Category Archives: NCAA Football

This Weekend in College Football: Week 3

A while back I decided to start listing streaming content in this roundup. Mostly, I do this so that I can easily lookup which service a given game might be on, and when. I still don’t intend to start writing commentary for streaming-only games, but today I will introduce a new enhancement to the list: FCS teams will now be listed in italics.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

11:00: Wofford @ Virginia Tech (ACCN)


  • Connecticut @ Michigan (ABC): Michigan gets another chance to decide who their quarterback is going to be.
  • Oklahoma @ Nebraska (FOX): The rivalry is renewed, and now that it is no longer Scott Frost Day, the question everyone wants to the answer to is… will Nebraska lose by more than 7 points now?
  • Georgia @ South Carolina (ESPN): The way we all like to imagine this game going is the wacky, hijinks-filled game that cause a clearly superior UGA team to win only like 20-17 or even lose. Unfortunately, unless Spencer Rattler plays out of his mind, I think this one is going to look like the last two results: 45-16 and 40-13.
  • Purdue @ Syracuse (ESPN2): We’re still very much in September, which mean we also are still very much figuring some things out about these teams. Such as: is Syracuse good? Should I pick them in this game? I’m not sure I feel about either of those things! I guess I’ll take the Orange and try to remember the result of this one.
  • Texas State @ Baylor (FS1): This game is the perfect salve for Baylor after the rather concerning OT loss to BYU last weekend.
  • Cincinnati vs. Miami (“The Battle for the Bell” @ Cincinnati, OH; ESPNU): It’s a rivalry, but unfortunately, this is a very extreme example of two programs that have gone in majorly opposite directions. Bearcats by a lot.
  • Youngstown State @ Kentucky (SEC)
  • Southern Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN)
  • Western Kentucky @ Indiana (BTN): WKU is a bit of a shambles at the moment, which means that Indiana had really better win this game.
  • Villanova @ Army (CBSS)
  • Long Island @ Kent State (
  • Abilene Christian @ Missouri (ESPN+)


  • Towson @ West Virginia (ESPN+)
  • Buffalo @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)


  • Old Dominion @ Virginia (ACCN): ODU has a small winning streak against their in-state ACC foes, and they’ll look to continue it here against a very moribund bunch of Cavs. I kind of think they will.
  • South Alabama @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): Speaking of the “figuring teams out” discussion above, here’s another exhibit: is UCLA good? That said, I don’t think playing USA will help us figure that out.
  • Murray State @ Ball State (ESPN+)
  • Ohio @ Iowa State (ESPN+)
  • Rutgers @ Temple (ESPN+)

2:30: California @ Notre Dame (NBC): So the shine is off a bit for Marcus Freeman after losing three straight to start his career, with that third game being the Marshall Thundering Herd from last week’s big Sun Belt Beast explosion. I still can’t reasonably pick Notre Dame to win, given that Marshall probably has a better offense than Cal, but I don’t feel great about it.

3:00: North Texas @ Nevada-Las Vegas (MWCN)


  • Pennsylvania State @ Auburn (CBS): Hello and welcome to the mother of all Anxiety Bowls. The expectation on the larger college football internet is that this is going to be the nail in the coffin for Brian Harsin’s tenure at Auburn, but that said James Franklin is in a bit of a rough patch at Happy Valley as well. But, yeah, I’m riding with the #narrative: I’ve got Penn State all the way here.
  • Brigham Young @ Oregon (FOX): So BYU beat a top-10 Baylor team last weekend, insofar as rankings mean anything at this point in the season. That said, yeah, Baylor was (is?) expected to contend for the Big 12 title, but folks, BYU is for real and plays a schedule that is also very, very real. A win in Eugene would seal the deal for the Cougars if they can win out. And I think they can win this one against an Oregon program that I think is still trying to figure it out a little bit.
  • Mississippi @ Georgia Tech (ABC): It’s hard to see this one as anything other than the beginning of the end. Oh trust me, deep down, I want us to win. But under what math could I possibly see us doing so? Sure, we wound up going away against Western Carolina last week, but stopping them wasn’t so much based on beating them soundly so much as getting some turnovers. Personally, it wasn’t the sort of domination I would expect to see against a middling FCS team. And if we can’t dominate an FCS team, how are we supposed to do that against frankly the caliber of SEC team we should be as good as? I just don’t see it.
  • Colorado @ Minnesota (ESPN2): Colorado is down bad right now, folks. Ski-U-Mah all the way here.
  • New Mexico State @ Wisconsin (BTN): I’m still not completely sure what happened in that Wazzu game last weekend, but Wisky will look just fine in this one.
  • Vanderbilt @ Northern Illinois (CBSS): Last year’s Vandy team probably loses this game, but this year’s version probably wins.
  • Georgia Southern @ Alabama-Birmingham (Stadium)
  • Stony Brook @ Massachusetts (
  • Troy @ Appalachian State (ESPN+)


