By Austin Bucher
The first month of college football has come and gone. The contenders are quickly separating themselves from the pretenders, and things are just heating up.
Whether you are excitedly rooting on your top 10 team, or reeling in despair after painful defeat (I’m looking at you Tennessee fans), one must admit, we are still in the midst of the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s going to get better.
This week we will preview a number of Top 25 games, and their delicious brewed counterparts. While I am going to have to spend some quality time with my DVR on Sunday evening to catch up on this weekend’s action (I am off to Mexico on Saturday morning to help build a home for an in need family), I know that other fans are going to be absolutely glued to their TVs from the early kickoffs to late night. October 3rd is set to be the best Saturday thus far.
No. 23 West Virginia vs. No. 15 Oklahoma (-6 ½)
It’s going to be an early kickoff in Oklahoma. ANOTHER early kickoff. This will be OU’s 7th 11AM CT kickoff since 2013, when the Big 12 decided it was going to begin a staggering system for its member’s start times. To put that in perspective, Texas and Baylor have had zero early kickoffs. Putting this aside, West Virginia rolls in to Norman undefeated, and boasting the nation’s best scoring defense (7.7 PPG!). Even with that, the Mountaineers won’t be able to keep up with emerging Heisman candidate Baker Mayfield and the high-flying OU offense. Look for the Sooner defense to step up big time as well; on this day that Brian Bosworth receives his CFB Hall of Fame induction honor (between the 1st and 2nd quarters of Saturday’s game).
While good beer is sometimes hard to come by in Oklahoma, there is a little brewery making big noise out of Tulsa. Prairie Artisan Ales knows what they are doing. And as it starts to cool off in the heartland, it’s time to start enjoying stouts and porters once more. After all, it’s only a matter of time before Norman is dealing with mitten weather. Bomb! Is the beer to drink this weekend. While it may be a little tough to drink more than 2 of these full bodied imperial stouts with hints of cocoa and coffee, you’ll be happy you decided to crack them open. BOOMER SOONER!
No. 13 Alabama vs. No. 8 Georgia (-1 ½ )
While it may be a tiny spread, it’s still a spread that has Alabama as the underdog. The first time in a long time. But that’s just a number. Albeit a number Saban and the boys are used to seeing in their favor, but a number nonetheless. But haven’t we seen this from Georgia before? The Athens Army living up to otherworldly expectations for the first part of the season, only to watch themselves self-destruct? Georgia faithful are hoping that this year it is different. But maybe it’s not. Supposedly Georgia has a terrorist on their team that is grabbing headlines this past week (really, look it up). While it sounds like a bit of overkill, it may be just enough of a distraction for Georgia to once again let this one slip through their fingers.
Georgia is fast becoming a sight to see in the Southern Beer Scene. And no brewery does it better in Georgia than Athen’s own Terrapin Beer Company. In the spirit of the fall season, and with Halloween right around the corner, The Walking Dead is the beer to have this weekend if you’re drinking in Georgia. It is a blood orange IPA. Seriously, can anything be a better combination than blood orange and IPA? Terrapin gets it, and so should you!
No. 3 Ole Miss (-6 ½) vs. No. 25 Florida
Can Florida pull off two upsets in a row at The Swamp? If they can, do they not deserve to make an AP Poll leap in the same manner that Ole Miss did a couple weeks ago? We will see how this one plays out, but Florida must realize that this Mississippi team is not Tennessee and has a little bit more to offer. The Gators have chosen to stick with Will Grier at quarterback, and he will have to do his best to maintain the great poise he has shown as a freshman thus far. If he can outduel Chad Kelly, look for Florida to get back to top 10 land.
It’s no secret Florida is a great beer state. The swamps around Gainesville are producing some top-notch brews, and Cottonmouth from Swamp Head Brewery is the beer to go with this weekend for Gator fans. This Belgain Witbier is guaranteed to be crisp and refreshing, which will be much needed as Florida continues to hit fans with the heat and humidity. The Swamp will be alive on Saturday, and nothing will keep the faithful rocking like some cold brews! While this is a bit of an abridged version of our usual football and beer articles, I admittedly have paid a little less attention to this weekend’s games seeing as I won’t be watching any of them live. There are plenty of other intriguing matchups this weekend, such as Notre Dame/Clemson and Mississippi State/Texas AM, but the three games previewed above are the three games that interest me most. Look for a fun-filled weekend, and raise a glass to October football! CHEERS!