Who is ready for some football?
After an invigorating, smash mouth contest between Stanford and Oregon State last night, I enter into the Halloween weekend reminded that any given Saturday ...
UW is obviously still in the thick of the playoff hunt even if their “one-loss” resume doesn’t necessarily stack up as strongly as other potential one-loss resumes. Some things still need to break right for the Dawgs even if they handle their business from here on out.
Thus, our weekly rooting guide.
Lucky for Dawg fans, there are a lot of juicy matchups that have playoff ramifications. Let’s jump in.
Week 9 UW Fan Rooting Guide
#2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State
Root for: whatever it takes to get a single B1G playoff candidate
Penn State is in the meat of their schedule. They crushed Michigan last weekend. They now get @ Ohio St and @ Michigan St over the next two. If they were to win tomorrow, they would essentially eliminate Ohio St from the playoffs and create an opportunity for themselves to be the one true playoff candidate for the B1G.
Ohio State, on the other hand, is saddled with a “quality loss” but controls its own destiny in the East. They still get to host Michigan State and a road trip to Michigan before their season concludes. If they were to win this weekend, the two leading B1G East contenders would each have one loss and each of them would be one game away from playoff elimination.
Both teams are undefeated in B1G. So, yeah, this is a big game.
The good news is that UW can get to the playoffs just as easily no matter who wins the game. The bottom line here is that UW fans ought to be rooting for a clear B1G Ten champ with no argument to be made for a second team to get in. How to get there kind of depends on who you like and how you feel about the schedules of Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State.
I still think that Ohio State has the clearest path to a B1G championship and, thus, I’m personally hitching my wagon to them. Therefore, I’m rooting for the Buckeyes.
#11 Oklahoma State at #22 West Virginia
Root for: West Virginia
OKST has had two unimpressive weeks in a row and has demonstrated that they are vulnerable to any team with a pulse on D. West Virginia may not have that strong of a heartbeat defensively, but they do have Will Greer at QB and an offense that can go score for score with the Cowboys.
A second loss for OKST would be eliminating for them and put the Cowboys in a position to become a spoiler for the rest of the Big 12.
#3 Georgia at Florida
Root for: Florida
The Bulldogs have had one of the easier schedules in the SEC to date. Their trip to the Swamp represents the beginning of a tougher stretch including South Carolina and Auburn. That said, Florida is probably one of the bigger threats on the schedule.
There is an interesting backdrop to this game given all of the issues with “death threats” to Jim McIlwain and all. Whether or not there is a hangover on the game remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that Florida has the kind of pressure D that can flummox young Georgia QB Jake Fromm. What is also clear is that Florida - who is prone to giving up big plays - is at risk given that Georgia has been a top 5 explosive plays kind of team.
I’m not sure that Florida has a great shot at the upset. But I also don’t think that there is such a huge gap in talent between these two teams that you could totally write it off.
#4 TCU at #25 Iowa State
Root for: Iowa State, duh.
Iowa State is a surprise entrant into the top 25 this week. Obviously, this is due to the ISU upset over Oklahoma. Otherwise, there really isn’t anything remarkable from either the stats or the eyeball test that suggests the Cyclones belong in the club.
My expectations are low for this game. If there were to be an upset, it would fall under the subject of “conference cannibalism”. I’m not betting on it. But a man can dream.
#14 NC State at #9 Notre Dame
Root for: Notre Dame
This one is controversial, but hang with me here.
Notre Dame just dismantled USC and is squarely in the CFP hunt. However, they have one loss already and they still have Stanford ahead. While the odds seem to not favor Stanford after what we saw last night, the truth is that those two teams are pretty close to a 50/50 matchup, statistically speaking.
Thus, there is a reasonable bet to be made that the same Stanford team that UW must beat to even be a factor in the playoff race will hand ND their second loss.
Given that, we still need NC State to drop one more in order to thin out the ACC race. A two-loss NC State team as ACC champs would be pretty hard to place over a one-loss PAC 12 champ (not impossible, just difficult). This is especially true if you apply the transitive property to ND as a common opponent for the conferences (because the scenario of ND being undefeated against the ACC is still possible).
Thus, I think we want Notre Dame here.
#16 Michigan State at Northwestern
Root for: Northwestern
I admit, I do love the idea of Michigan State sowing chaos in the B1G East. To do that, they need to beat at least Penn State next week and maybe even Ohio State a few weeks out. Of course, if they happen to accomplish all of that, it would be much more useful for UW if the Spartans already had a second loss on their ledger (their first is a “quality loss” to Notre Dame). Northwestern would be good time to drop one..
Michigan St has not played Northwestern since 2013. They could be in for a surprise on the road against a team that their current roster of players has hardly seen. These are the kinds of games where “upset alert” gets triggered at kickoff.
