Coca-Cola Cowboys Shift
- Virginia-Miami (FL): Virginia has not only dropped three straight games, but they have been beaten like a drum in all three games against Illinois, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. Not exactly the most illustrious crew to come out second to. This should be a big get right game for the Hurricanes...emphasis on “should be”.
- UAPB-Prairie View A&M: For the second week in a row UAPB plays on Thursday, but this time they’re looking for redemption after blowing a big halftime lead to Alcorn State in a heartbreaking 39-38 loss.
Turtles All The Way Down Shift
- Iowa-Maryland: This is a big moment for Maryland football. Mike Locksley has recruited to College Park well and it’s starting to translate in a big way. the Terps are 4-0 and the only thing standing between them and a 5-0 record heading to Columbus is a game against Iowa, the Big Ten’s own personal zombie. A win would be a landmark one for the program, regardless of what happens in the next week.
- Houston-Tulsa: Both teams are pretty off the mark from what they should be, but not quite bad. Together, they should make a pretty good game.
- Dartmouth-Penn: Hell yeah, Ivy League football baby.
- BYU-Utah State: Please don’t make it hurt, Cougars.
- Arkansas-Georgia: Arkansas has put the WOMPIN on Texas and Texas A&M these past three weeks, but uh, I doubt that the WOMPIN’ will continue this weekend when they play Georgia in Athens. I think this week we’ll see the talent edge win out over the course of the game, specifically when Arkansas has the ball and it will be Georgia who delivers the WOMPIN’.
- Texas-TCU: Two Texas schools, both underachieving but in deeply different narratives. Sark is still in the first year, but with each year it becomes more and more apparent that Gary Patterson is falling off, to put it bluntly. Both coaches need this win for very different purposes, one to build momentum and the other to stop a slide.
- Michigan-Wisconsin: SP+ is calling this one a relative toss up, but man would it be rough for Wisconsin to pick up a third loss on the second day of October. Just brutal.
- Pitt-Georgia Tech: If the theme this week is much-needed wins, then we can talk about Georgia Tech getting one in a pretty one-sided victory over North Carolina last week. It was a big proof of concept for Geoff Collins, who can not establish a base with a win over Pitt, who slammed New Hampshire 77-7 last week, taking out some frustration from their loss to Western Michigan the week before.
- llvll-Wake Forest: Folks the Clawfense is BACK and I am here for it.
Rat Poison Shift
- Ole Miss-Alabama: I want to believe, I really do, but I just can’t come around to it. However, if this year is going to continue being deeply chaotic, this is the logical next step.
- Oklahoma-Kansas State: Oh buddy, the Sooners have looked mighty suspect against Nebraska and West Virginia, two teams not designed to slow down the Sooners that have succeeded in doing so. So what happens when they play a team that is actually built to stop Oklahoma? Well, they probably lose by 14 because this season makes no sense.
- Oregon-Stanford: This has “TRAP GAME” written on it in big bold letters. It feels unavoidable, we’ve been writing off Stanford a bit too much for a bit too long.
- Texas Tech-West Virginia: SP+ says this will be a pretty close game, and I don’t know if I can trust that fully because of how each team has been operating this season. But we’ll monitor and assess.
- Cincinnati-Notre Dame: I hate the staggered start of this game endlessly and it really ruins the feng shui of the playsheet, but this’ll end up being the game of the shift. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Bearcats can BALL and most importantly, they are the only thing saving us from an undefeated Notre Dame, which I’m nowhere near ready for.
It’s Still The Gold Game To Me Dammit Shift
- Auburn-LSU: Alright, I’m going to speak from the heart on something. Traditionally, LSU has made the first SEC home game the Gold Game, where fans are encouraged to wear gold. When it happens, it’s absolutely awesome (see above for proof) but more often than not LSU fans are assholes about it and refuse to participate. But that’s not what this rant is about. This year LSU did not schedule a Gold Game, despite this being the weekend that is should fall on. I don’t know why (but I have a really good guess) but it’s not for me to understand the reason. I will say this though: Auburn hasn’t won in Baton Rouge since 1999, well before yearly Gold Games became A Thing. It would be mighty coincidental if Auburn broke that streak the first year their trip to BR didn’t coincide with a Gold Game. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
- Baylor-Oklahoma State: Could be pretty good second screening, I guess.
- Florida-Kentucky: I can see Florida playing with it’s food a bit, but in the end I have no real misconceptions about this being A Thing. Here’s a fun fact about this shift: it’s bad! Be glad LSU kicks off at the same time this gets out of hand.
- Indiana-Penn State: Eww!
- Mississippi State-Texas A&M: Eww.
Robert Kekaula Memorial Shift
- Arizona State-UCLA: Oh hey lookit that, we finally get a good P5 late night game. Too bad those of us at the game will completely miss it lmao.
- Montana-Eastern Washington: If the PAC-12 is so reluctant to give us good games to fall asleep to, we’ll turn to the FCS. This game is going to be an absolute slobberknocker between the #4 and #12 team in the FCS per SP+. If you’re able to, tune in to this one.
- Fresno State-Hawaii: Please be gentle, Fresno State and Jake Haener. My heart can’t bear to see the Bows beaten down.
- Washington-Oregon State: A week ago I’d be understandably be turned off by this one, but after waking up and seeing the mangled mess Oregon State left USC in, I am very interested to see what Jonathan Smith’s boys are looking like against an invested and capable opponent.