This week’s College Gameday is heading to the University of Washington for the first time ever since the show’s first broadcast in 1987. This is huge news for the Huskies, who find themselves in the middle of a period of resurgence as of late. But if you’re an individual on the East Coast (such as myself), you probably know very little about Seattle, the city that houses UDub. In fact, the only thing you probably know is that Seattle is the home of Starbucks, rain and grunge. And that’s fine. Be prepared to face the unknown. Seattle is strange to you, but don’t fret, it’s not Portland weird.
Also – I am not really sure what the Washington fan base is like. I’ve seen them pop on random message boards from time to time recalling the Don James era, but I am really unfamiliar with how these people operate or how they tail- WAIT, WHAT? THEY TAILGATE ON BOATS? CAN WE GO TO THE GAME NOW? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE.
Enough of this wishful thinking about boatgating – LET’S GET IT.
Rutgers at No. 8 Louisville: Your Thursday night game of the week is a battle between a soon-to-be hypothetical boon of New York City television revenue for the Big Ten against soon-to-be middle of the road ACC program. This is the toughest competition that Louisville has faced in weeks, as Rutgers has scored an average of 40 points a game – included in that average is another win over the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Cardinals will be without wide receiver DeVante Parker, which could spell trouble for the Teddy Bridgewater Show. This series has been a close one throughout the years with Louisville by a margin of three points on the way towards their Sugar Bowl victory over Florida. I don’t think the Cardinals will be as successful this year and even if they are, expect this game to be a barn burner.
No. 25 Missouri at No. 7 Georgia: Missouri is currently 5-0, and guess what? That win column includes Vanderbilt – yes, Vanderbilt. This is an undefeated team that the nation has no clue how to react to and neither does Georgia. The Bulldogs, at the moment, will be without the talents of Justin Scott-Wesley, Keith Marshall, Malcolm Mitchell, and Todd Gurley. That’s pretty much all of Georgia’s key offensive play makers with the huge exception of Aaron Murray. Though J.J Green was a great backup for Marshall in last week’s game against Tennessee, it remains to be seen if he can be as consistent with Georgia’s need to establish a run game as important as ever, with wideout Michael Bennett also listed as injured for now. Although the Tigers have been out scored 187-76 last year against Top 20 opponents, I think the injuries to Georgia will start to show especially with
Sheldon Robinson still holding down the line [EDIT: Sheldon RICHARDSON plays for the New York Jets and I’m an idiot. However, I still believe Mizzou is able to take advantage of Georgia’s misfortune].
No. 12 Oklahoma vs. Texas: The Red River Shootout has been decided by margins of 38 and 42 over the past few years, with Oklahoma coming out on top each meeting since 2010. The game has been less of a shoot out and more of a train wreck for Texas football. It’s been used as one of the many reasons for Mack Brown to lose his job. This year, with Texas holding a 3-2 record, Brown may be looking at a do or die situation. I’m of the majority who thinks that this may be his last rodeo. With a defense that is weak against the run against a team that has a powerful running game built around some nicknamed the “Belldozer,” I don’t see the Ten Gallon Hat being in Austin this year. Oklahoma wins, although it will still fail to rack up the amount of yardage that Taysom Hill attained in Provo against the Longhorns.
Pittsburgh at No. 24 Virginia Tech: Wanna know something? The Hokies have the fifth-best defense in the country. That’s right! They have allowed just 264 rushing yards and have the most interceptions under their belt (13). As far as the offensive side of the ball – NEWSFLASH – they still have Logan Thomas and they are still coordinated by Scot Loeffler. They are the Florida of the ACC if Florida still had Jeff Driskel. I still think the Hokies will be able to win this one.
Iowa State at No. 20 Texas Tech: Kliff Kingsbury is on the verge of breaking records in strange, strange Lubbock, Texas. If Kingsbury leads the Red Raiders to victory over the Cyclones, he will the first head coach at Texas Tech to win his first six games. With Baker Mayfield questionable for Saturday, it remains to be seen how much of a sure thing this win is, especially against an Iowa State team that was one terrible call away from beating Texas. I think the cosmic powers that align to turn Lubbock into a death trap will work to the advantage of Mr. Kingsbury, and this will be an afternoon to remember.
