Fifteen consecutive Saturdays of college football bliss await you.
Your Buckeyes are currently scheduled to play in 12 of them with a 13th penciled in for Indianapolis the first weekend in December. As is always this case this time of year, it is an exceptionally great time to be alive.
Just walking blindly into those Saturdays is fine, but if you want to maximize the bounty of entertainment this precious season delivers each weekend you need a plan and you need to be informed. Take command of your football season. Understand what's at stake here: You're going to blink and we'll be in 2015, freezing and waiting for next season. College football slows down for no one.
So here are those 15 Saturdays laid out for you, Buckeye fan, to make the most of them - and hopefully you already remembered to not get married during any of those 15 weeks.
|M&T Bank Stadium||Baltimore, MD||Noon EDT||CBS Sports Network|
Your day: It begins at 8:30am when Penn State kicks off against UCF in Ireland. After the Buckeyes play you get Alabama/West Virginia from Atlanta, Cal/Northwestern and Clemson/Georgia. That's a really nice opening Saturday. Good job, college football.
Navy threat level: Elevated. The Midshipmen finished 9-4 last year including a win at Indiana - or as ESPN might frame it, undefeated against the Big Ten in 2013.
Opponent previous week: Evildoers. Thank you for keeping America safe, Navy.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: You know Get in the Hole guy. He screams his signature line at golf tournaments. He shouts it at the Golden Tee machine. He even practices saying it at himself in the bathroom mirror. He loves the sound of his own voice.
Get in the Hole guy's hot sports takes are meticulously borrowed from the crusty white spittle that collects in the corners of both Mike & Mike and Colin Cowherd's mouths on ESPN radio. This week, he thinks Ohio State should win by 50. If they don't it's time to question everything in Columbus. They're a contender or a fraud. MUST CHOOSE ONE.
Michigan is playing _______ this week: Appalachian State, during the Buckeye game. And they should murder them this time. Dave Brandon will briefly tinker with a Redemption™ in the Big House® t-shirt concept. Then he'll be distracted by how spicy his latte is, forget what he was thinking about and quickly move onto the next big #idea.
Your night: Ohio State is undefeated and you've got two feet, both legs and your entire torso immersed in football season. Florida State plays Oklahoma State at Jerryworld and LSU plays Wisconsin in Houston.
You might even stay up late enough to catch Chris Petersen's Washington debut at Hawaii. It's on the same channel as Ohio State/Navy, but you already forgot what that was.
|Ohio Stadium||Columbus, OH||8pm EDT||ESPN (there's NASCAR on ABC)|
Your day: The cupcake industry may have collapsed, but it's a burgeoning enterprise to start Week 2, as inexplicably Penn State/Akron is your marquee noon game. Everything else early on is frosting and filler.
USC/Stanford salvages the afternoon and then both Sparty/Oregon and BYU/Texas get going around dinner time. Prime time is Ohio State time.
Tech threat level: Elevated. Beamerball may be slightly off-peak but it does not slouch.
Opponent previous week: It was Virginia Tech, William & Mary all romping together in Lane Stadium. A devil's three-way. Everyone won but felt dirty about it afterwards.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: "Virginia Tech is like playing a Tressel team. Watch the punt block. Something something something Metallica."
Michigan is playing _______ this week: at Notre Dame, while Ohio State is playing.
Your night: Getting used to evening Buckeye games, because they're going to happen a lot this year.
|Ohio Stadium||Columbus||Noon EDT||Either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2|
Your day: A traditional MAC nooner against an in-state comrade, which is exponentially better than transferring Ohio money to Florida A&M or Eastern Michigan, two completely purposeless opponents the athletic department has paid off recently. Ohio state schools playing OSU keeps the money flowing in the Pearl of the Midwest and not out of it.
Golden Flash threat level: None. This is the annual Now We Know Who's Gonna Redshirt game.
Opponent previous week: The South Alabama Jaguars, where the mascot is not pronounced Jag-wars or Jag-u-ars, but Jay-ug-wors. Same spelling; three totally different cats.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: "[every Ohio school goes here] is full of guys who have a chip on their shoulder for not being recruited by Ohio State. Don't be surprised if they catch the Buckeyes off-guard." GitHG firmly believes the MAC is constructed out of 100% sour grapes.
