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Week 5 College Football Schedule Guide: Don’t Watch This; Watch That is Mastering Tasks and Counting Down

Your guide to the college football schedule hops across the pond and finds the purplest thing beginning with “N”.


I was one of three students from my high school’s graduating class of 245 to go to school in Chicagoland: me at Northwestern, a young woman studying dance at Columbia College, and a friend of mine who was the star of our school theater and studied the same at DePaul. We only got together once, all three of us, but it was neat to at least theoretically have a little community six and a half hours from home.

One day, having lunch, my DePaul friend asked if I had ever seen a show called QI. He told me it was British, it was relatively available on YouTube, and with my quiz bowl background, I would enjoy it.

QI was then hosted by Stephen Fry, who you know as the audiobook voice of the Harry Potter series or the radio guy in V for Vendetta or alongside Hugh Laurie in A Little Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. Featuring first Fry and now Sandi Toksvig as a kind of trivia ringmaster asking loaded questions and giving a klaxon to contestants—often the regular panelist, quasi-court jester Alan Davies—for commonly-believed but errant answers based on technicalities (“When did the First World War get its name?”, with “after 1939” as a wrong answer earning a 10-point penalty), QI is another in a quintessentially British style of comedy: the panel show.

In contrast to a more individual or news-desk style of American comedy, the British panel show blends a little more crosstalk and highbrow conversation with all the requisite dick jokes you can think of. While the format has led to criticisms from some, particularly women and minority comedians, that it leads to male comics shouting over each other to be the loudest in the room, many panel shows have adapted to include a wide and incredibly interesting variety of comics—Rosie Jones, with cerebral palsy, and Chris McCausland, who is legally blind, do great stuff on disability and general topics alike.

QI led me down a rabbit hole through the world of British panel shows that I still go to when it's late and I want something in the background to laugh at: Have I Got News for You and Mock the Week for topical humor (sorry, humour), Would I Lie to You for a simple but personality-driven parlor-style bluffing game . Rather than American celebrities playing
Pictionary as Jimmy Fallon makes the blandest jokes imaginable, these panel shows carry some edge to them that elicits genuine laughs rather than sinks to the lowest common denominator for network television.

Even the British adaptation of a common "thinking" gameshow blows things like Celebrity Jeopardy! out of the water: the Jimmy Carr-hosted 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Featuring comedians playing a numbers and letters game called Countdown that's a long-running staple of British daytime TV, in alternating rounds and on a 30-second countdown clock, competitors either must do...

  • Anagrams from 9 randomly-selected letters (contestants choose from face-down stacks of vowels and consonants) to generate the longest word (no proper nouns) using each letter only once, with the number of points equal to the length of the longest word (18 points for a nine-letter word), or
  • Math(s) to reach a randomly-generated number from 100 to 999 using any of six randomly-chosen numbers (1-10 and 25, 50, 75, and 100). Closest to the pin wins, with 5 points If the closest answer is within 10 of the target, 7 points if he closest answer is within 5 of the target, and 10 points for getting it bang-on. If both teams or contestants reach the same number, both get the mandated number of points.
  • All those things while the host and others fuck around.

Got all that?

Aiding the host, in this case one-line and insult specialist Jimmy Carr, are the regular presenters from "smart" Countdown: Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner, checking the veracity of spelled words, and Rachel Riley, an Oxford-trained mathematician who informs contestants how they could have done it at the end of a round where nobody gets the target number. They are genuinely informative, witty, and over time have played better and better with Carr's crass humor.

Give this episode a try:

At the very bottom of the article today, in addition to the triumphant return of Lightly-Plagiarized Trivia, I also included one of the between-round sketches from Cats Does Countdown, one of the genuinely funniest bits I've ever seen (that I've included here before with less explanation).

The reason for this whole article in the first place, which I am just getting to at 700 words in, is that my wife would usually roll her eyes and walk through the room if I was watching British comedy. That has changed, however, since I introduced her to Taskmaster.

Starring schoolteacher-turned-comedian and literal giant Greg Davies (at 6'8") as the eponymous Taskmaster alongside his assistant, little (he's 6'2") Alex Horne, each series (there are now 16) pits five celebrities—usually four comedians and a more mainstream actor—against each other. They compete in a number of pre-taped tasks each episode, filmed at a house where they enter to find Horne waiting with an envelope and some nonsensical task: throw an iron onto a standing ironing board from the farthest distance away, recreate and act out yourself doing a classic video game in 30 minutes, make the tastiest cocktail without going over 60 decibels (and being required to start over if you do), or paint a mural of the Taskmaster from 6 feet or 6 inches away--a distance they chose without knowing the extent of the available materials.

