The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finally picked up a win last weekend and then all hell broke loose. Unfortunately that hell had absolutely nothing to do with actual games. Instead realignment, superconferences and scrambling for survival once gain exploded across the country. Good times.
While we are a far cry from the dust settling it does at least appear at this point that things are calming down a bit. Both the Big East and the Big XII appear to have broken lock for the time being. While still a long way from safety neither league appears to be quite as close to certain destruction as they did when the week began. So long as the Big East remains pseudo viable Notre Dame shouldn't have to rush into any decisions about joining conferences quite yet. We will stand by for further developments.
In other news there are still a few actual football games on this weekend. All in all the slate this weekend is actually pretty weak. There is a small flurry of decent matchups in the 3:30 slot but the rest of the day, with the obvious exception of the Notre Dame vs. Pitt contest, is relatively uninteresting. There are always too many buy games in September.
We will be hosting another open thread here on OFD for the Notre Dame game on Saturday so stop by and join in the conversation. We have been having a lot of fun with those lately.
If any of you are looking for full TV schedules I suggest the link below. You can find permanent links to this one and a couple of others on the bottom left hand side of our front page under "TV Schedules."
Now on to the games. Rankings are per the BlogPoll.
Thursday 22 September
NC State at Cincinnati 8:00 ESPN
I wonder if Tom O'Brien has nightmares about Russell Wilson? Surely he does right? I think I'm working late on Thursday night and I'm ok with that.
Friday 23 September
UCF at BYU 8:00 ESPN
Another thriller. How come BYU isn't getting tossed about a little more in all of this conference realignment talk? The Coogs are doing a very good job of flying under the radar on this deal. Suspects.
Saturday 24 September
Notre Dame at Pittsburgh 12:00 ABC
Under normal circumstances I would be all about this early time slot. This game is going to kick off at 9am out here on the left coast. There are a lot of bennies that would typically be involved there but unfortunately the wife has me locked into a yard sale Saturday morning. While my OCD is generally all in favor of purging the house I am going to be in no mood to haggle over the price of a broke dick wheelbarrow at any point after 9am. I can't wait for the first chooch in a USC or UCLA sweatshirt to walk up and start yammering on about how much they hate Notre Dame. Love guys like that. Regardless I will have a TV fired up in the garage and a DVR going in the house so that I can go back later and catch all the details just in case.
#14 Arkansas at #3 Alabama 3:30 CBS
Hmmmmm. This one sounds sort of interesting on the surface but somehow I imagine it will turn into yet another slow and methodical beat down for the Crimson Tide.
#7 Oklahoma State at #8 Texas A&M 3:30 ABC/ESPN2
In the rocky and unstable world that is the Big XII this is actually a really big game. Okie Light and TaMU cruise into this one jockeying for position behind the Sooners. This game was a lot of fun last season and could repeat as a wild track meet yet again. I like the 12th man to nick T Boone in this one.
Colorado at Ohio State 3:30 ABC/ESPN2
What is this? After watching the Buffs get roughed up by Bryant Moniz and Hawai'i in week 1 I'm not really liking their chances at the Shoe. Will the fighting Fickell's bounce back from their beat down in Miami? Yeah probably.
#12 Florida State at #19 Clemson 3:30 ESPN
The Noles played Oklahoma pretty tough last weekend now take the show on the road to Clemson. Dabo and Co. knocked off the defending National Champs last weekend but we all saw that one coming. Can they follow that up with another quality win against the Noles? Nah. This one sets up perfectly for FSU to bounce back.
#14 Florida at Kentucky 7:00 ESPN
If you haven't had a chance to watch Chuck Weis at the controls of the Gator offense yet it is worth a look. Based on what I've seen the Gators are going to be a real factor in the SEC East. As a bonus you get an obligatory Muschamp meltdown or two. I like that guy.
#2 LSU at #16 West Virginia 8:00 ABC
I'm not completely convinced that this is going to be a great game but I wholeheartedly believe that something highly entertaining is going to happen during the course of this broadcast. The Hat vs. Holgo in Morgantown, that's must see TV.
#22 USC at Arizona State 10:15 ESPN
I typically enjoy these late Pac-X games and have grown more fond of them over the years. Something about powering through 12 hours of college football always makes me happy. This one could be pseudo interesting. The hated Trojans rolling into Sun Devil Stadium to bang heads with Dennis Erickson's crew. Here's to hoping that Vontaze Burfict does his thing.
#11 Oregon at Arizona 10:15 ESPN2
I will probably flip over to this one a time or two just to see if I spot LaMichael James sprinting for six in a neon onesie. I should stop knocking Oregon's unis at this point. Maryland took their title.
What other games should I be trying to keep an eye on?