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FSU football fan rooting guide, TV listings: Week 4

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Which Week 4 results should FSU fans be rooting for? Plus, TV listings

NCAA Football: Florida State at Louisville
Yeah, we don’t get it either, Jimbo.
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The Seminoles are coming off a sound whoopin’ at the hands of the Louisville Cardinals, and FSU faithful are anxious to see how (or if) the ‘Noles bounce back this week against the South Florida Bulls. But the upside of the ‘Noles being absolutely embarrassed losing last Saturday is that the rooting guide takes on a renewed importance for FSU fans. Since the ‘Noles are once again slotted for a terrible noon kickoff, there will be ample opportunities for FSU fans to watch the other important games throughout the day on Saturday.

Let’s get to those other important games. Times listed are EST.

ACC

East Carolina at Virginia Tech, 12:30, ACCN: Virginia Tech. East Carolina managed to beat NC State but turned around and lost to South Carolina last week. It would not be preferable for them to beat another ACC team on the road. Virginia Tech clobbered Boston College 49-0 last week at home to open conference play, and FSU fans should root for the Hokies to continue to build off that win on Saturday. The ‘Noles likely won’t face Va Tech this year anyway.

Pittsburgh at North Carolina, 3:30, ESPNU: North Carolina. This is a game that could go a long way toward deciding the eventual Coastal Division champion. This is also the conference opener for both the Heels and the Panthers. FSU fans should root for North Carolina on Saturday because FSU plays UNC next weekend at home, but Florida State likely won’t play Pittsburgh this season. A UNC win would boost FSU’s strength of schedule and possibly put UNC back in the AP Top 25 for next week’s matchup.

Duke at Notre Dame, 3:30, NBC: Duke. Notre Dame is overrated...again. Lose to Duke and they might run Brian Kelly out of South Bend. Too bad it’s not basketball season, or this would be a decent conference matchup. FSU fans should root for the Blue Devils on Saturday.

American

Syracuse at UConn, 1:00, CBSSN: Syracuse. FSU plays Syracuse in November, and UConn just beat Virginia last week. Every little win helps FSU’s strength of schedule at this point, and you’d like to hope that one ACC team could knock off powerhouse UConn in 2016 (UConn also plays BC in November). FSU fans should root for the divisional mate on Saturday.

No. 6 Houston at Texas State, 7:00, ESPNU: Texas State. Houston has to be beaten by one of the terrible teams on their joke of a schedule at some point, right? Why not Texas State, a team that just got blown out by Arkansas 42-3 last week and now has No. 6 Houston coming into San Marcos with 9 days to prepare for the Bobcats? At this point I’d give them just as good of a chance of beating Houston as UConn, Tulsa, SMU, UCF, and any other stalwart opponent on Houston’s schedule not named Louisville.

Honestly I just want to avoid a November 17th AP Top Five/Seminole Sadness matchup between Houston and Louisville.

Big 12

BYU vs. West Virginia, 3:30, ESPN2 (Landover, MD): BYU. The Cougars fell to 1-2 after a close loss to UCLA last week, but their 2 losses to Pac 12 opponents have been by a combined 4 points. This week they head to the home of the Washington Redskins for a neutral-site matchup with West Virginia. Amazingly, in Week Four, West Virginia is only one of two remaining undefeated teams in the Big 12. The Big 12 continues to struggle mightily as a conference, as No. 16 Baylor is currently the highest ranked Big 12 team. The struggle of the Big 12 creates a clearer path for the other conferences, and FSU fans should root for the Big 12 struggle to continue by pulling for 2-loss BYU to beat undefeated West Virginia on Saturday.

Oklahoma State at No. 16 Baylor, 7:30, FOX: Oklahoma State. See above. No. 16 Baylor is the other remaining undefeated team in the Big 12, as well as the highest ranked. The collective Big 12 struggle benefits Florida State at this point. Plus, Baylor only has two ranked opponents left on its schedule, and it’s definitely a dicey bet that Texas and Oklahoma will both be ranked when Baylor plays them in late October and mid-November, respectively. The over/under for this game is 76, and that’s probably on the low side. FSU fans should therefore root for Oklahoma State, a team that lost to Central Michigan at home two weeks ago, to continue the Big 12 frustration and knock Baylor (and the conference) down a peg.

