Irwin is back this week with the games to watch, food to eat and players to keep an eye on.
Thursday September 10
Clemson @ Georgia Tech: ESPN – Sorry boys, not when the Stillers are on.
Friday September 11
Colorado @ Toledo: ESPN
Saturday September 12
Fresno State @ Wisconsin: ESPN
Central Michigan @ Michigan State: ESPN2
Iowa @ Iowa State: FSN
North Carolina @ UConn: ESPNU
Duke @ Army: CBSCollege
Eastern Michigan @ Northwestern: BigTen
Syracuse @ Penn State: BigTen
Western Michigan @ Indiana: BigTen
Troy @ Florida: SECNetwork
Notre Dame @ Michigan: ABC
BYU @ Tulane: ESPN2
Houston @ Oklahoma State: FSN
Texas @ Wyoming: Versus
TCU @ Virginia: ESPNU
Louisiana Tech @ Navy: CBSCollege
UCLA @ Tennessee: ESPN
South Carolina @ Georgia: ESPN2
Vanderbilt @ LSU: ESPNU
Air Force @ Minnesota: BigTen
Illinois State @ Illinois: BigTen
Mississippi State @ Auburn: SECNetwork
Kansas @ UTEP: CBSCollege
USC @ Ohio State: ESPN
Purdue @ Oregon: FSN
Utah @ San Jose State: ESPNU
Oregon State @ UNLV: CBSCollege
(Disclaimer: As a Notre Dame fan, I don’t include any ND games in my profile games or picks. Thought I’d save you the homerism.)
Game of the Week (The Non-ND game I’m most looking forward to this week.)
Penn State vs. Syracuse – I’m not picking Ohio State-USC because USC is going to blow them out, Terrelle Pryor is a hack, and all you’re gonna hear about for the next week is that game. I’m going a different direction. I hate Penn State. HAAAAAAATE. Living in Pennsylvania, it’s ALL you hear about and you’re automatically expected to be a Penn State fan and build solid gold statues of Joe Paterno’s moldy ass in your front yard. Ugh. And being a Notre Dame fan, hooo boy. I could marry a shank-wielding, puppy-clubbing, transvestite named Bob and I wouldn’t have any more grief bestowed upon me by my family. MY POINT IS…I don’t care for Penn State. For many reasons. One of those reasons is that they constantly, year-after-year schedule cupcakes on their non-conference slate. Even while their brethren in the Big 10 like Ohio State, Illinois, and Purdue, just this year, have scheduled difficult non-conference games, they still continue to schedule the Akrons, Temples, and Coastal Carolinas of the world. Every year,. I eagerly wait for one of these creampuffs knock them off and FINALLY make them pay for their pussydom. And it never happens. A few close calls, but dammit, none of these weaklings can get the job done, and PSU, of course, cruises into their conference schedule undefeated and rankings darlings, natrurally. Of course, seeing how god-awful Syracuse was the last few years, they JUMPED at the chance to schedule them. But then something weird happened last week. Syracuse wasn’t Syracuse. They took a very game, improving, Minnesota team that was the surprise of the Big 10 last year to overtime. Greg Paulus looked pretty sharp, having not played football since he was 18 damned years old. Arthur Jones and the defense was very solid, minimizing Eric Decker and Minnesota’s offense. “Oh noez, Luke! But what about the crowd! The scary, scary crowd!”. Please. Beaver Stadium will be NOTHING to Greg Paulus. Have you ever been a hated, white, Duke guard in the ACC? I wouldn’t be shocked if he starting cracking up during Zombie Nation. This will be nothing. For God’s sakes, visitors used to wear FAKE BACNE when JJ Redick came to town. He’s been through it all. I’m hoping finally, FINALLY, someone teaches JoePa and crew their lesson to finally grow a set.
Upset Special (Fuck the spread, these underdogs are gonna win outright.)
