Category Archives: On TV This Weekend

This Weekend in College Football: Week 16

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon: Illinois State @ North Dakota State (NCAA Division I Quarterfinal; ESPN)

3:00: Army vs. Navy (@Philadelphia, PA; CBS): Well, while I recommend watching the FCS playoffs if you get the chance, this is pretty much it for the season. Unfortunately for my preferred Army side, it looks like the Cadets have dropped off a bit while the Midshipmen were damn competitive in the strongest Group of Five conference this season. It’s hard to see this one as anything other than a Navy win, but it should hopefully still be worth watching.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 15

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Friday

8:00: Oregon vs. Utah (Pac-12 Conference Championship @ Santa Clara, CA; ABC): Well, it’s not quite the matchup of 1-loss teams the Pac-12 was so desperately hoping for. Instead, the Pac-12 needs the Utes to pull through to have any shot of getting anyone into the playoff, and even then it’s not obvious they’d get in over, say, Oklahoma. Utah appears to be a better team, but I also think Oregon will stress their (very good) defense the most since they played (and lost to) USC. So it’s not a walk for the Utes at all, who could definitely use an impressive victory.

Saturday

Noon:

  • Baylor vs. Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference Championship @ Arlington, TX; ABC): Oklahoma’s defense will probably keep this interesting, but I like the Sooners here in the neutral-site rematch.
  • Louisiana-Lafayette @ Appalachian State (Sun Belt Conference Championship; ESPN): The Cajuns are sure to be Ragin’, but I think App State is just as good and they’re at home.
  • Miami vs. Central Michigan (Mid-American Conference Championship @ Detroit, MI; ESPN2): CMU should win this one easily, but given the history of MAC championship games that means this could go either way.

1:30: Alabama-Birmingham @ Florida Atlantic (Conference USA Championship; CBSS): Go Blazers!

3:30: Cincinnati @ Memphis (American Athletic Conference Championship; ABC): It’s one thing when you’ve got a Baylor-Oklahoma situation, where the first game was over a month ago. Things have changed since then. Meanwhile, these two met last week, and Memphis won easily at home. I think they’ll be able to pull that off again.

4:00:

  • Georgia vs. Louisiana State (Southeastern Conference Championship @ Atlanta, GA; CBS): At no point in UGA’s 52-7 drubbing of us last week did I think to myself “you know, Jake Fromm looks like a competent, poised passer”. Georgia’s best bet is that their defense shuts LSU down and that they can keep it close and win like 17-3. Otherwise I think LSU enters the half with a slim lead and then expands it in the second half.
  • Hawaii @ Boise State (Mountain West Conference Championship; ESPN): This game is either going to be close, fun, and pointsy (with a Boise win), or Boise will win easily since it figures to be cold and wet for this one.

7:30: Clemson vs. Virginia (Atlantic Coast Conference Championship @ Charlotte, NC; ABC): Clemson’s going to be able to name their own score in this one.

8:00: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Conference Championship @ Indianapolis, IN; FOX): Wisky figure to offer Ohio State slightly more resistance than Virginia will to Clemson, but not much. Yeah, on this day the interesting games are early, y’all.

 

This Weekend in College Football: Week 14

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • 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.

2:00:

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

3:30:

  • 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.

4:00:

  • 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+)

7:00:

  • 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.

7:30:

  • 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.

10:30:

  • 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.

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.

Noon:

  • 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+)

2:30:

  • 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+)

3:30:

  • 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.

4:00:

  • 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+)

7:00:

  • 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.

7:30:

  • 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.

10:00:

  • 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.

10:30:

  • 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.

