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: After two weeks of not letting anyone in the house, locking all the doors and being absolutely consumed by a full two weeks of unrelenting chaos, Florida employment changes as well as a jaw dropping feat of record breaking party time has resumed. Hello friends, come in from out of the cold. We’ve got Florida State – Boston College on the television and a Dilly bar to chill the expectations of a warm meal consisting of substantial games.
GAME 1: MOUNTAIN PEOPLE AND UNFULFILLED DREAMS
Since we last gathered, West Virginia was 6-2. The ensuing Saturdays resulted in a one point loss to TCU then a blowout at the hands of a markedly improved 4-5 Texas Longhorns team. The Mountaineers are no longer in the Big 12 conference race with bowl eligibility and a chance to jockey themselves away from the doldrums of lesser bowls. Kansas State, on the other hand, suffered its second loss to the striking TCU squad and has been relegated to the Top 15. They now rely on the fate of the Horned Frogs and a trip to Baylor to help push them towards a co-championship as well as a possible BCS berth.
In terms of urgency, this game is something that Dana Holgorsen absolutely needs after only being one year removed from a season in which a growing sect of fans were calling for his resignation. The way Kansas State plays will likely slow down West Virginia’s tempo and turn this plot point into plodding drama. If so, do as the mountain people do and arm yourself with alcohol.
Kickoff is on Thursday at 7:00 PM on FOX Sports 1.
GAME 2: IS DILLY BAR DAN GONNA BE THERE?
Nebraska is fresh off of their second loss to Wisconsin in which they became the receiving end of Melvin Gordon’s historic 408 yard beatdown. As such, Bo Pelini is starting to feel his seat become warm again despite the fact that the Cornhuskers’ only losses are to the aforementioned Badgers and Michigan State. The only way it could get any warmer is if they drop a game to a 7-3 Minnesota team.
Minnesota flexed on Nebraska last year and became a catalyst for the shitstorm of negativity that surrounded Lincoln. The Gophers have losses against playoff contenders like Ohio State and TCU but they also dropped a headscratching game to Illinois. If they beat Nebraska, consider them the Big Ten’s official team of cognitive dissonance. Their mascot is no longer Goldy Gopher but a man who likes ice cream in hail, sleet or snow.
Coverage from Lincoln starts at 12:00 PM on ESPN on Saturday.
GAME 3: THE PRIVILEGE BOWL
College Gameday announced on Sunday night that they were heading to Cambridge, MA this Sunday for “The Game.” No, not Michigan-Ohio State, gumnut. Harvard and Yale, of course! I assure you that this is not a joke. The show is heading to an FCS site for the second time this season. Hey, and why not? Harvard-Yale is one of the oldest rivalries in college football with participants such as Walter Camp, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tommy Lee Jones and Calvin Hill. There was even one time where they tied in 1968 and the Harvard student newspaper proclaimed that the Crimson had won. Ok, still don’t doing anything for you? What if I told you that this was a battle for the Ivy League title with Harvard undefeated in conference play and Yale in second place? Still too much privilege for you, college football fan? Oh hell, watch the Bronx Bullies of Fordham take on Army at 12 then.
GAME 4: ANOTHER HERALDED TALE OF SEMINOLE TRIUMPH
Last year, this game would have been an afterthought. A nice cruise into the holiday week. It’s now another weekly episode of Florida State Upset Watch that will most undoubtedly not turn out the way many viewers would have liked to see it end. Near loss experiences can be counted on more than one hand at this point. The Seminoles have been toying with the thought of a loss for the entirety of the season with second half adjustments and phenomenal play from Jameis Winston to fend off an upset. Do we really think that this game against 6-4 Boston College belongs on a fictional television show called Florida State Upset Watch? Absolutely. The Eagles are currently ranked as the 15th best defense in the country, according to CBS Sports. This is a team that exposed USC when their star shined brightest. Then again, the Eagles have a below average offense and a passing defense that doesn’t have the numbers to substantiate an argument for stopping Winston. Add this to another tale in the canon of improbable Seminole comebacks.
