If you’re not going to a 8:15pm kickoff against Ole Miss or at least tailgating for it, you’re making a huge mistake. But at least you can take solace in the fact that it slate of football is good...except for when it’s not, which is quite often.
Hang Up The Fedora Shift
Well, I think this is weekend where we see Larry Fedora’s nail hammered into the coffin. A loss against Miami (FL) drops him to below .550 in his tenure at North Carolina. And he’s probably lucky that the UCF game was cancelled in that regard. So maybe a more desperate than usual Tar Heels team have some tricks up their sleeves, but a win against the Hurricanes is unlikely.
The rest of the shift are some bargain bin specials: South Carolina State at NC A&T, Northern Iowa at Indiana State, and a NAIA-FCS and DII game.
The Midline Is Still Selling Shift
Two Ivy League games lead the Friday charge, Princeton at Columbia and Rhode Island at Harvard.
The mainstream action kicks at 7:00 when Memphis pays Willie Fritz a visit down on de bayew. The Tigers outclass the Green Wave completely in nearly every metric, but the beautiful thing is that Tulane play the exact game they need to play have have a puncher’s chance in this game (see: Army-Oklahoma).
An hour later, Colorado at UCLA kicks off. The Buffs are a the little team that could, sitting at 3-0 while looking looking impressive to everyone but the numbers. They’re led by a quarterback who may or may not be good but he does what he needs to do to give the team a chance to win.
Hmm. Sounds familiar.
Anyway, they step into conference play against UCLA. Things are not going great for Chip Kelly’s #college boys right now. Enjoy what Steven Montez will do to the Bruins and don’t think anything more of it.
***BONUS OBLONG SPHEROID SHIFT***
PK - Management would like to apologize for Adam putting an NFL game in this week’s How To Football. To counter this horrible decision, we offer the Australian Rules Football Grand Final - Collingwood vs West Coast, airing at 11:30pm CST Friday Night on Fox Soccer Plus. Honor LSU’s great punting heritage by enjoying the pinnacle of this amazing sport.
Shootout At The Lubbock Corral Shift
West Virginia has quietly established themselves in the pack for the playoff race after dismantling Tennessee and blowing Kansas State away. Their game against NC State was cancelled, and honestly even if they won big I’m not sure how much the narrative will deviate from where it is now. But the Mountaineers are sitting at 3-0 and #10 in S&P+, 6th in offensive S&P+. That 6th-ranked offense will get a chance to tee off against the 90th ranked defense. While it’s true that the Red Raiders have the 12th-ranked offense, WVU’s defense should be up to task this week.
Still, this is your guaranteed game for points.
Speaking of points, Arkansas sucks but at least they’re showing signs that construction is ongoing. They meet a similarly rebuilding Texas A&M in Jerrahworld, albeit a Texas A&M with more to work with. I think this is going to be the game that exacerbates Jimbo’s year one frustrations, whereas Clemson was a promising loss and Alabama was just...expected.
The rest of the shift, for a lack of a better term, wangs chum. And it will continue to do so until the evening. So to quickly nail the games of most notability: Clemson hosting Syracuse, Central Michigan at Michigan State, and Temple-Boston College.
You will always be in my heart, 55.6 points per game Boston College.
Lateral Moves Shift
Woof. This shift is straight garbage. I don’t think there is anything really truly compelling here. Purdue and Nebraska looked to be a banger in August, but that is looking like a flop. Same with Florida State at Louisville. Take a break and do something productive during this window, you won’t miss much.
But be sure to get back to your seat by 5:00, when Florida travels to Starkville in the lead-in game for Ole Miss-LSU. This is obviously Mullen’s return to Mississippi State, and he’s not likely to leave with a win. The Bulldogs just got rocked by Kentucky, but it’s not objectionable to say that State is in a much better place than Florida, thanks to Mullen. It’s funny how that happens.
MOST HATED RIVAL SOBRIETY Shift
After some ass in the 2:30 slot, business picks up with an Ohio State at Penn State. We will not be talking about The Tweet in this space, but instead the fact that were an Ohio State to win, they would regain The Traveling The and complete the second cycle of The Holy Indefinite Article:
An Ohio State will win and get their The back, not because they’re a better football team (they are) but because life isn’t fair. Remember that, kids. Everything suck and then you die.
Speaking of, Stanford at Notre Dame! A game between undefeated teams that kind of sorta backed their way into those positions! I honestly think this will be as much fun as a game in Notre Dame Library can be, both teams are pretty much mirror images of each other, Stanford just lacks the two blowouts Notre Dame has picked up against lesser competition. If you’re hankering for a solid, well-played defensive game, this should hit the spot pretty well for you.
Meanwhile, South Carolina at Kentucky is an actually important football game! No seriously, this is a Top 25 S&P+ matchup. Like it actually has real, tangible SEC East implications! Like there is a very real possibility that his game can be parlayed into a Sugar Bowl berth. The Wildcats of all team have figured out college football offense, ranking 7th in offensive S&P+ while Will Muschamp is doing what Muschamp is want to do, holding a defensive S&P+ ranking of wait 36? And an offensive ranking of 25?
And then BYU travels to Washington and then Ole Miss goes to Baton Rouge. At 8:15. What a freaking time to be alive, my friends.
Hey so you know how we’re in the upside down where Kentucky is good, actually and South Carolina’s offense is better than the defense? Yeah so uh, Cal is 118th in offense and fifth (5th) in defense. That is not a typo. Go @ Bill or something. Anyway, Oregon now has to play a defense statically better than Stanford’s a week after, which I’m sure will work out well for the Ducks.
The rest of the nightcap: A rebuilding Arizona hosting a USC team that is also rebuilding question mark, Toledo at Fresno State, and Oregon State at Herm’s House.
Hawai’i is stateside this week, so we will not be observing the ways of the island deep into the night.