Final Thoughts: The Bad CBS Afternoon Games
Posted Oct 12, 2012

Week 7 Final Friday Thoughts - Matt Zemek. The Bad CBS Afternoon Games

LOUISVILLE-PITTSBURGH: Last week, Navy and Air Force kicked off at roughly 11:40 a.m. Eastern time. Now, this game will start at 11:05 a.m. Eastern. This is smart programming to get extra eyeballs one hour before the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 get started at noon Eastern. More of the smaller conferences (and the Big East) should do this in the near future.

KANSAS STATE-IOWA STATE: This is a tricky spot for Purple Kansas. You don't want Paul Rhoads to talk to his players about the pride he feels when he's standing in a locker room after a game.

TEXAS-OKLAHOMA: It's not for the top spot in the Big 12, it's for mere survival in the Big 12. Can Texas make Landry Jones the slightest bit uncomfortable? If that question can't be answered in the affirmative, game over. If Texas can bother Jones, then we'll see if David Ash can stand up to the Sooners' defense. Playing Oklahoma State and West Virginia won't teach you all that much about how to make difficult plays as a quarterback. (Yet, Ash has come along quite well – better than expected, actually – under offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.)

IOWA-MICHIGAN STATE: We're still waiting for Michigan State to play a complete game this season.

NORTHWESTERN-MINNESOTA: It was so Northwestern of Northwestern to blow a double-digit second-half lead at Penn State last week. It would be so Northwestern of Northwestern to lose here.

WISCONSIN-PURDUE: It's October 13 (not today, but when this game will be played, of course…), and this will decide the Big Ten Leaders Division representative in the Big Ten Championship Game. Badgers-Boilers will almost surely be more of a commentary on the deficiencies of the loser than on the merits of the winner.

TEXAS A&M-LOUISIANA TECH: Originally scheduled for Aug. 30, this game packs a wallop on the week seven slate. A&M should love the fact that it is not playing this game as a season opener. With several games under the belt, the Aggies' offense should be able to flourish. The question is this: "Can A&M contain Louisiana Tech?" That's an uncertain question. The Bulldogs are trying to become a BCS buster. If they win this game, they're in prime position to threaten for a BCS game. The sense here is that A&M will win, but by a very small margin.

DUKE-VIRGINIA TECH: Guess which team looks well-coached and has five wins? Life's a trip, isn't it?

NORTH CAROLINA-MIAMI: What would be worse for the ACC? North Carolina winning the ACC Coastal but then being unable to contest the league title, or Miami winning the division only for the NCAA to make an announcement in November?

ALABAMA-MISSOURI: CBS 3:30 games have been horrible this year, LSU-Florida being the exception that proves the rule. Will any national college football writer need to watch more than five minutes of this game on television?

WEST VIRGINIA-TEXAS TECH: I'm not sold on West Virginia. I also know that the Mountaineers are flying from Morgantown to the state of Texas for the second time in eight or nine days. I understand why the point spread is so low here. Texas Tech isn't very good, though. Mountaineers win. Next…

STANFORD-NOTRE DAME, PART ONE: Could Notre Dame fans have imagined, in their wildest fantasies, a string of opponents in 2012 that simply did not own much of any offense? This is another 13-6 game, and please, ignore Stanford's win over Arizona. The Wildcats don't have any defense to speak of. The smashmouth style of play should create another game in which 20 total points might not be tallied in South Bend.

STANFORD-NOTRE DAME, PART TWO: You surely know that College GameDay will originate from South Bend. The show will surely devote a few minutes to a remembrance of college football's preeminent historian, Carroll H. "Beano" Cook, who died Thursday morning at the age of 81. My favorite Beano quote of all time – and by a wide margin – is as follows: "There are two teams you never bet against at home: the Russian Army, and Notre Dame." God rest your soul, Beano. You were and are and always will be an American treasure.

OREGON STATE-BYU: In the battle of the backup quarterbacks, a 6-3 or 4-2 score would hardly rate as a surprise.

FRESNO STATE-BOISE STATE: This used to be, once upon a time, a terrific rivalry. Can Fresno State bring it back under first-year coach Tim DeRuyter?

FLORIDA-VANDERBILT: Trap game, look-ahead game, upset alert game. This is said even though Vandy has clearly disappointed in 2012 by most measurements.

USC-WASHINGTON: How is USC a double-digit favorite in Seattle, given its performances this season? Did anyone see Washington beat Stanford at home? USC probably wins, but everything about this game points to a tense 55- to 60-minute contest.

SOUTH CAROLINA-LSU: Connor Shaw, prove that you can deliver the goods on the road. Gamecocks, prove that you can win in Tiger Stadium at night with the whole college football watching. Yes, if you lose, you still have lots to play for. Yes, if you lose, you're still having a really good season. Yes, if you lose, beating Florida the following week would put you in the driver's seat for Atlanta. Yet, if you want to make that leap on a national scale, you have to answer the bell in Baton Rouge.