By popular request, we move the Life Report to Wednesday.
Well, now Mike McQueary says he did tell the police about the Sandusky assault he witnessed on a 10-year-old boy. Presumably this can be verified with the police. One of my questions is why, considering that Sandusky is under indictment, his lawyer is allowing him to be interviewed by the media. Promoting jury prejudice to muddy up the venue decision? (Or at least generate grounds for appeal?) Myself, I’d just as soon not have to dodge clips of the guy when I’m just trying to get the weather report.
Oy. On to football. Some more miscellaneous Midwest teams play tonight and tomorrow night, but the Hokies make another Thursday night appearance, which we’ll get to in a moment. Tulsa gives 14 at the UTEP Miners on Saturday, and is likely to cover. In other C-USA West action, SMU heads to Houston for what is likely to be a drubbing. But we’re pulling for the Mustangs here. Tulsa-Houston on the 25th.
#5 Oklahoma will be at Baylor on Saturday evening, giving a conservative 15. For some reason the Sooner faithful aren’t putting their money into this one, at least not yet. Maybe the reason is that OU has been lackadaisical and prone to rest on its laurels from one week to the next. Baylor’s more good than bad, and improving through the season; but barely beating Kansas and Missouri isn’t a big Sign or anything. Well, Sooner bettors probably have a case. If Bob Stoops wants any kind of national title consideration, he’d better pound the Bears into the ground and plant a garden in their pulpy remains.
#2 OK-State will be at Iowa State on Friday evening. The Sooner State will just have to go without FBS football this week; they’re all out of town. The Cowboys give a very reasonable 27 at the moment, the Cyclones being 2-4 conference and basically lousy.
Navy will be at San Jose State on Saturday to duke it out with the Spartans. The 4-6 Mids, coming off their victory over SMU, are gunning for a bowl slot and favored by 5 – which, since only Idaho has a worse record than SJSU in the WAC, is not a bad bet.
Temple is handing out 13 hosting Army, and that’s not a bad bet either, given Army’s emerging policy of losing the second half. Chair Force hosts a 2-7 UNLV – which, having managed to lose to New Mexico, is on the short end of 23, and justifiably so.
#8 VA Tech hosts North Carolina in Blacksburg for another Thursday game. Tech is favored by 10, which seems conservative given the Tar Heels’ lackluster performance in ACC play, and Tech’s record of resourcefulness. North Carolina always plays long-time rival VT hard though, so there’s a good chance of a fun game. (If a wet one: raining and 40-ish at game time.)
Also on Thursday evening will be a couple of C-USA games, the notable one being Southern Miss – 9-1 and perched atop the East Division – versus UAB. UAB doesn’t have a real chance, but Tulsa fans need to brush up on the Golden Eagles’ level and style of play. Just in case of an All-Golden C-USA title bout, you know.
The Nevada Wolf Pack hosts the rival Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech (motto: “What the heck are we doing in the WAC?”) on Saturday, and is donating 7 to the cause. This is basically the game that will decide which of them – 4-0 (conference) Nevada or 4-1 (conference) LA Tech – will tote off the WAC title. Incredibly, the game is not being broadcast by a major TV network, so fans outside of the local/WAC coverage media will have to make do with the online method.
In the best of the rest, it’s hard to pick a “game of the week” this time around. Nebraska at Michigan should have some interest, although both teams have been sliding lately. But they’re both still in contention in the Legends Division (Nebraska beat division leader Michigan State in October).
USC at #4 Oregon will keep hearts beating in the PAC-12, and it’s one to watch: the Trojans always play the Ducks hard, and Oregon is by no means invulnerable. Playing in Eugene should be a meaningful advantage, however. Cal will be down the street from home base, at #9 Stanford, bolstering Andrew Luck’s newly-vulnerable case for the Heisman.
There was a time when the Penn State-Ohio State game was one of the biggest of the sporting year, but time has marched on and the water under the bridge has turned brackish. The Buckeyes’ shot at the Leaders Division title is pretty much dead by now too, their fate being in too many hands late in the season. The Wisconsin-Illinois match may not be especially interesting, but it will be meaningful to the Leaders Division title hunt. (Badgers need to win.)
The Citadel, which has a habit of popping up in the schedules of ranked teams in November, will meet #12 South Carolina (motto: “The other USC”) – and try to overcome the stink of its own child sex-abuse scandal. #3 Alabama will host Georgia Southern, which isn’t going to help the Tide’s all-but-closed BCS case. #6 Arkansas should beat Mississippi State, but may well have a challenge; overranked #7 Clemson isn’t likely to get much grief from North Carolina State (motto: “They have a football team?”).
In Div II, none of the teams we have even the remotest connection with will be in the 19 November bracket for the playoffs. So we wish the contenders well, and look forward to the championship bout in December. (We do note that Colorado State-Pueblo, whose coaching staff performed heroically at the Big Texan steakhouse before beating NWOSU early in the season, awaits the winner of one of the first-round matches in Super Region 3. CSU-Pueblo will play either Minnesota-Duluth or Saginaw Valley on the 26th.)
In Div III, Christopher Newport heads to Union, NJ to play Kean University in the first round of the playoffs. Kean is the New Jersey Athletic Conference champion, and the 9-1 Cougars have been improving steadily under Coach Dan Garrett. Cloudy and in the low 50s for the Saturday game. Go Captains!
Franklin College, the powerhouse of the HCAC (Rose-Hulman’s conference), will have homefield advantage hosting Thomas More College, which won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference title this year. The first-round meeting of Grizzlies and Saints will have cloudy skies and 50s in Franklin, IN on Saturday. Good luck to the Grizzlies.