Note: The "direct importance" games all assume a TCU victory. I don't want to have to type that everytime.
Game of the Week - Direct Importance, Lurker: #18 Florida vs. #23 Tennessee. I'm not sure when the last time these two teams played each other when they were both ranked was, but I'm guessing some of our readers may not have even gone through puberty. Tennessee opened the year with a convincing win over a North Carolina State team the pundits who clearly do not pay much attention to college football presumed would be an ACC challenger and followed it up last week with a pasting of Georgia Southern. Florida, after looking SHAKY against Bowling Green in their opener, looked equally as shaky in the first half of their game against aggy lats weekend. Believe it or not, Florida clamped down on defense and aggy blew a second half lead. I can get used to these aggy/Missouri SEC losses where the opponents taunt them with chants of "S-E-C." Should Tennessee win I'm not so sure they jump TCU, but Florida is SUPER overranked at present and could make a move up should we both keep zeroes in the loss column. Keep an eye on it.
Game of the Week - Direct Importance, Jumper: #20 Notre Dame beats #10 Michigan State. The REAL old man football game of the week. After blasting Navy in the Mother Country, Notre Dame came back to earth a bit this past weekend, sneaking out of their matchup with Purdon't with a 3 point win and QB controversy. Michigan State parlayed their takedown of Boise with a win over Central Michigan. Since the game is being played in Lansing I'd give MSU the edge. Then again, Notre Dame is almost as overvalued as Florida, so I'd pick them anyway. Besides that, barring a completely lopsided loss I'm not entirely sure we jump the Spartans anyway... and if that happened, have no doubts the Irish would swap places with us. Could be a double whammy. Conflicted, I am.
Game of the Week - Conference Importance: N/A. Seeing as how our game is the only one between two Conference teams, it's us by default. There also aren't any major non-con games of interest involving Big 12 teams unless you count Texas and Ole Miss, and you really shouldn't.
Game of the Week - National Importance: #1 Alabama at Arkansas. Yes, the luster has been sand-blasted off of this game with the Hogs complete disaster against Monroe last weekend. but, hear me out anyway. Since ULM doesn't count as a Conference game, it's STILL the #2 game of the year in the SEC West from a standings perspective, and that's better than the best game in any Conference not called the Big 12. If Arkansas is as bad as has been advertised these past two weeks, then Bama will be tapping the brakes before halftime as they have been wont to do this year. But maybe the Hogs, knowing they could survive an out of Conference loss if they went undefeated in Conference play and won the Championship game, threw the game last week to make Bama overconfident? Nah! If they threw the game, most likely its because John L Smith was on the take from the bookies to help himself out of his current bankruptcy jam. This game will be sadface. Also, if Arky QB Tyler Wilson doesn't play, this choice will default to #2 USC against comically overvalued #21 Stanford.
Game of the Week - Plain 'Ol Hate: SMU vs. aggy. In Dallas. Oh boy. aggy is substantially more talented than SMU, so they should win this one running away... but what if they're down in the dumps after losing their big debut and SMU shows up in the same mode they show up once a decade for TCU? I don't think anyone expected the 52-0 pointsplosion from SMU last weekend after their performance against Baylor, especially the nine turnovers they forced. Whose to say they can't do it again? Garrett Gilbert still kinda sucks, but Zach Line doesn't, and aggy is by no means a well oiled machine. It hurts my soul to say it, but go Ponies.
Game of the Week - Oops, I Crapped My Pants (Placeholder for UT Chokejob when applicable): #5 Florida State vs. Wake Forest. They did it last year. They've done it four of the last six years. Do not rule it out.
Game of the Week - Sun Belt Extends Their Win Streak Over the SEC to Two: Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky. If you watch this, you are officially a college football degenerate, and not in the admirable sense.
Game of the Week - We Lost to Utah State and as a Result Our QB Quit Football for Life: Utah vs. #25. Yeah, that all happened. Utah, the dark horse contender of the Pac-12, lost to Utah State last Friday night in overtime, and then Jordan Wynn - remember him? Tank Carder does - quit football for good. This does not figure to increase the odds of the return of the Utah Ultimate Stripper Fan.
I don't know about you guys, but not having to suffer through the Big Ten underest card of the week until the TCU game late afternoon really tickles my fancy. Should be a glorious to say sit inside and not enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors.