Football

The Tip Sheet: Don’t Forget a Descriptive Title Here

Tip Sheet college football

Behold, another weekend slate of games that can make you forget you have a family and/or responsibilities.

Maybe that’s why we like college football so much.

There are only two games between ranked teams this weekend, and one of them happened yesterday (Louisville at NC State).

This may not look like a great schedule, but I bet you it’s better than the MLB playoffs.

Saturday October 7

Teams: Wake Forest (4-1, 1-1) at #2 Clemson (5-0, 3-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Wake Forest

What a game this is between two of the ACC’s best teams. Wake Forest only has one loss this season, which happened last week against Florida State. In an effort to make this Tip Sheet quicker to write than previous editions, I am putting a timer on myself in hopes of keeping myself focused. With 20-25 games on the slate currently, I am limiting myself to six minutes per preview, which means that I won’t have the usual amount of research invested in each pick, and this might become overwhelmingly noticeable when I start getting games wrong for a change, and/or end a preview abruptly without much sense or flow. Clemson comes into this game without much concern for my time constraints. They’re the type of person who when you try to talk to them about your kids will just get up and leave the room rather than listen to your terrible stories about your lousy kids. And see now with me typing under the gun, I don’t have much time to somehow tie this all together and instead I am just typing until time runs out. It’s like I’m back in school taking an essay exam and just trying to put as many reasons for why Colonial mercantilism was a difficult adjustment for the citizens of Massachusetts when I don’t even know if those are things that are even things. I think six minutes is too many minutes for this exercise. I should cut it down to about 45 seconds.
Clemson 38 – Wake Forest 10


Teams: Iowa State (2-2, 0-1) at #3 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (FOX)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Iowa State

I have gotten distracted and only have 47 seconds left to finish this preview. Oklahoma’s schedule will start to get more difficult after this week, and there could be more than one loss to come. You are an Iowa State fan in this one, which seems like a pretty big fall from grace considering you went to college to be so much more.
Oklahoma 52 – Iowa State 24


Teams: #4 Penn State (5-0, 2-0) at Northwestern (2-2, 0-1)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ABC)
Interest: 4.5
Cheer For: Penn State

James Franklin is 0-2 against Northwestern as Penn State’s head coach, which is pretty interesting. Those losses came in 2014 and 2015, though, so Franklin will tell you they basically don’t count because of scholarship sanctions. Northwestern is a 14-point underdog, and well they should be. This has been the prototypical poor season for Pat Fitzgerald’s team, which came into the season with real expectations. Can they begin to realize those expectations? Now would be a good time, because as we all know, nothing matters until it happens against Penn State.
Penn State 28 – Northwestern 24


Teams: #5 Georgia (5-0, 2-0) at Vanderbilt (3-2, 0-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Vanderbilt

I am finding myself believing in Georgia football finally. I don’t know if it’s because Mark Richt is gone or because of all of the years of me calling Georgia the SEC’s Clemson because they would ultimately fail when it mattered. Now with Clemson being the nation’s top program, what if UGA is still the SEC’s Clemson, but now that means they’re really, really good?
Georgia 31 – Vanderbilt 13


Teams: Ole Miss (2-2, 0-1) at #12 Auburn (4-1, 2-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (SECN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Ole Miss

Rick Pitino will be doing the ceremonial coin flip for this game because, as his press release states: “Deez guyz knows how it’s supposed to be done, if you catch my meanin’.” Ole Miss will attempt to call heads, but a representative from Adidas will step in and suddenly Ole Miss will change their decision to tails even though they never took a visit to tails’ house.
Auburn 34 – Ole Miss 21


Teams: Illinois (2-2, 0-1) at Iowa (3-2, 0-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Iowa

You are cheering for Iowa because Ohio State heads to Iowa City later this season. You’re also cheering for Iowa because Lovie Smith is still the coach at Illinois and cheering for Illinois is more foolish than wheels on crutches. Iowa is winless in Big Ten play, but that’s what happens when a B1G West team has to play back-to-back games against B1G East teams. The Illini will be going with Jeff George Jr. at quarterback this week, but he won’t be throwing to Cris Carter Jr. or Randy Moss Jr. or Jake Reed Jr.
Iowa 31 – Illinois 10


Teams: #23 West Virginia (3-1, 1-0) at #8 TCU (4-0, 1-0)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (FS1)
Interest: 4.5
Cheer For: West Virginia

This is the only matchup between ranked teams on Saturday and it could be an interesting game, but relying on West Virginia on the road is like relying on a 5-year old to give an accurate retelling of a Breaking Bad episode.

