Welcome to TV Party, a weekly segment where we preview ten of the week’s most exciting match-ups in college football so you know when to grab some beer and ignore the outside world.
This week’s party is high risk, high reward. It’s like going to a club recommended by Weekend Update’s city correspondent Stefan. You will either having one of the best times of your life, or it could be the weirdest, most random and disastrous experience you have ever had.
GAME 1: ROADRUNNER, ROADRUNNER
Arizona looked awfully impressive with a 58-13 win over an okay UNLV team. The Wildcats are now heading to San Antonio to take on spunky, FBS newcomer UTSA who knocked off perennial pointsploison machine Houston last week in their Conference USA debut. Though it might not look like much, the Roadrunners are very much an obstacle for the Wildcats continuing recognition among AP voters. An Arizona slip-up delays any sort of national attention to a team that has been on the rise under Rich Rod.
The game is on Thursday night at 8 on Fox Sports 1, so prepare for the bro-down broadcast from the Alamodome.
GAME 2: RAINING BLOOD
The Washington Huskies were without quarterback Cyler Miles against Hawaii which explains part of their lackluster 17-16 performance. Miles, however, will start against Eastern Washington – a team who has historically been a problem from fellow power programs from the northwest. After being left out of the AP Top 25, the Petersen-era needs a stellar performance. The threat of an upset to a team whose most known for a BLOOD RED FIELD (\m/ \m/) is very real and terrifying.
GAME 3: FOR SEVEN WIN STEVE, A GAUNTLET
In the past three meetings between USC and Stanford, the margin of victory has been ten points or less. Stanford has won two of those meetings with USC barely squeaking out last year’s 20-17 victory which was engineered by interim Trojan head coach Ed Orgeron. Now, Cardinal head coach David Shaw is eyeing for his third victory in four years over the Southern California counterpart. His only challenge is facing Steve Sarkisian, the guy firing off flare guns by rolling over Fresno State. It won’t be an easy task for Sark though. He will have to punch a hole through the brick wall known as the Cardinal defense. Fortunately for Seven Win Steve, the architect of one of college football’s blood thirstiest defenses is now in Nashville.
If you’re in the mood for some unpredictable over/under bets, this one’s for you.
GAME 4: HOW TO OVERCOME IMMOVABLE OBJECTS
When you think of up-tempo, you think of Oregon. The Ducks practically paved the way for an unprecedented amount of scoring within college football. Even the SEC is a convert. The closest and most coveted shutdown defense that could rival the heyday of Southeastern smash mouth is in East Lansing. The Spartans’ ascendance from BCS after thought to Rose Bowl champions is due to an amorphous blob of defensive tactics that received a breakdown from Smart Football.
Oregon’s closest encounter with this sort of strategy is in Stanford. Yet, the traditionally unflinching Cardinal crumbled under the weight of Mark Dantonio’s New Atlanta-inspired will. This game will be the ultimate test of football philosophy and provide a glimpse at what we can expect from these two teams in their conference going forward.
GAME 5: PRETENSE AND AVICII
Notre Dame’s fan base and key demographic enjoy the finer things in life: root beer floats, fresh saltines and for the GOD DAMN GRASS TO BE GRASS AND NOT TURF DAMMIT. For all the bitching and moaning about the installation of turf on the field, a Solid Verbal commenter noted that ND’s fan base didn’t seem to care when Aviici was played. Why would they? Aviici is just James Taylor with higher BPM. So, it is here – the home of pretension and Aviici where Michigan will travel to prove that Doug Nussmeier has come to do Fielding Yost proud (oh god). It’s best to watch this game while clutching your pearls at the sight of black rubber coming up from the ground at OH MY – NOTRE DAME.
GAME 6: ARRRRGHHH YOU READY? (YUP, PUNS!)
South Carolina is going to try and crawl out of the crater created by Texas A&M with a game against East Carolina. The problem being that the Pirates are pretty damn good and could probably create a further crisis of confidence with a quarterback who operates in a system much like the Aggies. It’s an eyeball test for how much Lorenzo Ward cares about being promoted and how much South Carolina thinks it can right the ship.
GAME 7: THE ANNIVERSARY OF MANNY DIAZ’S FOLLY
Last year, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill racked up 259 yards on the ground with three touchdowns against the Texas Longhorns. Hill’s massive numbers combined with the rest of the team gave the Cougars 550 yards of total offense which led to the dismissal of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz from the Texas Longhorns by then-coach Mack Brown. This was the crown jewel in a season that saw Greg Robinson return to Austin, a 23 point loss to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl and then the firing of Mack Brown.
This year, there’s a new Longhorns coach and the Cougars are coming to Austin. Yet, Taysom Hill remains the same player, Texas is without QB David Ash, and the Longhorns defense is still the Longhorns defense as the world knows it until proven otherwise.
Somewhere I hear a young woman from Texas muttering “fuck” repeatedly.
GAME 8: MY LUNCH PAIL HAS NUTS IN IT
I know what you’re thinking. But you already recommended a Ohio State game last week, you bozo. I get it but we are really cutting it thin here with all of the aforementioned SEC teams playing straw men. If Navy was a tough test and an alert for the nation to root against the Buckeyes, then this game will be another reason to take all over your hate out on twitter. Virginia Tech, while their offense has gone the way of Scot Loeffler, still has a trademark defense that can cause problems and punch over their weight class. This is terrible news for an offensive line that struggled to get any push against Navy and allow some time for JT Barrett’s young but capable arm. The game is at Ohio State at night and Virginia Tech thrives under the lights. Once again, all the more reason for you to tune in for the possibility of a Buckeye defeat.
GAME 9: CAJUN BULLDOGS
Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Lafayette is the closest thing you will watch to a rerun of the Waterboy on Saturday night.
GAME 10: SURE, IOWA – BALL STATE
Noted Multi-Million Dollar Buyout Man, Kirk Ferentz, is a coach who can have a bad game that begs for an alarm by the Iowa Hawkeyes fan base to be pushed. Iowa will lose to teams like Northern Illinois and then miraculously pull out a rout of Nebraska seemingly out of thin air in order to save the school some money by not having to fire Ferentz. This year, the challenge to push the fan base’s panic button comes in the form of another MAC team – Ball State.
The Ball State Cardinals are without the weapons of their quarterback Keith Wenning but if there is any team to cut their teeth on, it’s a middling program such as Iowa. Expect this to be a testy match and one where Ball State can’t afford to let Iowa hang around.