Category Archives: On TV This Week

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 Week in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Thursday

3:30: Colorado State @ Air Force (CBSS): There is a trophy involved here! Outside of that, it’s been a rough year for both of these teams, neither of which is going to go to a bowl. With the Rams losers of four straight and the game at Air Force, I’m going with the Falcons.

7:30: Mississippi State @ Mississippi (“The Egg Bowl”; ESPN): Here’s a game that will definitely feature some emotion. For Ole Miss, this is their bowl game: they’re on a bowl ban to try to appease the NCAA gods. For Miss State, they still have an outside chance at a New Year’s Six bowl (yes, folks, 4-loss teams are in contention for prestigious bowl games) and would pay dearly if they mess this up. The main problem for the Rebels, though, is their completely awful defense, and while their offense is actually decent it’ll be hard for them to keep up with what their defense is allowing.

Friday

Noon:

  • Nebraska @ Iowa (FOX): Iowa was on the skids, but fortunately the Big Ten has teams like Illinois and Rutgers to act as cures for what ails you, as the Hawkeyes annihilated Illinois to the tune of 63-0 last week. Meanwhile, the Huskers doing nicely for themselves as well, as winners of four of their last five, including their own 54-35 pasting of Illinois and a, uh, very Big Ten 9-6 win over Michigan State. That said, Iowa is still the favorite here.
  • Houston @ Memphis (ABC): The winner here earns the right to lose to UCF next week, so a fair bit is on the line. Memphis comes into this game pretty hot, but Houston will get future first round pick Ed Oliver back for this game. Honestly, this game figures to be fun and may be your best bet in this timeslot. I’m picking Memphis, but I could go either way.
  • Texas @ Kansas (FS1): If Texas doesn’t screw this up, they’ll be in the revived Big 12 title game.
  • Buffalo @ Bowling Green (ESPNU): After getting blown out by Ohio last week, the Bulls can still clinch a spot in the MAC title game by beating a very beatable Bowling Green, which I think they will.
  • Akron @ Ohio (CBSS): Ohio can clinch a spot in the MAC title game by beating a very beatable Akron team and hoping that Buffalo blows it against Bowling Green. I rate their chances for the former a lot higher than the latter.

2:30: Arkansas @ Missouri (CBS): Back in Alabama, we had a saying: “Thank God for Mississippi”. The Razorbacks should say the same, because the Ole Miss Rebels are the only reason they’re not the proprietors of the worst defense in the SEC. This is not a good sign when you’re playing one of the better offenses in the SEC, and boy howdy are the Tigers rolling right now. I’ll take them.

3:30:

  • Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ABC): You have heard this already, but I will say it again: Virginia has lost 14 straight to Virginia Tech. Plus, they come in after a completely baffling loss to Georgia Tech. (Seriously, I’m a GT fan. I have no idea how we won.) That said, the Hokies have lost four straight, and for the most part, they’ve lost them bad, most recently losing to a bad Miami offense 38-14. Against the worst defense Bud Foster has ever fielded, this has to be the year for the Cavs, right?
  • East Carolina @ Cincinnati (CBSS): Cincy’s good, but UCF is mostly in a different class than the rest of the ACC. Fortunately for the Bearcats, they’re also a tier above ECU.

4:00:

  • Central Florida @ South Florida (“War on I-4”; ESPN): Back in October, this game still looked pretty enticing, but USF has lost four straight to all the other good/decent AAC teams and, as noted above, UCF is just better than everyone else.
  • Oregon @ Oregon State (“The Civil War”; FS1): The weather for this game should be about 50 degrees and raining, in other words, what the weather for this game should look like. Unfortunately, that may be all that goes right for Oregon State. Both these programs are rebuilding right now, but the Ducks appear to have had a pretty good head start.

8:00: Oklahoma @ West Virginia (ESPN): This game and next are the most interesting games of the day for me, and I kind of love that they’re half an hour apart. Oklahoma’s all-everything offense is definitely favored in my mind, and they’re my pick. But we’re also talking about Morgantown, at night, in the cold. Couches beware.

