Back by popular demand is the THE TABLE.
That's right folks, it's baaaaack. Also, THE TABLE is trademarked. I will pursue anyone who uses that phrase harder than Ohio State chasing down 7 cents because you ate a slice of birthday cake with the logo. I apologize if some of you were living infomercials fumbling over your remote trying to figure out what to watch during each time slot. While the weekday games leave much to be desired, Saturday brings two very high profile games to distract us from an otherwise lackluster week. Let’s get to it.
Some of you like the NFL, some don’t. Either way, they get a couple of Thursdays a year to not share with college football and that’s OK with me. I'll be in Atlantic City anyway.
Really, there aren’t any games of note this Friday. It’s just some big programs picking on smaller ones. If there is one game to keep an eye on it’s Marshall @ Boise State (9 p.m. ESPN2). Marshall has enough talent to hang with Boise for a while. If enough bounces go their way, it could be an upset in the making.
- Ohio @ Pittsburgh (11 a.m. ACCN) – I am not going to sharpie Pitt starting 0-2, but I will say that they better not be looking ahead to next week, because Ohio is a dangerous team this year. The good news is, if they lose, most of Pittsburgh won’t see it because one of Pittsburgh’s largest cable providers, Comcast, is still holding out on adding the ACC Network.
- Cincinnati @ Ohio State (Noon ABC) – Ohio State has a chance to make a statement early on in the season with this one. Most people point out that the looming shadow of Urban Meyer hangs over Ryan Day still, which is fair considering his positions on campus and the fact he would randomly show up at practice. I would argue that if they lose to Cincinnati, it’s Luke Fickell’s shadow Day should be worried about. Coming off a 10-2 season and a week one win over a Power 5 opponent, an upset of in state power Ohio State could open the door for a return to the Buckeyes for Fickell. Ohio State started out very strong last week, then lost focus a bit. If that happens this week, it could come back to bite them.
- Army @ Michigan (Noon FOX) – Loyal readers of the viewer’s guide know that Army has not lost in almost a year. They have won 10 games in a row and almost upset Oklahoma last year. This has all the makings of an upset, right? Well, not if we are overreacting to week one. Michigan, like Ohio State looked sharp at times and unfocused at best during others. This, according to most media in the greater Michigan area, is confirmation that they already won the Big Ten. Army on the other hand, mostly controlled the game against Rice but struggled to score. A lot of people are pegging Michigan to roll, but Army provides a much stiffer test than Middle Tennessee. It’s worth keeping an eye on. If Army can control the clock like they usually do, Michigan will have to be much more efficient in order to put the Black Knights away before it gets interesting.
- Syracuse @ Maryland (Noon ESPN) – Maryland turned some heads last week when they put up 79 points. Then people looked at who they actually played and realized it was just Howard. For context, Howard is much worse than Idaho. That’s all you really need to know. Syracuse is on the rise, but they take on Clemson next week so there is a chance they could be looking ahead. From a Penn State fan perspective, let’s hope this week is the week Maryland pulls some weird early season upset like the seem to have done in recent years and not in a few weeks when Penn State comes in to town.
- Old Dominion @ Virginia Tech (Noon ESPNU) – This game likely won’t be worth a watch, even if Old Dominion upset Virginia Tech last year. However, it’s here because of the pure pettiness of ODU. For the game Saturday they are trotting out two former Virginia Tech players as captains who were on the losing side last year. I love college football.
- Vanderbilt @ Purdue (Noon BTN) – Remember last year when Purdue kept finding hilarious ways to lose football games earlier in the year? Yeah, good thing that’s over. I’d tune in to this one with about 5 minutes left in the game.
- South Florida @ Georgia Tech (2 p.m. ACCN) – This game was a ton of fun last year and put the spotlight on USF early in the season before they fell apart late. Both teams had a rough first week against superior opponents and are looking to right the ship. Again this year both teams seem to be on about the same level, so it should be at least entertaining.
- Texas A&M @ Clemson (3:30 p.m. ABC) – The first of the two marquee matchups this week is the Aggies and Clemson. I touched on how tough A&M’s schedule was last week when they had a tune up game against Texas State, and it starts this weekend with the reigning champs. As things stand today, A&M plays five of the top 10 teams in the country this year. If they can pull off three of them, there might be a legitimate conversation of a non-conference champion two-loss team in the playoff race. As far as the game is concerned, neither team showed much week one. Clemson has developed a reputation like Alabama where it’s a genuine surprise if they lose these types of games. However, just when Alabama got to that point a few years ago, that’s when A&M came out of nowhere and reminded them that any given Saturday anyone can lose.
