clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

College Football on Tonight: Don’t Watch This; Watch That, Week 10

Watching out for those ghost armadillos as we roll down I-94.

Now that I publish this, I realize that a ranking of my favorite Friends episodes featuring Chandler would’ve been a much better intro than this. My favorite character on what was, growing up, my favorite show. Rest in peace, Matthew Perry.

Apologies to the 10 of you that read this for the delayed drop. Midterm grading whipped my ass, then the kid decided not to sleep last night, meaning I got about 2.5 hours. Oh, and each day I commute one-way (out one day, back the next), over three hours, to get to my job.

That’s right—all congratulations to AssProf BRT, an infinitely better and more worthy tenure candidate than I—some of us don’t live in or even remotely near the cities where we teach.

So it happened that Wednesday/Thursday were the perfect storm of out-and-backs. I had to be there early for a department meeting on Wednesday, meaning I got just a few hours of sleep before waking at 5 that morning, held my (sparsely-attended) office hours, taught class, and retreated into my grading of 80 midterms.

Not only did it take a little longer than I thought, but as I was finishing up around 12:30am, Mrs. MNW—a saint in her own right for taking the kiddo solo 2 nights a week while I chase this stupid-ass dream—called me. MNWildkit had awoken at 11:30pm and was going on an hour and a half of not sleeping and, to the contrary, screaming bloody murder. No temp, no nothing, no idea why. So I talked with them on the phone and soothed the kid for almost an hour. We all got to bed at 1:30am or so.

To finish my work and prep for teaching, I woke up at 4:30 this morning—usually it’d be 5:45—to get to the office (still locked before 6am!) and finish all my stuff up. Teach 8:00-9:15 and 9:30-10:45, a little break in which I honestly don’t remember what I did, and then my upper-division course from 12:30-1:45.

Then it’s time to drive the 3:30 home. More because I’m guaranteed to hit rush hour somewhere.

Usually I have enough of DWT;WT filled out that it’s set to drop, but today that just wasn’t the case.

Most harrowing was the drive home. I’m usually pretty good about a drive on little sleep—see my drive overnight to watch Northwestern at Duke in 2018—but the events of the last two days caught up to me.

It was time for ghost armadillos.

You see, at the height of COVID in fall 2020 I, a newly-minted PhD adjuncting two classes in the Twin Cities and needing resume-builders, naively took a job that was notably not in Minnesota.

In fact, it was just outside the Dallas Metroplex.

And I did not give up the other job.

How that worked? On Sunday I would fly to DFW, rent a car, drive it toward campus, and then stop at a well-lit rest stop or gas station and sleep in my car for 5-6 hours. I’d wake, drive to campus, slip in the building, give myself a little birdbath spritz, and teach three classes behind protective shielding before driving right back to the airport and flying home. After all, I had to teach in MSP the next day.

This was dumb, but I did not only break even but sock a little money away.

As the semester wore on, though, and I similarly had lots of things to grade—this was a 5-class load in Texas, 60 per class (fuck that school)—I also got tired. Occasionally I’d stop at a chain hotel that was selling rooms for $29 a night, but that wasn’t in the budget. So I’d drive as far as my body allowed me, tip the seat back, and repeat the above process.

But some nights, when things started to get loopy, I’d be on the phone with my wife to help keep me awake, and I would start seeing things. The sight of “ghost armadillos” on the side of the road were the sign that it was time to pull off and take a nap.

Reader, I have no clue how the fuck those ghost armadillos got on I-94 today, but there they were.

All this did have me reflecting, though, on the various times I’ve internationally slept in my car as a means of saving money while on the road. I’ve campus on the banks of the Missouri River, booked red-eye flights for job interviews, and, yes, tipped back the seat of my car and fired up Netflix on my phone to get through the nights.

A few of my favorites:

Chesapeake Travel Plaza, I-95 Southbound, North East, MD

April 2021

  • Departure: Connecticut
  • Arrival: Thurgood Marshall International
  • Car: I dunno, a rental compact
  • Method: Tip that seat back, baby

Did I mention I ran back the whole “I’d love to fly to some far-off place and teach once a week” thing again?

This was a dual research-and-teaching trip I’d take most weeks, flying into and out of Boston or Hartford, whatever was cheaper, getting a rental car, and getting to my campus. (I promise, again, I broke even.) But apparently in the middle of April, just for shits and giggles, there’s one week where flights are impossible to get. THAT was super cool to realize!

The day prior, I’d flown MSP-ATL-BOS, for some reason, grading midterms along the way. But the way back wasn’t yet decided. (My wife did not know this.)

I was not going to pay $700 one-way to fly BOS-MSP, so I had to get creative.

The option that sounded good—at the time—was to rent a car and drive to Newark, where I could catch a Spirit flight home at 5:15am or something.