“And then the bathtub fell through the ceiling and it was funny.”

TCU is only favored by 13 points, which is pretty interesting to me. WVU’s only loss this season was a 7-pointer to open the season against Virginia Tech. They have scored 56, 59, and 56 points in the three games since, but have done it against teams that won’t even make the end credits of the 2017 CFB season. TCU has given up some points this season, so this might be a shootout for a while. I’ll side with TCU until they lose, which could happen this week, but probably won’t.
TCU 42 – West Virginia 27


Teams: #13 Miami (3-0, 1-0) at Florida State (1-2, 1-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Florida State

Normally, you don’t root against Miami because they aren’t important enough for anybody’s concern. Now that they are undefeated and pretend-ranked, however, we should probably pay attention again. Florida State has been bad this season, but a win here over Miami would be so typical of the Hurricanes that it is virtually a guarantee. Miami has lost seven in a row to FSU. The Canes are favored by three points. The Noles have won the last three by a total of 10 points.
Florida State 20 – Miami 17


Teams: #21 Notre Dame (4-1, 1-0) at North Carolina (1-4, 0-3)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: North Carolina

Notre Dame is 1-0 in conference play this season. They better be on upset alert this weekend against another tough conference opponent, however.
Notre Dame 31 – North Carolina 17


Teams: LSU (3-2, 0-1) at #21 Florida (3-1, 3-0)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (CBS)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: LSU

Only an SEC team could be amazing enough to be 3-0 in conference play without the aid of an offense. LSU is coming off of a loss to Troy. They have played so poorly this season that I am now actively feeling bad for an SEC head coach. That’s like feeling bad for a Bond villain who punches cats on days when he isn’t pushing children down multiple flights of stairs. Ed Orgeron is in over his head and he knows it, which is why this is so hard to watch.
Florida 7 – LSU 3


Teams: Minnesota (3-1, 0-1) at Purdue (2-2, 0-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Minnesota

This is what good coaching can do for you — I am actually interested in this game. I can’t remember the last time I said that. Probably when Joe Tiller and Glen Mason were coaching. The winner of this game gets one giant step closer to a bowl game, which would be nice for Minnesota, but huge for Purdue. I’ll be rooting for Purdue, but you should root for Minnesota because they have fewer losses right now and would look better on someone in the B1G West’s resume.
Purdue 27 – Minnesota 23


Teams: Maryland (3-1, 1-0) at #10 Ohio State (4-1, 2-0)
Time (TV): 4:00 pm (FOX)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Ohio State

You’re cheering for Ohio State because your parents or guardians or underground fight club raised you as a Buckeye fan and it’s all you’ve ever known. Maryland has some talented skill players, but they are still being led by their third-string quarterback, and he was third string for a reason. Ohio State should overwhelm Maryland on both sides of the ball and each quarter should become more suffocating for the Terps.
Ohio State 52 – Maryland 17


Teams: Arkansas (2-2, 0-1) at South Carolina (3-2, 1-2)
Time (TV): 4:00 pm (SECN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: South Carolina

It’s always fun to tune into an Arkansas game and see which painful way they are going to lose this week. I remember a couple of years ago they lost when the offensive coordinator left the faucet running in one of the press box bathrooms and his dad came and yelled at him something fierce during the game’s final drive and they got like eight delay of game penalties in a row.
South Carolina 37 – Arkansas 33


Teams: #1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0) at Texas A&M (4-1, 2-0)
Time (TV): 7:15 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Texas A&M

