WEEK 8 VIEWERS' GUIDE: CROWDED AT THE TOP

DID YOU KNOW? There are more people on this vehicle than there will be in the stands at kickoff for Florida State-Miami.

I've learned three things about this weekend's slate of games:

  1. It's a pretty top-heavy schedule, with a handful of big games like South Carolina-Florida and KState-WVU sitting on top of a lot of fairly pedestrian matchups. (Unless Auburn-Vanderbilt or Minnesota-Wisconsin really gets your blood flowin' south.)
  2. If you do a Google image search for "top-heavy," the first 241 results are women's breasts of varying degrees of giganticness.
  3. The first result that isn't, bizarrely enough, is John Calipari.

Then again, maybe John Calipari has an amazing set of cans. And who am I to judge if he does? (All times Eastern, as usual.)

THURSDAY NIGHT

What you'll be watching: #2 Oregon at Arizona State (ESPN, 9 p.m.)
This is a tough one. Legitimately interesting PACtion, or a "Parks and Recreation" episode titled "Sex Education"?

What you should be watching instead: "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 9:30 p.m.)
Yeah, all you're really interested in seeing is the moment at which the Ducks decide to quit screwing around and plant a jackbooted webbed foot squarely on Todd Graham's neck. So go with "Parks and Rec," which will be over right around the time Oregon decides to wake from its typical early-game slumber and go hog wild on the scoreboard. (Should all the scoring lose its novelty, there's always "The League" on FX at 10:30.)

FRIDAY NIGHT

What you'll be watching: Connecticut at Syracuse (ESPN, 8 p.m.)
Again, this is the kind of matchup you get when midweek football is forced to compete with the MLB playoffs. As a #Barves fan, I'm tempted to watch the NLCS just in the hopes that the Cardinals go down in flames, but . . . you know what, not that tempted.

What you should be watching instead: "Monsters Inside Me" (Animal Planet, 8 p.m.)
My TV listings say Animal Planet is airing back-to-back episodes — "My Face Eating Parasite" and "Something's Eating My Son Inside Out." When UConn-Syracuse just becomes too difficult to watch, you can always bring it on over here.

SATURDAY MORNING

What you'll be watching: #6 LSU at #20 Texas A&M (ESPN, noon)
Described by Colin Seiler as "the living avatar of a teenager playing Tecmo Bowl, transported two decades into the future," Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has led the Aggies to an average of 53 points per game over their last five. In theory, LSU's defense should crash that party in a hurry, but there's an X-factor that may be even bigger than Manziel at play here, and it is "11 a.m. Central kickoff." You're asking LSU to go into foreign territory — the one place where the fans might be even weirder than they are, no less — and start playing football when it's still technically morning, when they've barely had a chance to get the gumbo hot or get their collective blood alcohol level above 0.25? That's how bad things happen, and not the fun kind of bad things for which you can usually depend on Les Miles.

What you should be watching instead: Definitely stick with LSU-A&M, but if you're looking for a picture-in-picture option or something to flip to during the commercials, Virginia Tech-Clemson on ABC could be a festival of derp all its own.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

What you'll be watching: #9 South Carolina at #3 Florida (CBS, 3:30 p.m.)
This game's gonna suck because Steve Spurrier never wants to show up his old team. It's just not his style.

What you should be watching instead: Michigan State at #23 Michigan (Big Ten Network, 3:30 p.m.)
loljk you should totally watch South Carolina-Florida.

SATURDAY PRIME-TIME

What you'll be watching: #12 Florida State at Miami (ABC, 8 p.m.)
It's crazy to think that, once upon a time, the ACC specifically set up its divisions in the hopes of getting an FSU-Miami championship game on a regular basis. Then again, these are the kinds of decisions you expect from a braintrust that says, "You know what would really raise our football profile in this uncertain age of conference realignment? Pittsburgh and Syracuse, that's the fuck what." At this point, the thought of a 'Noles-'Canes title game is not only improbable but unpalatable, as four quarters of these two teams going at each other seems like more than enough.

What you should be watching instead: #4 Kansas State at #17 West Virginia (Fox, 7 p.m.)
Try to name two more diametrically opposed head coaches in college football right now than Bill Snyder and Dana Holgorsen. You can't. This is basically the football equivalent of the prime-time TV drama where the crusty old guy moves out of the nursing home and in with his freewheeling, devil-may-care son, and the two of them lock horns about stuff like how to raise kids and how a grown man should conduct himself in public, but in the end they learn a little bit about getting along . . . and a lot about the love between father and son. If by "love" you mean "the scoring of a metric shitload of points." Why are you so angry, son? I'm angry at Tommy Tuberville, Dad, you wouldn't understand! Are you angry at Tommy Tuberville . . . or are you really angry at yourself? [tear rolls down Holgo's cheek] [poignant piano music] [cut to Holgo getting smashed at a casino]

SATURDAY LATE NIGHT

What you'll be watching: Utah at #8 Oregon State (ESPN2, 10:30 p.m.)
Once again, those without the Pac-12 Network are stuck without a potentially more intriguing option, Washington-Arizona at 10 sharp. Then again, the prospect, however unlikely, of a bunch of crazed Utah fans bum-rushing someone else's field might be too good to pass up.

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