While I believe that the axiom about college football that “every game means something” is not only true, and is also one of the main reasons that it is the greatest sport on the planet, it is true that you really have to get to a certain point of the season for that high-stakes drama to really get you involved. That’s why that even though my beloved Tide is off this week, I’ll still be glued to the television all day tomorrow.

Below is the cheat sheet I’ve made for myself for a day in the recliner with the remote in one hand and a beverage in the other. Chores you (and my spouse) ask?  That’s what the other three seasons are for – this is football season.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring this to your attention first; If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be in one of those “House Divided” marriages that are all too common in our part of the world and unfortunately advertised with one of the worst license plate designs ever, then check out Holly and Doug’s dramatic masterpiece on the relationship between a Vawl and a Dawg. Part one is at Holly’s place and parts two and three are at Doug’s.

The object was to get this post up yesterday and start off by recommending that you watch Clemson at Wake Forest last night. I was hoping for a Clemson victory to give the Tide a little more street cred but that didn’t work out so well. This was a total show of offensive ineptitude that came close to giving the epic in Starkville, between State and Auburn, a run for its money. Clemson’s offensive line is terrible. Just terrible. You could have an all-universe backfield (and they are not far form it) but without a line there are no holes to run in or time to target receivers. I’m thinking Bowden is on his way out.

Moving on to Saturday:

Mimosa and Bloody Mary Games

The day starts off with a doozy in the Red River Shootout. This is the first time in a few years that this game has had this much importance (11:00 cdt, ABC), but it is not a stretch to say that the winner of this game will have made it through the first stop on the way to Miami.

Thirty minutes later you can flip during commericals to ESPN for Colrado at Kansas – the Jayhawks are unbeaten- or to Raycom for South Carolina at Kentucky. I’d like to see the Wildcats win and make Alabama look a little better.

Be checking the bottom line scores for Nebraska at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders should win this easily against the inept Husker defense but I’m of the camp that believes beating two FCS division teams earns you absolutely nothing. If the Leach led bunch wins this going away I’ll consider them a little more for the Mumme Poll.

Wings and Beer Time

The 2:30 time-frame games offer many good contests. The SEC fans will tune in to CBS for Tennessee at Georgia to see if Fulmer is indeed on his way out or if Richt’s team can continue the momentum they were gaining in the second half of the Blackout Beatdown. The Vols could be mathematically eliminated from the  Eastern Division race or the Dawgs National Championship dreams might be snuffed out for this year.

ABC has several regional games at the same time and all have good story lines. Arizona State at USC offers a glimpse at the Trojans climb out of the cellar efforts while over on the East Coast and mid-West everyone will be wondering if North Carolina is for real or if Notre Dame will prove everyone but Lou Holtz correct by losing. Ohio State is still seeking redemption and Purdue comes into the Horseshoe to see what that feels like (hopes of redemption not visiting the Horseshoe).

The Deuce has Michigan State at Northwestern. Northwestern is also undefeated at this point but a resurgent Michigan State team will be their first real test. That’s on at 2:30 as well.

Check the bottom line for: Vanderbilt at Mississippi State

Cocktail Hour (or I switch to bourbon)

Other than Texas/Oklahoma, the marque game of the day and a contest that certainly holds more regional interest is LSU at Florida. This is somewhat cliche but true nonetheless, the winner of this game the last two years has gone on to win not only the conference but also the national championship. A loss for the Gators would but them behind the eight ball in their quest to get to Atlanta after they slipped up against Ole Miss. A loss by the Tigers would not be quite as damning as it appears the only other contender for the West is our own Alabama team, whom they still must play, but with Georgia still on the schedule it would take away any room for error. This game could go either way and the winner would still control their own destiny. That game is the second of the rare CBS double-header and comes on at 7:00.

Over on ESPN 2, Oklahoma State takes their perfect record into Missouri to take on the high-flying Chase Daniel led offense of the Tigers. Somebody has to lose this one and it makes the second contest of the day of ranked, undefeated teams.

ESPN has Penn State at Wisconsin and while this could be an upset for the Badgers that would require that they end a possible three-game losing streak. Confidence is not high.

Other games you can’t watch, unless of course you have Gameplan, are Arkansas at Auburn – story lines galore the least of which would be Auburn’s total elimination from the division race – and New Mexico at BYU – no offense to my NM homies but despite the upset of Arizona, the Lobos suck. Keeping with the UNM/BYU storyline that highlights undefeated, untested teams that face competition they should beat but just might get upset by, you have Ball State at Western Kentucky and Boise State at Southern Miss.

In conclusion, tomorrow is a great day to watch football. Conference play is well under way with a few big rivalries taking place, but beyond that there are a few unbeatens that will not finish the day that way and a few more big upset chances. As we do every week of the season we will finish the day with a few answers and a lot more questions. But perhaps the best thing about tomorrow is that Alabama will start and finish the day 6-0.

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