The 42 Top College Football Games of 2017

Memorial Stadium

There are 42 days until the first kickoff of the 2017 college football season. In honor of today, here are the 42 top games based on my projections using Bill Connelly’s and ESPN’s advanced statistics ratings. (Here’s a lengthy explanation of my process.)

Arizona times given if available.

Week 1 – September 2

Florida vs. Michigan (in Arlington)
12:30 PM, ABC

Alabama vs. Florida St. (in Atlanta)
5:00 PM, ABC

Week 2 – September 9

Auburn at Clemson
4:00 PM, ESPN

Oklahoma at Ohio St.
4:30 PM, ABC

Georgia at Notre Dame
4:30 PM, NBC

Stanford at USC
5:30 PM, FOX

Week 3 – September 16

Clemson at Louisville
12:30 PM

Week 4 – September 23

TCU at Oklahoma St.

Week 5 – September 30

Georgia at Tennessee

Week 6 – October 7

LSU at Florida

Week 7 – October 14

Texas A&M at Florida

Auburn at LSU

Baylor at Oklahoma St.

Oregon at Stanford

Oklahoma vs. Texas (in Dallas)

Week 8 – October 21

USC at Notre Dame
4:30 PM, NBC

Louisville at Florida St.

Michigan at Penn St.

Oklahoma St. at Texas

Oregon at UCLA

North Carolina at Virginia Tech

Week 9 – October 28

Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville)
12:30 PM, CBS

Penn St. at Ohio St.
12:30 PM, FOX

Mississippi St. at Texas A&M

Week 10 – November 4

LSU at Alabama

Clemson at NC State

Texas at TCU

Auburn at Texas A&M

Oregon at Washington

Week 11 – November 10-11

Washington at Stanford
Friday, November 10, 8:30 PM, FS1

Georgia at Auburn
Saturday, November 11

Florida St. at Clemson
Saturday, November 11

Notre Dame at Miami
Saturday, November 11

Week 12 – November 18

Texas A&M at Ole Miss

LSU at Tennessee

UCLA at USC

Michigan at Wisconsin

Week 13 – November 25

Ohio St. at Michigan
10:00 AM, FOX

Alabama at Auburn

Florida St. at Florida

North Carolina at NC State

Notre Dame at Stanford

What to Watch – Special March Madness First Round Edition

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The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Ken Pomeroy’s, ESPN’s, and Jeff Sagarin’s advanced stats ranking systems.

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

GAME OF THE ROUND 

7 South Carolina vs. 10 MARQUETTE
Fri., Mar. 17, 6:45 PM, TBS
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

FIVE-STAR GAMES

7 MICHIGAN vs. 10 Oklahoma St.
Fri., Mar. 17, 9:00 AM, CBS
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

MIAMI vs. 9 Michigan St.
Fri., Mar. 17, 6:15 PM, TNT
Overtime Watch

FOUR-STAR GAMES

6 CREIGHTON vs. 11 Rhode Island
Fri., Mar. 17, 1:20 PM, TBS
Upset Alert

8 Northwestern vs. 9 VANDERBILT
Thu., Mar. 16, 1:20 PM, TBS
Overtime Watch

6 Maryland vs. 11 XAVIER
Thu., Mar. 16, 3:45 PM, TNT
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

8 ARKANSAS vs. 9 Seton Hall
Fri., Mar. 17, 10:00 AM, TNT
Overtime Watch

6 CINCINNATI vs. 11 Kansas St.
Fri., Mar. 17, 4:15 PM, TruTV
Upset Alert

5 MINNESOTA vs. 12 Middle Tennessee
Thu., Mar. 16, 12:50 PM, TNT
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

THREE-STAR GAMES

8 WISCONSIN vs. 9 Virginia Tech
Thu., Mar. 16, 6:30 PM, CBS

5 IOWA ST. vs. 12 Nevada
Thu., Mar. 16, 6:55 PM, TruTV

5 NOTRE DAME vs. 12 Princeton
Thu., Mar. 16, 9:00 AM, CBS

7 Dayton vs. 10 WICHITA ST.
Fri., Mar. 17, 4:00 PM, CBS
Upset Alert

7 ST. MARY’S vs. 10 VCU
Thu., Mar. 16, 4:15 PM, CBS


What to Watch – Bowl Edition

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, ESPN’s, and Ed Feng’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 3-2 .600 1-0 1.000
Overall 103-43 .705 18-13 .581

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

BOWL OF THE YEAR 

Fiesta Bowl: #2 Clemson vs. #3 OHIO ST.**
Sat., Dec. 31, 5:00 PM, ESPN
College Football Playoff / Overtime Watch

FIVE-STAR BOWL

Sugar Bowl: #14 Auburn vs. #7 OKLAHOMA
Mon., Jan. 2, 6:30 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

FOUR-STAR BOWLS

UPDATE: Changed Sun Bowl pick to UNC.

