Aaaaand welcome back to another week of college football!
MACtion kicks things off again on Tuesday night (currently playing while I’m writing this... whoops) and Wednesday night. The only one of those games worth mentioning is the Toledo vs Ball State game which is a battle for first in the West Division. Ohio, Buffalo, and Bowling Green are currently all tied for the East Division lead, with Ohio currently having the inside track there thanks to the Bobcats win over the Bulls last week.
Thursday’s games aren’t much better, but Friday at least has East Carolina continuing its four-game stretch against current AAC teams that will be heading to the Big XII next year. This week the Pirates will be taking on Cincinnati, which dropped from the rankings with a loss to UCF two weeks ago.
For those wondering, ECU beat UCF three weeks ago, BYU two weeks ago, and was off last week. The Pirates need some help, but a path to an AAC title is still there if they can win out.
Saturday’s noon slate of games is pretty bad, but the schedule ramps up during the 3:30pm and 7:00pm slots.
Kicking off the Saturday schedule is a trap game for LSU as they try and maintain their 1st place status in the SEC West; Arkansas lost last week at home to Liberty. Speaking of Liberty, the Flames play at UConn. A win by the Huskies would have them bowl eligible for the first time since 2015 and only the second time since 2010.
Also at noon, Missouri and Eli Drinkwitz (with his new contract extension) are likely to catch the wrath of a pissed off Tennessee team. Missouri does have a top 20 defense, though, which is really weird considering Drinkwitz is the head coach.
Purdue-Illinois could end up being the best of that Saturday opening slate considering they only have to compete with what’s above and some ACC Coastal Division “action”.
I’m not telling you to watch the Rice-WKU game, although a Rice win would secure bowl eligibility for the Owls for the first time since 2014. No, I just wanted a reason to mention the helmets that Western Kentucky is going to be wearing in this game (skip ahead to the 1:03 mark in the video).
Of course, Boston College heads to Raleigh at 3:30pm on Saturday and that’s the game that everyone here cares about, but the rest of that mid-day slate of games is fantastic.
Nick Saban versus Lane Kiffin in that Alabama at Ole Miss game is just made-for-TV goodness. The Tide is looking worse than they have at any point over the last 15 years. A win for the Rebels will keep their SEC West title hopes alive (they need LSU to lose a game).
We’ll learn a lot about Louisville in their game at Clemson. They’re likely to catch all sorts of hell down in Death Valley, what with the Tigers playing like hot garbage last week in South Bend. Louisville simply not getting blown out in that one would speak volumes. The advanced metrics say the Cards have a better-than-you’d-expect chance.
UCF-Tulane is a battle for 1st place in the American. The Green Wave are the last undefeated team in the AAC, but they finish up with UCF, SMU, and at Cincinnati. That ain’t easy sledding.
There might not be 500 total yards in the Iowa-Wisconsin game. Do not watch this game.
App State and Marshall notched two of the biggest upsets of the 2022 season earlier this year, but have both seen the shine knocked off their seasons as both are now out of contention for the Sun Belt East division title. The winner of this matchup becomes bowl eligible, though.
Is Shane Beamer actually going to work out at South Carolina? And by “work out”, I mean win exactly seven games every year for the next seven years.
And now we get to the evening games....
Georgia is way too good to lose to Mississippi State, but this just seems like the exact type of game that Mike Leach pulls out of his rear when they pop up. With the game in Starkville and the Bulldogs... err... the Georgia ones... coming off a huge game last weekend, I wouldn’t be shocked.
Oregon needs Georgia to keep winning if the Ducks have any hope of making the College Football Playoff. They host Washington this week, a team that’s exceeded expectations in Kalen DeBoer’s first year.
The Big XII has two huge games on Saturday night and both you’re going to want to keep an eye on. Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas are all currently tied for 2nd in the conference and jockeying for the inside track to take on TCU in the Big XII title game. TCU plays Texas this weekend and Baylor next weekend, while the Bears play Kansas State this weekend, TCU next weekend, and Texas in the regular season finale.
Go Wake Forest! Go get you a get-right game, Sam Hartman!
That Florida State win keeps looking better and better for NC State... that Syracuse loss, though, is doing the opposite.
And for the insomniacs, there’s some PAC 12 late night games and a MWC affair to look after.
Go State! Go football!
Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name.
103/116 Eastern Michigan @ 130/173 Akron - 7:00pm - CBSSN
102/91 Ohio @ 108/109 Miami (OH) - 7:30pm - ESPN2
109/114 Ball State @ 65/67 Toledo - 8:00pm - ESPN
113/119 Northern Illinois @ 122/121 Western Michigan - 7:00pm - ESPNU
98/92 Buffalo @ 106/113 Central Michigan - 7:00pm - ESPN2
115/118 Kent State @ 119/128 Bowling Green - 7:00pm - CBSSN
84/99 Tulsa @ 62/66 Memphis - 7:30pm - ESPN
83/90 Georgia Southern @ 67/85 Louisiana - 7:30pm - ESPNU
57/54 East Carolina @ 22/38 Cincinnati - 8:00pm - ESPN2
123/125 Colorado @ 16/14 USC - 9:30pm - FS1
75/69 Fresno State @ 111/107 UNLV - 10:30pm - CBSSN
15/9 LSU @ 31/35 Arkansas - 12:00pm - ESPN
47/53 Missouri @ 5/5 Tennessee - 12:00pm - CBS
48/47 Purdue @ 29/31 Illinois - 12:00pm - ESPN2
69/65 Liberty @ 121/134 UConn - 12:00pm - CBSSN
91/100 Virginia Tech @ 76/56 Duke - 12:00pm - ESPN3
51/51 Pittsburgh @ 80/82 Virginia - 12:00pm - ACCN
51/51 Rice @ 80/82 Western Kentucky - 2:00pm - ESPN+
100/115 Boston College @ 41/36 NC State - 3:30pm - ACCN
4/3 Alabama @ 10/19 Ole Miss - 3:30pm - CBS
32/22 Louisville @ 18/15 Clemson - 3:30pm - ESPN
35/46 Maryland @ 12/10 Penn State - 3:30pm - FOX
28/32 UCF @ 42/44 Tulane - 3:30pm - ESPN2
23/20 Wisconsin @ 24/28 Iowa - 3:30pm - FS1
74/83 Miami @ 96/96 Georgia Tech - 3:30pm - ESPN3
45/68 Appalachian State @ 55/84 Marshall - 3:30pm - ESPN+
39/49 South Carolina @ 37/29 Florida - 4:00pm - SECN
1/2 Georgia @ 21/23 Mississippi State - 7:00pm - ESPN
30/27 Washington @ 7/6 Oregon - 7:00pm - FOX
14/17 Kansas State @ 17/12 Baylor - 7:00pm - FS1
44/39 Kansas @ 50/43 Texas Tech - 7:00pm - ESPN+
8/13 TCU @ 6/7 Texas - 7:30pm - ABC
38/40 North Carolina @ 40/37 Wake Forest - 7:30pm - ESPN2
27/21 Florida State @ 58/48 Syracuse - 8:00pm - ACCN
85/73 Stanford @ 11/8 Utah - 10:00pm - ESPN
89/71 Arizona @ 9/18 UCLA - 10:30pm - FOX
86/80 San Jose State @ 97/97 San Diego State - 10:30pm - FS1