Florida State fans are anxiously looking forward to the Seminoles’ important Top-10 matchup against Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday. College GameDay will be on hand for the FSU’s ACC opener, and the hype surrounding this noon game will be huge. However, there are other important games on Saturday that Florida State fans should keep their eyes on as well. Let’s get to those games that should keep the Seminole faithful’s interest piqued in week three. Games are organized by the home team’s conference and times listed are EST.
No. 25 Miami at Appalachian State, 12:00, ESPN: Miami. Our emotions want App State to embarrass Miami, but our heads tell us that a Mountaineers upset of the Hurricanes on Saturday would ultimately be bad for Florida State’s strength of schedule and terrible for the ACC.
JUST KIDDING. Embarrassing Miami is something we all love and hope for, and this rooting guide is no place for “FPI ratings,” “game control,” or “rationality.” Miami was complaining earlier this week about the size of the Boone airport and the lack of available lodging for the team. Miami has the audacity to complain about the accommodations at Boone Municipal Airport? I’m sure you could take a smaller plane if you make all three fans flying on the team jet ride in coach on a Southwest commercial flight instead.
Lodging issues a problem? Suspend another player or two and your whole active roster can fit on one floor of the Boone Quality Inn. But you know what really solves those issues? NOT SCHEDULING A HOME AND HOME WITH A SUN BELT TEAM. Give props to App State though...they sold out all 24,050 seats at Kidd Brewer Stadium, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Hurricanes react to the pressure of playing in front of twice as many fans as they do at home. I hope Miami loses by three scores, and you should, too. Miami Hate Week is only three weeks away. Go ‘Neers.
Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech, 12:30, ACCN: Georgia Tech. In case you weren’t aware, Georgia Tech was a founding member of the Southeastern Conference. The lyrics to Alabama’s fight song, “Yea Alabama” still includes a line referencing the Yellow Jackets. In this battle of the nerds, please let our conference’s nerds be slightly more athletic. Don’t you dare even think about losing to Vandy and embarrassing us, Paul Johnson.
Boston College at Virginia Tech, 3:30, ESPNU: Boston College. FSU fans should root for BC because FSU will face Atlantic Division foe Boston College on November 11th but won’t face Virginia Tech this season. Besides, the clearly-still-rebuilding Hokies ruined their chances of landing in our good graces by fumbling the ball 374 times against Tennessee last weekend, so FSU fans might as well root for a slight bump in our strength of schedule by pulling for the Eagles.
South Florida at Syracuse, 3:30, ACCN: South Florida. FSU plays both of these teams this season, but the Bulls are a good team and on the cusp of cracking the Top 25. Syracuse is not. Florida State fans should pull for USF to beat Syracuse on Saturday because it is better for FSU’s strength of schedule.
No. 12 Michigan State at No. 18 Notre Dame, 7:30, NBC: Notre Dame. I’m willing to bet quite a few of you will disagree with me here. Here’s my explanation: a Notre Dame win over Michigan State would create a little bit of havoc in the Big Ten, which is something FSU fans should be pulling for at this early stage in the season. Notre Dame has already suffered a loss, with plenty more chances to drop another game later in the season (i.e. N.C. State in Raleigh, Stanford, and Miami). Michigan State also has Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan left on their schedule, but they haven’t suffered a loss yet, either.
Imagine the damage Michigan State could do to the Big Ten if they lose to Notre Dame but then manage to knock off one or more of Whisky, Ohio State, or Michigan. They’re probably not going to beat all three of them, so role the dice on Notre Dame this weekend.
Sidebar: count Michigan State as having the worst bye-week placement of all 2016 college football schedules. The Spartans opened with Furman and had their bye last week. They’ll now play 11 straight games to close the regular season.
Virginia at UConn, 1:30, ESPN3: UVa. Virginia needs a new football scheduler. And a new offense. And a new defense. The punter can stay.
