Maestro, cue the music:
As I hinted during yesterday's Cocktail Thursday post, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with bye weeks. On the one hand, the 'Dawgs aren't playing, and that's sad. But on the other hand, it's not necessarily a bad thing to have a weekend during which my emotional health is not tied up with the outcome of any one game. A weekend in which I can graze through the college football landscape like the free range football addict that I am. And while this isn't the mother of all college football weekends, there are some reasonably good games out there.
Spears has already clued you into the SEC Game of Interest, which is in fact pretty damned interesting. There are several story lines at play in this one. There's the notion that Nick Saban just doesn't lose to teams for which he has significant time to prepare. This has largely been true, but then Saban has, especially at Alabama, been successful against everyone, layoff or not. Either this old saw will find some additional support this weekend, in which case I can enjoy the Manziel fallout. Or Bama loses and I can enjoy that. Really it's a win-win.
Kind of like Vanderbilt-South Carolina. Either James Franklin loses a game that functionally buries Vandy in the SEC East cellar, or Spurrier loses one that all but eliminates the Gamecocks from SEC East contention. Either way, we've still got a lead on the winner. There's also Ohio State traveling to Cal in a clash of cultures and diets, because you see they had a vegan in Columbus once. Until they smothered him in Rotel and Velveeta and ate him.
Kent State travels to LSU in a game that's a serious trap for the Bayou Bengals. There's no chance they lose it, but there's a real chance that they take longer to put away Nick Saban's alma mater than they'd like. With Auburn and Georgia coming up, the LSU defense is gonna need some rest.
Speaking of the Plainsmen, there's also the Mississippi State/Auburn game, in which we see which team I've repeatedly badmouthed in the SEC Power Poll proves that they had it coming.
Notre Dame travels to Purdue, which is coming off a stirring 20-14 win over . . .Indiana State. Odds the Irish have a hangover loss from that Michigan loss? Pretty low. But I'm willing to watch because the potential schadenfreude return on time invested is astronomical.
And will I be finishing the evening by enjoying Wisconsin at Arizona State? Why yes, I will. Because I've never actually seen anyone sweat cheese before, and it sounds amusing.
So what do you plan to do on this Bulldog-free weekend? Until later . . .