Well, this is it. Our progress through the regular season draws to a close just as quick as it opened back on Labor Day. It’s sad, but thankfully we can draw the curtains after one hell of a grand finale.
All rankings S&P+.
Ashes To Ashes, MAC to MAC Shift
The final #MACtion of the year gives us two pretty lacking games: Northern Illinois at Western Michigan and Ball State at Miami (OH). NIU should put away the Broncos easily and S&P+ likes Miami by over 20 against Ball State.
Thanksgiving Linner Shift
Even including the Shieldball, our afternoon slate for Thanksgiving is pretty light. Colorado State at Air Force is the only FBS game and the only other college game on is Mississippi Valley State at Alabama State, streaming live on the Hornets’ website.
Traditional Thanksgiving Egg Shift
Let’s be honest, The Egg Bowl is a huge draw in this area of the country, but the best rilvary in the NFL is the main event here. I like to put down shieldball like the rest of y’all but I can’t in good faith tell you to watch the Egg Bowl over Falcons-Saints in the Superdome.
Black Friday has a subtle heater leading off in Houston at Memphis, a top-35 matchup. The Tigers are favored by a touchdown, but the Cougars looked hella impressive in an outright proper mud hole stomping of Tulane.
The MAC Race we’ve been highlighting for the past three weeks draws to a conclusion one way or another. Ohio dropped the damn elbow on Buffalo from the top rope last week, but they need 126th-ranked Bowling Green to upset the Bulls to force their tiebreaker. But the Bobcats themselves need to deal with Akron, which should be pretty likely.
It’s wild how Scott Frost Day falls on Black Friday this year, by the way.
Eat, Sleep, Break The Streak Shift
Virginia hasn’t beaten Virginia Tech in 14 years, but this year is probably their best chance at doing so since 2003. The Hoos are only favored by a field goal so it probably won’t be comfortable, but games in week 13 seldom are.
After last year’s game of the year, The War On I-4 skews heavily in UCF’s favor with the Knights favored by 12. But the promise of a pointsplosion is still strong, and as we saw against Temple the Knights’ defense can be a little rocky.
A few should-be blowouts pepper the afternoon shift: Mizzou over Arkansas, Oregon over Oregon State, and Cincinnati over ECU.
Leftover Apple Pie Shift
Only two games in the Black Friday Night shift, but they are two exquisite picks.
First at 7:00, Oklahoma and West Virginia battle it out for a spot in the Big 12 Championship. Oklahoma enters at the top of the conference, and stays that way with a win. But we’re assuming Texas beats Kansas (which has been proven to be quite the leap in logic), meaning the Sooners are out with a loss since the next two teams with two losses (WVU and Texas) are the two teams who have bested the Sooners.
The Mountaineers have a good offense, but the Sooners have THE best offense. If that’s what is comes to I trust the Sooners more in a drag race but in a game like that one error is all it takes. S&P+ likes the Sooners by a shade over a touchdown.
Hey remember when the Apple Cup was like, an event because of how bad it was? Well, we’ve come full circle here, as in the year of our lord 2018 it’s a 20 vs. 10 matchup. You may think the Cougars would have an offense that ranks up at the front, but they actually clock in at #14 with a #43 defense to compliment. The Huskies conversely have the 9th best defense and 32nd best offense, so this should be a pretty good strength vs. strength matchup with the hosts being favored by the slimmest of margins.
FOOTBAWL WEDDER Shift
The crown jewel of Saturday kicks off at 11, when #8 Ohio State hosts #4 Michigan. The Buckeyes have been lemonbootying since their Purdue loss five weeks ago, and that has caused some concern in Columbus regarding this game. But I’m fully expecting the Buckeyes to get up for this game and play their best game since early October. The #5 offense vs, the #2 defense combined with the pageantry of the game should deliver a great one on all fronts.
The rest of the shift? Meh city. It will be fun to see if Georgia Tech’s uber-efficient offense can keep Georgia off the field enough to keep the game close, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue without some interference or luck. Florida should knock off Florida State, but the Gators have been getting progressively worse since they beat LSU.
Rounding out the shift: Navy at Tulane and Baylor and Texas Tech in jerruhworl.
AHRN BAWL THE GLASSIC Shift
Lmao Alabama by 17. Auburn will pull some asshattery to keep it close until midway through the third, at which point the Alabama car crusher will bring Auburn past their breaking point.
But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel! The Bayou Classic is back on NBC(SN) and more importantly has stakes. The game kicks off at 4:00 which is a funky timeslot but it gives us a chance to flip over and see the play-in game for the SWAC Championship. Grambling is the more explosive team, but they are more points-prone on both sides of the ball so Southern will have to come out their shell to win in the dome.
PodKATT: And the REAL battle you’re tuning in to see will air at halftime, as NBCSN will keep up it’s tradition of airing both the Southern and Grambling halftime shows. Nothing airing in this shift, possibly in this entire weekend, will be more entertaining.
And that game honestly deserves front and center billing because the afternoon kind of cleared out for the AHRN BAWL. There are still some interest to be found, but it isn’t anything to put up on the marquee. Maryland and Penn State will be fun for the offenses, Pitt-objectively better Miami (FL) is a dang ole GRUDGE MATCH. and the Territorial Cup between two first-year coaches will certainly be on.
BLOOD FUEDish shift
Noted rivalry LSU-Texas A&M is probably the best game on during the night shift, honestly. Which is weird given that the game will be aired on the SEC Network. I don’t think USC has anything for Notre Dame and that goes double for South Carolina and Clemson. I’m sure Kentucky will have fun ragdolling llvll before they hire Jeff Brohm and the same goes for Oklahoma State-TCU sans the Brohm bit.
Last Call Shift
The nightcap is largely meh, with one huge, glaring, massive exception: Utah State at Boise State. This is a 22 vs. 30 matchup in which the Aggies are the high-ranked team. Your beloved Aggies have rattled 10 straight wins in a row and have been carpet bombing everyone in sight since their week one loss to Michigan State. But as we saw last week, it is incredibly hard to win in Boise, almost laughably so. If USU wants to win the Mountain West...Mountain division, then they’re going to have to earn it. Hawai’i ends the night again, but the game is stateside, so our friend Robert will be doing the evening news instead.
PodKATT’s Hipster D1-AA Recommendation: Adam’s breakdown is too corporate to include the first round of College Football’s One True Championship, the FCS playoffs, which kickoff on Saturday. Most of them will be during the middling Iron Bowl time slot, so take a look if you’re curious. All games will air on ESPN3. The highlight pick has to be San Diego going down the bayou to fight Communism, especially with the boatload of cash Nicholls paid the NCAA to get a home playoff game.
- G3: Duquesne at Towson 1:00 PM
- G4: Elon at Wofford 1:00 PM
- G5: Stony Brook at SEMO 1:00 PM
- G2: Delaware at James Madison 2:00 PM
- G1: Incarnate Word at Montana State 2:00 PM
- G8: San Diego at Nicholls 3:00 PM
- G7: Lamar at Northern Iowa 4:00 PM
- G6: ETSU at Jacksonville State 6:30 PM