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Don’t Watch This; Watch That: Week 6 College Football Schedule Guide

When the NATIONAL THUNDER meet the COPPER BULLETS, you throw out the record books.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Oklahoma State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

For breakfast I had raw broccoli and a couple pieces of white cheddar cheese. Not together or anything, I just ate them out of the Ziploc bag.

I don’t really have a ton for you today—I have a full packet of midterms to grade, I need to write some sort of explainer/history/op-ed piece on the Pandora Papers explaining how South Dakota’s been pushing its tax haven status since the 1980s, and a nun mailed me a packet of founding documents from a nuclear advocacy organization she founded. So...yeah. All I’m missing is a rabbi and a duck and I’ve got a joke cooking here.

As I write this, Equatorial Guinea is holding off 10-man Zambia in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) World Cup qualifiers. That, in and of itself, is not noteworthy—most of you don’t care about soccer, and even fewer of you are going to watch it over a college football game even if I, a reputable expert of things to watch, tell you to do so.

What is noteworthy are the nicknames of those teams.

You might know France, if you follow international soccer, as Les Bleus, the Italians as Gli Azzurri (also just “the Blues”), England as “The Three Lions”. There’s not a whole lot of creativity on the European continent—think of it as the SEC, but with “the Blue Team” replacing “Tigers” or “Rebels” or whatever their Confederate regiment was called.

All that changes in the CAF.

Equatorial Guinea versus Zambia is no longer just two nations you don’t care about—and it’s certainly not Les Bleus versus Gli Azzurri.

It’s the National Thunder versus the Copper Bullets.

You’re damn right, those should be spelled in all-caps and put in our largest font:


Taking this list of National Team Nicknames of Africa, we’ll give you a guide from worst to best and let you know who to look for this week in World Cup qualifying:

Local Animals

Angola (Palancas Negras)

The giant sable antelope—cool, but hardly intimidating.

Algeria (Les Fennecs)

A desert fox and the national animal. Again, neat, but...whatever.

Benin (The Squirrels)


I’m going to call my U8 soccer coach and tell him “The Mighty Squirrels” wasn’t a stupid name at all. VINDICATION.

Burkina Faso (The Stallions)

OK, so my U10 coach was right. That was a dumb name.

Burundi (Burundi Swallows)

A withering takedown when paired with their Rift Valley neighbors, the Rwanda Sucks.

Central African Republic (The Big Cats)

Sounds better when you call them Les Fauves, I guess.

Niger (Le Mena)

An antelope. Moving on.

Togo (The Sparrow Hawks)

As long as it doesn’t have teeth, it beats Iowa’s dumb hawk.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (The Leopards)

See above. It looks dumb on Lafayette University, it looks bad on you.

Eritrea (Red Sea Camels)

Doesn’t appear to be a special kind of camel—they’re just the camels, and they’re by the Red Sea. Like the River Gophers or Lake Badgers or Fetid Creek Huskers.

Ethiopia (Walyas)

A kind of native ibex. Cool. Moving on.

Gabon (The Panthers)

Was bored until I learned the black panther is Gabon’s national animal. This is why the internet is important, folks.

Gambia (Scorpions)

Not as cool until you learn they walk onto the field to “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, a fact I totally made up just now.

Cote d’Ivoire (Les Elephants)

Bet you can’t puzzle this one out.

Guinea (National Elephants)

Also known as the Adams-Clay Elephants after their split with the Jacksonian Elephants in 1824, the National Elephants struck a deal to deny Ivory Coast the presidency.

Lesotho (Crocodiles)

Madagascar (The Barea)

A species of humped cattle found in Madagascar. LEMURS WERE RIGHT THERE, GUYS.

Mali (The Eagles)

Who can forget some of this team’s greatest hits?

  • Hotel Kalabancoro
  • Already Gao
  • Life in the Sahel

Mauritius (The Dodos)


Mozambique (The Mambas)

Making a diamonds joke feels really gross here.

Rwanda (The Wasps)

Uganda (The Cranes)

Comoros (The Coelacanths)

Finally, something even more badass than this:

Botswana (Dipitse)

From the Setswana for “zebra”, nothing amaz—

[/face-melting guitar riff]


Not Just Any Animals

Cameroon (Indomitable Lions)

Yeah, sure, your lions are great. Whatever. But THESE lions...

Nigeria (Super Eagles)

What happened when Mali digi-volved.

