For those who don’t live in the Greater Los Angeles viewing area, we’ll get to Lane Kiffin. First, some Football That Matters.
Tulsa, which may suck this year but which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010 (and yes, Obamacare had already been passed back then, it just hadn’t started kicking in yet), will be in El Paso Saturday evening for its annual date with the UTEP Miners, a C-USA West foe. The 1-4 Miners are so bad that even the 1-4 Golden Hurricane gives 10 going in. (Tulsa has mostly lost to a better quality of team so far.)
Hurricane has a shot at winning this one. Here’s a tip on El Paso: don’t go, if you can help it. I love me my Texas, but could do without the actual “El Paso” part. Emblem of the El Paso problem: you’re approaching from the east on I-10 and there’s an awesome 80 mph speed limit, until you get to El Paso County, where it drops to, like, 70. You’re approaching from the west, and you have to go through a stupid Border Patrol checkpoint, just as if you were in southern California or something. You see my point.
El Paso does have this redeeming feature. At least for now.
Can’t promise real good football in this one, but it will be aired on FS1.
Meanwhile, the Red River Shootout (aka, The Game) is ALWAYS good football – usually great football – and it kicks off on Saturday at 11:00 AM Central on ABC, which wimpishly refers to it as the “Red River Rivalry,” as if it were an altar-dressing contest between high-nosed church ladies. Granted, the Horns have been Short this year, and the #12 Sooners are pretty healthy and head to Dallas giving 13. But they’d give more if Texas didn’t always play them harder than they play anyone else – even A&M back in their Storied Rivalry Days of Yesteryear. Aw, sniff. Don’t watch, TOC is having a nostalgia moment here. Good times. You can’t ruin fall: it has the Red River Shootout in October.
Sunny and 80s in the Cotton Bowl for the kickoff, with PM thunderstorms as the front moves in.
Oklahoma State sits out this weekend at #22, and will play TCU on the 19th.
Navy will be at Duke on Saturday, where the Mids are a 3-point dog. Probably about right. For all the good it will do our servicemen and women overseas, who won’t be able to see the game. Army hosts Eastern Michigan, and we’re proud to point out that the 1-4 Eagles are so terrible, Army is giving 7. (Air Force fell last night to San Diego State, which is cutting quite a swath through the Mountain West.)
We are even prouder to observe that the Hokies of Virginia Tech have mounted into the Top 25 this week, debuting at #24 in the AP Poll (#25 in the USA Today Poll). They’re giving 8 to visiting Pitt, with whom they kick off at noon EDT on Saturday. (Quite the viewing conflict for your Football Commentary Service.) Pitt comes in 3-1, with a loss to #6 Florida State that wasn’t completely disgraceful. Frankly, we’d close that point spread up a bit, while still giving VT the edge. The Panthers are comparatively run-challenged, and D-deficient in multiple ways. Could be a pretty good game, though, as they tend to play the Hokies tough.
Nevada has the week off, but will be at Boise State (grrrr!), on the 19th, followed quickly by the annual grudge-fest with lice-ridden UNLV on the 26th. So get ready, Wolf Pack, and healthy that young Fajardo up.
Illinois has the week off, coming back next week to play Wisconsin.
Wyoming hosts New Mexico on Saturday, after the week off following that unmentionable event with Texas State on the 28th. Pokes give 16 or so, and for good reason. The Lobos will be feeling feisty, however, after shellacking NM State in the Rio Grande Rivalry 66-17 last week.
Around the Top 10, #1 Alabama gives 27 visiting Kentucky, while #2 Oregon gives 13 at #16 Washington. The latter is an official “rivalry” game, but no pieces of old junk change hands. Don’t count the Huskies out. If they can mess with Mariota’s head, they’ve got a shot. This one’s got some potential.
Overranked #3 Clemson hosts Boston College – playing for the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy (talk about your Jim Webb-ready cultural events) – and gives 24 in that endeavor. The Tigers will play Florida State next week, and we’ll be glad to see that real test of mettle for them. We’ll see if we can drop the “overranked” at that point. Until then, we’re sticking to our guns.
