Things are crazy these days. And there are a lot of important things going on in the world that capture our attention. So, it’s really nice to have a college football Saturday to just be able to sit back, watch your favorite team play and forget about all the craziness around us for a few hours. Unless, of course, you’re a fan of Purdue. Or Wisconsin. Or Army. Or Air Force. Or Tulsa. Or Navy. Or UT-San Antonio. Or Rice. Or Charlotte. Or Middle Tennessee State. Or Arizona. Or Utah. Or FIU. Or UTEP. Or Louisiana Tech. Or North Texas. Our Louisville. Or Virginia. Or Washington. Or California. Or the entire crew of Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff show. Or Trevor Lawrence. Oof.
Other than those teams, everyone in FBS is back playing this weekend with the return of the Pac-12. Let’s make a few picks.
Michigan @ Indiana: As much as some sportswriters have already written the obituary on Michigan’s season, they still mostly control their own destiny in the Big Ten East. Win out the rest of the way, and Michigan is playing for a Big Ten title. Of course, the problems that showed up last week vs. MSU likely haven’t magically been fixed, and Michael Penix Jr is poised to give the Michigan defense fits all day. Michigan pulls this one out in overtime.
UNC @ Duke – Can the Heels recover from going on the road, giving up a big lead, scrambling to make it interesting but ultimately lose to an inferior team? Well, good news is they already did that once this year, so hopefully that experience proves fruitful. Heels win big at Durham High School Stadium.
Arizona State @ USC – The first game of the Pac-12 season kicks off at noon eastern – 9am Pacific! – and no one have any idea what’s going to happen. Given the level of attention the State of Arizona is receiving these days, we’re going with the Sun Devils for the win.
Liberty @ Virginia Tech: This game is notable because Liberty is actually ranked in the top 25 for the first time in its school’s history. We’re not going to wade into all the issues that Liberty faces as a university, but they have invested heavily in athletics, and are being rewarded for that investment. Shout out to the Flames! And now, you’ll lose. You’re welcome!
Florida vs. Georgia: The world’s largest socially distanced cocktail party gathers in Jacksonville, with the SEC East title and the right to get taken to the woodshed by Alabama in the SEC Championship game on the line. Florida’s coach Dan Mullen is beginning to embrace the Spurrier-esque role of villain, most recently acting like a WWE promoter after his team got into a brawl at halftime against Missouri. (Who gets in a brawl at halftime, anyway?) Georgia, meanwhile, is coming off a rousing 14-3 win over Kentucky that was most notable for only lasting 2.5 hours, which was God sparing the world from having to witness any more of that futility. While Georgia has enjoyed some national attention over the past few days, we don’t think the football team is that good. Florida wins.
Maryland @ Penn State: Penn State fans are understandably disappointed with their start, but things get back on track today. Please. For the sake of our household happiness, come on Nittany Lions!
Clemson @ Notre Dame: The biggest game of the day, and the best player in college football won’t be available for the Tigers. Of course, the backup threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns last week. The sign of a great team is that they play poorly, take a quality team’s best shot, and still find a way to win. That’s what Clemson did last week. Notre Dame hasn’t really played anyone that’s any good, so naturally they are overrated. Clemson brings them back to reality tonight in South Bend.
Enjoy the games!