2017 Strikes Again

Sic transit gloria, baby

The essence of 2017 in college football is that every team, it seems, gets its time in the barrel. Except for Alabama, so far, and also Miami. Wisconsin is undefeated at 10-0. Their first test against a ranked team comes next week against Michigan.

Georgia went into last week ranked number one. They were 9-0 with a major 20-19 win against Notre Dame in week two. Since then, the Bulldogs played teams who have faded into the margins. They faced Tennessee early in the season and Florida when the Gators were 3-3. They handled South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Missouri, no big deal. So it looks like the level of play the Dawgs encountered from the Auburn Tigers was something of a surprise. Anyway, Auburn won 40-17. It was the biggest rout of a #1 team in history. Bummer.

After their win, Auburn must have been interested in the AlabamaMississippi State game, which Alabama was losing for a while. Mississippi State was ahead 21-17 at the end of the third quarter, raising eyebrows everywhere. Alabama faces Mercer next week and Auburn after that. The Tigers are probably having visions of winning the Iron Bowl for the first time since 2013, faint echoes of Rod Bramblett shouting “AUBURN’S GONNA WIN THE FOOTBALL GAME” rumbling across campus.

In other top-10 news, Miami beat Notre Dame 41-8, and the ‘Canes are headed to the ACC championship for the first time. Oklahoma beat TCU 38-20 to take the lead in the Big 12. Baker Mayfield has a very strong claim to the Heisman, and Oklahoma is ranked #3. Meanwhile, Iowa State could not pull it off against Oklahoma State after they beat both Oklahoma and TCU earlier in the season. The Cowboys beat the Cyclones 49-42. 

It’s another tough week on the college gridiron. Here are the games we’re tracking.

Wisconsin vs Michigan
12pm on FOX

The big question is whether the undefeated Badgers can compete with the hobbled Wolverines. Tune in to this game and see what chance Wisconsin has against Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.

Notre Dame vs Navy
3:30pm on NBC

Always a classic. This is the longest uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football. The Midshipmen won the rivalry game last year 28-27, so the Irish will be extra inclined to make it a lopsided game.

Stanford vs California
8pm on FOX

It’s the Big Game! Billed as the oldest college football rivalry in the West, it has been heated since 1892. Literally. Pregame traditions at both schools involve bonfires.

USC vs UCLA
8pm on ABC

For the Victory Bell! UCLA just beat Arizona State 44-37 and needs another win for bowl eligibility. Meanwhile, USC has secured the Pac-12 South.

Rutgers vs Indiana
12pm on BTN, BTN2

Listen, not every Big Ten team can be a storied powerhouse. Watch the Scarlet Knights take on the Hoosiers. Years from now, you might be able to brag that you saw them before it was cool.  

Miami vs Virginia
12pm on ABC

You’re going to want to follow the Hurricanes.

Wake Forest vs N.C. State
7:30pm on ESPNU

When the Demon Deacons take on the Wolfpack, there will be little at stake. There are no national implications, though N.C. State is #25. There will be no conference implications. But these are two teams who have played solid football this season, and it should be a good game to watch.

If you’re a college football fan, any game is a good game to watch. Check your teams’ schedules and pop some popcorn. The season’s not over yet.