Coverage from Florida State begins a 3:30 on ABC.
GAME 5: WOO PIG MAYBE?
The theme for this week is upset potential. A lot of the games on the slate do not have any sort of tangible tension or direct impact on the Top Four within the playoff ranking until they do. From the outset, each team is just trying to run through their normal routines and survive embarrassment at the hands of lesser foes. That was LSU’s plan until Arkansas ripped away a victory and managed to pull off their first division win since Bret Bielema started coaching the program. The potential to upset has been lingering on the Razorbacks all season long and now the blood has finally been drawn. The only question now is if they can do it again.
Ole Miss is missing substantial pieces such as WR Laquon Treadwell, DB Denzel Nkemdiche and DT Robert Nkemdiche, among others. Their offense has been jarringly inconsistent due to the appearance and reappearance of bad Bo. Their Land Shark defense is still somewhat in tact though and they are going to need every thing it takes to stop Arkansas’ rushing duo of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams.
Kickoff from Arkansas begins at 3:30 on CBS
GAME 6: STAYING ALIVE
Arizona State’s loss to Oregon State has, once again, thrown a wrench into the Pac 12 South battle. Now, UCLA, USC, Arizona and Arizona State are all competing for the division title which adds an extra wrinkle to Saturday’s two ranked Pac 12 South match-ups. The first one up is Arizona’s spread offense against the lumbering beast known as the Utah Utes. The Wildcats are currently averaging 306.7 yards per game through the air while Utah’s defense is giving up 240.1 passing yards each Saturday. The Utes have been known slow things down and play a rather conservative style. The stakes are the highest for the Wildcats, who have a division title should they fall. With the Territorial Cup next weekend against the Sun Devils, this could be a potential look ahead spot that you hear all the pundits yammer on about.
The game starts at 3:30 from Rice Eccles Stadium on ESPN.
GAME 7: BECAUSE YOU ENJOY WATCHING OLD HABITS DIE HARD
Notre Dame lost to Northwestern and you were alright with that. If you’re into that sort of thing again, check out their game this weekend against Louisville. As an added bonus, a loss to what Notre Dame considers the moral nadir in Bobby Petrino would be even more wonderful. Oh, you like the Irish? Well, bully for you and I wish you well.
Kickoff starts at 3:30 from South Bend on NBC
GAME 8: THE DARK ARTS OF COMO
Missouri is currently the SEC East division leader by way of the occult. Gary Pinkel had to strike a deal to do this. He just had to. It’s unfathomable that team who lost to Indiana could be seeing the light of a championship game.
The Tigers play the Volunteers in Knoxville in a game that will put the Tigers’ determination towards a division title to the test. The Volunteers are a decent team with an overtime win against South Carolina and a complete domination of Kentucky. Meanwhile, Mizzou’s most worthwhile win seems to be against a wholly revamped Texas A&M team. Both have schedules that are relatively weak due to the SEC East’s attitude towards anything remotely dominant. You should watch this game if you’re really into Alistair Crowley and wasted chicken blood.
Coverage from Knoxville begins at 7:30 on ESPN.
GAME 9: BATTLE FOR LOS ANGELES
Wait, so this game isn’t about whether or not people in LA County like Ariel Pink? K thx. Got it.
USC and UCLA, being thrown back into the Pac 12 South race through no fault of their own, are looking at each other in one of the most evenly matched games in the rivalry. UCLA is the favorite but, then again, they seem to have problems dealing with the distinction of ‘favorite’. The Trojans have a wonderful passing attack that seems to shift with whatever opponent they are playing. Whatever happens – I hope we see Pat Haden, College Football Playoff Committee member and USC AD, on the field again.
Kickoff starts at 8:00 on ABC.
GAME 10: THERE’S A HAWAII GAME ON AT 11 FROM ALOHA STADIUM AND I’M NOT SPENDING ANY MORE CHARACTERS TRYING TO EXPLAIN WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH