Pitt off-week viewing guide

Written by Sam Werner on .

Happy weekend, everyone. Apologies for the slower updates this week. Quite honestly, there just isn't a whole lot going on. It's the bye week, and we've had a little less media access this week. We'll be back to full speed for Syracuse next week.

So with Pitt off this weekend, you have plenty of time to clean the garage, fix that leaky faucet and run some errands. Alternatively, you also have a whole Saturday free to watch college football. Lots and lots of college football. Let's run through the best games for each time slot so you can plan your Saturday accordingly.

Noon games:
No. 25 Baylor @ No. 9 West Virginia (FX): The Mountaineers may be off Pitt's schedule this year, but this should be one of the most entertaining games of the day. Both of these teams rank in the top 10 in scoring offense. Baylor is No. 5 with 51.3 points per game, West Virginia is No. 10 with 47.3 point per game. Safe to say, there will be plenty of points scored. Remember the Alamo Bowl (no pun intended) last year, when Baylor and Washington played defense-optional football? This could be similar. This is also West Virginia's first game in the Big 12, so it'll be interesting to see how the Mountaineers stack up in their new conference. Quarterback Geno Smith will also look to keep his Heisman campaign on track in his first conference game. Not-so-subtle Post-Gazette plug for this one: Follow our intrepid West Virginia reporter Jenn Menendez on Twitter at @JennMenendez. I say "intrepid" because anyone who deals with Dana Holgorsen on a daily basis has to have more than a little intestinal fortitude.

Arkansas @ Texas A&M (SEC Network/ Both teams are still looking for their first SEC win. For Texas A&M, that's not entirely surprising. For Arkansas, it is. Last year, it was the Aggies who disappointed after coming into the season with a top 10 ranking. The Razorbacks have expierenced similar pain this year, but will be anxious to prove they're better than the team that lost to Louisiana-Monroe and got smoked by Alabama. This was a classic rivalry when both teams were in the old Southwest Conference, and should be a fine one now that both are in the SEC.

3:30 games:
No. 14 Ohio State @ No. 20 Michigan State (ABC): The winner of this one will establish itself as the team to beat in the Big Ten. Ohio State is ineligible for the postseason this year, but the Buckeyes would love to spoil the Spartans' season early, as well as establish themselves as contenders for next year's BCS title. The Spartans bounced back from a disappointing loss to Notre Dame two weeks ago with a win over Eastern Michigan last week. They're not the BCS championship contender some imagined them to be coming into the season, but a win over the Buckeyes would give them some nice momentum towards another Big Ten Legends (or is it Leaders?) Division championship.

Tennessee @ No. 5 Georgia (CBS): The Volunteers' hopes for a "return to glory" season were soured two weeks ago with a loss to Florida, but quaterback Tyler Bray is just too talented to go the entire season without pulling off one memorable upset. The Bulldogs have a major SEC East clash with South Carolina next week, so they could be caught looking ahead.

Virginia Tech @ Cincinnati (ESPNU): This one will be of particular interest for Pitt fans. The squad that made the Panthers look dreadful (Cincinnati) against the team Pitt pushed all over the field. If the transitive property holds, Cincinnati should win by 35. Realistically, I think the Hokies will get back on track here. Mostly just to confuse everyone for one more week as to how good Pitt actually is.

Night games:
South Florida @ No. 4 Florida State, 6 p.m. (ESPN): The Seminoles will probably roll in this one, but a strong showing from the Bulls would be a big statement that they'll be a factor in the Big East. Right now, it looks like another underachieving year in Tampa.

No. 12 Texas @ Oklahoma State, 7:50 p.m. (FOX): The Cowboys aren't the team they were last year with Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, but they still have some talent and Mike Gundy is a good football coach (obligatory "I'm a man! I'm 40!" link). The game will also provide an interesting test for Texas quarterback David Ash. The Longhorns have struggled under center since Colt McCoy graduated, and if Ash can prove he's the real deal, it'll make the Red River Shootout in two weeks a whole lot more interesting.

Wisconsin @ No. 22 Nebraska, 8 p.m. (ABC): This one certainly isn't the game ESPN execs hoped it would be prior to the season. Both teams have suffered a loss, and Wisconsin, in particular, has looked very vulnerable. The Badgers are still searching for a quarterback and their vaunted rushing attack is ranked No. 86 in the country with 143 yards per game. My sister, a student at Wisconsin, texted me last week, "Can we have Paul Chryst back?" Chryst still has plenty to prove here at Pitt, but it's possible that his departure might be a reason for the Badgers' struggles so far.
At the very least, watch this game for the uniforms. Both Wisconsin and Nebraska will look ridiculous. 

Ole Miss @ No. 1 Alabama, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN): Hey, you never know.

No. 2 Oregon @ Washington State, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2): Oregon is certainly the heavy favorite, and the Ducks will likely just continue to make their case to be a non-SEC party crasher in the BCS Championship Game. Never count out Mike Leach, though. He's been up and down during his stint in Pullman so far, but had a knack for pulling off an upset while he was at Texas Tech. Even if it's a blowout, let's hope that Leach can get his offense rolling for a little bit so we get some fireworks.

There are plenty more interesting games tomorrow, but those are the highlights. What games are you all looking forward to most this weekend?

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