  • Tennessee-Martin @ Boise State (FS1)
  • Kansas @ Houston (ESPNU): Competent (Kompetent?) Kansas rolls into future conference-mate Houston with a noticeable chip on their shoulder for probably the first time since Mark Mangino roamed the Jayhawk sideline. Personally, I think that chip is about to get knocked off by some still very game Cougars who themselves have something to prove after a close loss in Lubbock last weekend.
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Alabama (SEC): Nick Saban apparently still remembers that time Monroe beat him in 2008, so, yeah, expect Alabama to cover whatever the line is in this one.


  • Marshall @ Bowling Green (NFL): Sometimes teams can definitely think pretty highly of themselves after pulling a huge upset. And jokes about the crowd in South Bend aside, there ain’t no Touchdown Jesus in Bowling Green. It also helps that, in terms of avoiding the let down, Bowling Green is real, real bad. Herd all the way here.
  • Liberty @ Wake Forest (ACCN): Liberty is 2-0, but Wake is going to kick them down a notch here.
  • Colorado State @ Washington State (Pac12): It would be totally within Wazzu’s character to win in Camp Randall and drop this one back home, but they won’t.


  • Mississippi State @ Louisiana State (ESPN): Miss State might be kind of good, whereas I have no read on LSU right now. I’ll take the Bulldogs.
  • North Carolina A&T @ Duke (ACCNX)
  • Campbell @ East Carolina (ESPN+)


  • Toledo @ Ohio State (FOX): Why is this on Fox? No, seriously, I thought the networks weren’t allowed to show this sort of thing before 9:00pm?
  • Texas Tech @ North Carolina State (ESPN2): I think the Wolfpack are going to win this one, but it may bear watching. And it’ll probably be better than that snuff film Fox is going to show.
  • Northwestern State @ Southern Mississippi (
  • Jacksonville State @ Tulsa (ESPN+)
  • Tennessee State @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)
  • Arkansas State @ Memphis (ESPN+)
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Oklahoma State (ESPN+)
  • Charlotte @ Georgia State (ESPN+)
  • Akron @ Tennessee (ESPN+)
  • Missouri State @ Arkansas (ESPN+)


  • Michigan State @ Washington (ABC): Things are about to real, real fast for the new regime in Seattle. While DeBoer has definitely restored a certain air of competence, Sparty is going to be a different level and likely show them they’ve got a ways to go.
  • Southern Methodist @ Maryland (FS1): I suspect I am going to be very, very conflicted next weekend 4-0 Maryland rolls into 4-0 Michigan.
  • Pittsburgh @ Western Michigan (ESPNU): Pitt takes a road trip for some reason, but they’ll be okay for it, though perhaps a tad shaken up.
  • South Florida @ Florida (SEC): Yeah, that 10 point loss to Kentucky is going to be papered over real quick by this one.
  • Nevada @ Iowa (BTN): If Nevada could get Colin Kapernick back in uniform for this one they would beat Iowa handily on account of being able to actually score points. Alas, modern Nevada lost to an FCS team called Incarnate Word last weekend. Iowa might go crazy in thos one and score double digit points, but either way, Nevada may not score any.
  • Central Florida @ Florida Atlantic (CBSS): This isn’t your, uh, older brother’s(?) UCF, but they can still beat the FAUs of the world handily.
  • Maine @ Boston College (ACC/RSN)
  • Louisiana @ Rice (ESPN+)


  • Louisiana Tech @ Clemson (ACCN): It’ll get somewhat more real for Clemson next week against Wake Forest, but for now they’ll take their W and we’ll all find out how many Herbstreits and Swinneys are still on the roster.
  • Montana State vs. Oregon State (@Portland, OR; Pac12)
  • Texas-San Antonio @ Texas (LHN)
  • Texas-El Paso @ New Mexico (MWCN)

9:00: Miami @ Texas A&M (ESPN): I keep forgetting this is happening. Which may be for the best, because it’s probably going to make for some great TV. The Canes are out to prove they’re real, which is much more inspiring than proving you’re better than a team that just to Appalachian at home.

10:00: San Diego State @ Utah (ESPN2): The Utes should comfortably handle this one at home.

10:30: Fresno State @ Southern California (FOX): Buckle up, it’s going to be another fun night after dark. In addition to Miami-TAMU above, this one should offer a much grit as Jake Haener and the Bulldogs can muster against an USC team that looks like they’ve got it cranked up again. But despite last week’s lost to Oregon State, I’m convinced Haener and Co. can play up to an opponent, and this could have some entertainment value deep into the second half.