Morocco (The Atlas Lions)

This is really just another name for the Barbary lion, which is a real lion population in Africa and not just some random add-on, but it’s badass enough that I’ll put it here.

Tunisia (The Eagles of Carthage)

You can just hear the /eagle.wav screech here, right?

Senegal (The Lions of Teranga)

Teranga is a word that you hear a lot in Senegal. It’s a Wolof word, meaning hospitality or welcoming generosity.

Not what I’m looking for in my soccer team, but go off, Senegal.

Cape Verde Islands (Blue Sharks)


Sudan (The Falcons of Jediane, The Nile Crocodiles)

Apparently the English name for the Falcon of Jediane is the “Secretarybird”.

Inanimate Objects and National Symbols

Eswatini (King’s Shield)

Time to learn that Swaziland hasn’t been called Swaziland for three years, people. (This is named for the shield on their flag.

Sierra Leone (The Leones Stars)


Ghana (Black Stars)
Somalia (Ocean Stars)
South Sudan (The Bright Stars)
Tanzania (Kilimanjaro Stars)


Kenya (Harambee Stars)

“Harambee” is Kenya’s official motto and is present in its coat of arms. It means “Let’s all pull together” in Swahili.

Sao Tome and Principe (The Green-Yellows)

This team is effectively the Green Bay Packers, meaning I hate them and hope they lose every game they’ve ever played.

FIFA ranking
Current191 (16 September 2021)[1]
Highest115 (March 2012)
Lowest200 (September – October 2007)


Reunion (Club R)

Malawi (The Flames)

Graphic design is, indeed, someone’s passion:

Liberia (Lone Stars)

...I’m getting word that Texas has announced its plans to sue Liberia.

People and Occupations

Chad (The Sao)

“The Sao Civilization is the ancestorial people of the current day Chad population.”

South Africa (Bafana Bafana)

“The Boys, The Boys” is...well, a name. But it means “Go boys” in Zulu? So, uh.

Congo (Diables Rouges)

Wikipedia says it’s “from their all red uniform kits,” but in honesty in just makes me think of Belgium and reminds me of my undergrad comparative government professor who went on a 5-minute rant about how Belgium is the worst country in the world.

This Congo (comma Republic of) was never actually a Belgian territory—the neighboring nation of Congo (comma Democratic Republic of) was—but the story felt relevant.

Djibouti (Riverains de la Mer Rouge—Shoremen of the Red Sea)

Accurate, but not what any school child will ever know Djibouti for.

Egypt (The Pharaohs)

Self-explanatory, appropriate.

Mauritania (The Almoravids)

Bet “the Sooners” is feeling really stupid right about now, Oklahoma.

Zimbabwe (The Warriors)

Namibia (Brave Warriors)

Good, because I don’t want any old warriors here. YOU SETTLED, ZIMBABWE.

Seychelles (The Pirates)

A flag that lends itself well to some awesome jerseys, if they want:

Libya (The Mediterranean Knights)

Libya called itself the Figtronauts until declaring its international soccer ambitions in the 1970s and wanting to leave its quirkier past behind. The mascot of Gaddafi Duck was left behind at this time, too.

Yes, that was an extended Libya-as-UCF joke. If you don’t like it, leave.


Equatorial Guinea (The National Thunder)

Zambia (The Copper Bullets)

They mine copper in Zambia. But they didn’t just settle for “Copper Stars”—no no no. They picked something metal.

The National Thunder beat the Copper Bullets, 2-0. The game was fine. This research was a lot more fun.

Thursday Evening

Don’t Watch This

#15 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (-19.5, O/U 73) at Arkansas State Red Wolves [6:30pm, ESPNU]

{NFL} Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks [7:20pm, FOX]
{MLB} Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays [7:07pm, FS1]
{CONMEBOL} Paraguay vs. Argentina [6pm, Fubo]
{CONMEBOL} Uruguay vs. Colombia [6pm, Fubo]
{CONMEBOL} Venezuela vs. Brazil [6pm, Fubo]
{NISA} Chattanooga vs. California United Strikers [6pm, Eleven]
{USL} Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Charleston Battery [7pm, ESPN+]
{CONCACAF} Honduras vs. Costa Rica [7:05pm, Paramount+]
{CONMEBOL} Ecuador vs. Bolivia [7:30pm, Fubo]
{CONMEBOL} Peru vs. Chile [8pm, Fubo]
{CONCACAF} Mexico vs. Canada [8:40pm, TUDN/Paramount+]
{CONCACAF} El Salvador vs. Panama [9:05pm, Paramount+]

Watch That

Houston Cougars at Tulane Green Wave

6:30pm | ESPN | UH -6.5 | O/U 59.5

{CONCACAF} USMNT vs. Jamaica

6:30pm | ESPN2

DWT;WT Team of Choice Tulane has had a...rough year. Remember when I wanted Illinois to hire Willie Fritz?


