With the NHL unable to get their shit together, a time normally dedicated to debating the Sabres lines and going on an NHL ’13 binge must be allocated elsewhere. With plenty of the deeg covering the comedy of errors that is the Buffalo Bills, I’ve decided to offer you something almost as good: a weekly column dedicated to previewing the week’s college football games. It’s almost as good in the way that college football is almost as good as the NFL. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
On to the games…
(8) Stanford at Washington- 9pm Thursday, ESPN
So Time Warner Cable has the NFL Network finally and thus the Thursday night college game does not own a monopoly. Still, do you really want to watch the Ravens and the Browns? Who the hell did the Ravens fuck to get three primetime home games in the first four weeks of the season? That’s a fucking joke. No one likes the Ravens. The Ravens are like the Texans; none of their fans ever venture outside of their city; Houston because they have a burgeoning tech market, Baltimore because Ray Lewis stabs you in the diaphragm at the city limits.
Anyways, Stanford wasn’t supposed to be good this year, then they beat USC. Since my adopted team Clemson lasted four days before collapsing on national television (if you ever want to see a textbook way to blow a ten-point lead, review that game), I’m adopting the Cardinal. I just can’t believe they’re playing this well without the unstoppable Toby Gerhart. As for the Huskies, I like both Washington State teams just because they seem to pull off an impressive upset every several years. Hopefully this isn’t it.
(25) Baylor at (9) West Virginia- Noon Saturday, FX
Good to see FX can interrupt their three month long “Two and a Half Men” marathon to air a football game. We were spoiled last week with plenty of matchups between ranked teams. Only three caught my eye this week, and this one shouldn’t even count. I was looking forward to Baylor going back to irrelevance without RG III, and the Brittany Greiner era still gives me nightmares. Call me next time one teammate stabs another to try and jump him on the depth chart. As for West Virginia, it really needs to be reiterated that a fucking felon received 40% of the vote in the Democratic Presidential primary this year. I don’t know what made this patch of rednecks side with us in the Civil War and break off from Virginia, but if secession ever picks up steam a second time, I’m offering the state of West Virginia in exchange for Austin, Texas.
Like it or not, I’m going to be posting Penn State games on the weekly preview all season, if for no other reason than to remind you that the school didn’t get shut down when the ESPN cameras left Bellefonte. Sure, the team is an abomination, but did you hear they beat Temple!? I don’t know shit about this Illinois team but I do know they are bowl eligible and didn’t become a national laughingstock, unless you count their basketball program and the fact Jeff George is their most prominent NFL alumnus. Some of my PSU brethren are beginning to think .500 is possible this season and if they can somehow win this one, it’s suddenly a real possibility. Amazing they’re one made field goal against Virginia away from being 3-1 and giving double middle fingers to the nation a’la the 1993 Buffalo Bills.
Tennessee at (5) Georgia- 3:30pm Saturday, CBS
I just finished reading a fascinating book by Chuck Thompson, which posits the fact that the SEC is so good is that ESPN (which has a TV contract in the billions with the SEC), stacks the coverage and their polling to such a degree that several SEC teams find themselves in the top slots each year. Therefore, losses to those teams count less and wins against those teams shoot the victor higher, ensuring that each year SEC teams will find themselves not only in the BCS Championship, but sprinkled throughout the BCS bowls. It was an interesting theory that I hadn’t considered before and considering ESPN is the root of all evil I wouldn’t doubt it. Just consider how quickly ESPN paraded every talking head from Stephen A Smith to Mike Wilbon out there to trash the replacement refs while neglecting to mention that the best hockey players in the world are fleeing to fucking Siberia because their season was supposed to start next week. ESPN sucks. As for this game, go Georgia I guess. If we have to have an SEC team in the title game, I’d just prefer it not be Alabama or LSU.
(14) Ohio State at (20) Michigan State- 3:30pm Saturday, ABC
Needless to say I’m not much of a fan of either of these teams. To my dismay Ohio State seems to be climbing the rankings on the way to their inevitable disintegration in front of millions. As entertaining as that would be I’d prefer Sparty to shit all over them for four quarters Saturday so we don’t have to dive into the unavoidable media knob-slobbing all over Urban Meyer. It’s coming eventually but just, not yet please. I’m just glad we’re not into the “WHO WILL BE THE BUCKEYES’ TEBOW!?!?!?!” conversation yet. Ugh, on second thought, no way I’m watching this game and neither should you.
