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This week: If last week was a corporate branded tailgate, this week is sinister in that the corporations have now rescinded their feast. So long, plentiful beer and wings! Hello, Notre Dame-UMASS! Get on up here, Southern vs. Georgia! Also, here’s South Carolina vs. UCF which is basically a chicken wing with the tiniest shred of meat hanging to it.
GAME 1: A GAME FROM THE AAC BECAUSE THE AAC MIGHT BE FUN THIS YEAR
Justin Fuente has built Memphis up from the rubble of its floundering former self since 2012. After a great 10-3 campaign that included a bowl win against BYU, the Tigers are back to rock the American Athletic Conference with three wins under their belt. Standing in their way is 2-1 Cincinnati, a team that shared the AAC title with Memphis in 2014. The stakes here are incredibly high for the Tigers as they look towards something greater than another Miami Beach Bowl.
This Thursday night match-up kicks off at 7:30 from Memphis on ESPN.
GAME 2: WATCH LEONARD FOURNETTE RUN THROUGH NEW YORK
LEONARD FOURNETTE IS IN NEW YORRRRRRKKKKKK/NO DEFENSE CAN STOP HIM, AND SURELY NOT SYRACUUUUSSEEEEE/AND NOW HE’S IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, NEW YORRRRKKKKKK
Your Alicia Keys impression will be entirely out of vocal range and that’s okay; hers is too. ESPN covers this game from NEW YORRRRRRRRK at 12:00 PM.
GAME 3: I REALLY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE
I don’t know anything about the Cowboys this year other than that their head coach is Mike Gundy. I also know that they are visiting Darrell K. Royal Stadium, home of a team that recently missed a game-tying PAT. Do I know how ugly it is going to get? I haven’t the slightest clue. Yet, Texas proved that it can score points with Jerrod Heard against a leaky defense sooooooo maybe the Longhorns can beat a ranked OSU? ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t have a clue about their defense either.
Play a game of chance in Austin at 3:30 on ESPN.
GAME 4: BUTCH JONES WRESTLES WITH A LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE ALLIGATOR
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is 0-2 against Florida. The Volunteers, in general, have yet to beat Florida in the “Clean, Old Fashioned Hate” Game since 2004. That’s ten years of dominance by the Gators. If Jones wants to show that his team is progressing, a win in The Swamp is a huge step in the right direction. This game has huge implications for both teams and each have their own strengths to stave off a loss. However, Florida’s Jim McElwain does have the benefit of being a first year head coach; Jones is without that luxury.
Kickoff starts at 3:30 from Gainesville on CBS.
(Via Samantha Baker – AP Photo)
GAME 5: [INSERT QUIRKY, WEIRD THINGS HAPPEN IN LUBBOCK DESCRIPTION]
Weird things do happen in Lubbock, Texas and they mostly happen to teams who look convincingly better than the Red Raiders. The TCU-Texas Tech series has been marked in recent years by wild, desert critters and the emergence of a frightening Horned Frog air raid attack. The talent disparity between the two is enough to get you to overlook this game but let’s not forget that TCU struggled with a rebuilding SMU last week. The Frogs also have a host of injuries on defense with the loss of S Kenny Iloka as the most recent, unfortunate addition. The arrest and subsequent suspension of DE Mike Tuaua and WR Andre Petties-Wilson for robbery charges haven’t helped the thinning playoff contender either. Right now, #3 TCU is looking pretty lean for the Red Raiders.
Cheer for Kingsbury’s squad and chaos at 4:45 PM on FOX.
GAME 6: KEVIN SUMLIN UNLEASHES A WHOLE LION’S DEN OF RECEIVERS ON BRET BIELEMA
Arkansas is getting pummeled on the field and questioned in think pieces on college football philosophy. A lot of this has to do with Bret Bielema’s stalwart adherence to a conservative style that is being promoted through an ungodly amount of grandiose dickswinging. Bielema has gone from targeting coaches in the press to subtweeting coaches at high school coaching conferences in Texas. Bielema forgot that Kliff Kingsbury is not the only air-raid minded coach; Kingsbury’s mentor, Kevin Sumlin is as well. The difference between the two coaches is the amount of talent at their disposal. If you thought last week in Fayetteville was bad for Bielema, wait until you see this week in Jerry World.
Texas A&M and Arkansas kickoff from Arlington at 7:00 PM on ESPN.
GAME 7: WHOLLY CONVINCED THAT MISSOURI WILL FIND A WAY TO ALMOST LOSE THIS GAME BUT END UP WINNING
Kentucky looks decent this year and does anyone really know what to make of Missouri? ANYONE? So, it looks like future SEC East runner-up Missouri wins this.
Coverage is live from Lexington at 7:30 on the SEC Network.
GAME 8: IT REALLY DEPENDS ON A FINGER
If Vernon Adams sits out of this game because of his finger, this game could go either way. Utah lost QB Travis Wilson against Utah State but the Utes have RB Devontae Booker who can slice through front sevens. If Adams plays? A close game ensues for three quarters with Oregon pulling ahead late.
Pac-12 After Dark officially starts at 8:30 from Autzen on FOX.
GAME 9: A GAME FEATURING A TEAM FROM LOS ANGELES IN THE ARIZONA DESERT
UCLA and Arizona are both undefeated, both are in the Pac-12 South, and College Gameday is live from Tucson on Saturday morning. To say that this is the marquee game in an underwhelming week would be vastly underselling it. It is the game of the week for the casual college football fan.
The Bruins’ Josh Rosen revealed that, yes, he’s a freshman. The frosh lobbed up three interceptions to BYU before RB Paul Perkins saved UCLA from defeat. This week, they play a Wildcat defense that is slightly better than what the Cougars had to offer. There’s also a possibility that impact player LB Scooby Wright could return to Arizona’s roster on Saturday after practicing on his injured knee. This game could be the closest nail biter we see on Saturday.
Coverage begins at 8:00 PM from Tucson on ABC.
GAME 10: ANOTHER GAME FEATURING A TEAM FROM LOS ANGELES IN THE ARIZONA DESERT
In Tempe, Arizona State opens conference play against a USC team coming off a loss to Stanford. The Trojans have all the pieces to outgun the Sun Devils in a shootout but Arizona State doesn’t have to do much to get past USC’s defense. This game ended on a wild Hail Mary toss in 2014 from ASU QB Mike Bercovici to send the Devils towards a Pac-12 South title; a repeat would be nice.
The late shift starts at 10:30 PM on ESPN.