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The Weekend That Will Be: What Happens When Good Teams Play on Thursday

When 40% of the Top 10 plays on Thursday night, you get this kind of Saturday schedule.

So much fun happening in this picture.
So much fun happening in this picture.
Kevin C. Cox

College football fans ask for a meaningful game with good teams on Thursday night. Instead of one we were blessed with two. Stanford is now back in the running for that national title that I predicted they would get at the beginning of the season, and Baylor looks to be on the short end of the stick for their opportunity.

While this is good and all, it means our Saturday schedule leaves much to be desired.

Keep in mind, though, that it is weekends like these where weird things happen, especially the further we get into November.


No. 9 Auburn at Tennessee, ESPN (-7.5 Aub)- The Volunteers have played like a different team at Neyland Stadium. They beat USC and gave UGA a run for its money on the banks of the Tennesee River. All of this and the fact that four of the Tigers' eight wins have been by four points or less, still give me those darned War Eaglers to cover a low margin.

No. 2 Florida State at Wake Forest, ABC (-31 FSU)- I'm steering clear of picking a team against the spread in this one, but keep your eye on this one to see how Florida State handles Oregon going down.

Arkansas at Ole Miss, 12:21 SEC Network (-16.5 Miss)- Luckily this week, you won't have to watch all of the other games, nervously awaiting to see if the Razorbacks will allow their opponent to cover the spread or not. My guess for this week is that, just like the last six weeks, the opponent covers.


Mississippi State at No. 15 Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., CBS (-19 TAMU)- Mute the telecast so you don't have to hear Tim Brando. Then watch current Heisman winner, and now 2014 favorite, Johnny Manziel work his magic against a pitiful defense as the Aggies tally 500+ yards of offense for the ninth straight game.


No. 13 LSU at No. 1 Alabama, 8 p.m., CBS (-12 Bama)- Les will have his boys ready to play, especially being a near two touchdown underdog. One problem. He'll be on the opposite sideline of the coach who prides himself of preparedness more than any other coach ever. At home, I like the Tide with an easy two score win.

No. 23 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., ABC (-3.5 ND)- You're probably not going to want to change the channel from Tuscaloosa on Saturday night. If you do, this is your best option, the 2013 championship game runner-up against the team that took it two multiple overtimes a year ago. Take the Irish on the road, but just imagine. If the Panthers had gotten that win last year, Oregon would have gotten their chance at Alabama.

Late Night

No. 19 UCLA at Arizona, 10 p.m., ESPN (-2.5 UCLA)- Take this number all day long. The Bruins are easy money this season coming off of connsecutive losses to by far and away the two top teams in their conference (Stanford, Oregon). Having not won in Tuscon since 2003, UCLA gets its revenge and makes you money in the process.

Bonus picks because this schedule is so bad (in bold):

No. 8 Missouri (-14) at Kentucky

BYU at No. 24 Wisconsin (-9)

Virginia Tech at No. 11 Miami (-6.5)

Last Week: 7-2

Season: 56-32-4


A native of Arkansas now calling the Hogs from over yonder in Georgia, you can follow Graham on Twitter @grahamreaves or read his blog, On My Mind In Georgia.