If there was ever a year that you’d say a Hokie is a Turkey, it would be 2020. The only thing the Hokies have to be thankful for is that they don’t have to play Clemson until next week.
This week is normally one of the best weeks in college football. There’s nothing like rivalry week to bring out the best in teams. Alas, Covid-19 has claimed this weekend, with several traditional rivalry games not being played.
Typically, Thursday is for the NFL. Unfortunately, we’re getting the brussels sprouts (Houston versus Detroit) and lima bean casserole (Washington versus Dallas) of Thanksgiving games, with the stuffing (Ravens versus Steelers) relegated to Sunday leftovers. Thankfully, the NCAA has responded with University of New Mexico (0-4) versus Utah State University (0-4). Mmmm, creamed onions anyone?
Friday’s slate improves if you were looking for an excuse for not putting up the Christmas lights. ISU at Texas and ND at UNC should prove to be watchable. If you must get out of the house, there’s still tickets available for UMass at Liberty, although they are bit pricey.
Liberty is a dry campus but I hear that Falwell’s tailgate is jumping. Just ask for the signature drink, “The Pool Boy”.
ABC’s big game on noon EST is PSU at Michigan. Hmm, anyone up for Maryland versus Indiana? The Iron Bowl is still a thing this year, but does it count with Saban watching from his den? Well, maybe he can catch up on his Aflac paperwork. If your family Thanksgiving was cancelled, you still have a chance to get Covid-19 . There’s going to be a super spreader event at College Station this weekend as the Texas A&M hosts LSU. Wear those masks Aggie faithful.
Bowl Game UPDATE: I managed a bit of rally as the bowl season closed and will finish slightly above 500. Like I said, if you are putting money on bowl games, you might as well be betting on the greyhounds. Anything can happen, but I did get LSU winning the championship right. Geaux Tigers indeed.
Here’s my annual Bowl Review with me just picking the winners (in bold) straight up. I haven’t even looked at the lines yet. I say that betting on Bowl games is a fool’s errand but I guess the heart wants what the heart wants. Enjoy the seasons, Bowl and Holiday.
Makers Wanted: Bahamas – Buffalo (7-5) vs. Charlotte (7-5) Nassau, Bahamas Fri., Dec. 20 2:00 pm ESPN
What a great bowl game for Buffalo, giving them a chance to leave the snow and cold and play in the Bahamas. If there was ever a bowl game to go to as an Alum, this is the one. I am going with the 49ers due to a higher level of concentration.LOSS. This one wasn’t even close. Buffalo rocks Charlotte 31- 0
Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco: Utah State(7-5) vs. Kent State(6-6) Frisco, TX Fri., Dec. 20 7:30 pm ESPN2
It is long way for Kent State to come and a relative easy trip for the Utah State faithful. At least they get to go to the west coast. Oh wait, this is Frisco, Texas, not San Frisco – sorry Mom and Dad. The travel, combined with a down year for the MAC, and I like Utah State. LOSS. The Golden Flashes shine with a 10 point win, 51 – 41.
Air Force Reserve Celebration: Alcorn State(9-3) vs. North Carolina A&T (8-3) Atlanta, GA Sat., Dec. 20 Noon ABC
No idea on this. Alcorn State I guess. LOSS. Almost feels like I should not count this one, but I will. N.C. A&T 64 – 44.
New Mexico: Central Michigan(8-5) vs. San Diego State(9-3) Albuquerque, NM Sat., Dec. 20 2:00 pm ESPN:
I was not impressed with Central Michigan in the MAC Championship. I like San Diego State. WIN. San Diego State rolls 48-11.
Didn’t Rutgers beat Liberty in the regular season? How did they make a bowl? I love that Hugh Freeze, fresh off an escort scandal at Ole Miss, became the head coach of the evangelical Liberty. I wonder how many times he had to be baptized to get that stink off? Georgia Southern wins this one.LOSS. Liberty wins 23 – 6. I think this one is more telling about Rutgers than Liberty. The psychological part of the game should not be underestimated and I have to believe the guys at Rutgers said to themselves, “I am a Power Five athlete and we may be bad, but we don’t lose to Group of Five teams.”