- Nebraska @ Colorado (3:30 p.m. FOX) – Another fun game from last year gets its rematch this weekend. Laviska Shenault’s touchdown on an absolute dime from Steven Montez lifted Colorado over Nebraska and spoiled Scott Frost’s debut. Nebraska came in to this year with a lot of hype but didn’t quite live up to those expectations week one. Colorado on the other hand, rolled over Colorado State in a rivalry game and looked pretty impressive. This will be a good test to see just how close Nebraska is to taking that next step this year.
- UCF @ FAU (7 p.m. CBSSN) – Week two in UCF Florida state showdown takes UCF to Kiffin town. FAU quickly found themselves down 28-0 to Ohio State last week, but pulled it together to actually outscore the Buckeyes in the final 3 quarters, even if it was mainly against backups. It’s enough to gain some confidence heading in to week two of a really difficult opening of the season for them. UCF should win comfortably, but weirder things have happened.
- BYU @ Tennessee (7 p.m. ESPN) – Tennesse can’t possibly, hilariously lose two in a row to open the season can they? Yes. Yes they can. And they might! BYU got rolled by a good Utah team last week but they are no slouch. If sad Tennessee fans are your thing, this is something to keep an eye on.
- LSU @ Texas (7:30 p.m. ABC) – No. 6 vs. No. 9, nice. Though, you can count me among those who think Texas is good, but not top-10 good. I think they have a high ceiling, as the most prominent program in the talent rich state of Texas should have, but I just don’t think their defense is there yet. While they only gave up 14 points last week, they allowed 413 total yards to Louisiana Tech. A more physical, revamped offense rolls in to town this week fresh off of dropping 55 on an over-matched Georgia Southern team. If LSU can sustain success offensively, they could be a very dangerous team. This should still be an excellent game between two programs that have a ton of tradition and pride.
- Miami @ North Carolina (8 p.m. ACCN) – Both teams had a chance to walk away with minor upsets in week one, but only one was able to pull it off. That’s right, Mack Brown, who I always have said was the long term solution at North Carolina, (fact check not required) is 1-0. Predictably, Miami looked like it had never practiced an offensive play before the opener. Manny Diaz is a wonderful defensive mind, but their offensive line will keep them from being any kind of real threat for a while.
- Cal @ Washington (10:30 p.m. FS1) – Some people have already written off the PAC 12 from the playoff race, but Jacob Eason and Washington might have something to say about that. The Huskies offense was ruthlessly efficient last week against an FCS foe, and will likely keep rolling all the way through to October.
- Stanford @ USC (10:30 p.m. ESPN) – I am now taking bets on whether Clay Helton makes it out of September. I take the under, and the odds start shifting in that direction starting Saturday night, though they might have already been heading that way as soon as J.T. Daniels went down for the season.
- Minnesota @ Fresno State (10:30 p.m. ESPN) – Minnesota eked by South Dakota State last week and Fresno played USC tough. I am not saying it’s for sure going to be Minnesota’s first loss, but it wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if it was.
- Oregon State @ Hawaii (11:59 p.m. SOMEHOW NOT TELEVISED) – Depending on your level of dedication, you could find a way to stream this game and stay up until 3 a.m. watching. This still gives you plenty of time to fall asleep, get a solid eight hours in, and wake up in plenty of time to set your fantasy football lineup, maybe go to the grocery store and pick up wings for the first NFL Sunday of the season. A Viewer's Guide note, always watch Hawaii if they are on TV. Always.
|Start time||First tv||second tv||projected on the ceiling|
|Nooner? I hardly know 'er!||Cincinnatti @ Ohio State (12:00 ABC)||Syracuse @ Maryland (12:00 ESPN)||Army @ Michigan (12:00 FOX)|
|I need about 3:30||Texas A&M @ Clemson (3:30 ABC)||Nebraska @ Colorado (3:30 FOX)||Fantasy football PPR Rankings (around 5:00, The Internet)|
|WHOOAAAAOOOOOOAAAOOOO IT's Saturday Night||Buffalo @ Penn State (7:30 FOX)||LSU @ Texas (7:30 ABC)||Miami @ North Carolina (8:00 ACCN)|
|#PAC12AfterDark||Stanford @ USC (10:30 ESPN)||Cal @ Washington (10:30 FS1||"Alexa, how do I stream Hawaii Football?"|
|Alexa, How do I stream Hawaii football||This game is apparently on Facebook? Like, for real.||You were probably going to be on Facebook at this time anyway||So just watch it.|