Week four is coming from around the bend, and LSU is on the road so it’s time to sit back and soak in as much of the football as possible. So if you’re not going to the Plains this weekend, here is the master key for maximizing your football consumption.
The Varsity Shift
Clemson and Auburn kickoff week four in a matchup between two unbeaten teams. That’s right, Georgia Tech has already tied their win total from last year! As a reward they get Clemson, who finally put together a complete performance against South Carolina State after struggling to put away Auburn and Troy. After just skirting past Boston College in a drenched Ireland to start the season, the Yellow Jackets blew out Mercer and then dropped Vanderbilt by the same margin. Clemson has relied on their defense in their two games against FBS opponents, can the triple option trip them up enough to give Georgia Tech a shot?
The Fine Cookware Shift
After dropping a game against Arkansas, TCU tore apart Iowa State and they’re out to rip apart rivals SMU and retain possession of the Iron Skillet. That sets the stage for USC at Utah. This game marks the third game for USC against a ranked opponent in four week, the others being the execution at the hands of Alabama and Stanford deploying a Christian McCaffrey last week, because their schedule is remarkably insane. For added flavor, the Utes are looking for revenge after USC spoiled their Cinderella season last year 42-24. Wyoming and Eastern Michigan finish up the Friday night shift.
Boat Shoes Shift
Georgia is 3-0, but that is probably the least impressive perfect record of any power five teams. Sure they played a North Carolina team that we still don’t know a lot about (more on them later) but since then they barely eeked out a win against Nicholls State and needed a last second touchdown to beat Missouri. On the flip side, Ole Miss is 1-2 because they had to throw their bodies against the Bama train in hopes of stopping it and had Florida State nearly ready to tap out in week one. If the Rebels were to lose this game they would have three respectable losses, but three losses regardless before October runs around usually isn’t regarded well by fans and boosters of SEC West schools.
Speaking of Florida State, they move on from their drubbing at the hands of Louisville to travel to Tampa to play USF, which is a fun novelty I guess. Honestly everything else about this shift is butt and I’m refusing to talk about it further. There are football-less children in Africa, you can’t have your Arkansas-Texas A&M until you finish your Iowa-Rutgers.
Orange Crush Shift
Florida has won 11 in a row against Tennessee and that streak looks like it’s in jeopardy with news that quarterback Luke “Of The River” del Rio is out for the game with an MCL injury. We all pointed and laughed when Tennessee had to go to overtime to escape App State, but they looked good in their blowout of Virginia Tech but then struggled against Ohio University of Ohio (OH) so we really don’t know what kind of team Tennessee is for certain, but we do know that I’m not keen on challenging them with a backup quarterback. I know he’s a Purdue transfer too shutup.
What I think may be the lowkey best game of the shift is Pitt at North Carolina. After they dropped their season opening game against Georgia, North Carolina has looked like the team that we thought we would get: a wide open offense that can catch fire with the slightest spark with a defense that isn’t much to look at (hello, Chizik!). Granted their two games were against Illinois and James Madison, but the results were what I figured they would be in the preseason. Meanwhile Pitt is coming off of a 45-38 loss against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, but that was their third straight game where they scored more than 28 points. Pitt is fun to watch again. Pitt!
Speaking of, Pitt’s not-rivals Penn State are still looking for a rivalry worth their time, besides the one with their moral compass after they bested their not-rivals Temple by seven last week. The Nittany Lions go back into the dating pool this weekend with a trip to Ann Arbor. I hope that goes well for them.
BYU goes to West Virginia, because Mormons in Morgantown is a great idea good work gang.
Also: Duke at Notre Dame and Boise State at Oregon State.
This is also the shift where LSU and Auburn kick off, in the weird timeslot of 5 PM. Let’s get Gus Malzahn fired y’all.
National Lampoon’s Jerryworld Vacation Shift
As much has been about BERT’S offense, they uh...have been much more effective as a pass first team. In fact, according to Bill C’s S&P+ data, Arkansas has been pretty mediocre at best when it running the ball, ranking 70th in rushing success rate. Compare that to their 26th ranking with passing success rate and you start to wonder if Bert’s reputation precedes itself. So yeah, the matchup between them and Kevin Sumlin’s (a desperate Kevin Sumlin’s) air raid could be fun as all get out.
This weekend it’s UCLA’s turn to get McCaffrey’d, and South Carolina and Kentucky play a pivotal game in the SEC race to the bottom while Nebraska goes to blow away Northwestern and ULL takes I-10 to New Orleans for a matchup with Tulane. Really the only other interesting game is Oklahoma State at Baylor, which looks to be a run of the mill Big 12 Shootout.
PAC-12 After Dark Shift
Cal! Arizona State!
You’re drunk, it’s late, you don’t have standards. Defense is just a bonus at this point. You just want to be held and want to be comforted because you know how bad the offseason was. You want some scoring. You don’t have to be proud of it, but nobody has to know. You can be on your way in the morning and never tell a soul about it. Come on, it will be fun.