FAU wins ten games and they have to stay home and host SMU. And, they are losing their coach. I think the Ponies will run away with this one as I can’t imagine too many “Win one for Lane!” cheers coming from the Owls.LOSS. Maybe they do love Lane. FAU 52 – SMU 28
Camellia: FIU(6-6) vs. Arkansas State(7-5) Montgomery, AL Sat., Dec. 20 5:30 pm ESPN
It wasn’t too long ago that FIU was listed as my worst stadium to visit. They have certainly improved in play and in my rankings (thanks to awful experiences at Duke and UAB). I still like the Red Wolves of Arkansas State. WIN. Whew, thank god the Red Wolves win 34 – 26.
Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas (19) Boise State(12-1) vs. Washington(7-5) Las Vegas, NV Sat., Dec. 20 7:30 pm ABC.
I think Boise has a chip on their shoulder. I like them to make a statement for the Mountain West and beat the Huskies of Washington.LOSS. Turns out this was a statement game, but it was the Huskies making all the comments. See my Rutgers – Liberty comments for my analysis on this on. Washington 38 – 7.
R+L Carriers New Orleans: (20) Appalachian State(12-1) vs. UAB(9-4) New Orleans, LA Sat., Dec. 20 9:00 pm ESPN.
At least there is some consolation for App. State not getting a New Year’s Day bowl by getting a trip to New Orleans. I have no love for UAB and look for the Mountaineers to roll over the Blazers.WIN. The Mountaineers had me grumbling early in this one, but came back to win strong, 31-7.
Bad Boy Mowers: Gasparilla UCF(9-3) vs. Marshall Tampa(8-4), FL Mon., Dec. 23 2:30 pm ESPN.
This should be a good game to watch. UCF is still awfully good and Marshall had some tough non-conference games against Cincinnati and Boise State. UCF in a close one. WIN. The Knights win 48-25 in a game not as close as I thought.
SoFi Hawai’i Hawaii(9-5) vs. BYU(7-5) Honolulu, HI Tue., Dec. 24 8:00 pm ESPN
It would be interesting to know how the Rainbows feel about this game. You would think there is some glamour in playing a mainland bowl game. However, they may just think it is a pain in the neck. With this game, they can play the game and still have Christmas at home (if they are local). I saw Hawaii this year and they impressed me their pluck and grit. Rainbows to win this one. WIN. The Rainbow Warriors win in dramatic fashion.
Walk-On’s Independence: Louisiana Tech(9-3) vs. Miami(6-6) (FL) Shreveport, LA Thu., Dec. 26 4:00 pm ESPN
Miami is pretty awful and the Dawgs do not lose bowl games. It is a mortal lock that the Louisiana Tech wins this one. WIN. The Dawgs shut out Miami, as expected.
Quick Lane: Pitt(7-5) vs. Eastern Michigan(6-6) Detroit, MI Thu., Dec. 26 8:00 pm ESPN
Is Eastern Michigan just happy to be here or will they come to play? The same could be said for Pitt. I still like the Panthers in this one. WIN. Pitt by four
Military North Carolina(6-6) vs. Temple(8-4) Annapolis, MD Fri., Dec. 27 Noon ESPN
This is an interesting game. Temple is pretty good this year and UNC has been exciting, if not consistent. I like the Owls in a tight one. LOSS. Ha, I couldn’t have been more wrong as UNC cruised past the Owls 55 -13.
New Era Pinstripe Michigan State(6-6) vs. Wake Forest(8-4) Bronx, NY Fri., Dec. 27 3:20 pm ESPN
I saw this game, and thought this is only a game an alum could love. I guess freezing your butt off is compensated by having a holiday in NYC. Wake Forest, I guess…but really who cares about this dog? LOSS. Michigan State wins a close one, 27-21.
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas: (25) Oklahoma State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5) Houston, TX Fri., Dec. 27 6:45 pm ESPN.
