Monthly Archives: November 2023

Bowl Predictions 2023: Week 5

They’re up and they’re here!

Let’s get right into it:

  • There’s lots of garment rending and gnashing of teeth online at the moment regarding the playoff, but I think it’ll work itself out. Well, unless Oregon and Texas win. Which is what I’m betting will happen. At any rate, I will fully admit putting Oregon at #3 is just purely to get a traditional Rose Bowl. It sort of seems like that as long as Florida State stays undefeated, they’ll finish above any 1-loss team. We’ll see though!
  • Predicting this stuff isn’t what it used to be. I used to spend the post-Thanksgiving period doing Google News searches for local beat writer articles about possible bowl destinations. Now, these articles are just summations of the more prominent national writers’ bowl predictions. Gee, awesome. The whole point of this exercise for me is to use my own know-how to try to get somewhere near what might happen.
  • The exception of to the above is actually an article done the old fashioned way, and it’s very helpful because it tracks with what I was thinking and also changes my feel for how I think Georgia Tech’s bowl prospects look.
  • On that note, this article out of El Paso is also helpful – if the Sun Bowl chairman is saying out loud that he wants two “name” teams, he might well get it. (Then again, at least on the ACC side it’s up to the conference, not the bowl.)
  • On the 5-7 watch, we had to wait for the late returns from the West Coast and beyond, but with Cal whomping UCLA and Hawaii kicking a last-second field goal to conclude the regular season, we wound up 3 teams short. This means James Madison and Jacksonville State: step right up! And that means we need one 5-7 team, which looks like it’ll be Minnesota.
  • With JMU going bowling, that means the Sun Belt gets 12 of its 14 teams in, which is a pretty big accomplishment for a non-power conference. (Since, generally, each of those teams pretty much starts with 1 loss due to a paycheck game against a power team.) I did some juggling with the ESPN Events affiliated bowls to avoid Sun Belt vs. Sun Belt matchups, and I don’t think what I did was unreasonable.

That’s about it. On Sunday, I’ll be following the announcements as live as I possibly can. There’ll be one last update Saturday night after the conference title games conclude to account for any new news after this or upsets, and the final predictions will be uploaded. I may not be able to make a post. If I don’t, I will be updating the predictions on Sunday. When this happens, as long as I don’t know future results, I do update the table to account for things I get wrong in the hopes of getting bowls further down the chain correctly, so keep that in mind when assessing how correct I was.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Ohio State @ Michigan (“The Game”; FOX): And once again, we start the last full day of college football with The Game, which is every bit as consequential as it has been the past two seasons. In Ohio State’s favor is human cheat code Marvin Harrison, Jr. In Michigan’s favor is a two game winning streak where they have more-or-less out-toughed the Buckeyes. It’s sort of crazy to think about, but I think the Wolverines will make it three in a row.
  • Kentucky @ Louisville (ABC): I still don’t really believe in Louisville and they could definitely lose this, but I can’t really put my fingers to the keyboard and type that.
  • Texas A&M @ Louisiana State (ESPN): A&M is probably slightly less dysfunctional on offense without Jimbo. LSU though just has a score-at-will type ability through Jayden Daniels that a lot of other teams, even top ten teams, lack.
  • Navy @ Southern Methodist (ESPN2): Ponies figure to keep the pedal down all the way through the end of the season here, with a date with Tulane next weekend looming.
  • Houston @ Central Florida (FS1): Both of these teams have been varying degrees of bad this year, especially Houston. It was a rough go for both in their first year of Big 12 play. That said, I have no idea what to expect here and I’m kind of tempted to pick Houston.
  • Indiana @ Purdue (BTN): The Old Oaken Bucket is on the line, and, well, it’s a battle of 3-8 teams. State of Indiana pride is on the line, and that’s about it. One of the things about being 3-8 is that it’s hard to say if a win over Minnesota or Wisconsin means anything when the context is that you only won two other games. I’ll take the Boilermakers because they’re at home.
  • Troy @ Southern Mississippi (ESPNU): Southern Miss did reel off two straight wins before losing to Miss State last week, but regardless Troy isn’t as good as they were, but they’re still in the upper crust of the Sun Belt. They should be fine here.
  • Pittsburgh @ Duke (ACCN): Duke has QB injury issues, but Pitt just has offense issues in general. The Blue Devils should romp.
  • Miami @ Ball State (CBSS): We’ll have some Saturday MACtion back, though this one should be straightforward for Miami.
  • Northern Illinois @ Kent State (ESPN+)
  • Middle Tennessee State @ Sam Houston State (ESPN+)
  • Connecticut @ Massachusetts (ESPN+)