This Weekend in College Football: Week 12

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Noon:

  • Florida @ Missouri (CBS): LIGHTNING ROUND! Okay, look, I realize I’ve been leaning on that trope a lot so far this season. I honestly don’t know what the future of the site is. In some ways even thinking about the future I think assigns more importance to this than it actually merits. So, yeah, with that bout of self-doubt out of the way, I’m going to do this. pick winners, provide commentary on games that I think are worth it, and then get some sleep. Sounds good, yeah? That’s what I thought. Anyway, Gators.
  • Michigan State @ Michigan (FOX): Wolverines!
  • Indiana @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): Nittany Lions!
  • Alabama @ Mississippi State (ESPN): Oh, man, this is such a pithy one-word response that I felt it necessary to preface this with “yes, this is a one-word response”: Bama.
  • Texas Christian @ Texas Tech (ESPN2): TCU?
  • Kansas @ Oklahoma State (FS1): Cowboys.
  • Tulane @ Temple (ESPNU): This should actually be a fun contrast of styles in the American and one of the more fun games here in this morning slate… maybe I’ll be awake for the fourth quarter. Tulane?
  • Wisconsin @ Nebraska (BTN): Wisconsin.
  • Massachusetts @ Northwestern (BTN): Even Northwestern figures to score against UMass.

2:30: Navy @ Notre Dame (NBC): So overall this is a fantastic season for Navy so far, but I’m not sure I can realistically ever pick them against most Notre Dame teams that should simply out-athlete them.

3:00: Louisiana-Monroe @ Georgia Southern (ESPN+)

3:30:

  • Georgia @ Auburn (CBS): I want Auburn to win so badly, but I just can’t pick them. But then again, it’s not exactly outlandish. Auburn will come in with a great defensive line on a Georgia offense that has definitely scuffled at points this year. I can definitely talk myself into Auburn winning this, which is exactly why I’m going with UGA.
  • Wake Forest @ Clemson (ABC): Clemson!
  • West Virginia @ Kansas State (ESPN): Kansas State!
  • Memphis @ Houston (ESPN2): Memphis.
  • Texas @ Iowa State (FS1): Texas?
  • Kentucky @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Kentucky?
  • Ohio State @ Rutgers (BTN): Ohio State!
  • Central Michigan @ Ball State (CBSS): Central Michigan?
  • Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech (ACC/RSN): Well, it’s Year Zero. What this means, if you’re not familiar, is that a team has a new coach and things are so different, and so many changes are being made, that the new coach sort of gets a free pass on their first year. Hence, “year zero”. I watched the game last week and believe that this team is getting better, and I think there’s reason to believe that next year we’ll get back to a bowl. But for now, I hope that we can still at least spoil Bud Foster’s last season appropriately by running the option like 50 times.

4:00:

  • Minnesota @ Iowa (FOX): Minnesota? Should we believe in them now? I have no idea, but I don’t feel tempted to bet against them again.
  • Wyoming @ Utah State (ESPNU): Wyoming?
  • Syracuse @ Duke (ACCN): Duke?

4:30:

  • Stanford @ Washington State (Pac12): Wazzu should win this game, so I’m picking Stanford.
  • Rice @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)

5:00: Louisiana-Lafayette @ South Alabama (ESPN+)

6:00: Southern Mississippi @ Texas-San Antonio (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Louisiana State @ Mississippi (ESPN): LSU!
  • Air Force @ Colorado State (ESPN2): AF!
  • Cincinnati @ South Florida (CBSS): Cincy!

7:30:

  • Oklahoma @ Baylor (ABC): Oklahoma’s defense didn’t improve as anticipated, but I think they can still outscore Baylor.
  • Arizona State @ Oregon State (FS1): Arizona state?
  • Appalachian State @ Georgia State (ESPNU): App State!
  • South Carolina @ Texas A&M (SEC): TAMU!
  • Louisville @ North Carolina State (ACCN): Louisville? Seriously, I feel like that’s just a question in and of itself. No expected the kind of season they’re having after the barren wasteland Bobby Petrino left. It’s kind of amazing.

8:00: California-Los Angeles @ Utah (FOX): Utah.

10:15: New Mexico @ Boise State (ESPN2): Boise.

10:30: Arizona @ Oregon (ESPN): Oregon!

11:00: Southern California @ California (FS1): USC?