Monthly Archives: November 2019

This Weekend in College Football: Week 14

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Georgia @ Georgia Tech (“Clean, Old Fashioned Hate”; ABC): TO HELL WITH GEORGIA.
  • Ohio State @ Michigan (“The Game”; FOX): As much as Michigan’s offense has improved since September (and I believe it’s a legitimate improvement” it’s still hard to fathom how they will operate against Ohio State. That said, the Wolverines figure to provide the stiffest test the Buckeyes have yet faced, though that may not be saying much since last week’s 11 point win over Penn State is by far the closest margin they’ve had all year (the previous closest game was 24, in blowouts where OSU took their foot off the gas). So yeah, Michigan could still lose by two scores and be as close to beating Ohio State as anyone this year.
  • Clemson @ South Carolina (“The Palmetto Bowl”; ESPN): Speaking of probable blowouts, hopefully the Tigers destroy the Gamecocks with such ruthlessness that the Powers That Be remember that this South Carolina team beat Georgia.
  • Indiana @ Purdue (ESPN2): The battle for the Old Oaken Bucket is joined once again, but for once it’s the Hooisers who are prohibitive favorites.
  • Northwestern @ Illinois (FS1): Illinois figures to get the Land of Lincoln trophy based solely on the fact that scoring three touchdowns is not a foreign concept for the Illini.
  • Tulsa @ East Carolina (ESPNU): Well, this isn’t a rivalry game in any sort of way that I could figure, and given that there’s not much else going for this game, I can’t recommend watching. That said, this a matchup of two of the AAC’s teams that tend to play to the level of their opposition, which makes predicting this one a real headscratcher. I’ll take ECU I guess?
  • Louisville @ Kentucky (SEC): These two play for The Governor’s Cup, which I think is the most common rivalry trophy name. Anyway, Kentucky’s been Kentucky for most of the second half the season, while Louisville has looked… better? With signs of life? So yeah, I’ll take the Cardinals here.
  • Florida International @ Marshall (CBSS): Good thing FIU beat Miami last week, because otherwise I didn’t have them making a bowl game. I still don’t have them winning this game.
  • Texas State @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)

12:30: Wake Forest @ Syracuse (ACC/RSN): A woeful year for the Orange will close off with a loss, and a long central New York winter to think about what went wrong after an all-around good season in 2018.


  • Wyoming @ Air Force (Stadium/Facebook)
  • Charlotte @ Old Dominion (ESPN+)
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Western Kentucky (“100 Miles of Hate”; ESPN+)
  • New Mexico State @ Liberty (ESPN+)


  • Wisconsin @ Minnesota (ABC): Paul Bunyan’s Axe is on the line once again. After a long stretch of dominance by the Badgers, the Gophers finally broke through last year and did the deed, felling Wisconsin’s 14 game losing streak. I personally think Minnesota will cap off one of the greatest seasons in their history, though whether it remains that way after playing Ohio State next week is TBD.
  • Alabama @ Auburn (“The Iron Bowl”; CBS): Given the status of Alabama’s all-everything starting quarterback, the Tua-less Iron Bowl feels like it should have an asterisk next to it. In particular, Auburn’s defensive line figures to cause problems for Mac Jones (whose name I had to look up just now). Also, Bama has lost two consecutive games against names nicknamed the “Tigers”, including a time when they were so desperate for points they ran a fake field goal with the kicker as a lead blocker. So yeah, I like Auburn here. It’s science!
  • Baylor @ Kansas (ESPN): This is certainly a game you could watch other than the first two listed here, but I cannot fathom why. Baylor figures to roll.
  • Miami @ Duke (ESPN2): In the past couple of years, I would’ve figured that Duke would pile upon Miami’s misery after the Canes suffered a huge upset loss, but… yeah this Duke team is almost as bad as the Canes. Again, don’t watch this. And I like the Canes.
  • Maryland @ Michigan State (FS1): This is also a certainly a game that will happen starting at 3:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. Seriously, this scheduling to avoid Wisky-UMN and the Iron Bowl has to be intentional. Sparty figures to roll here.
  • Southern Mississippi @ Florida Atlantic (NFL): This might be the most intriguing 2nd-tier game in this time slot, but FAU figures to roll.
  • Rutgers @ Pennsylvania State (BTN): You have got to be kidding me. Penn State.
  • Connecticut @ Temple (CBSS): Seriously? Temple.
  • Boston College @ Pittsburgh (ACCN): Well, it’d work a lot better for my bowl predictions if BC were to pull off a win, so I like Pitt here.