  • Florida Atlantic @ Rice (ESPN+)
  • Sacramento State @ North Dakota (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Wake Forest @ Syracuse (The CW): We’ll close out the first (only? I need to check) year of ACC football on the CW. Wake Forest has lost four straight. Yes, Syracuse just fired their coach (the second time my team has gotten a Syracuse coach fired since I matriculated) and the offense is… limited, to say the least, but they still seem like a more coherent team than Wake at this point.
  • Tulsa @ East Carolina (ESPN+)
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ North Texas (ESPN+)
  • Georgia State @ Old Dominion (ESPN+)
  • Southern vs. Grambling State (Bayou Classic @ New Orleans, LA; NBC)
  • North Carolina Central @ Richmond (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)
  • Lafayette @ Delaware (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Colorado @ Utah (“Rumble in the Rockies”; Pac12): Remember what Oregon did to Colorado a couple of months back? Well, Utah doesn’t have Bo Nix (or anyone else that’s a real quarterback, for that matter), but I expect this to look pretty similar.
  • San Jose State @ Nevada-Las Vegas (MWN)
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Louisiana (“Battle on the Bayou”; ESPN+)
  • Western Kentucky @ Florida International (ESPN+)
  • Tennessee-Chattanooga @ Austin Peay (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)
  • Nicholls State @ Southern Illinois (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)
  • Gardner-Webb @ Mercer (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Alabama @ Auburn (“Iron Bowl”; CBS): Okay, it’s the Iron Bowl, and it’s on the Plains, and sometimes stuff can… look, just no. The Tigers just got manhandled by New Mexico State last week. [Editor’s note: italics here for emphasis, NMSU is a FBS school.] I’m pretty sure Alabama can scheme some stuff up to do something similar. This might be a good point in the afternoon to go to the store.
  • Brigham Young @ Oklahoma State (ABC): On the one hand, Oklahoma State seems determined to show that they won their one-game season by winning Bedlam, even if they did rally and beat Houston last week. On the other, BYU is super beat up and has lost four straight. Oklahoma State may well try to throw this but just back their way into getting blasted by Texas next week. This could wind up being interesting in a certain sort of way.
  • Arizona @ Arizona State (“Territorial Cup”; ESPN): It’s generally a bad sign for your roster depth when you starting a true freshman at QB, who then got hurt, and is now starting again for the first time since September. That’s what Arizona State is doing, and I suspect that this one might be over early.
  • James Madison @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN2): It’s neat Grayson McCall came back for Coastal this season, but they just don’t have the juice this season. I like JMU here.
  • Wisconsin @ Minnesota (FS1): This is the most ambiguous Axe game in a while. Neither of these teams is especially good, with Minnesota stalling out a bit and Wisconsin going through a philosophy change on offense under a new coach. With the game effectively being a coin toss, I’ll take the home team.
  • Maryland @ Rutgers (BTN): Maryland scared the heck out of Michigan last week, even if it was never really really in doubt. I suspect that means Rutgers is going to win easily this week.
  • Northwestern @ Illinois (BTN): Northwestern’s coach should win at least one of the various coach of the year awards. Seriously. I think they win this one easily.
  • Georgia Southern @ Appalachian State (“Modern Day Hate”; ESPNU): App is still somewhat maddening, as I’d definitely written them off going into JMU last week. Naturally, they left with the upset. This is a real G5 rivalry that goes back to their FCS days and there should be a good crowd in Boone. This could be a sneaky good game, or… an App rout. We’ll see.
  • Vanderbilt @ Tennessee (SEC): Vols by a lot.
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia (“Commonwealth Cup”; ACCN): Virginia’s upset of Duke last week aside, there’s been a lot more to be optimistic about over on Blacksburg. That said, the talent level of these two teams is similar so we could wind up with a close game, though I’m expecting a VPI win.
  • Liberty @ Texas-El Paso (CBSS): It brings me no pleasure to report that Liberty will be 12-0 after this. Tulane, we need you to win out.
  • Arkansas State @ Marshall (ESPN+)
  • Drake @ North Dakota State (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Washington State @ Washington (“Apple Cup”; FOX): Wazzu worked out some frustration last week on Colorado, subjecting the Buffs to a 56-14 game that wasn’t that close. Before that, however, the Cougs lost 6 straight after beating Oregon State, which made one feel like they’d lost the plot a bit. UDub is 11-0 and definitely more talented. I’m a bit skittish after what happened in Eugene earlier tonight, but I think this game is going to be closer than one might think.
  • Jacksonville State @ New Mexico State (ESPN+)