No. 14 South Carolina at Arkansas: [INSERT JADEVEON CLOWNEY SACK HERE] [DRAFT STOCK ARGUMENTS RENDERED IRRELEVANT HERE]
No. 17 Florida at No. 10 LSU: Florida is coming to the stadium where, to quote Les Miles, “opponents’ dreams come to die”. But what happens when your opponent dreams of hurling itself at a concrete wall? If that dream dies, does that mean that Florida will actually find an offense? Does Baton Rouge turn into a place where a weird contrarian state? My head hurts, and maybe it’s from thinking about BIG DUMB WILL MUSCHAMP FOOTBALL. Though LSU has been anything but the traditional, conservative LSU over the past few weeks, it’s more than likely that they will go small against a bruising Florida defense that can shut down big plays. It’s going to be a calculating game of chess played by two coaches who think that it’s actually Candy Land and try fervently not to place any of their pieces in a corner space because it’s molasses, man! I think Les Miles takes the Peppermint Forest short cut, and Will Muschamp finds himself stuck at the Peanut Brittle House.
Boston College at No. 3 Clemson: While we’re on the subject of Death Valley 3:30 kickoffs, the upstate South Carolina stadium will be hosting the
Massholes Eagles of Boston College. The only concern that Clemson has in its environment is losing redshirt freshman offensive lineman Patrick DeStefano due to a college career-ending shoulder injury. Other than that, the Tigers will be able to overcome Boston College and walk into a barnburner (!) against Jameis Winston and the Seminoles next week undefeated.
No. 19 Northwestern at Wisconsin: Northwestern just walked away from an emotional 10-point loss to Ohio State. They walk into Madison as a ranked team but oddly as a 10.5 point underdog. This is the third ranked opponent Wisconsin will face this season, and it should be the easiest team it has played thus far. Arizona State was unpredictable, and the game was a case of “the Big Ten travelling across the Mississippi,” and Ohio State is Ohio State. The Badgers have made no bones about the fact that they are going to run the ball at you and Northwestern showed that they have a lagging run defense with Carlos Hyde’s break out game. Even if they manage to stifle Melvin Gordon or any of the other stable of running backs, Joel Stave is competent enough to throw to frightening receiver Jared Abbrederis for them to make brilliant plays after the run. I’m going with Vegas on this one – Wisconsin wins it.
No. 15 Baylor at Kansas State: People keep calling Baylor’s offense a buzz saw, and I feel obliged to give you a sound bite of my prediction for this game.
No. 2 Oregon at No. 16 Washington: The hardest test Oregon has faced thus far in the season. Not only that but national title implications are on the line. While Washington is a very good team and was only a field goal away from putting everything into over time, I think Oregon is a lot faster than the slow grinding bulldozer that was Stanford. I don’t think that Oregon or Washington will manage to cover the spread at 13.5 points, but I do think this will be, at best, a six-point game with the Ducks on top. Oregon is just that good.
No. 18 Michigan at Penn State: Although the Wolverines almost flailed at different points in the season, they still have Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon. They still have enough to beat Penn State. This won’t be an upset. The only people that will be upset are Michigan fans who think that three-point scares are dastardly.
Akron at No. 23 Northern Illinois: The Huskies of Northern Illinois are good, according to their 23 ranking, and I haven’t seen enough MACtion this year to debate that number or how good they are. But as a loyal son of the city of Akron, OH – FEAR THE ROO.
No. 5 Stanford at Utah: Stanford is good. Real good. And Utah is…ok. Utah has a mediocre defense and I don’t think mediocre cuts it when dealing with 2 Tyz (Ty Gaffney and Ty Montgomery). David Shaw deserve a shout out; I’m like, “WHAT UP, DAVE”.
No. 1 Alabama at Kentucky: Prediction.
No. 9 Texas A&M and Ole Miss: It looks like Dr. Bo Wallace has lost his practicing license in the Deep South. No more surgeries to be performed. But then again, have you seen A&M’s secondary? I think A&M wins it because of one player nicknamed Jonathan Football. I think that’s how it’s spelled.
Cal at No. 11 UCLA: Cal is in a rebuilding period, whereas UCLA has nothing but Pac 12 Championship on its mind. Behind Brett Hundley, the path is pretty clear, with the South being the weakest division in the conference, especially with Cal slowly adjusting to the BEAR RAID offense.