Category Archives: college football

This Weekend in College Football: Week 3

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Ohio State @ Indiana (FOX): Both teams are undefeated going in, but it’ll be the home team going out with a loss in this one.
  • Pittsburgh @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): This might be worth watching to see a rivalry dusted off, but it’s likely going to be a Nittany Lion romp.
  • Kansas State @ Mississippi State (ESPN): I’m bullish on Miss State, but then I read that their QB got hurt last week. Even though Tommy Stevens should play, I think this might be closer than it initially appeared.
  • Arkansas State @ Georgia (ESPN2): Georgia should have no trouble here (unfortunately).
  • North Carolina State @ West Virginia (FS1): WVU is a tire fire this year, NC State should have no issues.
  • Miami @ Cincinnati (ESPNU): Cincinnati gets to take a breath after getting absolutely clobbered by Ohio State last week.
  • Eastern Michigan @ Illinois (BTN): Illinois is bad, but not “lose to EMU at home” bad. Well, probably.
  • Maryland @ Temple (CBSS): Considering the respective performances of the Maryland and Michigan offenses so far, I guess that settles the off-season dispute of “who called the plays for ‘Bama last year?” Temple is feisty, but after demolishing Syracuse I have to go with the Terps here.

12:30: The Citadel @ Georgia Tech (RSN): Naturally, GT will face two blasts from its past in consecutive weeks here. First, they’ll face some good ol’ flexbone offense. Next week, Geoff Collins will get to play against his old charges. As far as this game goes, for once I hope all that negative recruiting about the defense being bad because they practiced against the option was actually the case. Also I’d prefer not to see a repeat of that Gardner-Webb game from 2008.

1:00: Air Force @ Colorado (Pac12): There may be slightly more Colorado fans in attendance for this one, after a mass of Cornhuskers left Boulder shocked last week. The Buffs don’t figure to be in trouble with Air Force.

2:00: Florida Atlantic @ Ball State (ESPN+): I’m going to not provide commentary on most of these ESPN+ games, but I will continue to list them.

2:30: New Mexico @ Notre Dame (NBC): Hey, it’s ND on NBC for the first time this year! Against a dreadful Lobos squad! Don’t want this!

3:00: Akron @ Central Michigan (ESPN+)

3:30:

  • Alabama @ South Carolina (CBS): Yeah, look, as far as Bama goes, wake me up when they play Texas A&M, Auburn, Georgia, or let’s face the inevitable, Clemson.
  • Southern California @ Brigham Young (ABC): So…. in the college football offseason it was only kind of a joke that a lot of folks thought USC would start 0-5. Well, here we are, with an undefeated USC that seems to have an idea of what they’re doing on offense for the first time years. Utah handled the Stormin’ Mormons pretty handily, so should USC.
  • Stanford @ Central Florida (ESPN): UCF, if you want anyone to take you seriously, you have to win this game. Sure, you may not actually get a lot of credit for beating what looks like a down-year Stanford team, but you can’t lose.
  • Oklahoma State @ Tulsa (ESPN2): No problem for the ‘Pokes here.
  • Memphis @ South Alabama (ESPNU): No problem for the Tigers here.
  • Army @ Texas-San Antonio (NFL): No problem for, uh, the Army here? (Apparently one of the Michigan radio announces last week kept referring to Army as “the Army”, as if the actual military was rolling tanks up and down Michigan Stadium.)
  • Nevada-Las Vegas @ Northwestern (BTN): UNLV is bad, to put it charitably.
  • Georgia Southern @ Minnesota (BTN): Minnesota should win, but man it doesn’t feel like a guarantee, does it?
  • East Carolina @ Navy (CBSS): It’s starting to feel like it’s getting further away from Navy being good, but they should still be good enough to beat ECU.

4:00:

  • Arizona State @ Michigan State (FOX): Sparty is well and truly favored here, but it’s still such a weird matchup that it feels hard to predict.
  • Iowa @ Iowa State (FS1): ¡EL ASSICO! is back! The thing is, the name may have been given in jest, but let’s face it, it’s somewhat unironically the best early season P5 rivalry now, right? Heck, they even got Gameday to go to Ames for a game that’s not even on ESPN. (Just don’t, uh, look too hard at the alternatives.) This should be fun, and let’s just say the Cyclones win, what the heck.
  • Colorado State @ Arkansas (SEC): Colorado State could win this game. I won’t say that they will, but they could. You may definitely find yourself flipping to this a coupe of times.
  • Louisville vs. Western Kentucky (@Nashville, TN; Stadium): Well, Louisville is bad, but fortunately for them and this bizarre neutral site matchup, this isn’t cool, fun Western Kentucky anymore.