Pitt at Oklahoma State, 3:30, ESPN: Pitt. I think Pitt is one more win shy of entering the Top 25, and that Penn State win last week was big. What Oklahoma State team shows up on Saturday? Probably an angry one that is still ticked about an officiating mistake that cost them last weekend’s game against Central Michigan on a final, improbable Hail Mary lateral that never should have happened. That could be bad news for Pitt, but FSU fans should root for the Panthers in this one.
The Big 12 is really struggling so far this year, and the only time FSU would even see Pitt would be in the ACC title game. Every out-of-conference win helps the perception of the ACC, and the Big 12 could find itself on the outside looking in for a playoff spot if the schools’ collective struggles continue or if Texas stumbles.
No. 3 Ohio State at No. 14 Oklahoma, 7:30, FOX: Oklahoma. Oklahoma already has the Houston loss and this is a nonconference game. FSU fans should be rooting for all the teams ranked near the ‘Noles to lose at this early point in the season anyway, and it just comes so naturally for Florida State fans to pull against Urban Meyer. Plus, you have to love a backup quarterback talking smack ahead of a big game he probably won’t play in. Meanwhile, the best quarterback Urban Meyer ever produced somehow thinks concussions played a role in his putrid NFL career. Given the choice between arrogant and delusional, I’ll take the former. FSU fans should pull for Big Game Bob and the Sooners on Saturday evening.
North Dakota State at No. 13 Iowa, 12:00, ESPN2: North Dakota State. How can you pass up a chance to pull for NDSU?! Iowa survived El Assico!, but this game might be a bigger test. FSU fans should root for the FCS powerhouse in this one to pull an upset over a Top-15 Big Ten squad.
Colorado at No. 4 Michigan, 3:30, BTN: Colorado. This game is a rematch of one of the craziest finishes in college football history. Kordell Stewart tossed that improbable Hail Mary in the Big House 22 years ago almost to the day, and Colorado has been giving Jim Harbaugh an incredible taste of his own troll medicine this week, so how can you not pull for the Buffaloes? Besides, Michigan is ranked two spots behind FSU, so ‘Noles fans should root for the Colorado upset.
No. 22 Oregon at Nebraska, 3:30, ABC: Nebraska. Somebody needs to hold Oregon accountable for what their uniforms are doing to college football traditionalism, and what better team to do it than a program that wishes it was still the 1980s? Any ranked Pac 12 loss is good for Florida State right now, so FSU fans should pull for the Huskers.
Duke at Northwestern, 8:00, BTN: Duke. Another battle of the nerds, another #goacc selection. FSU fans should root for their conference mate on Saturday night.
USC at No. 7 Stanford, 8:00, ABC: Southern Cal. Talk about rooting for chaos. At No. 7 in the AP, Stanford is the highest ranked team in the Pac 12. Southern Cal got embarrassed by Alabama by nearly half a hundred in week one, and Nick Saban still wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. The more the Pac 12 can cannibalize itself, the better it is for FSU’s College Football Playoff hopes. FSU fans should be pulling hard for the Trojans to upset Stanford on Saturday night.
UCLA at BYU, 10:15, ESPN2: BYU. The Cougars were two points shy last weekend of going 2-0 against the Pac 12 through the first two weeks of the 2016 season, but they still have a chance to take two of three on Saturday against the UCLA Bruins. FSU fans should root for BYU on Saturday because a UCLA loss would hurt the eventual Pac 12 champion’s strength of schedule down the road, thus hurting the Pac 12’s chances of securing a spot in the College Football Playoff.
No. 11 Texas at Cal, 10:30, ESPN: Cal. This is a battle featuring the two shakiest Power Five conferences so far in 2016. Believe it or not, No. 11 Texas is the highest ranked team in the Big 12, miraculously jumping from unranked to No. 11 after beating an overrated Notre Dame squad in overtime in week one. Cal lost to San Diego State last weekend, so they’re not much of a threat, and an upset of an overvalued Texas team would offset that loss at best. FSU fans should therefore root for Cal on Saturday night.