8:30: Washington @ Washington State (“The Apple Cup”; FOX): Speaking of fanbases that would probably show up in a top-ten list titled “Most Likely to Set Furniture on Fire”, let’s go to Pullman. The sun will set just before kickoff, and it will be cold and rainy. Will that, and the UDub defense, be enough to upend Wazzu’s dream season? I’d like to think it won’t be, because these Cougars are just so much dang fun to watch. But Washington can still book a trip to Santa Clara next weekend with a win. I ultimately think Wazzu’s offense will be enough to prevail, but this game should be worth watching.

This Week in College Football: Week 9

Surprisingly pretty packed! Let’s get to it.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Thursday

7:00:

  • Toledo @ Western Michigan (ESPN2): The Rockets aren’t very good this year, but Western Michigan is 6-2 and already 4-0 in the MAC. They should be favorites here.
  • Baylor @ West Virginia (FS1): Baylor is 4-3 but still has a long way to go, and West Virginia should be looking to get back on track at home after what happened in Ames.
  • Ball State @ Ohio (CBSS): It’s double-MACtion! This game may actually be more intriguing than the other game, in that this should be close. That said, I’m taking the Bobcats.

7:30:

  • Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech (ESPN): And the whole reason why I’m doing a weekday preview this week: this game. I don’t like to think of it as the battle for “the real Tech”, because the answer should be obvious if given any thought. At any rate, in terms of this being a football game, who the heck knows. You’ve got a team that should able to run the dang ball versus a team that lost to Old Dominion. Sitting at 3-4 on the season at this point, I just feel like we’re playing with house money. Hopefully the team can stop forcing things and just play, which is all you ask for in what should be a raucous environment in Blacksburg.
  • Appalachian State @ Georgia Southern (ESPNU): If you’re a neutral, this might be the game of the night. These rivals are undefeated in Sun Belt play, have one loss on the season, and App State is even ranked for the first time ever. And for good reason, I think they’re the better team and should win.

Friday

6:30: Louisiana Tech @ Florida Atlantic (CBSS): It’s not been a good year so far for the Fightin’ Lane Kiffins, and it doesn’t look to be getting better with the Bulldogs coming to town.

7:00: Miami @ Boston College (ESPN): And there’s the big Miami let down we were all waiting for, a 16-13 disaster in Charlottesville that leaves the Canes with no obvious quarterback. BC is having a very solid season and sports a couple of close losses. On paper, they shouldn’t stand a chance, but if that were the case Miami would be national title contenders every year instead of modern-day Miami. Going with the Eagles.

8:00: Indiana @ Minnesota (FS1): I think the Hooisers are going to take out some frustration here.

10:00: Wyoming @ Colorado State (CBSS): Back in August, I probably would’ve told you to circle this Friday-night Mountain West game on your calendar. With the teams a combined 5-11 overall here in late October, well, not so much. Wyoming has had the misfortune of starting their MWC schedule with four of the conference’s better teams (Boise, at Hawaii, at Fresno, and then Utah State, for good measure), so the Rams should be a welcome reprieve.

10:30: Utah @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN): UCLA looks to make it three-in-a-row to which I’ll say… eh, I wouldn’t count on it.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 1

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Thursday
7:00:

  • Central Florida @ Connecticut (ESPNU): The Defending National Champions look to hold their own in the Civil Conflict, which is totally an actual rivalry that people care about. Seriously, UCF should roll.
  • New Mexico State @ Minnesota (BTN): Yeah, after getting demolished in Week 0 last week it looks like the shine is off the Aggies after being one of college football’s major feel-good stories last year. Alas.

8:00:

  • Northwestern @ Purdue (ESPN): A Week 1 weekday Big Ten game at night?!?!? Surely monocles across the Midwest are being dropped as we speak. But hey, this could well be the game of the day. The Wildcats are more consistent than most remember and Purdue should be that much better this year. This could be, dare I say, fun?
  • Wake Forest @ Tulane (CBSS): Wake Forest is good. Tulane, less so.

Friday
6:00: Syracuse @ Western Michigan (CBSS): Syracuse really needs this one, mostly because this is the year Dino Babers needs to start showing signs of improvement. They should get it, but still, this could be dicey.

7:00:

  • Army @ Duke (ESPNU): If Duke loses to a service academy and then beats us again this year I am going to be so mad. For the time being, I’m not worried about that scenario.
  • Utah State @ Michigan State (BTN): I’ll still list Big Ten Network games even though, as far as I know at the time of writing, this game will likely not be on your TV unless you live in the Midwest. That said, you shouldn’t need to watch this to know Sparty should roll.

