Sometimes you just want fast food.
There are days where I’m tired and hungry around 6:00 in the evening. I’m headed home from work, and it’s been a rough one. Life beat me down. I don’t feel like doing anything, least of all cooking (OK, attempting to cook).
So I grab a burger or some chicken from a drive thru. It’s usually fine, even good, or satisfying. Not excellent, but enough to do the job and taste yummy.
That’s this week in the sport we all love. Some of it’s delicious, and might even look promising. But I won’t lie to you. It’s not the most exciting week.
But it is football, and we only get so much of it. I’ve sifted through the schedule to show you what’s best throughout the day. Let’s dive in!
This is a tough one, but there’s only one really good game at night and a lot of slop. You only get so many Windows in the evening during the college football season, so I’d take full advantage. That restaurant you love where the food takes longer but tastes amazing? Forget the usual fast, easy gameday fare. Go. Bring your significant other, your kids, your friends, a random stranger. Or play a board game, see a movie, listen to the new Taylor Swift album (hot take: it’s fine, but nowhere near as good as Folklore). Take some time away from glancing at the gridiron if you need to.
Ohio State at Penn State
This is probably the highest-profile matchup, and it’s first up today. The Buckeyes just got finished murdering Iowa (#FireFerentz). No defense can hold them down for long, and they can beat you on the ground or through the air, led by dual-threat monster quarterback C.J. Stroud. They also boast a top-tier defensive unit. What hope does Penn State have? Well, it could lie in a solid ground game led by running back Nicholas Singleton. It’s up to the Lions to keep this one close, and they’ll have to play the game of their lives.
Notre Dame at Syracuse
These teams are well-matched. Both have middling offenses that rely on the rush to get things done, while keeping opposing teams off the field with strong defenses (though the Orange’s is a touch better). But the Irish are a complete enigma. Beating a pretty great North Carolina squad, then losing to lowly Stanford three weeks later? It’s pretty clear Notre Dame has some teething problems, and that quarterback Drew Pyne isn’t a terribly reliable passer. And the JMA Wireless Dome plays host to this one, so the Irish better play with courage and caution.
Watch The Score
Oklahoma at Iowa State (12p/11a, FS1)
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Oklahoma State @ Kansas State
Call it the battle for second place in the Big 12. The Cowboys bring their high-powered, speedy offense to Manhattan. The Wildcats come home after a hard loss to TCU, and there’s letdown potential here. But quarterback Adrian Martinez (or possibly Will Howard) could juice up the Wildcat passing attack — OSU gives up about 304 yards per game on average. Expect lots of points. Vegas has this as a pick ’em as of this writing, which usually means great football.
Cincinnati at UCF
To me, this is potentially a better game than the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Sorry, SEC fans. I don’t think I’ve talked enough about the Bearcats this year. Commanded by quarterback Ben Bryant, they offer up a formidable and balanced offense supported by an exceptional defense. They tend to hold rushers to 120 yards, which is 29th in the nation. The Knights have a strong running attack though, and it seems like they trade off leading rushers from week to week, which belies a scary tailback unit. They rack up yards, and they have home field advantage. As such, we have another pick ’em from Vegas. This one might get testy.
Watch The Score
Florida at Georgia (3:30p/2:30p, CBS)
Kentucky at Tennessee
This is a classic case of a unit-to-unit matchup likely determining the outcome. Kentucky has an offense best described as “mid.” Quarterback Will Levis makes sure passing numbers aren’t horrendous, but the running game has been lacking. The Wildcats had a bye to prepare for the Vols, though, and the defense has been stout all year, benefitting from an offense that holds the ball for a long time. Tennessee moves fast, and if quarterback Hendon Hooker does to the Wildcat D what he did to Alabama two weeks ago (or heck, Tennessee-Martin last week), then the Vols should weather this storm.
Ole Miss at Texas A&M
I picked this out of the absolute morass of middling fare this evening for a few reasons. First off, Ole Miss stumbled last week. That leads to two possibilities. One, the Rebs dust themselves off exiting Death Valley, quarterback Jaxson Dart does some great work prepping in practice, the devastating running attack takes advantage of a weak Aggie front seven, and the Rebels pull away by the third quarter. Or, second and significantly more interesting, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher fires up the Aggies because he recognizes Ole Miss could be snakebitten, running back Devon Achane has a monster game against a vulnerable Rebel front seven, and this one gets close and testy. I know which kind of game I’m hoping for.
Watch The Score
Pitt at North Carolina (8p/7p, ACCN)
Baylor at Texas Tech (7:30p/6:30p, ESPN2)
Michigan State at Michigan (7:30p/6:30p, ABC)
Coastal Carolina at Marshall (7p/6p, NFLN)