Couch Potato: Tom Ensey pisses you off – Week 8 of college ball on TV doesn’t suck, though there’s always the chance it will

 

Michigan at Michigan State, noon ET

No. 6 Michigan should tear off No. 24 Michigan State’s head and shit in it, but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen. Michigan is only so good, and Michigan State is only so bad.

Michigan State’s quarterback threw 52 passes last week and completed 24 and they still only scored 17 points against the appallingly overrated Penn State. Watching Tua Tagovailoa has ruined me. If he threw 52 passes Alabama would score 200. More on him later.

Michigan beat the hell out of Wisconsin last week, which could mean Wisconsin is worse than I thought or Michigan’s better, but you know me and the Big Ten. Nobody’s any good but Ohio State and they represent all worldly evil, but I like that band.

Auburn at Ole Miss, noon ET

When Auburn quits, they quit full speed, and the Tigers sat on the porch and whittled last week while losing to Tennessee. The Auburn season has turned into a tractor-tire fire, the bitter stench, orange flame and black plumes of toxic smoke spiraling into the blue Alabama sky like the futile prayers of doomed hostages. Auburn is a 2.5-point favorite this Saturday over a team Alabama beat 62-7, and what has happened recently to make you think Auburn will win at all?

This season is so over, Auburn fans are free to start worrying about next year, when there will not only be no running backs, offensive line, defense or kicking game – there will also be no quarterback. Jarrett Stidham has got to be thinking about how he probably cost himself a year and a few million bucks by hanging around to watch the rubber burn.

Speaking of millions, Gus Malzahn is counting his. Soon he can sit around the Financially Secure Fired Auburn Coaches Club with Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik, Brother Oliver, Wayne Hall and Pat Dye and brag about how he beat both teams in the 2018 national championship game.

It’s a hard time for Auburn fans – do you hope the guys turn things around, wind up 6-6 or 7-5, go to some shitty bowl and save Gus’ job for another year, or hope things fall apart and stake all hope on some imaginary coach who can come take over and save the Plains?

No. 16 North Carolina State at No. 3 Clemson, 3:30 p.m. ET

If Clemson’s going to choke, this is the week. North Carolina State is only ranked 16th despite being undefeated against a gallery of inept opponents (their only semi-tough game, against West Virginia, was canceled because of the hurricane).

If they knock off the Fighting Dabos, they’ll be Top 10 and in position to win the ACC if they can keep from losing two more league games, a big if. It’s a sad commentary on the state of things in this woebegone era. The Wolfpack could totally win the rest of their shitty schedule, beat some wonk in the ACC championship game then sit back and be the centerpiece of a perfectly valid argument that an undefeated conference champion has no place in the College Football Playoffs.

No. 1 Alabama at Tennessee 

The big question here is Tua’s knee – he twisted it against Happy Appy, sprained it good against Arky, re-sprained it last week against Missouri causing his mother to pray out loud on a cutaway shot as a million Bama fans and even more gamblers joined the conversation with their higher power.

Tennessee is all sparked up after their big road win over the death-spiraling Auburn last week, which was probably a false flag. There’s no doubt the Vols are getting better each week, which is to be expected now that they have an actual football coach in charge. But they still need players, which they lack in abundance.

The word is UT will start two freshman cornerbacks, so Tua could play in a wheelchair and throw three touchdown passes. The 28.5-point line looks like it might be somewhat competitive, though Alabama’s defense looked like the olden days when offensive production of 250 yards and 17 points assured victory.

The Tide is going to start a walk-on punter, and why not? The other guy should have bought a ticket the last three weeks and the couple of times he did punt it looked like a flare gun, straight up and fizzle.

Mississippi State at LSU 7 p.m. ET 

Would it really surprise anybody if Mississippi State somehow cruised into Baton Rouge and beat LSU with a safety on a bad call on the last play of the game this week?

LSU is just weird, which should come as no surprise when Ed Orgeron is your coach, who is cool in a weird sort of way or weird in a cool sort of way, I can’t decide which. Ed’s the kind of guy I think I’d like to have a beer with, but I’d want to sit within sprinting distance of the door in case he started a bar fight.

A week after getting their head handed to them by Florida the Tigas beat the living hell out of Georgia, magically providing the only impetus imaginable to make me want to actually watch the Cocktail Party next week.

Mississippi State’s got a Sasquatch quarterback who can break contain and rumble for 10 yards between the tackles at a top speed of 2 mph whether he’s in the open field or with two defensive linemen and a cornerback on his back. Against LSU, could this be enough?

Probably not. But would it surprise you? Not me.

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