How can you not be impressed with some of the teams we discussed in last week’s Watch Guide? Clemson was outstanding, Auburn is night and day compared to where they were a month ago and Georgia looks ready to take on all-comers (including Alabama!). Saturday’s lineup features tons of intriguing games that should have you glued to your sofa, flipping between channels all afternoon long! Order the pizza, load up the fridge with your favorite brew, and have a seat – it’s time for the Watch Guide!
Friday, October 6: Look to do something else. Not much to see here, folks. Thursday night’s Louisville-NC State game is on as we’re going to the presses here at DaveOnCollegeFootball.com.
Saturday, October 7:
Wake Forest at #2 Clemson (ESPN) – Wake is surprisingly 4-1 on the season and gave last week’s opponent, Florida State, all they could handle. Will Clemson have a hangover following their dominant win at Virginia Tech last Saturday night? Should be a tricky game for the Tigers, and worth checking out.
#23 West Virginia at #8 TCU (FS1) – Must Watch. TCU is battle tested; their road victories at Arkansas and at Oklahoma State have really caught my attention, and they should catch yours as well. This game is going to feature some really interesting matchups: TCU’s defense that forced then-Heisman contender Mason Rudolph to turn the ball over three times (two INTs, one fumble) in their big victory, against another star QB in WVU’s Will Grier who already has 13 TD passes on the year. I expect TCU’s balanced attack on the ground and through the air to be the real stars of the game, though. Definitely worth watching the entire game.
#13 Miami at Florida State (ESPN) – This rivalry game was supposed to be played a few weeks earlier, but Hurricane Irma had other ideas. FSU has won seven straight in this series vs the Canes but really haven’t looked good since their opening loss vs Alabama (and they lost their starting QB, Deondre Francois, for the year in that game). A shaky game vs Wake Forest last week got them their first win of the season. Miami hasn’t missed a step since their delayed start to the season: they are undefeated and cruised past Duke last week in Durham. However, in the past Miami has found ways to lose this game painfully. Worth keeping an eye on.
SMU at Houston (CBSSN) – I can see all the eye rolls with this one, but hear me out! Last year, SMU stunned Houston in Dallas winning 38-16. SMU is 4-1 on the season and has looked super impressive. They have an NFL calibre talent in WR Courtland Sutton, they smashed perennial Bowl team and SunBelt Champions Arkansas State 44-21 earlier this season, and they even held a 19-7 lead at rival TCU before being overmatched. Houston has looked anything but steady, but has a 3-1 record. They’ve benched QB Josh Allen, who transferred in from A&M at the start of the year, and haven’t really been dominant in any of their games. The Mustangs are rolling and the Cougars might get trampled in the stampede.
#1 Alabama at Texas A&M (ESPN) – Must Watch (at least until Alabama totally dismantles them). With all the talk, yelling, and screaming about yearning to fire Aggies HC Kevin Sumlin after their opening loss to UCLA where the Aggies blew a 44-10 lead, losing 45-44, they’ve managed to navigate their early schedule with a true freshman QB in Kellen Mond to a 4-1 record. Not a bad recovery. If they beat Alabama, they’ll be begging him to sign an extension. But that’s really putting the cart before the horse here. Alabama has steamrolled everyone on their schedule so far, currently beating SEC opponents by an average of 61 points. The Crimson Tide have also had their way with the Aggies ever since Johnny Manziel beat the Tide in 2012. Alabama has defeated the Aggies by an average of 32 points. Good game to tune in to – the atmosphere will be unbelievable at Kyle Field, but how long can the Aggies hang with the Tide?
Michigan State at #7 Michigan (ABC) – MSU HC Mark Dantonio has (so far) righted the ship in East Lansing. After last season’s disastrous 3-9 campaign, the Spartans are 3-1 entering their “Big Brother-Little Brother” battle with Michigan. Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh’s team is facing some adversity, as starting QB Wilton Speight is out for a number of weeks and John O’Korn has been named the starter. Now, most people would be pretty concerned about playing the back-up due to injury to the starter especially at the position of quarterback, however, O’Korn is actually a veteran. O’Korn started 17 games in Houston prior to joining Michigan last year. He also guided Michigan’s offense to slay Purdue two weeks ago when Speight went down, and to be honest, the offense actually looked better with him at the helm. Good game to check out, especially considering the last time the Spartans played in Ann Arbor, we had quite an ending.
#11 Washington State at Oregon (FOX) – Must Watch. Washington State is coming off a huge win vs. USC last Friday and are 5-0 on the season. HC Mike Leach appears to have the Cougars rolling, and he has a pro-prospect QB in Luke Falk leading the way. Oregon is quietly 4-1 on the year. New HC Willie Taggart has the Ducks playing like they did back in the Chip Kelly days, running the football with ease in Eugene. Ducks RB Royce Freeman is back to his 2014-15 form, in which he averaged 1,600 yards and 17.5 TDs. Should be a really fun game to watch, and finally a Pac-12 game that doesn’t require a pot of coffee!
Great games this week folks – hope the Watch Guide works its magic and provides us with some exciting and fun games! Enjoy!