus Bowl! If I was in town, I’d much rather watch this than Northwestern-Purdue at Wrigley Field...

Attention Culver’s executive who is surely reading this and thinking about sponsoring OTE in the future—please do not read the rest of this article. I’m so sorry for what’s about to happen here.

Note for the rest of you: Lines were pulled on Tuesday night. They’ve probably changed since then. I do not care. You’ve already clicked, and very soon that’ll be around Five Scoopie Tickets in my pocket thanks to that sweet, sweet Culver’s endorsement.

(Yes, Culver’s exec, I will work for Scoopie Tickets. I’m saving up for the kickball.)

Thursday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Florida Atlantic Owls (-7, O/U 57) at Charlotte 49ers [6:30pm, CBSSN]
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (-18, O/U 70) at Arkansas State Red Wolves [6:30pm, ESPNU]

{WSOC} Michigan St. vs. Maryland [5pm, BTN]
{WSOC} Michigan vs. Penn St. [6pm, FS1]
{WSOC} Purdue vs. Northwestern [7pm, BTN]
{CONCACAF} Deportivo Saprissa vs. Comunicaciones [7pm, FS2]
{CPL} Cavalry vs. Pacific [8pm, Fox Soccer Plus]
{CONCACAF} Marathon vs. Motagua [9pm, FS2]

Watch That

Tulane Green Wave at #21 SMU Mustangs

6:30pm | ESPN | SMU -13.5 | O/U 70.5

San Jose State Spartans at UNLV Rebels

10pm | CBSSN | SJSU -5 | O/U 46.5

Two DWT;WT Teams of Choice™ this evening, and we’re all the better for it. (TON of Big Ten soccer on national TV, too...) I’ll get to watch SJSU-UNLV at a local bar after a couple hours of cocktailing with faculty for our year-opening Convocation. We’ll see how much I embarrass myself when I ask the president of Haagen-Daas or whoever’s speaking if she wants to go to the bar for Spartans-Rebels.

By the way, it is positively absurd that somehow FAU and Charlotte will, next year, be an AAC game:

The American will have a presence in four of the top 10, seven of the top 25 and 12 of the top 51 Nielsen media markets. The league will have four teams in the state of Texas, two each in Florida and North Carolina and one each in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma and Kansas.

I thought we were past the point of expanding for media markets, but apparently the AAC is holding out. How pissed must Wichita State basketball be? Leave the Valley—with Drake, Loyola, Valparaiso, and more!—and get shunted instead into a conference with Charlotte, FAU, and Rice. At least UTSA in the American will be fun. MEEP MEEP, BITCHES.


Thursday night! Hello! TV time!

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Tulane-SMU + SJSU-UNLV
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    SJSU-UNLV only, as I have hot, fresh, Culver’s beef with Sonny Dykes
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    FAU-Charlotte — gotta start scouting the NEWAAC
    (4 votes)
  • 11%
    There’s nothing funny about Louisiana-Arkansas State
    (8 votes)
  • 23%
    I just realized I forgot to look up whatever boring SHIELDBALL game is on tonight, but I’m sure it sucks.
    (17 votes)
  • 14%
    Big Ten soccer? Color me intrigued...
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    Random international soccer? Suuuuure...
    (2 votes)
  • 30%
    I’ll be watching pantsless MNW get thrown out of Convocation
    (22 votes)
71 votes total Vote Now

Friday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (-15.5, O/U 56) at UConn Huskies [5pm, CBSSN]
Washington Huskies (-18, O/U 45) at Arizona Wildcats [9:30pm, ESPN2]

{USL} Hartford Athletic vs. Charlotte Independence [6pm, ESPN+]
{USL} Real Monarchs vs. Colorado Springs [8pm, ESPN+]
{Liga MX} Mazatlan vs. Queretaro [9pm, TUDN]

Watch That

Columbia Lions at #21 Dartmouth Big Green

5pm | ESPNU

Memphis Tigers at UCF Citronauts

6pm | ESPN2 | UCF -1.5 | O/U 63

Colorado State Rams at Utah State Aggies

8:30pm | CBSSN | CSU -3.5 | O/U 58

Big Ten Volleyball Doubleheader

#14 Penn State at #12 Minnesota

6pm | BTN | Preview here

#6 Ohio St. at #3 Wisconsin

8pm | BTN | Preview here

The only game of these five I’m not interested in is Washington-Arizona. That includes the Big Ten volleyball doubleheader on tonight!

To those of you who wanted Arizona-Colorado last week to be the Five-Star Sickos Game of the Week—there has to be at least some hope of a competitive matchup in these beautiful footballing contests. It’s not just watching the worst team: it’s watching the worst team with purpose.

