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Week 6 Viewer's Guide: Late Night Action Out West

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After a couple of crazy weekends of college football, week six looks like a bit of a dud making it a great time to enjoy the crisp fall weather before winter. Just make sure you're back inside by 10:00 for the #PAC12AfterDark game of the week.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday Night

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
Houston Cougars SMU Mustangs TDECU Stadium (UH) 8:00 ESPN2 -25.5
Southern Cal Trojans Washington Huskies LA Memorial Coliseum 9:00 ESPN -17

Thursday night features two games involving two pretty solid teams. Unfortunately, those two teams aren't facing each other, and instead are hosting teams that are largely terrible. At 8:00, Tom Herman's new and improved Houston team hosts Chad Morris's new but very much less improved SMU. The Cougars sit at 4-0 with what should be their toughest game (Louisville) already behind them. Herman, the former offensive coordinator at Ohio State, has the Cougars scoring over 45 points per game. On the other side, SMU looks better under Morris than they did last season, but they've still got a long way to go to get to the top of the AAC. Look for the Cougs to stay undefeated after this game. Out west, Southern Cal faces a severely undermanned Washington squad. The Trojans travel to South Bend the following week, so if you want an early look at the next Irish opponent tune in early. The starters might not play for much more than a half.

Friday Night

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
NC State Wolfpack Virginia Tech Hokies Lane Stadium (VT) 8:00 ESPN PICK

The only major conference game on Friday features two ACC teams that aren't on the Irish schedule. The Hokies looked atrocious on offense last week gaining just 100 yards in a loss to Pitt while NC State had a pedestrian 228 in their loss to Louisville. Both teams had higher expectations going into the year, but neither has looked better than a middling ACC team thus far. This game is the classic stoppable force against a movable object as the Hokies bring their impotent rushing offense (9 rushing yards v. Pitt) to face NC State's sieve-like rushing defense (203 yards allowed to Louisville).

Noon Shift

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
Oklahoma Sooners Texas Longhorns Cotton Bowl (Neutral) Noon ABC -17
LSU Tigers South Carolina Gamecocks Williams Brice Stadium Noon ESPN -13.5
Iowa Hawkeyes Illinois Illini Kinnick Stadium Noon ESPNU -11

After an exciting slate last week, the noon shift returns to its normal self featuring a somewhat uninspiring set of games. This timeslot does feature the Red River Shootout Rivalry, but Texas's poor start has sucked much of the excitement from the normally fantastic Big XII matchup. In the SEC, the Leonard Fournette show rolls into Columbia (or elsewhere depending on how Hurricane Joaquin relief efforts are progressing). South Carolina allowed 159 yards and two TDs to UGA RB Nick Chubb, so Fournette will try to top his Georgia counterpart efforts against a disappointing Gamecocks squad. Lastly, in a game that against all odds features the two teams at the top of the Big Ten West, Illinois travels to undefeated (yes, undefeated) Iowa. Both teams won tight games against division rivals last weekend (Nebraska for Illinois, Wisconsin for Iowa), and put together decent non-conference resumes as well. We'd recommend you speak to kids as soon as possible about the dangers of undefeated Iowa. The Hawkeyes are expected to reach 6-0, and you don't want them finding out about it from the wrong sources.

Afternoon Shift

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Navy Midshipmen Notre Dame Stadium 3:30 NBC -14
Georgia Bulldogs Tennessee Volunteers Neyland Stadium (UT) 3:30 CBS -3
Michigan Wolverines Northwestern Wildcats Michigan Stadium 3:30 BTN -7.5
Clemson Tigers Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Memorial Stadium (Clem) 3:30 ESPN2 -7

If, as we all hope, BVG's scheme for Georgia Tech is just as effective against Navy and the Irish rush to an easy win, there's a few other games during the 3:30 window. In the SEC, two East Division teams coming off disappointing losses face off in Knoxville. Georgia was blown out by the Tide at home where Greyson Lambert threw two pick-sixes while the Vols did the impossible and lost to Bret Bielema and Arkansas. Butch Jones has been feeling the heat lately despite impressive recruiting, but fans think it's time to turn signing day success into wins on the field. In Ann Arbor, Jim Harbuagh appears to have Michigan on the way to the top of the Big Ten ahead of schedule. Thankfully for the rest of the world, they should be challenged by undefeated Northwestern this weekend. Lastly, Clemson and Georgia Tech face off in a game that can't hurt the Irish strength of schedule. It's probably in ND's best interest if Clemson drops the hammer on GT, but considering the way teams have played after facing ND this season, expect both teams to look terrible and the Jackets to win on a fluke special teams play (a punt snap flying out of bounds for a safety or something similar).

Primetime

Favorite Underdog Venue Time (ET) Network Line
West Virginia Mountaineers Oklahoma State Cowboys Milan Puskar Stadium (WVU) 7:00 ESPN2 -7
Florida State Seminoles Miami Hurricanes Doak-Campbell Stadium (FSU) 8:00 ABC -9.5
Utah Utes California Golden Bears Rice-Eccles Stadium (Utah) 10:00 ESPN -7

Surprisingly, the best game of the weekend looks to be one of the latest. College Gameday is set to broadcast from Salt Lake, City where the top ranked teams in the PAC-12 are set to face off. It's understandable that many haven't seen much of either squad, but don't let this game pass you by. Cal QB Jared Goff is averaging over 300 yards with 3 TDs per game, and Utah recently made a statement demolishing Oregon 62-20. Through almost half the season, these are the only undefeated teams left in the PAC-12, and one of them won't be after Saturday. Unfortunately for those on the east coast that enjoy getting reasonable amounts of sleep, this one kicks off at 10:00. On the other hand, #PAC12AfterDark became an internet phenomenom last season after numerous wild games that ended in the wee hours of the morning. This game is a prime candidate for some late night craziness. At a more reasonable hour, an ACC game and a Big 12 game should hold your attention. In Morgantown, West Virginia will hope to avoid getting swept by the Oklahoma schools, while Oklahoma State hopes to stay unbeaten. The Cowboys have had some help from the officials in their last two games, but this game could determine whether they can be a threat to Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma at the top of the conference. Lastly, the ACC's two Florida schools face off in Tallahassee. Florida State is unbeaten, but has looked less than impressive thus far. The Noles will be without star RB Dalvin Cook who is out with a hamstring injury. This may lead to Everett Golson being given more responsibility within the Noles offense. In Miami, Uncle Luke had some interesting thoughts about who should replace Al Golden. Golden was given long odds to survive the season, but a win here could save Canes coach his job.