  • Notre Dame @ Stanford (FOX): The Irish have blown out three straight opponents and this game doesn’t figure to be much different.
  • Tulane @ Southern Methodist (ESPNU): Well, Willie Fritz’s crew have lost four of their last five, but the games were all close (except for Memphis) and they did soundly beat a Tulsa team that has befuddled other AAC teams. That said, SMU just figures to be a tier above and I like them at home, but I hope no one sours on a Tulane team that exceeded all expectations this season.
  • Vanderbilt @ Tennessee (SEC): This game doesn’t appear to have a name or moniker, but it’s a rivalry nonetheless. But the Vols have one four straight and Vandy, well, not so much. The Commodores offensive struggles figure to continue, and the Vols figure to roll.
  • Oregon State @ Oregon (“The Civil War”; Pac12): I just verified that I still get Pac-12 Network through my Comcast subscription even though I’m at my parent’s house, which will allow me to second screen the heck out of this game. The atmospheres in both Eugene and Corvallis are outstanding for this game, and Oregon State has definitely had a good season so far. But they need this game to get to 6-6, and with it in Eugene, I just like the ducks too much.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ North Texas (Stadium): Go Blazers!

6:00: Georgia State @ Georgia Southern (“Modern Day Hate”; ESPN+)


  • Texas A&M @ Louisiana State (ESPN): My prediction: this will go to slightly less than the 7 overtimes last year’s game did. But there could definitely be some chippiness, but regardless, LSU will roll.
  • Navy @ Houston (ESPN2): Navy finishes off a disinterested Houston team.
  • Iowa State @ Kansas State (“Farmageddon”; FS1): This game figures to be slightly in Iowa State’s favor, but with the game in the Little Apple I figure it’s about even. Ah, what the heck, I’ll pick K-State.
  • North Carolina @ North Carolina State (ACCN): NC State lost to us last week, so I’m picking UNC.


  • Colorado @ Utah (“The Rumble in the Rockies”; ABC): I’m on Eastern time for the weekend, so that means at these games will be after dinner, instead of before. Anyway, while the digestion is going, let’s evaluate this night slate. We’re starting… not so hot, as Colorado didn’t figure to have much of a chance in this game regardless of venue, much less the cauldron of despair known was RICE-ECCLES STADIUM. (Fun fact that I know just because I wanted to look up whether I spelled the name correctly: it was the main stadium for the 2002 Winter Olympics, which means that it’s in a pretty small group of college football stadiums that have hosted the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. The other two I can think off the top of my head are the LA Coliseum and what is now known as Georgia State Stadium.) At any rate, Colorado is kinda bad and the Utes aren’t, so the full effect of the Cauldron probably won’t be needed and the Utah figures to roll. Probably.
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Louisiana-Lafayette (“The Battle on the Bayou”; ESPNU): John Fogerty wrote the song “Born the Bayou”. Having been born and raised in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, he was not, suffice it to say, born on the Bayou, but he apparently admitted this interviews. At any rate, ULL are 3 touchdowns favorites, so yeah, I like them here.
  • Florida State @ Florida (“The Sunshine Showdown”; SEC): Florida State looks a little better after firing their coach mid-season, but the Gators are just more organized and figure to roll.

8:00: Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (“Bedlam”; FOX): As most probably know by now, despite the series’s nickname, Oklahoma is 88-18-7 all-time and have now win 4 straight, 6 of the last 7, and 14 of the last 16. As the joke I heard on of my podcasts a few weeks ago goes: “Something crazy will happen, and Oklahoma will win.” Sounds about right.

9:00: Brigham Young @ San Diego State (CBSS): I generally like the Aztecs most times, and despite the Cougars being favorites, I’ll stick to that.

10:00: Arizona @ Arizona State (“The Duel in the Desert”; ESPN): The Sun Devils scored a huge upset last week in defeating Oregon, can they remain focused and beat a rival they’re heavily favored against? In a word: yes.