The point isn't always to do things the quickest or best: many of the tasks are subjective ("Create the fanciest businessman using a coconut" or "surprise Alex. Best surprise wins"), judged at Davies's whims. Most tasks feature a surprising amount of lateral thinking from contestants who figure out technicalities like tying Alex up in a game of hide and seek or unplugging a treadmill on which they were supposed to keep a watermelon balanced while the treadmill was running.

Almost all the seasons are available completely free on YouTube, with some annoying ad breaks but nothing too off-putting. Season 2 is a personal favorite of mine, my wife really loved Jenny Eclair in Season 15, and some of the best shithousery happens thanks to the angry Welshman Rhod Gilbert in Season 7.

In the words of Rob Brydon, advertising the long sock (or the "gentleman's half-hose"), "I URGE you to give it a go."

Lightly Plagiarized Trivia

  1. A Confederacy of Dunces was set in what American city?
  2. Curtis Mayfield performed the whole soundtrack to what Blaxsploitation film?
  3. Three Minnesota Vikings have won the NFL MVP award. Name the first, who played on the defensive side of the ball and later went on to a political career.
  4. From 1918-1992 the present-day nations of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia comprised what country?
  5. Akron earned quasi-notoriety last week for their “Turnover Tire”. As an homage to their major industries, from 1940-1995 the Zips played what FCS team for the Steel Tire?

Thursday Night
Don’t Watch This

Temple Owls at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-3, O/U 55.5) [6:30pm, ESPN]
Jacksonville State Gamecocks (-6.5, O/U 36.5) at Sam Houston State Bearkats [7pm, ESPNU]

{NFL} Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers [7:15pm, Prime]

{WSOC} Purdue vs. Iowa [5pm, BTN]
{WSOC} Nebraska vs. Rutgers [7:05pm, BTN]
{Copa Libertadores} Boca Juniors vs. Palmeiras [7:30pm, beIN]
{Liga MX} Atlas vs. Puebla [9pm, TUDN]

Watch That

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

6:30pm | CBSSN | WKU -6 | O/U 60 | 100 MILES OF HATE

As I grow into this job, I realize how bad I am at making my office feel like a welcoming space—that’s in part a defensive personal reaction to never having been at one job for more than a year. All that I have in my office right now is a few books, a lamp made out of an old clarinet, a plastic purple lei with my NUMBAlum button on it, and a few political buttons.

It doesn’t say much good about me that my first thought it “I need more political buttons. That would spruce the place up.” [If you have a Wellstone! or Lee Dreyfus red vest button, I would love you forever if you sent it to me.]


Goooooood evening, we’re back! The wife is having a friend over to watch The Golden Bachelor, so I get to escape to the basement with a bottle of wine and...

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    (12 votes)
  • 8%
    (10 votes)
  • 1%
    RichRod??? (given the way I formulated the question, this is an awkward choice of poll answer)
    (2 votes)
  • 42%
    Detroit-Green Bay
    (49 votes)
  • 3%
    (4 votes)
  • 9%
    hold on let’s revisit you sneaking into the basement with a bottle of wine and rich rodriguez
    (11 votes)
  • 14%
    i genuinely did not know richrod was the coach of jacksonville state
    (17 votes)
  • 9%
    i DID know richrod was the coach of jacksonville state because i’m a loyal dwt;wt reader
    (11 votes)
116 votes total Vote Now

Friday Night
Don’t Watch This

Louisville Cardinals (-3, O/U 55) at NC State Wolfpack [6pm, ESPN]
Columbia Lions at Princeton Tigers [6pm, ESPNU]
Cincinnati Bearcats (-2, O/U 48.5) at BYU Cougars [9:15pm, ESPN]

{Liga MX} Queretaro vs. Leon [8pm, TUDN]
{CPL} Cavalry vs. Valour [8pm, FS2]
{Liga MX} Atleti San Luis vs. Cruz Azul [10pm, TUDN]

Watch That

#10 Utah Utes at #19 Oregon State Beavers

8pm | FS1 | Beavers -3.5 | O/U 44.5

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at UTEP Miners

8pm | CBSSN | UTEP -1 | O/U 53

I’ll be honest: any of these games have great potential. This is a HELL of a Friday lineup.

But there’s something about Cincinnati (and BYU) that bugs me—it’s not just the departure Luke Fickell. Did they go mainstream and I lost interest? Am I too busy being a college football hipster that I’ve lost sight of what's good?

