The Tip Sheet — Mahalo, Pineapple Face

Tip Sheet college football

It’s the biggest week of college football to date and we all (but more specifically me) get to sit at home and watch it all happen.

But just because Ohio State isn’t playing doesn’t mean this won’t be a big week for Buckeye football.

Two teams from the Top 11 are guaranteed to lose this weekend, which will help clear the way for OSU.

But as you’ll hear over the next week, it will have also cleared the way for a third SEC team.

I should actually do a separate Tip Sheet for avoiding that.

For now, this one will have to do. Sorry.

Friday October 11

Teams: #20 Virginia (4-1, 2-0) at Miami (2-3, 0-2)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Miami

Miami is favored by two points in this game, which tells you how little anybody has bought into Virginia football. It also tells you how much Miami fans will bet on their team no matter how bad it is. They can’t tell you more than three names on the team, but can name 10 guys from the 90s, including the name on the back of the Ray Lewis jersey they happen to be wearing.

Virginia 27 – Miami 24

Teams: Colorado (3-2, 1-1) at #13 Oregon (4-1, 2-0)
Time (TV): 10:00 pm (FS1)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Colorado

You are cheering for Colorado, but you don’t really have to worry about any one-loss Pac 12 teams at the moment. Oregon is favored by three touchdowns, which seems like a lot given the Buffs’ potential. Colorado is likely without receiver Laviska Shenault, who has now dealt with injuries each of the last two years. When he’s healthy, he’s a one-man wrecking crew. Oregon’s defense is better than Colorado’s especially with Shenault. When the Duck defense is fully healthy, they are easily a four-man wrecking crew.

Oregon 41 – Colorado 17

Saturday October 12

Teams: South Carolina (2-3, 1-2) at #3 Georgia (5-0, 2-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: South Carolina

South Carolina is one of those football programs that is sometimes dangerous but rarely any good. They’re a lot like you if all you watch is Law & Order and you get arrested but feel like you can defend yourself in a court of law because you’ve seen enough trials on television. That doesn’t make you a lawyer, but it does make you dangerous.

Georgia 38 – South Carolina 13

Teams: #6 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0) vs. #11 Texas (4-1, 2-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (FOX)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Texas

The final score of this game hasn’t been separated by more than a touchdown since 2013 (not counting Oklahoma’s 39-27 win in the Big XII Championship Game last year). Oklahoma is favored by 10.5 points. Alex Grinch’s defense is 73rd in the nation in pass efficiency and they haven’t even faced a top passing offense yet. Texas and quarterback Sam Ehlinger will be able to score and he will fight for every last scrap. He’ll need to because Oklahoma’s offense is at a different level than anybody else’s at this point. They are averaging 7.8 yards per carry, which is a full yard better than anybody else in the nation. They have yet to face a stout defense yet, but that won’t happen this weekend either. Texas is going to have to hit as hard as they can on defense and force some turnovers in order to outscore the Sooners in the end.

Oklahoma 48 – Texas 42

Teams: #16 Michigan (4-1, 2-1) at Illinois (2-3, 0-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ABC)
Interest: 3.5
Cheer For: Michigan

Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters — who transferred from Michigan — is doubtful for this game due to a concussion he suffered in last week’s loss at Minnesota. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (his unavailability, not the concussion). Peters has not performed well this year and his backup won’t fare any better this week. Michigan’s defense will be fine. Illinois’ run defense is bad, so that might give the Wolverines some false hope there as well. Is Dylan McCaffrey healthy enough to take over yet?

Michigan 34 – Illinois 10

Teams: #23 Memphis (5-0, 1-0) at Temple (4-1, 1-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Temple

You are cheering for Temple because you want Cincinnati to be the highest-ranked Group of Five team in the nation. You want Ohio State to be able to say they beat the best the Group of Five has to offer. And not only did they beat them, but they shut them out 42-0. You want Ohio State to buy ad time on prime time network television to remind people of exactly how much they dominated the Bearcats. You want Ohio State to replace the “Hell is Real” billboards on 71 with “42-0 is Real.” You want Ryan Day to do a pregame interview where he pulls out a photo of Luke Fickell and tears it in half and then lights it on fire. None of this has anything to do with you not getting into UC, however. That’s all a totally separate story.

Memphis 35 – Temple 21

Teams: Maryland (3-2, 1-1) at Purdue (1-4, 0-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Maryland

This game is the football equivalent of two trains rolling head on at each other, but long before they collide they both derail. The engineers from each train then jump out of the engine and go running at each other wielding fire pokers. One trips over a railroad tie and impales himself on the poker, while the other fails to notice and just keeps running and screaming. Both teams have lost a starting quarterback and and both have been exposed by a competent opponent. They are similar in some ways, but there just seems to be no sunlight in West Lafayette right now. Purdue needs this win, having lost three in a row. A win here for Maryland gets them one step closer to a bowl game.

