You know the drill by now. Ohio State has to rebound from a deflating loss, blah blah blah. It can’t let Wisconsin beat them twice, blah blah blah. Any and all available descriptions about looking forward after the loss in Madison have probably been used. Meanwhile, life goes on, as does this season. Ohio State returns home to play Purdue, who handed them their lone conference loss last year. Elsewhere, there is a lot to watch in the world of college football. Pity the fool who misses Iowa-Wisconsin, LSU-Auburn and Oklahoma-Missouri. Here are some pertinent offerings for your viewing pleasure.
- UCLA @ Oregon (ESPN, 9:00pm ET). Yes, the new #1 team in the country plays on Thursday, hosting the 3-3 Neuheisels. Both are coming off byes in week 7 to give extra time for this Thursday league matchup. This will be the perfect game for those of you that like offenses (sometimes hit-or-miss) and think defense is obsolete. Seriously, the best Pac-10 defense is California (24th nationally in total defense), the same squad shredded by Nevada and USC. It’s like, it’s like defense doesn’t even matter out west.
- South Florida @ Cincitucky (ESPN2, 8:00pm ET). The 3-3 Bearcats started conference play right last week, beating Louisville in the Papa John’s ™ Actually Sponsored Their Stadium Stadium. They come home to take on first year man Skip Holtz at scenic, historic, majestic Nippert Stadium. Alcohol will help you watch this one. While you do, remind yourself: either the Sugar Bowl or the Orange Bowl is going to have to fall on the Big East grenade in January. That should make your petty little problems seem insignificant by comparison.
- Michigan State @ Nerdwestern (ESPN, 12:00pm ET). The two teams we don’t play in the Big Ten face off to begin the afternoon. Ohio State and Purdue will play concurrent to this on the Big Ten Network, so you may not be watching. However, we kinda need Sparty to start losing, soon. Go Tri-Lambs!
- Purdue @ Ohio State (BTN, 12:00pm ET). This is what you’re watching. I was a little disappointed to read that the Big Ten Network was broadcasting this game. I thought our long national nightmare — Chris Martin — was behind us Buckeye fans.
- Syracuse @ West Virginia (ESPN2, 12:00pm ET). Last week, Syracuse was your Big East leader. This week, it’s West Virginia, followed by Rutgers. It’s here for you to watch if you want it.
- Penn State @ Minnesota (ESPNU, 12:00pm ET). CRIPPLE FIGHT!!!
- Notre Dame vs. Navy [at Giants Stadium] (CBS, 12:00pm ET). Remember when Notre Dame had the largest winning streak in college football against a single opponent, Navy? Well, now Navy has won 2 of the last 3, both in Notre Dame Stadium. That this game will be played in the newfangled Giants Stadium should give Notre Dame a decided schematic advantage against Navy. That Charlie Weis isn’t coaching Notre Dame against Navy should also help.
- LSU @ Auburn (CBS, 3:30pm ET). The sexy point-a-minute offense of the Southeastern Conference will host a team that is in such dire straits on offense that it seriously considered Jarrett Lee at quarterback. Yes, Mr. Pick Six himself. Jordan Jefferson was just, as I type, named the starter for this game. For those unaware, Jordan Jefferson is basically the quarterback equivalent of the blue screen of death. There was a moment in the win against Florida — and I wish I could find video of it — where he was under center, ready to snap the ball, and had to check the play card on his wrist to make sure he knew what he was doing just seconds before snapping the ball. That is the college football equivalent of “A fatal exception has just occurred at position:Quarterback. It is impossible to continue Crowfense normally.” The current application “Jordan Jefferson” may eventually be terminated, replaced by Mr. Pick Six. In the meantime, LSU has been leaning on its defense. LSU’s offense may be comically inept, but the defense is beyond legit (3rd nationally). They are the best I’ve seen this season.
- Wisconsin @ Iowa (ABC/ESPN, 3:30pm ET). The schedule is not kind to the Badgers. A week after hosting the Buckeyes, and regrettably beating them, the Badgers go on the road to Iowa. Wisconsin dropping an additional game in conference helps us in the Big Ten championship picture.
- Nebraska @ Oklahoma State (ABC, 3:30pm ET). Losing out on our national title hopes and our #1 ranking hurts, but it was arguably not the most deflating loss from the weekend. Nebraska fans put all their eggs into the Texas basket, investing so much energy into hopefully thrashing the fledgling Longhorns in Lincoln as some means of catharsis and healing from how the 2009 Big 12 Championship game ended. So important was this game to Nebraska fans that there was even a couple that flew in from Thailand to watch it. The end result? Something close to a beatdown by the Longhorns’ defense. The Huskers will still represent the Big 12 North in the title game again, I would imagine. They’ll try to rebound in Stillwater.
- Georgia Tech @ Clemson (ABC, 3:30pm ET). The Worldwide Leader picked this up? Hmm. I imagine this guy is responsible for that.
- Alabama @ Tennessee (ESPN, 7:00pm ET). The Third Saturday in October will be played on the fourth Saturday of October. Tennessee is coming off a bye, but it won’t matter for them. The end result from this game should make for some amusing additions to the RPG being played on Rocky Top Talk.
- North Carolina @ Miami (FL) (ESPN2, 7:30pm ET). ACC football, yo. The mildly interesting about this game: injuries and suspensions to North Carolina have them basically fielding what would be our scout team the rest of the way through1. The not-interesting about this game: Butch Davis used to coach the Hurricanes. The interesting about this game: nothing.
- Oklahoma @ Missouri (ABC, 8:00pm ET). Gameday decided to skip LSU-Auburn for this. Like LSU-Auburn, one of the country’s remaining undefeateds will have a loss by day’s end. Missouri is the same team that nearly lost at home to San Diego State, so I’m not quite sold yet2. They’ll need the home cooking.
- Air Force @ TCU (Regional [try one of the Fox Sports], 8:00pm ET). This wasn’t picked up by the Worldwide Leader or Versus, which is unfortunate.
- Washington @ Arizona (ESPN, 10:15pm ET). I probably won’t watch this because my higher-ups have ordered me to network/socialize at with people I’ll be with in Dallas, precisely the thing I’m terrible at. Ohhh well. It’s a wine-drinking crowd, so I may catch a glimpse of this game on a TV while downing a bottle of Pinot. Don’t look at me that way. I don’t know how I do that with wine either.