It’s Week Five in the college football season, and we’ve got another big slate of games this weekend to look forward to! Aside from our game (at 5 pm CST), what should you be keeping track of tonight and tomorrow?
FIRST TWO WHISKEY COKES AT SKYBAR
#5 USC @ #16 Washington State - 9:30 pm CST - Pullman, WA
Alright, this here’s a sneaky good game. USC hasn’t been quite the unstoppable monster that everyone’s made them out to be coming into the season (I’m shocked), and Washington State’s gotten over the hump by beating an FCS team to start the year instead of losing to one.
Yeah, Sam Darnold’s really good, and USC has a ton of talent, but they’re just not putting it all together yet. They struggled against Western Michigan, Texas, and Cal, while the Cougs’ only close game came against Boise State. Luke Falk’s going to throw for a bunch of yards, and the foggy Palouse might be too much for the Trojans. I’m picking Wazzu in the upset at home for our first real upheaval of the season.
#14 Miami @ Duke - 6:00 pm CST - Durham, NC
Remember what happened the last time these two met in Durham?
Sure, there were about a billion penalties on the play, but still. The Hurricanes escaped with the win at Duke. Now, both teams are arguably better than they were that night. Duke’s 4-0 and just coming off of a big win at rival North Carolina, while Miami’s led by Mark Richt. No, the Hurricanes haven’t really been tested yet, playing only two games due to cancellations/postponements from the weather down in Florida, but they’ve looked the part. At this point they may be rested and ready to jump into conference play, but right now, I think this game will be a pretty entertaining appetizer to the late night battle out west. Think Tuesday night Tim Tyler before the Pygmies later in the week.
OH GOD, SOMEONE BOUGHT ME A VEGAS BOMB
#7 Georgia @ Tennessee - 2:30 pm CST - Knoxville, TN
Tennessee’s won two straight in fairly dramatic fashion over the Bulldogs of Georgia. In 2015, Nick Chubb was hurt on the first play of the game, and the Vols upset Georgia at home. Then last year, Josh Dobbs hit the Hail Mary in Athens as time expires (Tennessee’s already paid their Lannister debt on that one).
The only hope for the Vols tomorrow afternoon is if Georgia comes in supremely confident and has a complete letdown game after railing Mississippi State last weekend. I don’t know if I see that happening, so I believe Georgia has a fairly easy time with it. Many Tennessee fans are looking for an excuse to get rid of Butch Jones, and a throttling at the hands of Kirby Smart would likely give them the ammo they need.
Still, that Neyland turf is something else. You never know what might happen.
FIRST LONG ISLAND ICED TEA — UH OH, IT’S COMING UP ON ME
Troy @ #25 LSU - 6:00 pm - Baton Rouge, LA
It’s happened before. A lower-level team from Alabama has gone to LSU and won. That was UAB against Nick Saban, no less. The current Bayou Bengals are not quite the challenge that they were when the God-King was coaching, and so the risk of something kooky happening is even greater.
No, I wouldn’t bet on Troy springing the upset, but if they sling it around and make it a little more nerve-wracking than LSU wants, the bourbon-soaked natives will get a little restless. We’d like them as worried as possible for when we head down there, trying to get our first victory in Death Valley this millennium.
THAT FOUR HORSEMEN SHOT YOUR IDIOT FRIEND BOUGHT AND MADE YOU TAKE
#2 Clemson @ #12 Virginia Tech - 7:00 pm - Blacksburg, VA
Here’s where we actually get ourselves a measuring stick against which we can gauge our team. The Hokies look to be a pretty solid team, but obviously Clemson is good. Very good. With a home atmosphere at Lane Stadium, complete with Enter Sandman, Virginia Tech might just be good enough to pull this off. Again, I’m not completely sold on Clemson’s offense when they play a good team. If they pass this test, there’s not a whole lot standing in their way of an undefeated season. Virginia Tech took them to the brink in the ACC Championship last year, so here’s the chance for Justin Fuente to get his first real big win in Blacksburg. Think they can do it?
SATISFYING SLICE OF LITTLE ITALY SICILIAN-STYLE PIZZA BEFORE GOING HOME
Ole Miss @ #1 Alabama - 8:00 pm CST - Tuscaloosa, AL
Okay, they’re really good. Don’t poke the bear like Vanderbilt did and make it worse. I have a feeling that Ole Miss has danced across the bear’s face over the past three seasons, and that finally it’s got its mouth around the Rebels’ legs.
Ole Miss won in 2014 and 2015, and came pretty close last year, leading for much of the game, but this year’s team is a shell of what we’ve seen out of Oxford in the past. Still, Shea Patterson’s averaged over 400 yards per game in the first three contests for Ole Miss. Alabama’s pass defense hasn’t faced anyone that can make them pay, and the Rebs might have the guys to do that, if they weren’t as downtrodden as possible. Ole Miss has had fairly close games against South Alabama and UT-Martin, and fell to Cal two weeks ago. Maybe the bye week has done them some good, and maybe Bama’s coming in on too high a horse.
Like that crispy thick slice of pizza you’ll inevitably find before stumbling home to pass out, this will sober you up. Alabama won’t face a real test until November, and we’ll likely have to be the ones to take them down. We’ll be up to the task. Tide big and angry tomorrow.