Well, what did you do with your bye week?
Did you spend all that free time catching up on the honey do list around the house? We’re getting into autumn in earnest and those leaves aren’t going to rake themselves. Did you take up a new hobby or finally learn the piano like you’ve always wanted to? Or did you dig into your ever growing reading list and enjoy the peace and quiet of a tranquil October day?
Yeah, I still watched football all day too.
With Iowa’s season an unqualified disappointment to this point, the bye week presented an opportunity to simply enjoy a full weekend of college football without the offense mucking the whole thing up. When the team is playing well, the bye week can be a frustrating pause that tests our patience before Hawkeye football returns in two weeks. But in a year like this I was not opposed at all to having a bit of a break.
Still though, the optimist in me is excited to have Iowa take to the field once again in an opportunity to turn their season around, make a strong push in the conference, and run the table from here on out. And it all starts with a road win at...
Slim pickings in the weekday games, but we did get another bonus game Wednesday night. Despite not featuring any highly ranked or high profile teams, these weekday games can be some of the most fun and are great to look forward to after the workday.
Saturday, October 22
|Iowa @ #2 Ohio State||11:00 AM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|UT Martin @ #3 Tennessee||11:00 AM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|#14 Syracuse @ #5 Clemson||11:00 AM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|#21 Cincinnati @ SMU||11:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Kansas @ Baylor||11:00 AM||ESPN 2||WatchESPN|
|UL Monroe @ Army||11:00 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Indiana @ Rutgers||11:00 AM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Houston @ Navy||11:00 AM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Akron @ Kent State||11:00 AM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Duke @ Miami||11:30 AM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|Toledo @ Buffalo||12:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Bowling Green @ Central Michigan||12:00 PM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|Eastern Michigan @ Ball State||1:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Northern Illinois @ Ohio||1:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|UNLV @ Notre Dame||1:30 PM||Peacock||Peacock|
|West Virginia @ Texas Tech||2:00 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Rice @ Louisiana Tech||2:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|#7 Ole Miss @ LSU||2:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#9 UCLA @ #10 Oregon||2:30 PM||FOX||FOXSports.com|
|#20 Texas @ #11 Oklahoma State||2:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Boston College @ #13 Wake Forest||2:30 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Memphis @ #25 Tulane||2:30 PM||ESPN 2||WatchESPN|
|BYU @ Liberty||2:30 PM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|Purdue @ Wisconsin||2:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Northwestern @ Maryland||2:30 PM||BTN||FOXSports.com|
|Western Michigan @ Miami (OH)||2:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Marshall @ James Madison||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Georgia Southern @ Old Dominion||2:30 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Florida International @ Charlotte||2:30 PM||ESPN 3||WatchESPN|
|North Texas @ UTSA||2:30 PM||N/A||N/A|
|Vanderbilt @ Missouri||3:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Arizona State @ Stanford||3:00 PM||PAC-12 Network||PAC-12.com|
|Hawai'i @ Colorado State||3:00 PM||N/A||N/A|
|Florida Atlantic @ UTEP||3:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Arkansas State @ Louisiana||4:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|Southern Miss @ Texas State||4:00 PM||ESPN+||WatchESPN|
|San Jose State @ New Mexico State||5:00 PM||N/A||N/A|
|Fresno State @ New Mexico||5:30 PM||FS2||FOXSports.com|
|#24 Mississippi State @ #6 Alabama||6:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Boise State @ Air Force||6:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Minnesota @ #16 Penn State||6:30 PM||ABC||WatchESPN|
|Texas A&M @ South Carolina||6:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|UCF @ East Carolina||6:30 PM||ESPN U||WatchESPN|
|#17 Kansas State @ #8 TCU||7:00 PM||FS1||FOXSports.com|
|Colorado @ Oregon State||7:00 PM||PAC-12 Network||PAC-12.com|
|Pittsburgh @ Louisville||7:00 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN|
|Utah State @ Wyoming||8:45 PM||N/A||N/A|
|Washington @ California||9:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|San Diego State @ Nevada||9:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
Iowa @ #2 Ohio State. Yeesh...yeah so, this isn’t a great game right out of the bye to right the ship. Playing in Columbus is a tough out for any Iowa team but this year it feels especially scary. If by some unholy black magic the Hawks can win this one it would go down as one of the greatest, most unexpected wins in Iowa football history. I wouldn’t count on it, though, but we can always dream.
#14 Syracuse @ #5 Clemson is the premier showdown in the morning. Both teams are undefeated, one of which is one of the biggest surprises of the season. Outside of the big traditional rivalry Saturdays it’s kind of rare to see two ranked opponents playing in the morning window so it’s a nice treat. UT Martin @ #3 Tennessee finds college football’s new darling Volunteers rewarded for their win over the evil empire last week with what looks to be the cupcake Skyhawks. I’d usually be screaming “trap game!” but it’s hard to believe UT Martin can hang after seeing what the Vols did against Bama.
Kansas @ Baylor could be fun, and a much closer affair than either of the two previously mentioned games. The Jayhawks have fallen out of the top 25 after two straight weeks, but Baylor hasn’t proved to be up to recent standards so I could see this one being an entertaining, close match.
Once more we get a ranked Pac-12 matchup in the afternoon with #9 UCLA @ #10 Oregon. You know me, I’m a sucker for the Pac-12, and with the Bruins at 6-0 and Oregon playing well after an early season loss I’ll absolutely be tuning in.
There are plenty of ranked teams kicking off in the afternoon window. Along with the Bruins and Ducks are #7 Ole Miss @ LSU, Boston College @ #13 Wake Forest, and newcomer #25 Tulane hosting Memphis. Always great to see new faces in the top 25. The only other game with two ranked teams Saturday afternoon is #20 Texas @ #11 Oklahoma State. The Longhorns survived against the upset-minded Cyclones last weekend while the Cowboys fell to TCU.
In the Big Ten there are no ranked matches, mostly because three of the four teams are in the West and we all know that division is nastier than a backed up gas station toilet. Purdue @ Wisconsin and Northwestern @ Maryland are on offer. Purdue is tied at the top of the West with Illinois and the Badgers sit at the bottom. Northwestern, meanwhile, is snug in the middle, tied for fourth along with Iowa. It ain’t pretty, but it’s Big Ten football. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.
It’s not until the evening that we get more impactful games. Sticking with the Big Ten Minnesota (who is also tied for fourth in the west, coincidentally) travels to #16 Penn State at 6:30. The Gophers started out the year very strong, but injuries to running back Mohamed Ibrahim and quarterback Tanner Morgan have come in tandem with back to back losses to Purdue and Illinois. The Gophers got Ibrahim back but it’s not known if Morgan will play in Happy Valley. Minnesota will need all hands on deck to best the Nittany Lions Saturday night.
#24 Mississippi State @ #6 Alabama will show if the Tide can recover from their loss to the Vols, and #17 Kansas State @ #8 TCU is an intriguing matchup out of the Big 12. The evening is home to plenty more formerly ranked teams who have fallen out of favor, but you can usually count on plenty of exciting games. Pittsburgh @ Louisville, Texas A&M @ South Carolina, and Washington @ Cal provide a nice 1-2-3 punch from 6:30 to 9:30 Saturday night. And there are plenty of mid-major games sprinkled throughout if any of the P5 games turn into blowouts.
If Iowa’s game at Ohio State goes the way may think it will you’ll have plenty of games to wash the poor taste out of your mouth by the end of the day. If we’re fortunate enough to see a monumental upset in Columbus every other game this weekend is just made more enjoyable.
Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.