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: Everything is very dire. There are probably, like, four games worth watching. All of the rest could be potential something or other. Between the hours of 12-6, you should just do something nice with your day and not watch the Battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. Also, you might want to save your energy for this nice, young man.
GAME 1: IT’D BE NICE TO WATCH UTAH GET ANOTHER FALSE START ON ITS CELEBRATIONS
Utah dominated Michigan defensively and on special teams, effectively ending the game with a 16-point margin of victory. Despite a sputtering offensive output that was heavy on field goals, the Utes’ front seven managed to shut down the Wolverines’ competent run game. They are certainly a team to keep an eye on, and what better way to do it with a second week rivalry game at Rice-Eccles Stadium? The Utah State Aggies didn’t have the greatest start to their season, with a three-point win over Southern Utah, but if the Jesse Palmer Theory of “Throwing Records Out” holds, it could be interesting. Or, it could be as devastatingly ugly as the previous game the Utes played.
Kickoff is at 9:00 PM on Friday from Rice-Eccles Stadium on ESPN2.
GAME 2: THE OTHER GAME BETWEEN TEAMS FROM OREGON AND MICHIGAN
You might think the Ducks are the only team from Oregon playing in Michigan this weekend, but if you look over yonder, you’ll notice an 0-1 Jim Harbaugh team with a certain 1-0 Gary Andersen team visiting Ann Arbor. Oregon State has been undersold by every possible college football source imaginable, which should make for a decent rebound for the Wolverines. Yet, there’s also the off chance that Michigan quite hasn’t found its groove with QB Jake Rudock, giving the Beavers an additional boost on the road. Either way, it’s a game in which the storyline surrounding it is more interesting than the actual play on the field.
The game starts at 12:00 PM on Saturday from the Big House on ABC.
GAME 3: UPSET POTENTIAL
This may seem like a joke, but it’s not. Kansas State and Texas San Antonio might be a nail biter. The Roadrunners have come close to knocking out FBS programs with their Bond villain-like precision. They had Arizona on the ropes in a Thursday night game last year and this year, they almost knocked them out again. Of course, Kansas State is a different team, but one which does not have the speed on offense to make up for any difference when it falls behind. Bill Snyder is going to try and slow the pace of play down in order to avoid the distinction of being the Power Five team that lost to a team which started play in 2011.
A possible upset starts from the Alamodome at 12:00 on Fox Sports 1.
GAME 4: A GAME STANDING IN BETWEEN NOTRE DAME AND ANOTHER “WE’RE BACK” PROCLAMATION FROM ND NATION
From a sample size of one game, the Fighting Irish are working their way up the polls and the headlines. QB Malik Zaire’s performance against Texas’ defense has helped stir the echoes out of their La-Z-Boys and into a Polident-covered frenzy. Zaire now has another chance to rack up his stats against another defense that is the highlight of its program. The Virginia Cavaliers had a rough time against another hyped quarterback in true freshman Josh Rosen of UCLA. If Zaire doesn’t perform in similar dominating fashion, it might be time to pump the breaks on Notre Dame’s stock.
ABC’s broadcasts live from Charlottesville at 3:30.
GAME 5: STRAIGHT UP MURDER
The Georgia Bulldogs start their conference schedule with SEC East punching bag Vanderbilt. The Commodores just lost to Western Kentucky. This game is entertainment for those who are really into the Faces of Death videos.
Keith Marshall and Nick Chubb start their track race through Nashville at 3:30 on CBS.
GAME 6: AN OKLAHOMA AIR RAID IS NOT A DUST BOWL REFERENCE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1999
Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley came to Norman from ECU to turn back the clock on Oklahoma’s offense and install the air raid offense for the first time since 1999. The first result of that hire was 388 passing yards and three touchdowns from QB Baker Mayfield against Akron. Now, the Sooners head to Knoxville in a late afternoon showdown against a Volunteers team that had 399 yards of rushing against a really good Bowling Green team. However, the Falcons exposed a lot of holes in Tennessee’s pass defense, which could be a huge liability for the Volunteers’ climb back to relevancy. With a convincing win over a ranked Sooners team, though, those doubts could be put to rest for a little while longer.
Broadcast begins live from Knoxville at 6:00 PM on ESPN.
GAME 7: NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS THE PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE GREAT
Kentucky and South Carolina is gonna be great for over/under betting on headset tosses. I’ll start and put the number at 7.
Spurrier’s visor emerges from the tunnel at 6:30 on the SEC Network.
GAME 8: THE SUREST THING ABOUT OREGON-MICHIGAN STATE IS THAT MICHAEL JORDAN WILL BET ON IT
Predictions, be damned! There’s really not a great first week sample to point to as to whether or not one team will be more dominant than the other. Michigan State had its hands full with a rising MAC team, while Oregon had problems keeping Eastern Washington from putting 42 points on them. Last year, the billing was bullet train versus immovable, reinforced steel wall. This year, it’s a bullet train slowing to approach the station against a stop sign at said station. That doesn’t mean it will be any less fun though.
Kickoff from East Lansing starts at 8:00 PM on ABC.
GAME 9: THE NEW DEATH VALLEY, MR. FINEBAUM!
#14 LSU is only going to play eleven games this year after cancelling a game due to weather against McNeese State. The Tigers’ first game? In Davis-Wade Stadium, against the 25th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs. This is a second week SEC West matchup that you usually have to wait a few weeks to enjoy, especially since LSU is a more unknown quantity than usual. Yet, here we are. If you aren’t like this irascible, high pitched fella here then you might be a Big Ten fan or something.
ESPN’s coverage from Starkville starts at 9:15 PM.
GAME 10: I DREAM OF COUGARS
BYU escaped Lincoln, Nebraska with an amazing, last-second Hail Mary from their second-string quarterback Tanner Mangum. The loss of first-stringer Taysom Hill does raise some questions as to how the Cougars will fare without him. Boise State might not be the best proving ground for the second guy on the depth chart, but the Broncos had some problems putting away Chris Petersen’s skeleton Washington team. While it’s highly improbable that Mangum will be last-minute hero again this week, we can all dream.
Coverage starts from Provo at 10:15 on ESPN2.