Sorry for being late this week and missing the #MACtion, school things happened all at once.
You are now entering a worry-free zone. This is simply a space to reflect on all the glorious football on a holiday that has become centered around food and football, the two most basic human needs. In celebration of this, we're doing something never done before at HTF: including NFL games.
Gameday will be broadcast live to your television or internet connected devices from Stillwater, Oklahoma for Bedlam.
Food Coma Shift
Texas and Texas A&M were that couple that grew up neighbors, and dated throughout high school and college, then parted ways once they hit the "real world". Sure there was a thing where Texas was caught getting friendly in their texts with Oklahoma, but the two have always been together. Now that they're broken up, Texas A&M thinks they're dating someone who's gotten around a lot (let's be honest, when it comes to rivalries and who LSU considers to hate the most, it changes pretty easily and we're petty about it) while Texas is trying to make things work with Texas Tech, who they met on Tinder. So there's that, a football game which will never ever feel right to you or anybody around you.
Speaking of not feeling right to anybody, UCF (0-11) is one game away from completing their Quest For Unwinfeated and the only thing standing in their way is arch rival USF, who have quietly amassed a 7-4 record, winning 6 of 7 after a three game skid to Florida State, Syracuse (back when they were good), and Memphis, with their only other loss being to a good Navy team. I like the Citronaut's chances.
Black Friday Shift
Marshall and Western Kentucky is on the main TV mostly because FOX Sports Go is garbage, but also because it's a game between two really good teams that determines the outcome of the C-USA East. Another good game in waiting that will also decide a division is Navy-Houston, which is weird because should Navy win and play in the AAC championship game, they will turn around and play Army on the following week regardless, making it so that Navy plays a regular season game...after the conference championship game.
In an alternate reality, Miami is playing without their coach against a Pitt team who not only has their head coach, but also a better record. That's so crazy to think about. Leftover #MACtion rounds out the shift.
Arkansas replaces LSU with Missouri for their stupid "1:30 day after Thanksgiving" game that they totally need, they even made a knockoff version of The Boot.
Leftover Turkey Sandwich Shift
In what may be one of the best Apple Cups in recent memory, with Washington State playing the role of the 8-3 team and Washington fighting for it's bowl life at 5-6*. One state down, what may the most lopsided Civil War ever is on FOX Sports 1. That's going to be an absolute bloodbath, but your options for alternates are Nebraska helplessly throwing their body into Iowa's punches and UMass-Buffalo
Pecan Pie Shift
Baylor and TCU is main event for the entire day, but the fact that Touchdown Machines Josh Doctson and Jarrett Stidham (who replaced injured Seth Russell) are out for the season kind of detracts from the pomp and circumstance that we all thought this game would have in the pre-season. Tusla-Tulane rounds out the first Saturday of the week.
*unless 5-7 bowl teams are going to be a thing this year
Michigan Men Shift
Ohio State and Michigan take care of the three way tie in the Big Ten East, but does not decide it. Ohio State and Michigan alike both lost to Michigan State (despite Sparty not leading all game both times). So no matter who wins, they're all rooting for Penn State, which I'm sure is going over well in the rust belt.
This shift features a lot of rivalry games that are just going to be either complete blowouts or nigh unwatchable. The first is a Palmetto Bowl that features the best team in the nation going to Columbia, South Carolina to end the Gamecock's miserable year.The second is a less than great Georgia making the trip to the A to put an end to Georgia Tech's equally miserable year, sans one moment of absurdity where they served Chaos, the ruling god of college football. In Frank Beamer's last game ever, he needs a win over arch rival Virginia to keep his immaculate bowl streak intact. To add insult to injury, should UVA win their first Commonwealth Cup since 2003 convincingly enough, they may be one of those aforementioned 5-7 teams to make a bowl game, with the possibility that Virginia Tech is not. Of course, this is all predicated on UVA actually doing something competent in football.
AHRN BOWL Shift
Look man, anything can happen, especially in the Iron Bowl, especially in Jerdin-Air. The likelihood is small, but it's there.
Penn and The Michigan State's annual slobber knocker for the Land Grant Trophy will have the hearty gaze of whatever Men Of Superiority that wins Michigan and Ohio State. UCLA and USC's awesome color on color game will be split on ABC/ESPN2 along with North Carolina (good uniform havers) and NC State (bad uniform havers), Northwestern and Zombie Illinois round out the shift.
The Biggest Bedlam Shift
At the start of the month, Notre Dame and Stanford loomed large on the national scale. Stanford was served payback by Oregon for ruining the Duck's seasons in the past, ruling the two loss Cardinal out of the playoff race. But Stanford can pull Notre Dame down to their two loss level, and out of the picture as well.
Now let's play a game and try to untangle the convoluted Big 12 scenario. With a win over Okie Light, Oklahoma assumes direct control of the Big 12 with wins over everybody but Texas, who is well and out of the picture. However, a Cowboys win murks things up a bit. If TCU wins in this scenario, then the Pokes are on top. If Baylor wins, then they skip to the top since they hold the tiebreaker over T Boone's boys. But there's a sliver of hope Oklahoma State, as Baylor plays Texas next week to close out the season, for whatever reason.
Florida is 10-1, but it's as unimpressive as 10-1 gets. After blowing the doors off of Ole Miss and beating Missouri, Florida lost to LSU, which...yeah. Couple that with an ugly 14-9 win in Lexington, a game where they struggled to put away ECU 31-24, a 9-7 disaster of a game against Vanderbilt, and a game where they needed OT and a drop to beat FAU, yeah I'll kindly take Florida State thank you very much.
Which brings us to A&M-LSU, a game the Tigers simply have to win for a wide range of reasons, the main one being the fanbase's sanity. It will be my last game as a student and I'm going to soak it all in, win or lose, but man this will not be a great game. Hopefully Les gets the sendoff he deserves, should this be his last game in Death Valley.
And then there's the Egg Bowl, which will likely favor the Rebels heavily, but this is one of those games where you can never fully believe in your predictions for it. It'll be fun, to say the least.
One Last Time Time Into The Abyss Shift
The last full, honest to god shift of the year is less than underwhelming, with Arizona State and Cal on FOX Sports 1 highlighting the action. Air Force-New Mexico and Nevada-San Diego State are on, but have almost no impact on the Mountain West, as Air Force and San Diego State are locked into the MW Championship game.
Homestate ULM pays a visit to Hawai'i which means we get one last Sexy Kekaula Time before embarking on the cold, hard offseason.