Wisconsin at (22) Nebraska- 8pm Saturday, ABC
Two more Big Ten teams, albeit ones that I just can’t bring myself to hate as much. I have fond memories of watching Penn State battering Wisconsin while on vacation in Florida in 2008 and as much as I’m told that game never happened, I still seem to remember it. As for Nebraska, I rooted for them in the early 90’s when Penn State was irrelevant, which was pretty often outside of 1994. I even had a Nebraska had for a little while in high school. Both these teams are going to end up being rather irrelevant, but a night game in Lincoln is always entertaining to tune in to. I could check their records right now but I just pissed away that free hour and am now writing while ignoring some meeting from Delaware. The things I do for you.
Ole Miss at (1) Alabama- 9:15pm Saturday, ESPN
I know it’s only week five, but I’d say we’re already at the point where you should check into every Alabama game to see if they’re in a dogfight, and then change to another game if you see it isn’t. Two of the poorest, least educated and most racist states face off here but you won’t know it from all the southern belles and bros that will be in the stands at this game. Speaking of Alabama, NCAA Football for Playstation 2 several years back had a mode where you could play with your entire team as the mascot. I always loved lining up eleven Alabama elephants against eleven Syracuse oranges or Notre Dame leprechauns. They don’t have that mode for the game anymore and it makes me sad. Although I might have only liked it because I played stoned pretty much that whole year I had it
Tough back to back games for Arizona, who get Oregon State fresh off beating UCLA. Apparently after their win, Mike Reilly took the team to In-N-Out Burger to celebrate. Let me warn everyone right now: unless you are moving to the West Coast, do not go to In-N-Out burger. If you’ve seen the It’s Always Sunny episode where Dee and Charlie think Frank fed them human meat and then spend the rest of the episode attempting to satisfy their unrelenting craving for human flesh, you know what I’m talking about. I drove through In-N-Out right after leaving the San Francisco airport in March, housed a burger on the Interstate heading to my hotel and I have needed another taste of its sustenance since. Seriously, I have been angling at my office for another trip to San Fran for seven fucking months because I need another cheeseburger. If I go back, I’m ordering 40 dollars worth, not leaving my hotel until my meeting and then stuffing my bag with their delicious burgers to get me through the day. They may have wonderful lounges and bars in that city but seriously, I’m not wasting another chance there not eating double-doubles. And how can Mighty Taco ship to California but In-N-Out can’t ship to me? You are evil, In-N-Out. Pure evil.
See what I said above about teams from Washington State, and then disregard it because I’m not sure Oregon losing is in the best interest of anyone who is rooting against an all-SEC national championship. Despite the fact that the swooshes from Eugene were already the last non-SEC team to play for the crystal skull or whatever the hell they call it, they’re possibly out best hope, although Florida State, Kansas State and yes, apparently Notre Dame have outside chances so long as Georgia, LSU, and South Carolina lose games. Sure the Cougars aren’t really good, but they do have sharp unis and the ghost of Ryan Leaf so all hope is not lost. Or it is, whatever.
Because of work I couldn’t fit in some superfluous paragraph on the Bills so here’s a few of my thoughts on the Buffalo sports landscape:
-Fuck Gary Bettman
-Seriously though, Gary Bettman sucks
-Gary Bettman is ruining hockey as we know it
-One of the WGR talking heads said this week that he was actually leery facing the Patriots after losing two straight games because “if there’s any week where Belichick will get their attention…” Give me a fucking break. Would you rather play the Patriots when they’re 3-0 instead of 1-2? Because you’d tell yourself they might be due for a fucking letdown? Do you want the team to be good or not? Because good teams will play the Patriots tough no matter what their schedule looks like. My god, I know this region can be defeatist sometimes (#DiseaseOfLosing) but come on, it’s week four and the Bills are 2-1! Freddie might be back! Jesus optimism isn’t the worst thing in the fucking world.
That said: Pats 31 Bills 21