IN THAT VEIN, A RECAP OF SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE VS. SOUTHERN NAZAR—hey wait Culver’s exec where are you going, come back

Poll Friday?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    (4 votes)
  • 11%
    Memphis-UCF and the points
    (11 votes)
  • 6%
    CSU-USU and the dudes
    (6 votes)
  • 27%
    Big Ten volleyball!
    (26 votes)
  • 6%
    Other football!
    (6 votes)
  • 43%
    This clearly took MNW so long that he didn’t bother to include the NHL, NBA, or MLB, but rest assured I’m watching one of those.
    (40 votes)
93 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Northwestern Wildcats at #6 Michigan Wolverines (-23.5, O/U 51) [11am, FOX]
#2 Cincinnati Bearcats (-27.5, O/U 49) at Navy Midshipmen [11am, ESPN2]
#3 Oklahoma Sooners (-38.5, O/U 67.5) at Kansas Jayhawks [11am, ESPN]
Kansas State Wildcats at Texas Tech Red Raiders (-1, O/U 61) [11am, FS1]
Illinois Fighting Illini at #7 Penn State Nittany Lions (-23.5, O/U 46.5) [11am, ABC]
Northern Illinois Huskies at Central Michigan Chippewas (-5, O/U 58) [11am, ESPNU]
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions at Arkansas Razorbacks [11am, SECN]
UMass Minutemen at Florida State Seminoles (-35, O/U 59.5) [11am, ACCN]
Eastern Michigan Eagles (-3, O/U 49) at Bowling Green Falcons [11am, ESPN+]
Syracuse Orange at Virginia Tech Hokies (-3, O/U 45.5) [11:30am, ESPN3]

{EPL} Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City [11:30am, NBC]
{Bundesliga} Hertha Berlin vs. Borussia Monchengladbach [11:30am, ESPN+]

Watch That

#16 Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Army Black Knights

11am | CBSSN | Wake -3 | O/U 52.5

Kent State Golden Flashes at Ohio Bobcats

12pm | ESPN+ | Kent -5.5 | O/U 66

Some potential for fun in Northern Illinois-Central Michigan or Kansas State-Texas Tech, but I want you to find me one exciting Kansas State game in history. BET YOU CAN’T.

Oh, right, I almost forgot the WINLESS GAME OF THE WEEK:

Upper Iowa Peacocks at Minot State Beavers

11am | NSIC Network | both teams 0-7 (0-7 NSIC)

Let’s get weird at 11am.

The more that I think about it, Culver’s, the more I’ve decided what would be the best possible use of this sponsorship:


This is our answer to [/deep breath] ESPN College Gameday, BTN Tailgate, and, of course, B1G N00D Saturday featuring Clay Travis for some goddamn reason.

But it’s better.

Since Charlie Berens is apparently your Spokescurdsman now—a role I am offended I was not allowed to audition for—bring him along. We’ll load up the ButterBurger Wagon (and yes, it’s just an old ambulance that’s been painted Culver’s colors) and travel to towns across the MIAC, WIAC, and whatever the IIAC is now, hosting a pregame show for thousands hundreds tens of people to see! Our segments include:

  • Smooth as Butter: Culver’s Players of the Week
  • A Better Brand of Beef: All the best offensive and defensive line play from the previous week
  • The Scoop: News and Notes from around Midwestern football
  • Scoop and Score: All the defensive touchdowns from last week!
  • Into the (Concrete) Mixer: A look at WIAC Soccer (or I just wanted to use this pun—shut up)

Please return my calls.


Wife texted me today to say she’d be on a walk around Lake of the Isles with a friend at 10am on Saturday! MORNING TO MYSELF!

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Wake Forest-Army
    (13 votes)
  • 3%
    Kent State-Ohio
    (4 votes)
  • 30%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (35 votes)
  • 4%
    (5 votes)
  • 49%
    She’s having an affair, MNW. I’m sorry you had to find out through an OTE poll, but it’s true.
    (56 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