5:00: Duquense @ Youngstown State (NCAA Division I First Round; ESPN+)


  • Florida State @ Florida (“Sunshine Showdown” ; ESPN): Even with their backup QB, I still expect FSU to win here. The talent level on both sides of the ball is still good and the Gators are just not good enough right now to overcome it.
  • West Virginia @ Baylor (FS1): I’m still trying to figure out what happened at Baylor after last year. ‘Neers get to one of the most unexpected 8 win seasons in the country after this one.
  • South Alabama @ Texas State (NFLN): Texas State probably won’t give up 77 again, but I don’t really trust them at this point.
  • Notre Dame @ Stanford (Pac12): It’s not a coincidence that this is one of the largest point spreads of the weekend (at Notre Dame favored by 25). Maybe it’s for the best this will probably be the last ever football game shown on the Pac-12 Network.


  • Georgia @ Georgia Tech (“Clean, Old Fashioned Hate”; ABC): TO HELL WITH GEORGIA
  • Kansas @ Cincinnati (ESPN2): I know the QB at situation means this line is close, but KU shouldn’t have any trouble here.
  • Charlotte @ South Florida (ESPNU): USF figures to get bowl eligible against one of the worst teams in the country.
  • Clemson @ South Carolina (“Palmetto Bowl”; SEC): The Gamecocks have won three in a row and salvaged the season a little, but that figures to come to a screeching halt at the hands of a seemingly rejuvenated Clemson squad.


  • Iowa State @ Kansas State (“Farmageddon”; FOX): This is the longest continuously played rivalry in FBS, but regardless it’s due to rotate off the Big 12 schedule in 2028. This error should be fixed. Outside of that, we’ve already remarked a couple of times that Iowa State is playing well as of late after being dead in the water earlier in the season. I hope it’s been fun, because this trip to the Little Apple isn’t likely to be.
  • North Carolina @ North Carolina State (ACCN): NC State has reached 8 wins, which isn’t exactly news, because they do that almost every year. What this does imply is that UNC will probably win. Look, I don’t make the rules, okay.

9:00: Wyoming @ Nevada (CBSS): Wyoming isn’t as good as their record (7-4), but they good enough to take care of business in Reno.


  • California @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN): It’s a shame this game never really got a name, considering the shared history and governance of these schools. Plus that it’s probably on hold for the foreseeable future. But yeah, the main motivation in this one is that we’re going to be winding down the season with these games, and this does figure to be more watchable than the next game. That said, UCLA should handle business here.
  • Fresno State @ San Diego State (FS1): And finally, we’ve got the battle for the Oil Can. I still have no idea what is going on with Fresno after they lost to New Mexico last week, but I will still say they’re going to be able to take care of this SDSU team. Well, unless the Aztecs decide to send Brady Hoke off with a sudden burst of competence on the offensive side of the ball, which feels unlikely.

11:00: Colorado State @ Hawaii (Team1Sports): Mahalo, the 2023 college football regular season. There’s a lot of change coming in 2024, and it’s been a fun send-off to what will possibly be a very significant point in the history of the sport.

This Week in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern all predictions wrong.


