LSU lost for the first time since 2018, and yet the beat goes on. Another week of college football is upon us, and this time it brings an absolute marquee matchup that will dictate the course of the season and create some huge narratives.
Royal Blue Shift
- Campbell-Wake Forest: It’s football!
- Louisiana Tech-BYU: The Cougars have been straight up playing bull ball, flattening Navy 55-3 and then coming back over two weeks later and smothering Troy 48-7. This game isn’t looking to be that bad, but it’s SP+ still leans heavily toward BYU.
- TCU-Texas: Despite allowing 212 rushing yards (!) to Iowa State, the Horned Frogs only lost their season opener 37-34 and put up 400 yards of offense. Highly publicized five-star running back Zach Evans didn’t make his debut, and if he can enter the fold this week then maybe that could be the shot in the arm TCU needs to spring the upset over Texas.
- South Carolina-Florida: At this point, I have zero confidence in Will Muschamp to lead his current team to a victory over his former one, but I think Florida is a very volatile team that can easily blow up their own spot. Apart from that, no real intrigue here.
- Baylor-West Virginia: The Dave Aranda Era in Waco got off to a great start Saturday with a 47-14 win over....oh this is awkward, Les Miles’ Kanas. Regardless, a 33-point win over Kansas isn’t much to go off on, and West Virginia under Neal Brown to date has been a hard team to get a read on. The more I think about this game, the more I sell myself on this being an interesting game and I should have placed it higher. Oh well, the Braves play in 20 minutes and I don’t feel like going back and changing it.
- Missouri-Tennessee: I slandered Muschamp earlier, but he and his boys did give Tennessee a scare last weekend, with the Vols needing a bad touch on a punt return to turn the ball back over and end the Gamecock rally. I have no clue who the better team is, a team well in the midst of a Will Muschamp regime or a team that Eliah Drinkwitz just inherited, but I guess we’ll find out.
- NC State-Pitt: Pitt might lowkey be good? And not unironically good, like, actually good? I don’t know, let’s wait and see on it.
Fall Frenzy Shift
- Texas A&M-Alabama: Alabama easily disarmed a Mizzou team trying to find their sea legs while A&M struggled with Vanderbilt. That doesn’t exactly bode well, but regardless it will be Alabama’s first test of the season and we get to see what Mac Jones and the 2020 Tide look like with some resistance thrown at them.
- Memphis-SMU: SP+ is calling this a game a toss up, favoring the Tigers by 1.1 points. But if you’ve been paying attention to college football at all the past three years or so you didn’t need to be told that.
- Texas Tech-Kansas State: A meeting of teams who almost pulled off the upset (Texas Tech) and did pull off the upset (Kansas State) of the Red River Shootout last week. The Wildcats are favored by less than a touchdown, but remember this is the same team that lost to Arkansas State at home, while the Red Raiders almost lost to Houston Baptist at home. So, your mileage may vary. Regardless, this is a very interesting game.
- Ole Miss-Kentucky: Another virtual tossup per SP+. Maybe if a touchdown is correctly called, Kentucky has a fighting chance against against Auburn while Ole Miss...well, the Rebels need a whole lot of defensive help after losing 51-35 to Florida.
- Boston College-North Carolina: Last week the Eagles needed a late field goal to lift them over Texas State, which isn’t great, but they also hammered Duke by 20 earlier in the month. That’s the exact kind of volatility that can bite the Tar Heels. Not likely, but still worth keeping an eye on.
Glory, Glory Shift
- LSU-Vanderbilt: Read more at andthevalleyshook dot gov.
- Auburn-Georgia: An impossibly huge game so “early in the season” the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry moves from November to early October because 2020. The winner stays very much alive and a factor for the playoffs and the conference while the loser’s odds of making the playoff drops to single digits. SP+ calls this a toss-up leaning Georgia, which fits with the narrative of the rivalry. Auburn hasn’t won in Georgia since 2005, and is 3-12 since then. All three Tiger wins came at home, and they happened in years Auburn won the west (despite it being a non-division game).
- Oklahoma-Iowa State: Pitt gets all the attention, but Iowa State has proven to be the upset-prone team in college football time and time again. If Kansas State can do it, then the Cyclones definitely can.
- Tulsa-UCF: Yeah, so, the shift kind of falls apart after this. Not that it matters, you’re probably going to be busy with LSU-Vandy and Auburn-Georgia. Unless...
- Arkansas-Mississippi State: I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Always check for a body, assume nothing.