Texas State Bobcats at Georgia State Panthers (-10.5, O/U 60.5) [1pm, ESPN+]
Wisconsin Badgers (-3, O/U 40) at #25 Purdue Boilermakers [2pm, BTN]
#8 Oklahoma State Cowboys at Iowa State Cyclones (-7, O/U 47) [2:30pm, FOX]
Clemson Tigers at #23 Pittsburgh Panthers (-3, O/U 48) [2:30pm, ESPN]
Rice Owls at UAB Blazers (-23, O/U 45) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Maryland Terrapins at Minnesota Gophers (-5, O/U 54.5) [2:30pm, ESPN2]
Miami Hydroxide Redhawks at Balls Tate Cardinals (-5.5, O/U 51.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Western Michigan Broncos (-2.5, O/U 55) at Toledo Rockets [2:30pm, CBSSN]
Buffalo Bulls (-11, O/U 57) at Akron Zips [2:30pm, ESPN+]
New Mexico Lobos at Wyoming Cowboys (-20, O/U 40.5) [2:30pm, Stadium]
#17 Missouri State Bears at #3 North Dakota State Commuter College for Truck Repair and Live-Laugh-Love-Signmaking [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Mississippi State Bulldogs (-20.5, O/U 51) at Vanderbilt Commodores [3pm, SECN]
Fightin’ Falwells (-21.5, O/U 60.5) at North Texas Mean Green [3pm, ESPN+]
Boston College Eagles at Louisville Cardinals (-6, O/U 57) [3pm, ACCN]
East Carolina Pirates at Houston Cougars (-13, O/U 58) [3pm, ESPNU]

{CPL} HFX Wanderers vs. Forge [1pm, Fox Soccer Plus]
{MLS} Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City [2:30pm, TUDN]

Watch That

#20 Northern Iowa Panthers at #6 South Dakota State Jackrabbits

2pm | ESPN+ | Culver’s MVC Flavor of the Week™

#10 Oregon Ducks at UCLA Bruins

2:30pm | ABC | UCLA -2 | O/U 59

LSU Tigers at #12 Ole Miss Rebels

2:30pm | CBS | Miss -9 | O/U 76

BYU Cougars at Washington State Cougars

2:30pm | FS1 | BYU -4.5 | O/U 55.5 | Pope Francis-approved

Ooh, and that sound means it’s time for the...

Two-Check Mark Sickos Game of the Week

Colorado Buffaloes at California Golden Bears

2:30pm | Pac-12 | Cal -9 | O/U 43

Why CU: 2-4 (1-2 Pac-12, but that win was Arizona) — shut out by Minnesota
Why Cal: 1-5 (0-3 Pac-12, but hasn’t played Arizona) — lost to Nevada

Dumb channel, weird time, no crowd, bad teams—we got some Sicko Shit in the making.

Come on, Purdue. Let us believe in something. (Definitely not that I want you ranked at Wrigley Field to avenge whatever bullshit Rob Henry pulled on a 25th-ranked Northwestern in 2010, noooooo sir.)

Why UNI-South Dakota State? I’m not saying, Culver’s exec, I’m just saying:

There is a tremendous opportunity here. I’m also hearing rumors that Midco wants to sponsor this, though, so you’d better hurry...


Would you go to the Culver’s Family Fun Zone and Tailgate Show?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (89 votes)
  • 14%
    no i hate culver’s and everything fun
    (15 votes)
104 votes total Vote Now


Ohhhhh yeah. Saturday afternoon and it’s a crisp fall day, so I’ll be inside watching...

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Northern Iowa-South Dakota State, brought to you by Culver’s!
    (9 votes)
  • 7%
    (8 votes)
  • 10%
    LSU-Ole Miss for the coaches AND the points
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    BYU-Wazzu for allllll the rolovich schadenfreude
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    (8 votes)
  • 49%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time and I regret my decisions
    (51 votes)
  • 13%
    You gave up on soccer at this point too, MNW, didn’t you?
    (14 votes)
104 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Tennessee Volunteers at #4 Alabama Crimson Tide (-25.5, O/U 67) [6pm, ESPN]
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-15, O/U 76.5) at FIU Sunblazers [6pm, ESPN+]
Temple Owls at South Florida Brahman Bulls (-2.5, O/U 56.5) [6pm, ESPN+]
South Alabama Jaguars (-13.5, O/U 50.5) at Louisiana Monroe Warhawks [6pm, ESPN3]
#5 Ohio State Buckeyes (-20, O/U 60) at Indinia Hoosiers [6:30pm, ABC]
USC Trojans at #13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-6.5, O/U 57.5) [6:30pm, NBC]
South Carolina Gamecocks at Texas A&M Aggies (-21, O/U 45) [6:30pm, SECN]
#18 NC State Wolfpack (-3, O/U 51.5) at Miami Fluoride Hurricanes [6:30pm, ESPN2]
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Virginia Cavaliers (-7, O/U 62) [6:30pm, ACCN]
West Virginia Mountaineers at TCU Horned Frogs (-4.5, O/U 57.5) [6:30pm, ESPNU]
Utah Utes (-3, O/U 56.5) at Oregon State Beavers [6:30pm, Pac-12]

