LSU plays on the road this weekend, for better or worse. Actually, it’s better more than it is worse. I get to save my feet, when the game is over and done with it’s over and done with and we can move on with our lives, and we can enjoy the game from the comforts of our respective couches, or as much as we can enjoy a game between LSU and Florida.
It’s the international break in soccer, so you’ll have no other option for your early morning entertainment outside of GameDay, which is coming to your black mirrors live from Fort Worth for the West Virginia-TCU game.
The Scrum In Statesboro Shift
It is the halfway point in the regular season, and with that comes our first Wednesday night game of the season. Now it’s not a particularly great matchup, both Arkansas State and Georgia Southern have had rather disappointing starts to their seasons and the Eagles are looking worse for wear. But it’s football, what else are you going to watch, playoff baseball?
The Ruckus In Raleigh Shift
The Birds With Human Teeth waltz into a meeting with a vastly improving NC State for a game that has “TRAP GAME” written on it with red sharpie. Well, maybe less so considering the Wolfpack made a splash on the national radar when they upset Florida State but a Thursday night road game against a good yet often overlooked team are popular ingredients when cooking up an upset.
Alcorn State plays Alabama State 30 minutes prior over on the U if you’re down for some SWAC in your life.
The Slam In Storrs Shift
UConn will try to turn their year around with an upset of Memphis on a Friday night. They will likely fail to do so.
Morgan State plays South Carolina State 30 minutes later over on the U if you’re down for some MEAC in your life.
The Brawl On The Blue Turf Shift
...okay, that one might actually happen. In case you checked out after LSU ate their lunch in NOLA, BYU is having a not good year. In fact, it is very much the polar opposite of good. Their only win on the season is their Week Zero win over Portland State, losing all four games since then.
The home standing Broncos have also had a disappointing year to date, although they have to be feeling pretty good about their Troy win, since...you know. But Boise State has had a week off since Virginia rolled out on the blue turf and smacked them around so they should be good and pissed off, hungry to make a statement.
Knockout In Norman Shift
Man the noon shift is full of trash, even by nooner standards. I’m looking at it and I see seven very likely blowouts: Iowa State at Oklahoma, Wake Forest at Clemson, Penn State at Northwestern, Georgia at Vandy, Ole Miss at Auburn, Temple at ECU, and Texas Tech at Kansas.
That leaves us with Pitt at Syracuse and Duke at Virginia in terms of potentially interesting games, and to be honest those aren’t really all that appealing even with the potential for close games.
Yeah if you have something you need to do to appease your better half so you can get off the hook for the rest of the day, go ahead and take care of that.
Fight In Fort Worth Shift
Things start to heat up considerably in the second page of games. Of course there is Florida hosting LSU, which if you’re reading this likely has considerable meaning to you. But you’re doing yourself a great disservice if you’re ignoring the rest of the slate to focus on that lone game.
The biggest game happening in the 2:30 window is GameDay’s pick, West Virginia at TCU. If you forgot about WVU/didn’t realize that they were 3-1 after losing to Virginia Tech, that’s for a good reason. They’ve been laying low, dumping a truckload of points on East Carolina, Delaware State, and Kansas. Not exactly rubbernecking games. TCU has had a higher profile in their perfect 4-0 start, beating Arkansas, cross-town rivals SMU, and Oklahoma State. I don’t think either team has a shot at catching Oklahoma in the long run of the Big 12, but for now it’s fun to pretend that this game is for the right to challenge them.
And yeah there are some rather extenuating circumstances surrounding it, but who called an undefeated Miami travelling upstate to a one-win Florida State? The answer is nobody but crackheads, further proving that they are superhumans.
Last week Minnesota and PJ Fleck hosted DJ Durkin’s Maryland and lost, but this week the hottest name in coaching plays another quick-rising name to know: Jeff Brohm and Purdue. Six weeks in, and I don’t see how Coach of the Year isn’t going to go to Jeff Brohm. Record alone might not show it but he has already started turning the corner with that program and you can tell just by watching the games that the Boilermakers have a much higher sense of worth than they have had in decades.
Must be nice.
Speaking of Durkin, he now takes his Terps to Columbus. Oh and he still doesn’t have his first two string quarterbacks goooooooooood luuuuuuuuuuuuck!
Apocalypse In Autzen Shift
Washington State’s dream season rolls into Eugene for a matchup with the not-as-bad-as-we-thought Oregon Ducks. Oregon will be without quarterback Justin Herbert, he’s out with a broken collarbone on his non-throwing arm. Because of that, the Cougs will be heavily favored, but consider the following: what is more Washington State than following up a mountain of a victory against USC than to drop a game against a rebuilding Oregon team without it’s first string quarterback in prime time, not late at night, on network television.
I’ll let you think about how right I am.
And related to that, there are two outcomes in the battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy: Michigan scientifically dismantles Michigan State or the Spartans upset the Wolverines in a total slugfest of a game. One is probable and one is not, but both are believable.
Speaking of dismantling, the Alabama war machine rolls west into College Station. Nobody is expecting A&M to win, but man if Sumlin won’t get visibly hot around the collar when Bama is up a 50 burger on the Ags heading into the third quarter...(there is no reason for you to watch more than 10 minutes of this game).
Two potential bangers in this shift that can also become flops: Kansas State at Texas and Virginia Tech at Boston College. I’ve yet to pin down what exactly Texas is until they complete their transformation into a Tom Herman team, and I think that transition will lead to a pretty close to equal match on the field. Virginia Tech is facing the same problem, but they should have a much easier time against Boston College’s minimalist offense.
Sleepless In Seattle Shift
Late shift is led by a steady-improving Cal team going to Seattle. You see, the secret here is to put your lunch money in your sock and when Washington goes to collect their due, just give extra money to them right away and get beat up as little as possible in the process. Does that mean that you will have to take out of your own personal account or dip into your mom’s purse? Yes. But you don’t want to get beat up, do you? You have to know what battles to lose if you want to keep 32 teeth in your mouth.
Circle all that apply:
Stanford plays Utah, and frankly I am disgusted by the amount of disrespect that [STANFORD / UTAH] is giving [STANFORD / UTAH]. I know that [STANFORD / UTAH] hasn’t had a great season up until this point, but [STANFORD / UTAH] better be careful because [STANFORD / UTAH] has a history of taking disrespect and using it as a motivating tool.
Elsewhere to round out the night: San Diego State-UNLV and Hawaii in the mainland to play Nevada.