Michigan is playing _______ this week: Miami. The Miami that plays its home games in front of almost no fans. Um, I mean the Miami that has been disappointing lately. Uh, the Miami where that famous NFL quarterback attended. Damn it, the Ohio one.
Your night: Georgia/South Carolina kicks off right after the Ohio State game. Tennessee/Oklahoma and Texas/UCLA both play in prime time. Football. *smitten sigh*
|GAMES TO WATCH While Ohio STATE IS OFF||WHEN||TELEVISION|
|Clemson at Florida State||TBA||TBA|
|Florida at Alabama||TBA||TBA|
|Indiana at Missouri||TBA||TBA|
|Oklahoma at West Virginia||TBA||TBA|
|Utah at Michigan||TBA||TBA|
|Iowa at Pittsburgh||TBA||TBA|
|Oregon at Washington State||Late||TBA|
|Miami (the Florida one) at Nebraska||8pm||ABC/ESPN/ESPN2|
You will not do chores. You will not do yardwork. You will not be productive.
You already have Saturday plans. Football season does not rest.
|Ohio Stadium||Columbus, OH||6pm EDT||BTN|
Your day: You're going to Columbus and attending the Eleven Dubgate.
Bearcat threat level: Elevated. Whereas Kent State, Miami, Bowling Green, Toledo, Akron or Ohio could all be considered friendlies, Cincinnati brings conspicuous animus into any meeting with the Buckeyes.
Opponent previous week: Miami. The Miami that plays in front of no fans. Um, I mean the Miami that has been disappoin- damn it, the Ohio one again.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: "Urban has never beaten Tommy Tuberville." (this is true, but GitHG will make it the prevailing piece of dated analysis throughout the week.)
Michigan is playing _______ this week: Minnesota. This is the game that was artistically rendered into Dave Brandon's brilliant Experience Michigan Stadium as a Group promotion. There will be two suns shining on Ann Arbor that afternoon. (Seriously, look at the picture in that link. Michigan is not of this galaxy.)
Your night: Bearcats at twilight. You can catch the end of Illinois/Nebraska in prime time when the Buckeyes finish. I hear Out R Inn has televisions. Just a rumor.
|Byrd Stadium||College Park, MD||Noon or 3:30pm EDT||ABC/ESPN or BTN|
Your day: It's Ohio State's second trip to Maryland, but its first trip to Maryland. We're not sure when this one kicks yet, but the sunshine games of note are Stanford/Notre Dame, Florida/Tennessee, LSU/Auburn and Wisconsin/Northwestern.
Terp threat level: Normal. It's Maryland's first-ever B1G home game and it has enough players to make any game interesting. Hopefully not too interesting.
Opponent previous week: at Indiana, which means the Terp offense's confidence is likely soaring. Both Maryland and the Buckeyes are barreling into a bye week, so no one can be accused of looking ahead to anything.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: "If you control Stephon Diggs, you control Maryland." [hey, name any other Maryland player]. "I can't. Exactly my point."
Michigan is playing _______ this week: at Rutgers, under the lights.
Your night: Nebraska at Sparty. Your last chance to see East Lansing at night without your stomach in knots.
|GAMES TO WATCH WHILE OHIO STATE IS OFF||WHEN||TV|
|Indiana at Iowa||Noon EDT||CBSSN|
|Alabama at Arkansas||TBA||TBA|
|Illinois at Wisconsin||TBA||TBA|
|LSU at Florida||TBA||TBA|
|Northwestern at Minnesota||TBA||TBA|
|Oklahoma at Texas||TBA||TBA|
|Oregon at UCLA||TBA||TBA|
|Southern Cal at Arizona||TBA||TBA|
|Penn State at Michigan||7pm EDT||ESPN/ESPN2|
Your couch is your friend today. Just remember to get up and walk around every hour or so - blood clots are bad, but emergency room televisions generally have Judge Judy on repeat, so that's worse.
Imagine missing a game because you were too lazy to stand up a couple of times. You'd never forgive yourself. Skip the cooler at your feet this week and force yourself to walk to the actual fridge.
|Ohio Stadium||Columbus, OH||3:30pm EDT||ABC, ESPN/ESPN2 or BTN|
Your day: It's a B1G Throwback to the Future day, with a soon-to-be-classic nooner Iowa-Maryland and traditional lunchtime fare Purdue-Minnesota to occupy you until Ohio State's homecoming game begins.