4:15: North Texas @ California (Pac12): Cal needs to avoid the letdown after escaping a bizarre, delay-ridden game in Seattle last weekend that lasted after midnight Pacific time. They should be able to navigate past North Texas .

5:00: Louisiana Tech @ Bowling Green (ESPN+)

6:00:

  • Southern Mississippi @ Troy (ESPN+)
  • Buffalo @ Liberty (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Florida @ Kentucky (ESPN): Kentucky isn’t bad or anything (I think), but it figures that after finally getting past that ridiculous streak last year means that we have Good Florida again, which bodes poorly for the Wildcats looking to avoid the start of another streak.
  • Kent State @ Auburn (ESPN2): Auburn should be fine.
  • Georgia State @ Western Michigan (ESPN+)

7:30:

  • Clemson @ Syracuse (ABC): Well, Syracuse picked a bad time to get knocked around by Maryland last week, because it only figures to get worse here.
  • Florida State @ Virginia (ACCN): If UVA wants to prove they’ve moved up a tier in the ACC, then they really need to beat a battered FSU at home.
  • Texas Christian @ Purdue (BTN): It’s unfortunate this game got relegated to the Big Ten Network, it could be fun, provided it’s not a TCU rout.
  • Hawaii @ Washington (Pac12): UDub tries to get back on the horse and avoid giving Hawaii their third(!) Pac-12 win of the season. They should be able to do it, but it could be tricky.

8:00:

  • Oklahoma @ California-Los Angeles (FOX): Fun intersectional matchups aside (it’s in the Rose Bowl!), this looks like a Sooner rout.
  • Northern Illinois @ Nebraska (FS1): Nebraska figures to be able to hold on against the Huskies.
  • Texas vs. Rice (@Houston, TX; CBSS): “Why does Rice play Texas?” indeed. Texas should be able to get back on the beam with a win over Rice.

10:30: Texas Tech @ Arizona (ESPN): Should a run the triple, Khalil Tate. I’ll take TTU here.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 2

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

11:00: Ohio @ Pittsburgh (ACC): Why is this on this early? Who knows, I won’t (slash can’t) watch it anyway. Pitt.

Noon:

  • Cincinnati @ Ohio State (ABC): We’ve actually got a pretty interesting noon slate this week, and this might be most interesting of them all. Cincy probably doesn’t have the talent to win, but they’ve certainly got enough to make it interesting. So, suffice it to say, I’m taking the Buckeyes.
  • Army @ Michigan (FOX): I don’t think this will be as close as many say. Going with Michigan all the way.
  • Syracuse @ Maryland (ESPN): ‘Cuse? Yeah, sure, that sounds right, let’s go with them, mainly because the alternative is, you know, Maryland.
  • West Virginia @ Missouri (ESPN2): These are two teams trying to figure it out, but I think Mizzou may have gotten cosmically unlucky in Laramie last weekend, so I’ll go with them at home.
  • Rutgers @ Iowa (FS1): This is certainly a Big Ten conference game you could totally watch on any television. Yep. I have no idea why, though. Iowa.
  • Old Dominion @ Virginia Tech (ESPNU): VPI may downplay the revenge angle, but I say, embrace it. Don’t get embarrassed again!
  • Bowling Green @ Kansas State (FSN): I’m still easing into the 2019 season right now, so let’s just go with K-State.
  • Vanderbilt @ Purdue (BTN): Vandy lost to Georgia last week, which okay, fine, sure. Purdue went on the road to Reno and lost to Nevada. Whoops! I’ll go with Vandy here.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Akron (CBSS): I know nothing about these two teams right now, so let’s go with the people’s champ, UAB.

1:00: Northern Illinois @ Utah (Pac12): Lot of games this week, and this one of them that you could watch on the West Coast. Well, unless you have DirecTV, then I guess not. Anyway, Utah.