Citrus Bowl: #13 Louisville vs. #20 LSU**
Sat., Dec. 31, 9:00 AM, ABC
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

The Rose Bowl Game: #5 Penn St. vs. #9 USC**
Mon., Jan. 2, 3:00 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Sun Bowl: NORTH CAROLINA* vs. #18 Stanford
Fri., Dec. 30, 12:00 PM, CBS
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Hall of Fame Bowl: #17 Florida vs. IOWA*
Mon., Jan. 2, 11:00 AM, ABC
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Peach Bowl: #1 ALABAMA vs. #4 Washington
Sat., Dec. 31, 1:00 PM, ESPN
College Football Playoff

Orange Bowl: #11 Florida St. vs. #6 MICHIGAN
Fri., Dec. 30, 6:30 PM, ESPN

THREE-STAR BOWLS 

Alamo Bowl: #10 COLORADO vs. #12 Oklahoma St.
Thu., Dec. 29, 7:00 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Cotton Bowl Classic: #15 Western Michigan vs. #8 WISCONSIN
Mon., Jan. 2, 11:00 AM, ESPN

Pinstripe Bowl: Northwestern vs. #23 PITT
Wed., Dec. 28, 12:00 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert

Russell Athletic Bowl: MIAMI** vs. #16 West Virginia
Wed., Dec. 28, 3:30 PM, ESPN

Boca Bowl: Memphis vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY
Tue., Dec. 20, 5:00 PM, ESPN

Camellia Bowl: Appalachian St. vs. TOLEDO
Sat., Dec. 17, 3:30 PM, ESPN
Overtime Watch

Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. TCU*
Fri., Dec. 30, 10:00 AM, ESPN
Overtime Watch

Holiday Bowl: Minnesota vs. WASHINGTON ST.
Tue., Dec. 27, 5:00 PM, ESPN

Music City Bowl: Nebraska vs. #21 TENNESSEE
Fri., Dec. 30, 1:30 PM, ESPN

Independence Bowl: NC STATE vs. Vanderbilt
Mon., Dec. 26, 3:00 PM, ESPN2

Texas Bowl: K-State vs. TEXAS A&M
Wed., Dec. 28, 7:00 PM, ESPN

Belk Bowl: Arkansas vs. #22 VIRGINIA TECH
Thu., Dec. 29, 3:30 PM, ESPN

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POSSIBILITIES

#2 CLEMSON vs. #4 Washington
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

#3 OHIO ST. vs. #4 Washington
Upset Alert

#1 ALABAMA vs. #3 Ohio St.

#1 ALABAMA vs. #2 Clemson

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking

What to Watch – Week 14: The Best of Championship Week’s College Football Games

Lucas Oil Stadium

Lucas Oil Stadium

The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

See the second half of the post for this week’s viewing guide.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, ESPN’s, and Ed Feng’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week N/A N/A N/A N/A
Overall 100-41 .709 17-13 .567

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

GAME OF THE WEEK 

Big Ten Conference Championship Game: #7 Penn St. vs. #6 WISCONSIN
Sat., Dec. 3, 6:00 PM, FOX
Game of the Week / Overtime Watch

THREE-STAR GAMES

PAC-12 Championship Game: #8 Colorado vs. #4 WASHINGTON
Fri., Dec. 2, 7:30 7:00 PM, FOX

#10 Oklahoma St. at #9 OKLAHOMA
Sat., Dec. 3, 10:30 AM, FOX

American Conference Championship Game: TEMPLE* at #19 Navy
Sat., Dec. 3, 10:00 AM, ABC

K-State at TCU
Sat., Dec. 3, 10:00 FS1

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking


VIEWING GUIDE

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the games that are projected to be the most fun to watch. All times AZ.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON

MAC Championship Game: Ohio vs. #17 Western Michigan
5:00 PM, ESPN2
Blowout Warning

FRIDAY NIGHT

PAC-12 Championship Game: #8 Colorado vs. #4 Washington
7:30 7:00 PM, FOX

SATURDAY MORNING

#10 Oklahoma St. at #9 Oklahoma
10:30 AM, FOX

American Conference Championship Game: Temple at #19 Navy
10:00 AM, ABC
G5 Game of the Week / Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

K-State at TCU
10:00 AM, FS1
Overtime Watch

SATURDAY MIDDAY

Baylor at West Virginia
1:30 PM, FS1

SEC Championshop Game: #1 Alabama vs. #15 Florida
2:00 PM, CBS
Blowout Warning

Georgia St. at Idaho
3:00 PM, ESPN3 (streaming)
Toilet Bowl

SATURDAY PRIME TIME

Big Ten Conference Championship Game: #7 Penn St. vs. #6 Wisconsin 
6:00 PM, FOX
Game of the Week / Overtime Watch

