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: Notre Dame is coming down the street. It’s going door-to-door to remind people that all Halloween decorations must be “tasteful” or face potential cosmetic homeowner fees. Oh no, here they come. Let’s get out of here. Say, why don’t we go down to our favorite honky tonk? You know the one with the Ernest Tubbs records and Big 12 football on. The one with no draught beer. Yeah, let’s go. It beats getting a lecture on why we can’t turn a pumpkin into a child birthing scene.
GAME 1: THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF THE DAY THE DEFENSE DIED
Milan Puskar Stadium became the site of the day up-tempo offenses decided to burn the college football world and take defense with it. The 70-63 West Virginia victory would go on to re-establish what could be done within 100 yards of grass. Yet, Baylor would take it a step further and burn through the Big 12 at an obscene BPM that footwork dancers wouldn’t want to test. The focus of this game will most certainly be on the offenses but it all may come down to place kicking. Baylor’s Chris Callahan floated a game-ending field goal to distance Baylor from TCU and the rest of the Big 12. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers’ Montessori learner Josh Lambert has edged WVU out of some tight spots against Maryland and Texas Tech. KD Cannon and Mario Alford receptions are going send the game to that boiling point and may explain why many people will be drunk before the mid-afternoon slate.
Kickoff begins at 12:00 PM from Morgantown on FOX Sports 1
GAME 2: A SLOW, PLODDING BREAKDOWN
Bill Snyder has a dark art that allows him to dictate the pace of football games. He usually chooses to turn the dial down to power the ball and spread you out. Earlier this year, he managed to make the sprinting Auburn Tigers look as fast as the breathless person in a slasher flick trying to catch up to his friends who are already home free. The Sooners, besides their loss to TCU, have been placed in positions where they have fell behind schedule before charging their way back to the finish line. That spells trouble for an Oklahoma team that cannot afford to cede any more ground in the Big 12 race. If the Sooners can’t score big early, it might be a win for the Wildcats of the Little Apple.
Coverage begins at 12 from Norman on ESPN.
GAME 3: A WIN IS A WIN IS A WIN IS A WIN
The Crimson Tide are entering the middle of the season with a loss and a near-collapse against Arkansas. Frustration is brewing among a fan base whose expectations since 2009 have been national title or bust. Nick Saban has addressed this frustration in so many words that could be construed by as “fuck you”. It’s a speech that has made an appearance more than once during Saban’s tenure at the helm of the Houndstooth Empire. He just yells about, moves on and waits for another person at top the top to fall. All will be well after this weekend when the Alabama offense gets to dissect the hapless Texas A&M defense. This could assuage some fears and make some former quarterbacks reconsider their deft evaluations.
Game begins at 3:30 PM on CBS
GAME 4: PSA: IF BOSTON COLLEGE WINS, DON’T CALL IT A CLEMSONING
Boston College fell to Colorado State but they ran over NC State and USC. Clemson’s two losses of the season are against teams like Georgia and Florida State, two teams in the Top 10. While the Tigers’ are aiming towards another BCS bowl, trouble could be brewing on Chestnut Hill. Should an upset happen – it is not a Clemsoning. A Clemsoning looks like 2011 when they fall to Georgia Tech and the hype was on their side.
Coverage begins at 3:30 from Alumni Stadium on ESPNU
GAME 5: MARVEL (OR SLEEP) AT ALL THIS RUN GAME
Georgia visits Arkansas for a game that pits the bruising RAZORPOWERBACKS against the duo threat of Brendan Douglas and Nick Chubb. Both teams are similar in their offensive approaches though Arkansas tends to lean heavily on the impact of that Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams can impose with their brute force. Each has their own reliable quarterback who is just good enough to make a couple of dump passes and hand the ball off. The team that leaves standing will be the one with the defense good enough to stop the others’ savage run game.