Big Ten

No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 8 Michigan State, 12:00, BTN: Wisconsin. Honestly, either outcome is acceptable in this game for FSU since both of these teams are currently ranked ahead of the ‘Noles. However, there are two main reasons to pull for the Badgers. First, Wisconsin is ranked lower than Michigan State. And second, Wisconsin plays Michigan next week, has their bye week, and then hosts Ohio State. Michigan State won’t play another ranked opponent until October 29th. It’s more likely that Wisconsin loses sooner rather than later, but that’s not necessarily the case for Michigan State. Best case scenario: Whisky beats Sparty, then upsets one of Michigan or Ohio State while Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State all beat up on each other. FSU fans should hope for chaos and cannibalism to reign in the Big Ten East, so root for Wisconsin on Saturday.

Penn State at No. 4 Michigan, 3:30, ABC: Penn State. No. 4 Michigan is powered by Jordan apparel and Jim Harbaugh’s boogers, but they’re also ranked well ahead of FSU and they’re playing a Penn State squad team that lost to Pitt and barely beat Temple. FSU fans should root for the unlikely Nittany Lions upset in this one. Michigan hosts Wisconsin next week.

Wake Forest at Indiana, 3:30, BTN: Wake Forest. Believe it or not, Wake Forest is currently sitting at 3-0. They have IU, Syracuse, and (maybe) Army left on their schedule as games that they can conceivably win in order to reach bowl eligibility. A Wake win on Saturday will help FSU’s strength of schedule and help bolster the ACC Atlantic’s argument for best college football division over the Big Ten East, which IU is a member of. FSU fans should therefore pull for the Deacs on Saturday.

Pac 12

USC at No. 24 Utah, 9:00 (Friday), FS1: USC. Utah is undefeated and ranked. This is their Pac 12 conference opener. USC is 1-2, lost to Stanford last weekend in their conference opener, and has looked pretty terrible so far in 2016. And while the Pac 12 is often weird and unpredictable, Utah only has one currently-ranked team on its regular season schedule. A potentially undefeated Utah could bring havoc to the College Football Playoff rankings in six weeks. FSU fans should root for the USC upset because Utah has the chance to play spoiler down the road, and chaos in the Pac 12 is a good thing for the ‘Noles.

Colorado at Oregon, 5:30, PAC12: Colorado. Let me start by saying that this game is really not all that important in the big scheme of the national college football landscape, especially to us East Coasters. These two teams are both unranked and both are currently second in their respective Pac 12 division standings. Colorado had No. 4 Michigan on the ropes in the Big House last weekend until their starting quarterback went down with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, Oregon dropped out of the AP Top 25 because they’re stupid and their “tradition” of going for two after every score looks even more stupid when you go 0-4 on 2-point conversions in a 3-point loss to Nebraska.

Not to be out-stupid-ed this week, Oregon has decided to dress like actual ducks against Colorado. You read that right.

Maybe I’m still bitter about their “No Means No” mock Warchant after the 2014 Rose Bowl. Maybe I get annoyed at seeing Oregon score updates in increments of eight on the bottom line of my TV screen on Saturdays (I just assume that “Oregon 8, Washington State 3” is a baseball score). Maybe I strongly dislike that they stole their mascot from Disney, or that they boldly flaunt the number of national titles they’ve won as their midfield logo. More than likely I probably just hate Oregon for setting college football traditionalism ablaze in 750,000 different versions of neon yellow and puke green. Whatever the true reason, I’m rooting against them every week. And you should too.

No. 7 Stanford at UCLA, 8:00, ABC: UCLA. Stanford is ranked ahead of Florida State and, being the highest ranked team in the Pac 12, currently represents the best chance for the Pac 12 to reach the College Football Playoff. This is an easy choice: FSU fans should pull for the UCLA upset on Saturday because a Stanford loss to unranked UCLA hurts the Pac 12 and is in the Seminoles’ best interest.

Cal at Arizona State, 10:00, ESPN2: Cal. Arizona State is 3-0. Cal lost to San Diego State two weeks ago, then turned around and beat the highest ranked team in the Big 12. Next week they’ll host Utah. FSU fans should root for Cal on Saturday because Pac 12 chaos and cannibalism helps the ‘Noles. Cal will have plenty more chances down the road to tank, as they face both Washington and Stanford in November.