  • Fresno State @ San Jose State (“The Valley Cup”; ESPN2): Fresno has struggled this year, but SJSU is, well, at the historical level of San Jose State Spartans football. I like Fresno here.
  • California @ California-Los Angeles (“The Bear Bowl”; FS1): Well, it hasn’t been a good evening slate so far, and… yeah, this doesn’t do much to improve things. UCLA appeared to take some steps backward against USC and Cal’s defense and somewhat rejuvenated offense don’t figure to give them much of a reprieve.

12:30: Army @ Hawaii (CBSS): And finally, we conclude the last full Saturday of the college football season with Army traveling to what figure to be their bowl game. Hawaii actually won the Mountain West West division this year, and will play in Boise next week. As long as the Rainbow Warriors aren’t looking forward to that trip too much, I think they’ll probably beat Army.

THWG Thought of the Day: 11/30

Men, Georgie’s a fine football team, a very fine football team. Georgie’s bigger and faster than we are. Probably a little tougher, too.

That’s okay, because we’re smarter than they are.

Now, let me tell you what’s going to happen. That Georgie team’s going to come running out of the tunnel screaming and foaming at the mouth and smashing one another upside the head just to get warmed up.

We won’t do any of that. While they waste their energy, we’ll conserve ours. I’ve told you that they’re bigger, faster, and tougher than you. That’s true. But we do have that one big advantage.

We … are … smarter.

Think about what I teach you. Play field position. Play great defense. Make no mistakes on offense. Be great in the kicking game. Do that and we’ll keep it close.

As the game goes on, they’ll start to get tired because they wasted so much energy in the beginning. Because we’re smart, we’ll have plenty of energy left, and at some point in the fourth quarter they’ll make a mistake.

When they do make that mistake, we’ll get the football. And when that happens, I’ll think of something and we’ll win!

Coach Bobby Dodd, as told by Bill Curry

Bowl Predictions 2019: Week 5

They’re up and they’re good! Okay, maybe they’re not good. Heck last week apparently forgot to upload the picks. Whoops!

At any rate, I’m not going to get into an in depth analysis of these picks (expect that for next week’s picks on Sunday and the final picks after Championship Saturday), other than I had to put frickin’ Liberty in there because I ran out of otherwise eligible teams. Oh, and I have Ohio State at #1 now.

This Week in College Football: Week 14

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


6:00: Ohio @ Akron (ESPN+)

7:00: Western Michigan @ Northern Illinois (ESPNU): NIU is kind of bad this year, but it’s not surprising that this is the game that made it to TV. I like WMU though.


7:30: Mississippi @ Mississippi State (“The Egg Bowl”; ESPN): If it makes any sense, this rivalry is possible overrated as an underrated rivalry. Okay, so that probably doesn’t make sense, but there’s a reason why college football people always talk about this game. If you’re not from Mississippi (and I’m not), then the ferocity of this game is not generally going to be known. And let’s face it, ferocity is not a word often thrown around when it comes to the Turkey Day NFL games. (Of course, I say this and the NFL game it’s going up against is Saints-Falcons, so…) Anyway, Ole Miss is terrible this year, so yeah the Bulldogs should be able to secure the win in Starkville.



  • Texas Tech @ Texas (“Battle for the Chancellor’s Spurs”; FOX): It turns out Texas is as mediocre as we thought they’d be before they beat the pants off Georgia in the Sugar Bowl last season. Who knew? Anyway, I’m still going to take them to beat Texas Tech because, well, I’m not sure really.
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia (“The Commonwealth Cup”; ABC): We all thought last year would be the year that UVA could finally do it and beat VPI for the first time since 2003, but nope, they went out and blew it. That was in Blacksburg, at least, this time they have to be considered favorites with the Coastal on the line, right? (Note: “Coastal favorites” is synonymous with “the right to demolished by Clemson next week”.) I think they can do it this time. Maybe.
  • Toledo @ Central Michigan (ESPNU): I’ve given up on trying to figure out what’s up with Toledo, so for the sake of my sanity I’ll go with CMU.
  • Miami @ Ball State (CBSS): Miami is 7-4, and Ball State is 4-7, yet the ESPN FPI matchup predictor gives the Cardinals a 64% chance of winning. Yeah, I’ll disagree.
  • Bowling Green @ Buffalo (ESPN+)
  • Kent State @ Eastern Michigan (ESPN+)