2:00: Southern Florida @ Georgia Tech (ACC): So I was able to watch the first half the Clemson game and I didn’t have time to watch the second half. Frankly, I didn’t need to. This GT team is definitely a work in progress. There were some encouraging signs, like a much improved defense that managed to hold Clemson in check to the highest extent possible. But nothing perhaps summarized the offensive differences than the repeated attempts in short yardage situations that lost year. I mean, get Tobias Oliver back under center if that’s what it takes to punch it in from a yard out, we should still be good at it. I despised short yardage deep handoffs even before my alma mater ran an offense that, generally speaking, was always good for at least a yard, so I would like us to be able to at least correct that deficiency from last week.

3:30:

  • Nebraska @ Colorado (FOX): BIG EIGHT TIME! Some folks may remember when this was a big game. I’d say my Mom, but she’s from Kansas, so yeah she didn’t like either of these schools. I guess I’m going with the Cornhuskers?
  • Texas A&M @ Clemson (ABC): I HAVE GOT NO SLEEP OVER THE PAST WEEK AND I NEED OT FIGURE OUT HOW I’M GOING TO WATCH GEORGIA TECH TOMORROW, SO… LIGHTNING ROUND! Clemson.
  • Southern Mississippi @ Mississippi State (ESPNU): Miss Stat,e probably./
  • Central Michigan @ Wisconsin (BTN): Wisky.
  • Illinois @ Connecticut (CBSS): Uh, Illinois?

4:00:

  • Texas-San Antonio @ Baylor (FSN): Baylor.
  • New Mexico State @ Alabama (SEC): Bama.

4:15: San Diego State @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): SDSU!

5:00: Louisiana-Monroe @ Florida State (ACC): FSU?

7:00:

  • Brigham Young @ Tennessee (ESPN): BYU.
  • Central Florida @ Florida Atlantic (CBSS): UCF.
  • Coastal Carolina @ Kansas (ESPN+): This is the first one in a while to give me pause, and it is a FBS vs. FBS game! But yeah, Kansas, Les Miles or no, should win this one.
  • Wyoming @ Texas State (ESPN+): LIGHTNING ROUND RESUMES! Wyoming.
  • Western Kentucky @ Florida International (ESPN+): FIU?

7:30:

  • Louisiana State @ Texas (ABC): These are both good teams, but if LSU actually has an offense now, then I have to go with them.
  • Buffalo @ Pennsylvania State (FOX): Penn State.
  • Tulane @ Auburn (ESPN2): Auburn.
  • Arkansas @ Mississippi (SEC): Oh geez, this game already has the feel of a game that will determine who comes in last in the SEC West. Arkansas may be slightly less of a disaster than Ole Miss though, so let’s go with them.
  • Western Michigan @ Michigan State (BTN): Sparty!
  • Nevada @ Oregon (Pac12): Well, Nevada will be able to at least say they beat a Big Te team.
  • Liberty @ Louisiana-Lafayette (ESPN+): Go Cajuns.

8:00: Miami @ North Carolina (ACC): I think most were surprised by UNC’s win over South Carolina last week, and also surprised by how bad Miami looked against Florida. Naturally, I’m picking Miami to win.

10:30:

  • Stanford @ Southern California (ESPN): We’re arriving at the west coast night caps, and just in time. I like Stanford here.
  • California @ Washington (FS1): If UDub can score 21 in this game, I really like their chances, but that’s a big if.
  • Minnesota @ Fresno State (CBSS): I think this will go a long way to tell us about both of these programs, but for now I’m going to take Minnesota, but I don’t like it.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 1

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Saturday
Noon:

  • Mississippi @ Memphis (ABC): I think Memphis is going to win this game, straight up.
  • Florida Atlantic @ Ohio State (FOX): Well, I guess if you’re FOX and you’ve got that Big Ten deal you gotta roll the dice and hope there’s enough Ohio State fans out there to justify airing this. 
  • South Alabama @ Nebraska (ESPN): The one time you’ll find folks in Nebraska resenting a good ol’ U-S-A chant. 
  • Mississippi State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (@New Orleans, LA; ESPNU): Miss State has plenty of questions, but those questions aren’t questionable enough to put this game in doubt.
  • Toledo @ Kentucky (SEC): We’ll find out pretty quickly if Kentucky is good this year.
  • East Carolina @ North Carolina State (ACC): We’ll also find out pretty quickly if ECU is less awful this year, though regardless NC State should win.
  • Akron @ Illinois (BTN): With Illinois, who knows? I refuse to predict this.
  • Indiana vs. Ball State (@Indianapolis, IN; CBSS): Uh, hard to foresee anyone outside of Indiana caring about this unless they are from Indiana. iI’ll take the team nicknamed the Hooisers though.
  • Boise State @ Florida State (ESPNEWS): So this game was moved up due to the circumstances around the weather in Florida. I hope everyone can stay safe. Less importantly, I also like Boise here.

