Every week we take a look at what results across the country could most benefit FSU's chances of returning to the College Football Playoff in 2015. There are some fantastic games on Saturday, so 'Nole fans hopefully will have a full, stress-free day to enjoy all the marque matchups. With conference play kicking off for most teams this week, the rooting guide is organized by conference and will continue to be organized by conference for the remainder of the season. Out-of-conference games are listed under the conference of the home team.
Clemson at Louisville: Louisville. UL is desperate to avoid an 0-3 start. With UL's slow start to the season, FSU fans should root for the Cardinals to upset Clemson and in turn, hand FSU's biggest Atlantic Division competitor a conference loss and create a little havoc in the process. This outcome of course would be the most #goacc result of the week if it happens, but it would be most beneficial to FSU's playoff chances at this point and create a little separation in the Atlantic.
Georgia Tech at Notre Dame: Georgia Tech. Notre Dame is still ranked ahead of FSU, so a loss here would be helpful to the 'Noles. It would also give a boost to Georgia Tech, who is chronically underrated, as well as the ACC and FSU's SOS. It is still preferable at this point for Georgia Tech to be as highly ranked as possible when FSU travels to Atlanta in October.
Northwestern at Duke: Duke. Northwestern is a ranked opponent, so this would simply be a nice win for the perception of the ACC. FSU won't play Duke this season anyway unless both teams end up in Charlotte.
Nebraska at Miami: Depends on your take. If you want Miami to help FSU's SOS and the ACC, you'll want Miami. If you want Miami to keep Al Golden, you'll want Miami. If you're a rational, non-SEC college football fan who could never root for your school's arch-rivals, you'll prefer a Miami loss regardless of the consequences for the conference perception. Better question: does Miami fill up the bottom bowl of Joe Robbie for this game?
Air Force at Michigan State: Air Force. Michigan State is coming off a hard-fought win against Oregon last week, and this game against the Air Force Academy screams trap game, though AF's QB is hurt. FSU needs Michigan State to lose because they're ranked ahead of the Seminoles.
Northern Illinois at Ohio State: NIU. Someone has to beat #1 Ohio State, and NIU still owes us a favor stemming from Jordan Lynch opening his mouth a few years ago.
Tulsa at Oklahoma: Tulsa. OU stormed back to beat Rocky Top in overtime last week, and they won't face Baylor or TCU until mid-November, so FSU fans need to hope that they stumble and drop a game they shouldn't between now and then. This Tulsa game in particular could be a trap game for the Sooners, so watch out for that team that plays in the most land-locked state in the country but is named for a tropical storm system.
California at Texas: Texas. Texas' program is in the midst of some turmoil, and hasn't looked good on the field yet this season, so it would be great if they could knock off a Pac 12 team, diminish that conference a little bit, and help the future ACC champion's playoff chances just a tiny bit.
SMU at TCU: SMU. TCU is ranked ahead of Florida State and won't play Oklahoma or Baylor until the final two weeks of the season.
Stanford at USC: Stanford. It appears that the Cardinal aren't very good this year, but it they are going to show up to one game this year, this should be the one. USC is ranked ahead of FSU, so a loss here would be helpful and further diminish the perception of the Pac 12. USC has won 2 in a row over Stanford in the series.
BYU at UCLA: BYU. UCLA remains in playoff contention, and many still believe they could ultimately win the Pac 12. Because they are ranked near FSU, Seminole fans should be cheering for BYU to pull this one out. I'm curious to see what flagrant personal foul BYU will commit in this game.
UConn at Missouri: UConn. Missouri is still ranked after squeaking by Arkansas State 27-20 last week. This would be a bad loss for the defending SEC East champions and other SEC teams' SOS.
Auburn at LSU: Barn. LSU is ranked higher at this point and, if they had a QB, might actually be a legitimate playoff contender with their defense and rushing attack. Auburn beat a UL team--that we've since learned isn't very good--by a touchdown in Week 1 and should've lost last week at home to Jacksonville State, so at this point they're not much of a threat. If they go into Death Valley and beat LSU, however, that will change because pundits will write off the Jacksonville State game as Auburn simply overlooking them for LSU and renew the tired and inaccurate, "LOOK AT HOW DEEP THE SEC IS PAWWWLLLLL, THEY JUST BEAT EACH OTHER UP!" narrative. Prepare accordingly.
South Carolina at Georgia: Sakerlina. UGA is ranked ahead of FSU and this would be a bad loss at home for the Dawgs. South Carolina isn't very good, their window of opportunity has probably closed, and Spurrier is halfway to his tee time at Augusta National at this point. Help us out and show up for this one game, Gamecocks.
Texas Tech at Arkansas: Texas Tech. The only reason this game is even included in the rooting guide is because I want to see an angry Bret Bielema toss a table post-game like Danny Glover did in Angels in the Outfield.
