Finally, 12 weeks into the season, the Washington State Cougars have their bye week. After nearly three months of getting beat to hell in the rigors of a Pac-12 schedule, the student-athletes finally get a weekend off to relax and think of nothing more than video games, waking up at noon, and wondering how many chalupas you can eat for no other reason than “I was wondering” (6.5, for the record).
You, though, will finally have a Saturday unencumbered of worrying about the Cougs to sit down and enjoy a full slate of college football. We here at CougCenter want to make sure you enjoy your couch dwelling day to the fullest. So here are our suggestions to get the most out of your bye week with our most important person of the week: your setup for a great Saturday of college football.
As many as you can get crammed in front of your most comfortable couch. I actually bring the second, rarely used TV upstairs to our media room (it’s a spare bedroom but let me have this), and plug the Fire stick in. Add in the desktop computer and the old, barely working laptop with a fan that makes so much noise it sounds like a jet taking off and you’ve got four screens available.
Will there be times you’re delving the depths of ESPN3 for an FCS game? You bet. Is that bad? Absolutely not. I watched a thriller between the North Dakota State Bison and Eastern Washington Eagles last year which isn’t really “the depths” but hey, it’s FCS!
Make sure you bring the smaller screens to the front, hiding them to the sides of the televisions can cause them to get lost on the margins of whatever games you deem good enough to be on the big screens.
What to watch: The back of your eyelids. It’s Gameday on a week where the SEC plays FCS teams.
What to drink: Some water you left next to the bed?
What to eat: Your midnight snack wasn’t that long ago, be patient.
What to watch: The Michigan Wolverines paying a visit to the Wisconsin Badgers is probably the best early game, followed by the TCU Horned Frogs in Lubbock to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders. SMU Mustangs at the Memphis Tigers won’t be bad either; but you’ll have to duck down to ESPN3 for the Youngstown State Penguins vs. Missouri State Bears if you’ve got four screens.
What to drink: Brew yourself a pot of coffee and crack open a fresh bottle of Irish cream, it’s Baileys and coffee time.
What to eat: I go not-so-full English breakfast and you’re going to need a good base for all the beer you’re gunna get through in the next 14 hours. Three slices of bacon, two eggs prepared how you like, blistered cherry tomatoes (salt, pepper, a little dill, trust me), and two pieces of toast, jelly optional. If you’ve got some Yukon potatoes, roast those bad boys up.
What to watch: You should have been watching the Brawl of the Wild for 90 minutes already. Montana State isn’t very good but Montana has an outside shot at the FCS playoffs! You gotta get through to 12:30 anyway when most of the good stuff, like Navy Midshipmen v. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Kansas State Wildcats vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys and ... (/swallows pride) ... Purdue Boilermakers at Iowa Hawkeyes gets underway. Oh, and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are in Moscow to face the Idaho Vandals!
What to drink: Again, this is a marathon, not a sprint. A personal favorite of mine at this time of the year is Deschutes Jubelale or Ninkasi Sleigh’r. Since we’re in the winter and it’s time for heavy beers, I like to alternate with something lighter and cheaper like Rainier.
What to eat: Now, I know I’ll catch a little heat for this but that’s okay and feel free to @ me: salad.
I know, I know, but hear me out. You’re going to be snacking on deep friend things all day and your dinner is gunna be heavy and delicious (more on that in a second). You need something that’s fresh, gives you some vitamins, and cleanses the palate before diving into greasy, fatty things that, while delicious, are gunna murder your insides. If you don’t want to make one, picking a ready made one from Trader Joe’s the day before (they have a ton at very reasonable prices) is easy.
What you will need to do now is start your dinner: shredded pork shoulder. I handed out this recipe last year and I make it whenever possible:
-3-4 pound pork shoulder
-1 sweet onion
-3-5 cloves of garlic (or whatever ya want, "too much" is rarely a garlic issue)
-Sprigs of thyme
-Apple cider vinegar (we're goin' eastern North Carolina, y'all)
-1 can/bottle of whatever beer ya like
Take your pork shoulder and rub it thoroughly with the salt and pepper. Mince the garlic and rub some of it onto the meat. Cut the onion into rings and then cut those in half and then cut the jalapenos into rings. Pour the beer into the slow cooker and then place the pork shoulder, onions, jalapenos and sprigs of thyme into the cooker. Sprinkle the rest of the garlic onto the shoulder and into the beer. Gently pour and rub some apple cider vinegar onto the meat. Put the slow cooker on low and let the meat cook until it pulls apart.
What to watch: Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon Ducks could be good? Maybe? If Justin Herbert is back, sure! The LSU Tigers at what’s left of the Tennessee Volunteers could be fun, if for no other reason than the Vols will probably be playing motivated. You’ve got the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans an hour into this window as well. Oh, and the Cal Golden Bears at Stanford Cardinal. NERD STARE DOWN!
What to drink: Make another cup of coffee to get you through the evening, no Bailey’s this time. Keep on keepin’ on with the beer though.
What to eat: Snacks. Get you those Tim’s Cascade Original to munch on. Leftover Halloween candy that your spouse hasn’t taken to work is good too.
What to watch: Man, this week is thiiiiiiiiin with late-night stuff. Utah Utes and Washington Huskies is your best option, the Air Force Falcons and Boise State Broncos shouldn’t be bad either. Nevada Wolf Pack and San Diego State Aztecs if for no other reason than it’s there. No late night Hawaii Rainbow Warriors game but if you DVR’d their earlier match-up with the Utah State Aggies, you could watch it for tradition’s sake.
What to drink: Time to tuck into the Pendleton; these late ones could get ugly.
What to eat: Hey, that pulled pork you put in at noon should be ready!
What to watch: Again, no Hawaii game which means no Robert Kekaula which is a tragedy. I like to wind down with some Lockup on MSNBC or catching up on Netflix shows like Great British Baking Show. What? MARY BERRY IS DELIGHTFUL.
What to drink: I’m up for whatever at this hour but start mixing it with water. Don’t want that hangover.
What to eat: Look, don’t be a pig. Just stop.
Rocky road ice cream though.
That’s what I’ll be doing this Saturday. Any other suggestions to make your day on the couch even better.