#21 USC at ASU
Root for: ASU
This is probably the most important game this weekend as it relates to UW’s playoff hopes.
I’ve made this case several times over the past two weeks. ASU winning the South is ideal for a UW team should they be fortunate to win the North. In that case, UW gets the chance to avenge a loss and erase the stain of that loss in the eyes of the selection committee. In essence, a one loss UW team would become a “half-loss” UW team for purposes of slotting College Football Playoff candidates.
A home win for ASU over USC would essentially put the Sun Devils in the driver’s seat for the division race.
Texas Tech at #10 Oklahoma
Root for: decimation of the OU defense, even if they win
The word is out: Oklahoma’s D is not very good. Because of that, Oklahoma’s odds of running the table are less than 10% per S&P+. Whether or not Texas Tech hands Oklahoma this second defeat is not supercritical. You might even argue that Oklahoma taking their second loss here and then beating both OKST and TCU head to head is an ideal outcome. In fact, it may be.
EIther way, exposing the weakness of OU’s D will help if and when it comes down to comparing one-loss resumes. It may not be enough to put UW in over the Sooners if it were to come to that, but it can’t hurt.
Duke at #13 Virginia Tech
Root for: Virginia Tech ... next week
The ACC is a muddled mess. The big thing that we need from Virginia Tech is a win over Miami next week. Thus, root for whatever puts VT in a position to do that. If they happen to get hung with a second loss at the hands of Duke but that motivates them to take it to the ‘Canes, so be it.
A win over Duke doesn’t really help Virginia Tech in a theoretical head to head analysis against a one-loss UW, so I’m indifferent to this game.
Utah at Oregon
Root for: Oregon
I know this is against your religion. But Utah - tied for the lowest scoring team in the PAC - still has a pulse in the South. They need to be eliminated.
Weekend Football TV and Streaming Guide
Friday Night Schedule
|Tulane at #24 Memphis||5:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Florida State at Boston College||5:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Tulsa at SMU||6:00 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Buffalo at Akron||8:30 AM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|#5 Wisconsin at Illinois||9:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#8 Miami at North Carolina||9:00 AM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#11 Oklahoma State at #22 West Virginia||9:00 AM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Rutgers at Michigan||9:00 AM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|Arkansas at Ole Miss||9:00 AM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas at Baylor||9:00 AM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisville at Wake Forest||9:20 AM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Virginia at Pittsburgh||9:30 AM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|California at Colorado||11:00 AM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Florida Intl at Marshall||11:30 AM||None||Facebook.com|
|Kansas State at Kansas||12:00 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Air Force at Colorado State||12:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|San Jose State at BYU||12:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|#2 Penn State at #6 Ohio State||12:30 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|#3 Georgia at Florida||12:30 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|#4 TCU at #25 Iowa State||12:30 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#14 NC State at #9 Notre Dame||12:30 PM||NBC||NBCSports.com|
|UCLA at #12 Washington||12:30 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#16 Michigan State at Northwestern||12:30 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Georgia Southern at Troy||12:30 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Appalachian State at UMass||12:30 PM||NESN/Eleven||UMassAthletics.com|
|Louisiana Tech at Rice||12:30 PM||None||FloFootball.com|
|Indiana at Maryland||12:30 PM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|Houston at #17 South Florida||12:45 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Vanderbilt at South Carolina||1:00 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky||1:30 PM||Stadium||Twitter.com|
|Austin Peay at #18 UCF||2:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisiana Monroe at Idaho||2:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Utah at Oregon||2:45 PM||Pac-12 Networks||Pac-12.com|
|Texas State at Coastal Carolina||3:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Missouri at Connecticut||3:30 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|Old Dominion at North Texas||3:30 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Minnesota at Iowa||3:30 PM||FS1||FoxSportsGo.com|
|UAB at Southern Mississippi||4:00 PM||None||CUSA.tv|
|Mississippi State at Texas A&M||4:15 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|Duke at #13 Virginia Tech||4:20 PM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|New Mexico at Wyoming||4:30 PM||ESPNU||WatchESPN.com|
|Tennessee at Kentucky||4:30 PM||SEC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|Nebraska at Purdue||4:30 PM||BTN||BTN2Go.com|
|Georgia Tech at #7 Clemson||5:00 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|Texas Tech at #10 Oklahoma||5:00 PM||ABC/ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|UT San Antonio at UTEP||5:00 PM||KMYS||CUSA.tv|
|Arkansas State at New Mexico State||5:00 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|#15 Washington State at Arizona||6:30 PM||Pac-12||Pac-12.com|
|UNLV at Fresno State||7:00 PM||AT&T SportsNet||None|
|Boise State at Utah State||7:00 PM||CBSSN||CBSSports.com|
|#21 USC at Arizona State||7:45 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|San Diego State at Hawai'i||8:15 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|