Thursday night! Hello!

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    (9 votes)
  • 28%
    (32 votes)
  • 33%
    ...what did I just read
    (38 votes)
  • 14%
    (17 votes)
  • 7%
    I would like to be up until 1am, so playoff baseball it is!
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    ...other soccer?
    (2 votes)
114 votes total Vote Now

Friday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Temple Owls at #5 Cincinnati Bearcats (-29, O/U 54) [6pm, ESPN]

{CFL} Edmonton Elks at Winnipeg Blue Bombers (-12.5, O/U 43.5) [7:30pm, ESPN+]

{B1GVB} #8 Minnesota at Michigan [8pm, BTN]
{WNBA} Phoenix Mercury at Las Vegas Aces [TBD, ESPN2]
{WNBA} Chicago Sky at Connecticut Mystics [TBD, ESPN2]
{MLB} Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays [6:02, FS1]
{MLB} Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants [8:37pm, TBS]
{WSOC} Penn State vs. Maryland [5pm, BTN+]
{WSOC} Illinois vs. wisconsin [6pm, BTN+]
{MSOC} Ohio State vs. wisconsin [6pm, BTN+]
{MSOC} Maryland vs. Northwestern [6pm, BTN+]
{CPL} York United vs. Atletico Ottawa [6:30pm, FOX Soccer Plus]
{Liga MX} Juarez vs. Queretaro [7pm, TUDN]
{USL} Real Monarchs vs. Colorado Springs [8pm, ESPN+]
{USL} Las Vegas Lights vs. LA Galaxy II [9pm, ESPN+]
{Friendly} Club America vs. Pumas UNAM [9pm, TUDN]

Watch That

Charlotte 49ers at FIU Golden Panthers Sunblazers

6pm | CBSSN | Charlotte -3.5 | O/U 59.5

{B1GVB} #10 Nebraska at #13 Penn State

6pm | BTN

Morgan State Bears at Howard Bison

7pm | ESPNU

Stanford Cardinal at #22 Arizona State Sun Devils

9:30pm | ESPN | ASU -13 | O/U 51.5

Ho hum, another ranked Big Ten volleyball matchup—but between two teams who have a creditable claim on the Big Ten title if they can kick it into gear:

I’m very surprised to see Arizona State a 13-point favorite over Stanford. Doesn’t feel like Sparky is that good this year, but those are the Pac-12 runners-up Sun Devils I’m talking about here, so, uh...


Friday evening! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 9%
    (10 votes)
  • 15%
    (16 votes)
  • 21%
    what is happening
    (22 votes)
  • 30%
    (32 votes)
  • 4%
    (5 votes)
  • 15%
    Something else
    (16 votes)
104 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Maryland Terrapins at #7 Ohio State Buckeyes (-21, O/U 71) [11am, FOX]
#11 Michigan State Spartans (-5.5, O/U 50) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights [11am, BTN]
Vanderbilt Commodores at #20 Florida Gators (-38.5, O/U 59.5) [11am, SECN]
South Carolina Gamecocks at Tennessee Volunteers (-10.5, O/U 57) [11am, ESPN2]
West Virginia Mountaineers at Baylor Bears (-3, O/U 44.5) [11am, FS1]
Northern Illinois Huskies at Toledo Rockets (-12.5, O/U 52) [11am, CBSSN]
Akron Zips at Bowling Green Falcons (-14.5, O/U 46) [11am, ESPN+]
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-3.5, O/U 60.5) at Duke Blue Devils [11:30am, ESPN3]

{AFCON} Togo vs. Congo [11am, ESPN+]
{AFCON} Ghana vs. Zimbabwe [11am, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Sweden vs. Kosovo [11am, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Georgia vs. Greece [11am, ESPN3]
{UEFA} Finland vs. Ukraine [11am, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Azerbaijan vs. Ireland Republic [11am, ESPN+]

Watch That

#6 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #21 Texas Longhorns

11am | ABC | OU -3.5 | O/U 63.5

#13 Arkansas Razorbacks at #17 Ole Miss Rebels

11am | ESPN | Miss -6 | O/U 66.5

{UEFA} Scotland vs. Israel

11am | ESPN+

I looked at this schedule about 15 times, desperately praying for something else to be there that I was missing. But there is not. Instead, you can choose from between these two matchups of SEC also-rans.


