Back this week by popular demand, the Pigskin Follies kicks off the weekend with a question on everyone’s mind: What does Oregon have to do to get some respect from the BCS?
Kansas State is atop the BCS this week. But the real action will be in Chapman Stadium (Skelly Field) in Tulsa, at 11:00 CST, on Saturday, when the Golden Hurricane takes on the team it will probably play for the C-USA championship: the University of Central Florida. UCF has a solid lead in the East division. Both teams are 8-2 overall, 6-0 conference. But of course, Tulsa beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010. So we have to give the Golden H the nod, even though Coach Bill Blankenship says UCF will be their toughest opponent in the regular season. The oddsdudes have TU giving about 1. What can I say, there just aren’t that many alumni from my noble alma mater.
The Oklahoma Sooners, hanging in there at BCS #12, will be at West Virginia on Saturday evening. In theory, the Mountaineers having no defense, the Sooners should roll over them handily. But we Sooner fans know how that goes. TOC’s Football Commentary Service predicts a high combined score and absolutely tons of yards for the Sooners. Oklahoma gives 11. 50F and clear at game time in Morgantown – a tad chilly for the Sooners this fall, but free of precipitation.
Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, #24 and #23 respectively, will be punching hard in Stillwater, and may just reverse those standings tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned. We here at TOC’s Football Commentary Service will be gratified if the Cowboys keep the neon-gray to a minimum in their game apparel.
Navy on Saturday hosts the Bobcats of Texas State, newbies to the FBS and sporting the 3-6 record to prove it. Navy gives 12, and certainly has the potential to cover. Army hosts Temple and gives 3, an interesting number given that Temple isn’t as bad as Connecticut, South Florida, and Pitt in the Big East. Army did whup up on Air Force a couple of weeks ago, but we’ll wait for developments on this game. Air Force hosts the Hawaii Warriors here in about an hour, giving a whopping 22.
The Hokies will be at Boston College on Saturday at noon-ish, and are giving 9 this time, which is a nice change for them. The 2-8 Eagles suck pretty badly this year. VA Tech, at 4-6 (2-4 conference), is out of the ACC fight for 2012. North Carolina roosts atop the Coastal Division at the moment, and we are not at all sad to report that the Tarheels whomped the you-know-whatamus out of the shabby, unpresentable Yahoos of Virginia on Thursday night (37-13), in The South’s Oldest Rivalry.
Nevada will be visiting New Mexico, and if the Wolf Pack can’t win this one, we’re going to get kind of annoyed with them. They’re giving 10, and the 4-7 Lobos are only a tiny bit better than they were last year. Nevada has slid out of contention for the Mountain West title, but is seriously better than New Mexico and should pocket this one.
Around the top 10, Kansas State will be at Baylor on Saturday, and should have no difficulty with the Bears. #2 Oregon hosts Stanford in a bout that bids for Game of the Week. The Oddsquad has the Ducks giving 20, but of course PAC 12 fans and BCS watchers expect the Candy Pink to give Oregon the fight of its life. The Wildcats will be dominating in Waco; Ducks have to slam Stanford hard to have any chance to surge in the BCS on Sunday. TOC’s Football Commentary Service predicts a Ducks win but no surge this week.
#3 Notre Dame hosts Wake Forest, and should have no problem with the 5-5 Demon Deacons. #4 Alabama should mop up the field with 1-9 Western Carolina, rotating through the FCS slaughter spot. (Western Carolina is 0-8 and dwelling in the FCS Southern Conference cellar. The one thing they have going for them is that Alabama isn’t a scorehound.) Georgia, #5, has another Southern Conference opponent tomorrow, this one perched atop the conference: Georgia Southern. The Bulldogs shouldn’t have a problem.
It’s Play an FCS Creampuff Week in the SEC, as #6 Florida hosts Jacksonville State, coming in 6-4 overall. If the Gators can’t drag the J-State Gamecocks around the field by the toenails, we can’t help ‘em. Sometimes it’s tough to stay in the top 10. #7 LSU hosts Ole Miss, and we are delighted to report that they’re playing for the Magnolia Bowl Trophy, which, as stuff to play for goes, ain’t half bad. The Rebels haven’t been burning up the field this season, coming in at 5-5, so we’re going with the oddsbubbas on this one, and calling it for LSU.
Texas A&M, having rocketed to #8 on the win over the Tide last week, is also participating in the SEC’s Play an FCS Creampuff week, hosting the Southland Conference’s Sam Houston State. SHS’s team is the Bearkats, and don’t forget it. But they are going to lose. #9 South Carolina takes on the FCS Wofford Terriers, who are tied with Georgia Southern for the top of the Southern Conference, but also have no chance of winning tomorrow. #10 Florida State heads to Maryland for an ACC showdown, and we’re frankly pretty proud of the ACC for not lining up a bunch of FCS strawmen to mow down in Week 12.
Oh, all right, all right. Yes, it’s USC-UCLA tomorrow. Whatever. They’re #18 and #17, respectively, so who knows, maybe they’ll engineer a place swap in the BCS. OK, so the game is likely to determine which one takes the PAC-12 South too. UCLA, after a tough start, has rebounded to 8-2 (5-2 conference), and USC is behind by a nose at 7-3, 5-3 conference. So we will grant that there are folks who care.
In other rivalry action, UAB hosts Memphis in the Battle for the Bones, wherein the two teams, now both in C-USA, play for The Bones. If it were anything other than college football, we’d laugh our heads off. Rice and SMU are playing for the Mayor’s Cup, which frankly just doesn’t have the ring of a Golden Cannon.
In Division III action, Franklin College, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference champ, squares off on Saturday with Adrian College of Adrian, MI. Adrian is the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champ, and will host tomorrow’s first-round game. Franklin is ranked #16 in the D3 Football poll, although the coaches have been ranking the Grizzlies more like around #22-23. Adrian got the most votes for teams just out of the top 25 in the D3 Football poll. Game time weather: 50F and partly cloudy.
Christopher Newport collides with Division III powerhouse Mount Union on Saturday, at Mount Union U in Alliance, OH. Mount Union, the Ohio Athletic Conference champ, is ranked #1 in Div III by everybody. The betting seems to be on whether the Raiders’ opponents will score at all. Game time weather: 51F and sunny. Note: all the Div III games are at noon (local) tomorrow. Go Captains!
The Deer Creek Antlers are hosting McAlester tonight in the quest to keep their 5A playoff hopes alive. McAlester, coming in 7-3 on the season, was leading 21-14 at the half. Antlers have some work to do to keep the playoffs going. It’s about 48F and clear in the stadium. Go Blue!
Florida International is up 14-10 on Florida Atlantic at the half. FAU not looking its best tonight. (Hey, you didn’t think we’d forget tonight’s football, right?) Hawaii and Air Force started a few minutes ago. And what do you know: Hawaii just scored a TD on a nicely-managed opening drive. 7-0 Warriors.