Well, one of these weeks one of the big-four of Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma, and LSU will get a challenge. Maybe it will be this week! Three of those four play top-25 teams. I will get into why each of them probably will suck later, but odds are at least one of them will be challenged.
- Syracuse @ NC State (8:00 ESPN) – You are reading this on Thursday so it’s already too late for me to be excited about the fact that there was Wednesday football! It was even a good matchup! We made it! Anyway, the Thursday games will suck for another week, and the Giants are actually fielding the team from The Little Giants this week so even the NFL won’t save us. Syracuse came into the season with a lot of hype that they have struggled to live up to. NC State has somehow been worse. Their defense is anemic; giving up 31 points to Florida State is actually difficult to do. There is hope for a weird and high scoring night, but I’m not overly optimistic.
- Virginia @ Miami (8:00 ESPN) – Don’t let the records fool you–Miami has been steadily improving. If they can limit mistakes, don’t be surprised to see them in the game late against Virginia this week. However, nipping at Virginia’s heels now is a Pitt team that pulled off some late-game heroics to beat Duke in the waning seconds last week. I truly think Virginia is the second-best team in the ACC, but they will need to remain focused every week in order to hold off a Pitt team that has found a way to win and keep pace.
- Colorado @ Oregon (10:00 FS1) – This is by far my favorite quarterback matchup of the week. Steven Montez and Justin Herbert square off as two highly productive, highly accurate quarterbacks with a ton of experience. The difference in this game will be Oregon’s defense. Outside of a late collapse against Auburn, they haven’t allowed a team to score more than 7 points all season.
- Oklahoma @ Texas (12:00 FOX) – The first of the big matchups this weekend is the Red River Shootout which, as always, will be in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. I guess since it’s technically the Big 12 it still counts as BIG NUDE SATURDAY. I think this game has the potential to be close, but it will really depend on how much Texas learned from the LSU game. As I have mentioned several times in the Viewer’s Guide, Texas is great offensively but the defense is still lagging behind. They got torched by LSU's Joe Burrow already this season, and now they have to face a quarterback who is even more efficient and dangerous. I think Oklahoma runs away with it late.
- Memphis @ Temple (12:00 ESPN2) – This qualifies as your under-the-radar good matchup for the week. Unfortunately for the AAC, it looks like the four good teams might take turns beating up on each other and it could wind up costing them the Group of 5 invite. Memphis continues to be Memphis and put up points, averaging nearly 40 a game despite a 15-point effort against Ole Miss. Temple has ridden a suffocating defense to a 4-1 start, their only blemish coming against Buffalo. It should be a great strength-on-strength game.
- Alabama @ Texas A&M (3:30 CBS) – An interesting tidbit from the always entertaining College GameDay recaps was Kirk Herbstreit flat out calling out Texas A&M for flopping in big games since Johnny Manziel left. After countless hours of thought and reflection, he is completely correct. As fun of an environment as Kyle Field is, they just haven’t been able to get over the hump. I think A&M is a solid team, but I think the trend continues this week and they get blown out in a game they are completely overmatched in. Alabama is simply rolling at this point.
- Michigan State @ Wisconsin (3:30 BTN) – The most jarring part of last week’s Ohio State game was that even though Michigan State’s defense was flying around and making Ohio State work, as soon as you missed even one tackle or were out of position one time, the Buckeyes took advantage. Anyway, Sparty has a much better matchup this week against a Wisconsin team that has admittedly been a bit up and down. They struggled to move the ball against Northwestern and Michigan State’s defense is a step up from that. Brian Lewerke made some big-time throws last week, and if his receivers can hang on to the ball, Sparty has a chance to pull the upset.
- Washington State @ Arizona State (3:30 PAC12) – *rubs eyes* wait a second, Arizona State is ranked? I genuinely have no idea how (the offense is a tire fire) but it’s 2019, and miracles happen every day. If Washington State is looking to get back on track offensively, I am not sure this is the defense that they will do it against.
- Texas Tech @ Baylor (4:00 FS1) – I am genuinely unsure what to make of Texas Tech. Maybe Oklahoma is just that good, but they got embarrassed and then bounced back a week later to take down a good Oklahoma State team. Baylor has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the year, starting 5-0 with a great offense and a stout defense. Matt Rhule has truly done an amazing job in Waco. This could wind up taking us back a few years and end up being a fun, competitive game if Tech’s defense shows up.
- Nebraska @ Minnesota (7:30 FS1) – If you buy into preseason hype, I am sure that if I told you one team was 5-0 and one was 4-2 you would have thought the team with the 5-0 for sure would have to be Nebraska. Instead, it’s Minnesota riding a 5-game win streak heading into a pivotal game this week for their Big Ten West championship hopes. If the Gophers can get past Nebraska, they could be sitting at 8-0 heading into Happy Valley on November 9th.
- Florida @ LSU (8:00 ESPN) – Finally we arrive at the last of the big games of the weekend. I may have been a little harsh on Florida going into last week, thinking Bo Nix was all grown up and that he could handle another great defense in Florida. I was wrong. While they still have some things to figure out at the quarterback position with their top two guys dinged up, they have the defense to challenge LSU in ways they haven’t been challenged the first half of the season. If Florida’s defense can’t slow down LSU, that Alabama matchup in a month might wind up being the biggest Alabama-LSU matchup we have had the pleasure of witnessing since they played for the Championship.
- Hawaii @ Boise State (10:15 ESPN2) – Hello. Always watch Hawaii and give them your undying support. Thank you.
- Washington @ Arizona (11:00 FS1) – Uh, Washington, you ok? Stanford? Really? REALLY?! Woof. I am genuinely curious as to what might happen if Chris Petersen starts 1-3 in conference play when big things were expected from the Huskies this year. I don’t think his seat starts to warm up, but it might get a bit uncomfortable. This game will ride on Khalil Tate and whether or not we get Jekyll or Hyde.
|time Slot||primary tv||secondary tv||projected on ceiling|
|nooner? I hardly know 'er!||Oklahoma @ Texas (12:00 FOX)||Memphis @ Temple (12:00 ESPN2)||jello shots|
|i need about 3:30||Michigan State @ Wisconsin (3:30 BTN)||Alabama @ Texas A&M (3:30 CBS)||Texas Tech @ Baylor (4:00 FS1)|
|whoooaaooo it's saturday night||Penn State @ Iowa (7:30 ABC)||Florida @ LSU (8:00 ESPN)||Nebraska @ Minnesota (7:30 FS1)|
|#pac12afterdark||Washington @ Arizona (11:00 FS1)||<--holy crap that's late||Hawaii @ Boise State (10:15 ESPN2)|