Uh, games:

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Some SEC bullshit
    (34 votes)
  • 41%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (47 votes)
  • 9%
    Some soccer, methinks
    (11 votes)
  • 17%
    I’ll watch MACtion and WILL it into being good
    (20 votes)
112 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

Old Dominion Monarchs at Marshall Thundering Herd (-21, O/U 66) [1pm, CBSSN]
Virginia Cavaliers at Louisville Cardinals (-2.5, O/U 69.5) [2pm, ACCN]
#2 Georgia Bulldogs (-15.5, O/U 47) at #18 Auburn Tigers [2:30pm, CBS]
#19 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-6, O/U 57) at Syracuse Orange [2:30pm, ESPN2]
#24 SMU Mustangs (-13.5, O/U 55.5) at Navy Midshipmen [2:30pm, CBSSN]
Florida Atlantic Owls at UAB Blazers (-4.5, O/U 49) [2:30pm, Stadium]
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Fightin’ Falwells (-19.5, O/U 58) [2:30pm, ESPN3]
wisconsin badgers (-10, O/U 42) at Illinois Fighting Illini [2:30pm, BTN]
Balls Tate Robotbirds at Western Michigan Broncos (-11, O/U 57.5) [2:30pm, ESPNU]
Central Michigan Chippewas (-5, O/U 57) at Ohio Bobcats [2:30pm, ESPN+]
North Texas Mean Green at Missouri Tigers (-19, O/U 69) [3pm, SECN]
Oregon State Beavers (-3.5, O/U 59) at Washington State Cougars [3pm, Pac-12]

{MLB} Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers [4:07pm, TBS]
{UEFA} Andorra vs. England [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Hungary vs. Albania [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Moldova vs. Denmark [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Luxembourg vs. Serbia [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Poland vs. San Marino [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Faroe Islands vs. Austria [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{UEFA} Switzerland vs. Northern Ireland [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{AFCON} Senegal vs. Namibia [2pm, ESPN+]
{AFCON} Guinea-Bissau vs. Morocco [2pm, ESPN+]
{USL} North Carolina vs. Chattanooga Red Wolves [2pm, ESPN+]
{Friendly} Portugal vs. Qatar [2:15pm, ESPN+]
{CPL} Cavalry vs. Edmonton [3pm, FOX Soccer Plus]

Watch That

#8 Southern Illinois Salukis at #2 South Dakota State Jackrabbits

2pm | ESPN+

Boise State Broncos at #10 BYU Cougars

2:30pm | ABC | BYU -6 | O/U 57

Miami Hydroxide Redhawks at Eastern Michigan Eagles

2:30pm | ESPN+ | M(OH) -1.5 | O/U 59

San Jose State Spartans at Colorado State Rams

2:30pm | FS1 | CSU -2.5 | O/U 45

#4 Penn State Nittany Lions at #3 Iowa Hawkeyes

3pm | FOX | Iowa -1.5 | O/U 41

All these games are fine. Whatever.



Ladies and gentlemen, your Five-Check-Mark Sickos GAME OF THE WEEK:

UConn Huskies at UMass Minutemen

2:30pm | FloSports ($) | UConn -3.5 | O/U 57

I would be hammering the UConn line on this game if I had any money to bet—UMass is a special kind of terrible, having just lost 45-7 to Toledo and 53-3 to Coastal Carolina, while UConn took both Wyoming and Vanderbilt to the wire in consecutive weeks. Unless the Huskies lost someone I haven’t heard about—

UConn freshman QB Tyler Phommachanh out ‘indefinitely’

Well, shit.

In his place the Huskies start Steve Krajewski, who I’m fairly sure had a brief stint throwing the ball for the 1970s Green Bay Packers.

It feels criminal that these two teams don’t play for some kind of colonial musket or powdered wig or jar of artisanal jam or something. SPICE UP THE RIVALRY, YOU TWO.