You’re cheering for Texas A&M, but right now the SEC is 1990s ACC and Alabama is Florida State. A&M is 2-0 in conference play and yet Alabama is still a 26.5-point favorite. This may be a road game for the Tide, but they’re like an overbearing in-law who makes himself at home wherever he is. He sits in your favorite chair. He checks the fridge without asking. He uses the downstairs bathroom with the door open while we’re all trying to eat dinner.
Alabama 63 – Texas A&M 17


Teams: Michigan State (3-1, 1-0) at #7 Michigan (4-0, 1-0)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (ABC)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Michigan

This is always one of my favorite games to look forward to, but last year’s Spartans took a lot of luster off of this matchup for me. With this game being in Ann Arbor, MSU’s chances are lessened even more. The Wolverines are favored by 10 and have had a week off to prepare. Giving defensive coordinator a week off to prepare for a Michigan State offense is like giving a hammer to an angry toddler — ain’t nobody safe in that house. Michigan State still needs to prove themselves, and this will be another opportunity after completely failing a few weeks back at home against Notre Dame. I don’t see it happening, though.
Michigan 23 – Michigan State 10


Teams: #9 Wisconsin (4-0, 1-0) at Nebraska (3-2, 2-0)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 4.5
Cheer For: Wisconsin

By the way, I dropped that six-minute timer thing a long time ago. I am easily distracted by literally anything. Even matte objects are shiny to me. If you shake keys in my face I will giggle and clap, especially if I’m supposed to be working. I know the Buckeyes play Nebraska this season, but a win here for the Huskers does nothing for Ohio State. You want Wisconsin undefeated when they get to the Big Ten Championship Game. The Badgers are favored by 11, but Nebraska is on a two-game win streak. Have wins against Rutgers and Illinois prepared the Huskers for Wisconsin? Of course not, but this is a night game in Lincoln, so anything can happen.
Wisconsin 34 – Nebraska 24


Teams: #11 Washington State (5-0, 2-0) at Oregon (4-1, 1-1)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (FOX)
Interest: 4
Cheer For: Oregon

At some point, Washington State is going to come back to earth. A good point for that to happen would be this week, so that they can later rebound and beat Washington. I don’t know how, but the over/under for this game is only 59.5. They should have that by the end of the third quarter. Wazzu is favored by three points. Oregon’s only loss this season was a 37-35 blip at Arizona State. Cougars quarterback Luke Falk has thrown for over 1,200 yards with 13 touchdowns and just one interception in his last three games. Oh, I just found out why the over/under is so low — Oregon’s starting quarterback is out. Makes more sense now. Thanks for listening. I’d still probably take the over, though.
Washington State 37 – Oregon 24


Teams: Stanford (3-2, 2-1) at #20 Utah (4-0, 1-0)
Time (TV): 10:15 pm (FS1)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Stanford

You’re cheering for Stanford because you’ve always had a soft spot in your heart for your fallback school. You remember sitting at the dining room table with your parents trying to decide on your future school. You had the pros and cons written out on two lists. Stanford and Toledo. You tallied it all up and the results said Stanford. Your parents, however, laughed and said, “You’re going to Toledo, you idiot.” Stanford is actually favored by 3.5 points in this one, which tells you how much Vegas thinks of Utah.
Utah 27 – Stanford 24


Teams: California (3-2, 0-2) at #6 Washington (5-0, 2-0)
Time (TV): 10:45 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: California

California is winless in conference play and will remain so after this weekend. Nobody has done much of anything against Washington’s defense this season, and their 30-14 win over Rutgers remains their closest game this season. You’ll watch some of this game because we’re sick people, but it won’t be very close.
Washington 38 – California 23


Teams: #19 San Diego State (5-0, 1-0) at UNLV (2-2, 1-0)
Time (TV): 10:45 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: UNLV

This would actually be a nice thing for the Buckeyes. San Diego State is one of the Group of Five schools looking to break into a big bowl game and a win by UNLV to snuff those hopes would make OSU’s win over the Rebels closer to a quality win. I look forward to the day when Ohio State gets to the playoffs this season over Penn State because of the Buckeyes’ win over UNLV. Those will be some amazing reactions from Penn State fans.
San Diego State 48 – UNLV 27