College Football Viewing Primer: Weeks Six Through Ten
By Tony Gerdeman
The Viewing Primer now takes us deep into conference play, where every game matters. Unless, of course, you play in the SEC, and then it's only the second loss that truly matters.
Week Six (Oct. 5)
National Game of the Week – Ohio State at Northwestern, Saturday 8:00 pm (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
This could be the biggest game in Northwestern football history, and it's going to be on national prime time television. People are pointing at this as one of the few games that could give Ohio State trouble.
Underrated Game of the Week – TCU at Oklahoma
I know both of these programs are somewhat overrated in general, but it's still a very big game in a conference that could produce an undefeated team.
Overrated Game of the Week – Georgia at Tennessee
If Georgia comes into this game 4-0 with wins over Clemson, South Carolina and LSU, then it could be the game of the week. If not, it's just another game between two SEC teams that aren't Alabama.
Big Ten Game of the Week – Michigan State at Iowa
If we are going to take Michigan State seriously, a loss at Iowa isn't the best way to get that done. Kirk Ferentz could shut some critics up with a win here. Of course, when the Hawkeyes lose their last six games of the season, those critics will probably be right back at it.
Other Games of Note – UCLA at Utah (FS1), BYU at Utah State (CBSSN), Nevada at San Diego State (ESPN), Air Force at Navy (CBS), Ole Miss at Auburn, Arkansas at Florida, Penn State at Indiana, Kansas State at Oklahoma State, West Virginia at Baylor, North Carolina at Virginia Tech, LSU at Mississippi State, Georgia Tech at Miami (FL), Arizona State vs Notre Dame (NBC)
Nevada at San Diego State should make for an entertaining affair, especially on a Friday night with nothing else on. Arkansas at Florida should be another nice introduction into the SEC for Bret Bielema. The Hoosiers will likely need to beat Penn State to land a bowl game. West Virginia at Baylor may feature 110 total points. Arizona State will be interesting to watch during commercials of the Ohio State at Northwestern game. Ole Miss at Auburn will tell us which SEC team on the upswing is actually on the upswing. Kansas State at Oklahoma State should feature the Pokes exacting revenge for last season's loss to the Wildcats.
Week Seven (Oct. 12)
National Game of the Week – Florida at LSU
There's a pretty good chance that Florida comes into this game undefeated. It would be amazing if they leave the game undefeated considering how broken this program was when Urban Meyer left it, all stocked with five-star athletes and whatnot.
Underrated Game of the Week – Oregon at Washington
Washington quarterback Keith Price promises he won't be as bad as he was last year, and will be more like he was in 2011. If he's on the Bret Saberhagen schedule of performing well every other year, then Washington might have something here.
Overrated Game of the Week – South Carolina at Arkansas
I can't promise you that this will be a very pretty game, but I can promise you that 87% of those in attendance collect some type of metal for a living.
Big Ten Game of the Week – Michigan at Penn State, Saturday 5:00 pm (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
This is one of the roadblocks in Michigan's way if they are planning on winning a national championship this season. Penn State could score a huge win for their program considering where things are right now. Michigan has played Penn State six times in the last 10 seasons and been ranked while doing it just once.
Other Games of Note– Rutgers at Louisville (ESPN), Arizona at USC (FS1), Texas A&M at Ole Miss, Oklahoma vs Texas, Baylor at Kansas State, Nebraska at Purdue, Indiana at Michigan State, Northwestern at Wisconsin
One of Louisville's few tests this season will come this week. Though Louisville's "tests" are all open book, and if you don't feel like answering all of the questions, you don't have to. Arizona at USC could be high scoring and fun to watch. Oklahoma and Texas is always something to tune into, and this year it could actually mean something. Northwestern at Wisconsin is another tough early matchup on the conference slate for the Wildcats. However, just imagine if they get by both Ohio State and Wisconsin in consecutive weeks. The Hoosiers may have to be watched every week this season.
Week Eight (Oct. 19)
National Game of the Week – Florida State at Clemson
This is the game of the year in the ACC, so hopefully it will end up in prime time. I'm not sure if this is a division matchup because I don't have anything handy to tell me who is in what division in the ACC.
Underrated Game of the Week – LSU at Ole Miss
When will that recruiting class start paying dividends for Ole Miss? What if it's in this game?
Overrated Game of the Week – Arkansas at Alabama
I'm guessing Bret Bielema's scoring chart will have him going for two quite a bit in the second half.
Big Ten Game of the Week – Indiana at Michigan, Saturday 3:30 pm (BTN)
It's not a good week for Big Ten games...for about the sixth year in a row. But Indiana's offense and Michigan's improving defense should make for a pretty interesting game.