This game should be a great atmosphere. Both schools are a reasonable drive to Houston so I would guess NRG Stadium will be packed. In addition, these teams are pretty reasonably matched. I think Jimbo Fisher would like to quiet the “Former Students” of A&M. So I am going with the Aggies, but with little confidence after their shellacking at the hands of LSU. WIN. Aggies by 3.
SDCCU Holiday (22) USC(8-4) vs. (16) Iowa(9-3) San Diego, CA Fri., Dec. 27 8:00 pm FS1
It was surprising to see USC right the ship as the season progressed. This game strikes me as a pick ‘em. Given Ferentz’s streaky bowl record, I am going to roll the dice with the Trojans. LOSS. Iowa handles USC easily. 49- 24
Cheez-It Air Force(10-2) vs. Washington State(6-6) Phoenix, AZ Fri., Dec. 27 10:15 pm ESPN
I completely slept on Air Force this year. I had no idea they were having such a good year. At a minimum this should be a good game because Mike Leach always seems to make it interesting with the Cougars. Like I said, I know nothing about the Falcons but I am going to go with them. WIN. Air Force wins by 10.
Goodyear Cotton (17) Memphis(12-1) vs. (10) Penn State(10-2) Arlington, TX Sat., Dec. 28 Noon ESPN
While I wanted App State to get the New Year’s Day bid, it is hard to argue with Memphis getting the game. The Nittany Lions seem to think they are better than they really are. I think this will be a really entertaining game. I am going with PSU, but grudgingly. WIN. Memphis hung with them for awhile, but PSU eventually took care of business, 53-39.
Camping World (15) Notre Dame (10-2) vs. Iowa State(7-5) Orlando, FL Sat., Dec. 28 Noon ABC
Notre Dame is another team that thinks they are better than what they are. The Irish are a bit dicey and Iowa State has lost a ton of close games this year. I am going to go with the sentimental pick and take Iowa State. Here’s to Purdy playing his ass off. LOSS. All Irish in this one, 33 – 9.
Chick-fil-A Peach: (4) Oklahoma(12-1) vs. (1) LSU (13-0) Atlanta, GA Sat., Dec. 28 4:00 pm ESPN
Oklahoma is good but LSU is great. Tigers are going to roll in this one. WIN. Yep Tigers all the way.
PlayStation Fiesta: (3) Clemson(13-0) vs. (2) Ohio State (13-0) Glendale, AZ Sat., Dec. 28 8:00 pm ESPN
This one should be a dandy. I am going with the Buckeyes only because they have played a tougher schedule. LOSS. Clemson in a great one.
SERVPRO First Responder: WKU(8-4) vs. Western Michigan(7-5) Fort Worth, TX Mon., Dec. 30 12:30 pm ESPN.
Hmmm. Nothing to say here. I guess I will go with the Hilltoppers. WIN. Hilltoppers by three.
Franklin Amer. Mort. Music City: Mississippi State(6-6) vs. Louisville(7-5) Nashville, TN Mon., Dec. 30 4:00 pm ESPN
Mississippi State is another middling SEC team. Louisville isn’t much better. The Cardinals in a toss up. WIN. Louisville by ten.
Redbox California(7-5) vs. Illinois(6-6) Santa Clara, CA Mon., Dec. 30 4:00 pm FOX
I guess I might bounce over to this game if the Peach Bowl gets out of hand. I saw Illinois nearly lose to UConn. I will go with the Bears. WIN. This was one I thought was a lock. The Illini were just too inconsistent.
Capital One Orange (9) Florida(10-2) vs. (24) Virginia(9-4) Miami Gardens, FL Mon., Dec. 30 8:00 pm ESPN
The ACC is hoping Virginia makes this a statement game. I am not sure they have enough to beat Florida. My money is on the Gators, but my heart is with the Hoos. LOSS. The Gators do their part for the SEC.
