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: Yes, we had to invite the SEC East. Why?! Because it was the nice thing to do. I don’t care how weird you think Gary Pinkel is. Now would please stop complaining. Arizona State and UCLA had a huge party next door on Thursday and my head hurts.
GAME 1: SADISM IN STILLWATER
Texas Tech visits Stillwater for a game that pits a paper thin defense against the 36th best offense in the country. Oklahoma State is currently averaging 440.3 yards of total offense per game by utilizing the arm of cyberpunk/dark internet quarterback Daxx Garman. The Cowboys should have relative ease throwing as well as running on a Red Raider defense that is 112th in the nation. Tech has a laundry list of problems stopping the run and needed last ditch attempts to stave off both Central Arkansas and UTEP before they were blown wide open by the Razorbacks. If you’re a sadist and you like Big 12 football, this Thursday night game is for you.
The game kicks off at 7:30 on ESPN.
GAME 2: THE REASON YOU WILL SPEND THE REST OF YOUR FRIDAY DUCKING RESPONSIBILITY
Yes, your first 10:30 weekday game. The Pac 12 has no regard for any of you on the East Coast because it knows you’re probably going to be napping under your desk anyways. This game is the first big clash of two Pac 12 South powers. UCLA heads to Tempe to take on last year’s divisional champion and to establish some sort of dominance after its first few unimpressive weeks. The Sun Devils will play without their centerpiece Taylor Kelly due to an injury sustained in a game against Colorado. This gives the Bruins a slight advantage which is probably why the point spread has moved to -4 in favor of UCLA. Jim Mora is bringing in a defense that is allowing 24 points a game. While it’s not abhorrent, they have yet to play an up-tempo offense as fast as they will see in Todd Graham’s Arizona State.
Coverage begins at 10:30 on Fox Sports 1.
GAME 3: A RIVALRY MATCH THAT WILL SURELY END IN “FIRE BOBO”
Tennessee is not as brutally awful as they were last year. That’s saying something. The Vols managed to tamp down a Utah State team that included the prolific Chuckie Keeton and render him useless. The defense stifled Oklahoma for most of the first half by forcing the Sooners into field goal attempts. So, there might be a chance for Butch Jones and his tenacious defense. That all depends upon the play calling and how often Mike Bobo calls on Todd Gurley to smash his way through the front seven. I would venture to guess that after the game against South Carolina, Gurley is probably going to see a lot more carries.
Kick off from Athens begins at noon.
GAME 4: CARTER FINLEY DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR RANK
We don’t care if Florida State is ranked by some know-it-all journos. Son, have you seen Jacoby Brissett play? You seen Kenton Gibbs knock that little Scottish school boy ’round the field? Don’t come to Raleigh toutin’ your wares or your highfalutin talk. The Triad don’t care for it. Jameis Winston? You know what Winston would do if he was part of the Pack, son? Tha’s right – you don’t know. ‘Cause Winston would never play for the Pack. Go Pack, son.
The game starts at 3:30 on ABC.
GAME 5: KENNY TRILL HAS NEVER SEEN SOMETHING SO…SLOW
Texas A&M heads to Arlington, Texas to take on Jerry Jones’ alma mater in his futurist ode to football of AT&T Stadium. The high powered, acrobatics of the Aggies faces a decent defense and an even slower, more forceful style of offense. The Razorbacks have now fully become the Wisconsin of the SEC. Where Nick Saban has succumbed to the up-tempo zeitgeist, Bielema has doubled down. It has already rolled over Texas Tech, Northern Illinois, and Nicholls State like a Panzer tank. Against A&M though, it might be too unwieldy and sluggish to keep up.
Coverage from Arlington starts at 3:30 PM on CBS.
GAME 6: SHOUTS OUT TO THE WEST COAST
This is a game between two non-ranked teams in the Pac 12. It’s also a game on the Pac 12 Network. Usually, I wouldn’t recommend a game like this seeing as most of my infinitesimal readership is located east of the Mississippi. However, this could be a game that determines if the Golden Bears of Berkeley are ready to take a step forward after their heartbreaking loss against Arizona. Colorado heads to Cal with as much ambition for rebounding as the ailing Bears, who finally seem to have their offense humming. It’s a must-win game for two teams who are in desperate need of a third win and a statement within the conference.
Game begins at 4:00 on the Pac 12 Network.
GAME 7: WASHINGTON SAILGATES INTO DAVID SHAW’S VOID OF EMOTION
Washington dropped out of the AP Top 25 in Week 2 after a shaky win against Eastern Washington. Now, their division rival Stanford comes to town hoping to maintain the pecking order. Things look bleak along the Puget Sound. Chris Petersen’s team hasn’t really performed except against teams that are utterly hopeless. Yet, the Cardinal’s record indicates lapses in the offense that were most notably exposed against USC. It shouldn’t be a problem for David Shaw to overcome as the talent on the Huskies’ roster is far outmatched. Then again, what do I know?
The “fun” begins on FOX at 4:15.
GAME 8: “THAT GUY LOOKS LIKE HE JUST LOST TO INDIANA,” STEVE SPURRIER JOKED TO HIS COORDINATORS.
What do we make of Missouri football in 2014? What is Missouri football? Who am I? These are all questions that both you, Gary Pinkel and I have pondered. After a strong start of cupcake fare and a Maty Mauk-led dismantling of UCF, Missouri looked legit after a somewhat uninspired start. Then, Indiana and Tevin Coleman happens. The Tigers are now thrown into an SEC East picture that doesn’t know what to do with itself other than make South Carolina the favorite. A South Carolina team who, by the way, had to outrun a Derek Mason-led Vanderbilt team. Everything about the recent events leading up to this game is weird. This includes College Gameday selecting it as their destination of choice. I need to lie down. I can’t comprehend any of it.
Coverage begins from Columbia, SC at 7:00.
GAME 9: SO MANY POINTS. SO MUCH EMOTION. SO MUCH PROUD
Art Briles, Bryce Petty, Bryce Petty’s somewhat injured rib/back situation and the Baylor Bears head to Ames to take on Paul Rhoads and the proudest Cyclones team you will ever know. Iowa State has two losses at the hands of Bill Snyder wizardry and the surest FCS National Championship bet in the country. Yet, weird things happen in Jack Trice Stadium. Kirk Ferentz and his million dollar buyout can address this. Baylor is still Baylor which means this will leave you in wonderment of how efficient a team can be. (PS: That’s two somewhat certain blowouts on your schedule. I am trying to nourish you with efficient scoring that you were otherwise robbed of in Manhattan, KS and Tallahassee last weekend).
Kickoff from Ames begins at 8 on FOX.
GAME 10: YOUR SUPER CHILL DAD, MIKE RILEY, IS NOT TIRED AND WOULD LIKE TO WATCH ANOTHER EPISODE OF COSMOS WITH YOU
Two years ago, Oregon State had a burst of instantaneous awesomeness. They bloomed from mediocrity into a machine that ran on late night trips to In-N-Out Burger and a totally laid back coach. In 2013, that all seemed to change as the Beavers went from Pac 12 threat to winners of the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl against a Boise State team in transition. Now, they take on USC who is looking to bounce back after a bye week spent most likely wallowing in the loss to BAHSTAN CAHLLEDGE. I don’t know about you but I’m team In-N-Out Burger/late night episodes of Cosmos with the Ri-Man.
Game begins at 10:30 on ESPN.