Week 5 of the 2022 college football season has arrived and so has our weekly look at Anxiety Games across the country. For those new here, we’re keeping tabs on games where the fans and/or coaching staffs of specific programs may feel a bit uneasy about the possibility of things going downhill with a bad outing.
And friends, there’s quite a few of those games on the slate this week. Let’s dive in.
San Diego State at Boise State, 8 p.m. ET, FS1 (Friday)
Friday will bring us a matchup of two Mountain West Conference programs that may be losing their grip as Group of Five powers.
In one corner, you have a Boise State team that is looking to be in disarray after a 27-10 loss at UTEP last Friday. The uninspiring performance against the Miners last week triggered the firing of offensive coordinator Tim Plough, which then led to senior starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier entering the transfer portal on Monday. Things are a mess for head coach Andy Avalos and he needs to figure and he needs to figure out a way to get things turned around quickly.
Meanwhile, San Diego State is also 2-2 and needed a late touchdown to slip past Toledo in a 17-14 victory last week. Like Boise State, the Aztecs don’t feel like a team primed to contend for a New Year’s Six bowl slot anymore and a loss on the road here would have them fighting in the middle of the pack of the MWC for the rest of the year.
USF vs. ECU, 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+
First things first, it should be noted that this game will be played at FAU’s Stadium due to Hurricane Ian barreling straight for the Tampa Bay region. The circumstances surrounding this game week could create all types of scenarios for the game itself.
With that being said, USF squandered all of the brief momentum it had coming out of the Florida game two weeks ago by getting decked in a 41-3 loss at Louisville last Saturday. It was the same embarrassing and uncompetitive performance that has become commonplace for this programs and calls for Jeff Scott’s job is starting to get louder among the locals. Scott himself has communicated that true season for the Bulls begin in AAC play and is hoping that they can start strong with a win over ECU.
The circumstances surrounding this game may put some of the fan’s ire on hold for a week. But a blowout loss to the Pirates would most likely spell the beginning of the end for Scott’s run in Tampa.
LSU at Auburn, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Here’s your weekly Bryan Harsin look in on the Plains and hey, look at that, he’s still here. Auburn effectively won by default against Missouri last Saturday in one of the dumbest games you’ll watch all season. We’ll see if weird, Auburn magic will allow for Harsin to survive another week or if what’s shaping up to be a pretty good LSU team will put the final nail in the coffin.
West Virginia at Texas, 7:30 p.m. ET, FS1
Remember the good will Steve Sarkisian and staff accrued following the one-point loss to Alabama three weeks ago? That could very well evaporate with a home loss to West Virginia here.
Texas fell on the road to Texas Tech in overtime last Saturday, a game where star running back Bijan Robinson fumbled on the first play of OT. Even with quarterback Quinn Ewers still nursing a shoulder injury, a two-game losing streak heading into Red River next week would not be a good look for the program.
Meanwhile, got a much needed win last Thursday when hammering long, lost rival Virginia Tech on the road. Keep that momentum rolling, Neal Brown. Don’t take a step back in Austin.
Colorado at Arizona, 9:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Every passing week for Colorado is a new opportunity to hit a new low. The calls for Karl Dorrell’s job are getting louder as some are speculating if the Buffaloes will even win a game this season. A blowout loss in Tuscon, AZ, could bring this failing tenure one step closer to its end.