...nah. UTEP is so damn assy that them and LaTech will be must-watch nonsense under the lights at the Sun Bowl. When that’s done, we can see if there’s anything redeemable in Provo.


Friday night! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    (72 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
  • 7%
    (9 votes)
  • 12%
    (14 votes)
  • 14%
    you ever think about skyline as being spaghetti soaking with chili
    (16 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning
Don’t Watch This

#6 Penn State Nittany Lions (-27, O/U 46) at Northwestern Wildcats [11am, BTN]
#8 USC Trojans (-21.5, O/U 73.5) at Colorado Buffaloes [11am, FOX]
#22 Florida Gators at Kentucky Wildcats (-1, O/U 44) [11am, ESPN]
Texas A&M Aggies (-6.5, O/U 55) at Arkansas Razorbacks [11am, SECN]
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns at Minnesota Golden Gophers (-11, O/U 48.5) [11am, BTN]
Clemson Tigers (-7, O/U 53.5) at Syracuse Orange [11am, ABC]
UAB Blazers at Tulane Green Wave (-21.5, O/U 58.5) [11am, ESPN2]
South Alabama Jaguars at James Madison Dukes (-3, O/U 50) [11am, ESPNU]
Eastern Michigan Eagles at Central Michigan Chippewas (-7.5, O/U 47.5) [12:30pm, ESPN+]

{Serie A} AC Milan vs. Lazio [11am, Paramount+]
{La Liga} Girona vs. Real Madrid [11:30am, ESPN+]

Watch That

Utah State Aggies at UConn Huskies

11am | CBSSN | USU -6 | O/U 51

Buffalo Bulls at Akron Zips

11am | ESPN+ | Akron -2.5 | O/U 55


{EPL} Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool [11:30am, USA Network]
{Bundesliga} RB Leipzig vs. Bayern Munich [11:30am, ESPN+]

We really need to get something straight, internet:

You’re not original for pointing out “LOL THEY HAVE NO FANS!”

You’re welcome to do it, of course, since this is the internet, but it’s hardly a revelation or some big attack. Northwestern is a small school with a small fanbase that’s already turned off football. Got us!


Gooooood morning! As I get back from the zoo and put the kid down for her nap, I quietly and discreetly turn on...

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    1-3 Utah State at 0-4 UConn HELL YES
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Buffalo-Akron? You monster.
    (3 votes)
  • 40%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time.
    (53 votes)
  • 16%
    (22 votes)
  • 7%
    (10 votes)
  • 22%
    On second thought, let’s do another lap past the monkey enclosure, that one’s about to throw his poo.
    (30 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon
Don’t Watch This

Virginia Cavaliers at Boston College Eagles (-3, O/U 54.5) [1pm, The CW]
Miami Hydroxide Redhawks (-14.5, O/U 48) at Kent State Golden Flashes [1:30pm, ESPN+]
Arizona State Sun Devils at California Golden Bears (-12, O/U 47.5) [2pm, Pac-12]
#1 Georgia Bulldogs (-14.5, O/U 46.5) at Auburn Tigers [2:30pm, CBS]
#2 Michigan Wolverines (-17, O/U 40) at Nebraska Corn huskers [2:30pm, FOX]
#24 Kansas Jayhawks at #3 Texas Longhorns (-16.5, O/U 62.5) [2:30pm, ABC]
Indiana Hoosiers at Maryland Terrapins (-14, O/U 50) [2:30pm, BTN]
Wagner Seahawks at Rutgers Scarlet Knights [2:30pm, BTN]
Bowling Green Falcons at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-22, O/U 51) [2:30pm, ACCN]
Houston Cougars at Texas Tech Red Raiders (-8, O/U 51.5) [2:30pm, FS2]
Baylor Bears at UCF Citronauts (-11.5, O/U 55) [2:30pm, FS1]
Arkansas State Red Wolves at UMass Minutemen (-1, O/U 55) [2:30pm, ESPN+, really you should watch this but I’m tired of getting made fun of]
USF Brahman Bulls at Navy Midshipmen (-4, O/U 54.5) [2:30pm, CBSSN]
Old Dominion Monarchs at Marshall Thundering Herd (-14, O/U 46.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Balls Tate Robotbirds at Western Michigan Broncos (-1, O/U 51.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Northern Illinois Huskies at Toledo Rockets (-13.5, O/U 49) [2:30pm, ESPNU]
#23 Missouri Tigers (-13, O/U 54.5) at Vanderbilt Commodores [3pm, SECN]
Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors at UNLV Rebels (-11, O/U 60) [3pm, MWN]
New Mexico Lobos at Wyoming Cowboys (-14, O/U 42) [3pm, MWN]