Buffalo over Pitt – Never, and I mean never, assume Pitt is going to easily take a winnable game. Quite possibly the most inconsistant team in the country over the past decade, whenever Pitt starts reading a little too deep into their hype, they get squashed and have to pull themselves out of a hole. I think Turner Gill, despite losing heart-and-soul QB Drew Willy, finds a way to get this done.
Don’t Touch That Dial (The game you’ll be surprised you’re still watching late into the fourth quarter, yet you can’t help it.)
Oklahoma State vs. Houston – BOMBS AWAY!
Gambling Locks o’ The Week (Aside from my Upset Special, natch.)
USC -4.5 Ohio State
Purdue +13 Oregon
Toledo +4.5 Colorado
Gameday Food of the Week
Whereas the grilled meat is a big tailgaiting food, I give the reigns over to my absolute favorite stadium food, the loaded nachos. A multitude of tastes and textures from south of the border assaulting your tastebuds like the Spanish Armada. In every scoop, tender ground beef, spicy shredded chicken, gooey nacho cheese, smoky refried beans, refreshing sour cream, tangy onions, man-affirming jalapenos, and maybe if you’re feeling guilty, some shreds of lettuce testing the strength of the crunchy, salty, tortilla chip. Perfect gameday food. Every stadium is different in the way they handle their nachos. The basement basic is the nachos cheese over the chips. Meh. The next level is the chips, served with cheese and a taco sauce-like contraption. Not terrible, little variety. Then you slowly work your way up to the beloved “LOADED NACHOS: $6.50” counter. Maybe my least favorite stadium has the best ones I’ve ever had. Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Awful stadium, fantastic nachos. Oh, and if your stadium doesn’t have the jalapenos in the little condiment kiosk, your stadium doesn’t have SHIT!
Gameday Drink of the Week
So it’s too late in the season for Margaritas and Mexican beer, but too early in the season for whiskeys, bourbons, and dark beer, it’s still 85 degrees out, for God’s sakes. Plus, you’re still not in midseason form when it comes to waking up early on Saturdays for gameday. What to drink? Bud Light? Yeah, that’s an interesting read. The beer can wait, start your day off with a fine Bloody Mary. A fantastic kick in the ass at 10:00 AM when Corso, Fowler, and Herbie come on your television or great to sip on while you’re unloading your tailgate supplies for the day at 6AM. Starts your day off with a bang and you still get some fruits and veggies in your system. Your mom would be proud.
Gameday Jersey of the Week
Oh you’re damned right I have a replica of this. Now it’s horrible luck to break tradition with the jerseys, so I’ll wear this bad boy, a homage to my favorite Non-Notre Dame college player ever, Oregon State WR Mike Hass. Then the throwback Bro Montana goes on for the Irish. Never mess with a winning streak, even if it is one game. Stay thirsty, my friends.
Gameday Pep Talk
Wow. That really escalated quickly, didn’t it? Between Sam Bradford’s shoulder, Michael Floyd’s feet, Navy’s heart, and LaGarrette Blount’s fist, that was a pretty memorable opening week, eh? Well, breathe easy, men. The football Gods have given you a breather this week. A few good matchups, one epic matchup, and a good amount of quality games. We just had five days of football, men. FIVE DAYS. We’re all a little frazzled, sometimes it’s nice to have a little reprive in the action to catch our breath. So now you’ve seen it, men. This week, well maybe not as hectic, will at least be more consistant with its action. Most of the cupcakes have returned to DI-AA (no FCS here), and we start getting past the skin to the meat. So now you have time to prepare for it. We got the first week out of the way, men. You now know that maybe the leftover Taco Bell for breakfast to calm your nervous stomach wasn’t your best move. You now can gauge your girlfriend’s reaction to a College Saturday and know if she might be the one or not. You now know why call Moonshine “Death in a Jug” (SEC Fans Only). The hangover from the last five days should just about be kicked by the time Saturday rolls around. So let’s do what we do best, men. Eat, drink, and watch the SHIT out of college football!