It’s week 9, which means we’re about 2/3 of the way done with the season. That is absolutely wild. It seems like just yesterday we were hashing out non-conference games and starting the debates about everyone’s future in the conference. Now, we’re about halfway through conference play and the mathematicians are number-running the possibilities and probabilities for each team. This is where the good teams begin to pull away from the average teams, although there are still occasionally exceptions. I can’t stare into the future without acknowledging the Purdue Boilermakers for absolutely crushing Ohio State. While the game was phenomenal all on its own, it featured the story of Tyler Trent. For anyone who hasn’t taken the few minutes to watch the ESPN feature on him, please take the time to do so soon. Beyond that, the rest of Week 8 was pretty uneventful (outside of one game that we’ll talk about soon). So let’s get to the nitty gritty!
Week 8 gets kicked off with a big time game in the Big Ten. One that everyone has kind of been thinking might be a bit of a hiccup for one of the teams involved, and, honestly, I still feel like there’s cause for concern. Oh no folks, we’re not talking Wisconsin @ Northwestern.
Nebraska is making up their cancelled game! The Huskers are hosting Bethune-Cookman. Now, I know Nebraska is fresh off a big win against Minnesota, but does anyone actually believe they can sustain this type of success? I have no insight on this game, but I’ll be cheering for the Wildcats in this one. Always been a big fan. Also, keep an eye on Texas Tech heading to Ames in a game that will give an early placement of where each team might end up in the Big XII come the end of the year. Clemson heads down to Tallahassee to take on Florida State. Not sure anyone is expecting this to be much of a game, but Clemson has a fun team to watch so maybe keep that in your clicker rotation.
What You’ll Need: Citrus vodka, Blue curacao, lemonade
I really feel like I’ve featured this drink before but under a different name. Hell, maybe even under the same name, but I haven’t gone back to research this so feel free to hunt it out and @ me for repeating content if that’s the case. Anyway, in your tailgating cup of choice, fill with ice and combine 2 parts citrus vodka and 1 part blue curacao. This gives a good flavor, as well as a nice splash of color. From there, just top off with lemonade and garnish with a lime or lemon!
The afternoon games this week are going to really shake up a couple team’s seasons. It won’t necessarily break anyone, but it’s going to hinder a few and maybe vault a couple others up. Florida and Georgia meet in Jacksonville for The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and they take the field as Top 10 teams. This is huge SEC game for these two, especially Florida who can’t really afford to take a second conference loss after losing to Kentucky (who leads the division on that tiebreak).
The Hawkeyes head to Happy Valley to take on Penn State. PSU is 1-2 in their last 3 and really need a big win to keep their head above water for what their expectations were. If Iowa wins, they’ll be sitting in a decent position to head to the Big Ten Championship game. A ranked USF team heads to Houston in an American Athletic Conference game that could mean a lot when it comes down to the conference title and, potentially, New Year’s Six bowl time.
What You’ll Need: Gin (I’m not a big gin person, but pick a quality one of your liking), Dry vermouth, maple syrup, orange bitters
In a mixing glass, combine 2 shots of gin, a small splash of dry vermouth, a small pour of syrup and 2 dashes of bitters. Give everything a good stir to combine all the ingredients, then strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with an orange peel and cinnamon stick!
The night games still provide some excitement for the country to enjoy, with action on both coasts. North Carolina State heads to Syracuse in an ACC Atlantic matchup where both teams could benefit largely from a win. NC State is looking to keep pace with Clemson, while hoping for them to slip up. Syracuse has been sneaky good this year, already sitting at 5-2 and a win away from going bowling.
Texas A&M takes on Mississippi State. The Bulldogs haven’t been great in conference but are trying to catch a hot Aggies team off guard. And the team I mentioned early that I would come back to is finally upon us. Pullman, Washington, finally got to host College Gameday last weekend and, woo buddy, did the Cougars take advantage of that primetime opportunity! They lowered the hammer on the Ducks and look to do the same thing this week to Stanford. Both teams are ranked and looking for more confidence heading forward. On top of that, Mike Leach and Wazzu have found themselves as the newest member of the “Well, maybe the Pac-12 can get a playoff team after all” club, although I wouldn’t necessarily hold by breath. Go Cougs!
What You’ll Need: White rum, cinnamon whiskey, pineapple juice, grenadine
Fill your gameday victory glass with ice and combine equal parts of white rum and cinnamon whiskey. Top the rest of your glass off with pineapple juice and finish off with a few drops of grenadine to give it that beautify look!
SHOT OF THE WEEK!!!
This one takes a little bit of skill, but it isn’t too terribly difficult. Trust me on this. If you haven’t layered liquors in a shot before, this will be a fun introduction for you! This works best if you have a double shot glass. In the base of the glass, pour in half a shot of blue curacao. Next, pour a full shot of vodka along the side of the glass so that it layers above the blue curacao. Top off with a layer of Sambuca over the vodka. Then add in a very small drop or two of half-and-half to slowly filter down through the drink!
That’s all we’ve got this week. Week 7 was a bloodbath, Week 8 was enjoyable with a huge highlight, and Week 9 looks to continue that trend. We keep on trekking our way through the season, looking to snatch up rivalry, conference, bowl, and hopefully national championship trophies along the way! Until next week, as always, stay hydrated, stay safe, and I hope everybody’s favorite team wins this week!