Florida at Kentucky: Kentucky. Just in case you need a reason, a non-basketball loss to Kentucky for UF would be thoroughly enjoyable to watch. UK might actually be a better team than UF. The Cats finally have some momentum going under Coach Stoops and should've won/did win this game in the Swamp last season, so they're out for revenge. This game also starts a 6-game stretch in which the Gators could very easily lose every single game, so let's pull for that...SOS be damned.
Ole Miss at Alabama: Ole Miss. First, Alabama is ranked ahead of FSU, so a Bama loss here would be most helpful for the 'Noles. Now I know you're thinking: "Imagine the hype Ole Miss will generate if they win." Scoring 150+ points in two games against cupcakes and beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa will do that, regardless of who does it. But until Ole Miss proves that they won't falter late in the season and proves they can actually win the SEC West, they'll be just that: hype. Ole Miss won its first seven games of the 2014 season, including that win over Alabama. They then proceeded to lose four of their final six games of the year, and one of those wins was over FCS member Presbyterian College. Further, Ole Miss was a founding member of the SEC in 1932 but hasn't won a SEC title since 1963 and HAS NEVER WON THE SEC WEST. Finally, Ole Miss and Alabama have played 62 times in their series history, which is incredibly lopsided (Bama leads the overall series on the field 51-9-2). Most telling, in the 36 games played in the state of Alabama, the Rebels have mustered an embarrassing 1-34-1 record. I mention all this to say that Ole Miss beating Alabama is the outcome FSU fans should pull for, because history tells us that its very unlikely Ole Miss beats Alabama for a second straight year, particularly in Tuscaloosa, and its much more likely that Alabama will be a bigger threat to make the playoffs at the end of the year than Swag Kelly and Ole Miss.
Schedule via LSUsports
|Thursday, September 17th|
|7:30 PM||Clemson at Louisville||ESPN|
|Friday, September 18th|
|8:00 PM||Florida State at Boston College||ESPN|
|9:00 PM||Idaho State at Boise State||CBSSN|
|10:00 PM||New Mexico at Arizona State||PAC-12 Network|
|Saturday, September 19th|
|12:00 PM||Air Force at Michigan State||ABC|
|12:00 PM||Illinois at North Carolina||ESPN2|
|12:00 PM||Kent State at Minnesota||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|12:00 PM||Nevada at Texas A&M||SEC Network|
|12:00 PM||South Florida at Maryland||ESPNU|
|12:00 PM||Tulsa at Oklahoma||FS1 / FS Go Video|
|12:00 PM||UNLV at Michigan||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|12:00 PM||UConn at Missouri||ESPN|
|12:00 PM||Wake Forest at Army||CBSSN|
|12:30 PM||Central Michigan at Syracuse||ESPN Extra / FSN Affiliates / ACC-RSN|
|12:30 PM||Northwestern at Duke||ESPN Extra / ACC Network|
|2:00 PM||Georgia State at Oregon||PAC-12 Network|
|3:00 PM||Louisiana Tech at Kansas State||FSN Affiliates / FS Go Video|
|3:00 PM||Memphis at Bowling Green||(CSNC )|
|3:30 PM||Auburn at LSU||CBS / CBS Video|
|3:30 PM||Georgia Tech at Notre Dame||NBC / NBC Video|
|3:30 PM||Nebraska at Miami||ABC (blackouts) / ESPN2|
|3:30 PM||Northern Illinois at Ohio State||ABC (blackouts) / ESPN2|
|3:30 PM||Troy at Wisconsin||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|3:30 PM||UTSA at Oklahoma State||FS1 / FS Go Video|
|3:30 PM||Virginia Tech at Purdue||ESPNU|
|4:00 PM||Western Kentucky at Indiana||ESPN News|
|5:00 PM||Utah State at Washington||PAC-12 Network|
|6:00 PM||South Carolina at Georgia||ESPN espn3 Skycam|
|7:00 PM||Colorado vs. Colorado State (Denver)||CBSSN|
|7:00 PM||Texas Tech at Arkansas||ESPN2|
|7:30 PM||California at Texas||FOX / FS Go Video|
|7:30 PM||Florida at Kentucky||SEC Network|
|8:00 PM||Iowa State at Toledo||ESPN News|
|8:00 PM||Pittsburgh at Iowa||BTN (alternate) / BTN2Go Video|
|8:00 PM||Rutgers at Penn State||BTN / BTN2Go Video|
|8:00 PM||San Jose State at Oregon State||PAC-12 Network|
|8:00 PM||SMU at TCU||FSN Affiliates / FS Go Video|
|8:00 PM||Stanford at USC||ABC|
|8:30 PM||Wyoming at Washington State||PAC-12 Network|
|9:15 PM||Ole Miss at Alabama||ESPN|
|10:30 PM||BYU at UCLA||FS1 / FS Go Video|
|10:30 PM||Utah at Fresno State||CBSSN|