Friday, September 29, 2017

This Weekend in College Football: Week 5

Alternate title: Wherein I Lament that Southern Cal at Washington State is Tonight Instead of Tomorrow Night.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

  • Northwestern @ Wisconsin (ABC): Week 5 is pretty brutal, but I'll try to shepherd you through the best I can. We'll start in Madison, for what might be an interesting nooner, but probably not. Going with the Badgers.
  • Vanderbilt @ Florida (ESPN): Gators are a favorite I guess but AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
  • North Carolina @ Georgia Tech (ESPN2): I thought we might look rusty last week, so naturally we kickoff and immediately allow Pitt to march down the field. "Here we go again", thought everyone in gold and white, but after that it was sort of... all Tech? Of course, it was helpful the Pitt offense immediately regressed after that drive. This week's game is against a moribund but still dangerous Carolina team that we haven't beaten since 2013.
  • Maryland @ Minnesota (FS1): Minnesota's handled themselves well so far in 2017. Maryland now sports a win over Texas and a loss to UCF. Going with the Gophers at home.
  • Houston @ Temple (ESPNU): While this isn't the same Houston of the past few years, this is really not the good Temple we've had the past few years. Going with Houston.
  • New Mexico State @ Arkansas (SEC): If you, like me, listen to Podcast Ain't Played Nobody, then you know all about these New Mexico State Aggies. Normally one of college football's most hapless teams, they're 2-2 with a win over their biggest rival (New Mexico) and a pretty good shot at a bowl, all in a season that will see them get kicked out of the Sun Belt after it ends. But... it'll still take a minor miracle for them to upset Arkansas.
  • South Florida @ East Carolina (CBSS): ECU is, uh, bad this year. Bulls.
  • Rice @ Pittsburgh (ACC/RSN): Pitt has no offense, but they should be able to handle Rice.
12:20: Syracuse @ North Carolina State (ACC): NC State better be awake after knocking off FSU last week, because while they should be Syracuse they're still armed and dangerous (on offense).

  • Georgia @ Tennessee (CBS): Georgia should win this game, and they probably will, but if there's any game this week with the highest potential of ending in hilarious fashion (by which I mean Georgia losing in hilarious fashion) this is it.
  • Florida State @ Wake Forest (ABC/ESPN2): Given what's going on the real world, I still haven't seen any statements from Winston-Salem that would allow me to call Wake Forest "Woke Forest" unironically, much to my disappointment. Anyway, Wake is 4-0 but it's a full-calorie soda 4-0, full of sweet but unfulfilling wins. I still like FSU here.
  • Baylor @ Kansas State (ABC/ESPN2): K-State.
  • Navy @ Tulsa (ESPNU): This may be the actual best game in this time slot, and it's on the much easier to find ESPNU and not CBS Sports Network. But still, that's saying a lot because Tulsa is 1-3 this year and isn't really bombing like they used to, at least not bombing it well. I like the Midshipmen here.
  • Indiana @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): Penn State will need to keep their guard up in this one, but they shouldn't have any issues.
  • Texas-El Paso @ Army (CBSS): Army, I guess?
  • Iowa @ Michigan State (FOX): Sparty is still better than they were last year, even after getting pasted by Notre Dame last weekend. Suffice it to say, though, I like the Hawkeyes here.
  • Connecticut @ Southern Methodist (ESPNEWS): SMU?
  • Eastern Michigan @ Kentucky (SEC): Maybe Kentucky will remember to cover EMU's receivers in this one.
  • Arizona State @ Stanford (Pac12): You can fool me Arizona State! I saw you beat Oregon last week, but I still don't believe you. Going with the Cardinal here.
5:00: Miami @ Notre Dame (NBCSN): No, this isn't Catholics vs. Convicts, and not even in the sense that hasn't been true since like the 80's. It's the Miami that's like an hour outside of Cincinnati. Notre Dame should roll.

6:00: Mississippi State @ Auburn (ESPN): Miss State! You were all poised to be one of the other good teams in the SEC and then... you lose 31-3 to Georgia. :( I have to like Auburn here, I guess.

  • Memphis @ Central Florida (ESPN2): Okay, now we're getting to the staggered games zone. This is the one you should watch until halftime, and then switch to the beginning of Clemson-VPI. You win! Now as for who will win this game... I like UCF?
  • Troy @ Louisiana State (ESPNU): LSU is still trying to figure some things on offense, and this should give them a chance to.
  • Air Force @ New Mexico (CBSS): I like Air Force here.
  • Middle Tennessee @ Florida Atlantic (Stadium): It's not going good for Lane Kiffin in Year 1 of being a head coach again, which naturally means he'll probably get the Texas A&M job this offseason. I like MTSU here.
  • South Carolina @ Texas A&M (SEC): TAMU has been on a bit of a roll of late, and I think that will continue until they play Alabama in their next game, two weeks from now. Rest up, Aggies!
  • Ohio State @ Rutgers (BTN): Buckeyes.
  • Oklahoma State @ Texas Tech (FOX): The 'Pokes looked legit, and then TCU went and stole all their thunder. Can they get the magic back against an improving Texas Tech team? It's Lubbock at night, so anything's possible, but I still like Oklahoma State here.
  • Clemson @ Virginia Tech (ABC): Man this game better be good because Week 5 doesn't have a whole lot else going for it. Lane Stadium at night is fantastic of course, and VPI's looked pretty good this year. Clemson, meanwhile, is just as dominant, if not more, on defense this year and their offense that was supposed to be rebuilding this year seems to have more or less reloaded. The Tigers have already proven themselves, and I think they'll still be one of the best teams in the country even if the lose as long as they don't get blown out. That said, I don't think it will be a concern.
  • Washington @ Oregon State (Pac12): UDub.
9:00: Mississippi @ Alabama (ESPN): Bama. (Ole Miss is bad, y'all.)

  • Colorado @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN2): What do we even do with this UCLA team? They don't seem to be good or anything, but Josh Rosen is a good QB. Colorado is also kinda meh right now, too, so maybe skip to the next game. I'll take the Buffs, I guess.
  • California @ Oregon (FS1): Now here's the game that you'll tune into after Clemson-VPI. It'll still somehow be in the first half after the other game ends. It'll be 32-29 at the half. Which way, I don't know. Probably the Ducks. But this should be fun.
  • San Jose State @ Nevada-Las Vegas (ESPNU): I'm as much of a College Football Hipster as anyone, but... you have my permission to skip this one. UNLV, I guess?
  • Northern Illinois @ San Diego State (CBSS): Besides, if you're going to watch a G5 matchup in this time slot, then this is the one to watch anyway. If you squint hard, you'll see Nebraska @ Stanford here, but probably more interesting than that game would actually be! I like the Aztecs here, though.

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