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College Football TV Preview: How to Watch Every Game and an Upset Pick

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The title says it all. Go Football.

Michigan State v Notre Dame Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

One of the perks, or curses, of being ranked in the Top 10 of the nation is that poll watching becomes a real thing.

Poll watching? You don’t know?

For those of you unfamiliar, “poll watching” is a Saturday ritual among the ranked elitists that starts with a dedicated fan looking in the morning at the slate of coming games, deciding which ones have implications on the rankings relative to where your team currently stands, and then becoming invested in an outcome to a game that a non poll-watcher would not normally give two squirts about.

For example, the Houston Cougars are currently ranked #6 in the nation, a couple of spots ahead of UW. If pressed, I might be able to name two players on Houston. Maybe. The truth is that I have never cared about Houston nor do I wish to care about them.

However, that Houston sits just ahead of Washington in the rankings means I’m completely invested in the outcome of their games. I watched and I cringed last week as they entered the fourth quarter against Cincinnati behind only to come back and win thanks to a pair of pick sixes that were the definition of “fluky”. Under normal circumstances, I should not have an emotional reaction to anything Houston does. But, because I am now a poll-watcher, I do.

There are some games that are poll-watching interest to UW fans today. I’ve got those and an upset pick for you. Let’s dive in.

The Not-Yet-Frozen Tundra

Games in the heartland are always fun. Because of recruiting dynamics in the midwest, it is often the case that heartland teams are stocked chock full of big, mean men who have competed against other big, mean men all their lives. In fact, when I called NDSU’s upset over Iowa last week, the thing that motivated my pick the most was the fact that NDSU athletes have been playing Iowa athletes all of their lives and would not suffer any kind of unfamiliarity factor at all.

That is why I like matchups such as #11 Wisconsin vs #8 Michigan State. Wisconsin comes into this one riding a little more momentum given their big win over LSU a few weeks ago. Not that Michigan State has slouched off. They are always well coached and have a win over Notre Dame to brag on. Still, I fear that Wisconsin may be the better team and that a road win is not out of the question. Wisconsin is starting a new QB today and their losing streak visiting Michigan State dies date back to 2002. Still, this feels like a Wisconsin win which, of course, would not help UW.

The Aggie Threat

Husky fans need to be watching the #10 Texas A&M Aggies. With a win over UCLA (a team that UW won’t play this season) and a matchup with #17 Arkansas (a game they ought to win), the Aggies are in a nice position to jump over UW in the rankings if UW does anything other than absolutely demolish Arizona.

Yes, I understand that it is the long game that matters and that the SEC will eventually cannibalize itself. But, still, what fun is it to NOT worry about the week to week intricacies of poll politics? Why have polls at all if you are not going to sweat who might pass you this week.

I my view, Texas A&M is clearly better than Arkansas, although FEI does not necessarily see it that way. I suppose I might be influenced by my paranoia, but I will be watching this one closely.

The Upset

I struggled finding a pick that I felt really good about without resorting to the kind of lame Florida over Georgia or Auburn over LSU type of pick (which isn’t really all that dramatic an upset pick - both of which I expect to happen).

The one that has me intrigued, though, is Penn State visiting Michigan. Here is why: Penn State has a sophomore RB named Saquon Barkley who, I swear to you, is the east coast version of Myles Gaskin. He’s bigger than Myles - about 220 lbs or so - but he has that same ability to set up blocks and then to break tackles in the second level. If there were ever a kind of back that Michigan’s vaunted defense might struggle with, it would be a guy like Barkley. This guy is ridiculous after contact.

We all know what Michigan is about right now. They deserve all of their accolades. However, after watching Colorado punch them in the mouth at the start of last week, I’m not totally sure that Penn State can’t do the same. The Nittany Lions are one of those teams that kind of do everything “ok” or “just-better-than-ok”. Plus, they have a legit x-factor in Barkley.

I’ll go on a limb here. Penn State 27, Michigan 24

TV Schedule

Here is the full TV Schedule for Saturday’s action. This will be your open thread.

