Friday, October 12
8:00 p.m. — Navy (2-3, Ind.) at Central Michigan (2-3, 0-2), 8:00 pm (ESPN2)
Again, a Friday night? Auugggh. It's the dead zone for college football and I won't stand for it. (I'll still probably watch.) There's a slight chance the point total is a little crooked, hitting the 30s for both, because Navy runs like crazy and CMU on occasion puts up a wild passing performance, and while Navy has trouble with the pass, CMU is susceptible to the run. Works out.
Saturday, October 13
12:00 p.m. — Kent State (4-1, 3-0) at Army (1-4, Ind.) (CBS Sports Network)
I don't get this channel, but I hope you do, because it's as national a spotlight Dri Archer is going to get until the Rutgers game in two weeks. Even if he doesn't return a kickoff for a touchdown — and with any smarts they'll kick away from him — it should be a nice showcase for the Golden Flashes. A loss would dash aspirations at a historic season but it wouldn't take them out of bowl hopes.
1:00 p.m. — Toledo (5-1, 3-0) at Eastern Michigan (0-5, 0-2) (MAC Digital Network)
This ranks right up there with Ohio-UMass as "games which look terrible on paper but might be competitive." If EMU ever needed a game in which to look competitive, this would be the time. The problem is, the Rockets are probably playing better than anyone in the conference at the moment. Way, WAY better than Ohio. Their only hope is that the mad weather levels the field a bit, causing the Rockets to "only" score 30.
2:00 p.m. — Akron (1-5, 0-2) at Ohio (6-0, 2-0) (ESPN3) (MAC Digital Network)
Last week it was shown that you can have the most passing yards per game, a good front seven is going to mess you up. Ohio sort of has that, but they've also been havin' a hard time stopping second-tier MAC East teams lately.
In the grand scheme of things, a third unspectacular win in the MAC is still going to get OHIO ranked based on how late it is in the season, but some type of 33-7 victory is likely what's needed not only to dissuade the shrinking ranks of pessimists, but also to give themselves confidence heading into games against tougher East teams.
3:00 p.m. — Western Michigan (3-3, 1-1) at Ball State (3-3, 1-2) (ESPN3)
Two straight wins over AQ conference teams and suddenly Ball State is in a must-win game if they have a shot at the West. The main question mark is BSU's defense, as in, pretty much everybody involved. Their offense isn't the issue, especially with having possibly the best O-line in the MAC (four sacks allowed) so another high-scoring is possi— aw, heck, they're all possible shootouts. But if the Cardinals can't win here, they play four of their last five on the road, and I'm not seeing a bowl game in their future.
3:30 p.m. — Buffalo (1-4, 0-2) at Northern Illinois (5-1, 2-0) (Comcast Sports Net Chicago/ESPN Game Plan/ESPN3)
This season has been downright enjoyable because both one-win teams (Akron and Buffalo) are not entirely pushovers. Three of UB's losses were valiant efforts, so maybe they're on the verge of being respectable, but the problem is that NIU is on a bit of a roll since Week 1. They haven't been dismantling teams but all the wins to date are respectable.
3:30 p.m. — Miami (3-3, 2-0) at Bowling Green (3-3, 1-1) (BCSN/ESPN Game Plan/ESPN3)
It's a fight to the middle, and boy it's foggy. Above them right now are OHIO and Kent State. Below them are your Akron/Buffalo/UMass conglomerate. Winner of this game probably finishes third. Yes, Miami is perfect in conference play, but consider the competition, then consider their running game and defense. BGSU is still a tough draw, but they're not scoring many points and having to win it on defense (still weird to say that).
N/A — UMass (0-6, 0-3) vs. BYE (∞)
On paper it doesn't look like much of a matchup, but if you're not doing anything, keep an eye on this one. The Minutemen are improving week by week and BYE could potentially be overlooking these FBS newcomers. UMass has played BYE in previous years but not the FBS BYE. It's a completely different beast and their nihilist offense is tough to stop. Despite that, I like UMass winning this one in overtime.