  • Missouri @ Arkansas (“Battle Line Rivalry”; CBS): Arkansas: the Rutgers of the SEC. Everyone’s “get right” game. The wonder of how a SEC team could be this bad. It’s truly mind-boggling, and this is the last time you’ll get to see it in 2019.
  • Iowa @ Nebraska (“The Heroes Game”; BTN): Iowa is presumably going to do Iowa things and get out of Lincoln with an Iowa win. I have no desire to watch any of it.


  • Cincinnati @ Memphis (ABC): Now then, this could be fun. Cincy already as the AAC East secured, but the West is still up for grabs, but Memphis hold the reins. They also figure to be a better team in the end, and put themselves in prime position to a) beat Cincy again next week and b) become the top G5 team in the College Football Playoff rankings.
  • Boise State @ Colorado State (CBSS): The main question about this game is probably whether or not Colorado State coach Mike Bobo will retire afterward. Boise shouldn’t have an issue.

4:00: Washington State @ Washington (“The Apple Cup”; FOX): This Apple Cup looks like a complete coin flip. UDub absolutely looks… bad on offense, but Wazzu’s defense is an excellent salve for offensive woes. Combine that with Wazzu’s penchant for offense, and we could potentially have some fireworks in Seattle. Just because of Wazzu’s unpredictability, I like UDub in the end.

4:15: West Virginia @ Texas Christian (ESPN): WVU lost 5 straight, beat Kansas State, and then lost again. I’m going to go with TCU here.

5:00: Arkansas State @ South Alabama (ESPN+)

6:00: Appalachian State @ Troy (ESPN+)

8:00: South Florida @ Central Florida (“The War on I-4”; ESPN): I had to check real quick, and yep, Charlie Strong isn’t fired yet. That said, it’s hard to imagine who would do better in USF, really. UCF figures to run away with this one.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

Note: despite the SEC-SoCon Challenge this weekend, we will maintain our policy of listing only FBS vs. FBS games.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Pennsylvania State @ Ohio State (FOX): This game might be the first indication on the season that Ohio State isn’t invincible, but they could still easily win by 20.
  • Minnesota @ Northwestern (ABC): Minnesota figures to get their groove back against a punchless Northwestern offense.
  • Oklahoma State @ West Virginia (ESPN2): Well, the ‘Neers managed to knock-off a different Big 12 team ranked in the 20’s last week, can they turn the trick twice? Well, maybe, but probably not.
  • Michigan State @ Rutgers (FS1): Even Michigan State can probably score, and win, against Rutgers.
  • Illinois @ Iowa (BTN): Will Illinois win this game? No, probably not, though if you’re going to roll into Kinnick hoping to keep the momentum going, the noon slot is the time to do it.
  • Central Florida @ Tulane (CBSS): Tulane’s slipped a bit over the past few weeks, but UCF just lost to Tulsa, so I’ll ride the Green Wave.
  • Kansas @ Iowa State (FSN): Iowa State is on the verge of going 8-4, which means it’s party time! in Ames.
  • Liberty @ Virginia (ACC/RSN): UVA. (Reminder: Liberty is a full-fledged FBS team this year!)
  • Ball State @ Kent State (ESPN+)


  • Boston College @ Notre Dame (NBC): Yeah, ND is better than anyone wants to admit, especially me.
  • Texas State @ Appalachian State (ESPN+)

3:00: Georgia Southern @ Arkansas State (ESPN+)


