It is a much needed bye week for the Notre Dame faithful and after taking a hard look at the national schedule it sort of looks like a bye week for college football as a whole. Intriguing matchups are pretty few and far between this week. I honestly had to look through the schedule about three times before I was able to pluck out a handful of games that looked like they were worth keeping an eye on. So if you need to get caught up on any projects around the house or just give your liver a Saturday off this might be the weekend to do it.
Conveniently yours truly is slated to be in Vegas this weekend for a little reunion. I already have a little spot carved out to spend the better portion of my Saturday in front of an enormous bank of television sets. Too bad there aren't more good games. I suppose I might have to find ways to make some of these uninteresting games a little more interesting....
Games after the jump.
Rankings are per the BlogPoll.
*All times listed below are EST.
Thursday 13 October
USC at Cal 9:00 ESPN
With the Trojans next on the slate for Notre Dame this game is mandatory viewing for all Irish fans. At a minimum it needs to be DVR'd, broken down, and discussed at length next week here at OFD. Murtaugh and Burger are all over it. Trojan Quarterback Matt Barkley and Wide Receiver Robert Woods have been putting up some sick numbers thus far but the vaunted Monte Kiffin D has been less than stellar. Will the boys from Troy be able to pull out a W against the fearsome Cal Bears? Cal is playing their home games this season at AT&T Park while they renovate Memorial Stadium. I wonder if both teams be on the same sideline like they are at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl? That is so weird. The real California Bears would have just said hell with it and played 12 true road games. Remember that time Kelly Leak drove them to the Astrodome in that conversion van? That was awesome. Trojans win.
Friday 14 October
Hawaii at San Jose State 9:00 ESPN
Tune in to watch Hawai'i Quarterback Bryant Moniz put up PlayStation numbers! Or don't.
Saturday 15 October
#11 Michigan at #22 Michigan State 12:00 ESPN
So Michigan is ranked about 10 spots ahead of Sparty across the polls yet Sparty is favored to win the game. Hmmmmmm. Denard had better show up with his head on a swivel as Sparty is going to rock their Pro Combat Unis for this one. Uh oh! Sparty wins.
#20 Baylor at #24 Texas A&M 12:00 FX
Check it out both of these teams are actually ranked! When was the last time that the Battle of the Brazos actually mattered? I remember that this game being a big deal back when I was a little kid in the 80's. Shortly thereafter Baylor took a nose dive. Texas Football even dubbed the 1986 game between these two teams the "Game of the Decade" in the Southwest Conference. Who knew? It has been so long since Baylor has been anything resembling a factor I had forgotten all of that. Now Robert Griffin III will lead his team into Kyle Field where the Bears haven't recorded a W since 1984. That year is such a pop culture gold mine I'll just walk away now. I'll take Baylor to end the streak.
#6 Oklahoma State at #23 Texas 3:30 ABC
Texas is coming off of a blowout loss to Oklahoma and could very well get blown out in this game too. Texas is very young and very much in the early stages of learning a new system. I expect they will be back in true Longhorn form within another couple of years but they really did not look good last weekend. At all! "I'm a man" and T Boone roll in Austin.
#19 Virginia Tech at Wake Forest 6:30 ESPN 3
This game is suddenly interesting now that Wake Forest knocked off what everyone seemed to think was a pretty solid Florida State team last weekend. So are the Noles really any good? Is Wake? With the Deacons on tap to host Notre Dame on November 5th I will try and get a look at this one.
Florida at Auburn 7:00 ESPN
When was the last time these two teams played when one of them wasn't ranked? Weird. This is like the opposite of the Baylor vs. Texas A&M game. Will Chuck and the high flying Gator offense reappear after being shut down by Alabama and LSU for the last two weeks? Will Muschamp go off? How are those trees on Toomer's Corner holding up? This game has the potential to be a pretty good time.
#14 Kansas State at Texas Tech 7:00 FOX
Bill Snyder takes his 5-0 Wildcats to Lubbock to square off with a 4-1 Tejas Tech squad. This game really couldn't sound any less intriguing but this is actually a pretty big game in the epic Big 12 race. I saw Adam James actually score a touchdown last week against TaMU. Those dad gum Saddle Tramps wrung the durn heck out of those little cowbells afterwards! I bet his Daddy was proud. Good call Tech. I'll read the box score on Sunday morning to see how this one turns out.
#18 Arizona State at #9 Oregon 10:15 ESPN
The Sun Devils will roll into Autzen with their new mean ass pitchfork helmets then watch their 5-1 record take a stunning blow as Webfoot U runs up and down the field. Did Cyberdyne Systems put LaMichael James' arm back together yet? If not then I guess Kenjon Barner will have to run for 300 yards by himself. Easy day for the Quack Attack. Unless of course Vontaze Burfict starts scaring people again!
What other games should I be trying to keep an eye on? Surely I am missing something here...