There is more football this week and it...sure is football. IF you’re to tailgate this Saturday you can probably free yourself of the constraints of a television and feel pretty good about it.
GameDay will be returning to an actual college campus this weekend when they head to Blacksburg.
Loyal Sons Shift
Texas visits lovely Ames, Iowa where nothing bad has ever happened to a visiting team on a weeknight. Especially not Texas. They’ve only played Northern Iowa (a really good FCS team that would probably mop the floor with like, Charlotte), Iowa, and Akron, but the Cyclones have put up 40+ points in each game so far. Don’t sharpie a shootout but the Loyal Sons can hang and we know how Tom Herman likes his football.
Also, if you’re really fiendin’ for football, NC Central and Florida A&M play over on ESPNU for some of that hot and spicy MEACtion.
Pon De Replay Shift
Miami headlines the Friday evening shift when they go up to Durham to play Duke. That last time that happened, things went radioactive on the last play of the game. Thanks to Irma we don’t have a lot to go off on when it comes to Miami, they slammed Bethune Cookman and beat Toledo 52-30. On the other hand, Duke has looked good...like, actually good. Waxed NC Central, blew out Northwestern, beat Baylor by 14, and took down arch rivals North Carolina by 10 points. So two dynamics will be at work, Duke will be tested and the true Miami will be revealed.
Nebraska takes to Champaign, Illinois while the Old Wagon Wheel leg of the Beehive Boot round out the shift with some lagniappe from the Ivy League in Dartmouth and Penn.
Party In The Palouse Shift
It sucks that this game is going to be on a Friday night because if it was on Saturday then it would be a shutdown lock for Gameday’s first trip to Pullman. Both teams are undefeated and right now we’re at a point in the season where that kind of means something. Washington State went to overtime against Boise State but apart from that has looked the part against lesser competition, which is saying something about Wazzu in the early season. Meanwhile USC has played a much higher level of competition and struggled a little more, only putting Western Michigan away late, letting Stanford hang a bit before dropping them, going into double overtime against Texas, and only beating a steady improving Cal team by 10.
I am looking forward to watching this one by quite a bit, y’all. Put on a pot of coffee because this one is going to take a while.
Hot Shots, Cold Climates Shift
Two of the hottest young names in coaching headline the nooner kickoff shift when DJ Durkin’s Maryland plays PJ Fleck’s Minnesota. The homestanding Golden Gophers are undefeated but have not really played a great collection of world beaters. Maryland, on the other hand just suffered their first loss of the season to UCF, a 28 point shellacking at home. That has a lot to do with the fact that both quarterbacks Tyrrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill have suffered season-ending ACL injuries.
It’s...a concerning trend for Maryland, who probably needs to find the injury slider.
North Carolina continues to be a perpetual disappointment and their outlook for turning it around doesn’t look great because now they have to prepare for the triple option attack of Georgia Tech. The sleeping giant stays locked in its slumber, sadly.
Now, Syracuse and NC State has potential to breakout in a really fun game. The Wolfpack are the better team, but you all saw how dangerous and smart Syracuse can be on a football field.
Elsewhere, the same ole nooner ugliness: Northwestern at Wisconsin, and Houston at Temple. Oh, and the absolute tire fire that is Vanderbilt and Florida. God, just thinking abut that game is making me nauseous. Next, please.
Build Your Own Playsheet Shift
Okay, I outlined this on twitter, but here is some actual stupidity from ESPN: Mississippi State and Auburn kicks off at 5:00. 2:30-5:00 is too small of a window to fit a game into, so ESPN is running a scoreboard show until the conclusion of Vandy-Florida until 2:30, where they will go to ESPN Goal Line (despite the fact that Goal Line will also be on the, you know, Goal Line channel) before flipping back to a scoreboard show to bump into Miss St-Auburn. And they can’t push that game because Ole Miss and Alabama kicks off at 8, because that’s necessary.
I said all of this to say this: the game kicks off at the very end of the shift, so if you’re interested in watching that game, you make the call on where to place that game and what game to kick off to get that.
As far of the games that have the gall to kickoff when they’re supposed to or shortly after, most of those are going to be pretty lackluster.
The “highlight” of the shift is Georgia at Tennessee in the SEC on CBS slot. Georgia is making due with a backup quarterback and Tennessee can’t help but to trip over their own feet, even in victories. That makes for compelling television sure, but a great football game? I’m not expecting that from this game and you shouldn’t either.
And yes, Florida State is without a win and Wake Forest is without a loss, but come on y’all. I want to believe too, but let’s not do this. Wake Forest doesn’t need hope, it will only make the coming beatdown worse. We don’t have to do that to them.
We get two afternoon B1G matchups: Iowa at Michigan State and Indiana at Penn State, both of which have potential to be explosive track meets and also a molasses fight. We know what Michigan State is, and it ain’t pretty, but if pushed Iowa can put the rock in the paint. I would still bank on Indiana and Penn State to going HAM, but there’s a balance between both worlds to be had. Fun for the entire family!
Rounding out the shift: Baylor-Kansas State and Navy-Tulsa.
Shootout At The Mars Corral Shift
If you’re not going to be in Tiger Stadium this week (which after seeing last week’s attendance looks like most everybody) then you’ll have to wait for the evening shift to get cooking.
The first thing on the slate is Clemson at Virginia Tech, which Clemson will likely win by 10 or whatever, maybe 14 or 17. I just don’t have faith in the Hokies after seeing Auburn with a lake mop the floor with llvll. Kicking off alongside it is Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Just by reading the names you should already know what is going to happen. I cannot put into words exactly how ready I am to catch the end of this shootout after the LSU game, because it will definitely outlive that game by quite a while and it will likely be glorious.
We revealed Ole Miss and Bama earlier, as if that’s going to be over by the first quarter. That’s not the SEC matchup you need to be watching though. A week after...extending his employment status by a least a week, Kevin Sumlin’s Aggies host Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks. Don’t tell a soul I said this, but despite their Muschampness (a 23-13 loss to Kentucky, barely scraping by Louisiana Tech 17-16) the Gamecocks have actually kind of inadvertently hinted at signs of improvement sorta (35-28 over NC State, 31-13 booming of Mizzou). But they’re also still at the level where a loss to them could force a change in College Station.
Also! Memphis and UCF until the Ole Miss-Alabama mess begins to spill.
Whiskey Lullaby Shift
This week’s nightcap is pretty so-so for PAC 12 After Dark. Two programs on a rebound that are actually probably at the same level between Cal and Oregon, a game between two programs trying to catch lightning in a bottle again between Colorado and UCLA, and two G5 games: San Jose State at UNLV and NIU stepping out of conference to visit San Diego State in what remains of Qualcomm Stadium.
And if you’re That Guy that hates the wild offenses that plague the west coast, silence yourself and find solace in Footbawl Bawb’s Quintuple Option offense at UNLV.
Note from PodKATT: Oh no Adam, this just wont do.....