Week 8 of the college football season holds only a handful of CHAOS GAMES, but each of them are real firecrackers. Michigan has to travel to East Lansing, Stanford has to travel to Tempe, and CLANGA has to roll into Baton Rouge.
Last week’s watchability guide landed on about 50 percent of our game viewing picks, and anyway you’re always able to pick up the clicker and flip over to whatever weirdness is happening elsewhere. There are a couple of counter-programming options going up against the Auburn-Ole Miss matchup in the 11 a.m. slot, so maybe keep a couple of other screens handy.
The night games are sorta whatever, though we’re thick into the mid-majors’ brawl stretch of the season, which is always interesting. UCF may very well be eyeing an actual Playoff berth if they win out and, say, Clemson fails hard down the stretch, so they’re always fun to keep in mind.
Otherwise ... Tulsa? FAU? TEMPLE? It’s up to you. As ever, our watchability ratings are rated on the eyeball test, chaos factor, rankings implications, and general overall chances for stupidity. Just make sure you check out this Thursday night appetizer.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18
Stanford at Arizona State
8 p.m. CT on ESPN and streaming online at WatchESPN
Oh, you thought the #Pac12AfterDark was exclusively limited to Saturday nights? YOU THOUGHT WRONG, MY FRIEND. Tempe has the potential to get weird in a hell of a hurry here. It’s Thursday night, after all, and Herm Edwards’ body clock is so long removed from the vicissitudes of coaching football — let alone COLLEGE football — that he’ll surely show up to work over-caffeinated and in the mood for a real brawl.
CBS Sports’ most recent betting line for this little ditty lists a 56.5-point over/under, so you’re definitely going to want to lay money on the UNDER.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19
Colorado State at Boise State
8 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and streaming online at WatchESPN
Um, well, it’s college football, and it’s a Friday night before the Auburn game, and, uh, well, it’s college football. That the game is happening on the Murder Smurfs’ home blue turf does not bode well at all for the Rams, who are 3-4 on the year with losses to Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, and [record scratch] Illinois State?
Boise as a -24 favorite feels a bit absurd, but go throw money at that cover anyway. The Rams are toast as severe road dogs.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20 (EARLY GAMES)
No. 6 Michigan at No. 24 Michigan State
11 a.m. CT on FOX and streaming online at FOXSportsGO
HARBAUGH RAGE FACE ALERT, especially if Michigan State decides to get squirrelly in East Lansing, which has every possibility of happening.
No. 16 NC State at No. 3 Clemson
2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN and streaming online at WatchESPN
Is NC State up to the task? They’ve come quite close in recent memory. If the Wolfpack do in fact pull this upset off, they may well drag the entire ACC out of the College Football Playoff. GLORY.
Wake Forest at Florida State
2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and streaming online at WatchESPN
Oh mercy this is going to be painful for everyone involved. This is your “oh no wyd fam” on Twitter game of the week. At least among the early set.
Coastal Carolina at UMass
2:30 p.m. CT, it’s not on television and it’s not even streaming
This is here merely as a joke. Go Chanticleers, though.
NIGHT GAMES (DOES NOT INCLUDE THE #PAC12AFTERDARK; THEY ARE A DIFFERENT SUBHEADING)
No. 22 Mississippi State at No. 5 LSU
6 p.m. CT on ESPN and streaming online at WatchESPN
Why not. Let the Tigers paw around with CLANGA for a couple quarters then shut the door and watch #DawgTwitter froth itself into an unholy rage.
No. 12 Oregon at No. 25 Washington State
6:30 p.m. CT on FOX and streaming online at FOXSportsGO
#Pac12AfterDark and it won’t even be dark at the time of kickoff. Keep this one on the back-burner until maybe the third quarter, when Mike Leach and company decide to make things REAL INTERESTING for the Ducks.
PAC-12 AFTER DARK
Arizona at UCLA
9:30 a.m. CT on ESPN2 and streaming online at WatchESPN
Here’s the most appropriate preview for this particular spat.
JOE BUCK: Welcome to the top of the 47th— Justin Klugh (@justin_klugh) October 28, 2015
[Sun keeps getting bigger]
[World engulfed by flames]
BUCK: oh god yes
Enjoy the games, y’all.