{Bundesliga} Hertha Berlin vs. St. Pauli [1:30pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Salernitana vs. Inter Milan [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Belgium Pro League} Mechelen vs. Antwerp [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{La Liga} Real Sociedad vs. Athletic Club [2pm, ESPN+]
{Eredivisie} RKC Waalwijk vs. Ajax [2pm, ESPN+]
{CPL} Pacific vs. Vancouver FC [4pm, Fox Soccer Plus]

Watch That

Illinois Fighting Illini at Purdue Boilermakers

2:30pm | Peacock | EVEN | O/U 53.5 | CANNON WEEK

Boise State Broncos at Memphis Tigers

3pm | ESPN2 | Memphis -3.5 | O/U 59.5

I’m fairly certain no one stumbles upon this dumb article anymore. That’s for a few reasons:

  1. I rarely get it out on time for the limited SEO here to do its magic,
  2. No one wants to read 900 words on British panel comedy or the best Culvers on I-94 in Wisconsin, and
  3. The enshittification of the internet, like Green Akers talked about in his farewell address, means that no one’s finding this anyway because CBS Sports has the time tv odds line how to watch for every single game and pays for/gets Google to prioritize their articles.

And yet you still see me doing the stupid shit above like typing out full names and mascots.

Back when DWT;WT began (I think), we were still using what we call the “Legacy Editor”—basically, what all you peasants use when you post a FanPost. It was dirty, ugly, sexy HTML publishing.

But it had a “Run Auto-tag and Link” feature—typing the full name of a team would automatically link it to a football “Team Page” maintained at the SBNation level. That would include their recent game and boxscore, along with the most recent articles from around the SBN empire. Those pages were searchable—if you were looking for “Utah State football news”, Google would point you to those stories, and you’d see some site talking about it. You’d click. My kid would get new shoes.

Because this has to be fun for me, I’d run that Auto-Tag and THEN go back and change things: UCF Knights to UCF Citronauts, FIU Panthers to FIU Sunblazers, Ball State Cardinals to Balls Tate Robotbirds, etc. It made me smile, even if you didn’t care.

When SBNation changed to its new editor (Chorus, which is decidedly Fine), that system hung on for a short while. But then SBNation decided maintaining those links wasn’t worth it—links to each team (like above) now go to the team-specific blogs. That means if that team (like UTEP or, following California’s “independent contractor” law, California Golden Blogs) doesn’t have an SBN site, they don’t get an Auto-Link. While I love our friends at places like Crimson Quarry or Corn Nation or On the Banks, there’s a lot less utility in the Auto-Link feature for me.

On top of that, some code-level change to the Chorus editor means that if I format those team names to be a Heading (the bigger font), the Auto-Tag feature doesn’t auto-link to them. It’s got to be in “Paragraph” mode.

So, functionally, doing any of this is all-but-worthless.

That bears itself out in traffic: no DWT;WT in 2023 has cracked 1,000 page views, and they draw their overwhelming traffic from visitors who land on the OTE main page, not Google: 83% of Week 4 clicks, 82% of Week 3, 91% of Week 2, and 94% of Week 1 have come from what we’d call “regulars”.

So thank you, to all of you, for reading this. It’s already a colossal waste of your time, it’s increasingly a colossal waste of mine, and I love you all dearly for it.


Saturday afternoon! MNW’s listed a lot of soccer articles and complained about his job, so it’s a day ending in -y...but what’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    (54 votes)
  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 32%
    My Big Ten team is ALSO playing at this time.
    (46 votes)
  • 19%
    (27 votes)
  • 8%
    Actually, since you advertised it, MNW, I WILL watch some Belgian soccer!
    (12 votes)
142 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening
Don’t Watch This