ACC Championship Game: #3 Clemson vs. #23 Virginia Tech 
6:00 PM, ABC

Mountain West Conference Championship Game: San Diego St. vs. Wyoming 
5:45 PM, ESPN

What to Watch – Week 13: Hate Week Viewing Guide

Ohio Stadium aka "The Shoe"

Ohio Stadium aka “The Shoe”

Abbreviated Thanksgiving Week post. No game rankings, just the viewing guide.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 4-3 .571 1-2  .333
Overall 100-41 .709 17-13 .567

 

VIEWING GUIDE

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the games that are projected to be the most fun to watch. All times AZ.

THURSDAY

LSU at Texas A&M
5:30 PM, ESPN

FRIDAY MORNING

#20 Houston at Memphis
10:00 AM, ABC

NC State at North Carolina
10:00 AM, ESPN

Northern Illinois at Kent St.
10:00 AM, CBSSN

FRIDAY MIDDAY

#16 Nebraska at Iowa
1:30 PM, ABC

#5 Washington at #23 Washington St.
1:30 PM, FOX

TCU at Texas
1:30 PM, FS1

FRIDAY AFTERNOON

Toledo at #21 Western Michigan
3:00 PM, ESPN2
G5 Game of the Week

Baylor at Texas Tech
4:00 PM, ESPN

FRIDAY NIGHT

Arizona St. at Arizona
7:30 PM, ESPN

Cincinnati at Tulsa
6:30 PM, ESPN2

SATURDAY MORNING

#3 Michigan at #2 Ohio St.
10:00 AM, ABC
Game of the Week

Georgia Tech at Georgia
10:00 AM, SECN

UCF at South Florida
10:00 AM, CBSSN

SATURDAY MIDDAY

#13 Auburn at #1 Alabama
1:30 PM, CBS

Notre Dame at #12 USC
1:30 PM, ABC

Minnesota at #6 Wisconsin
1:30 PM, BTN

SATURDAY EVENING

#15 Florida at #14 Florida St.
6:00 PM, ABC

#22 Utah at #9 Colorado
5:30 PM, FOX

UCLA at Cal
5:00 PM, ESPN2

SATURDAY NIGHT

Colorado St. at San Diego St.
7:00 PM, CBSSN

Utah St. at BYU
8:15 PM, ESPNU

Wyoming at New Mexico
8:15 PM, ESPN2

What to Watch – Week 12: The Best of This Week’s College Football Games

Folsom Field

Folsom Field

The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

See the second half of the post for this week’s viewing guide.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, ESPN’s, and Ed Feng’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 6-2 .750 0-0
Overall 96-38 .716 16-11 .593

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

GAME OF THE WEEK 

#22 WASHINGTON ST.* at #10 Colorado
Sat., Nov. 19, 1:30 PM, FOX
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch
Note: a composite ranking using the four systems mentioned above puts Washington St. at (19) and Colorado at (16)

FOUR-STAR GAMES

VIRGINIA TECH* at Notre Dame
Sat., Nov. 19, 1:30 PM, NBC
Overtime Watch
Composite advanced stats top 25: (24) Virginia Tech

#11 OKLAHOMA ST.*** at TCU
Sat., Nov. 19, 10:00 AM, FS1
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch
Composite advanced stats top 25: Oklahoma St. unranked

THREE-STAR GAMES

#9 OKLAHOMA at #14 West Virginia
Sat., Nov. 19, 6:00 PM, ABC
Upset Alert
Composite advanced stats top 25: (13) Oklahoma vs. (23) West Virginia

#11 OKLAHOMA ST.*** at TCU
Sat., Nov. 19, 10:00 AM, FS1
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch
Composite advanced stats top 25: Oklahoma St. unranked

K-State at BAYLOR*
Sat., Nov. 19, 10:00 AM, ESPN2

MIAMI at NC State
Sat., Nov. 19, 10:30 AM, CW? / WatchESPN (streaming)
Composite advanced stats top 25: (17) Miami

NORTHWESTERN at Minnesota
Sat., Nov. 19, 1:30 PM, BTN

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking


VIEWING GUIDE

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the games that are projected to be the most fun to watch. All times AZ.

NOW WITH 100% MORE MACTION!