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
(11) Wisconsin at (8) Michigan State Noon BTN / BTN2Go
(12) Georgia at (23) Ole Miss Noon ESPN / WatchESPN
Kent State at (1) Alabama Noon SECN / WatchESPN
(13) Florida State at USF Noon ABC / WatchESPN
Iowa at Rutgers Noon ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Colorado State at Minnesota Noon ESPNU / WatchESPN
San Jose State at Iowa State Noon FSN / ESPN3
Nevada at Purdue Noon ESPNEWS / WatchESPN
Charlotte at Temple Noon ASN / ESPN3
East Carolina at Virginia Tech 12:30 pm ACCN / WatchESPN
Central Michigan at Virginia 12:30 pm RSN / WatchESPN
Syracuse at UConn 1:00 pm CBSSN / CBSSports.com
Wagner at Boston College 1:00 pm WatchESPN
Gardner-Webb at Ohio 2:00 pm ESPN3
(19) Florida at (14) Tennessee 3:30 pm CBS / CBSSports.com
Penn State at (4) Michigan 3:30 pm ABC / WatchESPN
Pittsburgh at North Carolina 3:30 pm ESPNU / WatchESPN
BYU vs. West Virginia (Landover, MD) 3:30 pm ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Duke at Notre Dame 3:30 pm NBC / NBCSports.com
Boise State at Oregon State 3:30 pm FS1 / ESPN3
Wake Forest at Indiana 3:30 pm BTN / BTN2Go
Appalachian State at Akron 3:30 pm ASN / ESPN3
Miami (OH) at Cincinnati 3:30 pm ESPNEWS / WatchESPN
Mississippi State at UMass 3:30 pm ASN / ESPN3
UTSA at Old Dominion 3:30 pm KMYS-CW 35 / CUSA.TV
Western Illinois at NIU 3:30 pm ESPN3
Delaware State at Missouri 4:00 pm SECN / WatchESPN
Vanderbilt at Western Kentucky 4:30 pm CBSSN / CBSSports.com
Tulsa at Fresno State 4:30 pm MWN
Colorado at Oregon 5:30 pm Pac-12N / Pac-12.com
(18) LSU at Auburn 6:00 pm ESPN / WatchESPN
North Texas at Rice 6:00 pm CUSA.TV
Ball State at Florida Atlantic 6:00 pm CUSA.TV
(6) Houston at Texas State 7:00 pm ESPNU / WatchESPN
Missouri State at Kansas State 7:00 pm K-StateHD.tv
Georgia Southern at Western Michigan 7:00 pm ESPN3
Army at Buffalo 7:00 pm ESPN3
Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee 7:00 pm ASN / ASN.com
New Mexico State at Troy 7:00 pm ESPN3
Nicholls State at South Alabama 7:00 pm ESPN3
Central Arkansas at Arkansas State 7:00 pm ESPN3
UCF at FIU 7:00 pm beIN Sports / beIN Sports Connect
Oklahoma State at (16) Baylor 7:30 pm FOX / ESPN3
(20) Nebraska at Northwestern 7:30 pm BTN / BTN2Go
South Carolina at Kentucky 7:30 pm SECN / WatchESPN
(3) Louisville at Marshall 8:00 pm CBSSN / CBSSports.com
(7) Stanford at UCLA 8:00 pm ABC / WatchESPN
Bowling Green at Memphis 8:00 pm ESPNEWS / WatchESPN
Southern Miss at UTEP 8:00 pm Campus Insiders
UL Lafayette at Tulane 8:00 pm ESPN3
(17) Arkansas vs. (10) Texas A&M (Arlington, TX) 9:00 pm ESPN / WatchESPN
Idaho at UNLV 9:00 pm MWN
California at Arizona State 10:00 pm ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Air Force at Utah State 10:15 pm ESPNU / WatchESPN
(9) Washington at Arizona 10:30 pm Pac-12N / Pac-12.com