If your bye week falls on the FOURTH week of the year, you can only hope for a good slate of games. Luckily for you, the slate is great, AND the GOAL for your weekend should to simply be to KICK IT and enjoy. Sorry, my shift key broke. Let’s get to the games.
- Houston @ Tulane (8:00 ESPN) – Don’t sleep on this game! These are two good teams who have had some tough early games against ranked foes. Tulane’s defense is no joke. It should be a great game of strength vs. strength.
- Utah @ USC (9:00 FS1) – Let’s do the common opponents thing. Utah handled BYU and looked impressive in week 1. USC and BYU played to overtime with BYU coming out on top. USC is still unranked and ESPN’s FPI gives them a 57% chance to win. Do you think ESPN is just mad the game is on FS1? Regarding the actual game, Kedon Slovis came crashing down to earth last week, throwing three interceptions in the loss. His average is somewhere in between the Stanford and BYU game, and Utah’s defense will help us sort out just which side of the median it falls on! Aside from a nasty defense, I love Utah’s balance on offense. They have been quietly very good early on.
- Air Force @ Boise St (9:00 ESPN2) – Speaking of sneaky good, after beating Colorado and getting a transitive win over the Big Ten West preseason champs, Air Force turns their attention to Boise State. Much like Penn State, Boise State is breaking in a new starting quarterback, and while he’s been efficient, he’ll need to keep interception to a minimum. Much like Army, if you give Air Force an opportunity to control the clock, you’re in for a battle.
- Michigan @ Wisconsin (12:00 FOX) – Well, the Big Ten gets their wish and will get pretty much all of the attention during the noon time slot. There, for some reason, seems to be trouble in paradise with Josh Gattis (he calls the plays, not Jim Harbaugh) calling the plays! Luckily, Wisconsin is off to a slow start (this isn’t true) and they should cruise to victory (they won’t) and all will be great next week (Gattis might get fired during halftime). As much as we all might like to see Michigan in utter chaos, they are still a good team though, and Wisconsin is very much untested through two games. Their offense has done whatever they want, and their defense hasn’t even had to break a sweat yet this year. It will be interesting to see what happens if Michigan comes out and punches them in the mouth.
- Michigan State @ Northwestern (12:00 ABC) – Before we get started with the rock fight that will inevitably be this game, please refer to this tweet. Alright, back? Great. Michigan State stinks! Northwestern stinks! This game will stink! However, I have a sneaking suspicion the ending will be just weird enough to be worth tuning in to, so keep it on the second TV just in case. Side note, I think it’s pretty clear why Hunter Johnson transferred at this point.
- Cal @ Ole Miss (12:00 ESPNU) – Ole Miss isn’t very good, but I find it fascinating and weird that recently Cal has decided to throw a dart east of the Mississippi each year and play whichever team is closest to the dart. It’s a decent third option during the noon slate.
- Auburn @ Texas A&M (3:30 CBS) – This is your bi-weekly A&M top 10 matchup. This one I expect to go a bit differently than Clemson. Clemson is just on a whole different level than everyone but probably 4 other teams. This is a great tier 2 vs. tier 2 matchup. The difference I think will be at quarterback. Bo Nix’s first impression on a national stage was a great comeback win against a good Oregon team. However, if you watched that whole game, you know that until Oregon’s defense gassed out, he wasn’t great. If Kellen Mond plays even marginally better than he did against Clemson, this game could look similar to the Oregon game, except I think A&M at home will have the juice to close it out.
- UCF @ Pitt (3:30 ABC/ESPN2) – As much as we like to pick on Pitt, I was actually fairly impressed with their game plan and ability to execute. We made fun of Kenny Picket for his big game flops last year, but he legitimately looked like a good quarterback against a good Penn State defense. Kudos to him for stepping up. Now, back to your regularly scheduled Pitt bashing. They will be 1-3 after this week. Sharpie.
- Washington @ BYU (3:30 ABC/ESPN2) – Can BYU make it two ranked wins in a row? Washington bounced back nicely and beat a good Hawaii squad. Jacob Eason is hitting on nearly 74% of his passes during non-conference play. This game should answer the question regarding whether the Cal loss was just a blip or signs of Washington not quite being there yet.
- Appalachian State @ North Carolina (3:30 ACCN) – Is App State the UCF or North Carolina? These are the bye week questions we need answered. The juggernaut that is North Carolina finally was slain against mighty Wake Forest last week, much to my despair. Don’t be surprised if Zac Thomas and the Mountaineers walk out winners over another Power 5 team on Saturday.
- Kentucky @ Miss State (4:00 SECN) - #GetWellTommy
- Oregon @ Stanford (7:00 ESPN) – Ok so Stanford might be bad. They now have been absolutely smoked two weeks in a row, and against teams that haven’t necessarily had the quarterback position completely figured out. Things don’t get easier with Justin Herbert coming to town. This could get ugly.
- Oklahoma State @ Texas (7:30 ABC) – Normally you think Oklahoma State and you think slinging the ball around, but this year they have actually balanced out and averaged more yards on the ground than through the air. This game should give us a good look at whether Texas is really for real or is still struggling to find that consistency.
- Notre Dame @ Georgia (8:00 CBS) – For the first time this year, the spotlight shines on Athens as the Irish come to town. After a surprising fight from Louisville week one, Notre Dame seems to have righted the ship and this is legitimately shaping up to be a great game. If Notre Dame can stop Georgia’s rushing attack and get any semblance of one going on the offensive side of the ball, this should come down to the wire much like the 2017 game.
- Colorado @ Arizona State (10:00 PAC12) – I wonder what Herm Edwards’ consulting fee is? Personally I think James should look in to it before Sparty week because Herm is some sort of reverse Dantonio wizard. They will look to get their offensive mojo back against a Colorado defense that has been fairly generous this year. It should be a solid #PAC12AfterDark game.
- UCLA @ Washington State (10:30 ESPN) – I was borderline on whether or not to even include this game? UCLA is just flat out bad. Chip Kelly, go back to…um…the NFL?
|timeslot||first tv||second tv||projected on ceiling|
|nooner? I hardly know 'er!||Michigan @ Wisconsin (12:00 FOX)||Michigan State @ Northwestern (12:00 ABC)||Cal @ Ole Miss (12:00 ESPNU)|
|i need about 3:30||Auburn @ Texas A&M (3:30 CBS)||Washington @ BYU (3:30 ABC/ESPN2)||UCF @ Pitt (3;30 ABC/ESPN2)|
|WHOOAAAOOOAAAOO it's saturday night||Notre Dame @ Georgia (8:00 CBS)||Oklahoma State @ Texas (7:30 ABC)||Oregon @ Stanford (7:00 ESPN)|
|#pac12afterdark||Colorado @ Arizona State (10:00 PAC12N)||UCLA @ Washington State? Maybe? (10:30 ESPN)||Utah State @ San Diego State (10:30 CBSSN)|