9:00:

  • Western Kentucky @ Wisconsin (ESPN): I don’t know much about WKU going into this, and I know Wisconsin should be good. Nonetheless, I feel like this could be better than many expect.
  • San Diego State @ Stanford (FS1): If you like watching large men grinding each other into dust, amazingly it won’t be any of the Big Ten games, but a game involving a team from the Pac-12 and another from San Diego. Stanford should win, but yeah, this is where you want to be if you want to watch teams good at running the ball.

9:30: Colorado vs. Colorado State (@Denver, CO; CBSS): Colorado: you may want to investigate the shovel pass. If the Hawaiis of the world can use to run all over the Rams defense, well, the tape is there. Just sayin’.

Saturday
Noon

  • Florida Atlantic @ Oklahoma (FOX): Come for the potential hilarity of Lane Kiffin threatening Oklahoma at all, stay for the chance that it might actually be closer in the third quarter than anyone actually expected. (The Sooners will rally to win comfortably in the end, though. Probably.)
  • Oregon State @ Ohio State (ABC): Ohio State.
  • Mississippi vs. Texas Tech (@Houston, TX; ESPN): Well, this is definitely a football game in a sterile NFL dome in Houston for some reason. Uh, Ole Miss?
  • Texas vs. Maryland (@Landover, MD; FS1): Speaking of sterile NFL environments… Texas can’t lose to Maryland again, can they? Not in year 2? Surely?
  • Coastal Carolina @ South Carolina (SEC): Your annual reminder that Coastal Carolina is now in the FBS.
  • Texas State @ Rutgers (BTN): As is Texas State. Also, Rutgers isn’t quite bad enough to lose this. I think.
  • Kent State @ Illinois (BTN): Illinois will win at least one game this year. I think.
  • Houston @ Rice (CBSS): I wonder if Houston has enough cachet to fill Rice Stadium these days. It’d be nice to see a few tens of thousands of people there. Also apparently this game is known as the “Bayou Bucket Classic“.

12:30: Alcorn State @ Georgia Tech (ACC/RSN): This will hopefully be significantly less stressful for me than last year’s opener. Nonetheless, I will probably be killing my phone battery while I’m at PAX because of this game.

3:30:

  • Washington vs. Auburn (@Atlanta, GA; ABC): This game is the Game of the Week for Week 1, and I’d hope that it’s obvious why. Two potential playoff teams, which could still be true for either after this game. It’s also a solid West Coast-South matchup, with one of the Pac-12’s more physical teams versus one of the SEC’s consistently best offenses. I’m also having a hard time seeing which way this one will go myself. Flipping a coin, I’m going to go with… UDub.
  • West Virginia vs. Tennessee (@Charlotte, NC; CBS): Going into the season no one seems to have a read on either of these teams, so I’m going to go with the relatively more consistent Mountaineers.
  • Central Michigan @ Kentucky (ESPNU): Kentucky… probably?
  • Northern Illinois @ Iowa (BTN): Iowa.
  • Appalachian State @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): Penn State.
  • Washington State @ Wyoming (CBSS): I would be so unsurprised that Wyoming wins this game that I’m actually just going to straight-up pick them.

4:00:

  • North Carolina @ California (FOX): The Tarheels venture west for an early afternoon kickoff in Berkeley. Just by body clock logic along, I’m going with Cal.
  • Nevada-Las Vegas @ Southern California (Pac12): USC.

6:00: Boise State @ Troy (ESPNEWS): This could well be the game to find on your TV dial after Washington-Auburn is over. In someways, it’s that game writ small: a team from the Northwest versus a team from Alabama along with New Year’s Day bowl game implications. The winner here could very well set themselves up to be the G5 rep. I like Boise here.

7:00:

  • Cincinnati @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN): We may find out very quickly if Chip Kelly learned anything from his NFL experience and whether he can adapt to the changes in the college game since he left. I’m going to go with UCLA, but yeah.
  • Indiana @ Florida International (CBSS): Indiana…. probably.

7:30:

  • Michigan @ Notre Dame (NBC): It’s almost too obvious that this will the game of NATIONAL IMPORTANCE here in the first weekend of September that won’t be relevant at all by the time November rolls around, right? That said, if one of these teams actually could break out, I think it’s actually Michigan. They have to do better than third at some point, right? Going with the Wolverines here.
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Vanderbilt (SECA): Screw it, MTSU.
  • Southern Methodist @ North Texas (Stadium): SMU?