Other Games of Note– Miami (FL) at North Carolina (ESPN), UCLA at Stanford, Florida at Missouri, TCU at Oklahoma State, Texas Tech at West Virginia, South Carolina at Tennessee, USC at Notre Dame (NBC), Nevada at Boise State (CBSSN)
Miami at North Carolina is an unpredictable game because the minute you think UNC is a lock, they no-show your expectations. UCLA at Stanford will be interesting because UCLA's offense should be able to put up some type of a fight. It's always interesting to watch TCU go against the better Big XII offenses, and this week will be no different. As you read this, Texas Tech at West Virginia is already tied at 35-35. USC and Notre Dame is the best rivalry in college football as voted on strictly by Notre Dame fans. Nevada at Boise State is one of the best rivalries in college football.
Week Nine (Oct. 26)
National Game of the Week – Texas at TCU
I know, this is the best we got. I'm sorry. There's nothing we can do about it. But it will still be fun to watch little brother ruin big brother's season.
Underrated Game of the Week – Stanford at Oregon State
If there's one thing we know about the Beavers, it's that sometimes they win big games. This is going to be one of their biggest. This should actually be the game of the week. Whoever has Texas at TCU as the game of the week got it wrong.
Overrated Game of the Week – Louisville at South Florida
As one of the few Louisville opponents that people have seen on television before, they're going to want to think that the Bulls have a chance in this game.
Big Ten Game of the Week – Penn State at Ohio State, Saturday 8:00 pm (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)
It's a night game in the Horseshoe between the Big Ten's two most well-known programs. (Yes, that was an intentional and tremendously jagged shot at Michigan.)
Other Games of Note– Boise State at BYU (ESPN), North Carolina State at Florida State, South Carolina at Missouri, Nebraska at Minnesota, Texas Tech at Oklahoma, Northwestern at Iowa, West Virginia at Kansas State, UCLA at Oregon
Any time Boise State takes to the road on national television, it makes for an interesting watch. North Carolina State at Florida State has some fun history. South Carolina at Missouri is another chance for the SEC to show Missouri that they never should have involved themselves in this mess. Against the Huskers, the Gophers have a chance to show the nation that Jerry Kill is capable of something. Texas Tech at Oklahoma should be as high-scoring as ever. Northwestern at Iowa will be for the Legends Division. Or not. UCLA at Oregon could be fantastic, but it would probably be better at UCLA.
Week Ten (Nov. 2)
National Game of the Week – Georgia vs Florida (at Jacksonville, FL), Saturday 3:30 pm (CBS)
It's always one of the great scenes in college football, and sometimes the games are pretty good too. This should be one of those times. Even if Georgia comes in with three losses, they won't lay down. Heck, it might be worse for Florida if the Bulldogs do come in with multiple losses, because then there will be no pressure.
Underrated Game of the Week – Northwestern at Nebraska
The winner of this game could very well have the inside track to Indianapolis. A loss would likely knock the loser out. This has been a fun series since the Huskers joined the Big Ten, and this game should continue the hijinks.
Overrated Game of the Week – Miami (FL) at Florida State
I mean, is there ever any other answer? Everybody in attendance will get a free pair of Zubaz pants to match their Zubaz tanktops.
Big Ten Game of the Week – Michigan at Michigan State
This is one of the most entertaining rivalries in all of sports because there is no upside to losing in this game. At least in the Ohio State - Michigan game, the loser contributes to history and storytelling. The loser in this game spends a week vomiting at the thought of the winner experiencing any joy from this game. For Mark Dantonio, losing this game leaves a personal cloud of gloom around him for an entire year. Happiness is a distant memory. He has to have physical therapy to learn how to smile again because his face has atrophied into a scowl.
Other Games of Note – USC at Oregon State (ESPN), Auburn at Arkansas, Clemson at Virginia, Wisconsin at Iowa, Ohio State at Purdue, West Virginia at TCU, Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, Navy at Notre Dame (NBC), Nevada at Fresno State
I love watching Oregon State and I love watching USC running around without a clue on defense. Depending on how the Arkansas season is going, Gus Malzahn could get a larger ovation than Bret Bielema. Virginia has to be good enough to do something big eventually, right? Ohio State travels to West Lafayette to battle their kryptonite. TCU should punch the Mountaineers in their face repeatedly for 60 minutes. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech seem like they play every freaking week. Navy at Notre Dame is always fun during commercials of important games. Nevada at Fresno State will entertain.
Next: Weeks Eleven Through Fifteen
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