{MLS} Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls [5pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} New York City FC vs. DC United [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Toronto FC vs. Montreal Foot Club [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Philadelphia Union vs. Nashville SC [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Inter Miami vs. Cincinnati [7pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake [7pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Minnesota United vs. Los Angeles FC [7pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

#22 San Diego State Aztecs at Air Force Falcons

6pm | CBSSN | AFA -3.5 | O/U 40

Nevada Wolf Pack at Fresno State Bulldogs

6pm | FS2 | Fresno -3 | O/U 65

#11 Montana Grizzlies at Idaho Vandals

6:30pm | ESPN+ | RIP PlutoTV

Big Ten Volleyball

#14 Penn St. at #3 Wisconsin

6pm | BTN | Preview here

I’m one Oregon State win away from believing in the Beavs and elevating them to must-watch territory. One more, Beavs. You can do it.

Remember when The American declared that they were the new P6 conference and went all in on that branding? Now they’re adding Rice and Charlotte.

The real P6 conference is, was, and ever shall be the Mountain West. God love those weirdos on their strangely-colored fields and spillover Fox Sports channels, but there’s some honestly-decent football being played out that way. Kalen DeBoer has made Fresno State into a respectable MWC club after Jeff Tedford stepped down, San Jose State has been a feel-good story under Brent Brennan, Hawai’i is always a fun “why am I watching this?” proposition while Boise’s a national brand, and...dear God, it’s ranked San Diego State and HC Brady Hoke.

NCAA Football: San Diego State at San Jose State Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Aztecs, now on their second iteration of Hoke since Rocky Long pseudo-retired (and went back to New Mexico), have that swagger again—they play ugly, in-the-mud football (see their 19-13 2OT thriller with San Jose State last week), lean on bellcow Greg Bell, and lead the Pac-12 with a 2-0 record.

Montana and Idaho play for the Little Brown Stein, and at this blog we RESPECT rivalry trophies and tradition:

How is Paul Petrino still the Idaho coach?

Now imagine the Little Brown Stein, but full of nice, frosty Culver’s root beer...




It’s why we’re excited to announce the War on I-94 Rivalry, Sponsored by Culver’s!

OK, fine, we don’t want to shoehorn branding into what is already a perfect trophy (go Eau Claire—Stout sucks), and the Battle for the Miner’s Axe (Whitewater-Platteville) is already excellent, too. So let’s take our pick from the other WIAC rivalries, shall we?

  • Stevens Point-Oshkosh: Imagine it—a bronzed Culver’s concrete mixer.
  • River Falls-La Crosse: The Battle for the Burger—let’s immortalize the story of how, when River Falls visited La Crosse in 1986, a brawl broke out when the UWRF staff caught UWL students trying to steal the Culver’s they’d ordered for the team as a postgame treat. “You’ll have to play us for it!” said the UWL students, as in every rivalry story ever—and a trophy was born.


What would you rather play for?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    The War on I-94 Trophy
    (20 votes)
  • 15%
    The Miner’s Axe
    (14 votes)
  • 7%
    The Bronze Mixer
    (7 votes)
  • 53%
    The Battle for the Burger
    (47 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now


By now my wife has left me over my Culver’s obsession, so I get a double ButterBurger deluxe and watch...

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    San Diego State-Air Force
    (18 votes)
  • 7%
    (7 votes)
  • 8%
    (8 votes)
  • 44%
    Ohio State-Indiana
    (44 votes)
  • 17%
    Big Ten volleyball
    (17 votes)
  • 6%
    Some soccer?
    (6 votes)
100 votes total Vote Now

It’s Late and I’m Drunk

Don’t Watch This

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Dixie State Trailblazers [8pm, ESPN+]
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sacramento State Hornets [8pm, ESPN+]

{MLS} Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers [8pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas [9pm, TUDN]
{MLS} San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps [9pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

New Mexico State Aggies at Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors

10:59pm | Team1Sports [mobile/computer only] | UH -17.5 | O/U 62

Big Ten Volleyball

#7 Purdue at #9 Nebraska

8pm | BTN | Preview here

Excellent Lumberjack synergy on the Don’t Watch games, at least.

Anywho, Culver’s closes at 10pm, and so does this blog. GOOD NIGHT.


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

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    New Mexico State-Hawaii on a random app at, like, 12:30 in the morning
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    I don’t know, some Lumberjack
    (4 votes)
  • 25%
    Big Ten volleyball
    (24 votes)
  • 1%
    MLS After Dark
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Whatever the bar has on
    (4 votes)
  • 18%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (17 votes)
  • 35%
    i’m now in police custody for trying to walk through the culver’s drive-thru, pantsless, at 11:30pm
    (33 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now

Enjoy the games, everybody.