Let’s get straight to it: Tennessee plays at Georgia on Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm.
That’s it. On the national scene, that is THE game this week. Everything else pales in comparison - and rightly so. That’s an enormous game and every Carter-Finley tailgate with a TV in tow will have other tailgaters trying to peek in either from a distance or just straight up attempting to join in for a view. The rest will be bravely hoping for a solid enough signal - as difficult as that always is - to stream the game on their phone or tablet.
This is two of the four best teams in the country, division rivals, both still undefeated, and meeting this late in the season in a de facto SEC East title game. It’s pretty amazing.
I think Georgia is the better, more complete team, but Tennessee is on a freakin’ heater, man. Hard to bet against them.
Alright, so as for the rest of the slate...
Hey, welcome back, MACtion! For football diehards, it’s a fun time of year when the MAC decides to just go all in and start playing Tuesday and Wednesday games. Tuesday night features a battle for first place in the MAC East division between Buffalo and Ohio. If Buffalo wins, they will essentially wrap up a MAC title game appearance against Toledo (a team they beat last week by 7 points). Toledo is far and away the best team in the West division.
Wednesday night features a battle of MAC West last place teams (CMU vs NIU) and a matchup of offensively-challenged squads (WMU vs BGSU). You’re gonna have to love football to watch these.
App State vs Coastal is the featured Thursday game this week. It feels like this is App’s 7th weeknight game this year, but I’m probably off by one there. A win by the Mountaineers will create an ACC Coastal-like scenario in the Sun Belt East division as six of the seven teams would then have two conference losses. I’m here for the chaos, so go App.
UConn can get within one win of bowl eligibility with a win over UMass, which just happens to be (by a pretty good margin, no less) the worst FBS team this year. Duke, meanwhile, can gain bowl eligibility on Friday night with a win over a Boston College team that is in free fall right now, having lost 13-3 to UConn last weekend.
The best Friday game is easily that Oregon State vs Washington game. Both teams are sporting 6-2 records and both have outperformed expectations this year. The Huskies are undefeated at home, while the Beavers only road loss was at Utah, which is by no means a bad loss. Should be a fun one.
Saturday gets a bit of a jump start with Army and Air Force kicking off at 11:30am. It’s better than watching Gameday, so I’ll take it.
Texas Tech will try and ruin Sonny Dykes crazy good (and still undefeated) start at TCU. Dykes has already matched his 2021 SMU win total with the Horned Frogs this year. TCU has yet to be held to under 38 points in a game this season. The Red Raiders are allowing 35 points per game on the road this year.
Here’s your weekly reminder that the ACC Coastal Division is a joke. In terms of conference/division strength ratings (via Sagarin), the ACC Coastal is closer to both Sun Belt divisions and the MWC Mountain division than it is to any other P5 conference division.
In related news, UNC continues to pillow fight it’s way to a Coastal Division title. They take on a Virginia team that hasn’t topped 20 points against an FBS opponent this year.
In other Coastal Division sadness, Virginia Tech hosts Georgia Tech in a matchup of teams who have yet to score 30 points against an FBS opponent this year. GT’s 35-point explosion (comparatively) against Western Carolina is the only reason I have to use the “against FBS opponent” clause there.
Baylor-Oklahoma is a matchup of two of the best defensive minds in college football (Dave Aranda, Baylor; Brent Venables, Oklahoma), but whose teams have struggled on defense at times this year. Oklahoma State vs Kansas is the opposite.
Both games will be overshadowed in that mid-day timeslot by that aforementioned Georgia-Tennessee game, as will Syracuse-Pittsburgh (for all our sakes) and UCF-Memphis (meh).
The best college football team in Virginia (Liberty) heads to Arkansas, as does Hugh Freeze and his new 8-year, $40 million dollar contract extension.
The Saturday primetime slate is really the best of the bunch this week. Before NC State and Wake kick off at 8:00pm, you’ve got Alabama vs LSU, Texas vs Kansas State, and Clemson vs Notre Dame.
LSU has looked really good of late (maybe I’m wrong about Brian Kelly not working out there) and Alabama has looked beatable all year. Chris Klieman deserves some national Coach-of-the-Year votes for what he’s done at K-State this year while Texas is, uh, exactly what you’d expect a Steve Sarkisian team to be.
If Notre Dame plays like it did last week against Syracuse, then Clemson might be in trouble... but that’s a slim chance. The game is in South Bend, though, for what that’s worth.
Also before the State-Wake game, the other college team located in Virginia with a claim to be the best in the commonwealth (James Madison) is set to take on Louisville. Expect Louisville to have a tougher go of it this week without being gifted eight turnovers.
Florida State vs Miami is only getting the ABC treatment because of historical value. No, neither program is “back”.
If anyone tells you they know what’s going to happen in the NC State vs Wake Forest game, run far away from that person because they are either a freak who can actually see into the future or completely full of s***. Hey, don’t forget to come back Friday morning for our BTP Pigskin Predictions post!
And then there’s a couple PAC 12 late night games for you to watch while your heart rate gets back to normal.
Go State! Go football!
Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name.
110/120 Ball State @ 109/109 Kent State - 7:00pm - ESPNU
92/77 Buffalo @ 113/101 Ohio - 7:30pm - ESPN2
112/127 Central Michigan @ 106/107 Northern Illinois - 7:00pm - ESPNU
122/119 Western Michigan @ 119/131 Bowling Green - 7:00pm - ESPN2
114/144 UTEP @ 108/130 Rice - 7:00pm - CBSSN
40/60 Appalachian State @ 60/80 Coastal Carolina - 7:30pm - ESPN
131/197 UMass @ 123/133 UConn - 7:00pm - CBSSN
76/53 Duke @ 99/118 Boston College - 7:00pm - ESPN2
35/23 Oregon State @ 28/28 Washington - 10:30pm - ESPN2
73/52 Air Force @ 90/104 Army - 11:30am - CBS
46/42 Texas Tech @ 10/12 TCU - 12:00pm - FOX
37/35 North Carolina @ 81/84 Virginia - 12:00pm - ACCN
97/99 Georgia Tech @ 91/92 Virginia Tech - 12:30pm - ESPN3
17/15 Baylor @ 12/16 Oklahoma - 3:00pm - ESPN+
5/4 Tennessee @ 2/3 Georgia - 3:30pm - CBS
19/17 Oklahoma State @ 52/48 Kansas - 3:30pm - FS1
48/44 Syracuse @ 59/61 Pittsburgh - 3:30pm - ACCN
30/30 UCF @ 63/68 Memphis - 3:30pm - ESPN2
72/74 Liberty @ 27/25 Arkansas - 4:00pm - SECN
3/2 Alabama @ 16/11 LSU - 7:00pm - ESPN
6/9 Texas @ 14/13 Kansas State - 7:00pm - FS1
51/56 Houston @ 54/55 SMU - 7:00pm - NFLN
11/8 Clemson @ 32/18 Notre Dame - 7:30pm - NBC
41/70 James Madison @ 44/26 Louisville - 7:30pm - ESPNU
33/33 Florida State @ 62/64 Miami - 7:30pm - ABC
34/32 Wake Forest @ 43/45 NC State - 8:00pm - ACCN
9/20 UCLA @ 70/58 Arizona State - 9:30pm - FS1
83/63 California @ 18/10 USC - 10:30pm - ESPN