Oklahoma will be without FBS football this weekend, a rare condition for which there is no known cure. The FBS teams will be out of action until next week.
Tulsa, which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, is back on the gridiron on Thursday, 26 September, hosting Iowa State.
The #14 Sooners will travel to Notre Dame on the 28th. #11 Oklahoma State will be at West Virginia on the 28th. More on those match-ups next week.
Incredibly, Navy also has this weekend off. The Mids will spend it plotting their strategy against Western Kentucky next weekend. Army plays host to Wake Forest on Saturday at noon, in what is pretty much a toss-up, odds-wise. (OK, the Demon Deacons have a slight edge.)
We are relieved to note that Virginia Tech will host C-USA’s Marshall on Saturday at noon Eastern. The Hokie give is 10, which is probably about right. We are gratified to care about the outcome, at least. Marshall has been a scoring machine against lesser teams so far (Miami-OH, Gardner-Webb), although the Thundering Herd fell to Ohio last weekend 34-31.
Nevada hosts Hawaii Saturday evening in the Wolf Pack’s Mountain West opener, giving a point-pinching 7. Hawaii has been respectable but far from exciting against USC and Oregon State. But then, Fajardo is still a question mark for Saturday night, as far as we can tell, so we understand the conservative approach.
Danged if TOC nation favorites TCU and Illinois don’t have the weekend off too. In a moderately interesting development, Wyoming will be at Air Force on Saturday for their Mountain West match-up. The Pokes, somewhat uncharacteristically, give 4, and we anticipate no accusations about fake injuries this year. (We’ll frankly let you look that one up yourselves, on the off chance you don’t follow either Air Force or Wyoming that closely. Suffice it to say, Mike Gundy should launch such a rant.)
Around the Top 10, #1 Alabama hosts Colorado State, apparently playing the Rams for the first time ever, with the Tide giving a handsome 38. #2 Oregon – you guessed it – has the weekend off. Overranked #3 Clemson beat NC State (motto: “They have a football team?”) on Thursday night in the Textile Bowl, which, as rivalries go, doesn’t have the dumbest name.
#4 Ohio State gives a cool 50 hosting FAMU, and let me just say we admire those Buckeye fans for knowing a sure thing when they see it. Stanford, #5, hosts new #23 Arizona State, giving only 5 after the Sun Devils knocked off Wisconsin last week. (We agree with the USA Today poll: Wisconsin’s out of the Top 25, even though the AP poll still has them at #24.)
LSU, #6, hosts Auburn in the annual Tiger duel. LSU gives 17, but Auburn always plays tough and it will probably be a pretty good game. #7 Louisville gives 42 hosting Florida International, and no fair laughing. Those Golden Panthers try hard, even if they can’t beat Bethune-Cookman, much less an FBS opponent. Speaking of Bethune-Cookman (FCS, Mid-Eastern Athletic), the masochistic Wildcats are on the short end of a 40-point spread with #8 Florida State – having, after all, beaten FIU last week.
#9 Georgia hosts C-USA’s North Texas (give: 33), and #10 Texas A&M hosts C-USA’s Southern Methodist (give: 27) to round out the Top 10.
Other notables: tonight’s game, for those of us who just like to watch football, features Fresno State hosting Boise State in the annual battle for the Milk Can. The line has Fresno State giving 4, but we think that’s messed up.
Tennessee fans will own the interstate, heading to and from Gainesville for the annual showdown with #19 Florida (Gators give 16). C-USA’s Houston will be at Rice for the Bayou Bucket Classic. (No need to get on the freeway for that one unless you just like pain.) Maryland will host West Virginia for an out-of-conference iteration of their old rivalry.
Notre Dame hosts Michigan State for the Megaphone Trophy, as FBS ball edges into the vulnerability period for the great garage-sale swap meet, when various teams duke it out for goofy pieces of old broken crap and pointless bric-a-brac. Hey, it’s all in good fun. The Fighting Irish give 5, but we predict it will be a slog to tote off that Megaphone. Spartans will be tough. Cincinnati will be at Miami (OH) to play for the Victory Bell.
Texas really ought to have a good shot at taking out Kansas State; the Longhorn bettors are counting on it, backing a 5-point give. The Youths of Utah are at BYU to face off for the Beehive Boot. Cougars give 7; do what you want, but we’re not taking points on this one.
#13 UCLA hosts New Mexico State, and Idaho will be at Washington State for the Battle of the Palouse. This week’s most wildest, insanest mismatch title goes to Miami (Da U) hosting Savannah State (FCS, Mid-Eastern Athletic), which has already lost to Georgia Southern 77-9 and to Troy 66-3. The Hurricane give is a colossal 59, which looks conservative from where we sit.
If we’ve missed your team’s rivalry classic this week for broken crap or bric-a-brac, our apologies. For those anticipating the annual appearance of Floyd of Rosedale, that’s on the 28th.
Over in Div III, Rose-Hulman hosts Defiance College (Defiance, OH), whose Yellow Jackets come in, like the Fightin’ Engineers, at 0-2. It’s RHIT’s first conference match of the season. Low 70s and sunny at game time in Terre Haute.
Christopher Newport will host Shenandoah for Family Weekend, Saturday evening in Pomoco Stadium. The Hornets, another non-conference opponent from Old Dominion Athletic Conference, come in 1-1, having lost to Gallaudet but defeated Ferrum. We know Clan Fahvaag is undaunted by the forecast, which promises 60s and scattered thunderstorms at game time. Go Captains!
In high school pigskin, Deer Creek’s Antlers (2-0) are hosting Edmond Memorial (1-1) as we speak. Sadly, Putnam City lost at Choctaw last night, 45-28. The Pirates will try to redeem themselves at home next Friday versus Sapulpa. PC North is hosting PC West at this goes to press.