Belk: Virginia Tech(8-4) vs. Kentucky(7-5) Charlotte, NC Tue., Dec. 31 Noon ESPN
Unless they revert back to early season form, the Hokies should take care of the Wildcats. Virginia Tech gets the win. LOSS. Another frustrating loss for the Hokie faithful.
Tony the Tiger Sun: Florida State(6-6) vs. Arizona State(7-5) El Paso, TX Tue., Dec. 31 2:00 pm CBS
How did Florida State manage to make it to a bowl game? ASU was hot and cold this season. I am going with the Sun Devils in this one. WIN. Herm Edwards for the win.
AutoZone Liberty (23) Navy(9-2) vs. Kansas State(8-4) Memphis, TN Tue., Dec. 31 3:45 pm ESPN
Navy could go from ten losses to ten wins if they beat Army this weekend. What a turnaround for the Midshipmen. K-State is pretty good but I am going with Navy in a sentimental pick. WIN. Boy did Navy have a good year or what?
NOVA Home Loans Arizona: Wyoming(7-5) vs. Georgia State(7-5) Tucson, AZ Tue., Dec. 31 4:30 pm CBSSN.
Ouch, this game has about as much appeal as a wide awake colonoscopy. Wyoming I guess. WIN. Wyoming wins big.
Valero Alamo (11) Utah(11-2) vs. Texas(7-5) San Antonio, TX Tue., Dec. 31 7:30 pm ESPN
This is practically a home game for UT and they will need all the help they can get against the Utes. The inconsistency of the Longhorns gets them again. Utah wins. LOSS. This one hurt. I can’t believe that Utah didn’t even show up for this game.
I was going to go with Auburn just on their SEC credentials but then I thought about the Gophers stingy DBs and Bo Nix’s tendency to throw the ball all over the field. This is a pick ‘em, but I am going with the Gophers. WIN. I don’t know what Minnesota has coming back, but they will be on my radar next preseason.
So apparently Saban is less than thrilled with this game while Harbaugh sees it as a way to save his job. No need for a fifth quarter for the JV’s in this one, half of them will be starting in this one. Roll Damn Tide. WIN. Michigan thumped again. Not much of a surprise here.
Rose Bowl Game (6) Oregon(11-2) vs. (8) Wisconsin(10-3) Pasadena, CA Wed., Jan. 1 5:00 pm ESPN
This should be a game worth watching. My guess is the Badgers wear down the Ducks with a heavy dose of a punishing ground game. LOSS. The one point win by Oregon was as great a game as predicted.
Allstate Sugar (5) Georgia(11-2) vs. (7) Baylor (11-2) New Orleans, LA Wed., Jan. 1 8:45 pm ESPN
I am going with the Bulldogs because even I can’t escape the SEC bias. The Bears had a nice run, but I don’t they are going to have a good time at the Sugar Bowl. WIN. Georgia wins in a game closer than I thought it was going to be.
TicketSmarter Birmingham: Boston College(6-6) vs. (21) Cincinnati(10-3) Birmingham, AL Thu., Jan. 2 3:00 pm ESPN.
It is another crime that Boston College gets a Bowl Game. Cincinnati is going to crush them. WIN. As predicted, the Bear Cats crush the Eagles, 38 – 6.
I stopped watching Tennessee after they lost to Georgia State. They managed to feast on the weak sisters of the SEC to climb back to a bowl. I think the Hoosiers are better and will win. LOSS. Thanks alot Indiana. This win goes a long way to supporting the claims of SEC dominance because no one will remember it was a one point game.
Famous Idaho Potato: Ohio (6-6) vs. Nevada (7-5) Boise, ID Fri., Jan. 3 3:30 pm ESPN
I guess Ohio and Nevada are lucky that folks are probably taking Friday off, otherwise there would be no one to watch this dreck. Nevada wins on the basis of a shorter trip to the game. LOSS. Well congrats to the Bobcats or something.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces: Southern Miss (7-5) vs. Tulane (6-6) Fort Worth, TX Sat., Jan. 4 11:30 am ESPN.
