It’s finally #PAC12AFTERDARK week for Ole Miss and Cal, who will kick off the final nightcap of Saturday’s jam-packed schedule. Before that, however, and since you have to twiddle your thumbs throughout the day and night just to watch the Rebs and Bears go at it, we’ve got your weekend watchability guide. You’re welcome.
Quite a bit is going on simultaneously Saturday, and we’ll try to keep you updated with real-time happenings across the country on Twitter, because we’re very good on Twitter, if you didn’t know that already. Further, please go tell Ghost that he needs to be on the ground in Berkeley for this game, because I’ve asked him to write something great about the experience, and further and more to the point, I’ll probably be too howling drunk to write anything at all.
Saturday’s early slate kicks off with an intriguing matchup between Oklahoma State and Pittsburgh at Pitt (11 a.m. CT, ESPN and streaming at WatchESPN). Pitt is something of an SB Nation darling, if only because they knocked off a very good Penn State team last season, then Penn State went on to demolish nearly the rest of their schedule. So, mix in the zany factor of Oklahoma State in town after Pitt’s merciless loss to Penn State this year, and we’ve got all the trappings of a downright barn-burner.
Here’s what else we’re keeping close eyes on as Saturday unravels.
UCLA at Memphis, 11 a.m. CT, ESPN (streaming at WatchESPN)
It’s like #PAC12AFTERDARK but in the middle of the day! UCLA overcame a 34-point deficit against Texas A&M, like, a year ago, and Memphis is ... well, Memphis. The Tigers’ game against UCF last week was postponed, and they beat Louisiana-Monroe, 37-29, the week before. There’s no telling what’s going to happen here -- or anywhere, really, ever — but you should expect maximum CHAOS factor.
No. 23 Tennessee at No. 24 Florida, 2:30 p.m. CT, CBS (streaming at Watch CBS Sports)
Every year this one delivers some of the stupidest football you’ve ever seen, and we are the premier Ole Miss stupid football blog on the web. Last season, the Gators coughed up a 21-3 halftime lead to fail out of Knoxville, 38-28. I’ve seen a full three of these games in person in the Swamp in Gainesville, and they are major events. Lane Kiffin coached one of those games. Tim Tebow was involved in one of them. There’s just no describing the blind rage with which these fanbases approach one another every year, and this year should be a pretty low-scoring affair.
No. 12 LSU at Mississippi State, 6 p.m. CT, ESPN (streaming at WatchESPN)
Our unruly neighbors to the south host our other unruly neighbors to the other south. Ed Orgeron’s glorious return to the state of Mississippi. Two outcomes here: (1) either State pulls off the upset spectacularly late, or (2) LSU straight-up demolishes them. There’s always the possibility of a low-scoring slugfest, but that just doesn’t feel right this year. Not this early in the proceedings, anyway.
No. 18 Kansas State at Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m. CT, ESPNU (streaming at WatchESPN)
UPSET ALERT. TRAP GAME. WHY DO THIS TO YOURSELF, KANSAS STATE. VANDERBILT PLAYS REAL DEFENSE. OH DEAR ME.
No. 3 Clemson at No. 14 Louisville, 7 p.m. CT, ABC (streaming at WatchESPN)
Because you know you have to.
Texas at No. 4 USC, 7:30 p.m. CT, FOX (streaming at FOXSportsGO)
BOAT-RACE THE HORNS. Spencer Hall mentioned on the Fullcast that he’ll be in attendance for a feature he’s writing, which will be absolutely splendid to read. So make sure you know the proper context for when that drops.