Scarlet Knight threat level: None. This will be the ugliest Scarlet on Scarlet crime since San Diego State visited Columbus last season.
Opponent previous week: Bye week, aka Rutgers literally caught a break.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: "Finally, New York gets to see what this Ohio State football thing is like with their own eyes. This is the real value of Rutgers joining the conference: Exposure."
Michigan is playing _______ this week: Nobody. Or as a handsome officially-licensed shirt might put it: Victors™ Take a Week Off® Week 2014.
Your night: Nebraska visits Evanston for happy hour, Iowa State plays on the Longhorn Network [whatever is going through your head right now is totally justified] and both Notre Dame/Florida State and Texas A&M/Alabama are still in limbo time-wise. Prime time would be sublime.
|Beaver Stadium||State College, PA||8pm EDT||Either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2|
Your day: Another B1G brunch: Maryland/Wisconsin and Minnesota/Illinois whet the palate for two of America's hate-iest rivalries - Alabama/Tennessee and the Michigan state championship game.
Nittany Lion threat level: Elevated. State College at night for Penn State's least-favorite visitor, which hung 63 points on them last year. If air fresheners made a hostility scent it would smell like this game.
Opponent previous week: Bye week. Penn State gets a break before both Ohio State and Michigan this season. Don't let this manufactured scheduling advantage dissuade you from the huge conspiracy against Penn State, sheeple. This is merely one of the devil's tricks.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: Shower joke. Pedophile joke. Both of those get high marks among the demographic that routinely fist-bumps GitHG, since child rape is always hilarious. You're probably not nuanced or edgy enough to appreciate it.
Michigan is playing _______ this week: Little Brother. And they'll probably let Sparty win again because that's just what cool big brothers do.
Your night: Listening to 100,000 alabaster-clad Pennsylvanians do the Seven Nation Army chant for hopefully no more than one half of football. And then a disturbed, ambient hush disrupted by the occasional band interlude for the rest of the night.
|Ohio Stadium||Columbus, OH||8pm EDT||ABC, ESPN or ESPN2|
Your day: It begins with a Halloween-sized hangover from the previous evening's shenanigans, tinged with the shame that you still celebrate a holiday specifically designed to fast-track our future leaders into pre-adolescent diabetes.
But make no mistake about it: This is the best college football weekend of the year because Daylight Savings ends, giving you an extra hour to enjoy it all. The WGOCP kicks off in the afternoon.
Illini threat level: Low. Illinois hasn't won a roadie outside the state of Indiana since 2010.
Opponent previous week: Illini homecoming opponent Minnesota. Man, that 3rd quarter Bring Back Zook chant was super awkward.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: "Illinois has a long history of upsetting Ohio State in Columbus. Sure, all of those victorious Illini teams were, at worst, very good - but you never know, the next Dana Howard or Simeon Rice could be hiding on this year's team."
Michigan is playing _______ this week: Indiana at the Big House. Take the over, per usual.
Your night: Shampoo effect. Halloween weekend in college football is the best the season has to offer. Moving Illinois to prime time was brilliant, especially with an extra hour of sleep built into the calendar - with sincere apologies to parents of small children who do not give a single damn about what the clock says. They just want you to make them pancakes.
|Spartan Stadium||East Lansing, MI||8pm EST||ABC|
Your day: Bats, spiders, goblins, snakes, nerves. Actual nerves. There's no shame in wearing an adult diaper today. Or ever, really.
Sparty threat level: High. Ohio State has lost in East Lansing exactly one time over the past 25 years. That's a raw meat statistic for Mark Dantonio. He loves raw meat. He is raw meat.
Opponent previous week: Bye week. Hmm. This keeps happening.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: "Can Ohio State finally beat a ranked team under Urban Meyer?" Other than the five ranked teams Ohio State has beaten under Urban Meyer. Remember: Those don't count, probably because Ohio State beat them. [picks up goalposts; hastily shifts them to another location]
Michigan is playing _______ this week: in Evanston, the scene of last year's thrilling 3OT victory which turned out to be the Wolverines' final win of 2013. It was their only victory after Oct 19. And yet The Game still came down to Al Borges pocketing his unstoppable two-point conversation play and saving it for the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl.
