You have two college football games to choose from, this fine Friday evening — and, we assume, several burning questions about them. We’re not here to help you with those questions, for the most part.
Pitt @ Syracuse
• What information do I, the discerning consumer, require in order to consume this game? The Panthers and Orange kick off at 7 p.m. ET in the Carrier Dome. The game will be televised on ESPN and streamed on WatchESPN.
• Why should I care about two teams with a combined record of 3-5 when I could be doing things in the real world on my Friday evening? In fairness to Syracuse, and not just because our boss went there, we’re going to point out that the Orange had to play a tougher first two games than many of their AQ brethren, facing Northwestern and USC in Weeks 1 and 2. Right, and what about losing to Minnesota and beating Stony Brook by only 11 points? NOW THERE. Stony Brook just beat Army! Show some respect, or something.
As for Pitt, at this point we’re tuning in because we’re afraid not to. Watching Panthers football this season has been one series of duck traffic moments after another — as in, it’s like sitting at a stoplight, glancing around and seeing a duck driving a car. That duck, in this case, is Tino Sunseri, right? Correct, and what a majestic waterfowl he’s turned out to be. Pitt has lost to an FCS team and a conference opponent and beaten Virginia Tech and another FCS foe. Through it all, nothing is so jarring as seeing Sunseri put up top-15 pass efficiency numbers.
Utah State @ BYU
• What information do I, the discerning consumer, require in order to consume this game? The Aggies and Cougars kick off in Provo at 10:15 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN and streamed on WatchESPN. That’s pretty late. What if I forget? That’s the other best reason to watch Pitt-Syracuse! Just turn on the TV and leave it there, and when the camera shows an outdoor field, unmute.
• This is that Utah team you’re always screaming about, isn’t it? It is! We have followed the Aggies with interest ever since true freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton very nearly led them to an upset over then-defending national champ Auburn in Week 1 of 2011. They have only improved in the interim. State’s 4-1 record is its best start since 1978 and has already earned coach Gary Andersen a contract extension through 2018. The Aggies were a 37-yard last-minute field goal away from beating Wisconsin, in Wisconsin. They have a prolific quarterback in Keeton, a compelling running back in Kerwynn Williams and a defense that held the Badgers to 234 yards. They are good television, and there’s nothing we appreciate here more than good television.
• Can you please explain the trophy situation happening here? The Beehive Boot is an antique boot passed around as a traveling trophy between BYU, Utah and Utah State, along with (nominally) Weber State. The Old Wagon Wheel is a separate trophy for the BYU-Utah State rivalry alone. We have yet to determine conclusively whether the Beehive Boot is filled with live bees.
• Any other bizarre tidbits to impart? As mentioned in this week’s Profiles in Profiteroles, tonight’s game will be the only regular-season contest Utah State plays on natural grass. Please be sure to bring this up at any fancy parties you may be attending this evening.