Our run of five straight days of college football has ended. But the good news is that our respite is only for two days, come Thursday we will be right back on to the grind. So go to your “job” and say hey to your “family” within this 48 hour window if it’s possible. If not, oh well, January is coming soon enough.
The NFL kicks off tonight, but if you’re staunchly anti-shieldball, there are three FCS/FCS-G5 games to sate your football appetite. First off the blocks is West Alabama-Samford streamed over the innernets via ESPN3. This one should get ugly as Samford is #17 in the FCS poll and West Alabama is a good Division II team, but still Division II.
Things cook up when Sam Houston State goes to sweep up Prairie View A&M at home over on ESPNU. That’s going to get out of hand with a quickness, so grab your enjoyment and go to
The Facebook, where Utah State will be playing Idaho State. Yes, Facebook. That’s going to be quite neat if I do say so myself.
...Yeah okay, maybe you should just watch the NFL tonight.
The Day John Henry Died Shift
Fresh off of their valiant effort against Louisville, Jeff Brohm’s Boilermakers will look for their first win in the new regime against The Ohio University of Ohio (OH) Friday night on FOX Sports 1. Over on ESPN2, Oklahoma State plays at South Alabama for...reasons.
RIP El Assico (?) Shift
AS far as nooner shifts go, this one is pretty solid. Louisville was nearly upset by Purdue and now they have to rebound against a dangerous North Carolina team that just dropped a pretty bad game against Cal behind a bad start from Brandon Harris. Elsewhere Cincinnati travels to the Big House after looking rather unimpressive against Austin Peay.
Continuing down the line, El Assico takes place on ESPN2 and this year...it...might be good? No hear me out, Iowa looked good against a strong Wyoming squad (ask your basic college football hipster and they’ll tell you all about their beloved Powder River Pokes) and Matt Campbell is in his second year at Iowa State, the year where the most improvement is displayed. I’m not saying to lock your doors and unplug your phone for this game, but depending on how Louisville-North Carolina is going, this might deserve a promotion to the big screen.
Elsewhere of note: a incredibly equal home and home between Northwestern and Duke, ECU travelling to West Virginia, and Wisconsin hosting Kiffykins.
It’s An Unspoken Thing Shift
A play in three parts:
Pitt, at least in its current state, is simply not good enough to be Penn State's rival. We deserve better. https://t.co/2o9M5VFKJ9— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 8, 2016
They’re so going to make out Saturday.
If it wasn’t for that, TCU and Arkansas would be the centerpiece of the Uncle Verne Memorial Shift because I am vastly interested in those teams for one question that has wildly different meanings when attacked to both programs: What’s next?
What is next for the Horned Frogs? How and when is TCU going to take the next step in their natural program progression and climb to the top of a very weak Big 12?
What is next for the Razorbacks? Did Brett Bielema reach Arkansas’ peak as a program in terms of sustainability? Does he get fired for not having the dizzying highs and crushing lows of Houston Nutt and Bobby Petrino while having none of the crushing lows? Where does Arkansas go from there?
Those questions won’t all be answered Saturday, but we will get a good measuring stick on where both programs stand in terms of those questions.
And if that’s not enough intrigue for you, then Nebraska travels to Oregon later on in the shift, the first test of Willie Taggart’s Oregon reclamation project. I can’t make heads or tails of this game because Oregon does have a decided talent advantage but there is no telling how much drywall Coach T took from the rotting McMansion in Eugene so this will serve as a barometer game for the status of that program.
And then probably the most likely upset of the weekend: Western Michigan at Michigan State. We saw last week that even without PJ Fleck, the Broncos are not afraid of taking on the big boys and can hold their own. After they hung tough at USC, I see no reason why they can’t walk out of East Lansing with a win against a pretty bad until proven otherwise Michigan State.
Rounding out the shift: Tulane playing Navy and
Miami (FL) taking a trip TO Jonesboogie to play the always lethal Arkansas State. Yes, that Miami. Yay, Hurricanes.
The Battle For The Lake Shift
Let’s be honest, there really is no real reason to watch Chattanooga-LSU live past the first quarter. The Mocs are a strong FCS team, but LSU is an FBS title contender until proven otherwise. The differences will be evident, or at least they should. If you want to relive the bloody details in full, clear some time Sunday and hunt down a replay on YouTube, because to watch that mercy killing you are missing some great collegiate football:
Oklahoma-Ohio State, which is one of those games that you’re probably already sick of hearing about, but it’s being talked about ad nauseam for a good reason: it could, and probably will, have a direct impact on the playoff come December.
Auburn-Clemson: One of these schools has their own unique traditions and attributes, and the other co-opted those traditions and mashed them with traditions and qualities stolen from LSU before adding a hill. Only thing is, LSU is conditioned to hate one of those schools, and it isn’t the one that “borrowed” features from them. Auburn beat down Georgia Southern in week one, but this week is the week we find out if the Auburn hype is really real.
Georgia-Notre Dame: Less interesting for the postseason implications and more for the perceptions, Georgia gets put behind the eight ball in this matchup by the loss of Jacob Eason. But it’s still cool to see names of this size get in the same ring in week two without conference implications regardless. Plus, we’ll all get a hearty laugh at the loser.
Stanford-USC: The upset was ten years ago! Ten! An entire decade! Since then, Stanford has flipped the series on it’s head and gone 8-3 against the Trojans. That is by far the best 10-game series against USC Stanford has ever had. I’m very sure all this will weigh heavy on USC’s mind and we’ll have a brawler of a game.
South Carolina-Missouri: Okay so they’re not all winners.
Five Wide Into The Night Shift
Usually the PAC-12 After Dark Shift only provides 2-3 games, especially FBS only games so the fact that we get five of these bad boys is a treat.
The amphetamine shift is spearheaded by Boise at Washington State, which has “fun” written all over it. If late night obscene scoring is your deal, then settle in and make yourself at home on the ESPN major. Put on a cup of your favorite stimulate first, because it’s going to run long.
The second line is Houston at Arizona, the first game for Houston after the hurricane and with Major Applewhite as head coach. Arizona doesn’t stand a chance.
Utah’s won seven of the last eight Holy War matchups, and that will roll on to eight of the last nine if BYU doesn’t cross midfield again this weekend.
The boat rowers make the voyage to Beaverton for what should be PJ Fleck’s first big win at Minnesota over Oregon State, who after dropping their season opener to Colorado barely skirted by Portland State 35-32. Yeah, it could get ugly.
The week ends with San Diego State at Arizona State which...well, it’s the last piece off the plate for a reason.