This is getting up late as usual. If I did not have to work for a living so I can eat, heat, and drive (to that job of all places), blogging would be a lot easier. Alas, I can assure you I wrote the game vignettes in chronological order.
THURSDAY, OCT. 1
Colorado v. West Virginia
Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer, Erin Andrews
Is there any team that needs a win more than Colorado? Getting that much-needed win will not be easy at West Virginia as a 16-point underdog. This is a slightly disappointing penultimate weekend tilt. The worst of the season, probably.
VT/ECU on 11/5 is bad, too. Anyway, Noel Devine is a top 15 running back but he seems to have lost the shine he had when he showed up as the Deion Sanders project.
Against the Colorado rush defense, he should leap back into some CFB fans consciousness.
FRIDAY, OCT. 2
Pittsburgh v. Louisville
Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore
Has any team risen and fallen faster than Lousiville? From 2000-2006, the Cardinals went 70-20 and was a top 10 program in terms of winning percentage. Likewise, has a rising star gone black hole as suddenly as Steve Kragthorpe?
Of course, he was only 29-22 while coaching Tulsa and won only a single Conference USA title so maybe he should have been a lessor target.
Alas, fans everywhere have it in for him. Louisville has not defeated a D-I team yet this season and it is doubtful they will get it on Friday.
SATURDAY, OCT. 3
Can anyone tell me why College Gameday is in Boston this weekend for the Florida State vs. Boston College game? Sure, Boston is a top-5 city but BC recently gained approximately half a field in one game and FSU had a total meltdown last week. Thankfully, there is a reason and very good one too boot.
ESPN’s College GameDay has been all over the country since they took their show on the road, literally, in 1993. Until this coming weekend, though, the show had only been in Boston once, parachuting into Chestnut Hill in 2005 for Boston College’s first ACC game.
The reasoning for going to a matchup of two unranked teams in a town where college football may be the fourth or fifth passion?
Well, at least on its surface, it likely has something to do with the story of Mark Herzlich, the BC linebacker who was 2008’s ACC Defensive Player of the Year and diagnosed with cancer in March.
However, at the risk of sounding crass: Does this really require moving the entire production to Boston?
ESPN’s offices, it is impossible to forget, are in Bristol, Conn., and their crews are more than capable of driving to Chestnut Hill or Pennsylvania, where Herzlich may be with his family, and putting together a moving piece with or without GameDay in town.
Michigan v. Michigan State
Wayne Larrivee, Chris Martin, Charissa Thompson
I am actually excited about this game. Why, you ask? Because it is the only reasonable game starting at noon and I do not have the fortunate task of attending a home Ohio State game.
Moreover, the Buckeyes kick off at night so I get to watch a full two games before I have to devote all of my energy to pounding the Hoosiers in submission.
What better to start with than a semi-major rivalry game where at least one team cheats every time?
Wisconsin v. Minnesota
12 noon, ESPN
Dave Pasch, Bob Griese, Chris Spielman
These teams are 2-0 in the Big Ten and 7-1 overall. So, why don’t I respect either one? Each team had to go to overtime to defeat an overmatched opponent, and each team won their conference opener in a relatively high-scoring, defense-omitting game.
I promise that I will take the winner of this game seriously…until they revert back to their same ol’ selves.
Let’s talk about coverage maps. While they are not really important for the afternoon slot, they become very important later on, kinda. I never really articulated this before, but I want every Ohio State game to start at noon.
That way, I can watch the marquee SEC matchup or the big Big 12 battle at 3:30 p.m. This weekend, the Buckeyes get slotted in the weirdo 7 p.m. zone. That is pizza pick up time most weekends.
(4)Louisiana State v. (18)Georgia
3:30 p.m., CBS
Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
This will be an entertaining game (read: main game). No questions asked. They may be 3-1 but they have played the most compelling schedule to date. Even their loss to Oklahoma State was fun.
When you combine that with LSU’s lack of assertive play, you get a classic SEC battle in the teens.
(15)Penn State v. Illinois
3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2
Mike Patrick, Craig James, Heather Cox
It is difficult to make an argument for watching this game and I actually picked Illinois and Penn State to finish second and third, respectively in the Big Ten. Why I ever bet on Ronnie is beyond me.
Illinois is 0-1 in the league but there are virtually no signs of life as the Illini appear incapable of getting the ball to Arrelious Benn. They say he is a first-round pick but you would never know it.
Washington v. Notre Dame
Tom Hammond, Pat Haden, Alex Flanagan
I simply cannot recommend this as the No. 1 flip game because I hate ND and I need to see them lose.
They have won two straight games because Big Ten teams (and coaches) have totally blown it. I don’t want to talk about it. Just know that the Huskies will win.
(9) Ohio State v. Indiana
7:00 p.m., BTN
Craig Coshun, Glen Mason, Rebecca Haarlow
Ohio State football is a blessing at any time of day but I would prefer this game be the nooner. There are three good games on opposite this one but you will not see a down of them if you are like me.
You will watch every brutal head shot delivered by the Ohio State defense and curse Bollman’s name every time the Buckeyes go 3-and-out. Indiana put up a fight last weekend but for all of their improvements, Michigan’s defense is still sorry.
Auburn v. Tennessee
7:45 p.m., ESPN
Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Erin Andrews
This is a worthy flip game and not just for the 15 minutes before the nightcaps start Auburn did something incredibly novel, they hired an offensive coordinator in an effort to gain more yards and score more points.
How has that worked out for them? They are averaging 525 yards/game and 45 points/game.
During a commercial after Thoma has punted one out of the stadium, flip over and watch what a little coaching can do.
(7)USC v. (24)California
8:00 p.m., ABC
Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham
Boy, the shine really came off this one. This was a Top 10 matchup until California was pantsed by Oregon.
So, in true Pac 10 fashion the Bears will win and totally muddy the waters. Is that good for Ohio State? Is it wrong that I want to play USC in the Rose Bowl this season?
(8)Oklahoma v. (17)Miami
Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Lisa Salters
Another mega matchup botched by a rising team who potentially looked ahead. Still, I am almost 100 percent certain Miami is going to win.
Not because they are better, not because they are at home, and not because Bradford is out. Just because.