3:30:

  • Duke vs. Alabama (@Atlanta, GA; ABC): This might the worst choice for an early season neutral site kick-off game I’ve ever seen. Just… why?
  • North Carolina vs. South Carolina (@Charlotte, NC; ESPN): They should make it so that the winner here gets to refer to themselves as “Carolina” for the rest the year. Alas, that will still remain mostly UNC territory. Which, I guess they’ll take what they can get because they’re probably going to get clobbered here.
  • Georgia State @ Tennessee (ESPNU): Even Tennessee can win this one.
  • Eastern Michigan @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN+): For the first time ever, I’ll be listing these streaming only games, at least when they’re FBS vs. FBS. ESPN+ is cheap enough that everyone can get it. 

4:00:

  • Northwestern @ Stanford (FOX): Fun and intersectional! Awesome! And, uh, I’ll I take Stanford I guess?
  • Virginia Tech @ Boston College (ACC): More Week 1 ACC action/sacrifices for the almighty conference network. Is VPI going to be any good this year? Is the clock running out at BC? I have no idea, because they’re playing in Week 1! I’ll take BC, I guess?

6:00: Syracuse @ Liberty (ESPN+): I really hope this was a 4-for-1 or something. ‘Cuse should roll, at least.

7:00: Southern Methodist @ Arkansas State (ESPN+): State I guess?

7:30:

  • Oregon vs. Auburn (@Arlington, TX; ABC): Ah, finally, the actual marquee matchup of the weekend. Oregon! Auburn! The creeping realization of the fact of your own mortality when you remember that “MICHEAL DYER WAS DOWN!” was 8 years ago. Auburn should win this one.
  • Miami @ Iowa (FS1): LIGHTNING ROUND! This is the Miami from Ohio. I’ll take Iowa.
  • Georgia Southern @ Louisiana State (ESPNU): LSU.
  • Georgia @ Vanderbilt (SEC): UGA. 
  • Virginia @ Pittsburgh (ACC): UVA.
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Michigan (BTN): Michigan.
  • Missouri @ Wyoming (CBSS): Mizzou?

10:00: New Mexico State @ Washington State (Pac12): Wazzu.

10:30: Fresno State @ Southern California (ESPN): It’s been a bit of a goof on the college football Internet to talk about USC starting 0-6. But, um, this could actually be a really tough game for them, to the point where I actually like Fresno.

Sunday
7:30: Houston @ Oklahoma (ABC): Do you like offense? I really hope you like offense. This could be the highest combined score of the season. I don’t know what the over/under is, but I’ll probably take the over. That said, I still have to go with the Sooners here.

Monday
8:00: Notre Dame @ Louisville (ESPN): Well, this is maybe the worst Monday-night special game ever. Bleh. Louisville is going to be awful this year, so I’ll take the Domers.

Apologies for the quality here, I’m at PAX and for various reasons this went up late. Look forward to next week’s column actually going up before the games kick off!

This Week in College Football: Week 1

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Thursday
7:00: California-Los Angeles @ Cincinnati (ESPN): AND SO IT BEGINS… with a Pac-12 team travelling to the Midwest and likely losing to a G5 team in what may not be that great of a game, but it’s college football and we’ll just be happy it’s back. I’m going with Cincy.

8:00: Georgia Tech @ Clemson (ACC): How can I even begin? It’s the literal beginning of a new era of Georgia Tech football, and a new conference network that I can only pray Comcast decides to pick up for… California. Cool, awesome. Even better, we get to be the ritual sacrifice to break in the first live football action on the network. I’m serious, are they going to kill a yellowjacket with like a tiny knife on Howard’s Rock or something, and then the fireworks go off and the band plays as Clemson runs down the hill, and then right over our team as merely their first obstacle to another playoff appearance? Look, I’m all for Fun Alabama continuing to remind folks that college football exists outside of the SEC and for Clemson fans to remind us that they can spell, but why us? I guess the flip side is that getting them in Week 1 a) gets it over with and b) maybe they’ll be sleepy or something and we can maybe be within a touchdown or two at the half. Am I sandbagging this a little bit? Okay, a lot? Yeah, probably. But still! We have a new coach, a completely new offense and defense, and I’ll be scrambling to find somewhere in Seattle (I’ll be at PAX this weekend, as usual) that carries the network for a conference whose closest member is *checks notes* 2,000 miles away? Yeah, get over here and help me get this sand in these bags, we’re running out of time.