Then I realized I’d rather get a lobotomy or sleep in the front seat of a Chevy Spark than fly Spirit for over an hour.

So, with my then-ample Delta SkyMiles Rewards, I drove to BWI for a direct 7am flight back to MSP. But I got a little sleepy, so I carved out some time for a snooze and a very lovely rest stop on I-95. It was a great idea until I overslept my alarm and had to do 95 on 95 just to get to BWI. Made my flight, though, and took a great nap when I got home.

Somewhere southbound between Okawville and Carbondale, IL

September 2018

  • Departure: south suburban Twin Cities
  • Arrival: Morris Library, Carbondale, IL
  • Car: 2008 Ford Focus
  • Method: Tip chair back, pass out.

Similarly, to get to a grant-funded research trip to Carbondale, IL, I drove through the night from the Twin Cities Metro. I knew I’d have a little time to sleep, but rather than map something out, I just stopped...somewhere.

I swear it was a Wal-Mart, but there’s no Wal-Mart on this route. And, somehow, I deleted my Google Maps timeline not for the day prior, but for the actual day of my journey into Carbondale.

This was a classic 2-hour pass-out, back on the road. Damn near burned through my tongue with all the sunflower seeds.

I-90 Westbound, Blue Earth, MN

March 2018

  • Departure: Milwaukee
  • Arrival: Vermillion, SD
  • Car: 2008 Ford Focus
  • Method: Opened trunk, laid backseat flat, curled up

A really peaceful evening in Minnesota farm country. I think I was up against a deadline and needed to get to Vermillion for something, meaning I left after classes, drove as far as I could, and got up the next morning to get to South Dakota in time for some research. Then, after the day was done, I took the highlighted lower route all the way back to Milwaukee. I had to lead a discussion on Randy Sparks’s Where the Negroes are Masters the next day.

Don’t ask me where I read the book, but my GOD is US-20 boring as sin.

Thursday Evening
Don’t Watch This

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Duke Blue Devils (-12.5, O/U 44) [6:30pm, ESPN]
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils at Bethune-Cookman Wildcats [6:30pm, ESPNU]

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5, O/U 36.5) [7:15pm, Prime]

{WSOC} Nebraska vs. wisconsin [4pm, BTN — BTT]
{WSOC} Penn State vs. Iowa [6:30pm, BTN — BTT]

Watch That

TCU Horned Frogs at Texas Tech Red Raiders

6pm | FS1 | TTU -3 | O/U 59.5 | BATTLE FOR THE SADDLE

South Alabama Jaguars at Troy Trojans

6:30pm | ESPN2 | Troy -5 | O/U 45.5 | BATTLE FOR THE BELT


I genuinely never remember that TCU and Tech play for a saddle, and that’s too bad, because it’s awesome.

Doesn’t hold a candle to the WWE-style Belt on the line in Troy tonight, but them’s the breaks.


Good evening! Sorry I’m late. What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    (15 votes)
  • 3%
    (2 votes)
  • 20%
    (12 votes)
  • 21%
    something else
    (13 votes)
  • 30%
    late work is 10% off per class day, mnw
    (18 votes)
60 votes total Vote Now

Friday Evening
Don’t Watch This

Princeton Tigers at Dartmouth Big Green [6pm, ESPNU]
Boston College Eagles at Syracuse Orange (-2.5, O/U 51) [6:30pm, ESPN2]

{VB} Minnesota at Ohio State [5:30pm, BTN]

{Liga MX} Puebla vs. Leon [10pm, TUDN]

Watch That

Colorado State Rams at Wyoming Cowboys

7pm | CBSSN | Wyoming -7 | O/U 42 | BORDER WAR

#1 Nebraska Cornhuskers at #16 Penn State Nittany Lions

{VB} | 7:30pm | BTN

I’m glad the Nebraska-Penn State volleyball match is on. It should be an absolute banger.

But it’s a little annoying that, with all the good men’s hockey on tonight, BTN can’t find a second home for those games. To wit:

  • #12 Michigan State at #13 Ohio State [6pm, B1G+]
  • #14 Minnesota-Duluth at #6 Minnesota [7pm, B1G+/FOX9]
  • #3 Michigan at #5 wisconsin [7pm, B1G+]

That’s dumb.

I’ve said this before, but one of my great regrets was not renting a car and driving from Boulder to Laramie in November 2017 for the Border War. Instead of taking an Amtrak to Lincoln for Northwestern-Nebraska OR driving up for what was an amazing and snowy rivalry game, I took a commuter bus over to FOTP MountainTiger’s place and watched it with him and his lovely wife.

This is how the Border War looked in the first quarter:

This how it looked by the end of the game:

The MountainTiger family is great, but I have regrets. At least Northwestern won in overtime.


