The college football season is nearing an end, but Luke Irwin is in mid-season form giving us his look at the weekend.
Tuesday October 27
East Carolina @ Memphis: ESPN2
Thursday October 28
North Carolina @ Virginia Tech: ESPN
Friday October 30
West Virginia @ South Florida: ESPN2
Saturday October 31
Purdue @ Wisconsin: ESPN2
Indiana @ Iowa: ESPN
Cincinnati @ Syracuse: ESPNU
New Mexico State @ Ohio State: BigTen
Nebraska @ Baylor: Versus
Missouri @ Colorado: FSN
Florida vs. Georgia (at Jacksonville): CBS
California @ Arizona State: ABC
Michigan @ Illinois: ABC/ESPN2
Kansas @ Texas Tech: ABC
Miami @ Wake Forest: ABC
Central Michigan @ Boston College: ESPNU
Temple @ Navy: CBSCollege
UNLV @ TCU: Versus
Penn State @ Northwestern: ESPN
Kansas State @ Oklahoma: FSN
Eastern Michigan @ Arkansas: ESPNU
Mississippi State @ Kentucky: FSN
Notre Dame vs. Washington State (at San Antonio): NBC
New Mexico @ San Diego State: CBSCollege
South Carolina @ Tennessee: ESPN
USC @ Oregon: ABC/ESPN2
Texas @ Oklahoma State: ABC/ESPN2
Michigan State @ Minnesota: BigTen
Sunday November 1
Marshall @ UCF: ESPN
(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
USC vs. Oregon: It’s a rare week that the Pac-10 gets the spotlight, but indeed they do. In a nutshell, winner of this game gets the Pac-10, the Rose Bowl, and a shot at the Title Game. Loser gets the Holiday Bowl. It almost seems weird to picture a BCS without USC in it, but two losses against Pac-10 teams will do that to them and leave the door wide open for a TCU, Boise, Virginia Tech/GA Tech, or Notre Dame (sorry, had to), to grab a BCS spot. Oregon is a team on an absolute rampage since the Boise State loss and the LaGarrette Blount situation. You probably couldn’t have had a worst first game as a head coach than Chip Kelly did that week, but he’s rallied the Ducks since then and has to be a candidate for Coach of the Year if he pull out the win here.
Upset of the Week
Kansas State over Oklahoma. Don’t look now, but Kansas State is leading the Big 12 North. Eee gads. But their pasting of Texas A&M does look a lot better following the upset the Aggies pulled on Texas Tech. Yes, Oklahoma looked very good against Kansas, but this is a team that played in the damned national title game last year, that has resigned itself to its fate and has pretty much mailed it in. Sometimes in football games, it comes down to who needs this win the most. Oklahoma knows where it stands. The Cotton Bowl awaits and life without Sam Bradford begins. Kansas State has a real chance to be in the Big 12 Title game, and a win over the Sooners propels them head-and-shoulders above anyone else in the Big 12 North.
Don’t Touch That Dial:
Temple vs. Navy. Temple is 5-2. Read that again. 5-2. What Al Golden has done with the Temple program is absolutely remarkable. I’ve always pulled for Temple, as I’ve always felt they had the resources neccessary to succeed, but never the right coach to pull it all together. They’re in a major city, play in an NFL stadium, access to PA players and the New Jersey pipeline, are a fantastic academic school, and have been known to have rabid fans if the culture (i.e. basketball) is there. Plus, they’re just a fun team to watch. Temple-Buffalo was one of the best games of the year last year. Just a hell of a fun game to watch. Al Golden loves it at Temple, and he should absolutely be in the same breath as a Greg Schiano or a Turner Gill for what he’s done to Temple. Navy, even without Paul Johnson, is still a dangerous team that’s fun to watch. Really, who can’t watch the Triple Option all day if you’re an old-school fan? Beat Navy, and you’re bowl eligible and you have the floor, Owls. What a year it will be if Temple is in a bowl and Florida State is not. Wow.
Gambling Locks o’ the Week (Except for my upset pick, natch)
Last Week: 1-2
Cincinnati -16 over Syracuse
Colorado +3 over Missouri
Washington State +31 over Notre Dame
Gameday Food of the Week
My stepmom makes the best stromboli known to man. Calzones WISH they were Stromboli. For those of you not blessed to be in an Italian family, picture the best pizza logs you ever had, and make them longer, flatter, filled with more flavor, and heartier. Ahhh, stromboli, you keep me Italian in spite of the gross commercialization of my heritage. Oh, and any true Italian that says they love the Olive Garden should be shot on spot. Being Italian and saying how much you like the Olive Garden is akin to being Irish and talking about how wonderfully Lucky Charms represent your heritage. For God’s sakes. I promise you, wherever you live, there are a half-dozen or more true Italian joints that serve true Italian food that are 1000x better than you’ll find at that place, with better drinks, better wine, and a better atmosphere. Go to the local Italian places, please. For me. My feelings on the Olive Garden can be pretty accurately summed up by this skit from MadTv:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKZS4Jn6gRM
“There’s nothing we love more then going out for a real Italian meal…but when I get a coupon, we go to the Olive Garden.”
Gameday Drink of the Week
Credit to my dad and our friend Maggie for introducing me to this. Now normally I don’t drink rum. Too sweet for me. I used to be all about rum and flavored vodka, but our tastes change as we get older, and the sweet stuff just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. But, however, Captain Morgan (or Admiral Nelson if you’re on a budget), Goldschlager, and apple cider just screams fall. Fall drinks are the best. Warms you up, gets you into the season, and gets you absolutely crushed. Fall in PA, folks. Catch it while you can!
Gameday Jersey of the Week:
The Meast. R.I.P. Best college player I’ve ever seen. How many safeties do you know can win multiple games for their teams? Sean Taylor almost single-handedly inserted daggers into Florida State so many times, I swear he aged Bobby Bowden in dog years. Fantastic player that was just starting to find his stride and realize his potential in the pros. Godspeed, Sean.
Gameday Pep Talk of the Week:
Fuck the SEC. You heard me. Fuck Tebow, fuck Saban, fuck the fans, fuck them all. I love college football more than anyone else I know, but it’s time for the SEC to sit the hell down, and the time is now. Florida and Alabama have been struggling, LSU isn’t an issue, Georgia is the worst they’ve been in over a decade, there’s no cinderella Kentucky or Vandy team this year. Now is the time to strike. Same goes for the Big 12. Yes, they had a fantastic year last year, with 4-6 legitimate BCS contenders, but the entire conference has been mediocre this year. I’m looking at you Big East. I’m looking at you, Big Ten. I’m looking at you, Mountain West. God, I’m even looking at you Pac-10. It’s time to knock the SEC off their ivory tower this year. Cincinnati, Iowa, USC, Oregon, TCU, Boise State, you don’t have to play second-fiddle to them anymore. Take. Them. Down. Florida and Alabama are just dying to lose a game soon. It’s going to happen. You all need to be on high alert. I cannot stand to see another SEC vs. Best Available championship. Make them pay for their mediocrity this year and make the media eat their damned hats for bowing at the altar of the Southeastern Conference. The time is now. Do it.