We’ve eclipsed Halloween 2018, and the college football regular season necessarily lasts for three more weeks. That does not include conference championship week, nor December’s bowl season, nor the madness that is the CFB Playoff. There’s still some football to be played, is what we’re saying, and we’re only now entering November, which is when CFP resumes are won and lost.
Take for instance friendly, if sometimes belligerent, neighbors LSU. The Tigers are currently ranked no. 3 in the first published CFP poll of the 2018 season, sitting with one loss currently on the books to Florida, who most recently lost to no. 6 Georgia, who themselves lost to LSU two weeks ago. Outside Alabama, the SEC is a Sophoclean tragedy, and every character is Oedipus.
That being said, something will happen in Baton Rouge on Saturday night. It will probably involve an Alabama team manhandling a squirrelly LSU for a strange-ish Tide victory, which we’ve all come to expect. HOWEVER, the LSU loss will also nag at our first CFP controversy of the season: that is, no. 4 Notre Dame’s station in the committee’s final four and, further, how far down the totem pole LSU falls. What a wonderful system this is.
Anyway, here are our initial viewing picks for the weekend, though you necessarily must flip over to whichever game is going off at this or that particular moment. Watchability is rated on a scale of chaos factor, rankings implications, and general interest for weird football shit.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1
Temple at No. 9 UCF
6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN and streaming online at WatchESPN
The first rule of college football is that one should always monitor an undefeated team. This UCF matchup will probably end with the Golden Knights ruining the Owls’ fall vacation to central Florida, but there’s fight in this Philly club, and the night after Halloween can also steer weird. Take Temple to COVER 11.5 points.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2
Pittsburgh at No. 23 Virginia
6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and streaming online at WatchESPN
The Hoos are legitimate football players this year? Pitt is, well, Pitt? It’s the Friday primetime game, and we’re all exhausted from the week that’s been. Just settle in for some very low scoring football.
Colorado at Arizona
9:30 p.m. CT on FS1 and streaming online at FOXSportsGO
Need a late perk-up? Why not tune in for the possibility of seven collective turnovers and 800 yards of collective offense? It could happen!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3 (EARLY GAMES)
No. 20 Texas A&M at Auburn
11 a.m. CT on SEC Network and streaming online at WatchESPN
HELLO CHAOS TEAMS. HELLO RANKED TAMU ON THE ROAD AT AUBURN. HELLO A 13-10 FINAL SCORE, NO MATTER WHO THE WINNER WILL BE.
No. 6 Georgia at No. 9 Kentucky
2:30 p.m. CT on CBS and streaming online at CBS Sports
The Bulldogs will shit themselves in Lexington this year. This has been ordained since before Bulldogs even evolved as a canine species. And Georgia fans are going to be so piously pissed off. Go Cats.
No. 13 West Virginia at No. 17 Texas
2:30 p.m. CT on FOX and streaming online at FOXSportsGO
New Year’s Six implications aren’t necessarily on the line here, but certainly supremacy in the Big 12 is at stake. More to the point, however, this game is going to turn whacky in a hell of a hurry and stay that way for the duration. Just something to keep in mind when you see that inevitable “oh texas wyd fam” tweet. It’s going to happen.
NIGHT GAMES (DOES NOT INCLUDE THE #PAC12AFTERDARK; THEY ARE A DIFFERENT SUBHEADING)
No. 4 Notre Dame at Northwestern
6:15 p.m. CT on ESPN and streaming online at WatchESPN
Notre Dame is the CFP committee’s last team into the Playoff at the moment, and that fact for many feels like a setup job to dock the Irish out of the semifinal should they lose a game. As we above mentioned, undefeated teams require at least faint attention, especially teams that don’t play in a conference and just sort of flail about across the college football landscape that doesn’t include the SEC.
No. 1 Alabama at No, 3 LSU
7 p.m. CT on CBS and streaming online at CBS Sports
We explained this insanity up above, so please move along.
PAC-12 AFTER DARK
Cal at No. 8 Washington State
9:30 p.m. CT on ESPN and streaming online at WatchESPN
Mike Leach’s Cougs are fun and good as hell. You want a dark horse for the Playoff this year?, give us Washington State. Their schedule from here out is favorable, and the Cougars can score points with abandon. Also, Pullman is a very drunk town.