Category Archives: On TV This Week

This Week in College Football: Week 14

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Tuesday

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.

Thursday

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.

Friday

Noon:

  • 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+)

2:30:

  • 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.

3:30:

  • 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 Week in College Football: Week 13

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Tuesday

7:30:

  • Eastern Michigan @ Northern Illinois (ESPN2): Well, there’s a whole week of games afoot, starting off with two solid blocks of MACtion. NIU needs a win here badly to get bowl eligible, but in my projects I have EMU winning.
  • Ohio @ Bowling Green (ESPNU): The Bobcats have been pretty uneven this year, but they should be able to prevail over the Falcons.

Wednesday

7:30:

  • Toledo @ Buffalo (ESPN2): Toledo has had one of the strangest trajectories of any team this season. To wit: they lost to Kentucky to open the season, as one would expect. They then reeled off four straight, including winning at Colorado State and beating BYU. They then lost to Bowling Green, which wasn’t great, and then they got absolutely slobberknocked by Ball State. They then two more before losing again last week. I have no idea what to make of them or this game. I’ll go with the Rockets, I guess.
  • Akron @ Miami (ESPNU): Akron is… not good. Miami all the way here.

Thursday

8:00: North Carolina State @ Georgia Tech (ESPN): Two steps forward, one huge step back. That’s how this season feels so far. I was expecting it to be pretty rough, but it’s hard to be encouraged when you get blown out by a team you blew out last season. Of course, it’s hard to have high expectations when you’ve got two walk-ons taking a lot of snaps on the defensive line. I hope we can resolve these depth issues over the winter. About the best thing I can think of to say about this immediate game is, um, the Midtown skyline is really pretty at night.

Friday

9:30: Colorado State @ Wyoming (ESPN2): Well, it’s safe to say Wyoming is no longer the luckiest team in football, a title bestowed upon them after they won their first three games in the most random manner possible. They then lost a weird game to Tulsa, but since then they’ve otherwise done a solid of beating the teams they should and losing to the teams that are better to them. They should be able to continue that trend and beat Colorado State.

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.