Bye Week Bulletin II: What to watch while UF’s off

By Adam Silverstein
October 25, 2014


The Florida Gators have their second of two open dates this Saturday and will not step foot on the gridiron – but that does not mean there are no college football games to watch. In this season’s second edition of the Bye Week Bulletin, OnlyGators.com points out the best and most interesting games to keep a close eye on this Saturday.

Feel free to use the comment section on this post to discuss all of Saturday’s games.

MUST WATCH

No. 1 Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 SEC) at Kentucky (5-2, 2-2 SEC) – 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
Florida fans that believe Dan Mullen should/will be the Gators’ next head coach will tune in anyway but for the rest of you – hopefully most of you – an additional reason is likely needed to give up your Saturday afternoon to check out this contest. Well, Kentucky has been more than respectable this season, and it’s hawking secondary could give Mississippi State some fits. The Wildcats taking down a Bulldogs team that has run through three at-the-time top 10-ranked opponents may be an unlikely scenario, but it is not an impossibility. Plus, unlike Mullen, there is a head coach worth paying attention to in this game – Mark Stoops.

No. 3 Ole Miss (7-0, 4-0 SEC) at No. 24 LSU (6-2, 2-2 SEC) – 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Now-ranked LSU’s rushing game found its stride against Florida and doubled down in a 41-3 blowout of Kentucky. The Tigers have outscored teams not named Auburn by 25.7 points per game with close wins over then-No. 14 Wisconsin (28-24) and Florida (30-27) as well as a devastating loss against then-unranked Mississippi State (34-29). LSU will be hosting Ole Miss in Death Valley at 7:15 p.m. A night game in Tiger Stadium with Les Miles coaching? Anything can happen.


SHOULD WATCH

Texas (3-4) at No. 11 Kansas State (5-1) – 12 p.m. (ESPN)
The Longhorns are slowly improving on offense, and the Wildcats have impressed more than many expected by mid-season with a six-point loss against then-No. 5 Auburn and a thrilling 31-30 victory over then-No. 11 Oklahoma last week. Plus, there is nothing else worth watching on at noon.

No. 22 West Virginia (5-2) at Oklahoma State (5-2) – 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Both teams boast plenty of offense and little, if any defense. The over/under is 66.5. Enough said? OK, let’s keep going. There is probably no better way to fuel your point-scoring tank after watching six games of Florida football this season. And considering it is on head-to-head with the SEC on CBS game, it’s a great commercial flip option. Every time you change over, you’ll see another score.

No. 4 Alabama (6-1, 3-1 SEC) at Tennessee (3-4, 0-3 SEC) – 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Crimson Tide should demolish the Vols despite it being a night game in Neyland Stadium. But it will be Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin’s return to Knoxville, Tennessee, and the start of the contest should at least be interesting. Unfortunately for those rooting for Kiffin to be embarrassed by the Vols – a rare occasion when you may actually be rooting for Tennessee – his offense should get whatever it wants on Saturday, like it did against the Gators a few weeks ago.

No. 20 USC (5-2) at No. 19 Utah (5-1) – 10 p.m. (FS1)
The early-evening games will be over and both these opponents have plenty to prove after shaky starts to the season. Like the Oklahoma State game above, USC-Utah is a pick ’em, what should be a heavily-contested contest and solid way to end your night.

COULD WATCH

Michigan (3-4) at No. 8 Michigan State (6-1) – 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Think of this as a preview of Florida-Florida State, a historic rivalry in shambles with the once-dominant side trending downward. But it’s still the Wolverines and Spartans, so catch a glimpse if you can.

Florida Atlantic (3-4) at No. 23 Marshall (7-0) – 3:30 p.m. (FS1)
Former Florida assistant head coach Doc Holliday has the Thundering Herd rolling as the second-highest scoring team in the nation at 47.4 points per game. Marshall’s defense is also sixth-best in the nation (16.6 points per game allowed), and it seems to be a foregone conclusion that it will finish the regular season undefeated. A spot in the College Football Playoff is unlikely for the Herd, but 57-year-old Holliday is going to be a hot name across the country and should be on the Gators’ short list.

South Carolina (4-3, 2-3 SEC) at No. 5 Auburn (5-1, 2-1 SEC) – 7:30 p.m. (SECN)
Somehow, Steve Spurrier’s squad beat a Georgia team that looks to be the class of the SEC East this season. Since Alabama-Tennessee should be over by the first quarter, this may prove to be a more intriguing flipper from Ole Miss-LSU.

No. 13 Ohio State (5-1) at Penn State (4-2) – 8 p.m. (ABC)
Urban Meyer vs. James Franklin will be more interesting in a few years, unless Meyer is at Notre Dame by then, but you never know what the Nittany Lions’ boss has up his sleeve for his former SEC East foe in Meyer. The Buckeyes have hit a nice stride, though, and could be a dark horse for the CFP even without Braxton Miller lining up behind center.

Feel free to use the comment section on this post to discuss all of Saturday’s games.

7 Comments

  1. adamsbombs says:

    UM – MSU could be interesting for scouting Dantonio. As for Mark Stoops, I agree w/you about Mullen but what makes Stoops any more intriguing to you than Mullen?

    • Kentucky was 2-10 in 2012, only beating Kent State and Samford. Same thing in 2013 (first under Stoops) but much more competative. Now with his first class developed and his second recruiting class in, Kentucky’s 5-2. Beat South Carolina, nearly beat Florida. Could wind up taking down Mizzou and Tennessee before the year is out. Talented recruiter and seems to be a good coach.

  2. Gatoralum88 says:

    Adam, it looks like your take on Mich/MSU was somehow deleted.

  3. Gator751 says:

    Adam,

    What are the chances Kiffin gets the FLA job? Does he even get an interview?

    I think at this point he at least has to get some consideration.

  4. Gator751 says:

    “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”

Top