16 Hours, 5 Legs, 1 Couch: It’s Time For The College Football Season’s Longest Day Parlay

Written By Russ Mitchell on September 17, 2021

Editor’s note: Parlay betting is a high-risk, high-reward wager, so keep the longer odds in mind and bet responsibly as you enjoy the games this weekend.

You may have enjoyed college football betting here and there, but are you ready to parlay all day? Saturday is the longest college football day of the year.

The Longest Day Parlay clocks in at 16 hours. The five-leg parlay bet could start with 11 a.m. games and remain unsettled until … wait for it …

… Final whistle at 3 a.m.

Here’s what we mean:

  • More than a dozen FBS games kick off at about 11 a.m. here in Iowa.
  • Those games flow seamlessly into a 2:30 p.m. window. The Kent State-Iowa game on BTN is in this window.
  • The afternoon games then flow into the 6-6:30 p.m. window.
  • Then come the West Coast games from the Mountain West and Pac 12 After Dark at around 9 p.m. It’s Iowa State After Dark, too. The Cyclones visit UNLV with a 9:30 p.m. kick on CBS Sports Network.

But, Hawaii holds the key to PlayIA’s inaugural college football Longest Day Parlay and watch-a-thon.

They have their latest home kickoff of the year on Saturday against San Jose State. It sounds harmless enough for the locals — a 6:30 p.m. start. But here in the Heartland, the game begins at 11:30 p.m. The average length of a college football game is about 3.5 hours so be ready to recline or sofa sprawl for the eye-drop inspiring 3 a.m. finish.

And, yes, you can watch the game. FS1 has the San Jose State-Hawaii broadcast.

Ready for that double shift? We’ll take you from brunch to that late night zombie walk to the Waffle House.

Longest Day Parlay Leg 1: Nebraska at No. 3 Oklahoma — 11 a.m. on Fox

Why this game?

Nebraska and Oklahoma shared the same conference from 1921 to 2010. The schools have played 86 times in the “Battle of the Big Reds.”

Saturday’s game was scheduled to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1971 “Game of the Century” when No. 1 Nebraska beat No. 2 Oklahoma 35-31 in Norman. But, back in March, reports surfaced that Nebraska was trying to get out of this game. They wanted to bring a lower-level FBS opponent to Lincoln for a win and a payday instead.

Oklahoma is cranky, too. They were “bitterly disappointed” the game received the 11 a.m. time slot on Fox. The Sooners are 45-38-3 against the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska-Oklahoma odds

What are the other Longest Day Parlay options?

The programs are in different places, so you might feel inclined to change the channel — or parlay. These top-25 games have some potential:

  • No. 8 Cincinnati at Indiana (ESPN)
  • No. 15 Virginia Tech at West Virginia (FS1)
  • No. 16 Coastal Carolina at Buffalo (ESPN2)
  • Michigan St. at No. 24 Miami, FL (ABC)
  • Northern Illinois at No. 25 Michigan (BTN)

Longest Day Parlay Leg 2: Kent State at No. 5 Iowa — 2:30 p.m. (BTN)

Why this game?

A better question might be: Why would you want to watch anything else? We have the Kent State at Iowa betting preview here.

Kent State was pretty explosive last week against VMI, and bookmakers think they are among the MAC’s top four teams. If Iowa dominates, it’s a good sign they can handle the pressure of their lofty top-5 perch.

Kent State-Iowa odds

What are the other Longest Day Parlay options?

Alabama still has road trips to No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 22 Auburn, but the visit to No. 11 Florida is one of the early tests for the Crimson Tide.

No. 6 Clemson, No. 9 Ohio State and No. 12 Notre Dame all host teams they should beat, but you never know:

  • Purdue at No. 12 Notre Dame (1:30 p.m. NBC)
  • No. 1 Alabama at No. 11 Florida (CBS)
  • Georgia Tech at No. 6 Clemson (ABC)
  • Tulsa at No. 9 Ohio State (FS1)
  • Georgia Southern at No. 20 Arkansas (3 p.m. SEC Network)

Longest Day Parlay Leg 3: No. 22 Auburn at No. 10 Penn State — 6:30 p.m. (ABC)

Why this game?

This is the ESPN College GameDay site and the atmosphere for a night game at Beaver Stadium should be electric. Penn State has a full-stadium White Out planned. These storied programs have only met twice — in bowl games. Of note, Penn State travels to Iowa on Oct. 9 for what could be a huge matchup. The game in Iowa City is already a sellout.

Auburn-Penn State odds

What are the other Longest Day Parlay options?

Well … you never know, but the menu is a little thin for the primetime dramatics. If you want to see Iowa move up on the polls, maybe pull for the Gamecocks to shock Georgia:

  • South Carolina at No. 2 Georgia (6 p.m. ESPN)
  • Virginia at No. 21 North Carolina (ACC Network)
  • Tulane at No. 17 Ole Miss (7 p.m. ESPN2)

Longest Day Parlay Leg 4: No. 17 Iowa State at UNLV — 9:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Why this game?

Iowa State is trying to find its mojo on offense. This might be a chance for the Cyclones to get their swagger back in time for the conference season.

Also, seeing Iowa State in an NFL stadium should be pretty fun. We have an Iowa State-UNLV betting preview here. It has tips for people who are going to the Iowa State game in Vegas, but that means they’re missing out on our couch-a-thon.

Iowa State-UNLV odds

What are the other Longest Day Parlay options?

Some of the best games of the week can be late-night howlers on the West Coast. These games both have potential for crazy shootout finishes:

  • No. 19 Arizona State at No. 23 BYU (9:15 p.m. ESPN)
  • Fresno State at No. 13 UCLA (9:45 p.m. Pac 12 Network)

Longest Day Parlay Leg 5: San Jose State at Hawaii — 11:30 p.m. (FS1)

Iowa State and UNLV will still be playing when San Jose State-Hawaii kicks off, but fans can still catch the last two hours.

In case you missed it, San Jose State was very good in 2020. The Spartans won the Mountain West championship and carried a 7-0 record into their 34-13 Arizona Bowl loss to Ball State. They’re 1-1 this season with a 45-14 win over Southern Utah and a 30-7 loss to USC.

Hawaii is your defending New Mexico Bowl champions after a 28-14 win over Houston on Christmas Eve 2020. They finished 5-4 a season ago. The Warriors have three games under their belt. They lost a pair of road games to Pac 12 teams (UCLA 44-10 and Oregon State 45-27). In between, they beat FCS Portland State 49-35.

San Jose-Hawaii odds

What are the other Longest Day Parlay options?

Seriously? None.

College Football Final, ESPN’s highlight show re-airs at 3 a.m. on ESPNU. That should tide you over until the 3:30 a.m. when ESPN re-airs South Carolina-Georgia. And, ESPN Classic has Alabama-Auburn and Ohio State-Michigan games from the past to carry you to a full 24 hours Sunday morning.

But, if you make it through the PlayIA Longest Day Parlay, we hope your next matchup is with a pillow.

Photo by Dreamstime.com
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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