Ohio State (#4) is off this week, coming back next week to meet Iowa. #5 Stanford will travel to Utah for a meeting with the Youths, who do own the Beehive Boot in 2013, but who lost to #11 UCLA last week. Cerise Crush gives 8. #6 Florida State is also off until the meet next week with Clemson.
Vying for game of the week is another one that starts at 11 AM CDT/noon EDT: #7 Georgia hosting #25 (AP) Mizzou. ‘Dogs need to really put this one away to stay in contention down the road, but the Tigers bring a very respectable D, and Georgia looked offensively ratty in last week’s goofy cliffhanger with Tennessee. That said, Mizzou has built the 5-0 record on a succession of much weaker teams. So tomorrow’s game will be a real test for both programs. Bulldogs give 7.
#8 Louisville advanced last night to 6-0 in a workmanlike, if not overpowering, 24-10 win over Rutgers. #9 Texas A&M can’t vault past Louisville except by utterly destroying OIe Miss, which is unlikely. JohnnyAgs give 6, and while we’d take those points, we wouldn’t take a lot more. #10 LSU hosts #17 Florida for their long-running rivalry (if there’s bric-a-brac, we’re not aware of it), another potential game of the week, but also unlikely to change the ranking significantly. Tigers give 7; Florida has descended in the rankings to date, but was convincing over Arkansas last week.
In other notables, we are gratified to observe that Indiana will play Michigan State for the Old Brass Spittoon, which as bric-a-brac goes isn’t the most colossally stupid artifact out there. Spartans seem to be giving 9 or so. We’d take the points.
#18 Michigan will be at Penn State for one of those Storied Games of Yesteryear that lately haven’t had quite the same cachet. Wolverines give 2-ish. Huh.
Virginia will head up the road to Maryland for their longstanding rivalry weekend, with the Yahoos a 7-point dog to the Terps, who are probably still weeping inside their shells after last week’s drubbing by the Seminoles.
It’s actually a kind of old-junk-poor weekend, all things considered. In Div III, Rose-Hulman is coming off a 2-game winning streak and heads to Bluffton U. (OH) for a Saturday afternoon HCAC game. The 1-4 Beavers have beaten only garbage-sucking Earlham so far, so the Engineers have a good shot. Conditions look good for the kickoff of 1:30 PM CDT – mid-70s and starting to cloud up – with the front moving in later in the day.
Christopher Newport is still licking its wounds after the loss to Methodist last week, but gets to be at home for Saturday’s USA South conference game with North Carolina Wesleyan (Rocky Mount, NC). The Battling Bishops (yes, and we love ‘em for it) come in 1-4, and we certainly give the Captains the edge in this one, even if they have dropped out of the Top 25. Serious fan weather in POMOCO Stadium Saturday night: 60s and raining – and if you’ve been in Hampton Roads in the fall, you know that’s a bone-chilling combination in a football stadium.
Deer Creek heads to Guymon to meet the 5A rival Tigers, who suck badly this year (0-5 to date) and look eminently beatable in the dry, low-60s conditions.
Putnam City (The Original) hosts 5-0 Westmoore in Pirate Stadium this evening, probably for a loss. PC North, however, advanced to 2-4 with an unexpected win over Midwest City last night, 21-20 in OT.
We can’t find any middle school scores, so it’s finally time to talk about Mr. Kiffin and The Team He Was Recently Fired From. We understand Lane will be on ESPN College Game Day tomorrow, so Kiffin-watchers can be on the lookout for that. Kiffin also ran the Manhattan Beach 10K on the 5th. The run normally gets somewhere around 0.0 interest from local news cameras, but go figure, this year they were all there to cover Kiffin, who reportedly came in 168th in a field of 210 in his age group. Just what you need when you tune in all unawares to the local news on a Saturday evening. No further word on the status of his university-backed mortgage.
We’re really pretty much over Lane Kiffin here, but not so much that we care what happened to The Team He Was Recently Fired From. We hear there’s a new coach and that there was a game last night. Apparently the Arizona Wildcats were involved. Whatever.