Many of you will be wondering what the heck to do on Saturday. Granted, there’s college football on TV, but with Clemson idle, the question becomes, “How do I efficiently navigate the day?”
With a billion or so channels showing games now, finding relevant games for your interests can be a colossal undertaking and can ultimately prove frustrating and exhausting on what is supposed to be a relaxing day for Clemson fans.
But there are a few games that should be of particular interest to Tigers everywhere this weekend as rising and falling up the polls becomes a weekly concern. Here are some games to watch that could have implications concerning Clemson’s season going forward. (NOTE: All rankings will come from the USA Today Coaches poll, because the AP poll—as much as we have tried to legitimize it this week for obvious reasons—is irrelevant in the national picture):
#7 Louisville @ Kentucky, 12:00 PM, ESPN
There are a lot of things to hate about Kentucky—I mean, a lot of things. Kentucky is woefully awful. But Teddy Bridgewater has had it really easy through the first two weeks of the season, so a little pressure might rattle him a bit. The guy is incredible, and Kentucky is really bad (did I say that yet?), but Commonwealth Stadium seems to sneak up on at least one unsuspecting victim every year. This could be the game this year, which would be nice as far as Clemson is concerned since Louisville is widely seen as a team that could feasibly have an undefeated regular season.
#1 Alabama @ #6 Texas A&M, 3:30 PM, CBS
Okay, this is the one we’re all really looking forward to watching. I outlined earlier in the week why this game could result in a Clemson slip in the polls, regardless of who wins. But it’s certainly worth watching for all the reasons we have collectively beaten to death since February.
Tennessee @ #2 Oregon, 3:30 PM, ABC
This game should be an absolute laugher. There’s no way Tennessee has enough in its arsenal to be able to travel out west and handle the Ducks. But it might be fun to watch the Vols try before the slaughter ensues.
Georgia Tech @ Duke, 3:30 PM, ESPNU
Get your remotes out—there’s a ton to see in the midday games! This game has no direct impact on Clemson, either in the division standings or the national rankings. But it is a good chance for fans to get a glimpse of Georgia Tech against solid competition after a bye week. The Yellow Jackets don’t play Clemson for a few weeks yet, but it’s always good to get a little scouting done ahead of time. Plus, I’m curious how legitimate rumors of improvement on both sides of the football are for Tech.
Vanderbilt @ #14 South Carolina, 7:00 PM, ESPN
If the sky is really falling in Columbia, chances are we’ll see evidence against a Commodore squad that is capable of pulling the upset. I think it’s fairly likely the Gamecocks circle the wagons and come out with a quality effort resulting in a 7-10 point victory here. But how they respond after such a tumultuous week could dictate the flow of the rest of the season.
#3 Ohio State @ California, 7:00 PM, FOX
Cal seems like a team incapable of pulling an upset of this magnitude. But Braxton Miller’s health makes things a bit more precarious for the Buckeyes as they travel out west. I think Cal will score some points, so this may be a sleeper upset pick depending on how you feel about Urban Meyer’s team sans Miller. I’d say it would behoove Clemson fans to keep an eye on this one.