When I was young, I loved pizza buffets. Cici’s, Gatti’s, Chuck E. Cheese, you name it. Just give me some quarters for the arcade and permission to go ham on all the pizza pie I could stomach, and you had a happy kid.
Well this weekend, I feel like a kid again.
We’ve got quite an impressive spread to consume, and with a slate of games like this, I bet you’re feeling pretty overwhelmed. After all, there’s only so much football watching a body can do. But what’s worth your time? And what isn’t?
Lemme see if I can help with that. See, I’ve combed through Saturday (and a bit of Friday) to find the cream of the crop, then laid them out in order, based on what looks most entertaining. I’ll let you know below which games should go on your Big Screen, your trusty Second Screen, and your handy score-watching mechanism of choice.
Three rules rule here! First up, not so much a rule as a PSA: I’m on Twitter as @WatchingCFB. There, I not only live-tweet all of Saturday’s action, but I provide you with other interesting articles and my own simplified college football ranking system. And coming up this Sunday, the first edition of the College Football Playoff Eliminator! This is a foolproof system based on real data that tells you who still has a shot at the title, and who’s just playing for a bowl. So follow me there and you won’t miss out!
Where was I? Oh yes, rules! The second rule: if your team’s playing, they go on the Big Screen. And third, all times below are in God’s Time Zone (CST).
Virginia vs. Miami (ESPN, 7p) is a perfectly acceptable ACC game where Miami is favored to win for some reason. The spread in this game makes no sense to anyone who’s watched these two teams play this year, so I can only assume that the Canes and Cavs’ games have all been blacked out in Vegas.
Big Screen: Time for the Red River
Shootout Rivalry Classic Showdown! Oklahoma vs. Texas (11a, FOX) remains one of the nastiest rivalries in sports. In fact, the Sooners are now Texas’s biggest rival, period! (Hush, Aggies. You don’t even play them anymore.) Played in a near-derelict concrete-clad stadium in the middle of what is basically a fried food market with a Ferris wheel nearby, in the looming shadow of a large cowboy statue that talks, this game is always the right amount of wacky.
Second Screen: Memphis vs. Temple (11a, ESPN2) should turn out to be a far better watch than Muschamp banging his head against the brick wall that is the Georgia Bulldogs. Temple’s a dangerous defensively-minded team that may give Memphis fits. The American Conference is full of parity this year too, so the loser may plummet out of high-dollar bowl contention.
Watch the Score: South Carolina vs. Georgia (11a, ESPN)
Big Screen: Alabama vs. Texas A&M (2:30p, CBS) is the class of a jam-packed group of games kicking off after lunchtime. Bama’s spent most of their time this year essentially picking off wounded animals, like a supremely efficient hyena. The Aggies are (purportedly) better than, say, Ole Miss. So one would expect a good game. Or Alabama might grind the Aggies like so much beef chuck.
Second Screen: This choice was difficult, but Washington State vs. Arizona State (2:30p, PAC12N) will probably produce the most points and drama in a close game between two hilarious and legendary head coaches, Mike “Bigfoot Might Really Exist” Leach and Herm “Playoffs?!?” Edwards. Some nice junk food to glance at while you take a break from the likely beating taking place on your Big Screen.
Watch the Score: Florida State vs. Clemson (2:30p, ABC), Michigan State vs. Wisconsin (2:30p, BTN), Texas Tech vs. Baylor (3p, FS1), Cincinnati vs. Houston, (2:30p, ESPN2), Iowa State vs. West Virginia (3p, ESPN)
Big Screen: The undoubted Big Game Of The Day, Florida vs. LSU (7p, ESPN) lights up our hearts and TVs this fine fall evening. Kyle Trask and the Gators showed flaws last week in a trip-all-over-ourselves-and-still-win-because-the-other-guy-tripped-last affair against Auburn. Did they get it together in time this week to beat back Joe Burrow and the Tigers, the media’s current consensus dark horse Playoff team?
Second Screen: Penn State vs. Iowa (6:30, ABC) may end up with a combined grand total of thirty points, but because this is the Big Ten, they will all be very hard-earned and build character or something. Think of it like soccer: when someone actually scores, you get really excited!
Watch the Score: USC vs. Notre Dame (6:30p, NBC)
Big Screen: Washington vs. Arizona (10p, FS1) rounds out our rollicking day of fun with what I think amounts to a battle for second place in the Pac-12. (I have Oregon on top.) Both teams could still make the Playoff, but (as I’ll explain on Sunday), the loser won’t.
Second Screen: What’s that you say? TWO late-night games worth watching?!? That’s right, drink a whole gallon of Kona coffee, because Hawaii vs. Boise State (9:15p, ESPN2) is here to sing you off to sleep with the death metal car crash that usually encompasses their style of play. This game will be wired, and the Rainbow Warriors will probably turn the ball over 5 times and still win.
WOWOWOWOWOW. Can you wait? I CAN’T! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, and happy watching!