  • North Dakota State @ Arizona (FS1): A rare comment on this one just once again say: WHY ARIZONA?!?
  • Eastern Michigan @ Arizona State (Pac12): While the above game involving an Arizona team should be pretty good despite (well, probably because of) the FCS opponent, this one won’t be. The Sun Devils aren’t good, but they’re not “lose to Eastern Michigan” bad. Probably.

Bowl Games: Part II, Electric Bugaloo


  • Central Michigan vs. Florida Atlanta (@Detroit, MI; 8:00 PM, ESPN): Totally not late. At any rate, my prediction hasn’t changed Central Michigan should pull away in the 2nd half.


  • North Carolina vs. West Virginia (@Charlotte, NC; 1:00 PM, ESPN): ACC Bowl Day kicks off with UNC vs. WVU. UNC’s a decent team but any level of competent coaching should allow WVU’s athletic talent on offense to flourish.
  • Florida State vs. Wisconsin (@Orlando, FL; 4:30 PM, ESPN): FSU has also been a decent team this year, but Wisconsin is here pretty much for a perception of traveling well. If FSU shows up, they’ll win a close one. If the offense also makes it, they’ll pull away.
  • Miami (FL) vs. California (@San Francisco, CA; 8:00 PM, ESPN): The final game of the day. Miami ended the season very badly, and they will be in a pro-Cal environment and it will be cold, especially compared to south Florida. I have Cal here.


  • Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech (@Shreveport, LA; 8:00 PM, ESPN): Why is LaTech in the WAC? I really have no idea. If anyone knows let me know. Anyway, in what is probably one of the least interesting games of the bowl season I pretty much just picked Louisiana Tech because, hey, it’s close to home.


  • Rutgers vs. North Carolina State (@Birmingham, AL; 3:00 PM, ESPN): NCSU started the season horribly but finished hot to just barely become the 10th bowl eligible ACC team. Rutgers also had a bad start but recovered sooner, and at any rate I have Rutgers winning comfortably, though I don’t remember why. So there you go.
  • Missouri vs. Northwestern (@San Antonio, TX; 8:00 PM, ESPN): Northwestern goes to their best bowl in quite awhile, but also plays a pretty good Mizzou team. Chase Daniel and company should win easily.


  • Nevada vs. Maryland (@Boise, ID; 4:30 PM, ESPN): The Blue Turf Bowl is renewed for the last time with a WAC vs. ACC matchup, and has often been the case I think the WAC will prevail here. Nevada is underrated in my opinion and there is no way to know which Maryland team will show up.
  • Oregon vs. Oklahoma State (@San Diego, CA; 8:00 PM, ESPN): Oregon’s struggled this year at times, but rallied late and beat arch-rival Oregon State. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, has only 3 losses, all to teams you’ve probably heard of. This is the first test of Big 12 superiority this year, and I think they’ll pass.
  • Western Michigan vs. Rice (@Houston, TX; 8:00 PM, NFL): Which number will be greater, the number of people at the game or the number of people able to watch it on the NFL Network? Anyway, I picked Rice to run away with it.

I’ll do separate posts for the 31st and 1st. Hope you’re enjoying the holidays and this bounty of bowl games!

Opening Weekend Football on TV!

It’s finally time, kids! We’ll cover all the games this wonderful Labor Day weekend.

This selection of games is completely arbitrary. I’ll cover all nationally televised games as well as regional games. All times eastern for these delicious cupcakes:

7:00: Tulsa @ UL-Monroe (ESPN2): I am so desperate for football I will actually watch this provided I’m still not at work. Also, it’s on HD! So I think I’m required to watch it. (Tulsa rolls.)
8:00: LSU @ Mississippi State (ESPN): Marginally better than the first game as Miss State goes to the slaughter for the football desperate masses.
10:00: Utah @ Oregon State (FSN NW, Utah, and Pacific): This may actually be competitive. My money’s on OSU, though.

Friday, 8:00:
Washington @ Syracuse (ESPN): Two terrible teams face off on a Friday night in a dome in rural New York! I really don’t have much else to say about this.


  • East Carolina @ Virginia Tech (ESPN): Take a drink every time the word “tragedy” is mentioned! VPI rolls.
  • Alabama-Birmingham @ Michigan State (ESPN2): I’m sad because I no longer have John L. Smith to make fun of.
  • Colorado State @ Colorado (FSN): Lost in the fact that CU is terrible is that there’s an honest-to-god rivalry game in the opening weekend! This should be pretty fun.

12:30: Western Kentucky @ UF (Gameplan/LF): I just laid down the cash for Gameplan, and I’ll be dammed if I’m not going to use it. For 5 minutes.


  • Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame (NBC): (Breathe in) (breathe out) Oh man. This is it. Everything before this is filler. One of like 3 worthwhile games of the day. An entire non-ND nation wants us to win here. I want us to win here. However, I hate predicting GT games. Both teams have new quarterbacks, but ND has a lot more questions have skill positions and is switching to the 3-4 defense. GT returns the ACC’s leading rusher and has hired an offensive coordinator who (presumably) knows what the hell he’s doing. At any rate, GO JACKETS!
  • Nevada @ Nebraska (Gameplan/ABC): Uh, woo?
  • Wake Forest @ Boston College (ESPN/ABC): Early ACC action! I like BC and their QB here, though.
  • Washington St. @ Wisconsin (ABC/ESPN): Not terribly excited about this one. Wisconsin should roll.
  • Missouri vs. Illinois (ESPN2): This is a toss-up. A toss-up of crap.
  • UCLA @ Stanford (FSN): UCLA rolls.

5:30: Arizona @ BYU (Versus): Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa……

6:00: Baylor @ TCU (CSTV): aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………

6:45: Oklahoma State @ Georgia (ESPN2): To hell, to hell, to hell with Georgia… at least, I hope so. Go Sooners!

7:00: North Texas @ Oklahoma (FSN): OU rolls.

7:45: Kansas State @ Auburn (ESPN): AU rolls.

8:00: Tennessee @ California (ABC): And we round out the day with the probably best overall game. I love these sorts of intersectional matchups. If I have some time, I’ll figure out the last time an SEC team traveled to California for something other than a bowl game.

10:00: New Mexico @ UTEP (CSTV): Miners? I guess? Gah.

10:15: Idaho @ Southern Cal (FSN): 7:15 pacific, so I’ll probably watch it.

4:00: Texas Tech @ Southern Methodist (ESPN): I’ll be at work.

8:00: Florida State @ Clemson (ESPN): Bowden Bowl! Clemson, with a stable of running backs should be able to take out Papa Bowden.

Well, that was mediocre. Trust me when I say I’m pretty excited about the interesting games (especially ours) but outside of that it’s a bleak slate. Alas! What is important is that the college football season is finally here!

Rating the Non-Conference Slate, Part 5: Pac-10

It’s time, kids, for the round-up of the wondrous conference with only 3 OOC games.

So, without further delay, I give you my completely subjective and arbitrary rankings of the Pacific 10’s out of conference schedules:

  1. Southern Cal (2 legit, 0 DI-AA): Idaho, @Nebraska, @Notre Dame. Even if USC kills Nebraska, the Pac-10’s crown jewel has 2 non-conference road games against marquee teams.
  2. Washington (2, 0): @Syracuse, Boise State, Ohio State. Home game with OSU is huge, and they also go across the country to the Carrier Dome. Boise State isn’t terrible either.
  3. Oregon (1, 0): Houston, @Michigan, Fresno State. Once again, another team wishes Fresno didn’t suck last year. Houston didn’t, which helps, but the biggest thing here is the away game in Ann Arbor.
  4. Washington State (1, 0): @Wisconsin, San Diego State, Idaho. SDSU is at a “neutral” site (Seattle), and the Idaho game is once again in Pullman, shockingly! (Not.) @Wisconsin is the beef here.
  5. California (1, 0): Tennessee, @Colorado State, Louisiana Tech. Rematch of last year’s debacle in Knoxville, and they also play a Mountain West team on the road for some reason. A solid 5 spot for the Bears.
  6. UCLA (1, 0): BYU, @Utah, Notre Dame. ND also has lots of games against Pac-10 teams for whatever reason. UCLA also hits the Utah circuit but resisted the temptation to schedule Utah State.
  7. Stanford (1, 0): San Jose State, Texas Christian, Notre Dame. Notre Dame again. SJSU makes the 30 minute drive up the 101 to Palo Alto. TCU isn’t terrible, but this lacks the meat of the WSU, Cal, and UCLA schedules.
  8. Arizona State (0, 0): San Jose State, Colorado, San Diego State. ASU shouldn’t need to use their fine ladies to distract these three teams. The key word there is “shouldn’t”.
  9. Oregon State (0, 1): Utah, @Cincinnati, Idaho State. One of only two Pac-10 teams to schedule a DI-AA team. Not exactly inspiring DI-A choices, either. Could switch places easily with ASU due to having to go on the road, though.
  10. Arizona (0, 1): @BYU, Northern Arizona, New Mexico. Ugh. @BYU is decent, but canceled out by being one of only 2 Pac-10 teams to schedule a DI-AA team.

So, yeah, I goofed in my original writeup that only 1 Pac-10 team scheduled a DI-AA team: I forgot to count Idaho State as DI-AA. My bad. Anyway, within a few days the last remaining conference should be posted, the SEC. And I’ll follow that up with a summary and my final thoughts. Until then…