Boy, Tulane really fell apart as the season came to the end. I am going with Conference USA in this one. Fly Eagles fly. LOSS. Grrr. What the hell, Southern Miss? This game wasn’t even close.
LendingTree Louisiana (10-3) vs. Miami (Ohio) (8-5) Mobile, AL Mon., Jan. 6 7:30 pm ESPN
I can’t believe that Miami won the MAC. Talk about winning with smoke and mirrors. As I noted in my review of South Alabama, Mobile is a pretty cool place. I hope the Bobcat faithful have a good weekend, because the Ragin’ Cajuns are going to run away with the game on Monday night. WIN. They did not exactly run away with it, but the Cajuns hung on to win.
CFP National Championship Semifinal Winners New Orleans, LA Mon., Jan. 13 8:00 pm ESPN:
Geaux Tigers. WIN. At least Clemson kept it close for a while.
This week we are back at home, looking forward to seeing LSU host Alabama – on my couch, nice and cozy. It was a great time at Notre Dame last week, but it was cold. I am a little behind on my reviews, but here are my thoughts for last week:
I saw Ga Southern take 2OTs to beat South Alabama earlier this year. There is no way I can fathom how they beat App State – and it kept me from a perfect week. Maybe I should have noticed that they only lost to undefeated Minnesota by three points.
After Nebraska’s loss to Purdue, they have to win two out of three against Wisconsin, Maryland, and Iowa. I don’t see that happening. The season highlight for the Huskers? Game Day coming before the Ohio State slaughter.
Florida losing to Georgia ends their season. The remainder of their schedule, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Florida State, gives them nothing to bolster their reputation.
Really thought Kansas would give K-State more trouble. Apparently not.
Did Clemson play this week? Oh yeah, they played Wofford – cupcake city. But, next few games could be trouble. NC State, Wake Forest, South Carolina
Memphis and SMU represented the AAC well on national TV.
Mac Brown has another rough weekend as UNC loses to Virginia by seven.
Oregon rolls against USC, but their remaining schedule won’t help much. Even with SEC (Bama and LSU) and Big Ten (PSU and Ohio State) eliminating two of the top four, I think they are going to need help to get into the FBS playoff.
Escapes: Baylor by over WVU by three, ND over VT by one, Cincinnati over East Carolina by three.
It was a good week for my picks. If not for the aforementioned App State lost, I would have gone a perfect four and oh. Alas I will have to settle for three and one. VT gave an inspired performance against ND, only to come up one point short but more than close enough given the 17 points they were getting. Georgia won outright and Bowling Green easily covered to give me a nice weekend. This week I like Boston College to easily handle a dying FSU and Iowa to keep it within 9.5 points against Wisconsin. Baylor should beat TCU by more than two. Lastly, I like LSU even if the game is in Tuscaloosa.
Thoughts on this week’s game:
What has happened to Army since they lost to Michigan 24 -21? They are now three and six with losses to Georgia State and San Jose State. Ouch. At least UMass is coming to town this weekend. That ought to be a win. Imagine if Michigan had lost to Army. I don’t think you’d see two Big 10 teams in the top four FBS rankings.
Ugh: South Alabama (1-7) vs Texas State (2-6) – I may have seen the best performance of South Alabama this year when they lost to Georgia Southern in OT.
Answer Games: Kansas State (6-2) at Texas (5-3) and Wake Forest (7-1) at Virginia Tech (5-3). See if the Power Cats and Demon Deacons are for real
I can’t believe Illinois is 5-4. Lovie Smith has righted the ship and that is saying something after they nearly lost to UConn. They should beat MSU.
Ole Miss has New Mexico State (0-8) this week. I bet they wished that was every weekend.
For some reason, I can see App State having a bounce back game against South Carolina
San Jose State versus Hawaii will probably be a good game. Too bad nobody will stay up to see it.