Maryland 30 – Purdue 24

Teams: Rutgers (1-4, 0-3) at Indiana (3-2, 0-2)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Indiana

Indiana will win. What more do you want from me? This is a Tip Sheet, not a hotel. Keep it moving.

Indiana 38 – Rutgers 24

Teams: #1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0) at #24 Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (CBS)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Texas A&M

Alabama is a 17-point favorite, which has gone up from the 13-point line where it opened. A loss here could finally knock Texas A&M out of the Top 25. A&M’s losses this season have come to Clemson and Auburn, which is great, but their best win so far is a 4-point victory over a 2-3 Arkansas team. If Jimbo Fisher is the great coach that so many people want to believe he is, then the Aggies have to show something in this game. They only have three plays of 40 yards or more this season, which means they don’t have enough explosion in this offense to make this a real game.

Alabama 42 – Texas A&M 24

Teams: Florida State (3-2, 2-1) at #2 Clemson (5-0, 3-0)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Florida State

People are working so hard to make Clemson look good that they’re talking about Florida State being good enough to provide a test for the Tigers. This way when Clemson wins another close one, they can attribute it to Florida State being really good and not Clemson being really average.

Clemson 31 – Florida State 17

Teams: Michigan State (4-2, 2-1) at #8 Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (BTN)
Interest: 4.5
Cheer For: Wisconsin

Michigan State is 3-3 against Top 10 teams the last 2.5 years, which is pretty impressive. I am interested to see how well Wisconsin runs the ball this week after Ohio State put 323 yards on MSU last week. Those 323 yards are 396 more than Tulsa managed to rush for in the season opener against the Spartans. I’ll also be interested to see how Wisconsin compares to the 359 yards rushing they put up against Michigan earlier in the season. I don’t expect them to approach that number this week against Michigan State. I don’t see a whole lot of scoring here. The Spartans will put nine in the box and let their corners live alone. That may be enough to hold Jonathan Taylor in check, but it won’t be enough to win the game because Wisconsin’s defense will be too good for Brian Lewerke and the MSU offense.

Wisconsin 20 – Michigan State 16

Teams: #25 Cincinnati (4-1, 1-0) at Houston (2-3, 0-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Cincinnati

Dana Holgorsen asked key seniors to redshirt this season because the team sucks this year and maybe they won’t suck next year. You have to give it to the guy, he has always been innovative. You are rooting for Cincinnati because you want to see Holgorsen pounded for tanking the season away. You also want to continue to see the Bearcats rise in the rankings. But mostly you just want to see Holgorsen get whooped.

Cincinnati 31 – Houston 14

Teams: Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1) at #22 Baylor (5-0, 2-0)
Time (TV): 4:00 pm (FS1)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Texas Tech

Baylor had a nice 31-12 win at Kansas State last week, and now they get to come home and bask in the glory of their 5-0 start. They are favored by 11 points this week against a Texas Tech team that beat #21 Oklahoma State 45-35 last week. Baylor has one of the top defenses in the conference and the Red Raiders have one of the worst offenses. I’m not sure 11 points is enough here. Bears quarterback Charlie Brewer has thrown 11 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. Baylor will eventually trip up — but they do get both Oklahoma and Texas at home late in the season. (By looking so far ahead and talking about Baylor going undefeated until then, I have gone ahead and guaranteed their loss this week. Please do not let them know that I have done this. I’m not a bad person and I really just don’t want the drama.)

Baylor 37 – Texas Tech 23

Teams: USC (3-2) at #9 Notre Dame (4-1)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (NBC)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: USC

I know you may not believe this, but at one time way back in history, this was a rivalry that mattered in college football. Notre Dame is favored by 11 in this one, but you want them to lose just to eliminate the final stringy vestiges of playoff hopes. USC freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis is back from injury, so that may or may not matter. I feel like Notre Dame will just “Midwest” the Trojans to death. The temperatures are going to be in the 40s, so we may actually lose a couple of Trojans in this game. But that’s football, right!

Notre Dame 31 – USC 17

Teams: Nebraska (4-2, 2-1) at Minnesota (5-0, 2-0)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (FS1)
Interest: 4
Cheer For: Minnesota

The Gophers actually opened +3 in this one but are now -7.5 because Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez and receiver JD Spielman may be out. Minnesota became the first program since 1985 to win their first four games by one score. Illinois was too terrible last week to make it five games of one-score wins. Not much of this has been pretty, but the Gophers did run the ball very well last week and the week before that, quarterback Tanner Morgan set a Big Ten record by completing 21-of-22 passes against Purdue. The ability to run the ball with Rodney Smith and the Gopher receivers catching accurate passes should have them feeling pretty good in this one.