WEDNESDAY

Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan
6:00 PM, ESPNU
Toilet Bowl

Ball St. at Toledo
5:00 PM, ESPN2

THURSDAY

#5 Louisville at Houston
6:00 PM, ESPN
P5/G5 Showdown

Arkansas St. at Troy
7:30 PM, ESPN2

FRIDAY

Memphis at Cincinnati
6:00 PM, CBSSN

UNLV at #20 Boise St.
7:00 PM, ESPN2
Blowout Warning

SATURDAY MORNING

#11 Oklahoma State at TCU
10:00 AM, FS1
Overtime Watch

K-State at Baylor
10:00 AM, ESPN2

Miami at NC State
10:30 AM, CW? (ACCN) / WatchESPN (streaming)

SATURDAY MIDDAY

#22 Washington St. at #10 Colorado
1:30 PM, FOX
Game of the Week / Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Virginia Tech at Notre Dame
1:30 PM, NBC
Overtime Watch

Northwestern at Minnesota
1:30 PM, BTN

SATURDAY EVENING

#9 Oklahoma at #14 West Virginia 
6:00 PM, ABC
Upset Alert

Tulsa at UCF 
6:00 PM, ESPNEWS
G5 Game of the Week

Arkansas at Mississippi St. 
5:00 PM, ESPNU
Overtime Watch

SATURDAY NIGHT

#13 USC at UCLA 
8:30 PM, ESPN

Arizona at Oregon St.
8:30 PM, PAC12
Overtime Watch

New Mexico at Colorado St.
8:15 PM, ESPN2

What to Watch – Week 11: The Best of This Week’s College Football Games

Kyle Field

Kyle Field

Apologies to the Tuesday and Wednesday night MAC teams for their exclusion from this week’s post.

With A&M’s and Ole Miss’ QBs being out, I deducted 10% from each teams’ ratings. That may not have been enough; it may have been too much. I have no idea how good their backups are. Even with the deduction, the Formula still picked that game as the only four-star game and the game of the week.

The games are ranked using a zero- to five-star scale. Five stars meaning that you should make every human effort possible aside from committing a crime to watch this game (it’s time your children learned to feed themselves) and zero stars meaning you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

See the second half of the post for this week’s viewing guide.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, ESPN’s, and Ed Feng’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 7-2 .778 0-1 .000
Overall 90-36 .714 16-11 .593

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ. Picks in CAPS.

GAME OF THE WEEK 

Ole Miss at #8 TEXAS A&M
Sat., Nov. 12, 5:30 PM, SECN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch
Note: a composite ranking using the four systems mentioned above puts Ole Miss tied for (14) and Texas A&M at (10)

THREE-STAR GAMES

#20 USC at #4 WASHINGTON
Sat., Nov. 12, 5:30 PM, FOX
Composite advanced stats top 25: (14-T) USC vs. (6) Washington

SOUTH FLORIDA at Memphis
Sat., Nov. 12, 5:00 PM, ESPNU
Overtime Watch

#16 WEST VIRGINIA** at Texas
Sat., Nov. 12, 10:00 AM, FS1
Composite advanced stats top 25: (24) West Virginia

Minnesota at #19 NEBRASKA
Sat., Nov. 12, 5:30 PM, BTN
Upset Alert
Composite advanced stats top 25: Nebraska unranked

Baylor at #11 OKLAHOMA
Sat., Nov. 12, 10:00 AM, ABC or ESPN2
Composite advanced stats top 25: (14-T) Oklahoma

Appalachian St. at TROY
Sat., Nov. 12, 1:30 PM, ESPN3 (streaming)
Overtime Watch

STANFORD at Oregon
Sat., Nov. 12, 2:00 PM, PAC12

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking


VIEWING GUIDE

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the games that are projected to be the most fun to watch. All times AZ.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON

#17 North Carolina at Duke
5:30 PM, ESPN

Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia Southern
5:30 PM, ESPNU
Toilet Bowl

THURSDAY NIGHT

#15 Utah at Arizona St.
7:30 PM, FS1

FRIDAY

Boston College at #18 Florida St.
5:30 PM, ESPN2
Blowout Warning

SATURDAY MORNING

#16 West Virginia at Texas 
10:00 AM, FS1

Baylor at #11 Oklahoma
10:00 AM, ABC or ESPN2

Tulsa at Navy
10:00 AM, CBSSN
Overtime Watch

SATURDAY MIDDAY

Appalachian St. at Troy
1:30 PM, ESPN3 (streaming)
Overtime Watch

Texas Tech at #13 Oklahoma St.
1:30 PM, FS1

Stanford at Oregon
2:00 PM, PAC12

SATURDAY EVENING

Ole Miss at #8 Texas A&M 
5:30 PM, SECN
Game of the Week / Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

#20 USC at #4 Washington 
5:30 PM, FOX

South Florida at Memphis 
5:00 PM, ESPNU
Overtime Watch

SATURDAY NIGHT

Colorado St. at Air Force 
8:15 PM, ESPNU

Cal at #23 Washington St.
8:30 PM, ESPN

#12 Colorado at Arizona
8:00 PM, FS1