No. 9 Washington at Arizona, 10:30, PAC12: Arizona. Like the Stanford-UCLA game, this is also an easy choice: FSU fans should pull for the Arizona upset on Saturday because Washington is ranked ahead of FSU and a Huskies loss to unranked Arizona hurts the Pac 12 and is in Florida State’s best interest at this time.

SEC

No. 12 Georgia at No. 23 Ole Miss, 12:00, ESPN: Ole Miss. Mark this down: this is the most important game of the week for FSU that doesn’t involve FSU. For the Seminole faithful not subjecting themselves to Ray Jay this weekend, consider this your TV “flip-back” or split-screen noon game. The ‘Noles desperately need Ole Miss to beat Georgia on Saturday. An Ole Miss victory on Saturday gets UGA, a team that in all honesty shouldn’t be ranked in front of FSU anyway, out of the Seminoles’ way in the AP Top 25 rankings. It would also help FSU’s strength of schedule. A Rebels loss means that UGA stays ahead of FSU in the rankings, Ole Miss falls to 1-3 and out of the AP Top 25, and FSU’s strength of schedule (and marquee win in 2016 to this point) takes a hit.

No. 19 Florida at No. 14 Tennessee, 3:30, CBS: Tennessee. What needs to be said here? Florida is getting mighty cocky for having beaten three high school teams. Tennessee follows up this game with trips to Athens and College Station before hosting Alabama. Even if they manage to beat the Gators for the first time in 11 years, they won’t be around for long. It’s been a mighty long time since Tennessee last beat Florida. Lose a twelfth straight to UF, and that seat in Knoxville gets pretty hot for Butch Jones. FSU fans should root for Rocky Top on Saturday...as if it was even up for debate.

Mississippi State at UMass, 3:30, ESPN3: UMass. Nothing like an SEC West team travelling to play an independent FBS team in Massachusetts. What a gauntlet out of conference schedule. This matchup is being played at Gillette Stadium, and Mississippi State is celebrating this tough road game by donning special alternate uni’s that are designed to look like the Patriots. The Bulldogs have already lost to a Sun Belt team at home, so why not go ahead and entertain us again by dropping a game to UMass?

By the way, Scott Stricklin, the MSU athletic director who decided to schedule this game, and who also gave the thumbs up allowing a proven woman-beater to enroll at Mississippi State because it totally wasn’t relevant that he was a 5-star defensive end recruit looks likely to be the next athletic director at Florida. Solid choice.

No. 18 LSU at Auburn, 6:00, ESPN: Auburn. The Weagles have lost seven straight home games to Power-5 opponents and the wheels have fallen off the Gus Bus. You might have to shield your eyes for the lack of substantive offense in this game, but an Auburn upset would likely knock LSU out of the Top 25 and further affirm that the SEC West is essentially Alabama and then everyone else. The lower LSU is ranked, the better it is for FSU if they’re able to knock off Bama, TAMU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, or whatever other random SEC West team the media believes is on the rise down the road. FSU fans should root for the Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagles to beat the Tigers on Saturday.

South Carolina at Kentucky, 7:30, SECN: Neither. Disclaimer: DO NOT WATCH THIS GAME. For your own health and mental well-being, if you find yourself tuning in the SEC Network at 7:30 p.m. to watch this game and listen to SEC Turds Baby Gap and Brett attempt to commentate this game, quickly flip the channel. There are too many good games on at that time to subject yourself to this horribleness. Go spend time with your family. Make yourself some dinner. Read a book. Anything else other than watching this game. You’ll thank me later.

No. 17 Arkansas vs. No. 10 Texas A&M, 9:00, ESPN (Arlington, TX): Arkansas. This is where that Louisville loss really hurts...I can’t believe we’re basically forced to root for Bret Bielema. At 3-0, Woo Pig is off to its best start under Bert, having suffered no September losses for the first time in his tenure at Arkie. Texas A&M is ranked ahead of Florida State, and Arkansas has a tougher remaining schedule, so it is beneficial for FSU fans to pull for the Razorbacks to knock off the Aggies Saturday night in Arlington. The media might be inclined to put Arkansas ahead of FSU in AP Top 25 if both teams win Saturday, but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.

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