Les Miles may have departed from LSU, but that doesn’t mean football has been cancelled for the 2016 season. Quite the opposite, the storm rages on despite our heartbreak and endless sorrow. And this weekend is one of the better lineups of football that we have had so far this season.
Touchdown Tom Herman Shift
LSU’s main target Tom Herman’s Houston Cougars takes on the dreamboat himself, Bob Diaco and his merry band of Huskies. You know, for research. Speaking of dreamboats, Kliff Kingsbury’s Red Raiders host Kansas.
UCLA was able to hang tough with David Shaw’s Stanford last weekend, but in the end Stanford was able to make a late charge to separate themselves from the Bruins, while Washington survived Arizona in overtime. This sets up an unbeaten top 10 matchup between the Cardinals and the Huskies Friday night, so there is going to be something to watch while you prep for the tailgate. There’s also Toledo-BYU to fall asleep to.
Steers And Beers Shift
As per usual, the nooner is pretty light, with the juiciest game being Texas-Oklahoma State on ABC. If you’ll recall, last year’s contest between the two came down to some ticky tack calls (and no-calls) from the refs and a muffed punt for Texas that gifted Oklahoma State a chance for a game-winning field goal. I’m sure Charlie Strong’s #NewTexas hasn’t forgotten about that one.
Notre Dame fulfills their contractual obligations by playing Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, and Miami ships up for Atlanta for Mark Richt’s homecoming of sorts. The rest of the shift is your standard noon fodder: Florida-Vanderbilt, Nortwestern-Iowa, Baylor-Iowa State, really not-great football.
Water Wars Shift
Damn, the afternoon stroll shift is loaded. Let’s just work on down the line here.
Wisconsin and Michigan is probably the best game of the day, another showdown between undefeated top 10 teams. A week after skirting past Georgia State, the Badgers stepped on Sparty’s head with malice in a 30-6 romp in East Lansing. Michigan is in the same boat following their beatdown of Penn State, but their resume is less impressive to this point. These teams are not in the same division, so really this game has more of a bearing on the national playoff picture than it does on the actual Big Ten race.
After their furious second half comeback to snap the streak against rivals Florida, Tennessee drives down to Athens to determine which state is going to be drinking the good water for the next 365 days.
Going back to the Big 12, we have a pivotal matchup between TCU and Oklahoma that will drop TCU out of the national picture with a Sooner win and will eliminate Oklahoma from the Big 12 race with a Horned Frogs win. Just because this matchup doesn’t have the pomp and circumstance that we thought it would have in the preseason doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
In what may be the funnest game of the day, North Carolina travels to Tallahassee a week after escaping death from Pitt. Just like Wisconsin and Michigan, these teams are from different divisions so a loss doesn’t kill either in the conference play, but like TCU and OU, both teams are already marked with a loss so either team can be erased from the national playoff picture this Saturday.
Things finally settle down at Kansas State at West Virginia and South Carolina and Texas A&M, but still both of those games have some possible entertainment value.
Nothing of note is happening in the Missouri-LSU game. I have no clue what you are talking about. Shut up.
Gameday will be live from Louisville for their game with Clemson that is yet another top 10 unbeaten matchup. Kinda getting bored writing these to be honest. But really, Lamar Jackson is a monster and matching him up with Deshaun Watson is all kinds of football porn that I cannot wait to ingest Saturday.
The rest of the shift...not so much. Kentucky gets waxed by Alabama, USF and Cincinnatti square off, and Marshall plays Pitt.
The only other really interesting matchup is USC at Arizona State. If USC slips to 1-4 (ONE AND FOUR) then all of sudden first year head coach Clay Helton’s seat bursts into flames. On the other hand, if Arizona State wins to improve to 5-0 then all of a sudden they’re a prime candidate for slipping into the PAC-12 Championship and potentially the playoffs.
The late night shift is spearheaded by Arizona and UCLA. Kinda feel robbed because there is no Cal football on, but instead we get more options than usual: Utah State at Boise State, Wyoming-Colorado State, Fresno State and UNLV before the real highlight of the night: