TRIGGER WARNING: This rooting guide contains political discussions that are controversial in nature, including football, college football, how much we love college football even when Florida State loses, how terrible noon kickoffs are, how empty our weekends and lives feel when football season is over, how much we hate our rival programs with the burning passion of a thousand suns, how awful ACC officiating is, how unqualified Charles Kelly is to stay on as defensive coordinator next year, and references to UF’s 4,848 felony theft charges. Reader discretion is advised.
CAUTION: YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE NO SPIN-SACK ZONE (That means you, EJ Manuel. Get out).
Florida State got its annual mind-blowing loss to an inferior ACC opponent out of the way early this season, and have fallen to 0-2 for the first time since 1989. The ’Noles are unranked this week for the first time in 7 years. Despite this lingering disappointment, our loyal Tomahawk Nation readers know it’s way too early to give up on the ’Noles. We proudly present our super-serious, in-depth, definitely-not-bitter Week 5 FSU Football Fan Rooting Guide.*
Let’s get into this weekend’s slate of games, which are segmented by the home team’s conference. All times are Eastern. Let me know in the comments if you disagree with our picks.
*”Alabama” and “The Bulldogs” got more votes in last week’s poll question predicting who would win the Mississippi State-Georgia game than Georgia did. I’m glad our readers appreciate good humor, you guys are the best.
No. 14 Miami at Duke, 7:00 (Friday), ESPN: Duke. I don’t think it’s necessary to explain this pick, but FSU hasn’t won a game yet this year, and Miami comes to Tallahassee next week. I think all FSU fans can get behind rooting for Duke tonight against the Hurricanes.
Syracuse at NC State, 12:00, ACCN: ’Cuse. The Orange nearly pulled off the upset of LSU in Death Valley last weekend, and now open they open conference play in Raleigh. NC State already has one conference win against some ACC foe [not sure who, didn’t check, don’t care, whatever], so FSU fans should therefore be rooting hard for Syracuse on Saturday to hand NC State a needed conference loss.
Murray State at No. 17 Louisville, 3:30, ACCN: Louisville. There’s no upside to rooting for a FCS Murray State upset of Louisville this week. Besides, UL fans are already plenty upset. Let’s all just take a second to appreciate the last image most college football fans will have of Rick Pitino at Louisville:
Y’all, we could be looking at a situation where our last memory of Rick Pitino at Louisville is of him in a skintight Lamar Jackson jersey. pic.twitter.com/v4NuK5zS7M— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 27, 2017
No. 2 Clemson at No. 12 Virginia Tech, 8:00, ESPN: Virginia Tech. FSU needs all the help it can get catching Clemson in the ACC Atlantic standings, and the Hokies might offer that best chance so far. Clemson beat Virginia Tech 38-17 last December in the ACC Championship Game in Orlando, and they’re 20-12 all-time against Va Tech. But the defending Coastal Division champs have started this season 4-0 and have the easiest remaining schedule of these two teams, with their toughest test after this weekend likely coming in the form of a road trip to Coral Gables in early November. VT offers a tough intraconference test for Clemson, and the Tigers looked lethargic and downright beatable for three quarters of last week’s game against Boston College. No doubt about it, Blacksburg will be rocking Saturday night for their long-awaited return of College Gameday. We’ll know soon enough if the Hokies are for real. FSU fans should root for Virginia Tech on Saturday night.
No. 15 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 8:00, FOX: Texas Tech. One loss in and Pokes fans are demanding that Mike Gundy cut off the mullet and teach his team to play defense. That is an unfair, unacceptable demand by that fanbase. This is the Big 12, where the first team to 100 points typically wins...AND MIKE GUNDY IS A MAN! HE’S 50! HE CAN EMBARRASS HIMSELF HOWEVER HE WANTS! THE BARBER WHO LET HIM WEAR IT LIKE THAT IS GARBAGE!
FSU fans should root for the Texas Tech upset on Saturday because Oklahoma State is ranked and the Red Raiders are not.
Northwestern at No. 10 Wisconsin, 12:00, ABC: Northwestern. Wisconsin is currently reaping a huge geographic advantage from being the only recently decent program in the Big Ten located far enough west to avoid being put in the same division as neighboring Michigan and nearby Ohio State. When your biggest competition in your division is an old, washed-up has-been program like Nebraska, I’d say you’re sitting pretty. FSU fans should root for Northwestern to ruin the party in Camp Randall on Saturday.
Indiana at No. 4 Penn State, 3:30, BTN: Indiana. I have to hand it to Saquon Barkley and the Nittany Lions, there is nothing like winning a tough road game on the final play of the game. That walk-off win at Iowa kept Penn State undefeated and in the AP Top 5, and Saquon Barkley may be the early Heisman favorite. They’ll be back home in Happy Valley this Saturday for what they’re hoping is a quiet home game against IU. FSU fans should pull for the Hoosier upset, even if it is unlikely. PSU has Northwestern next weekend, then Michigan and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks. The Big Ten East race will clear up dramatically in October.
