As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Utah @ Colorado (FOX): Well, I guess a 10am game isn’t as bad as a 9am game, but still, come on Pac-12, are you that desperate? Oh, right, you probably are. Anyway, I’ll take the Utes here.
- Michigan State @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): Penn… State? Sure, let’s go with that, it’ll make as much sense as anything else.
- Alabama @ Arkansas (ESPN): Arkansas is having a good year so far, with an emphasis on the “so far”.
- Illinois @ Northwestern (FS1): I hesitated on this game in the pick ’em I help run because Northwestern is favored by 13.5. I’m almost certain they’ll win, but I’m not sure they’ll score 14 points.
- Georgia @ Missouri (SEC): Meanwhile, Mizzou is having a really solid season (just don’t look too hard at the schedule) and Georgia’s offense just seems to be not really there. It boggles the mind at how much 5-star talent has been wasted in Athens. Any rate, they’ll probably still win.
- Rutgers @ Maryland (BTN): Both these teams are not complete trash this season, which maybe says more about 2020 than anything else. At any rate, Rutgers figures to have a slight edge here, by which I mean I’m randomly guessing.
- Wake Forest @ Louisville (ACCN): Wake’s pretty solid this year, while Louisville is kinda meh, a measurement based almost entirely on whether or not you lost to us.
- Northern Illinois @ Eastern Michigan (espn3.com)
- Western Michigan @ Ball State (ESPN+)
1:00: Alabama-Birmingham @ Rice (espn3.com)
2:30: Akron @ Buffalo (CBSS): I got Buffalo all the way here, y’all.
- Navy @ Army (CBS): It was really, really weird to write this a “@” instead of a “vs.”, though I’m not sure I’ve ever written as “Navy vs. Army” instead of “Army vs. Navy”. So yeah, it’s the first game in this series at a team’s home stadium since the two met at Michie Stadium in 1943. But given that this game usually sells out an NFL stadium, this makes sense. At any rate, even if they’re schedule isn’t that great Army definitely has an edge in this game. But this is also the kind of game where both teams actually do plan for, and look forward to it all year, so it could be interesting. And at rate, you’ll get a heavy dosage of option football, so what more could ask for? (Other than passing.)
- Central Michigan @ Toledo (espn3.com)
- Coastal Carolina @ Troy (ESPN+)
- North Carolina @ Miami (ABC): There are only two matchups featuring ranked teams this week. This is one of them! (I’ll reveal the other at the end of this block of games, so form a guess in your head as to the other right now.) At any rate, Miami is #10 for some reason, I guess purely as a virtue of only having one loss, but they lost 42-17 to Clemson so they’re clearly not in that tier of ACC teams. North Carolina meanwhile has careened into two other losses outside of Florida State (which probably still the weirdest loss of the season), so I guess I’ll go with the Canes?
- Oklahoma State @ Baylor (ESPN): Ah, I remember the heady days of… September, when the Cowboys were anointed as “The Big 12’s Best Shot at the Playoff”. Well, three loses later and they’re right back where they usually are – a winning record and one of the better teams in the conference, but still not championship material. At any rate, they get to beat up on Baylor as a consolation prize.
- Wisconsin @ Iowa (FS1): So this week, in a lot of ways, feels more like a rivalry week than Rivalry Week did. Not the least of which is because we’ve got one of the Big Ten’s traditional trophy games on, though it doesn’t figure to be much of a contest. I have Iowa here. Oh, also the other ranked vs. ranked matchup this week is Georgia-Mizzou. Yeah, go figure.
3:45: Houston @ Memphis (ESPN2): I had sort of assumed that the Cougars had played no games this year, but it turns out they’re 3-2. Huh. At any rate, this isn’t as fun of a Memphis team as we’ve had in past years, but this game could actually be pretty good, provided Houston isn’t rusty after a month off. For that reason, I’ll go with the Tigers.
- California @ Washington State (FOX): Let’s see… Cal lost to UCLA, Oregon State, and Stanford all in a row, and they went out and beat Oregon. Wazzu beat Oregon State, lost badly to Oregon, and got beat by USC. I have no idea what to make of this. It’s on the Palouse, so I’ll go with Wazzu, I guess.
- Duke @ Florida State (ACCN): These are probably… no, not probably, these are the worst teams in the ACC this year, full stop, and it’s probably for the best that they’re quarantined on the ACC Network. Eesh. I guess I’ll go with FSU simply because they supposedly have better talent than Duke? Oof.
- Boise State @ Wyoming (CBSS): I have Boise all the way here.
- Appalachian State @ Georgia Southern (espn3.com)
- Louisiana State @ Florida (ESPN): 7:00 PM, 6:00 PM Central is apparently the Louisiana Power Hour, with both Louisianas State and Tech heading elsewhere to… probably lose very badly to out-of-state opponents. Well, at least LSU is.
- Louisiana Tech @ Texas Christian (FS1): LaTech is a respectable 5-3, but there’s nothing that tells me that they’ll be able to hang with a pretty mediocre TCU team.
- Southern California @ California-Los Angeles (ABC): Get out the colors, both of the jerseys and those incredibly lush end zones at the Rose Bowl. I don’t think I’d go to a UCLA game there, but I really need to go to a Rose Bowl some day. Alas. At least here in 2020, the grand old stadium in Pasadena will be empty, but we’ll get to enjoy this game nonetheless. USC’s early pattern of hanging around and then winning at the end has turned into just outright winning games in dominant fashion, beating Utah and Wazzu by combined 71-30. The Bruins can play a little defense though and I think they can definitely keep this one close. I think USC will win, but with a fair chance of early season shenanigans. This could be a fun one to watch, and if it’s not, well, at least that grass will be real pretty.
- Auburn @ Mississippi State (SEC): Okay, look, rationally I know Auburn is going to win. But Miss State has looked better the past couple of weeks, giving UGA all they want and barely losing to Ole Miss. I’m not sure this will be especially aesthetically pleasing to watch, but there could be something to watch.
8:00: Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ACCN): UVA’s had a pretty anonymous 5-4 season, will VPI has had a very loud and noisy disaster of a 4-6 season. That, combined with what would normally be a raucous Lane Stadium being completely quiet, makes me lean toward the Hoos here.
- San Diego State @ Brigham Young (ESPN2): BYU’s apparently general plan for the season is just to play football. Last weekend, the sent the equipment truck in the general direction of the Carolinas, unsure if they were going to play Liberty or not. When that game was called off, did they turn around? Heck no. They kept rollin’, and parked that truck right in Conway, SC and played probably the game of the year against Coastal Carolina. They lost, but this is a really good team, and I like them over the Aztecs.
- Stanford @ Oregon State (ESPNU): The Beavers might be favorite 2-3 team ever, and I have them all the way against the Cardinal.
10:30: Fresno State vs. New Mexico (@Whitney, NV; FS1): Well, it’s mid-December. Usually I’d be flying back to the South this weekend; instead, I’m parked in my apartment in California. So these teams may perhaps be glad to get the chance to play in UNLV’s old stadium that is currently painted and decked out in New Mexico State‘s logo and banners. 2020. Also, Fresno all the way here.
11:00: Nevada-Las Vegas @ Hawaii (Team1Sports)