7:00: Bowling Green @ Western Michigan (ESPNU): We’re finally going to cover some MACtion here as part of our look at the weeknight games this week. We still should have never lost to Bowling Green, but my worst fears after their 27-0 blanking by Miami didn’t materialize. The instead rolled off 5 straight MAC wins until last week’s close loss to MAC front-runners Toledo. They seem to actually be kind of okay, which wasn’t something I was expecting to say. I’ll guess they’ll win here.

7:30: Eastern Michigan @ Buffalo (ESPN2): This probably wouldn’t be what I’d pick to put on ESPN2 over EPSNU, but they didn’t ask me. The Bulls have lost 3 straight in what is a bit of a lost season for Mo Linguist and company, while EMU needs the win for bowl eligibility. I guess on paper the Bulls should win, and they’re at home, but I’ll take EMU.


7:30 PM: Mississippi @ Mississippi State (“Egg Bowl”; ESPN): Okay, let’s get to Thanksgiving Day. As usual, I’ll ask that you at least keep an eye on this one over the NFL game that evening because, well, it’s the Egg Bowl. While it’s been less, er, chaotic since 2019, and Ole Miss should win easily, anything can happen!



  • Miami @ Boston College (ABC): What a lost season for the Canes. They’re currently 6-5 with a 2-5 record in the ACC. They’re going to need to do some deep introspection on this season, not the least of which is wonder if Mario Christobal can figure anything out about game management. (There’s been more questionable things since they played us, believe it or not.) On paper they should easily beat this BC team, and I’ll go with that, but I don’t feel good about it.
  • Iowa @ Nebraska (CBS): So as of this writing the over/under for this game 27.5 points, which is insane. That said, Nebraska’s quarterback situation is so bad the Iowa defense may well hit the over on their own.
  • Texas Christian @ Oklahoma (FOX): There’s not really anything about how TCU is playing that makes me thing they can pull this off.
  • Memphis @ Temple (ESPN): There’s been years where this would’ve been an interesting game. This isn’t one of them.
  • Toledo @ Central Michigan (ESPNU): Toledo should roll here.
  • Ohio @ Akron (CBSS): Ohio is still one of the better teams in the MAC, and Akron… not so much.


  • Texas-San Antonio @ Tulane (ABC): Tulane isn’t as obviously good as they were last year, but they’ve now reeled off 9 in a row. The Roadrunners should present a formidable challenge after senior QB Frank Harris was missing early in the season. I still like the Green Wave, but this could be a sneaky fun game.
  • Utah State @ New Mexico (CBSS): I’m still trying to figure out what happened to Fresno after this New Mexico team beat them, but in the meantime I’m going to predict them to lose again.


  • Missouri @ Arkansas (“Battle Line Rivalry”; CBS): Mizzou shouldn’t need an end-of-regulation field goal in this one. If they win they’ll probably get a New Year’s Six bid. What a season for the Tigers.
  • Air Force @ Boise State (FS1): Love yourself like Air Force loves committing turnovers. It’s kind of ridiculous at this point that they’ve lost three straight starting with that 23-3 loss to Army. Boise, meanwhile, wasn’t predicted to be that good this year, then wasn’t, and then fired their coach. Naturally, they’ve now won two in a row, and I suspect they’ll make it three. If some other results break their way, they could well be playing in the Mountain West championship game with an interim coach. College football, y’all.


  • Pennsylvania State vs. Michigan State (@Detroit, MI; NBC): The battle for the worlsd’s best worst trophy is renewed again on a neutral field for some reason. At any rate, Michigan State has lost every game they’ve played against a team with a pulse. Penn State has problems, but they’re not “lose to this Michigan State team” problems.
  • Texas Tech @ Texas (ABC): The Red Raiders are 6-5, but considering everything about running a program in Lubbock, it’s still a good piece of work. That said, I can’t really see them threatening Texas. Generally, the ‘Horns have to do it to themselves.

8:30: Oregon State @ Oregon (FOX): The game of the day, and possibly the weekend. The Ducks should thank the stars they got this one at home, because the crowd in Corvallis nearly got the Beavers to the promised land against Washington last weekend. Alas, this Oregon team is just too lights out to see them lose here, but I think this one could still be very fun.