Happy Friday, what’s on the tube?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    (25 votes)
  • 4%
    Daddy’s Money Bowl
    (3 votes)
  • 14%
    big east slapfighting
    (10 votes)
  • 30%
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    mexican soccer
    (0 votes)
  • 13%
    swedish sombreros
    (9 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning
Don’t Watch This

#1 Ohio State Buckeyes (-18.5, O/U 42.5) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights [11am, CBS]
Texas A&M Aggies at #10 Ole Miss Rebels (-3, O/U 54.5) [11am, ESPN]
#15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-3, O/U 45) at Clemson Tigers [11am, ABC]
UConn Huskies at #17 Tennessee Volunteers (-36, O/U 54) [11am, SECN]
Arkansas Razorbacks at Florida Gators (-6, O/U 50) [11am, ESPN2]
Wisconsin Badgers (-9.5, O/U 45) at Indiana Hoosiers [11am, BTN]
Nebraska Cornhuskers (3, O/U 34.5) at Michigan State Spartans [11am, FS1]
Jacksonville State Gamecocks at South Carolina Gamecocks (-15.5, O/U 55) [11am, ESPNU]
Campbell Fightin’ Camels at North Carolina Tar Heels [11am, ACCN]
Kennesaw State Fightin’ Owls at Sam Houston Bearkats [12pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

#23 Kansas State Wildcats at #7 Texas Longhorns

11am | FOX | Texas -4 | O/U 50.5

#2 Furman Paladins at #13 Chattanooga Mocs

12:30pm | ESPN+

I almost told you to watch nothing. What a fart noise of a morning.

It is at least worth enjoying, though, the best shot that Texas will get from everyone in the Big XII—and Kansas State, a team that enjoys pulling out a SURPRISE FRYING PAN and beating the biggest and baddest of the Big XII with it, will give them that.

Speaking of frying pans, the mice are back under the sink. I’ve already had to dispose of one caught on a sticky trap, but I’m waiting and ready to FRYING PAN another.


Goooooood morning?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    (19 votes)
  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 59%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (53 votes)
  • 7%
    Soccer, probably?
    (7 votes)
  • 8%
    Some other competitive game you’ve missed, MNW
    (8 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon
Don’t Watch This

#12 South Dakota Coyotes at #11 Southern Illinois Salukis [1pm, ESPN+]
Arizona State Sun Devils at #18 Utah Utes (-11, O/U 41.5) [1pm, Pac-12]
Navy Midshipmen (-6.5, O/U 44.5) at Temple Owls [1pm, ESPN+]
Army Black Knights at #25 Air Force Falcons (-18.5, O/U 31.5) [1:30pm, CBSSN]
South Florida Bulls at Memphis Tigers (-13.5, O/U 68.5) [2pm, ESPN+]
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (-9, O/U 60) at Arkansas State Red Wolves [2pm, ESPN+]
FAU Owls (-1, O/U 60) at UAB Blazers [2pm, ESPN+]
#12 Missouri Tigers at #2 Georgia Bulldogs (-15.5, O/U 54.5) [2:30pm, CBS]
#4 Florida State Seminoles (-21.5, O/U 51) at Pittsburgh Panthers [2:30pm, ESPN]
Iowa Hawkeyes (-5, O/U 30.5) at Northwestern Wildcats [2:30pm, Le Coq]
#11 Penn State Nittany Lions (-10, O/U 51) at Maryland Terrapins [2:30pm, FOX]
Virginia Tech Hokies at Louisville Cardinals (-9.5, O/U 48.5) [2:30pm, ACCN]
#24 Tulane Green Wave (-16.5, O/U 47) at East Carolina Pirates [2:30pm, ESPNU]
Illinois Fighting Illini at Minnesota Golden Gophers (-2, O/U 43) [2:30pm, BTN]
Merrimack Warriors at Massachusetts Minutement [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Houston Cougars at Baylor Bears (-4, O/U 58) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
UCF Knights (-4.5, O/U 59.5) at Cincinnati Bearcats [2:30pm, FS1]
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (-1, O/U 50.5) at Old Dominion Monarchs [2:30pm, ESPN+]
James Madison Dukes (-5.5, O/U 54.5) at Georgia State Panthers [2:30pm, ESPN2]
Auburn Tigers (-12.5, O/U 49) at Vanderbilt Commodores [3pm, SECN]
Charlotte 49ers at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-4.5, O/U 48) [3pm, ESPN+]
UL Monroe Warhawks at Southern Miss Eagles (-2.5, O/U 55) [3pm, ESPN+]
Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors at Nevada Wolf Pack (-3.5, O/U 50.5) [3pm, MWN]
California Golden Bears at #6 Oregon Ducks (-24, O/U 57) [4:30pm, Pac-12]

Watch That

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Virginia Cavaliers

1pm | The CW | UVA -2 | O/U 56

#10 North Dakota Low-Security Prison Bizon at #1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits


UTSA Roadrunners at North Texas Mean Green

2pm | ESPN+ | UTSA -7.5 | O/U 71.5

#9 Oklahoma Sooners at #22 Oklahoma State Cowboys

2:30pm | ABC | Oklahoma -5.5 | O/U 60.5

Georgia Southern Eagles at Texas State Bobcats

4pm | ESPN+ | GASo -2 | O/U 70.5

As one of the people who already pays for Peacock, I feel nothing about being asked to tune in to Northwestern-Iowa on Le Coq. It’s just another bad football game that will be on my TV.

