Two things that’ll be hard: for Game 7 to top Game 6 for sheer vig-ah, and for the annual BYU-TCU gridiron classic to compete with Game 7 tonight.
Normally I root for the NL in the Series, but I’d kind of like to see the Rangers get it done. Just give us another fun game like last night’s, boys.
NCAA football has already launched with a pathetic pffft this week, #17 Houston and Case Keenum having committed mayhem all over Rice last night. 73-whatever. Nine TD passes for Keenum. Sure, Miami (Da U) beat Virginia too, but who cares? Neither represents division competition for VA Tech.
Tulsa has its first big C-USA West test on Saturday. The Golden Hurricane hosts SMU, one of the two teams TU needs to beat to take the division and play for the C-USA title. (The other is Houston.) If Tulsa can beat SMU tomorrow – very do-able (and a grudge match for the Hurricane, after losses the last two years) – the SMU-Houston match on the 19th and the Tulsa-Houston match on the 25th will be an exciting ride. As far as we’re concerned, Tulsa grew three sizes with each drubbing by Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Boise State, back in that unmentionable previous month, and is still very much in the title hunt. (Yeah, yeah. Objectively, Keenum is the best QB in C-USA and Houston is the best team. But the teams Tulsa has lost to are all still in the top 10. So there.)
#9 Oklahoma heads to Manhattan to meet a higher-ranked Kansas State, in one of those inversions of the universe that sometimes happen. I’m sure they know in the Sooner State when was the last time that occurred. (I can just see the Channel 9 sports team in OKC making the historical reference with a quizzical grin.) The oddsquad isn’t fooled: they have OU giving 13. Ever seen a gigged wildcat?
But enough with the trash talk. #3 OK-State hosts Baylor and gives 14, probably about right given the Cowboys’ enthusiastic scoring game and the Bears’ ignominious loss to Texas A&M. We advise taking the points. Baylor’s not a pushover this year, but hasn’t lived up to early hype. And that said, OSU needs to police up the occasional inconsistencies and tendency to loosey-gooseyness, if the Pokes have a Big 12 champ/BCS bowl future in view.
Navy meets Notre Dame in South Bend for their annual gridiron battle. The Irish are giving 21; nobody believes in Navy. Except us here at TOC: we think the Midshipmen will cover. (And we’ve got no use for Notre Dame. Have we mentioned that Tulsa beat Notre Dame last year?) N-A-V-Y!!!!
Army, now playing without long-time starting QB Trent Steelman (injured in last week’s game, and yes, that’s an awesome name for an Army cadet), hosts FCS foe Fordham, and should do well against the 1-6 Patriots. Chair Force should have little difficulty with an 0-7 New Mexico.
The #12 Hokies are giving 14 at Duke, and that too sounds either about right or a tad conservative. VT is second to none in the shooting-self-in-foot category, but Duke has sunk to 3-4 and seems to have “rebuilding” in its future, on both sides of the ball. Beamer Ball should work pretty well on the Blue Devils.
Nevada heads to New Mexico State, giving only 15 to the Aggies, which sounds low to us. Take points. The Wolf Pack has settled on Cody Fajardo as starting QB, and Fajardo has responded by kicking his productivity into high gear. NMSU beat Minnesota early in the season, but this year, who hasn’t?
In other games of note, #1 and #2 are missing in action this week, both on hiatus before their big class-of-the-SEC match on the 5th. Should be one heck of a game. A heck of a game this week ought to be Michigan State at Nebraska. The Huskers are looking to redeem themselves after the inaugural Big 10 loss to Wisconsin; they’ve topped Ohio State since, and joined the endless parade of teams with a Golden Gopher scalp for 2011, but on Saturday they face another opponent that the AP poll puts in the top 10. Husker fans, like Sooner fans, are inspiring bettors: the line on the game has them giving 4 against a higher-ranked, hard-charging Spartan squad. Nebraska has shown weaknesses in the last few games; we think this one will be hard fought and close.
Contrarian tip of the week: we think Georgia Tech has every possibility of knocking off an overranked Clemson. Meanwhile, Wisconsin should have little trouble with Ohio State, and has a chance to recover some of that lost rankage. We still think the Badgers are pretty darn good this year.
Over in Left Coast action, USC has a big test against #6 Stanford, and no one here in Trojan Central will stop talking about it. The Sweet Cerise will cover and more; that’s our opinion. #7 Oregon should roll over Washington State. UCLA hosts Cal in the Battle of the Bears, with Cal giving 4.
Annoying rumors about conference shifts abound today, although it does appear official that West Virginia will move to the Big 12. The SEC claims it inadvertently posted news about Mizzou joining its ranks, which sounds as bogus as that excuse always does. We assume that that shift is going to happen. A Big East recruiting team is supposedly invading Boise. C-USA’s Central Florida is supposedly being considered by the Big East as well. We assume this will all get sorted out.
In Div II, the 4-4 SWOSU Bulldogs will have a tough meet with Northeastern Oklahoma State in Tahlequah on Saturday. NEOSU’s RiverHawks are 5-3, and beat Harding 49-41 on the 15th (yes, the same Harding that blew out SWOSU 70-28 last week). Should be sunny and 66 for the game.
NWOSU, coming in 3-5, will host Family Day against Southwestern Assemblies of God in Alva. SAGU, also 3-5, has lost its last 4 games. 69 and sunny in Alva.
In Div III, Rose-Hulman hosts conference rival Defiance College (Defiance, OH) in Terre Haute (sunny and 59). The Yellow Jackets come in 3-5 to RHIT’s 3-4.
Christopher Newport heads to Greensboro to take on Greensboro College. At 0-7, the Pride has the distinction of having lost the “Gate City Soup Bowl” to the Guilford College Quakers (Greensboro) on 3 September. Frankly, this seems way classier to us than the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at that newfangled AT&T Park. But it won’t help the suffering Pride against the Captains, who will stride smartly into Greensboro (53 and raining) at 5-2, atop the USA South.