You know what? I’m not really one to complain about much, but frankly I’m getting sick and tired of these college football lineups.
You would think in week four of college football season, you would have several good matchups. You would think that with conference matchups starting en masse in the Big Ten, there would be a slew of good matchups.
Nope, for the fourth consecutive week, we have a slate full of stinkers. Sure there are one or two decent games, including what should be a dandy in Iowa City, but by and large things are shaping up to be pretty boring this week. Especially considering the conference that made things interesting in those terrible matchups last week (cough, the Big Ten, cough cough) is the one moving full bore into conference play.
Anyway, let’s look at what’s worth watching this week.
Note: All times are as the good Lord intended, in the central time zone. For that is where the college football Mecca known as Kinnick Stadium lies.
Only one game tonight and it’s, uh, football. I guess? 1-2 Tulsa is at 1-2 Temple at 6:30 on ESPN. Luckily, the NFL is here with - checks notes - the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! at YOUR Cleveland Browns at 7:20 on NFL Network.
Things get better on Friday, if only slightly. We get a ranked team in #16 UCF (don’t get me started on the rankings, where UCF with wins over UConn and South Carolina..... State have placed the defending people’s champion on the cusp of the top 15) hosting a 2-1 Florida Atlantic team. Tune in to ESPN at 6pm CT to catch Lane Kiffin on TV.
That’s followed up with a Big Ten matchup. Sort of. Illinois are playing what should be a essentially a pay game (Illinois gets their cut of the Big Ten TV money in exchange for being completely humiliated on national TV) as they host #10 Penn State. That’s on FS1 at 8pm CT.
Flip back over to ESPN at 9:30 as undefeated Washington State travels to 1-2 USC.
OK, so here’s the meat and potatoes. And really, that’s what this is. There’s not a delicious steak coming out hot with lots of sizzle or some flashy sushi (who the hell eats that stuff anyway?!?). No, this is a pure meat and potatoes kind of slate with some really solid matchups that carry the potential to be great if done right, but are just as likely to be totally meh.
Things kick off as usual at 11am CT. ESPN will have #2 Georgia at Missouri. #8 Notre Dame is at Wake Forest on ABC. And the Big Ten has 4 games on 3 networks. Nebraska is still looking for their first victory of the season (LOL) at #19 Michigan on FS1. Purdue is doing the same as they host the 23rd ranked BC Eagles on ESPN2. BTN is carrying Buffalo at Rutgers. Rutgers is a 5.5 point home dog to a MAC team. Yikes. That one will split the overflow channels with Minnesota at Maryland. Are either of these teams any good? Will we know more after Saturday? Who knows.
The 2:30 CT time slot has a solid mix of likely drubbings and potentially really good matchups. #21 Miami hosts FIU on ESPNU, #13 Va Tech is at Old Dominion on CBS Sports and #4 Ohio State hosts Tulane on BTN. When those get out of hand in the first 5 minutes, there are some potential options for you.
Kansas State is at #12 West Virginia on ESPN. #3 Clemson is at Georgia Tech over on ABC. And potentially the best matchup which simultaneously has the potential to get really out of hand is #22 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama. That’s on CBS.
As those 2:30 games get to halftime, you might want to check out FOX as #17 TCU is at Texas beginning at 3pm CT. Texas isn’t back, but this has the potential to be really solid given what we saw from Texas/USC and OSU/TCU last week.
The evening slate is pretty light, which is good for Hawkeye fans. At 6pm CT, as you’re making your final preparations, you can watch #6 LSU destroy Louisiana Tech on ESPNU. ESPN2 has #14 Mississippi State at Kentucky. And FS1 has Texas Tech at #15 Oklahoma State.
At 6:30, you can catch Arkansas at #9 Auburn over on the SEC Network. BTN has #24 Michigan State at Indiana at the same time.
That staggers nicely with the other really good evening matchup: #7 Stanford is at #20 Oregon on ABC. That’s a 7pm CT kick.
Of course, the game we all will be watching is #18 Wisconsin in Iowa City to take on your Iowa Hawkeyes. It’s a 7:30 kick (OK, 7:40 technically so you’ve got time to grab that last beverage and put the final touches on your snacks) on FOX.
In the night cap, you’ve got Arizona State and former Hawkeye RB commit Eno Benjamin at #10 Washington. That’s a 9:30 PM kick on ESPN. ESPN2 and CBS Sports are both also showing games from the Mountain West if you need a commercial break filler.
