The man responsible for our weekly look at the game day landscape, Ben, is off today, so I’ll be handing the tailgating duties – and no, I’m not even mad about it. He has a list of guidelines for the perfect tailgate; I’ll do my best to honor them. Now I may not be a Wisconsin pro like Ben, but I’ve spent enough time in parking lots to know a good party. So let’s get it rolling.
This week has a fun slate of games. Intense rivalries, under-rated rivalries, and lots of pivotal conference matchups. Fans across the country should be fired up to cheer on their schools.
As for the peripherals, how great is this weather? Cool winds are rolling in and there’s a nip to the air. Grab some pumpkin ales, spiked cider, brats, burgers, solo cups, funnels, kegs, cornhole, ladder ball, horseshoes, beer pong tables, and whatever else you need. Fall is here and Saturday is the best day of the week.
10. ECU at Tulane — Saturday, October 12 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, no national TV listed
I’m going off the grid with our first game. Normally tailgating for Tulane games sucks. I know, I did a stint with their athletics program. But the Green Wave are playing well this year, and ECU is the conference’s best team. Plus, you’re in the heart of New Orleans. With the Saints undefeated, everyone in town is having a good time. There’s obviously a better game happening farther west in Louisiana, but if you want to keep close to the Big Easy this is a fun one. After the game cruise over to Mother’s, Lucy’s, or my personal favorite, Cooter Browns, and let the good times roll.
9. Oregon St. at Washington St. — Saturday, October 12 @ 10:30 p.m. EST, ESPNU/WatchESPN
This game is another also-ran to a bigger in-state game. The Cougars and Beavers are both having pretty good seasons. Their fans are a little more country than their in-sate rivals, and they like to have a good time. Heck, I’ve never had a bad time up there. The more I think about it, I kinda wish I was up in Spokane right now.
8. No. 18 Michigan at Penn St. — Saturday, October 12 @ 5 p.m. EST, ESPN/WatchESPN
State College becomes the third most populous city in Pennsylvania whenever there’s a home game. This game features two traditional powerhouses, with Penn St. trying to knock off undefeated Michigan. This is a White Out for the Nittany Lions. Maybe all that flair will make for a happy ending – get your minds out of the gutter – in Happy Valley.
7. Boston College at No. 3 Clemson — Saturday, October 12 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, ABC/ESPN2
When your team is ranked in the top five, you tend to pretty hard. Food tastes a little better, music sounds sweeter, and every game is a blast. Regardless of BC’s record, a 3:30 start time means Clemson fans will bring it.
6. No. 25 Missouri at No. 7 Georgia—Saturday, October 12 @ 12:00 p.m. EST, ESPN/WatchESPN
Who cares that this is a 12 o’clock game. One team is undefeated, and it ain’t the Dawgs. Honest moment, I’ve never been to Athens. As a UF grad, it always seemed like a little too much red for me. This feels like a great game to pop my cherry. Alas, I will be working all day Saturday. One day I will make it over to Sanford. You have my word, Athens.
5. No. 12 Oklahoma vs. Texas (in Dallas) — Saturday, October 12 @ 12:00 p.m. EST, ABC
Dallas. Big hair. Boots. Blondes. BBQ. Texas State Fair. Big Tex. Fried everything. Deep seated rivalry. Forget the rankings. This game is bucket list material.
4. No. 19 Northwestern at Wisconsin — Saturday, October 12 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, ABC/ESPN2
Ben tells me that they party hard up in Madison. I’ve seen pictures of Halloween there and it looks like a good time. Also, did you read about the kid who dropped acid and went to a Badgers game? Also wild. I’ve met quite a few Wisconsinites in my day. Good people.
3. No. 9 Texas A&M at Ole Miss — Saturday, October 12 @ 8:30 p.m. EST, ESPN/WatchESPN
A full day’s worth of drinking in The Grove, beautiful Southern women in sun dresses, plus Johnny Football coming to town? This one has to be good. Forget good, this one is what tailgating dreams are made of. One of the SEC’s best tailgating venues hosting this week’s most underrated game. Can you just smell the bourbon?
2. No. 2 Oregon at No. 16 Washington — Saturday, October 12 @ 4 p.m. EST, Fox Sports 1
College GameDay is in town and the Huskies are in a stir. The Ducks are fun to watch. With their Nike money, they’re even more fun to hate. Just thinking of all the great craft beers in Seattle makes me thirsty. Emerald City should be rocking for this one.
1. No. 17 Florida at No. 10 LSU — Saturday, October 12 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, CBS
Allow me to put on my UF and SEC bias hat. This game is HUGE. Both teams need it to stay in their divisional race. Moreover, LSU has crazy fans. Let me rephrase, LSU has the craziest fans.
A quick story: as a freshman at UF I was taking a Macroeconomics exam in Carlton Auditorium. There were maybe 100-200 people testing in the spot. Out of nowhere, two guys dressed in purple and gold ran through the auditorium and hopped on stage. They had an inflatable alligator float, which they proceeded to body slam and elbow drop. Before the proctors could get on stage, the LSU fans exited stage left. When I left the test 20 minutes later, there was a jacked up pickup truck hauling ass around campus waving a Tigers flag.
Cajuns have been waging war against Gators since before this rivalry. They love eating gator meat. Boudain, etouffe, gumbo, po-boys, debris fries, whiskey, beer, sazeracs, hurricanes, hand grenades, zydeco music. Find a better place to be on Saturday and drinks are on me.