For the most part it’s Cupcake Saturday, with most relevant teams playing patsies clocking in to take a beating and a million-dollar check for their trouble. Think of it as intercollegiate football sadomasochist prostitution for the entertainment of the masses. DOMINANCE! and submission… Notre Dame and Syracuse is a more-or-less real game with actual consequences. Harvard v. Yale is important if you went to either school, but if you did, you probably are too busy oppressing the proletariat to read this shit. Cincinnati will cause a lot of trouble for the AAC (Awful, Awful Conference) standings if it upsets UCF this week.
Ohio State at Maryland, 11 a.m., ABC
The Buckeyes can beat up on the most dysfunctional team in football this week in preparation for their real game next week against Michigan, the de facto Big Ten championship since the winner plays Northwestern, which is a good school but so-so in football. Maryland put their coach on probation because last spring a player got heat stroke and they did everything you can do wrong for a kid with heat stroke before they called an ambulance, so he didn’t make it. As it turned out, the whole program was about as fucked up as you’d think it had to be for something like that to happen. Then they rehired him, then they fired him like two days later when everybody who knew anything about the mess went “WHAT????” It may be the worst shit I’ve heard since Jerry Sandusky. Go Buckeyes, and that’s the last time you’ll hear me say that.
Michigan State at Nebraska, 11 a.m., Fox
Michigan State, the worst offensive team imaginable, is a 2-point favorite over the wretched Nebraska. I guess they think the Spartans will manage a safety while holding the Corn Boys scoreless. This has a chance to be the worst game ever played.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 11 a.m., ESPN
Mississippi State is mad because they didn’t score against Alabama and only managed to hurt Tua a little bit. Can they cover the 21-point spread. Probably, but one of the few things Arkansas has been good at this year is covering point spreads against teams that are much better than they are.
Harvard vs. Yale (at Boston), 11 a.m., ESPN2
It doesn’t matter who wins this game to anybody who didn’t go to one school or the other, but all the real people really should watch for a quarter just to see how slow these people are. If I had been smart enough, I probably could have played at least defensive line for Harvard, and I might have made the track team as a middle-distance runner if they’d let me drink whiskey before races.
The Citadel at Alabama, 11 a.m., SEC Network
The only mystery surrounding this game was if gimpy-kneed Tua would step foot onto the field of play, which Nick Saban said he would because you never disrespect an opponent by not beating the shit out of them to the full extent of your capability to do so. Alabama has the two best quarterbacks in the SEC and they’re both hurt. Jalen Hurts’ alleged “high ankle sprain” required surgery and he’s still walking around like I do when the gout kicks up. Alabama always fades a little in November because of injuries. Last year it was all those linebackers when the defense was carrying the team and this year it’s the quarterbacks. So the defense is back to carrying the team again, as usual, which as worked out pretty well shutting out LSU and Mississippi State. True science fact: If the other team does not score, you will win. It might be a good idea to take Citadel and the 52 points, because that’s a metric fuck-ton of points under the circumstances. Will Auburn put up a fight next week? For a couple of quarters, yeah, but they’re not so good at scoring.
Notre Dame vs. Syracuse (at Bronx, N.Y.), 1:30 p.m., NBC
Syracuse is the last, best hope of keeping Notre Dame out of the playoffs. The Irish schedule has been softer than a basket of kitties. Syracuse is a top-20 team and has beaten some people that field teams that look like they’ve seen a football a time or two. They’re playing in Brooklyn, and the Irish are wearing pinstripes to honor the Yankees. Why? Who knows why Notre does all that kinky shit with their uniforms. What do they have to prove? Doesn’t being Notre Dame inspire enough enthusiasm to play one’s hardest? Do you have to dress up like a clown? Just put on the gold hats and the blue shirts and go beat asses. :::Sigh::: Murca’s rurned.
Missouri at Tennessee, 2:30 p.m., CBS
Tennessee, rising like a phoenix from ashes that have been scattered, pissed on and buried, is getting better every week and has one good conference win already against Auburn, but that was on the road. Missouri is pretty good but bad enough to lose at historic (that is to say, crumbling) Neyland Stadium. A win here would be outstanding public relations before the loyal fans who have suffered indignities untold for about 20 years or so, since last the proud Vols showed any indication of being worth a shit.
Massachusetts at Georgia, 3 p.m., SEC Network; Liberty at Auburn, 3 p.m., SEC Network alternate.
Jesus. What a fucking joke. I wonder if the Citadel could beat Massachusetts or Liberty? And can Auburn or Georgia beat Alabama? If Tua’s hurt and Jalen can’t play, yeah, they can.
UAB at Texas A&M, 6 p.m., ESPN2
UAB’s football program got strangled in its crib in 2014 when the university president called a meeting and told the team they were disbanding after a 6-6 season, which was really good under the circumstances of being not very good but gritty and well coached. After great hue and cry from the approximately 923 people who gave a shit, the Blazers have been resurrected and are 9-1 this year against a schedule that included wins over, oh, North Texas, Southern Miss, Rice and La. Tech.
So today, it’s on to College Station and Texas A&M, which could have won all its games this year except Alabama, but Jimbo Fisher really doesn’t need a home loss to UAB if he’s going to continue the illusion of competence necessary for resurrecting the Aggies, who didn’t drop their program, but just sucked ever since that lunatic Johnny Manziel went on to ignominy in the pros.
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network
Ole Miss has had its moments this year, but accumulated a lot of bad karma by running the score up on the poor kids who played for schools who sacrificed their teams on the altar of a big guarantee check. They enter today’s contest having lost three straight games to Auburn, South Carolina and Texas A&M, and this is their last realistic shot at a league win. They beat poor Arkansas 37-33 a few weeks back in a game that was sort of exciting to watch if you didn’t have two praying mantises to drop in a jar so they’d fight, which would have been more entertaining by far. Vanderbilt beat poor Arkansas, too, and needs to win this one and beat Tennessee next week to qualify for a shitty bowl. Lots of luck. Commies.
Cincinnati at Central Florida, 7 p.m., ABC
Cincinnati is 10-1. Fake national champion UCF is undefeated, as their fans will tell you if you make eye contact with one. If Cincy wins, it will create a three-way tie for their half of the AAC (Awful, Awful Conference), at least for this week. Cincinnati’s only loss came to Temple, whom UCF beat but gave up 10,000 yards. In next week’s season finale, Cincinnati has to play East Carolina, another Awful, Awful standard bearer, which is incredibly terrible, even by this league’s standards. UCF has to play South Florida, which is nothing much, but has shown signs of life. Temple plays South Florida this Saturday and UConn next week, so I guess they could lose one of those, and I sort of hope they do. If there’s a three-tie and a disputed crown in the Slightly Better Division of the Awful, Awful Conference, I don’t want to hear about it. But we will. We sure will.