According to astronomers, the planets don’t align all that often. The last time every single planet in the solar system was within 30 degrees of each other – which is really close from an Earthbound perspective – was 561 BC. The next time? 2854 AD.
What about the stars, though? Surely they’ve got to cross paths in our field of vision more often, right? Well no, not really. The stars are so far away from us that they usually stay fixed in place from our perspective. And hilariously, we actually have no idea how many stars we can see.
Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. Even with modern supercomputing, gigantic telescopes, and ages of mathematical tradition at their back, astronomers cannot agree on how many stars are visible to the naked eye. That’s an absolute marvel.
Why am I talking about astronomy in a college football article? Because much like planetary alignment, a weekend like this doesn’t come around often. And like those astronomers arguing over the stars, the uncertainty of the whole enterprise makes it that much more astounding.
We still don’t know a lot about this year’s crop of college football teams. Oh sure, the usual suspects are hanging around the top 10. But outside of that, it’s still a mad scramble. With so much college football to watch – especially on this incredible, packed weekend – how can you fit it in?
Well, as the youths say, imma take a stab at it. (Do they still say that? I don’t know.)
I’ve sorted through this packed weekend slate below and let you know what I think will provide the most engaging football watching experience for you – what you should pop on your Big Screen, your slightly smaller Second Screen, and your trusty scoreboard app of choice.
If you’re new here, welcome! There are three Items Of Business before we get down to business. First, if you follow me on Twitter here, I’ll give you updates on the games as they go, making sure you’re always in the loop. And stick around for #OverreactionSunday, where you can tell me your hottest takes from the weekend. Next week on Tuesday (and I’m REALLY pumped about this), I’ll reveal the most simple ranking system out there that’ll help keep track of where teams stand in the grand pecking order of college football. It’s called the College Football Tier Rankings. It’ll be yuge, believe me.
Second, if your team is playing then OBVIOUSLY they go on the Big Screen and I am very sorry that I did not recognize their inherent awesomeness and put them there. And last, all times below are in God’s Time Zone (CST). Let’s kick things off early on…
I told you this weekend was awe-inspiring. Hunker down with two fantastic games this evening. You’ve got two solid choices: Utah vs. USC (8p, FS1) and Air Force vs. Boise State (8p, ESPN2). The first one’s intriguing, as Utah’s always dangerous offensive attack comes to town against newly minted Trojan QB Kedon Slovis and the red and gold denizens of Los Angeles. Slovis showed some serious cracks in his game last week (not surprising, he’s a freshman), so this one could produce some drama. Then there’s Air Force (#SupportTheTroops) rolling into Boise to play on the blue turf of what I think is still called Albertson’s Stadium for some reason. Triple option meets high flying Bronco football? Sign me up! I have no idea what should go on your Big Screen here, so I suggest you flip a coin and settle in.
Big Screen: A Big Ten clash between Michigan vs. Wisconsin (11a, FOX) should do a lot to clarify whether Michigan’s scare against Army was a fluke, or whether Jim Harbaugh needs to be sweating a little more. Wisconsin is no joke. They haven’t allowed a single point all year. I’m serious.
Second Screen: Tennessee vs. Florida (11a, ESPN) might get stabby. After two early losses (one to Georgia State, ew), the Vols are struggling to stay afloat in the cutthroat SEC, while Florida barely survived a scare at Kentucky, losing their starting QB in the process. Things don’t get easier for Tennessee next week as they host Georgia, so they’ll be desperate.
Watch the Score: Cal vs. Ole Miss (11a, ESPNU)
Big Screen: Although both teams have shown gaps in their game early, Auburn vs. Texas A&M (2:30p, CBS) should still showcase some incredible offensive performance. Kellen Mond leads a stout Aggie offense into town, and I’ll be interested to see if Auburn’s OL can give Bo Nix time to distribute the ball to an underrated group of receivers.
Second Screen: Washington vs. BYU (2:30p, ABC/ESPN2) should be excellent. Buoyed by several early wins (two in OT!), the Cougars are starting to believe QB Zach Wilson, the Mormon Manziel, can lead them to somewhat unexpected glory this year. But Washington’s the early favorite of many to win the Pac 12, so both squads will be hungry to show what they can do.
Watch the Score: Kentucky vs. Mississippi State (3p, SECN), Appalachian State vs. North Carolina (2:30p, CBSSN), Louisville vs. Florida State (2:30p, ESPN)
Big Screen: Sorry Irish and Dawgs fans, but Oklahoma State vs. Texas (6:30p, ABC) juuuuuuuuuuust edges you out. It’s my fault, really. I’m a sucker for entertainment. The Cowboys have looked impressive in the early going, but they have an early test against a Longhorn team with Playoff aspirations. Expect points, and lots of them.
Second Screen: Notre Dame vs. Georgia (7p, CBS) will also be fantastic to watch. I’m not sure how much I need to say about this game, really. It sells itself: two of last year’s Playoff teams clashing, both hoping to return. They both have solid offenses and crushing defenses. This could be a classic in the making.
Watch the Score: Oregon vs. Stanford (6p, ESPN)
Big Screen: The week winds down with Colorado vs. Arizona State (9p, PAC12N), as Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils try to wash the disgusting taste of their punchy win against Michigan State last week out of their mouth. A secretly decent #Pac12AfterDark game to end your day.
And that’s it! Again, be sure to follow me on Twitter @WatchingCFB, and happy watching!