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Oct 13, 2022
9:09:48am
krindorr Truly Addicted User
What to watch this in CFB Week 7 (from the BYU perspective)

OK, last week was a setback.  Looked bad, lost a winnable game to a maybe-good-maybe-not opponent.  But this week we've got Arkansas (another that falls into the 'maybe we're good, but maybe not' category) and that will tell us a lot about BYU and Arkansas.  A win is probably good enough to get us back into the Top 25, depending on what else happens.

Here's a list of other games in each timeslot that could have interest from a BYU perspective

Non-Saturday

Worth tuning in to Baylor @ West Virginia (Thursday 7:00 ET, FS1).  At this point Baylor is our marquee win.  If they win this game, they probably jump into the top 25.  If they lose...well then they're a .500 team whose only wins are Albany, Texas St, and an Iowa St team that looks likely to struggle becoming bowl eligible.  We're at the point in the season where perception is on a knife's edge for some of these teams, so need Baylor to win.  Baylor favored by 3.5, so shoudl be relatively close.

  • Too late, but also worth mentioning Louisiana @ Marshall (Wednesday 7:30 ET, ESPN2).  Realistically, that game was a no-win situation for us.  Marshall winning wouldn't have made the Notre Dame loss to them any better, but Marshall continuing to look overmatched by Sun Belt foes just makes ND's loss to them even uglier...and by extension, our loss to Notre Dame.  Luckily it's a few degrees of separation, but ND (and we) would have preferred Marshall be non-terrible.

Saturday Noon ET

It's a struggle to find a good, relevant game to watch here.  Probably the best (of an uninspiring slate) is Iowa St @ #22 Texas (ABC).  It's not great, but it has a few hallmarks of interest.  A) it supports the Big 12, B) Iowa St winning is good for Baylor and therefore for us, C) Texas is just ahead of us in the polls and would give us a chance to move up.  Suffice it to say, we'd be heavily rooting for Iowa St here.  Unfortunately Texas is favored by 16.5, so this game may well be terrible

Other options include

  • #19 Kanas @ Oklahoma (ESPN2):  Lots of the same logic applies here.  We want to support the Big 12 (Kansas more than Oklahoma) and we want to move up in the rankings (which only happens if Kansas loses though).  This divided rooting interest and the lack of mutual opponents though drops it to the 2nd game.  Should be a better one though, even if Oklahoma is favored by 9.
  • Minnesota @ 24 Illinois (BTN): Frankly, you don't want to watch this game, and probably can't since it's on the Big Ten Network.  But with Illinois at #24 and blocking our way into the Top 25 while being favored to lose (Minn -6.5), it's one to at least track.  Just don't do your eyeballs the pain of watching it.
  • #10 Penn St @ #5 Michigan (FOX): This is the big one from a national perspective.  It has nothing to do with BYU and isn't that relevant, but given the real likelihood that every game above is terrible, it's the last resort.  Michigan favored by a touchdown.

3:30 PM ET

An unusual early game in Provo, the game to watch (or attend) is definitely Arkansas @ BYU (ESPN). Both team lost last week, which removes some lustre, but this is our chance to get back in the Top 25.  Given the weakness of the schedule after this point, a loss to Arkansas will likely remove us from Top 25 range for a while.  Unfortunately, with a loss, Arkansas would no longer be considered a quality win.  Despite all that... watch BYU.  Doesn't matter who they're playing or what the situation.  Arkansas is favored by 1.5 so it should at least be a close game

Other games to track (but not watch) during this time window are:

  • #8 Oklahoma St @ #13 TCU (ABC): This is a great game of two highly ranked, undefeated future Big 12 conference mates.  It's a shame it's the same time as the BYU game (and the Alabama/Tennessee game that will righfully eat up all the national attention). These two are the Big 12's best chance for a playoff spot, with TCU favored by 4. 
  • For the 3rd game, I'd recommend #3 Alabama @ #6 Tennessee (CBS).  It doesn't have anything to do with BYU, but should be a fantastic game.  If you prefer something with BYU implications, an under-the-radar great option is #15 NC State @ #18 Syracuse.  Should be a good game (Syracuse favored by only 3.5) and one of those teams will likely drop out of the Top 25, which makes more room for BYU.  

7:30 PM ET

Some tough choices, but ultimately skewing to my rooting interests as a BYU fan, the game here to watch (at least at first) is Stanford @ Notre Dame (NBC). Stanford is unequivocally bad, but they are our only remaining P5 opponent after this week, and given our recent familiarity with Notre Dame, this should be a good chance to assess them.  Unfortunately, either team losing here is bad for us, but it's unavoidable.  Also, note that Notre Dame is favored by 17, so be prepared to flip elsewhere if/when this one gets ugly.

Others to watch include

  • #7 USC @ #20 Utah (8 PM ET, FOX): For the 3rd consecutive week, Utah gets a mention.  In this case, it's because they're a rival, because they're a possible Big 12 expansion candidate (like it or not), because they're a team slightly ahead of us in the rankings that might lose, and because it should be a good, close game with Utah favored by 3.5
  • Third option is #16 Mississippi St @ #22 Kentucky (SECN).  The teams aren't particularly relevant to BYU, but the rankings are.  Should be a good game (Miss St favored by 4) and one of these two has to lose, meaning they'll likely fall out of the Top 25.

~10 PM ET

The late games are REALLY ugly again - starting to see why networks want anything half-decent to put there. Again, there's only 4 late games (9 PM ET or later) this week and they're all pretty bad.  The most relevant is Washington St @ Oregon St (9 PM ET, PAC12). Washington St is 4-2 and receiving votes, plus a longshot expansion candidate.  It's not much, but it's the most relevant late night action

If not that, then options include

  • San Jose St @ Fresno St (10:45 ET, FS1): Fresno has yet to beat an FBS team.  San Jose St got a vote in the last AP poll.  But the line is only 8.5, which makes it closer than any other remaining options, and Fresno St has at least been mentioned as a (PAC) expansion candidate, giving them some miniscule relevance (kind of)
  • I always try to give 3 recommendations in each time slot, so I'll list Air Force @ UNLV (10:30 ET, CBSSN) here. They're at least both 4-2, but completely irrelevant to our interests and Air Force is favored by 10, so I don't really recommend you watch this one.  But it's better than staying up until midnight (eastern time, so 10 PM kickoff mountain time) to watch 2-4 Nevada travel to Hawaii to take on a team that doesn't have an FBS win.
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krindorr
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krindorr
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