I love the word “gumption.” First of all, it’s fun to say. Gumption gumption gumption.
Where was I? Oh yeah, gumption. It’s a near-indefinable word that combines discernment, initiative, determination, drive, and common sense into a descriptive gumbo. You might say it’s the old-fashioned American work ethic distilled into two syllables.
Gumption is both something that can be observed, and something that must be drawn up from within. There is no magical gumption-granting fairy godmother. It requires conscious and bold choices.
This week, a good number of college football programs are faced with a decision. Do they play sound football, deliver on their potential, and will their way to victory – grasp their gumption, as it were? Or do they wilt, stumble, shrink from their destiny?
And what about you? Yes, you, reader! There’s so much college football on, and as a good fan you want to watch all the highlights and lowlights. You might possess that elusive game-watching gumption, but how do you exercise it when the choices are seemingly endless?
Well, let me lay the ground work. Below I’ve broken down Saturday’s games by time and channel, letting you know what should be playing on your Big Screen, your trusty Second Screen, and your scoreboard widget of choice.
You can follow me on Twitter for even more college football updates, including Sunday’s Playoff Eliminator and Tuesday’s Tier Rankings. As always, if your team’s playing they go on the Big Screen, and all times are in God’s Time Zone (CST).
Big Screen: Penn State vs. Ohio State (11a, FOX) was penciled in as the new Game Of The Season in the Big Ten when Michigan began to struggle. And don’t get me wrong, they’re no pushover for Ohio State next week, but this Saturday the seemingly unstoppable Buckeyes meet the Nittany Lions, who will be motivated and hungry. Let’s hope Ryan Day can keep his team from looking ahead to Harbaugh’s Wolverines.
Second Screen: Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia (11a, ESPN2) rounds out a blah undercard this morning. Coming off of a stunning victory over Kansas State, the Mountaineers try to keep rolling against the stumbling but dangerous Cowboys. Expect points.
Big Screen: Texas vs. Baylor (2:30p, FS1) is fascinating. The Bears lost close last week. So did Texas. But the Horns have struggled all year, with a weakened defense and fitful offense. Baylor looked offensively improved for about half of last week’s matchup against OU, and they’ve had a rock-solid defense all year. And Matt Rhule, hilariously, has about the same win-loss record at Baylor as Tom Herman does at Texas. Like I said: fascinating.
Second Screen: Michigan vs. Indiana (2:30p, ESPN) is your classic trap game for the Fighting Harbaughs. Indiana believes in themselves. Last week they received an AP Poll ranking, before they ran into the brick wall that is Penn State. They’re playing this game at home. And Michigan, as I mentioned before, has Ohio State next week. So this game should get your Second Screen slot unless it turns out that the Wolverines are very ready for the Hoosiers…in which case, check out the games below.
Watch the Score: Texas A&M vs. Georgia (2:30p, CBS) SMU vs. Navy (2:30p, CBSSN), Pitt vs. Virginia Tech (2:30p, ESPN2), UCLA vs. USC (2:30p, ABC)
Big Screen: In a valiant attempt to give the Pac-12 some measure of relevance, I’m putting Oregon vs. Arizona State (6:30p, ABC) on my TV this evening. Really, until Utah meets Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship, there’s not much to discuss here. The conference is boring and largely mediocre. But of course, the Sun Devils boast wily Herm Edwards about halfway through a rebuild. So if Oregon starts coasting on their laurels, look out.
Second Screen: Tennessee vs. Mizzou (6:30p, SECN) is a decidedly meh SEC tilt, but the line’s close and these two teams are pretty evenly matched. And they’re both playing for bowl eligibility. That would be an achievement for Tennessee, who started the year in a funk, and a possible job-saver for Barry Odom at Missouri.
Watch the Score: Oregon State vs. Washington State (8p, PAC12N), Temple vs. Cincinnati (6p, ESPN2), Kansas State vs. Texas Tech (6p, FS1)
Big Screen: San Diego State vs. Hawaii (10p, Facebook) can best be described as wacky. Two pretty good Group of 5 teams battling it out on a social media network’s video hosting platform? Sign me the heck up! Or don’t, because sleep is also good for me! In all seriousness, this should be some nice background noise to end your day.
There we go! Once again, feel free to follow me @WatchingCFB, and happy watching!