#9 Oregon Ducks (-27, O/U 61) at Stanford Cardinal [5:30pm, Pac-12]
Iowa State Cyclones at #14 Oklahoma Sooners (-20, O/U 48.5) [6pm, FS1]
East Carolina Pirates at Rice Owls (-3, O/U 46.5) [6pm, ESPN+]
Abilene Christian Purple Cats at North Texas Green Birds [6pm, What Do You See]
Troy Trojans at Georgia State Panthers (-1, O/U 50.5) [6pm, ESPN+]
Texas State Bobcats (-5.5, O/U 62.5) at Southern Miss Golden Iggles [6pm, ESPN+]
Utah Tech Trailblazers at Colorado State Rams [6pm, MWN]
#11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-6, O/U 52) at #17 Duke Blue Devils [6:30pm, ABC]
South Carolina Gamecocks at #21 Tennessee Volunteers (-11.5, O/U 62.5) [6:30pm, SECN]
Michigan State Spartans at Iowa Hawkeyes (-12.5, O/U 36.5) [6:30pm, NBC]
Charlotte 49ers at SMU Cocaine Ponies (-23.5, O/U 53.5) [6:30pm, ESPNU]
Pittsburgh Panthers (-2.5, O/U 39.5) at Virginia Tech Hokies [7pm, ACCN]
West Virginia Mountaineers at TCU Horned Frogs (-12.5, O/U 52) [7pm, ESPN2]
Appalachian State Mountaineers (-13.5, O/U 50.5) at ULM Warhawks [7pm, ESPN+]
San Diego State Aztecs at Air Force Falcons (-10.5, O/U 43.5) [7pm, CBSSN]

{MLS} Lots of games on AppleTV
{USL} Lots of games on ESPN+

Watch That

#13 LSU Tigers at #20 Ole Miss Rebels

5pm | ESPN | LSU -2.5 | O/U 67.5

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Georgia Southern Eagles

6pm | NFLN | GASo -6.5 | O/U 64.5

South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers at Black Hills State Yellow Jackets


A brief Iowa story.

I require all the students in my intro-level classes (that’s 120 in total) to come to office hours to meet with me at least twice a semester—answer questions they have about college, talk about future classes in history they might like, awkwardly stare at each other as they check their phone, praying the 10 minutes are up. It’s a good time!

Had a student in yesterday, and we were chatting about where she’s from: Port Wing, WI.

I sat up in my chair: “Oh man, where Megan Gustafson’s from?! Have you seen her dog, Pancakes?!”

This student looks at me like I’m from Mars. “Yeah...uh...her dad was my basketball coach for a year, I guess?’

So much for trying to connect with students. JUST ACCEPT THAT YOU’RE OLD, MNW.


God, that was so uncomfortable.

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    LSU-Ole Miss
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
  • 11%
    (14 votes)
  • 17%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (21 votes)
  • 22%
    Notre Dame-Duke
    (27 votes)
  • 11%
    That student was wrong, MNW—you’re hip and with it!
    (14 votes)
  • 8%
    Maybe if you would’ve had more political buttons, you moron.
    (10 votes)
  • 15%
    Maybe it’s the clarinet lamp, you putz.
    (18 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now

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

#12 Alabama Crimson Tide (-14.5, O/U 46.5) at Mississippi State Bulldogs [8pm, ESPN]
#7 Washington Huskies (-18.5, O/U 67.5) at Arizona Wildcats [9pm, Pac-12]
Nevada Wolf Pack at #25 Fresno State Bulldogs (-24.5, O/U 49.5) [9:30pm, FS1]

{MLS} Lots of games on AppleTV
{USL} Lots of games on ESPN+

Watch That

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at #9 Sacramento State Hornets

8pm | ESPN+


All three of the FBS games are should-be blowouts. If you’re going to watch one of them, I’d say Washington-Arizona, because Jayden de Laura is liable to go off on a random night for no goddamn good reason

But that one’s on the Pac-12 Network, and can’t nobody watch that!

So watch something different. Branch out. The ‘Jacks have been tough, getting boatraced by Arizona but getting into shootouts with #11 North Dakota and RV Utah Tech. Will they be able to keep up with Sacramento State, who already outlasted Stanford? Probably not, but then again neither will Arizona. Consider this one a poor man’s Washington-Arizona.

NAU-SacState is a poor man’s Washington-Arizona. That’s a sentence I just wrote on the internet for hundreds of people.

I’m going to go think about what I’ve done.

And maybe order a few more political buttons off eBay.


It’s late, you’re drunk, and you’re watching...

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    The Poor Man’s Washington-Arizona
    (15 votes)
  • 8%
    The Rich-Enough-to-Have-Pac-12-Network Man’s Washington-Arizona
    (7 votes)
  • 5%
    The Southern Man’s Washington-Arizona
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    whatever the bar has on
    (12 votes)
  • 48%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (42 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now

Lightly Plagiarized Trivia

  1. New Orleans
  2. Superfly
  3. Alan Page
  4. Yugoslavia
  5. Youngstown State

My Score: 3/5 [I changed my answer away from New Orleans and I’m still fuming about it. I had no idea on Superfly. The more you know!]

The Funniest Thing I Ever Did See

Enjoy the games, everyone.