Bowl Predictions 2023: Week 4

It’s that time again, and you’ll find the latest predictions here.

Notes and tidbits:

  • This week I needed 5 5-7 teams, down from 7 last week. The trajectory is good, but we’ll need some big upsets to get all the way there.
  • The Sun Belt has 9 teams qualified, and they’re certainly doing their part to plug a lot of gaps left by the decimated Conference USA.
  • Speaking of the Sun Belt, while James Madison lost their NCAA petition, barring a lot of upsets, they’ll still get a bowl game at least. As a reminder, they would get in before any 5-7 team.
  • Once again, unlike JMU, I don’t think Jacksonville State can get in this year since this is the first year of their FCS to FBS transition.
  • Since Army and Navy aren’t already qualified, I don’t see them making it since the bowls are announced a week before they play. In addition, Army is 5-6 and played two FCS teams. Navy plays SMU this weekend and if they win, they’ll get in, but I see that as… unlikely.
  • For the playoff picture, I realized that the Committee will likely rank the undefeated teams ahead of any 1-loss team, so Oregon slides down to the 4th spot.
  • And finally, I needed no shenanigans to get Georgia Tech in, which is something I haven’t been able to safely do since 2018. That said, I really suspect we’re going to get the Sun Bowl or some such.

Playoff tiers:

  • First tier: Georgia (undefeated SEC champ), undefeated Big Ten champ (Michigan or Ohio State), Florida State (undefeated ACC champ), undefeated/one-loss Pac-12 champ (Washington or Oregon)
  • Second tier: Texas (1-loss Big 12 champ)
  • Third tier: 1-loss Big Ten non-champ (Michigan or Ohio State)
  • Fourth tier: 1-loss SEC champ (Alabama or (if only) Georgia), Washington (1-loss Pac-12 runner-up)
  • In other words: if Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State, Washington, or Oregon win out, they’re in. I’m aware of the Jordan Travis injury for FSU but if they’re undefeated they’re in.
  • Texas, if they win out, is probably ahead of any 1-loss team that isn’t Oregon, though I could see Washington staying above them.
  • We’d need a lot of weird upsets in the next two weeks to even really start talking about Louisville getting in. This is pretty much the whole field as I see it.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 12

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.


  • Louisville @ Miami (ABC): As multiple outlets have noted, this week is not exactly the best. Let’s consider this game, which is relatively close to a marquee matchup compared to everything else. As such, I’ve also thrown in some FCS rivalries, including at least one that will probably be worth figuring out ESPN+ for. As for this one? Well, I don’t think the Cardinals are that good, but I don’t trust the canes.
  • Michigan @ Maryland (FOX): By far one of the most amusing things to come out of the Harbaugh in-game-only suspension is the fans of multiple other fanbases that wish their head coach could be banned from the sideline on gameday. Oh and the Wolverines will roll. Whether or not we’ll do another week of acting like Jim Harbaugh is dead is TBD.
  • Oklahoma @ Brigham Young (ESPN): Ordinarily, this is where I would say traveling to Provo is a good way to get knocked around but… yeah the Sooners are going to be okay.
  • Southern Methodist @ Memphis (ESPN2): Okay this one could well actually be a banger. Sure, Memphis isn’t actually good, but they can score some points when they want to, and are more than capable of getting the Mustangs a game. I don’t think it’ll be enough to win, but there it is.
  • Rutgers @ Pennsylvania State (FS1): Penn State will presumably be saddled with James Franklin for the foreseeable future, in which case they are probably elated that they will no longer have to play both Michigan and Ohio State every year. After all, if you’re always going to go to 10-2, why not spice it up with some USC or Oregon?
  • Purdue @ Northwestern (BTN): Northwestern just elevated their interim to the head coaching job, as since they’re sitting on 5 wins it’s reasonable to say that maybe this job isn’t as hard as the previous coach was making it look? (It totally is, though.) Also they’ll probably get to a bowl!
  • Michigan State @ Indiana (BTN): I don’t have to watch this game and you can’t make me. Also, uh, Hoosiers?
  • East Carolina @ Navy (ESPNEWS): Navy?
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Mississippi (SEC): Lane Kiffin teams failing to climb the mountain and beat the SEC teams that are obviously better than them (like Bama and Georgia) is almost Franklin-esque at this point. Suffice it to say they’ll be fine here.
  • Coastal Carolina @ Army (CBSS): Army is completely baffling to me, so I guess they could win this, but I don’t think they will.
  • Harvard @ Yale (“The Game”; ESPNU)
  • Tulane @ Florida Atlantic (ESPN+)
  • Abiliene Christian @ Texas A&M (ESPN+)
  • Southern Mississippi @ Mississippi State (ESPN+)
  • Tennessee-Chattanooga @ Alabama (ESPN+)
  • Lafayette @ Lehigh (“The Rivalry”; ESPN+)