Minnesota 30 – Nebraska 20

Teams: #7 Florida (6-0, 3-0) at #5 LSU (5-0, 1-0)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Florida

There’s really no good way to decide who to cheer for here, but you’d rather face Florida in the playoffs than LSU, so maybe go with that. LSU still has to go to Alabama, but they might actually be able to beat the Tide with their passing game, so a loss here for the Tigers would be good. Florida still has Georgia yet this season. And really, it’s almost assumed that the SEC will get two teams in, regardless of how many losses are compiled. The rest of the nation is fighting an uphill battle to make the playoffs while the SEC gets more passes than the rest of the conferences combined. Joe Burrow is doing great right now but he has yet to face a decent defense. He torched a Texas defense that is 126th in pass defense and 99th in pass efficiency defense. Florida, at 19th in pass defense and 9th in pass efficiency defense, should finally pose some kind of test. While I expect them to affect Burrow more than any other defense this season, he is still a great player and will do whatever is needed to get the win. I don’t see Florida’s offense requiring Burrow to go all that crazy, however.

LSU 28 – Florida 17

Teams: Hawaii (4-1, 1-0) at #14 Boise State (5-0, 2-0)
Time (TV): 10:15 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Hawaii

You are cheering for Hawaii because you’ve always loved everything about Hawaii. In fact, you classmates used to call you Pineapple Face in high school and you loved it because you thought they were commenting on your love of Hawaiian shirts. “Mahalo,” you would respond with a smile and a thumb up. Boise State is going to pound Hawaii in this game, just as your classmates used to pound you. “Horseplay is my favorite,” you would tell the janitor as he would pull you down from the hook on the door of the bathroom stall that was holding you up by the back of your underwear.

Boise State 42 – Hawaii 17

Teams: Washington (4-2, 1-2) at Arizona (4-1, 2-0)
Time (TV): 11:00 pm (FS1)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Washington

There is no use in trying to understand the Pac 12. All you need to know is that college football is unpredictable. You also need to understand that you never put any faith in Arizona. Or Washington. Or Washington State. Or Stanford. Or USC. The only program you can trust in the Pac 12 is Arizona State. That doesn’t mean they’re always going to get the job done, but you can trust them not to screw you over by not even showing up. This feels like a mortal lock loss for Arizona.

Washington 27 – Arizona 24

15 Responses

  1. South Carolina with a huge upset today!

    1. You got that right, Cagey! Now let’s see if the committee crushes UGA like it has OSU in the past- one strike, they are OUT, right? A HOME loss to a garbage team should mean bye bye UGA… and don’t look now, but Alabama is OSU 2018. Great offense, crap defense. Wild happenings! How will the committee tap dance around all this?

  2. Holy haole, no way I’m cheering for Michigan. I’d love to see Illinois lay one on them. Not gonna root for Wisconsin either. Nope.. I hate USC worse than I hate Notre Dame so I can’t cheer for them either. In fact I loathe SUC almost as badly as I despise Michigan. Of course I will be cheering for LSU.

  3. I’ve noticed this year the teams get the play AND the penalty on certain plays. Is this a new rule this year? it used to be you either got the play OR the penalty.

    1. Buckeye in Michigan:

      There is no change in rules along the lines of what you suggest. If a penalty occurs during the play, a team can choose the play or the penalty but not both. If a penalty occurs after the whistle on a play, the play can stand and the penalty assessed as a dead ball foul.

      There are no exceptions I am aware of to the live ball foul “take the penalty or the play” rule. Do you have examples to the contrary?

  4. I never cheer for TTUN. Having said that, a few years back we all danced for joy when TTUN muffed a punt and MSU scored a touchdown for the win. We had no idea that loss would keep OSU out of the B1G championship game until the end of the season. Was the misery of TTUN worth us not getting to play in the B1G championship? Probably not. My point is you never really know which loss is the one that will hurt you till it’s too late

    1. Yes, it was worth it. I’d take that MSU win again in a second.

      1. You’d take an embarrassing loss for TTUN over a possible B1G championship & National championship for OSU? Your hate for TTUN is greater than your love for OSU.

  5. Full disclosure/ I have a man-crush on Frientz; he’s my hero! He coaches at an outpost; his team is above average, and then conf and nationally relevant once every 6 years-just in time for another multi bazillion dollar raise/extension so he won’t run off the the NFL or go run the Universe, I guess. Then the cycle starts again. Genius! And he lives in a locale where you’re extravagant expenses are a new John Deere and Natty Light! Can’t spend any money in Iowa! Imagine he’ll rival Warren Buffet here in a couple years.
    My guy…BIG coach of the year again!?

  6. Cheer for the varmints? Pfft, it’ll be a cold day in the Lake of Fire before I would lower my standards that far. If the argument is that if they win out and then the Buckeyes beat them, it looks better for the judges. Screw the judges. If the Buckeyes can’t take care of their own business, they just don’t belong in the playoffs.

    Geaux Joe and the Bayou Tigers. It would be a great National Title game between the Buckeyes and Tigers. That match up would be the highest rated title game ever in CFB.

    Couldn’t care less who wins between Sparty and Bucky.

  7. Why would we cheer for Minnesota? A Nebraska win over them strengthens our resume, doesn’t it?

  8. Cheer for scUM? Um, no thanks. Hard pass on that.

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