Luke is back with his must-read weekend article. Which games can you not afford to miss? Where are the big updates. Find out here.
Thursday September 17
Georgia Tech @ Miami: ESPN
Friday September 18
Boise State @ Fresno State: ESPN
Saturday September 19
California @ Minnesota: ESPN
East Carolina @ North Carolina: ESPN2
Duke @ Kansas: Versus
Louisville @ Kentucky: ESPNU
Ball State @ Army: CBSCollege
Eastern Michigan @ Michigan: BigTen
Temple @ Penn State: BigTen
Northern Illinois @ Purdue: BigTen
Wofford @ Wisconsin: BigTen
North Texas @ Alabama: SECNetwork
Tennessee @ Florida: CBS
Michigan State @ Notre Dame: NBC
USC @ Washington: ABC
Nebraska @ Virginia Tech: ABC/ESPN2
Arizona @ Iowa: ABC/ESPN2
Utah @ Oregon: ESPN
Tulsa @ Oklahoma: FSN
Indiana @ Akron: ESPNU
Virginia @ Southern Miss: CBSCollege
Cincinnati @ Oregon State: FSN
Florida State @ BYU: Versus
Louisiana-Lafayette @ LSU: ESPNU
Air Force @ New Mexico: CBSCollege
Georgia @ Arkansas: ESPN
West Virginia @ Auburn: ESPN2
Texas Tech @ Texas: ABC
Kansas State @ UCLA: FSN
Hawaii @ UNLV: CBSCollege
(Due to my Notre Dame fandom, I don’t include ND in any individual game profiles. Figure I’d save you the homerism.)
Game of the Week (Non-ND Game I’m Most Looking Forward To):
Texas Tech @ Texas/Florida State @ BYU: Couldn’t pick just one here. Texas vs. Texas Tech is the more important game, on which Big 12 and National Title aspirations cling, and atmosphere will be intense and it’ll be an offensive shootout. As a CFB fan, you should want to watch that game, and I’m excited for it, but I’m actually more interested in the BYU-FSU game. Think about it, can you pick two DI-A schools that could be more different in just about EVERY conceivable way than Brigham Young University and Florida State University? I mean, any two? Throw in that the game, surprisingly, will be in Provo, where the Caffeine-Free Diet Sprite flows like wine, it’ll be on Versus (who probably can’t believe their good fortune that they landed this), BYU in a freaking national title chase, Florida State appearing to have a decent offense for the first time in almost a decade, and this game offers the most intriguing and fascinating watching experience of the night for me.
Upset Pick of the Week:
Washington over USC: …And boom goes the dynamite. Let’s turn the mic over to USC Head Coach Pete Carroll. Pete? “Terrelle [Pryor] is a special player, but this guy [Jake Locker] is even more so.” I couldn’t disagree more. Terrelle Pryor isn’t a special talent. Oh, but about Locker? Yeah, the kid is fantastic. You don’t get named a captain as a true freshman by being ho-hum on the field and in the locker room. To me, he’s the best quarterback in the Pac-10. Whatever Steve Sarkasian is putting in the Kool-Aid, these kids are drinking it by the gallon and they’ve looked like a brand new team this season. Husky Stadium can get as loud as any in the country and I sincerely hope we get a nice feeding of good ol’ Seattle rain for this tilt. USC is good for one, out of nowhere Pac-10 loss per year, and the vast majority of them occur with teams north of the California state line. I think Jake Locker stakes his claim as one of the best quarterbacks in the game this week.
Don’t Touch That Dial (Game you will, inexplicably, be fascinated by deep into the fourth quarter):
Cincinnati @ Oregon State: Ha! I bet you won’t skim over this profile after I picked Houston vs. Oklahoma State last week, eh? Okay, you probably still will, but regardless, I’m throwing one in here anyway. This game is both blessed and victimized by its timing. It’s the only game between that 6ish-7ish lull, so you’ll tune in and watch it, having every intention of switching over to BYU-Florida State at 7 or Georgia-Arkansas/Auburn-WVU at 7:45, but then you start watching…and you see how awesome the fans are at OSU, and how Oregon State plays everyone tough in Corvailles, and saying things like, “Damn, that little-ass Jacquizz Rogers can scamper!”, “Wow, Brian Kelly is one helluva coach!”, “Pike has one hell of an arm!”, “How Does Oregon State mass-produce so many talented white guys?”, and next time you check your cell phone (because nobody checks their watches anymore), it’s almost 8:00. It’s happened to me many-a-time with these two squads.
Gambling Locks o’ the Week (Except for my upset pick, natch.)
Georgia Tech +4 Miami
Georgia PK Arkansas
Virginia +14.5 Southern Miss
Gameday Food Of the Week:
Sweet mother of Mary. One of my favorite parts of tailgaiting with my dad and uncle at games. The damned ribs, delivered on high from Peter himself, who took nary a nibble, but declared that if he was, indeed, human, he would sacrifice eternal paradise for one succulent, savory, juicy barbequed rib. While that story may not be true, it does make for one hell of an acid trip. What’s not to love about ribs?! It’s maybe the manliest of all manly food. Like Jim Gaffigan said, there’s no way to look anything but barbaric when tearing into ribs, and that’s what we love! It’s man at its most primitive, tearing the meat from our fallen enemies, but also man at its most evolved, having the patience and wherewithall to prepare the meat days in advance, using a cultured blend of spices and sauces. It is, in a nutshell, what it means to be a man. I have a three-foot erection right now.
Gameday Drink Of the Week:
Michelob often gets lost in the shuffle of domestic beers, and it’s a damned shame. Nowadays, the world “Michelob” often triggers beer-drinkers’ brain with the tagalong word “Ultra”, which scares away men, much like talking to a girl and noticing a discernable cold sore. “Wow, is it 11:25 already? Man, I gotta go home and…ummm…wash my….ox…nice meeting you!”. That’s where the younger, or less-experienced ale-swiggers fail. Remember last week when I said it was too late for summer beer but too early for the dark stuff? POW! Michelob is there to nuture you and transition you. Full-bodied taste that you can still down a 12-pack of at a tailgate with no ill-effects like feeling you ate an entire oak tree (looking at you, Guiness). Great tasting, reasonably priced, and look at that bottle. Class all the way. Do yourself a favor, eschew your homeboys with the Miller/Coors/Bud Light trifecta and stand out with a few Michelobs.
Gameday Jersey of the Week
I have a feeling if I was an SEC fan, I’d Roll Tide all day. Love this jersey, got it on the cheap, and since the Montana did me no good last week, it’s time to switch gears. Apologies, Bama fans if I cost your team against North Texas this week.
Gameday Pep Talk of the Week:
How you men feeling? Rested? Good. Last week was a fun little appetizer, pretty tasty, except for us Irish fans. Sure, there were some good times last week, but now the dogs are hungry to eat. SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big East, Pac-10, stand down. This is the Big 12′s week. Sure, Eric Berry vs. Tim Tebow will be fun, and I myself picked the Huskies over the Trojans, but this week belongs to the boys in the middle of our great country. Texas and Texas Tech will try to top their classic from last year, Nebraska tries to prove its resurgence against the top-dog in the ACC, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma faces a terrific Tulsa offense, and Bill Snyder’s Kansas State team heads to the Rose Bowl to try and stop UCLA’s momentum. Big 12 fans, soak it in. This might be your only weekend you have before the media goes into “SEC-OR-DIE” mode. Soak it in, and don’t let us down.