N0. 11 Ohio State at Rutgers, 7:30, BTN: Rutgers. Not a change this is happening, but one could dream. Poor Rutgers, they’re so bad they can’t even cheat correctly. And while the NCAA Committee on Infractions hasn’t yet come down on UNC for making up fake classes for their student-athletes, KUDOS TO THEM FOR PREVENTING RUTGERS FOOTBALL FROM GAINING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
No. 5 USC at No. 16 Washington State, 10:30 (Friday), ESPN: Washington State. I came really close to rooting for USC to win this game because FSU is closer to catching Washington State than USC at this point (assuming the ’Noles can win a damn game), but hear me out on the Cougs: Washington State is currently the highest ranked team left on the Trojans’ regular-season schedule. The Cougars have to go to Oregon next week, and they finish the year at Utah and at Washington. We’re prematurely running out of legitimate chances for USC upsets, but Washington State still has quite a few chances to drop games. This late Friday night Pac 12 game in Pullman should be fun to watch. Go Cougs.
No. 6 Washington at Oregon State, 8:00, PAC12: Oregon State. This is an easy pick. Oregon State is 1-3 and they’ve been outscored 99-190 over those four games. Washington is ranked No. 6 in the country, and their prolific offense has outscored their four opponents 178-47. FSU fans should root for the Beavers to score a few more points on Saturday night en route to an upset of the Huskies.
Cal at Oregon, 10:30, FS1: Cal. This late-night Pac-12 game might actually be worth watching. Cal beat UNC in Chapel Hill earlier this year, so it is advantageous for them beat Oregon. Both of these teams are 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the Pac 12, but Cal has the harder schedule of the two: they’re at Washington next week and hosts Washington State the week after that. There is no harm in rooting for the Cal Bears on Saturday.
Vanderbilt at No. 21 Florida, 12:00, ESPN: Vanderbilt. How does Florida continue to be the luckiest damn football team we’ve ever known? Everyone watching that Kentucky game last weekend just knew that Florida was going to come back from down 2 TDs in the fourth quarter — with Luke Del Rio under center, no less — to beat Kentucky for the 864th consecutive year.
The Gators have 9 players suspended for conspiring to steal innocent people’s credit card information in order to buy laptops and headphones at the UF bookstore, then trying to return some of it in exchange for cash. These 9 players include their only 2 viable offensive weapons, and the Gators have 3 QBs, which really means they have none. Even so, they’ve still found a way to beat Tennessee on a ridiculous last-second Hail Mary, and they came back to beat Kentucky because Mark Stoops didn’t realize that cornerbacks exist until after the Wildcats let UF score 2 TDs by Gator WRs completely uncovered. Don’t worry though, Stoops is looking into the origins of pass defense, and he’ll let you know what his research uncovers.
If Vanderbilt was such a smart school, you’d think it’d learn to stop asking for ’Bama. A 59-0 shutout loss on national TV is a bad look. Hopefully the ‘Dores can end Florida’s streak of luck on Saturday.
No. 7 Georgia at Tennessee, 3:30, CBS: Tennessee. This seems like the kind of game that Georgia drops. Every year it’s the same song and dance. The Bulldogs win a couple games over some average schools they should beat, they sprinkle in a win or two over some FBS schools, and suddenly one month in to the season, their fanbase manages to regain their annual case of amnesia. In the present, they forget that they’re bound to finish this season with multiple, unexplained losses, including the annual loss to Florida. Like most old people with memory loss, they snap out of it in December in Orlando wondering how they ended up in central Florida with 4 losses. Rinse and repeat.
No. 24 Mississippi State at No. 13 Auburn, 6:00, ESPN: Auburn. Mississippi State proved themselves to be under the tent of suspicion last weekend against Georgia. Hell, they might as well shouldn’t have even bothered showing up in Athens. FSU fans should root to get them out of the Seminoles’ way this weekend. Auburn will have its time coming, plus they have a tougher remaining schedule. For all the hoopla of the difficulty of the SEC West, this is likely the last ranked team Mississippi State will play this year not named ’Bama.
Troy at No. 25 LSU, 7:00, ESPNU: Troy. LSU probably should have lost to Syracuse last weekend. Maybe Troy can get the job done and knock the Bayou Bengals out of the Top 25. FSU fans should root for a Troy upset on Saturday in Death Valley.
South Carolina at Texas A&M, 7:30, SECN: South Carolina. FSU fans are now in a sad position where it’s advantageous to root for the Gamecocks in games we otherwise wouldn’t care about since Sakerlina somehow managed to beat NC State in week one. On the positive side, maybe the SEC East turns out to be so terrible that South Carolina manages to win it. That would certainly be preferable to the other window-licker programs in this division we don’t like. The ’Cocks won’t play Georgia or Florida until November, so maybe they can make a run.
Who will win the Clemson-Virginia Tech game?
This poll is closed
Who cares, but how much would it cost to bring Brent Venables to Tallahassee?