Kickoff begins at 4:00 from Fayetteville on the SEC Network
GAME 6: WELCOME BACK TO FORT WORTH, PUBLIC INSTITUTION FROM THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA
Last time a ranked team from Oklahoma traveled to Amon G. Carter Stadium, the Horned Frog faithful rushed the field in a sea of purple that was spotted by despondents in crimson trying to weave their way to the exits. The Cowboys of Oklahoma State make their way to Fort Worth shining the zeroes in the loss column with all the flair of a nouveau riche oil wildcatter who has yet to look at his expense report. A win here is crucial for TCU, who still has Kansas State and West Virginia in Big 12 play. That’s not to say that OSU can afford a loss either. The Pokes round out their season with West Virginia, Kansas State, Baylor and Bedlam against the Sooners – a loss against the Horned Frogs could bloody the shark infested waters of one-loss teams in the Big 12.
Coverage starts at 4:00 PM on FOX Sports 1.
GAME 7: THAT PALE ORANGE REALLY CLASHES WITH MY BLUE AND RED TIE
Ole Miss returns from hostile territory in College Station to play the Tennessee Volunteers. After multiple moral victories for the Vols, it looks like a close game against Georgia zapped all offensive production from them. Tennessee participated in an exercise against the Florida Gators where they only scored nine points and Justin Worley had two interceptions. This offense plays against the Rebel Landshark defense who is best known in the SEC West for killing quarterbacks and scorching the Earth. I would blare “Flirtin’ with Disaster” by Molly Hatchet, but I hear that loud music isn’t really allowed in The Grove.
Game begins at 7:00 PM on ESPN.
GAME 8: DAVID LETTERMAN INTRODUCES HATSUNE MIKU
There was a segment on David Letterman last week where he introduced a hologram known as Hatsune Miku. It was hyper surreal, crazy and energetic. The only words Letterman could muster was his classic response for something that he hasn’t had the opportunity to process or he’s just written off completely: “Well, there she is.” In a way, this is what Notre Dame has been doing to Florida State ever since they were first on the schedule in the 1980s. It’s a clash of cultures that the Domers treat with the mixed air of condescension and hesitation. It’s been almost thirty years and Irish fans can’t make heads or tails of the culture of Tallahassee after they’ve had plenty of time to make up their mind. Florida State – yeah, sure. We’re Notre Dame. Now, that Notre Dame is ranked in the top five of the AP Poll since 2012, it’s bound to be ramped up a few notches. I am sure Florida State fans would all but like to redirect the pomp towards the bowels of their Internet presence in return.
This pleasant little gathering takes place in Tallahassee, is on primetime and will kick off at 8 PM on ABC.
GAME 9: IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, ALL ROADS LEAD TO RICH ROD
Washington travels to Eugene for a game that, in the past ten years, has been a foregone conclusion in favor of Phil Knight’s Technicolor Nike Experiment. The margin of victory has been astronomically in Oregon’s favor and with each passing year, it does not ever seem like there is a sign of hope. However, Chris Petersen is a new coach with a chance to set the refresh button against Oregon. This is a very big ask of Petersen to take on the behemoth that is Oregon Ducks football in his first year but hey, Rich Rod got the best of them in two.
Coverage from Autzen Stadium begins at 8 on FOX Sports 1
GAME 10: SUCCESS BEFORE THE RED ZONE
Stanford and Arizona State are two teams that have had their fair share of success from beyond the 20 yard line. Sun Devils QB Mark Bercovici threw a beautiful, undefended hail mary pass that resulted in a game winning touchdown against USC. Cardinal QB Kevin Hogan can’t get into the end zone unless he’s playing Washington State and not in the red zone. Arizona State’s defense is not that great but I think Stanford suffers from whatever disease has plagued the Florida Gators for the past two years. It could be a close one but I think the Cardinal actually have defenders who can, y’know, knock the ball out of the air when it’s floating over Jaelen Strong’s head.
Kickoff begins at 10:30 from Tempe on ESPN.