Let me preface this by saying that this week is incredible in how poorly planned-out it is. If this week made sense and the powers that be made smart decisions with their lots, then the lineup would look a little something like this:
Buuuut instead it looks a little something like this:
And I agree, it’s a hot mess. But we’re just going to have to adjust and roll with the punches.
Bay Area-Adjacent Shift
Two conference championships Friday night, the traditional MAC leading into the PAC-12.
Buffalo shouldn’t have much problems with NIU, but this is the MAC after all and these teams tendency is to break tendency constantly and produce a wild variance of results. So I feel like by the time the PAC-12 championship kicks off an hour later, we’ll know if we can bail for the game in Santa Clara or keep it locked.
The PAC-12 has been (rightfully) buried a lot lately, so I’m not going to step on that soapbox today. In August I’d have said this would likely be the matchup, but after seeing the pure fun from Washington State and the dumpster fire that was the PAC-12 South, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that this is what we ended up with.
The actual game should be really close, but I don’t think it’s going to be much of a great game.
Red River Rematch Shift
If it wasn’t for the Alabama-Georgia rematch, then the Big 12 championship would be the most desirable tray at the buffet. That says a lot about this shift, because Oklahoma are favored by 15 points. But at the same time, this is probably the rivalry that epitomizes the “anything can happen” mantra. In fact, I’d say usually the opposite of the expected outcome happens in this game. Add that with the fact that Tom Herman relishes the underdog role, and baby you’ve got a stew going.
There are two Group of Five championships in the nooner shift, the Sun Belt and the C-USA. In what is likely his last game in Boone, Scott Satterfield’s Mountaineers host USL and are three-score favorites against the Cajuns.
But the Internet’s own Zombie Dragons are back and stronger than ever, already in the C-USA Championship in their second year back. Unfortunately the Blazers aren’t hosting the championship game and have to travel to Murfreesboro to play MTSU. The game should be pretty close though, and it’s staggered to where you can flip over after the end of Oklahoma-Texas and see the thrilling conclusion here.
The FCS playoff games are so weirdly bunched together, especially in this shift. Four of the second round games kickoff in the midday hours, Jacksonville State at Maine, James Madison at Colgate, Wofford at Kennesaw State, and Montana State at North Dakota State. But they’re all staggered by an hour. So uh, just ride that wave and keep your finger on the game that keeps your interest. I don’t know, this is dumb.
CHEST PASS SZN Shift
I don’t need to really devote any time to Bama-Georgia, that’s your obvious tentpole game of the weekend.
BUT! You will need two TVs/monitors/screens for the 2:30 shift. Memphis almost got the best of a full strength UCF earlier in the season, and now the Knights will have to do it again without McKenzie Milton under center. I still like the Citronauts’ chances mostly because their defense is much better than people give them credit for. Not enough to hold them to under 24 or so, but good enough to give the Knights offense room to fight back.
Meanwhile, your Southern Jaguars defeated Grambling 38-28 to advance to the SWAC championship game. However, because Alcorn State defeated Southern earlier this season, the Braves will host the championship game. You can watch SUBR exact revenge on The U at 3:30.
Some of the noon FCS playoffs games will bleed into the afternoon shift, but the only game kicking off in the middle slot is the school downriver traveling to the BLOOD TURF to face Eastern Washington. Go Eagles!
Don’t Dream It’s Over Shift
The last college football Saturday of the year ends by championing the little guys.
The final shift begins with the last FCS game of the day, Northern Iowa travelling to play UC-Davis. From there, it moves on to the Mountain West championship, the true marquee game of this godforsaken shift.
Before you get indignant, I have three numbers for you: 25.2, 20.2, and 4.2. Those are the spreads to all three games according to S&P+. The choice is yours, choose wisely.