The Ohio State-Wisconsin game serves as the backdrop for ESPN’s Gameday programming and will thus be a late kickoff on Saturday. While you’re anxious for that season-defining game to start, you can watch a variety of other games on TV in the morning and afternoon time slots before you dedicate the evening to the Buckeyes’ first real road test of the season. Here are the other games this weekend you can watch.
- UCF @ Marshall (ESPN, 8:00pm ET). Wednesday night football with C-USA schools (including our first cupcake), in a game where David Norrie is color commentator? I think not.
- South Florida @ West Virginia (ESPN, 7:30pm ET). Earlier in the season, when Big East teams were laying eggs aplenty, I thought Pitt was probably the best team in the conference. The Fightin’ Wannstaches would ultimately win that thing and hold either the Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl hostage for it. Now, that looks to be West Virginia, who will hold said bowl committees hostage. They host South Florida, which just lost at home to Syracuse.
- Kansas State @ Kansas (Regional, 7:30pm ET). Ostensibly, your viewing options for Thursday night are Big East football or the Sunflower Showdown for the Governor’s Cup. Or…
- Elizabeth City State @ Virginia State (Fox Sports South, 7:30pm ET). …this. I found this option while wondering if KSU-KU would even be on TV. I didn’t find an answer to that question, but I found something else — this gem — in my quest. So, I now have a decision to make: Big East football? Or watching the pride and joy of the fair and noble state of Elizabeth City play their grudge match against their hated rivals out of Virginia State.
- Cincinnati @ Louisville (ESPN, 8:00pm ET). Your choice for Friday night football: two teams whose fanbases are already openly asking when basketball season is. You’ll be at the bar for this game, which is good. Only beer goggles can make this game attractive.
- Illinois @ Michigan State (Big Ten Network, 12:00pm ET). This should be an interesting way to start your Saturday. Michigan State has been a feel good story for Ohio State fans. They punked Notre Dame w/ a Rick Moranis-themed fake field goal. They bulldozed Michigan. Coached by one of our former defensive coordinators, they’ve played well with the aforementioned former Ohio State assistant coach recuperating after a heart attack and two of their signature wins came against programs we detest. Still, we kinda need them to lose. Assuming and hoping we run the table in the Big Ten, we suffer a bit for having to share with a team we don’t get to play. Michigan State won’t leap us in the BCS — their non-conference schedule is worse than ours — but it’d be a bad conversation to have. The Illini, fresh off humiliating Penn State in their own place for homecoming, provides such a test for Sparty.
- Boston College @ Florida State (ESPN, 12:00pm ET). Oh, right, ACC. Herbstreit says that Florida State is the best team he’s seen this season. You know, the same one whose non-conference slate includes Samford, lifeless Brigham Young and a 41-17 beatdown at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners.
- Pittsburgh @ Syracuse (ESPN3.com, 12:00pm ET). Earlier, I said West Virginia, and not Pitt, would probably win the conference and hold the BCS bowl selection committee hostage. But, guess who’s leading the Big East now? Yep, Syracuse. Syracuse, at 4-1 with the one loss out of conference to Washington (yes, that Washington), is currently on top the Big East and would be playing in January if the season ended right now. Two of Syracuse’ victories came in consecutive games against 1-AA foes Maine and Colgate.
- Minnesota @ Purdue (ESPN2, 12:00pm ET). I might start watching this game, if for no other reason than being very, very curious.
- Texas @ Nebraska (ABC, 3:30pm ET). Nebraska’s Big 12 farewell tour returns home, hosting its first team with a pulse. Granted, the pulse isn’t very strong, but Taylor Martinez’ Huskers will get the Longhorns after Texas’ bye. Muschamp has served the Longhorns well enough in this trying season. It’s the offense that’s impotent beyond repair. Pelini’s Blackshirts will find their feeble attempts at offense amusing.
- Arkansas @ Auburn (CBS, 3:30pm ET). The SEC West is wide open. This is one of those games that will sort out who gets to represent the division in Atlanta. That doesn’t mean I’ll watch it.
- Iowa @ Michigan (ABC, 3:30pm ET). With necessary apologies to Yogi Berra, this may be deja vu all over again for Michigan fans. They were fantastic last year against crappy teams. They were fantastic this year against crappy teams. Then the meat of the Big Ten schedule hits and Michigan seems to have no answer. That’s how it played out last year. It remains to be seen if history fully repeats itself. What’s not helping, Michigan? After being shredded by little brother at home last week, they go back to the Big Hole in the Ground and play host to Iowa. Yes, Team America is coming and it’s difficult to see this game ending in anything other than a controversy caused by Adrian Clayborn folding Stephen Schilling in halves. Where casual football fans like you and I see an offensive lineman, Clayborn sees potential origami art (albeit origami art that requires the mutilation of entire skeletal systems).
- Penn State vs. BYE. This is Penn State’s bye week. Take the bye and the points2.
- Brigham Young @ TCU (Versus, 4:00pm ET). I’ll take “Games That Were Interesting Last Year” again for $200, Alex…
- South Carolina @ Kentucky (ESPN2, 6:00pm ET). Fresh off handing Alabama its first loss in the entire history of a storied program that Bear Bryant (blessings and peace upon him) guided to 164 national championships, the Gamecocks go on the road to Lexington to play Little Hartline‘s Wildcats. You’re not watching this one, though.
- Ohio State @ Wisconsin (ESPN, 7:00pm ET). This is what you’re watching. More on this later.
- Mississippi State @ Florida (ESPNU, 7:00pm ET). This is the last of a struggling Florida’s slate before they get a bye, followed by Georgia (that is: another bye). Mississippi State isn’t great, but neither is Florida.
- Boise State @ San Jose State (ESPN3.com, 8:00pm ET). Keep on trucking, Boise.
- Ole Miss @ Alabama (ESPN2, 9:00pm ET). Alabama must rebound after quarterback Greg McElroy suffered his first loss since 8th grade, which gave the Crimson Tide program its first loss in program history, ever. If they’re not careful, the Rammer Jammers can lose (by proxy) to Jacksonville State. Of intrigue: Ole Miss defensive tackle Jerrelle Powe said the Alabama loss to South Carolina “exposed” the Crimson Tide as “a one-dimensional team”.
- Oregon State @ Washington (ESPN, 10:15pm ET). This is the Saturday night finale? Weak, dude.