At commercial breaks, though, I’ll turn on something else for the tiny transgressive thrill—that’s for you, quiz bowler reading this—of seeing UTSA or Georgia Southern score points like it’s going out of goddamn style.

Stop playing games in Wrigley Field, Northwestern. I beg you.


Well, well, well.

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Any of these good games that MNW has told me to watch
    (44 votes)
  • 51%
    (47 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening
Don’t Watch This

Louisiana Tech (+17, O/U 58.5) [5pm, CBSSN]
MTSU Blue Raiders at NMSU Aggies (-3, O/U 56.5) [5pm, ESPN+]
Marshall Thundering Herd at Appalachian State Mountaineers (-3.5, O/U 55) [5pm, NFLN]
UNLV Rebels (-10, O/U 61) at New Mexico Lobos [5pm, MWN]
BYU Cougars at West Virginia Mountaineers (-10, O/U 51) [6pm, FS1]
Utah State Aggies (-2.5, O/U 57) at San Diego State Aztecs [6pm, FS2]
Purdue Boilermakers at #3 Michigan Wolverines (-32.5, O/U 50.5) [6:30pm, NBC]
Kentucky Wildcats (-3.5, O/U 46) at Mississippi State Bulldogs [6:30pm, SECN]
SMU Cocaineponies (-11.5, O/U 59.5) at Rice Owls [6:30pm, ESPNU] — Battle for the Mayor’s Cup!
#14 LSU Tigers at #8 Alabama Crimson Tide (-3, O/U 60.5) [6:45pm, CBS]
Miami Hurricanes (-4.5, O/U 45) at NC State Wolfpack [7pm, ACCN]

{VB} Illinois at #2 wisconsin [7pm, BTN]

Watch That

#21 Kansas Jayhawks at Iowa State Cyclones

6pm | ESPN | ISU -2.5 | O/U 54

#5 Washington Huskies at #20 USC Trojans

6:30pm | ABC | UW -3.5 | O/U 76

#7 Sacramento State Hornets at #3 Montana Grizzlies

7pm | ESPN+

Those are two future Big Ten teams, playing a nationally-televised game with a line of 76.

In two years, tops, the line on that game is going to be 45 and, somehow, it’s going to be played in a freak monsoon in Los Angeles.

You can’t kill the Big Ten West no matter how hard you try.



This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Kansas-Iowa State
    (14 votes)
  • 45%
    (39 votes)
  • 1%
    (1 vote)
  • 11%
    my big ten team
    (10 votes)
  • 9%
    something else
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    (4 votes)
  • 8%
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    field hockey
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    field volleyball
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    field something else
    (2 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...
Don’t Watch This

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-8.5, O/U 54.5) at UTEP Miners [8pm, ESPN+]
Stanford Cardinal at Washington State Cougars (-13, O/U 59.5) [8pm, Pac-12]
#16 Oregon State Beavers (-13.5, O/U 62) at Colorado Buffaloes [9pm, ESPN]

Watch That

Boise State Broncos at Fresno State Bulldogs

9pm | CBSSN | Fresno -3 | O/U 55 | BATTLE FOR THE MILK CAN

#19 UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats

9:30pm | FS1 | UCLA -2.5 | O/U 51

The rivalry trophies of the Mountain West fly under the radar, but they’re pretty great—a Milk Can, an Oil Can, a Paniolo Trophy as an ode to the cowboy, a Golden Screwdriver, the Fremont Cannon...

I expect the Milk Can to be no exception here, and Boise State is figuring things out at the right time to make this a game with Fresno, who could probably still wind up the G5 representative if they take out Air Force and win the conference.


I took for granted every Saturday night, with...

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    (10 votes)
  • 19%
    (15 votes)
  • 19%
    (15 votes)
  • 1%
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    rowdy friends and the love of my life
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    whatever the bar has on
    (3 votes)
  • 32%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (25 votes)
76 votes total Vote Now

We got it all done. Look at that. Nothing like a little loopy writing at 8pm.

Have a great weekend, everyone, enjoy the games, and watch out for those ghost armadillos.