1:00: Massachusetts @ Liberty (ESPN+)


  • Hawaii @ Wyoming (Team1Sports)
  • Appalachian State @ James Madison (ESPN+)
  • Louisiana Tech @ Jacksonville State (ESPN+)
  • Texas-El Paso @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)
  • Kent State @ Ball State (ESPN+)
  • Rice @ Charlotte (ESPN+)
  • Montana State @ Montana (“Brawl of the Wild”; ESPN+): Watch this. Seriously.


  • Arizona @ Utah (Pac12): Zona is better than anyone expected, yes, but after a brief 1-week swoon against the Ducks Utah is apparently rejuvenated. I mean, they’re still super hurt, but they’re back to their normal “making you feel like you got hit by a ton of bricks” selves.
  • Cincinnati @ West Virginia (ESPN+)


  • Duke @ Virginia (The CW): Duke’s quarterback situation still makes me hesitant to pick them, but yeah they should totally beat UVA here.
  • Nevada @ Colorado State (MWN)
  • Texas State @ Arkansas State (ESPN+)
  • North Texas @ Tulsa (ESPN+)
  • Temple @ Alabama-Birmingham (ESPN+)


  • Wake Forest @ Notre Dame (NBC): Sam Hartman will play against his old team, and presumably also completely rip them to shreds.
  • Georgia @ Tennessee (CBS): As said elsewhere, if this is the week where the Joe Milton deep ball finally pays off for the Vols this could be interesting. Alas, it probably won’t be.
  • California-Los Angeles @ Southern California (ABC): Everyone’s favorite color-on-color game will be a fantastic demonstration of both “unstoppable force meets immovable object” and “very stoppable force meets extremely movable object”. UCLA plays pretty good defense and is a non-entity on offense, whereas USC is absolutely all gas and no brakes. I know USC lost last week to Utah, but even on their 3rd-string QB Utah is still, like, capable on offense. I don’t think UCLA will be able to keep up with USC, even with plenty of help from USC’s “defense”.
  • North Carolina @ Clemson (ESPN): By using advanced statistical and analytic methods (read: how my team fared against these teams), I’ve determined Clemson will by approximately one million points.
  • Illinois @ Iowa (FS1): Nah.
  • Louisiana @ Troy (NFLN): This is normally a marquee matchup on the west side of the Sun Belt, but, well, the Cajuns aren’t especially Ragin’ this year.
  • North Carolina State @ Virginia Tech (ACCN): Virginia Tech has been playing better, and I think they’ll get to a bowl, but it won’t be this week, as the Wolfpack need to fulfill their 8-4 destiny.
  • Nevada-Las Vegas @ Air Force (CBSS): We’ve gotten reports that the issue with Air Force is that they “really like giving the other team the ball” to explain their bizarre losses the past couple of weeks. Suffice it to say, the team that would winthe  “comeback team of the year” award, if such thing existed, will likely be more than happy to continue to assist.
  • Baylor @ Texas Christian (“The Revivalry”; ESPN+)
  • Sam Houston State @ Western Kentucky (ESPN+)
  • Bethun-Cookman @ Florida A&M (“Florida Classic” @ Orlando, FL; ESPNU)


  • Oregon @ Arizona State (FOX): Ducks.
  • Oklahoma State @ Houston (ESPN2): Houston is… not good, but by all indications Oklahoma State just decided they won the season by beating Oklahoma. I’m still going to pick them, but the fact I have to question this at all is an indictment.
  • Minnesota @ Ohio State (BTN): Buckeyes.
  • New Mexico State @ Auburn (SEC): Quick shout out to the Aggies here, who are also having a season no one saw coming. Even if (when) they get pulverized by Auburn, they still have plenty to feel good about.