  • California-Los Angeles @ Southern California (ABC): There’s apparently no settled name for this rivalry game, so I’ll ask around. Until then, I like a rapidly improving (and newly-ranked!) USC here. Oh, and also a shout to the home vs. home uniforms, that had better still be a thing.
  • Texas A&M @ Georgia (CBS): This game will be close, but also boring as hell and never in doubt. Yeah, that’s Georgia (most of the time) this year for you.
  • Michigan @ Indiana (ESPN): #Ninewindiana and all, but yeah, no, Michigan has to keep winning to set up for the Ultimate Disappointment of getting obliterated by Ohio State next weekend.
  • Pittsburgh @ Virginia Tech (ESPN2): I guess it would the most #ACCCoastal thing for VPI to lose this game beat UVA anyway next week, but for now, I’ll take VPI.
  • Texas @ Baylor (FS1): I don’t think Texas will win, but I’d really like it if they did.
  • North Texas @ Rice (NFL): This is definitely a game that will be on TV, unlike one of the games below that is far more deserving.
  • Nebraska @ Maryland (BTN): Like, for instance, this game. This isn’t even the one I was thinking of! But yeah, Nebraska gets an easy one, probably.
  • Western Kentucky @ Southern Mississippi (ESPN+)
  • Louisiana Tech @ Alabama-Birmingham (ESPN+): I meant this one. This should be good. Also, Go Blazers.


  • Purdue @ Wisconsin (FOX): Wisky figures to roll.
  • Memphis @ South Florida (ESPNU): Memphis figures to roll.
  • Syracuse @ Louisville (ACCN): … Louisville? figures to roll? I mean, they actually kinda do? What in the world happened to Syracuse? The only thing odder than the blowout they suffered to Syracuse lately as the beatdown they put on Duke last week. That’s the ACC in 2019 for you, I guess.
  • California @ Stanford (Pac12): THE BIG GAME. I mean, I won’t be there, but I will definitely be watching from my apartment mere tens of miles away. At any rate, I think I still favor Cal here, as they seem to be getting healthier again and Stanford is just the “meh”-iest team in the world right now.

5:00: Troy @ Louisiana-Lafayette (ESPN+)

6:00: Florida Atlantic @ Texas-San Antonio (ESPN+)


  • Arkansas @ Louisiana State (ESPN): LSU can play “name your score!” this week.
  • Temple @ Cincinnati (ESPN2): Cincy is good, but they still have plenty of question marks in their quest to get that AAC crown. Temple will provide their latest challenge in that persuit, and while think they can win this one, I’m not sure how I feel about the next couple of weeks.
  • Kansas State @ Texas Tech (FS1): K-State? Sure, let’s do it.
  • Miami vs. Florida International (@Miami, FL; CBSS): Miami.


  • Oregon @ Arizona State (ABC): If there’s a spoiler for Oregon season, and it’s before the Pac-12 title game, then it should be the Beavers next week and not the Sun Devils now. Of course, things don’t really go according to plan like that, but I prefer it because the most fun outcomes are either Oregon winning the Pac-12 or the Beavers grabbing the upset in Eugene.
  • Houston @ Tulsa (ESPNU): Tulsa beat UCF last week, which feels a little bit like the dog that finally caught the car, and Houston is kinda-sorta-actively tanking this year, but yeah no, I’m taking Tulsa over Houston.
  • Tennessee @ Missouri (SEC): These teams are on completely opposite trajectories right now. It feels weird, but yeah, I’m taking the Volunteers here.
  • Duke @ Wake Forest (ACCN): This is certainly an ACC conference game. Yep. Wake? Sure, let’s go with Wake.

8:00: Texas Christian @ Oklahoma (FOX): OU survived Waco last week, which yeah, can be intimidating. All they gotta do now, though, is not blow it against TCU. I’ll predict the Sooners to do that, but that defense inspires little confidence.

9:00: Oregon State @ Washington State (Pac12): Wazzu’s unpredictability is almost become rote at this point, so I’ll sidestep that predict a comfortable Cougar win.


  • Washington @ Colorado (ESPN): This evening slate is kind of dire, but it’s that sort of week. UDub should have no trouble with the Buffs.
  • Utah @ Arizona (FS1): Same with the Utes and ‘Zona.


  • Nevada @ Fresno State (ESPN2): This could be fun. Fresno is a little down this year, and Nevada seems to be relatively game. I like the Bulldogs down in the Valley, but I think I like these MWC games more than the late Pac-12 games available.
  • Boise State @ Utah State (CBSS): And we close with a test for Boise down in Logan. It’ll be 24 degrees over there, but no snow unfortunately. Regardless, I think this could be a fair bit of fun, and so don’t give up on this late slate too early. I like Boise here.