Return Of The MAC Shift
What’s understood doesn’t have to be explained.
Manifest Destiny Shift
- Utah State-Nevada: The post-Jordan Love Aggies aren’t exactly having fun, getting drubbed by Boise and San Diego State in back to back weeks and now they draw Nevada, who have beaten Wyoming and UNLV.
- Wyoming-Colorado State: The two schools about an hour and a half apart meet for the 112th time Saturday in what is quietly one of the more historically significant rivalry games in college football. The Border War has been played 27 more times than the Iron Bowl, eight more times than the Third Saturday In October, and 14 times more than the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
- Miami (FL)-NC State: I don’t know what it is about NC State, but there is just nothing about them that interests me as a neutral. Fortunately, you only have to keep this game on until the next one kicks off.
- BYU-Boise: Okay, Notre Dame-Clemson is the main event of the weekend. I’m not going to fight that one. But this is the undercard matchup that ends up being a better game than the main event. This is going to be BYU’s last real hurdle they need to clear to run the table and submit a reasonable bid for playoff selection. Not only that, but Zach Wilson could solidify his Heisman case here by showing out in a ranked matchup.
- San Jose State-San Diego State: It’s football.
Body Clock Shift
- Michigan-Indiana: Without resorting to transitive victories, I actually legitimately think Indiana can beat Michigan despite being outclassed on the roster. Depending on your source, the numbers agree with that assessment. Scoring is going to be to be the big ask for the Hoosiers, but I think 27 is going to be the magic number to pull off the semi-upset. If IU can win the starting field position battle, I think that can go a long long way for them.
- Arizona State-USC: So the PAC-12 kicks off this weekend and their debut game is at...9 a.m. local time. That’s enough to flip this game from an “eh, who really cares?” to a must-watch for me. The first game of the year for both teams kicking off at 9 AM is going to be a shit show and I am absolutely here for it.
- West Virginia-Texas: The Longhorns ended the Big 12’s shot at a lone undefeated team with their 41-34 overtime victory over Oklahoma State, which to a trained observer of college football means that the Big 12 is about to lose all control and veer off towards instability and anarchy, and there’s a strong chance it starts with this game.
- Air Force-Army: ASU and USC playing a game at 9 AM local time is only half of the weird timing of the usually structured nooner, as the two service academies kick off 30 minutes early at 10:30 God’s timezone, 11:30 local, 9:30 mountain time.
- Tulsa-Navy: It’s football.
The World’s Largest Socially Distanced Cocktail Party Shift
- Florida-Georgia: I really don’t have any smartass comment for this because it’s such a great example of styles make good fights. Florida is game to get into a track meet, and they certainly have the offense for it while Georgia wants to sit on the ball and minimize the game as much as possible, letting their defense win the game with the offense getting them off the field for long periods of time. It’s normie as hell but I’m all in on this one.
- Oklahoma State-Kansas State: As it happens, Oklahoma State could not maintain their undefeated season and remains an extremely volatile program (that you can’t trust). They should be able to handle Kansas State, but “should” does a lot of heavy lifting there, as Chris Klieman has done great job in the Little Apple so far.
- Texas Tech-TCU: Should be a pretty decent game for a big, more or less.
- Houston-Cincinnati: Okay, Cincinnati is good. Legitimately good. As in at least four wins in the SEC West good. The question becomes can they maintain their zero in the right column? Houston isn’t uh, exactly being coached at the highest level but they definitely have the talent to hang around and upset the AAC apple cart.
- Clemson-Notre Dame: Were it not for the election, we’d be drowning in absolute hype for this game, and for good reason: with Trevor Lawrence out, the balance has pretty much level out into a tossup. I personally think Clemson’s experience on the big stage is going to result in them pulling it out late, but that’s a tad harder to accomplish without your starting future #1 draft pick under center.
- Stanford-Oregon: Oregon should have a lofty upper hand here, but as we’ve seen up close and personally this year, playing a conference game week one in 2020 could produce some wonky results. It’s worth keeping on early to compliment the main event.
- Tennessee-Arkansas: It’s not going to be a pretty game by any means, but it should be a pretty close game and I fully expect to get a great finish out of it.
- Texas A&M-South Carolina: It’s football.
- UCLA-Colorado: SP+ says this should be a one-score game tilting towards the Bruins, and the same logic we applied to Stanford-Oregon should apply here.
PAC-12 After Dark Shift
- Washington-Cal: Perhaps you’ve gotten used to clocking out at 9:30 on Saturday nights and glossing over the MWC in recent weeks. I don’t agree with that, but maybe that’s what you’ve been doing. Well, now you have to cut that out and pour a nightcap because THE PAC-12 AFTER DARK IS BACK.
- Washington State-Oregon State: So on paper Washington-Cal won’t be pretty, and neither will this game! But it will be close and it features Wazzu, which is perfect for the return of P12AD.
- New Mexico-Hawaii: Oh, we don’t just get the return of #MACtion this week, we also get Hawaii football kicking off on the island at 11:00 p.m. on a cable network nobody in the states gets. Nature is healing, now football is properly back.