8:00:

  • Louisville vs. Alabama (@Orlando, FL): I don’t think I would’ve liked Louisville’s odds with Lamar Jackson here, so… yeah.
  • Akron @ Nebraska (FOX): Nebraska.
  • Bowling Green @ Oregon (Pac12): Oregon.

10:30: Texas-San Antonio @ Arizona State (FS1): HERM jokes aside, Arizona State. (Probably.)

10:45: Brigham Young @ Arizona (ESPN): What in the world has happened to BYU? Right now it’s hard to see anything other than ‘Zona rolling here.

11:00: Navy @ Hawaii (CBSS): This could well be an offensive explosion, which, let’s face it, is EXACTLY what you want out of the late game out of Hawaii. I still like the Midshipmen though.

Sunday

7:30: Miami vs. Louisiana State (@Arlington, TX; ABC): I think LSU is more talented and that Miami got supremely lucky last year. Going with LSU.

Monday

8:00: Virginia Tech @ Florida State (ESPN): And finally, five solid days of football ends with an ACC matchup on Monday night. And it figures to be a good one too, except that, well, VPI may not be able to field a defense. Whoops. Going with the ‘Noles.

 

This Week in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Thursday
7:30: Mississippi @ Mississippi State (ESPN): Okay, the Egg Bowl is usually good, but this year it figures the Bulldogs will just put the Rebels out of their misery.

Friday
11:30: Western Michigan @ Toledo (ESPNU): Toledo’s been a solid MAC team for years, but they’ve developed a reputation for blowing their shots at winning their division by suffering bad late-season upsets. They can clinch the MAC West here with a win over 5-6 Western Michigan.

Noon:

  • Miami @ Pittsburgh (ABC): Okay Miami, all you have to do is go to a half-full Heinz Field this Friday and not screw this up. It’s going to be cold but sunny. You’ll go to Charlotte (for the first time!) next weekend either way, but still, it’s important for the sake of the ACC that you’re undefeated.
  • Navy @ Houston (ESPN): Well, both these teams are 6-4, but they’ve arrived there by different ways. I’d actually thought Navy was done this year, but looking the balance of the season for the Midshipmen I like them here.
  • Baylor @ Texas Christian (FS1): Well, this one’s easy: TCU.
  • Northern Illinois @ Central Michigan (CBSS): It’s MACtion Friday, apparently! NIU needs this and a Toledo loss earlier to win the MAC West, while CMU is just trying to play spoiler. That said, I pretty heavily favor the Huskies here.

2:30: Missouri @ Arkansas (CBS): If you told me two months ago that Mizzou would be favorite by over a touchdown here, I’d have said you were crazy, but here we are.

3:30:

  • South Florida @ Central Florida (ABC): Here’s the one you’ve been waiting for, finally. Worth noting though that USF has continued to struggle a after their loss to Houston, which means that UCF enters as heavy favorites. Which isn’t to say that this won’t be close, but it’d be hard to see the Bulls pulling this thing out.
  • New Mexico @ San Diego Sate (CBSS): The Lobos have been pretty awful this year, this figures to just put them out of their misery.

4:00: Iowa @ Nebraska (FS1): Iowa figures to remain LIT IOWA, which sometimes mean destroying Ohio State by 31 points and sometimes means losing to Purdue. Which one are the actual Hawkeyes? Spoiler: it’s both. I like them here.

7:00: Western Kentucky @ Florida International (beIN): I like Western Kentucky here.

8:00:

  • Texas Tech @ Texas (FOX): They’re not rivals, sure, but nonetheless they’re playing for the Governor’s Spurs! You can’t deny that. Well, you can, but still. Texas Tech isn’t terrible or anything, but as the Longhorns have improved over the course of the year they figure to win.
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia (ESPN): The Commonwealth Cup features a feisty Virginia, but I don’t think that will be enough to stop the Hokies.

10:30: California @ California-Los Angeles (FS1): It’s not officially the Battle of California, but it probably should be. Anyway, I have no idea who’s going to win this game, but UCLA did just fire their coach, so let’s roll with Cal.