We are in the final quarter of the college football regular season. And your Washington Huskies are still undefeated. That means I’m officially switching this over from the viewing guide to the rooting guide. Washington has to keep winning for any of this to matter but it’s not getting ahead of ourselves to look around the college football landscape and cheer hard for specific outcomes. In previous weeks there were just so many variables that it was tough to say if a given result was good or bad for UW. There’s only one game this week where that’s still the case but I have a feeling I know how UW fans are going to root.
SUGGESTED VIEWING/ROOTING GUIDE (all times PT)
9:00 AM: #3 Michigan (9-0) at #10 Penn State (8-1), FOX
DraftKings Betting Line: Michigan -4
Michigan’s preseason is finally over. For the first time this season they will play a team with a pulse. And if you’ve watched Penn State’s offense against half decent teams this year then there’s reason to quibble with that description of them. There’s no question here that Washington should be rooting for Penn State. A loss here by Michigan makes it much less likely that the doomsday scenario occurs where both Michigan and Ohio State make it at the expense of the Pac-12. If PSU were to win then it’ll either be an undefeated Ohio State team which 100% makes it and a 2-loss Michigan or it’ll be a 1-loss round robin and zero undefeated Big Ten teams.
12:30 PM: #18 Utah (7-2) at #5 Washington (9-0), FOX
DraftKings Betting Line: Washington -7.5
Alternate Game: Miami (6-3) at #4 Florida State (9-0), ABC
DraftKings Betting Line: Florida State -14
This is the toughest game left on Florida State’s schedule and their best chance to pick up a loss before the ACC championship game. There’s a decent chance that wins the next two weeks would leapfrog Washington over FSU. But let’s not leave it to chance and instead have the Seminoles drop from the ranks of the undefeated. Go...Cristobal? That didn’t feel good to say.
4:00 PM: #9 Ole Miss (8-1) at #2 Georgia (9-0), ESPN
DraftKings Betting Line: Georgia -10.5
It’s debatable whether a home game against Ole Miss or a road game at Tennessee is tougher for Georgia. But Georgia is the only one of the elite teams that also plays a pair of ranked teams like Washington does this week and next. A loss by Georgia would mean that similar to the Michigan/Ohio State situation, there is just about 0 chance that the SEC can get in two teams. I could see it happen where a 1-loss Georgia with only a loss to Alabama in the SEC title game plus a 1-loss SEC champ Alabama both make it in. The Bulldogs need to drop their first game in over 2 years to make it happen. Go...Kiffin? This is not great.
7:30 PM: USC (7-3) at #6 Oregon (8-1), FOX
DraftKings Betting Line: Oregon -16
How you want to root on this one likely depends on your perspective.
Option #1: If you’re already resigned to the fact that Washington is probably going to have to play Oregon in the Pac-12 title game then you want Oregon to go into that game 11-1 so that either a win or a loss makes UW look as good as possible.
Option #2: If you want there to be any chance that Oregon drops enough games to miss out on the Pac-12 title game then you absolutely need USC to pull the upset here.
I find it very unlikely that the USC team we just watched play Washington is going to be able to win in Eugene. But there have been plenty of examples of teams playing better as soon as a disliked coach/coordinator is let go and hopefully the Alex Grinch firing will have that effect.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.