  • Central Florida @ Texas Tech (FS2): Texas Tech is sneakily very okay, and I think they’ll give UCF plenty of trouble.
  • Marshall @ South Alabama (ESPN+)

6:00: Old Dominion @ Georgia Southern (ESPN+)


  • North Alabama @ Florida State (The CW)
  • California @ Stanford (“The Big Game”; Pac12): Stanford is bad bad, but I just have no read on this Cal team. Cal should win, to be clear, but this is very much the kind of game where everything weird that can happen happens.


  • Kansas State @ Kansas (“The Sunflower Showdown”; FS1): With KU on their third quarterback, the intrigue level of this game has dropped somewhat, but anytime this game is actually good it’s fun. And it should be fun.
  • Boise State @ Utah State (CBSS): Boise isn’t Boise this year, but Utah State is also very much in the “bad bad” zone.


  • Washington @ Oregon State (ABC): And finally, the game of the day. And what a game it should be. UDub hasn’t looked quite right since they beat Oregon, but they’re still undefeated. Oregon State as just been quietly knocking the heads off the bottom half of the Pac-12 all season long. Oregon Sate is actually favored here by “our friends in the desert”, and the home environment in Corvallis for a night game is one of the best, and that’s before you start to consider things like “Washington killed the Pac-12 and left us to rot”. I’m still picking Washington here. But they can get got here, for sure.
  • Nebraska @ Wisconsin (NBC): Nebraska’s quarterback situation is more-or-less a disaster, and it’s not really because of injuries, they’re just… not good. Wisconsin meanwhile has been suffering their own growing pains under a first-year head coach. I still like the Badgers at home, but, well, this won’t be the same kind of game the one in Corvallis will be, that’s for sure.
  • Florida @ Missouri (ESPN): I don’t know what’s wrong with Florida, other than they’re going to lose by 20 to Mizzou here.
  • Florida International @ Arkansas (ESPNU): Hogs should have this one.
  • Kentucky @ South Carolina (SEC): This could be the one game this season where Spencer Rattler Figures It Out, but it seems more likely Kentucky is just going to run over and around South Carolina all night long.


  • Texas @ Iowa State (FOX): Here’s a sneaky co-headliner for you. Texas is, of course, is sitting on one-loss and very much fancies themselves a playoff contender. Iowa State, of course, has shaken off some very dire play back in September to reel off some wins against the bottom of the Big 12. They’re playing better, but better enough to beat a Texas team with a hurt starting QB? I don’t think so, but it may be worth keeping an eye on.
  • Georgia State @ Louisiana State (ESPN2): LSU’s defense is still the greatest instance of defensive malpractice this side of USC, but they’ll be fine here.
  • Syracuse @ Georgia Tech (ACCN): Okay, so we all know the deal here. Everything that went well against Virginia more or less went exactly the opposite against Clemson, both disrupting the odd week think and the “playing to the level of our opponents” thing. The main theme of the season has been inconsistency. While the play has been better at times, there’s still a lot of little mistakes that can add up in a hurry when you play teams that have more talent than you (or, in the Bowling Green case, less talent). This has still been a much more fun football product than the last four seasons combined, and I’m just hoping we can see it out these last two weeks.


  • New Mexico @ Fresno State (FS1): I still haven’t gotten a good explanation for how Fresno got absolutely walloped by San Jose State last week. That said, no worries here for the Bulldogs.
  • San Diego State @ San Jose State (CBSS): So apparently SJSU is awesome this year, they just hadn’t shown it until last week against Fresno. I expect them to follow that up in similar fashion against a bad SDSU team with a now lame-duck head coach.