You know what happened to the Syracuse Orange on Thursday night, so we wouldn’t blame you for just swearing off the sport entirely. But for those that are sticking with it despite recent disappointments, this is the thread for you.
Below, we spell out key games for both the ACC and college football at large. Watch along with us all day (or don’t).
*all times ET
Given how much Georgia Tech’s struggled this year, Saturday should be an easy victory for Duke. But we know the ACC by now. It’s not always how it works. Just the same, Quentin Harris has looked pretty good this season and should be able to carry the Blue Devils against an “okay” Tech defense.
The big win over NC State a couple weeks ago could’ve been a turning point for FSU, though this game may not dictate that for sure. If Alex Hornibook avoids mistakes and the ‘Noles line makes some room for Cam Akers, there’s a shot this one could get interesting. Clemson has started slower this year — similar to last year. Putting away Florida State would be a reasonable gauge as to where this team’s at.
Rhode Island Rams (1-4, 0-3) at Virginia Tech Hokies (3-2, 1-2), 4 p.m. (ACCN)
Tech may have righted the ship with a win over Miami. They’ll be able to get to 4-2 regardless against a not-that-great URI squad.
The Cards looked decent against BC, but Wake’s unbeaten and Jamie Newman seems poised to chew up a questionable Louisville secondary. There’s lookahead potential with FSU up next for the Deacs, but this team’s well-coached enough to get through and clinch a bowl bid VERY early this fall.
As has been the case for a few years now, Oklahoma’s offense remains a juggetnaut, scoring 53.4 points per game with Jalen Hurts at the helm. Texas has displayed its own offensive firepower at 41.8 points per game this year, but lesser teams like Oklahoma State and West Virginia have managed to score 30-plus on the Horns these past coupile games. Despite that, this game’s always random.
Since a close call vs. Ole Miss to start the year, Memphis has been a runaway train against lesser foes. Temple’s already scored two P5 wins (Georgia Tech, Maryland) and beating a ranked Memphis team would put them in the AAC East driver’s seat.
Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0) at Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
No team’s gotten closer than 24 points to Alabama so far this year. Texas A&M has been involved in some tight matchups lately; though the defense has been up to snuff against everyone. A&M has tested Alabama from time to time lately, but this seems unlikely to be one of those squads. Aggies fans are likely freaking out given the talent on this roster.
Connecticut Huskies (1-4, 0-2) at Tulane Green Wave (4-1, 1-0), 3:45 p.m. (ESPNU)
Of course you want to watch the Mighty Green Wave get to 5-1 and likely get ranked this weekend.
How you feel about Baylor is likely based on what you thought about vanquished foes Kansas State and Iowa State heading into this year. But they’re still undefeated and will draw eyeballs at this point. Texas Tech scored an upset over OK State last week, but also hasn’t looked great against Oklahoma (fair) and Arizona (less so). Impartial viewers are probably pulling for Tech, just because.
Sure, Notre Dame’s annoying but this rivalry’s enjoyable and it would be funny to see the Trojans win. Ian Book at his best is a very effective playmaker. With Kedon Slovis back, there’s a chance USC is looking energized — but he’s still a relative unknown, who now has some film on him for ND’s defense.
Last week, it seemed like Florida’s offense was finally going to collapse against a better defense like Auburn’s. Instead, they thrived, and that’s what makes this game so interesting. Miraculously, LSU’s the highest-scoring team in the country at 54.6 points per game and even if the Gators’ defense is game, it’s going to be very tough for this offense to keep pace. Enjoy an evening with this one (sadly I won’t be around).
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (4-1, 1-0) at Boise State Broncos (5-0, 2-0), 10:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
As good as LSU/Florida’s going to be, this is likely to be the funnest game of the weekend. Both Boise and Hawaii average more than 32 points per game, and Hawaii’s already taken it to a couple Pac-12 squads this year. The Broncos’ defense barely gives up 300 yards per game, and will be tested throughout the game. No matter who wins, this could very well be a preview of the MWC title game.
Still can’t tell you much about SDSU’s offense, though the defense has been impressive all season, barely allowing 270 yards per game. Wyoming just came off scoring 53 vs. UNLV and has also beat Missouri already this year. Should make for an intriguing clash of strengths — and a commentary on which team is more of a contender in the league.
Arizona and Khalil Tate have started rounding into form this year, though not with any resounding wins, necessarily. Washington, while possessing an impressive defense, hasn’t really put some past offensive woes behind them at all now that Jacob Eason’s under center. Despite top-10 expectations this year, they’re unranked and in need of a bounceback. A loss here basically takes them out of contention to win the North.