Welcome to Week 8 of the college football season. Before we get any further, I must warn you: the nooner shift this week is...good. Like, actually good and not just “good for the early slate” good. And for once, it’s not the worst period of the day.
Welcome to the upside down.
Don’t worry, we’re going to sit down and talk ourselves through it when the time comes.
GameDay will be broadcasting from Happy Valley for Michigan-Penn State.
Three Six Underground Kings Shift
Week eight kicks off from a tree stand, as all great weeks do. ULL heads into Jonesboogie as the opening act for Memphis at Houston, a pivotal game in the American Western (still sounds weird) race. Both teams sit a 2-1, but the Tigers lost to a very good UCF while Houston suffered a head-scratching 45-17 loss to 2-5 Tulsa, a week after the Golden Hurricane got blowed up by Tulane.
Math Damon Shift
So uh, hey, Marshall is 5-1. Their schedule...easily facilitates that but sometimes you just have to take things at face value. They defend their record Friday night when they take on Middle Tennessee State. Thirty minutes prior on our nation’s finest college football channel, CBS Sports Network, the post-Jeff Brohm Western Kentucky plays Old Dominion, the team I definitely did not forget was even in the FBS.
Also, we get some novelty on Friday night: not only a televised Ivy League game, but a televised Ivy League game on NBC Sports Network. What??
But yeah I don’t know anything about these two schools outside of “well they’re smart” and neither do you unless you have way too much time on your hands and need to be writing this article instead of me.
FOOTBAWL BAWB Shift
Remember back in Week Zero when we watched Colorado State give Oregon State the Rock Bottom and all came away impressed? Yeah, Mike Bobo’s Rams have really not strayed far from that level. A turnaround loss to Colorado and Alabama (duh) dulled their shine and we kinda overvalued the Beavers (which is saying a lot) but CSU is 35th in S&P+ and sit at 5-2 on the season. They’re in a division with Boise State and Craig Bohl’s Wyoming so nothing is locked up but they do control their own destiny as much a G5 team can.
The bad news: they have to play a road game on a Friday night against a
triple QUADRUPLE OPTION TEAM COACHED BY FOOTBAWL BAWB DAVIE HIMSELF.
Elsewhere in the MWC, Air Force rolls into Reno to play Nevada. Bold strategy by the MWC to have two games on Friday night at the same time, but I guess it’s still better than loading them together on a Saturday night.
┴ɥǝ פoop Noouǝɹ Sɥᴉɟʇ
We’ll just work from left to right on the playsheet so we can make sense of all this.
Oklahoma State at Texas: S&P+ likes the Cowboys enough to say they’re the 4th best team in college football. I thought I liked the Pokes a little more than I should, but it turns out the numbers are infatuated with them. They don’t have the inside track to the Big 12 title game as they lost to TCU and are shoulder to shoulder with arch rival Oklahoma so they need to win out or have the Horned Frogs drop a game or two.
With that said, Texas is far from eliminated from the Big 12 race and apparently there’s more to the “Tom Herman in an underdog role” meme than we previously thought.
Louisville at Florida State: Yikes. The pre-season hype surrounding this game has completely evaporated to the point where you can grab a seat for a meager eight bucks.
But still though, this game is worth having on just for Lamar Jackson vs. Florida State’s defense. Don’t worry about the other matchup.
Speaking of teams without a starting quarterback...
Maryland at Wisconsin: After cobbling together a 32-24 win on the road against Minnesota with a third string quarterback, the Terps fell apart against Ohio State (duh) and couldn’t pick up the pieces against Northwestern, dropping the game at home. Life doesn’t get any easier for DJ Durkin and his Walking Wounded (an excellent band name) because this week he has to march in to Camp Randall.
Okay, so the shift has lost the plot here right? That’s where it falls off the cliff, right? Right?
Iowa State at Texas Tech: BOOM. After starting quarterback leaves the program before the Oklahoma game, the Cyclones upset the Sooners and score 83 points in two games before rolling into Lubbock. There will be points, and there will be a saturation of them. We’re going to burn the house down.
Iowa at Northwestern: Proof that no matter how good/interesting the rest of the shift is, there is always an ugly B1G game to bring down the overall quality. Eat at Arby’s.
Seasons of VAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLLLLLS Shift
4,015 days so drear.
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets?
In blocks, in ciiiiiiiigars?
In Rammers, in Jammers?
In inches, in coaches in strife?
In 4,015 days
How do you measure a year in the life
In the shadow of Bammmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaa.
Hide It In My Sock Shift
Outside of the awkward run in of exes who did NOT maintain a healthy relationship afterwards, a rather large game is occurring: Michigan at Penn State.
As we all know, Michigan is trying to make up for lost ground after they were completely and objectionably dominated by the much more talented and coached Michigan State team and narrowly squeaked by Indiana in a down year for the Hoosiers. Despite these numerous unencouraging performances, the Wolverines are still somehow not eliminated from the Big Ten East race. They can be though when they visit State College to play an undefeated Penn State that is looking like the conference’s best bet for a playoff position. But I’m not expecting the Wolverines to just give up on their season despite the deficiencies that may lay in their coaching, so we may end up with a potential major upset.
Now if you REALLY want to talk about prestige programs, USC and Notre Dame continue their storied rivalry at the same time over at NBC, a fine programming station. Neither team can afford a loss, ESPECIALLY Notre Dame who does not have the chance to save face in a conference championship game. Hell, Notre Dame may not be able to lose a game and still make the playoff. We haven’t really nailed down that dynamic of the playoff.
The hipster game of the week is USF going to New Orleans for what could very likely be a trap game against Willie Fritz’ Tulane. In fact, I’m placing this game on a preemptive Upset Alert. After hammering Tulsa, the Green Wave dropped a clunker against FIU. A pissed off triple option team, at home, on prime time television, against an undefeated opponent with dreams of crashing the playoff party? Oh yeah, we have a storm brewing here. Batten down the hatches and bunker down.
Speaking of pissed off triple option teams, Georgia Tech is just two plays away from undefeated-ness, they’re going to exercise some demons against Wake Forest.
Pirates of Pullman Shift
Yeah, the dream is over for Washington State. I don’t see a way for them to finish with one loss, let alone make the playoff. It was fun while it lasted, I guess. But the good news is that Leach can now drop all pretense and just go back to doing Mike Leach shit against Colorado.
Remember when we talked about that tight Mountain West Mountain division race? The other two teams at the front of the pack collide when Wyoming plays Boise State. Last year the Pokes got the best of the Broncos to win the division, so there is a revenge angle for Boise.
Weekend wraps up with Fresno at San Diego State. Hawaii is on a bye this week, so no late night talks with our bff. Next weekend, though.