While it SUCKS that LSU is kicking off at 11:00 in the AM, at least we’ll be rewarded with some good football after we get the tailgate broken down.
Gameday got it right this year, broadcasting live from Gainesville ahead of Auburn-Florida.
Braves Country Shift
- Temple-ECU: Should be a fairly easy win for Temple following their 22-2 victory over Georgia Tech.
- Georgia Southern-South Alabama: There are no winners between the 108th and 122nd ranked teams in SP+. Fans of all four teams should just watch the Cardinals-Braves game, given the location and honestly you should too.
Nippert At Night Shift
- UCF-Cincinnati: When you step down into the G5, the effects of any homefield advantage pretty much dries up. One of the notable exceptions is Cincy at Nippert (along with UCF’s bounce house), which LIVES for these pre-Saturday night games. They show out for the ESPN cameras, and it will be a much harder environment than Heinz Field on a Saturday afternoon. Also: The Bearcats are good! This would have been a great game no matter where it was played.
The Bar Shift
- New Mexico-San Jose State: SJSU is ranked 112th, and New Mexico is ranked 121st. The game may be close, but close games are not necessarily good games. Also: Arkansas lost to the 112th team in college football.
Mimosa Morning Shift
- Oklahoma State-Texas Tech: If you’re not in Death Valley experiencing heat death, this is probably your best bet to flip to when the LSU game gets out of hand. We know pretty well who the Cowboys are, but the Red Raiders are kind of going through a first-year coach identity crisis. The defense is actually outperforming the offense (36th vs. 55th), and that’s after playing Oklahoma, but they’re still searching for that defining win in year one of Matt Wells.
- TCU-Iowa State: SP+ says this is a toss-up (margin is .7 points to the Cyclones) and...yeah that checks out, actually. ISU is good but WILDLY unstable, even if they have lowkey one of the five best quarterbacks in Brock Purdy. Of course, going up against a Gary Patterson defense is never easy, so he’ll have to ball out.
- Iowa-Michigan: There are actual football reasons for watching the other two games. Not this one. This is purely a schadenfreude game. If Harbaugh loses this game, the water around him HAS to start getting warm. The Wolverines still have a great defense, but the offense is still as maligned as ever. And I do mean, as ever. Take a look:
LSU's offense/defensive ranks under Les Miles, post-2011— Adam Henderson (@AdamdotH) October 3, 2019
And Harbaugh at Michigan:
AVG: 38/7 pic.twitter.com/UVlbNKEwhQ
- Tulane-Army: I use the term “toss up” a lot, but SP+ is spitting out a margin of 0.0 and a score of 27-27. Given how both teams like to play ball, this is likely to be the first game to finish so keep a keen out for this one. There’s a non-zero chance this hits the two minute warning as Texas Tech and Oklahoma State kickoff the fourth. \
Wes Byrum Memorial Shift
- Auburn-Florida: Because the SEC scheduling office has brain worms, Auburn owns a 16-year winning streak over Florida, highlighted by the classic in 2007 the Tigers won off a walkoff field goal. But this time around, the Gators are favored by less than a field goal in the first meeting of the two schools since 2011. However, if Auburn wins then we really have to consider their claim for the #1 ranking based off resume alone.
- Baylor-Kansas State: Remember how I talked about Brock Purdy? Well he got his last week, but the Bear defense put the clamps on him for the first three quarters, pitching a shutout until the 4th in a 23-21 win. It hasn’t always been sexy in the past two weeks, but Baylor is currently 4-0 and are favored by a field goal over Kansas State. I know there are SPIDERS in Baylor’s past, but those coaches are gone and Matt Rhule has done a great job rebuilding the program.
- Texas-West Virginia: Okay so this game looks bad, and it’s definitely included because the rest of the shift is pretty meh, but hear me out. West Virginia is pretty bad, and Texas should win. But in the past two weeks they’ve proven that there is talent on the roster, and they proved it by coming out of nowhere to beat NC State 44-27 and then 29-22 over Kansas. I feel confident that they will lose, but I can’t make heads or tails on how they’ll lose. This is basically a competitiveness check.
- Air Force-Navy: Say it with me: close games are not good games, they are merely entertaining finishes. Be that as it may, this one may be a very close game, almost as close as Tulane-Army.
- Northwestern-Nebraska: They can’t all be winners, okay?
North By Northwest Shift
- Cal-Oregon: The crown jewel of an otherwise bad evening shift, this game will probably decided the fate of the PAC-12 North and potentially the conference as a whole as it relates to the college football playoff. If you have been unplugged from the west coast, Oregon is joining Cal, Texas Tech and Baylor as Offensive Sinners Born Again In The Glory Of Defense, ranking 4th (!) in defensive SP+ and 45th in offense. At the end I expect Oregon’s talent to pull away but it should be tight for the majority of it.
- Michigan State-Ohio State: If there’s ever a trap game for the Buckeyes, this is it. The Spartans have the 2nd best defense to match up with The Ohio State’s 3rd best offense. Probably won’t happen, but it definitely could.
- Pitt-Duke: Close games are not good games, but we’ll have to settle here.
- Tulsa-SMU: The 24th-ranked Mustangs are ranked for the first time since 1986 (!!!) and are a perfect 5-0, including a win over
cross-townDallas metro area rivals TCU. Sonny Dykes’ SMU hasn’t gone full Sonny Dykes, for better or worse. The offense only ranks 27th (only), but the defense isn’t laughably bad (62nd). He’s still in the building stages, but so far the results are great.
- Georgia-Tennessee: Hey y’all wanna see a dead body?
WHAT DOES EVERYONE WANT TONIGHT? TACOS! TACOS! Shift
- Washington-Stanford: The other half of the “Who Wants To Win The PAC-12?” game show, the Huskies go down to the farm (I’m so sorry) in a must and probably will win game, lest they fall two games behind Oregon if they beat Cal. Working for them is that the Cardinal nearly fall in the bottom half of both offensive and defensive SP+.
- Boise-UNLV: Outside of that, it’s a bad night shift. It’s #MurderSmurfs season ladies and gentlemen.
- San Diego State at Colorado State: The Aztecs’ 124th ranked offense against Colorado State’s 123rd ranked defense. Woof. This game will probably come down to SDSU’s 15th ranked defense shutting down CSU’s 59th ranked offense, but there is no Hawaii football on tonight, so what are you going to do besides watch Peaky Blinders or Big Mouth?