Ohio at No. 15 Tennessee, 12:00, SECN: Tennessee. Please Tennessee, please put away Ohio early so you can be well-rested and extra-prepared for Florida next week. It’s been 11 years since you last beat the Gators. George W. Bush was still in his first term as President. Harambe was a young gorilla still figuring out the world. In short, Florida owns you as a program. It’s finally time to make that streak come to an end. Get it together.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 Ole Miss, 3:30, CBS: Ole Miss. What a perfect potential scenario for Florida State as the SEC West race begins. Alabama, the only team ranked ahead of FSU, has to go to Oxford to play an Ole Miss squad the ‘Noles beat two weeks ago. FSU fans should be rooting for the Rebels to somehow pull off a third straight improbable win over the Tide, removing the team ranked in front of FSU and making the Labor Day win over Ole Miss look more impressive, thus helping FSU’s strength of schedule.
East Carolina at South Carolina, 4:00, SECN: East Carolina. How terrible is the SEC East, you ask? In the first two weeks, preseason front runners Tennessee and Georgia have beaten App State and Nicholls State by a combined three points. Kentucky lost to Southern Miss and then had their manhood stolen by UF for the five-millionth straight season. Missouri got embarrassed by West Virginia. Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt. South Carolina got clobbered by Mississippi State, a team that lost to South Alabama in their home opener, last weekend in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
This week the Gamecocks have ECU on tap, who just beat NC State last weekend. Did I mention that senior QB Perry Orth got yanked at halftime last weekend in Starkville and has likely lost his job to a freshman? Nobody forced you to take this job, Muschamp.
Mississippi State at No. 20 LSU, 7:00, ESPN2: Clanga. Blow this game and the Ceaurxdeauxg fans might literally run Les Miles out of Baton Rouge. LSU is also wearing throwback alternate uniforms for this game, and LSU always goes all Cajun voo doo and plays poorly when they don’t wear their white jerseys. I personally can’t wait to hear Les Miles color commentate some MACtion Tuesdays on ESPN...it would be fascinating. This would be a bad loss for LSU and further proof of just how
deep mediocre the SEC is behind Alabama. FSU fans should root for Mississippi State on Saturday.
No. 17 Texas A&M at Auburn, 7:00, ESPN: Auburn. If an unranked Auburn team upsets an overrated Texas A&M team, will Kentucky and Mississippi State fans brag about how great the SEC is? You bet they will.
North Texas at No. 23 Florida, 7:30, ESPNU: UNT. The Gators are going to be 3-0 before they play anyone worth a darn, which is annoying. North Texas is one of the worse teams in the FBS, and UF is probably already looking ahead to next week’s matchup in Knoxville. Crazier things have happened, but don’t be surprised if the former Purdue transfer QB takes the majority of the second half snaps in relief of the former Oregon State transfer and Alabama walk-on QB in this likely one-sided affair.
No. 16 Georgia at Missouri, 7:30, SECN: Missouri. I’m not really sure what Georgia is doing right now, and I don’t think Kirby Smart does, either. I’m willing to bet he’s already called Jake Coker at least once to see if he has any eligibility left. Either way, Georgia looks overrated (shocker!) and FSU fans should root for the Missouri upset on Saturday.
Remember when Missouri came into the SEC East and won the division in their first two years as a member despite being told that a mediocre Big 12 program could never compete in the vastly superior Southeastern Conference? Remember when Georgia got tired of Mark Richt underperforming and fired him? Remember when Georgia was supposed to compete for a national title this year and Jacob Eason was supposed to be a better quarterback than Deondre Francois? Remember when some school named Nicholls State almost beat Georgia last week and the Dawgs plummeted seven spots in the AP Poll? Georgia fans remember all of these painful facts.