Your night: Alabama/LSU kicks off in parallel to Ohio State/Michigan State. Adult diapers might be hard to find if you wait too long.
|TCF Bank Stadium||Minneapolis, MN||Noon or 3:30pm EST||ABC/ESPN or BTN|
Your day: We're not yet sure when the Buckeyes and Gophers kick off, but it probably won't be at night. Oddly, Northwestern has Notre Dame today and Penn State gets Temple. Florida State/Miami, Auburn/Georgia and Nebraska/Wisconsin are happening as well. Fun.
Gopher threat level: Elevated. No more Minnesota Nice.
Opponent previous week: Iowa, in Minneapolis. The Gophers might have recaptured Floyd of Rosedale, but they definitely will be sore, because that's what happens when you play Iowa. It's like getting into a fist-fight with a safe.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: Jerry Kill seizure joke. Because epilepsy, like child rape, is hilarious.
Michigan is playing _______ this week: Its second bye week. Waiting patiently.
Your night: Sparty visits Maryland. When you're wearing the ring you get the finest table in the restaurant, and your reservations for prime time are always accepted.
|Ohio Stadium||Columbus, OH||Noon or 3:30pm EST||ABC/ESPN or BTN|
Your day: Here are some of the SEC's "opponents" today, in late November: Charleston Southern (Georgia), Eastern Kentucky (Florida), Samford (Auburn), South Alabama (Carolina), Western Carolina (Alabama). It's almost as though they've camouflaged a bye week right before rivalry games. Neat.
Hoosier threat level: Low. Sure, IU should be a fringe bowl team playing for a postseason destination named Pinstripe or Kraft Fight Hunger, combined with Michigan looming the following week - but Indiana hasn't won a road game since 2010.
Opponent previous week: Rutgers. < - - - coincidentally, IU's best shot at a road win in 2014.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: "Indiana is a basketball school." That's just stupid. Indiana is a baseball school.
Michigan is playing _______ this week: Maryland, in Ann Arbor for Senior Day. Devin Gardner's last home game after six years of college. Frank Clark is a senior. Jake Ryan is a RS senior. Name one more Michigan senior. You can't, can you. Oh, Rich Rod.
Your night: It's Michigan week. Indigestion is strangely comforting.
|Ohio Stadium||Columbus, OH||Noon or 3:30pm EST||ABC or ESPN|
Your day: It begins with nervous vomiting, per the usual tradition started by our Ohio ancestors over 100 years ago. If you're so young that you're still unsure as to why today is so nerve-wracking, on behalf of everyone born prior to 1983 we all hate you and wish we could be you.
Michigan threat level: High. Three-game losing streaks in this series are unkind, and this is one of three 2014 games Michigan is not allowed to lose. Like, 300% more forbidden than any other normal season.
Opponent previous week: Maryland.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: Fuck Michigan. (hey, GitHG isn't always wrong.)
Michigan is playing _______ this week: For Brady Hoke's job, and maybe Brandon's too.
Your night: Jubilation. Merriment. Or alternatively, in the throes of a breathless anguish that won't subside for at least one full year.
|Lucas Oil Stadium||Indianapolis, IN||8pm EST||Fox|
Your day: The Big XII and AAC play regular season finales today, overshadowing conference title games from the SEC (4pm), ACC (8pm) and Big Ten.
Just four schools have graced the B1G title game - Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The likelihood of that number remaining constant after the 2014 season is very strong.
Western Division champ threat level: High. The Buckeyes have never won this ga-[twitch] GIVE IT TO HYDE. JUST GIVE THE BALL TO CARLOS HYDE.
Opponent previous week: Iowa played Nebraska, Wisconsin played Minnesota and Northwestern played Illinois. It's one of those teams.
The Get in the Hole guy's take: He started the season putting a fraud alert on Ohio State, and should the Buckeyes return to Indianapolis they'll end it the same way - because somehow there's a fine line between Contender and Fraud when your brain cells are lubricated with Four Loco and too much sports talk radio.
Michigan is playing _______ this week: with itself.
Your night: Hopefully anywhere in the world other than sitting on a golf cart eating shitty pizza in the bowels of an NFL stadium.