As a man of the people, I often listen to you, the commentariat, and your general critiques of this here weekly rooting guide. After reviewing last week’s rooting guide I’m happy to report that I agree 100% with your complaints, members of the boisterous commentariat: I was too soft last week. Wayyyy too soft. I’ve taken your constructive criticism to heart and have adjusted accordingly. Hopefully this week is better. I know you’ll let me know in the comments if it isn’t.
Speaking of my heart, last week I was hoping against hope that FSU would rebound from that terrible loss against Boise, find a way to pull themselves together, and salvage a decent season.
Here we sit in week three, and that hope is gone. Everything is terrible and football is incredibly stupid. At this point I can’t see a viable path for the ‘Noles to earn a December trip to Charlotte, Shreveport, or El Paso. So, the primary purpose of this rooting guide has been served through two measly weeks of football. In my view, if this rooting guide can’t serve a legitimate purpose, we should at least have some fun with it, no? If Florida State is a dumpster fire, let’s at least root against everyone we don’t like to also become a dumpster fire. After all, isn’t that what sports fandom is really about? Bringing together a community of fans to root for the downfall of other teams we don’t like in order to deflect from the deficiencies of our own team? Misery enjoys company and I’m here for some schadenfreude.
As usual, all kickoff times listed are Eastern. All games are listed by the home team’s conference. All pain is mandatory.
North Carolina at Wake Forest, Friday, 6pm, ESPN: Wake. Remember when Sam Howell was committed to one basketball school for over a full year and switched on National Signing Day to go play football at another basketball school? Looks like that’s working out for him and 85-year-old Mack Brown so far. We’ll pull for Wake out of spite.
Kansas at Boston College, Friday 7:30pm, ACCN: Boston College. There’s a narrative that Steve Addazio is coaching for his job out here, which frankly is ridiculous. However, a loss to KU would be hugely detrimental to his prospects and embarrassing for the conference. That being said, you couldn’t randomly select a better rock fight in week 3 of the season if you tried. Maybe they should just let Les Miles and Steve Addazio settle this one at midfield. A grass-eating competition. Super max bench presses. Something along those lines. I’d watch. So would you.* Don’t tell me that wouldn’t be entertaining.
*Unless you have Comcast, in which case you physically cannot watch this game on the ACCN.
Bethune-Cookman at Miami, 4pm, ACCN: Bethune-Cookman. At least we can all take solace in the fact that Miami is still terrible. The Canes are 0-2 and likely facing down a home crowd of 10,000 for the BCU game. Miami is the worst team in the state of Florida, don’t let their e-fanbase tell you any different. At least the U is back...to doing what it always does. FMFFM.
No. 1 Clemson at Syracuse, 7:30pm, ABC: Syracuse. We’re all sick of Clemson. They did their job and defeated the traitor last week. From here on out, I couldn’t care less what happens to them. Lead by quarterback-turned-Ozark-star Sofia Hublitz, the Tigers will look to avoid dropping a second straight game against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, a place sans air-conditioning named for an air-conditioning company. The Orange are coming off a 90-point schlacking at the hands of some turtles, so I wouldn’t bet on it.
No. 20 Washington State vs. Houston, Friday, 9:15pm, ESPN: Houston. Mike Leach is travelling to Houston, so odds are extremely high that he may try to break into the Johnson Space Center in order to get some early inside information regarding the Area 51 storming.
‘I don't think that would be a good idea' Mike Leach says of storming Area 51 https://t.co/AaEgVVQVHl— KIRO 7 (@KIRO7Seattle) September 5, 2019
In all honesty, Washington State is ranked and Houston isn’t, so we’ll pull for the upset in this one.
No. 21 Maryland at Temple, 12pm, CBSSN: Temple. Apparently Maryland can play football again. They’ve scored 142 points in their first two games and demolished Syracuse last week. It would be the most Maryland response ever to come out on a sleepy nooner and stub their toe against Temple. I wouldn’t bet on it happening, but why not root for it.
Stanford at No. 17 UCF, 3:30pm, ESPN: Stanford. Put UCF near the top of my list of fanbases I’m sick of hearing from. You’re a non-Power 5 directional school. You play in a soda can stadium. Enough from you already.
Sidebar, whoever is in charge of Stanford’s scheduling needs to find other employment. In consecutive weeks they’ll go Northwestern, at USC, at UCF, Oregon. A cross-country trip to muggy Florida stuck in between your two biggest conference games? Why?
NC State at West Virginia, 12pm, FS1: West Virginia. The Mountaineers are a dumpster fire. After barely surviving JMU to open the year, they were subsequently clobbered by Missouri last week, a team that lost to Wyoming the week before. Meanwhile, NC State is showing some promise and FSU plays them in a couple weeks. We all know the NC State game is always going to be an issue, even when FSU isn’t terrible. At this rate, this year’s matchup is shaping up to be an impending disaster. Let’s take West Virginia in this one and hope for a couch-burner of a game.
No. 19 Iowa at Iowa State, 4pm, FS1: Iowa State. The Cyclones have lost five of the last six to Iowa in the El Assico series. College Gameday will be in Ames and it will be rowdy. These corn people are hungry for an upset over their inter-state rival, and I’m here for it. We’ll pull for Iowa State, the unranked underdog.
No. 6 Ohio State at Indiana, 12pm, FOX: Indiana. This would probably be more intriguing as a basketball game, but IU has given “The”* Ohio State University some nailbiters in the recent past. The Buckeyes seem to be rolling with ex-multiple-time-possible-FSU-prospect Justin Fields at the helm. Maybe the Hoosiers will have something for them on Saturday.
Pitt at No. 13 Penn State, 12pm, ABC: Pitt. A revival of an old classic rivalry, it makes sense to take Pitt in this one since they’re the conference affiliate and the unranked underdog.
Arizona State at No. 18 Michigan State, 4pm, FOX: Arizona State. This is an interesting non-conference matchup. Herm against Dantonio. Arizona State is unranked, Sparty is ranked, so let’s go with the Sun Devils. On an unrelated note, would Michigan State be interested in bringing back a former co-defensive coordinator who, while remaining nameless here, gained some valuable experience elsewhere learning how to not coach a defense correctly?
Northern Illinois at Nebraska, 8pm, FS1: Northern Illinois. Looks like that Nebraska hype train lasted for a week and three quarters. I don’t personally know from experience what it’s like to have your former-powerhouse program blow a non-conference game against an inferior opponent late in the game and thus lose any possible momentum gained and make everyone question your coaching hire, it must be terrible. Bring the pain, Huskies.
No. 24 USC at BYU, 3:30, ABC: BYU. Remember a week ago when USC was written off and Clay Helton was a dead man walking? Look what a win over the math nerds at Stanford does for you. Meanwhile, BYU defeated an undeniably supremely talented...checks notes...SEC East opponent on the road last week yet still isn’t ranked. Talk about disrespect! No one just waltzes into any SEC program’s house and beats them...no one! IT MEANS MORE THERE!
Hawaii at No. 23 Washington, 7:30pm, PAC12: Hawaii. Washington is ranked, Hawaii is the underdog. I just hope Hawaii can adjust to playing an early game. 7:30pm Eastern is like 9am Hawaii time. Don’t quote me on that.
No. 5 Oklahoma at UCLA, 8pm, FOX: UCLA. Goodness what a disaster UCLA is. The Chip Kelly experiment has to be on its last leg. Maybe the Bruins won’t be annihilated by a hundred points in this one. We’ll take UCLA knowing full well they won’t put up a fight.
Kansas State at Mississippi State, 12pm, ESPN: Kansas State. Clanga disposed of Southern Miss last week rather handily, but now they’ve got a quarterback controversy on their hands and travel to Auburn in two weeks. Kansas State has beaten two nobodies through two weeks, so this will be their first test of the year. When in doubt, root against the SEC.
Chattanooga at Tennessee, 12pm, SECN: Chattanooga. I don’t recall Chattanooga’s mascot off the top of my head, so I’m going to just refer to them as the Fighting Asparagus. Please please let this happen, football gods. I want to see the angry orange overall-clad Tennessee burn some more boats after falling to 0-3 with a loss to the Fighting Asparagus. Does Chattanooga have Vanderbilt on their schedule? Once they dispose of Tennessee, they’ll need to beat the best team in the state of Tennessee to claim supremacy.
No. 2 Alabama at South Carolina, 3:30pm, CBS: Sakerlina. We all know Bama will put away the Gamecocks in the first quarter, but let’s pretend.
No. 9 Florida at Kentucky, 7pm, ESPN: Kentucky. Not even a second to think this one over. The Wildcats finally beat the Gators for the first time since something like the James K. Polk administration last season, maybe they’ll move faster than three decades to add a second win. I believe the game two years ago in Lexington was the one that featured UK failing to cover a UF receiver standing by himself, maybe they’ll have that fixed this time around. How in the world Florida is a Top Ten team is beyond my understanding.
Who wins the Florida-Kentucky game?
This poll is closed
UF by >7
UF by <3
UK by <3
UK by >7