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A PSU Fan’s Bye Week TV Guide

Congratulations! If you are reading this, give yourself a pat on the back—or blast Zombie Nation numerous times, the choice is yours—because you have survived nine weeks of Penn State football. It may not have been easy at times. Temple took years off your life expectancy. Indiana had you shaking your head in disbelief. The fourth quarter against Iowa had you waiting for something catastrophic to happen…but it never did.

Despite the head coach sitting in a booth, the star wide receiver missing two games due to a foot injury, the next great Penn State linebacker getting injured before Big Ten play began, and a messy two quarterback system, Penn State enters the bye week with an 8-1 record, a No. 16 BCS ranking, and a two-game cushion in the Leaders Division (we’re really still calling it that?) with three to play. They have already accomplished three things that they were unable to do last year:

  • Winning the Homecoming Game
  • Beating Iowa
  • Beating Illinois

While a fall Saturday without Penn State football may feel odd, the bye comes at a good time. The players have earned it, and now have two weeks to prepare for a Senior Day clash against No. 10 Nebraska. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I personally enjoy the bye week because I know good results are likely to come. The Eagles are 13-0 all time under Andy Reid after a bye, and Joe Paterno is not too shabby either, with a 32-16 all-time record.

I love Saturdays at Beaver Stadium and cherish each and every one of them, but a bye week allows for more flexibility in terms of being a college football fan. Rather than running your day around one game, the opportunity is there to enjoy several matchups. Here’s a viewer’s guide for tomorrow and how it could impact Penn State going forward:

What You Will Need:

  • A television. This should go without saying. If yours is not working, call up a friend to say you’re coming over.
  • A television remote. At times, you’ll want to flip back and forth between games, especially early on in the day. Who wants to actually leave their couch in order to do that?
  • Beverages. That is all.
  • A cell phone to order food. I will address this later on, but for now, here are the games to keep an eye on:

No. 15 Michigan at Iowa, 12 p.m., ESPN

This clash between two teams in the Legends Division may not interest a ton of people, but it’s one of the better early games, and there is always the chance of Denard Robinson doing something ridiculous. Urban Meyer is supposed to announce it although no one knows exactly where he will be. If he does end up calling it, and he either ducks out early or sounds like he may be in a hurry, drop everything you’re doing, disregard the rest of this article, and feverishly sprint to the University Park Airport. I will rent a black van to stalk him again.

Indiana at Ohio State, 12 p.m., Big Ten Network

After early struggles, Ohio State is relevant again in the Leaders Division. This one could turn into a blowout, but not many people expected Indiana to come as close to beating Penn State as they did. It is worth quickly checking in on for score updates and to see how Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes’ offense look.

Northwestern at No. 10 Nebraska, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

Know thine upcoming opponent. Take some time to scout Nebraska and see how Taylor Martinez looks at quarterback. It will also be interesting to see how an up and down Nebraska defense will fare against Dan Persa. The Northwestern offense is one of the few teams to give Penn State’s defense some trouble, outside of Alabama.

Purdue at No. 20 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m., ABC

If you take too long to check in on what’s going on in Madison, this one could already be out of hand. Wisconsin has to come in hungry after losing two straight road games in the final seconds, but if Purdue somehow pulls the upset, Penn State would just have to win one of its final three to finish ahead of the Badgers.

No. 4 Stanford at Oregon State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3.com

This may not be televised in State College, but is worth paying attention to. Andrew Luck is reason alone to be interested, and if Oregon State can shock the college football world, it could impact College GameDay’s location decision next week which is likely to come down to Penn State-Nebraska or Stanford-Oregon.

No. 9 South Carolina at No. 7 Arkansas, 7:15 p.m., ESPN

Two ranked SEC opponents squaring off here. This does not impact Penn State but will serve as a nice bridge between the 3:30 games and

No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama, 8 p.m., CBS  

This one needs no introduction. I recommend having Wings Over Happy Valley on speed dial and calling in early because this big of a sporting event calls for it. If these two schools were combined into one super team, I would be interested to see how they would perform against the Colts or Dolphins. Both teams had two weeks to prepare. Alabama’s lowest margin of victory this season was the sixteen point win over Penn State in early September. A Crimson Tide win will set them up to run the table and make Penn State’s loss look respectable.

No. 8 Oregon at Washington, 10:30 p.m., FSN

For the late night crowd, this could be an entertaining matchup, and Washington should have a better chance of pulling the upset than previously mentioned Oregon State.

Enjoy what the bye week for Penn State has to offer. Come Sunday Night, new polls and updated BCS rankings will be made available and College Gameday should have their decision. The bye week will be over and Penn State will know where it stands headed into Nebraska week.

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About the Author

Drew Balis

Drew is a senior marketing major. This fall, he will be covering Penn State Football for Onward State. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and loves THON and Domonic Brown.

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