Thursday, October 26, 2017

College Football Preview: What to Watch While Army’s on a Bye Week

Army’s on a bye this week, but college football is still on TV.  There are several games between prominent nationally-ranked teams and a few involving Black Knights’ seasonal opponents or potential Armed Forces Bowl opponents.
No Army game.  Big sad-face.
This list was culled from  Odds are per ESPN.

Thursday, October 26
7:00 PM - E.Michigan at N.Illinois (CBSSN)
The Miami Dolphins at Baltimore or Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois?  That’s a no-brainer  in my opinion.
The Eagles lost another close game last week, falling to Western Michigan by a field goal in overtime.  They’re now 2-5 with losses by 5 points or less in their last four games.  They have zero losses by more than 7.  
Are they ever going to get it together?  It would be a Hell of a shame for the Eagles to miss bowl season, but if they’re going to turn things around, that turnaround needs to start right now.
The line is N. Illinois (-7).  I don’t know that the Eagles win, but I’m pretty sure they’ll cover.
Friday, October 27
8:00 PM - Florida State at Boston College (ESPN)
I don’t actually care about this game, but it’s got the biggest names on Friday’s card, so I felt compelled to include it.
8:00 PM - Tulane at #24 Memphis (CBSSN)
After a hot start, Tulane has dropped to 3-4.  Meanwhile, the Tigers are sitting pretty at 6-1.  Memphis stuffed Navy’s running game, and they’ll probably stuff Tulane’s, too.
9:00 PM - Tulsa at Southern Methodist (ESPN2)
I got recruited pretty heavily by SMU and have had a soft spot in my heart for them ever since.  However, the Mustangs (5-2) are favored by 9 over the Golden Hurricanes (2-6).  I’m not sure I like the ‘Stangs quite enough to watch them beat a 2-win team.
Saturday, October 28
11:30 AM - Buffalo at Akron (CBSSN)
Buffalo is something of a local recruiting rival of Army’s and will be on the Black Knights’ schedule for the foreseeable future.  They’re also an improving program with a talented young quarterback.  If you care about Army’s strength of schedule, you should be rooting for the Bulls to grab three more wins and get into a bowl game.
Bonus: this is  the first game of the day, so you can put it on while you’re making mimosas. Also, it may be your only chance of the year to hear Jay Feely call a game that doesn’t involve the triple-option.  Will he be excited or sad?
12:00 PM - #11 Oklahoma State at #22 West Virginia (ABC)
OK State is favored by 7.5.
12:00 PM - Arkansas at Ole Miss (SEC Network)
I have a soft spot in my heart for the SEC, and as a Giant fan, I feel compelled to root for Ole Miss.
2:30 PM - Florida International at Marshall (Stadium)
Time for some early scouting on a potential Armed Forces Bowl opponent.  Also, this game finally gives us a reason to watch Stadium, Facebook’s experiment with college football broadcasting.  It can’t be worse than BeIN Sports, am I right?
The Thundering Herd
Alas, the Herd (6-1) are a 17-point favorite.  Their offense looks decent, but their defense is elite.  They give up just over 300 yards per game (~200 passing & ~100 rushing) along with a truly impressive 14.3 points.  By contrast, FIU (4-2) but has been turning the ball over.  That’s not a good combination.
3:00 PM - Kansas State at Kansas (FS1)
Rivalry game!  
If you’re wondering, I met the hottest girl I’ve ever dated (but not married) when she was a senior student at K-State.  My buddy was a company commander at Ft. Riley.  We met out by the pool at my buddy’s apartment complex right before I moved to New York.
She was a literal farmer's daughter.  Man, she was smoking.

3:00 PM - Air Force at Colorado State (CBSSN)
Air Force (3-4) takes on CSU (6-2) on the road.  The line is CSU (-11), and I’m looking for them to cover.  
Key stat: AFA is giving up 241.3 yards rushing/game.  By comparison, CSU has put an average of 507 yards/game on offense, 196.3 of which are coming on the ground.  
Ouch!  AFA could put up 40 points and still lose this one by 20.
3:30 PM - #4 TCU at #25 Iowa State (ABC/ESPN2)
My good friend Elizabeth went to Iowa State.  Her Cyclones (5-2) are having a Hell of a season.
The line is TCU (-6.5), but I think the game’s gonna be closer than that.  TCU (7-0) has an elite rush defense, but the Cyclones make most of their money through the air.
3:30 PM - Florida vs. #3 Georgia (CBS)
This is always a great game.  The line is Georgia (-14), but it’s a conference game on a neutral site.  I’m picking the Gators on sheer force of tradition.
3:30 PM - #2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State (FOX)
Again, I am rooting for OSU by way of improving Army’s strength of schedule.  Also of interest: Penn State has the higher national ranking, but Vegas set the line at OSU (-6.5).

This might well be my Game of the Day.
3:30 PM - #14 N.C. State at #9 Notre Dame (NBC)
I really do not like the Fighting Irish.  Would love to see them drop a game to the Wolfpack.
4:30 PM - Florida Atlantic at W.Kentucky (Stadium)
Two more potential Armed Forces Bowl opponents in what will probably be Stadium’s best game of the day.  Apparently, Lane Kiffin has FAU (4-3) playing better than they were when the season opened because he’s a 7-point favorite on the road against a Hilltopper team with a better record (5-2).
6:30 PM - Missouri at UConn (CBSSN)
This game is local matchup.  Kind of a bottom-feeder.  
Missouri (2-5) is a 12-point favorite over Connecticut (3-4), but I’d love to see the Huskies get to .500.
6:30 PM - Old Dominion at N.Texas (ESPN3)
This one’s a dog, but we’re playing N.Texas in a few weeks, and they have a truly elite offense.
They’re favored by 10.5.  They’ll probably win by 20.
6:30 PM - UAB at Southern Mississippi (Cusa.Tv)
Two more potential bowl opponents.  Both teams have winning records, but Southern Miss. is a 13-point favorite.  Ugh.
Has anyone ever watched C-USA TV?
7:20 PM - Duke at #13 Virginia Tech (ACC Network)
Duke is 4-4, but they’re an enigmatic 4-4.  They have some impressive wins but not a lot of consistency.  Meanwhile, VT has a good offense and an elite defense.  That’s probably not a great sign for the Blue Devils.
7:30 PM - Tennessee at Kentucky (SEC Network)
If I leave this game off my list, my father’s ghost will haunt me all weekend.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones has truly elite talent, but he’s bleeding recruits, and they’ve been blown out a couple of times now by SEC rivals.  Can he rally his team?  The Vols’ season doesn’t have to be over, but at 3-4, they either get right now, or Jones is gonna have to start looking for a job.
8:00 PM - Georgia Tech at #7 Clemson (ABC/ESPN2)
Because you just can’t get enough of the triple-option.
This might actually be a good game.  Clemson dropped a game on the road to Syracuse this past weekend, while GT played Miami to within an inch of their lives.  The line is Clemson (-14), but I expect GT will give them a run for their money.

No comments:

Post a Comment