This poll is closed

  • 25%
    (33 votes)
  • 1%
    Southern Illinois-South Dakota State
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Preppers vs. Mormons
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Hydroxide at the Factory
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    DWT;WT Darling San Jose State
    (1 vote)
  • 62%
    Or that other Big Ten game
    (83 votes)
  • 7%
    also wisconsin-Illinois
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    More soccer!
    (1 vote)
132 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

East Carolina Pirates at UCF Citronauts (-10, O/U 67) [5pm, ESPN+]
UTEP Miners (-2, O/U 44.5) at Southern Miss Golden Eagles [6pm, ESPN3]
TCU Horned Frogs (-1.5, O/U 60.5) at Texas Tech Red Raiders [6pm, ESPN]
Georgia Southern Eagles at Troy Trojans (-5.5, O/U 50) [6pm, ESPN+]
South Alabama Jaguars (-3.5, O/U 52.5) at Troy Trojans [6pm, ESPN+]
#9 Michigan Wolverines (-3.5, O/U 50.5) at Nebraska Cornhuskers [6:30pm, ABC]
#14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-1, O/U 47) at Virginia Tech Hokies [6:30pm, ACCN]
LSU Tigers at #16 Kentucky Wildcats (-3.5, O/U 50.5) [6:30pm, SECN]
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-17.5, O/U 51) at Texas A&M Aggies [7pm, CBS]
Georgia State Panthers (-16, O/U 51) at UL Monroe Warhawks [7pm, ESPN3]
Utah Utes at USC Trojans (-3, O/U 52.5) [7pm, FOX]

{B1GVB} Illinois at #4 wisconsin [7pm, BTN]
{MLS} New York Red Bulls vs. Inter Miami [5pm, TUDN]
{USL} New Mexico United vs. Rio Grande Valley [6pm, ESPN+]
{USL} Charlotte Independence vs. New York Red Bulls II [6pm, ESPN+]
{USL} Union Omaha vs. Greenville Triumph [6pm, ESPN+]
{USL} Louisville City vs. Sporting Kansas City II [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{USL} FC Tulsa vs. Lokomotiv El Paso [7pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Cincinnati FC vs. Philadelphia Union [7pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

UTSA Roadrunners at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

6pm | Stadium | WKU -3.5 | O/U 70

Buffalo Bulls at Kent State Golden Flashes

6pm | ESPNU | Kent -5.5 | O/U 65

Wyoming Cowboys at Air Force Falcons

6pm | CBSSN | AFA -6 | O/U 46.5

I learned from the radio this morning that Jim Harbaugh is in his seventh season coaching Michigan, a stat that feels almost impossible and yet here we are.

He has not yet given me a reason to watch Michigan, so let us all please enjoy the points and shenanigans of CUSAction, MACtion, and MWCtion.


LOT of good games this evening:

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Buffalo-Kent State
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Wyoming-Air Force
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    UTEP-Southern Miss
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 79%
    (94 votes)
  • 2%
    Notre Dame-VaTech
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    (4 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now

It’s Late and I’m Drunk...

Don’t Watch This

New Mexico Lobos at #25 San Diego State Aztecs (-19.5, O/U 42.5) [8pm, FS1]
UCLA Bruins (-16, O/U 61) at Arizona Wildcats [9:30pm, ESPN]
New Mexico State Aggies at Nevada Wolf Pack (-30.5, O/U 63.5) [9:30pm, CBSSN]

{MLB} Shitheads at San Francisco Giants [8:07pm, TBS]
{MLS} Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps [8pm, ESPN+]
{Liga MX} Guadalajara vs. Leon [9pm, TUDN]
{USL} Tacoma Defiance vs. Orange County SC [9pm, ESPN+]
{USL} Phoenix Rising vs. Oakland Roots [9:30pm, ESPN+]
{USL} San Diego Loyal vs. Sacramento Republic [9:30pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

Memphis Tigers at Tulsa Golden Hurricane

8pm | ESPN2 | Tulsa -3 | O/U 61

One of the best things about being at the cabin is that the wife inevitably goes to bed at about 9pm, meaning I get to just stay up and watch some of the worst sports imaginable. This weekend that’ll likely be San Diego State, UCLA, and Nevada blowouts of hapless southwestern teams, so watching Memphis likely handle an overrated Tulsa squad will have to do.

Where have you gone, Aussie Rules Football?


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

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    (14 votes)
  • 6% of the other blowouts
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    (4 votes)
  • 11% playoffs?
    (11 votes)
  • 5%
    ...whatever the bar has on
    (5 votes)
  • 12%
    ...actually, I’m one of the five people still watching Saturday Night Live LIVE.
    (12 votes)
  • 45%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (43 votes)
95 votes total Vote Now

Hope you learned something today. Here’s your thread. Enjoy the games.