8:30: Texas State @ Texas A&M (SEC): On second thought, maybe that UCLA-Cincy game isn’t so bad. I’ll take TAMU here.

9:00: South Dakota State @ Minnesota (FS1): I don’t usually include FCS vs. FBS games here, but this is on a major network and SDSU isn’t half bad. They’re coming off two straight FCS semifinal appearances (which means a lot more in FCS than it does in FBS, because, well, you don’t start with the semifinals down there) and the Jackrabbits could catch the Golden Gophers napping. I’m not saying they will, but I’ll throw that out there.

10:00: Kent State @ Arizona State (Pac12): Can Kent State do what Hawaii did to Arizona? I’m going to go with no.

10:15: Utah @ Brigham Young (ESPN): HOLY WAR. Yeah, that’s right folks, we’ve got righteous football action in Provo, UT once again. But despite the high energy levels the BYU students will bring while being completely sober and uncaffeinated, I think the talent gap between Utah and BYU is starting to get too wide. 

Friday
6:00: Rice @ Army (CBSS): I was going to say that this game may be more Rice’s speed than playing Texas, but then I remembered that just because Army is slower doesn’t mean it’ll be any less painful for the Owls.

7:00:

  • Wisconsin @ South Florida (ESPN): Well, on the one hand, the humidity will keep the Wisconsin fans making the trip down nice and saturated, preventing them from just straight up bursting into flame. This should help the players slip a few tackles, as well. I’ll take the Badgers here.
  • Tulsa @ Michigan State (FS1): Mark Dantonio’s bunch embarks on another season of reminding us that life is pain and nothing matters, wherein they’ll beat a Tulsa squad they will thoroughly outmatch 12-2 or something else that looks like a baseball score.

7:15: Massachusetts @ Rutgers (BTN): Look, I mean, this is technically a game involving two FBS teams. I mean, it’s not as nihilistic as Tulsa-Michigan State promises to be, it’s just bad. Rutgers I guess?

8:00: Utah State @ Wake Forest (ACC): Is Wake good again yet? I genuinely don’t know. If you get the ACC Network, can you watch this game and find out for me? Thanks. I’ll take the Demon Deacons here anyway.

9:30: Purdue @ Nevada (CBSS): Why? Can’t say. What I can say is that this game may be sneaky fun. They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but notice how no one ever says that about Reno? Yeah, because nothing escapes Reno. Nothing. Well, except Purdue with a win, probably.

10:00: Colorado State vs. Colorado (@Denver, CO; ESPN): The talent disparity alone here makes the Buffs heavy favorites, but it’s a neutral-site Week 1 rivalry game, so throw that out the window but pick Colorado anyway just to be safe.

10:30: Oklahoma State @ Oregon State (FS1): I was hoping that Corvallis would be a-rockin’ for what could be a sneaky fun #Pac12AfterDark game, but apparently their fall quarter doesn’t start until September 25th. So… it may be a subdued victory for Oklahoma State. 

This Weekend in College Football: Week 0

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

7:00: Miami vs. Florida (@Orlando, FL; ESPN): I can only imagine that the players in this contest are wondering what deity they wronged in a previous life to be forced to play this game in Orlando a week earlier than the rest of college football plays. The sun may well be below the tops of the stands by the time this one starts, but nonetheless let me tell y’all: humid air holds that heat right in. Also, I’ll take the Gators.

10:30: Arizona @ Hawaii (CBSS): Even though this Week 0 has only two games, I do like that it sort of gives me a proper start of the season since I’ll be otherwise occupied during Week 1, as I usually am. As for this specific contest, well, shucks, I dunno, probably Arizona? Hopefully they’ll run some sort of offense this year that actually utilizes their quarterback properly, which would make me feel a lot better about this pick.