Well, isn’t this special? It’s a week where a couple coaches might seal their fate, a couple ridiculous rivalry streaks might end, and at least one coach gets a chance at a statement game, the statement being, “I’m a celebrity! Get me to a major conference!!! Among the fun:
USC @ Notre Dame – Everywhere else, when the coach goes, the chaos stops. At USC, when the coach goes, everyone starts agitating for the A.D.’s head. This time, they might have a point. The game? Of course the Trojans are going to pull it together without the head coach they committed to. It’s just like 2013. Oh right, the Irish won that one. And if that happens again, what’s the land speed record for a fan base calling for the head of the interim coach.
Ole Miss @ Memphis – Don’t you wish you could go back in time to watch Jim Parsons audition for Big Bang Theory? Perhaps you’d like to jump in that time machine and see how Stallone worked it while he was trying to talk producers into letting him star in Rocky. Well, here’s your chance to watch Justin Fuente audition for the gigs at USC, the other USC, Miami, Oregon (How ’bout that Nike money?), Maryland (How ’bout that Underarmour money?), Rutgers, etc. etc. etc.
UCLA @ Stanford – The four-letter’s preferred tale: Utah aside, it’s a possible preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game! Alternate story line: Jim Mora meet Moby Dick. The Cardinal are so used to winning this game that their main concern might be getting plain bored with the whole thing.
Virginia Tech @ Miami – Welcome to Survivor: Coral Gables, where the winner doesn’t necessarily get to keep his job and the attendant million(s) of dollars that goes with it, but where the loser is one massive step closer to being voted off the ACC island.
Michigan State @ Michigan – Three yards. A cloud of dust. No chaos, really. Not unless you count the consequences if Michigan State’s last couple games turn out to be a canary in a coalmine and Michigan wins, in which case Khaki Nation will be going apebleep in ways you cannot imagine. (Here’s hoping Wal-mart’s stocked up on skinny khakis.)
Nebraska @ Minnesota – It’s this week’s version of the Disappointment Bowl! In one corner, meet Minnesota, who nobody expected great things from…until recently. In the other corner, the Collapsin’ Cornhuskers of Nebraska. That 27-0 loss to Northwestern doesn’t look as horrific as it used to does it, Gophers? (It doesn’t look great, of course, but it doesn’t look horrific.) Meanwhile, every loss in Lincoln looks like Invasion of the Football Snatchers, Volume 666.
Oregon @ Washington – The Ducks have pwned U-Dub for so long that George Bush was still in his first term the last time the Dawgs won this thing. (That would be W, not HW, but we understand your confusion.) How much uglier will an already brutal season get if Oregon loses this one? The answer should be known around 2am Eastern this Sunday, so check the early edition of your Monday newspaper to find out.