Have you ever heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem?
You probably have, even if you don’t know it by that name. Here’s the idea: if you give an infinite number of monkeys typewriters, then eventually just by happenstance, on a long enough timeline, simply by random chance, one of them will write the complete works of Shakespeare.
That’s our world. So many variables that with enough time everything happens. Nothing that is possible is impossible.
This year in college football, we’ve got chaos across the sport. Surprises galore. Some teams are unexpectedly up (hi, Kansas!) and some are falling off a cliff (sup, Aggies). Now, as we round into the main meat of the year’s schedule, we’ll be able to see more clearly whether these hot (or cold) starts are trends or mere bumps in the road.
And it all starts this week. Dive in with me, won’t you?
I struggled here, but I had to come to grips with an important truth. The headliner’s probably the only entertaining matchup in this window. It’s probably the perfect Saturday to get things done outside while it’s chilly, not cold. Maybe tackle that home improvement project you’ve been eyeing – weatherproofing the house, cleaning out the gutters, planting some winter flowers. The freeze will be here before you know it. Or if you’d rather, hot chocolate and sweaters over board games or old photo albums might be the way to go. Get all warm and cozy before an absolute avalanche of games in the evening.
TCU at Kansas
Look, Red River Rivalry/Showdown/Shootout fans, hate all you want. This game deserves to be here. Both of these squads are undefeated, College GameDay is coming to Lawrence, and believe it or not, this is for a share of the Big 12 conference lead. TCU just conquered the heavyweight Sooners, and in the process Max Duggan hurled 3 TDs. The Horned Frogs boast a lethal air attack, and Kansas has really had serious trouble defending the pass. That’s the matchup to watch here. The Jayhawks actually get most of their yards on the ground with Jalon Daniels scrambling or Devin Neal on carries out of the backfield. This one should be fun.
Tennessee at LSU
Again, Horns and Sooners, don’t be hatin’. This is a top 25 matchup, and I’ve gotta give the Vols their due. By total yards and passing yards, Tennessee and Hendon Hooker boast the best offense in America. What they cannot do is defend the pass. But LSU can. The Tigers are rounding into the core of their schedule, and the offense needs to step up. At least they get the Volunteers at home in Death Valley. Can they start building momentum?
Watch The Score
Texas vs Oklahoma (12pm/11am, ABC)
Arkansas at Mississippi State (12pm/11am, SECN)
Purdue at Maryland (12pm/11am, BTN)
Utah at UCLA
Boy, that loss to Florida hasn’t aged terribly well for the Utes. Still, they’ve dominated the rest of their schedule thus far, and they only came up short against the Gators by 3 points. Arguably, this is a bit of a lookahead spot for Utah, with USC next week, but I suspect they’ll be well-prepped for the Bruins, and they have an absolute tank of a defense for UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. UCLA would love to keep their winning streak alive at home against a difficult opponent like this, headed into a bye week.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State
You wanna get nuts? LET’S GET NUTS! The Red Raiders marry a fun, up-tempo, pass-first-ask-questions-later offense with absolutely no defense at all, which is why they’ve lost two games. Meanwhile, the Cowboys just conquered Baylor in a hard-fought matchup, and let’s hope they don’t have any hangover from that one. Spencer Sanders runs the Oklahoma State offense at lightning pace. They’ve got weakness in the secondary though, and perhaps Tech can capitalize on that.
Watch The Score
Ohio State at Michigan State (4pm/3pm, ABC)
Florida State at NC State
Leading off a loaded nighttime is this tilt, strangely relegated to the ACC Network. It is, by a hair, the best thing going on in the evening. The Noles are coming off a 10-point defeat against Wake Forest, and hope to get back on track before facing Clemson next week. Jordan Travis does well leading a balanced offense that can attack you from the ground or through the air. But the Wolfpack probably has the best defense in the conference. Especially notable: on average, NC State holds teams to less than 100 yards rushing. They can, conceivably, get FSU off the field quickly and give Devin Leary plenty of time to execute.
Texas A&M at Alabama
This one looked a lot better in the preseason, but it’s still worth a serious gander. It could be that the Aggies have been prepping for this one all year long, and that’s why they underachieved so much early this season. It could be that Jimbo’s got the secret sauce to give the Tide the same run for their money Texas did. Somehow I doubt it, no matter how much Devon Achane takes the whole offense on his back. The Aggies do stifle the pass attack well, so even if Bryce Young is back, Alabama’s attack will probably rest on the prowess of Jahmyr Gibbs slicing through holes opened by the beefy Tide line. Saban will want to make an example of the Ags if he can.
Watch The Score
Washington State at USC (7:30pm/6:30pm, FOX)
BYU vs Notre Dame (7:30pm/6:30pm, NBC)
Kansas State at Iowa State (7:30pm/6:30pm, ESPNU)
Iowa at Illinois (7:30pm/6:30pm, BTN)
Oregon at Arizona (9pm/8pm, PAC12N)