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#23 West Virginia Mountaineers @ #8 TCU Horned Frogs (-13.5)
Yeah, we’re just gonna skip the whole noon slot. College Gameday is in Fort Worth for WVU-TCU and that’s where we’re starting the day. You don’t need to get up early and drink a bunch of coffee; watching these two is the football equivalent of amphetamines. That you’re taking at 3:30 in the afternoon? I dunno, just watch Kenny Hill and Will Grier do their thing and don’t worry about that silly little thing they call defense.
Illuminati pick: TCU
#13 Miami Hurricanes (-3) @ Florida State Seminoles
The rivalry better known as Wide Right: the Series has actually gone entirely the other way this decade. And not only has Miami not won a game since 2009, each loss to FSU has signaled the start of a death spiral for the Hurricanes. Guess they’re lucky they didn’t have to play in week 3 this year, huh? Not that it may end up mattering: either way, the Seminoles are out their number 1 quarterback for the season and their offensive line doesn’t seem terribly keen on helping him out. Miami’s status is dangerously close to being updated to “back, no, really, for real this time”.
Illuminati pick: Miami
Air Force Falcons @ Navy Midshipmen (-7.5)
It feels like it’s taken way too long to get to the first of this year’s Commander in Chief series. Navy had a rough go at it last year, losing both of their games and sputtering to the end of the season when all their quarterbacks got. But Zach Abey is a year older and wiser now, and the Midshipmen appear to be doing all the better for it. Air Force...... well, after taking the trophy last year, they’ve had to face Michigan and San Diego State. Also, uh, New Mexico. Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo (a name I can spell without having to look up, thank you) might be out to exact some revenge, Islander-style.
Illuminati pick: Navy
LSU Tigers @ #21 Florida Gators (-3)
If you’re wondering why LSU only has three home conference games this year, this games is why. As for why that is, you might remember last year (like this year) there were some hurricanes, and that cause some shake-ups as far as college football goes. That included the LSU-Florida game, which ended up becoming a whole thing. After much name calling in public, the two agreed to move the game from October and from Gainesville to Baton Rouge. The reason for the original cancellation varies: Florida will cite safety concerns, LSU said “they scared”. The Gators responded by stuffing Leonard Fournette on fourth down and taking the W. Can this year’s game top that? No, it’s the SEC, and the SEC this year sucks. But CBS is trying anyway.
Illuminati pick: LSU
Kansas State Wildcats @ Texas Longhorns (-4)
Here’s a fun fact about Kansas State-Texas that would surprise some of you: the Wildcats hold the series lead over the Longhorns! Even better is Kansas State holding a 9-4 advantage since the Big 12 became a thing in 1998. That’s a lot of losses to Bill Snyder and..... Ron Prince?? Yup, that’s a thing. Undefeated against Mack Brown’s Longhorns. Back to today: Snyder’s had more success in Manhattan than he or anyone arguably really should have, but there it is, and it includes mountains of success over teams from the state of Texas. Houston is not among them, as the two programs have never met, so this is his first shot at new Horns coach Tom Herman. Win or lose, Herman’s going to learn about the conference’s oldest tradition: Snyder sending nice letters to everyone.
Illuminati pick: Kansas State
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-26.5) @ Texas A&M Aggies
Five years ago, some SEC newbies led by one Jonathan Manziel walked into Tuscaloosa for the first time ever and walked out with the W. Nick Saban has never, ever forgotten. That’s not a joke about the Crimson Tide and elephants; Nick Saban is eternal and remembers every time he was ever slighted or bested. Four wins and 182 points later, is he ready to forgive?
Hah, no. Kevin Sumlin is hanging on to his career for dear life, and Saban is delighted to step on his fingers and hear him scream.
Illuminati pick: Alabama
SMU Mustangs @ Houston Cougars (-6.5)
Full disclosure: this space was originally intended for Louisville-NC State, but that had to be on Thursday, so here we are. But hey, the AAC is a fun conference to watch, usually, and Chad Morris has been doing some things in Dallas to lift the Mustangs out of the smoking crater June Jones left them in. Meanwhile, Houston seems to be doing alright following Tom Herman’s departure, under the guidance of “man with the most Texas name ever” Major Applewhite. Enjoy this, because it will probably be better than any other football battle involving teams from Dallas and Houston.
Illuminati pick: Houston
Michigan State Spartans @ #7 Michigan Wolverines (-10.5)
The biggest battle in Michigan is back as the Wolverines take on the Spartans, who are very green, but definitely not mean green, ya dig? That’s UNT’s thing, and if you want to challenge them on it you can meet them in Denton. This game, of course, marks the two year anniversary(ish) of one of the greatest Duffing It!s of our time. It was supposed to mark the dawn of a new era for Michigan as they finally took the trophy back from State, but Jim Harbaugh would have to wait until the following year, when they defeated a Spartans team that finished 3-9. Can they beat one that’s better than that? We’ll find out!
Illuminati pick: Michigan State
#11 Washington State Cougars (-2.5) @ Oregon Ducks
My, how the tables have turned in this series. The Ducks had won eight straight vs. Wazzu, but then Mark Helfrich happened. (He’s not around anymore.) Now it’s Mike Leach and his scurvy crew rolling in to Eugene with a gaudy ranking and their eyes on the Rose Bowl..... or perhaps beyond? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Willie Taggart looks to have turned things around right quick at Oregon, but this will be his first true test in the Pac-12. Other than the first two. But this is the real test. You know?
Illuminati pick: Wazzu
California Golden Bears @ #6 Washington Huskies (-27.5)
This week’s edition of #Pac12afterdark feels like it lacks some punch. Cal was doing pretty great this year.... until they actually hit the Pac-12 part of their schedule. (Also, their previous wins were against UNC, Weber State, and Ole Miss. Not great!) Now they get to play Washington who, opening jitters against Rutgers aside, has seen fit to throw the rest of their opponents right into the trash can. And it’s not some weird, hippie, compost pile kind of thing like they’ve got in Berkeley, Cal. When you get tossed in the trash in Seattle, it’s just trash.
Illuminati pick: Washington
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