We are off to Notre Dame this week to see the Hokies take on the Fighting Irish. I have had this game circled since last year when when we picked it for our group trip. Of course, it did almost get erased a couple of times like when V. Tech nearly lost to Furman. With a number of “perils of Pauline” type wins and rotating QBs, the Hokies somehow have managed to right the ship and come in at 5-2. Notre Dame is also 5 – 2 but had been in the top ten all year until last week’s blowout at Michigan dropped them to number 16. Nonetheless, the Hokies are still getting 17 points this weekend and despite my best judgement I am picking them. Before I go into my other picks, some thoughts on Week 9 in FBS College Football.
No reason OU should complain about that onside kick call. It was the right call and it should have never came to that.
Nice upset of the Longhorns by the Horned Frogs, but ugh, those TCU uniforms. Rough week for the sartorial crowd between those uniforms and the perennial worst band uniforms sported by Texas.
Wisconsin did not show up against Ohio State. Not much fight in those Badgers
Gophers looked good in their gold helmets. I can’t say much about their actual play as their opponent was Maryland. We will find out soon enough if they are real when PSU comes to town. I bet Game Day gave that game some consideration, but given they were just at Penn State they made Memphis their choice this weekend.
The PSU tight ends are very good by the way.
Ohio State’s Chase Young is a beast. Four sacks, five tackles for a loss, and two forced fumbles.
Auburn LSU didn’t feel as close as the score was. LSU was in control the whole time.
Love the UNC helmets, but not the navy blue uniforms.
SMU escaped with the win against Houston. They are going to have to step it up against Memphis if they want to stay undefeated.
The American Athletic Conference is a good conference – end of discussion.
Pitt defense chokes on the last Hurricane drive. Coach Pat Narduzzi let that game get away.
Some great finishes with the 3:30 EST games. It was one big finish after another and I was able to rotate them all through on the big 65″ silly in the Man Cave. Five TVs may seem like overkill, but it was well worth it last Saturday.
Navy gets the big kick to beat Tulane. I assume all the midshipmen got a weekend pass. Nice work by a true freshman kicker.
Couldn’t be happier for Mac Brown with that last second win against Duke.
Texas Tech tried to do too much – Rock Chalk Jayhawk.
As for the remainder of my picks, Tulane kept it close and Utah easily covered. Clemson just rolled over Boston College – so much for getting 35 points. And, Temple just let me down. Other random thoughts for the games this week.
Bargain of the week: Marshall vs Rice for $2
Watch out Illinois, Rutgers won last week against Liberty saving the Big 10’s reputation in the process.
Wofford gets $360k to play Clemson. I think the Tigers got off cheap.
Based on the remainder of Oregon’s schedule, the U Dub Huskies are their last hurdle to the PAC12 championship.
Remember when Miami vs. Florida State was “can’t miss game?” It is now one to avoid.
I think every UNC game I have seen this season has been exciting. I don’t think the UVA game is going to be any different.
2019 is a big bounce back year with a great schedule and some great locations: Hawaii, Wisconsin (SI #19) and Notre Dame (SI #7), who is hosting Virginia Tech (SI #22). We also have some double weekends in Alabama (SI #1) and Oregon (SI #9). If I factor in seeing Oregon State host Utah (SI #14), I am seeing six top twenty-five teams (per SI) this year, including the number one. Big time indeed.
Game 1 – 8/24/2019, Arizona at Hawaii: While the second game of the weekend, it is the first true college game of the season. Miami plays Florida in Orlando first, but neutral sites don’t count at somanystadiums.com. Hawaii is certainly one of the better locations to see a game. This should be a good game where the Rainbow Warriors home field advantage offsets the depth of the Wildcats.
Game 2 – 9/7/2019, Illinois at University of Connecticut: So not exactly a marquee match up with UConn going 1-11 in 2018 and Illinois finishing at 4-8, but I had to hit East Hartford, Connecticut at some point. As a consolation, the Steelers host the Patriots the same weekend. So there is that.
Game 3 – 9/28/2019, ‘Ol Miss at Alabama (SI #1): After a couple of weeks off, I’ll be heading over the Tuscaloosa to see an SEC classic when ‘Ol Miss takes on Alabama. Unfortunately, I have the feeling the only thing that will be classic about this game will be the traditions. The Tide will probably roll all over the Rebels, er Black Bears, er Landsharks – not exactly sure what the Ol Miss mascot is these days. Rebels is not exactly the most PC nickname, but if the NFL will still let Washington run with the Redskins moniker, “Rebels” seems pale in comparison.
Game 4 – 10/3/2019, Georgia Southern at South Alabama: It is right back to the great state of Alabama for the following weekend. I hear Mobile, Alabama is actually a pretty interesting city so maybe it will be a good Thursday night. South Alabama’s program is a baby, having just started in 2009 and they went 3 – 9 last year. Georgia Southern, on the other hand, has rich a history (first game in 1924) and six FCS championships. They went 10-3 and won their bowl game. It might be a rough week for the Jaguars if the Eagles fly high.
Game 5 – 10/5/2019, Rice at UAB: It is a short(?) drive up the road to Birmingham for another potential blow out as UAB hosts Rice. The UAB program was resurrected from the dead after a two year hiatus in 2017. A short year later, UAB went 11-3, won their first Conference USA title and their subsequent bowl game. Rice, on the other is a program in serious decline, having gone 2-11 last year. It is not exactly the most appealing weekend on the schedule. It’s not all Game Day and rich traditions out there – sometimes it is just a plain old slog.
Game 6 – 10/11/2018, Colorado at Oregon (SI #9): Things take a remarkably better turn in Week 7 as I head out to Oregon for another double header weekend. The Ducks need to turn it around or it is probably curtains for their coach Mario Cristobal. I look forward to checking out Eugene on Friday night and seeing the team Phil Knight built.
Game 7 – 10/12/201, Utah (SI #14) at Oregon State: Saturday, it is a short drive up north to Corvallis to see the Beavers host the Utes. The Beavers had a disastrous 2 -10 season last year. The Utes were decent at 9 – 5 and are ranked in the SI top twenty-five. This might be a blow out if the Beavers 2nd year coach, Jonathan Smith can’t right the ship. Still, it is the Pacific Northwest in early autumn so it is probably going to be a good weekend regardless.
Game 8 – 11/2/2019, Virginia Tech (SI #22) at Notre Dame (SI #7): I had always planned on saving South Bend and Touchdown Jesus as the final stadium in the list. However, when I saw the home and away with Virginia Tech, it was too good to resist. Add to it a strong connection with a number of Midwest guys and the Golden Domers got put on the schedule for this year. Tech has been hot or cold, but they seem to always play to the level of their competition. Hopefully they remember they are playing the Fighting Irish and not the Old Dominion Monarchs. Twelve to sixteen guys in an AirBnB – what could go wrong?
Game 9 / 10 – 11/23/2019,Purdue at Wisconsin (SI #19) and/or Minnesota at Northwestern. It is nearly a month off before I catch another game, although there is always a chance I could zip over to SMU in between games. The Mustangs are always dependent on weather and the matchup (and if I can get someone to go with me). The kickoff for both the Wisconsin and Northwestern games are TBD so there’s the outside chance I could pick up the rare Saturday double dip. Ideally, the Northwestern game goes off at noon and is a blowout by half time. Then, if the Wisconsin game is prime time, we could head off for what looks to be a three and half hour drive. It would be really tight, but you could kick it around Madison afterwards. Otherwise, I will just have to pick one.
Game 11 – 11/26/2019, Western Michigan at Northern Illinois: This last game is really dicey. It is a MACtion Tuesday night game the week before Thanksgiving. I am typically off that week for vacation, so I can see an opportunity to catch this game in combination with a holiday trip. Maybe? Games this late in the season often get cut, especially the ones up North. I could see where the weather would be sub-optimal for a Tuesday night game in DeKalb, Illinois.
So there you have it. The one thing I have learned in the 78 games I have already hit, nothing is set in stone. This schedule is, as it is every year, a target. On paper though, it appears to be a good one. See you in the tailgate lots and in the stands.