And that’s that.
Here’s a look at the full schedule for Saturday.
Saturday, September 22nd
|#2 Georgia at Missouri||11:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#8 Notre Dame at Wake Forest||11:00 AM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Nebraska at #19 Michigan||11:00 AM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#23 Boston College at Purdue||11:00 AM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Kent State at Ole Miss||11:00 AM||SECN||WatchESPN.com|
|Buffalo at Rutgers||11:00 AM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Minnesota at Maryland||11:00 AM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Akron at Iowa State||11:00 AM||FSN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Ohio at Cincinnati||11:00 AM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Nevada at Toledo||11:00 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Navy at SMU||11:00 AM||ESPNN||WatchESPN.com|
|Pittsburgh at North Carolina||11:20 AM||ACCNE||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisville at Virginia||11:30 AM||ACCNE||WatchESPN.com|
|Western Michigan at Georgia State||1:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Miami (OH) at Bowling Green||2:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Western Kentucky at Ball State||2:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Illinois State at Colorado State||2:00 PM||ATTSN||ATTSN.com|
|Maine at Central Michigan||2:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|#22 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama||2:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#3 Clemson at Georgia Tech||2:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Tulane at #4 Ohio State||2:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Kansas State at #12 West Virginia||2:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#13 Virginia Tech at Old Dominion||2:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Florida International at #21 Miami||2:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Gardner-Webb at Appalachian State||2:30 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Charlotte at UMass||2:30 PM||None||UMassAthletics.com|
|North Carolina Central at Duke||2:30 PM||ACCNE||WatchESPN.com|
|Northern Illinois at Florida State||2:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Kansas at Baylor||2:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Arizona at Oregon State||3:00 PM||PAC12||Pac-12.com|
|South Carolina at Vanderbilt||3:00 PM||SECN||WatchESPN.com|
|UConn at Syracuse||3:00 PM||ESPNN||WatchESPN.com|
|#17 TCU at Texas||3:30 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|McNeese at #25 BYU||5:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|North Texas at Liberty||5:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Army at #5 Oklahoma||6:00 PM||PPV||Soonersports.com|
|Louisiana Tech at #6 LSU||6:00 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|#14 Mississippi State at Kentucky||6:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas Tech at #15 Oklahoma State||6:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Rice at Southern Miss||6:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Texas State at UTSA||6:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|UNLV at Arkansas State||6:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|Coastal Carolina at Louisiana||6:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|Troy at UL Monroe||6:00 PM||ESPN+||ESPN+|
|NC State at Marshall||6:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Florida at Tennessee||6:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Arkansas at #9 Auburn||6:30 PM||SECN||WatchESPN.com|
|#24 Michigan State at Indiana||6:30 PM||BTN||FoxSportsGo.com|
|New Mexico State at UTEP||6:30 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|#7 Stanford at #20 Oregon||7:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|East Carolina at South Florida||7:00 PM||ESPNN||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas Southern at Houston||7:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|South Alabama at Memphis||7:00 PM||ESPN3||WatchESPN.com|
|#18 Wisconsin at Iowa||7:30 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Arizona State at #10 Washington||9:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Air Force at Utah State||9:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Eastern Michigan at San Diego State||9:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Duquesne at Hawai'i||10:59 PM||None||WatchStadium.com|
As for the beverage choice this week, I’m a big torn. I typically try to go with something to acknowledge our opponent. Wisconsin has some fantastic breweries and I actually have a sixer of Spotted Cow in the beer fridge from my last trip across the border.
But you know? This is Wisconsin. This is a game that’s going to, in all likelihood, determine the winner of the Big Ten West. So @%#% ‘em. They can keep their special Wisconsin beer and their cheese curds and their mammoth offensive linemen.
No, no my friends. This week we’re keeping it local. Because this year, the road to Indianapolis runs through Iowa City. So I’ll be
sipping pounding Big Grove Arms Races all afternoon. We are, after all, in an arms race with the Badgers for supremacy over the west.
No better way to get prepared for a rowdy night game in Kinnick than way too many 6.2% beers. I’ve got Morehouse and everybody else’s attitude-adjusted priorities right here.
Let’s go Hawks! Beat the Badgers! Win the West! Don’t make me cancel my reservations in Indy.