For me, the paradox of choice is a prison. A disease. An interminable burden.
For example, imagine you’re in a Baskin-Robbins with all 31 flavors to pick from. They’re all great! But the struggle is real to find the best. Meanwhile, your mom’s telling you to hurry up and choose because her Pilates class is in ten minutes and she can’t miss it. (That’s how it worked back in the 90s, anyway.)
You feel it, right? That worried feeling eating at your gut and sticking like a corkscrew in your brain. The anxiety accompanying it paralyzes you, making it near-impossible to do or think about anything else. You just want to pick the best thing, but there are too many choices.
A wise woman told me the solution to this problem once. Don’t chase happiness. Don’t drag others with you in a mad aim at an unachievable perfect bliss. Instead, rest in contentment.
What I’ve done below is put together a schedule that hopefully removes some of that gut-churning choice from your Saturday college football watching experience. And thankfully, we’re late enough into the season that contentment shouldn’t be hard to find. Revel as we round into the last few weekends, and let’s dive in.
No difficult choices here. Barely anything worth discussing is happening before the Afternoon Slate. It’s getting chillier and rainier across this great nation. If you’ve still got good weather, enjoy it or use it wisely. If not, might I recommend a fall pre-holiday cleaning? You might be having company soon, or you might just want to spruce up your place, add some blankets and coziness while decluttering, that kind of thing. Seriously though, warm blankets and hot drinks on a cushy couch is the best. Prep now so you and your significant other (in my case, the lovely Solid Fiancée) can relax the rest of the day.
LSU at Arkansas
Fresh off an overtime victory over Alabama, the Tigers might be experiencing a bit of an emotional letdown riding into Fayetteville. Or they could be riding a confident streak. Who knows! What’s clear on paper is that LSU doesn’t have any sizable weaknesses. They pick up about half of their third downs, which means they’re efficient, and they showed last week they could make plays when it counted. Their defense isn’t spectacular, but compared to the Hogs’ sorry excuse for a secondary, the Tigers positively sparkle. The key here is Raheim Sanders. If he gets loose, Arkansas can stay in this one. If not, well, Jayden Daniels may have an absolute field day.
Missouri at Tennessee
We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel now, folks. Tennessee is still the same team that conquered Alabama, and Mizzou is, well, Mizzou. But it’s the matchup of Hendon Hooker against a really stingy Tiger defensive backfield that has me intrigued. The secondary’s held opposing QBs to less than 200 yards passing on average. That’s formidable, and could prove an unexpected test for the Vols and their Heisman hopeful.
Alabama at Ole Miss
How many Games Of The Century Of The History Of The Year does Bama need to be in this season? Good gravy. Coming off a bye, the hungry Rebels welcome the Tide to the Grove, and Lane Kiffin must be salivating. He has the chance to take down his mentor Nick Saban and stick another knife in the flagging Tide’s back. The point of the spear will be the Rebel rushing attack, ranked 3rd in the nation. Quinshon Judkins has quietly accumulated incredible performances all year. If Ole Miss can keep Bryce Young and the Tide offense out of the endzone, they should be able to compete. To win? Now that could be harder. Alabama has a really stout run defense and though they’re not world-beaters, they’re not slouches. It remains to be seen whether they’ll come to Oxford angry or despairing. That could be the key to this matchup.
Louisville at Clemson
The Cardinals face a smarting Tiger squad with pent-up aggression for days. Louisville excels at rushing on offense, with Tiyon Evans leading off, and Malik Cunningham doing his best in the pass game. Their defense keeps them in games, like when they forced eight (!!) turnovers against Wake Forest two weeks ago. But Clemson is loaded for bear. Last week they had trouble establishing Will Shipley and the run game. And Louisville’s no slouch there. Bottom line, this is a balanced game which usually means a close one.
Watch The Score
UCF at Tulane (3:30p/2:30p, ESPN2)
Maryland at Penn State (3:30p/2:30p, FOX)
Listen to our Week 11 Picks podcast
TCU at Texas
The Horned Frogs are on top of the world. Their offense excels at putting up points, totaling just over 43 per game. Max Duggan seems fully in control of his game, and the combination of pace and production helps TCU dominate other squads. They’ve got the chance for a big win over Texas, who felled formidable Kansas State last week. In that one, Quinn Ewers and Bijan Robinson combined for a devastating offensive attack. But Texas’s biggest flaw all year has been their secondary. It will need to make mighty strides this week in practice to keep the Horns in this one.
North Carolina at Wake Forest
There are a ton of good games this evening that could deservedly slot in here. But this is a top 25 tilt, and it’s a great one. The Tar Heels head to Winston-Salem, where it might be a monsoon game thanks to Hurricane Nicole. That could challenge Drake Maye and the UNC passing attack. What the Tar Heels have lacked is anything resembling a defense. That may be fortuitous if Sam Hartman gets the Demon Deacon passing game going.
Watch The Score
Georgia at Mississippi State (7p/6p, ESPN)
Washington at Oregon (7p/6p, FOX)
Kansas State at Baylor (7p/6p, FS1)
Florida State at Syracuse (8p/7p, ACCN)