No time to get the pleasantries this week, we’ve got football to discuss.
What’s In A Name Shift
- The Ohio University of Ohio (OH)-ULL: As much as it pains be the say, the Ragin Cajuns are a good team and should have this game in the bag.
- Alabama A&M-Bethune Cookman: Again, we’re always here for HBCU games getting national recognition.
Fri Day Night I Get The Feeling That We Just Might Shift
- UCF-llvll: The Golden Knights look perhaps even better under Gus than they did under Heupel? Which itself is interesting, but on the flip side to the coin it feels like Scott Satterfield needs this win given how much goodwill he’s burned through. SP+ is still gun shy on UCF but I’ve really liked what we’ve seen from then so far.
- Maryland-Illinois: Look man, we’ve gotta fill out this Friday night somehow and it might not be the worst game in the world.
Rolling Coal Shift
- Virginia Tech-West Virginia: After upsetting UNC, the Hokies beat Middle Tennessee State...by about what Virginia Tech should beat Middle Tennessee State by. I’m not saying Justin Fuente’s problems are solved, but if Tech wins this game against a good not great West Virginia team then it at least proves that the ship has been righted and isn’t actively sinking.
- Cincinnati-Indiana: Oh no. Oh no no no. Not like this, Hoosiers.
- Michigan State-Miami (FL): A decade ago, this is a very interesting game in terms of national narrative. Now....meh. But still, a good game is a good game by any means and these are two programs who are, somehow, both spinning their wheels trying to find find some sustained success after a decade of misfires. Interestingly enough though, both teams are going through an identity metamorphosis where the Spartans are hoping for a track meet and Miami is the one willing to slow the game way down to the crawl. Just a fascinating case study in playing against type.
- Minnesota-Colorado: Speaking of Mel Tucker and programs trying to find themselves, this game is also interesting but in the other direction. After scoring just a touchdown against an A&M team that had its worst performance under Jimbo, Karl Dorell’s mob bring in a Minnesota team that after putting a scare into Ohio State looked less than convincing against Ball State. Neither coach is in any real jeopardy, and nor should they be, but this is an informative game.
- Coastal Carolina-Buffalo: G5 Game of the week.
The Great Alabama Litmus Test Shift
- Alabama-Florida: Many people, myself included, came into the season convinced that this year’s rendition would be the worst Alabama team of the playoff era. I had no illusions of that meaning anything given how down the SEC West appeared to be (check) but thought this would be one of the two to three games they drop in the season. It appears while I may still be correct about it being the worst Bama team of the playoff era, it might not be by much at all. Plus Florida is dealing with some ill-timed injury misfortune but...it’s still a very interesting game. Until, of course, it isn’t.
- Mississippi State-Memphis: After more than a scare against Louisiana Tech, State looked...good? against NC State. Which isn’t the highest praise in the world but I have a theory that LT might just be one of those teams that turns every game into a track meet this year and it might be more noise than signal. I guess we’ll find out here.
- USC-Washington State: Soooo USC just fired their coach and now have to travel up to the Palouse. Not ideal!
- Florida State-Wake Forest: eye emoji eye emoji
- Purdue-Notre Dame: I am looking respectfully.
Bar Fight At The Library Shift
- Central Michigan-LSU: hoo buddy, LSU not only has to win this one but they really need to look good doing it.
- Oklahoma State-Boise State: Both teams are very much good not great but together I’m expecting them to produce one hell of a banger of a game, and SP+ agrees with me, calling it a virtual toss up leaning Boise’s way.
- Auburn-Penn State: This is the ~ important ~ game of the night, but I’m really not sold on the game being all that great. It’s a wonderful helmet game for sure but I don’t think either program is in the place it should be, both for very different reasons. But on the other hand, it is the Whiteout at Happy Valley and I’m very glad to have stuff like that back live.
- Tulane-Ole Miss: So if Okie Lite-Boise is great game and Auburn-Penn State is the helmet game, this is the sloppy drunk barfight. Ole Miss has an offense that can, and will, vaporize Tulane but if the Green Wave can stay on schedule against an improved but probably still bad Rebel defense, they can put the fear of god into the Rebs like they did the Sooners. So to recap what I expect this game to be: Ole Miss scores in 45 seconds but Tulane eats enough clock and converts enough conversions to keep the score naturally close.
- Utah State-Air Force: Geaux Aggies.
Robert Kekaula Memorial Shift
- Arizona State-BYU: Don’t go to bed too early, because this might be a stupid good game. Arizona State under Herm turned out to be not much of a joke at all (who knew!) and BYU post-Zach Wilson doesn’t look like it took much of a dropoff once he left. This game should be pretty fun!
- San Jose State-Hawaii: The Bows get a spot on the big teevee, which makes it mandatory viewing.
- Fresno State-UCLA: Let’s watch UCLA struggle with Fresno and get sad all over again!
- Iowa State-UNLV: It’s football.