Week 4 in college football is upon us, and to be honest, there’s not a whole lot that excites me across the land. What that means is that it’s going to be a wacky weekend complete with upsets and fantastic finishes in every conference in the nation. Hopefully that means that the CBS game this Saturday afternoon is a little more touch-and-go than the visiting team might like. That’s just one contest we’ll be looking at, how about the others?
Arkansas vs Texas A&M - 11:00 am CST - Arlington, TX - ESPN
Right off the bat we get a skirmish in the SEC West that should teach us a lot about two different teams that Auburn will play later on this season. Texas A&M plays Arkansas in a neutral site game that might decide which side is less pitiful than the other.
Texas A&M nearly eliminated all of you in our weekly Survivor Pool, trailing Louisiana-Lafayette at halftime at home last weekend, before running away late. The Aggies don’t look particularly good, and it seems like the hangover from blowing that game against UCLA is akin to a night after closing down Skybar. A&M can’t run the ball (ULL was giving up 400 yards rushing per game, the Aggies had trouble finding room to move), and their defense certainly isn’t great either.
Arkansas, meanwhile, has had a week off after getting drilled at home by TCU in a 28-7 loss. Maybe the extra week has helped them find some more offense, after they gained just 267 yards in the loss to the Frogs. There’s not a lot of film on the Pigs this year so far, and we’ll learn a ton about both sides in this one.
SECOND BEER + 9 CONSECUTIVE CHIPS DIPPED INTO QUESO + FIRST BOURBON AND COKE
#6 Oklahoma State vs #16 TCU - 2:30 pm CST - Stillwater, OK - ESPN
There are two Big 12 teams ranked inside the top six right now, and they both hail from the Sooner State. Yeah, Oklahoma beat Ohio State, but they may not be quite as well-oiled a machine as their hated rivals. The mulleted Mike Gundy has a quarterback that’s going to throw for a bunch of yards and a bunch of touchdowns, and they’re basically just going to see if you can keep up. It’s the first statement game weekend for the Cowboys as TCU comes calling, and the Frogs look alright as well.
TCU’s got wins over Arkansas and rival SMU, but let’s be real. OSU is favored by two touchdowns, and that might not be enough. At home in front of that wild orange crowd, this will get ugly pretty soon, and Mason Rudolph is going to to do pretty much what he did to Pitt last week. It won’t be as quick and painless an execution, but it’s still going to be bad. Oklahoma State might be the best offense in the country, and they’ll prove it here.
FIRST GLASS OF WATER MEANT TO SOBER YOU UP
Vanderbilt vs #1 Alabama - 2:30 pm CST - Nashville, TN - CBS
Don’t do it, Brad. Please stay impartial for the love of God.
It’s Brad Nessler’s first glimpse of the Tide as the new voice of college football on CBS. We’ll be real. Verne was a national treasure, but for the past decade, he’s been an Alabama fan. Gary too. Now, there’s a chance for us to watch the big national game and listen to a guy who’s going to stay professional while talking about Nick Saban’s team.
Vanderbilt is 0-51 against top five teams, with sixteen of those losses coming to Alabama in their history. The Tide are 18.5 point favorites this weekend, so Vanderbilt’s not going to win. They probably won’t even cover, but it’ll still be fun to watch them keep it close with a really good defensive performance. Alabama won’t win 45-0, more like 27-3, but Vanderbilt may actually expose a chink or two in the Tide’s armor. Florida State showed that Alabama can be slowed down, and Vanderbilt will do more of the same this weekend in a gutsy effort. They won’t move the ball at all, though.
EARLY EVENING MIXED DRINK TO GET THE BUZZ BACK
#11 Georgia vs #17 Mississippi State - 6 pm CST - Athens, GA - ESPN
I’m not sold on Georgia as a borderline top ten team. I might be sold on Mississippi State in that regard. The Maroon Bulldogs housed LSU and made everyone on the Bayou think twice about their folksy head coach, while Georgia’s beaten Notre Dame and skated by a couple of patsies.
Mississippi State’s quarterback, Nick Fitzgerald (who Ryan Sterritt called the best quarterback in the league), might be having a Dak Prescott type of season early on. That’s at least how it started with MSU making a run to #1 in 2014 — a giant spanking against LSU.
I still haven’t seen much from Georgia to suggest that they’re for real, but I’m inclined to think that MSU has a bit of a letdown this weekend. I hope that’s not the case and they beat the pants off of Georgia and come into Jordan-Hare next weekend all high and mighty as we work to get into a rhythm this weekend in CoMo. This should be a good game, and I’ll be pulling for the Bulldogs in Maroon.
WARM MILK BEFORE BED
Iowa vs #4 Penn State - 6:30 pm CST - Iowa City, IA - ABC
Do you want to watch the Hawkeyes punt from inside their own 35 multiple times? Do you want to watch Saquon Barkley put himself atop the Heisman standings early on? Do you want to have Big Ten football put you to damn sleep? If for whatever reason you’re not watching the Auburn game, this will be the ZzzQuil you need to be in bed with plenty of time to get up for church the next morning.
Penn State is literally running an offense led by some dude who used to be a sportswriter, so it gives me hope that one of our own may end up being on the next coaching staff at Auburn.
There’s no reason to tune into this game short of a lightning delay in CoMo, so you probably won’t see it. But Penn State is really good, and James Franklin is having himself quite a season already becoming a villain (the good fun type of villain) in throwing shots and running up the score and sideline celebrating and all that stuff.
It’s not a great weekend in college football, but one of the above will turn out to be a bananas type of game. It always happens that way.