No detailed analysis this week. Crazy Week.
Did you think that a week without any all-ranked games was guaranteed to be weak? Yeah, me too. How wrong we were, and how happy was I to be wrong? There were times over the weekend when I just didn’t know which stream to switch to, not to rub it in too much for BT subscribers.
This is peak “other things on” season for BT Sport, with Saturday night giving a collection of Serie A soccer, European Cup rugby, boxing, UFC and baseball all filling our precious college football time. As a result, even the seemingly sacrosanct SEC on CBS game gets bumped from the schedules this week.
Even including another brutal 4am game from the Pac-12, all BT subscribers get this week are three live Saturday/Sunday games – one in each of the 5pm, ABC primetime and #Pac12AfterDark slots – and three distinctly subpar midweek offerings. This is a week to be very thankful for that ESPN Player subscription.
Thank you, week six chaos. In just a couple of key games, the field of unbeaten Power Five teams was carved down to just nine, and we have a much clearer path to the playoff opening up. Sure, three of our top four are still the same, but the pretenders list is a little more defined.
On the flip-side, it feels like the Group of Five’s representative for the New Year’s Six is getting more complicated, as the pack of unbeatens begin to congregate at the bottom of our Top 25, with the American (ex-Big East) showing why it used to be a BCS Conference.
What the hell, college football schedulers? We’re in week seven, the midway point of the season, and we’ve come upon a week where there’s not a single all-ranked game on the slate. In fact the slate is so lopsided, the ESPN College GameDay boys have decided to go to an FCS school (James Madison) instead.
It nearly, nearly, looked at one point on Saturday like USC and Utah would have been all-ranked this week… but then #Pac12AfterDark happened and the previously unbeaten Utes lost to 2-loss Stanford, dropping them out of the AP Top 25.
Furthermore, the MLB postseason squeeze is in full effect, with just three Saturday games live on the BT Sport networks. As Saturday’s MLB games are both Championship Series’ Game 1 there’s no prospect of re-arrangements at this stage (weather-permitting, I guess). All of that leaves:
There are currently twelve teams in Power Five conferences that are unbeaten, not that you’d know it so far this season. With five weeks in the books, we have two teams clearly the best, with another two also separating from those behind.
It’s increasingly difficult to separate 5th through 8th, and then there’s a pack of 1-loss teams loitering on the edges to captialise if chaos ensues above them. The picks for 21-25 are also trickier, while we wait for more separation games to ultimately confuse things.
The MLB Postseason is upon us, which has historically meant poor coverage for us UK-based college football fans, but that’s not the issue this week at least. The unusual quirkiness of results so far has given us a slate of could-have-been-awesome matchups that may lead to a sense of “Meh”.
In fact there’s a grand total of two all-ranked games this week… and NEITHER of them find their way onto our Saturday slate this week, through a combination of midweek scheduling and Fox’s contract choices, which means our UKTV game of the week is an early one this week…