Admin notes: Don’t forget to fall back this weekend. Annoyance is authorized, if not encouraged. It can’t possibly be week 10 already. And we’re freaked out that North Texas beat Rice last night. Mean Joe Greene played there a really, really long time ago, but the Mean Green has been pretty pathetic in more recent years. Well, congrats to ‘em. An array of fan fotos is appended this week to liven up the proceedings. The original inspiration was the Baby Belichick photo that rolled through my Twitter feed a couple of days ago. Some folks have too much time on their hands, and we, personally, are grateful for that.
The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, hosts the U-Texas San Antonio Roadrunners (a C-USA West rival) on Saturday, giving 3 yet again but who knows. At least the TU team isn’t the “Coyotes,” because that would just be too much of a jinx in this rebuilding year. UTSA comes in 3-5 to Tulsa’s 2-5. It’s homecoming weekend for Tulsa. Should be sunny and 60 or so for game time, at least. Very nice.
#10 Oklahoma won’t play until the 7th, when the Sooners head to Waco to take on #6 Baylor. Big game; more in a special early edition next week.
#18 Oklahoma State heads to Lubbock Saturday for a confrontation with the #15 Red Raiders. The line has Texas Tech giving 1, so of course it’s pretty much a pick ‘em, which sounds right. Both teams are fast and funny. Look for lots of scoring and bravado. Could be a fun game.
Big game alert: Navy at Notre Dame, 2:30 PM CDT. Annual classic! Navy gets whomped every year! Yippee! No bric-a-brac (but there’s some other gratifying rivalry action this week, so hang in there). The LOL-#25 Arsh are giving 15.
Army will be at Air Force for an official pick ‘em, kicking off quite early (10 AM Mountain) on Saturday. An Army win could keep the Knights’ hopes alive for the Commander’s Trophy; Air Force has already lost to Navy.
Virginia Tech meets Boston College for the early set on Saturday at noon in Boston. Hokies give 4 in spite of their depressing turn last week in Blacksburg. BC is 3-4 and pretty bad this season. We hesitate to advise taking the points, because the Hokies can always beat themselves black and blue.
Nevada heads to the People’s Republic to take on Mountain West rival #16 Fresno State, and we regret to report that the line for this late game (7:30 PM PDT) has the Wolf Pack as a 20-point dog. (We regret even more to report that we consider that fairly reasonable, given the Bulldogs’ propensity for zestful scoring.) Nevada just may invade that spread, however.
TCU hosts West Virginia for a 2:30 PM kickoff on Saturday. Horned Frogs give 12-ish.
Illinois will be in Happy Valley for a meet with Penn State. The Nittaly Lions, coming off their nasty loss to #4 Ohio State, give 11 for this one. We’re pretty confident they’ll cover.
#13 LSU and Wyoming both have the week off (more below).
Around the Top 10, #1 Alabama also has the week off. The Tide and the LSU Tigers will be preparing for their epic rivalry collision next Saturday. #2 Oregon and #5 are off as well, with their big game looming on Thursday evening (the 7th), competing with OU and Baylor in an FBS head-to-head the programmers may or may not have seen coming, back when they were laying this out.
But there’s plenty of excitement on tap for this Saturday, with #3 Florida State hosting #7 Miami (Da U) in their rivalry match at 8 PM EDT. Is there any hope for the Hurricanes to finally put a dent in FSU? The oddsquad has the Seminoles giving 21 – interesting, considering the teams’ proximity in the rankings. Sure, FSU can cover, and Miami looked lackluster last week. We think the Hurricanes will play tough and make a game of it though. Calling this one game of the week, for obvious reasons.
#4 Ohio State will hit speed-bump Purdue in West Lafayette on Saturday, spraying points like crazy (32 at last count). Take ‘em.
#8 Clemson, probably still overranked, will have little trouble with the pathetic Yahoos of Virginia in Charlottesville.
#9 Missouri hosts Tennessee, which did a good beanbag impression last week at Alabama, but knocked off South Carolina (motto: “The Other USC”) the week before. Not counting the scrappy 4-4 Vols out for the time being. Tigers give 10.
A few Storied Rivalries come riding this week, starting off with North Carolina at NC State (motto: “They have a football team?”) for the aptly named North Carolina-NC State football rivalry. Tar Heels give 5, but alas, no interesting bronzed junk is involved.
#21 Michigan will be at #22 Michigan State to play for the Paul Bunyan Trophy, which is not to be confused with Paul Bunyan’s Axe, one of the really great rivalry awards. The Paul Bunyan Trophy is just a statue of Paul Bunyan (although it does depict him with an axe, and wouldn’t look out of place in a respectable Great Northwestern den). The #22 Spartans are being backed by 5 points over the Wolverines in the line.
#24 Iowa will be at Wisconsin to duke it out for the Heartland Trophy.
A few misguided Californians care that USC will be up at Oregon State tonight. We wouldn’t mention it, except that the Red Sox have already won the Series and there’s no other FBS ball on the tube this evening. No disrespect to Beaver fans.
McNeese State will be across town in Lake Charles playing Southeastern Louisiana U. on Saturday, and this one’s a biggie. The 7-1 Cowboys and the 6-2 Lions are 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the FCS Southland Conference; after beating Sam Houston State last week, McNeese has surged to #4 or #7 in the FCS rankings, depending on which poll you go with. So now’s the time for the Pokes to perform. SLU’s wins haven’t quite matched the opponent quality level of McNeese’s; the Lions’ losses were to TCU and (now FCS #20) South Dakota State. Just a tad chilly for kickoff, clear and mid-upper 60s. Should be a good game.
In Div III, Rose-Hulman hosts long-time rival Mt. St. Joseph (of Cincinnati) for a 1:30 PM conference match on Fall Family Weekend. RHIT comes in 4-3, MSJ 5-2, but the Lions are typically a step above the Fightin’ Engineers on the gridiron, and things are no different this year. Partly cloudy and 50s for the kickoff in Terre Haute – fine fall football weather.
Christopher Newport squares off with LaGrange College (LaGrange, GA) at 6 PM on Saturday in a USA South conference bout. The Captains are 5-2 going in; the Panthers are 3-4, but have a lot of close losses and a penchant for scoring. Should be an interesting game. Clear and 60s for kickoff, but a soggy field after rain on Friday.
Deer Creek, still licking its wounds from last week’s loss to Guthrie, will host District 2 rival (and Mom’s alma mater) Northwest Classen this evening. The 5-3 Antlers are still in the hunt for a playoff slot, and need to down the 4-4 Knights to better their prospects in the 5A sweepstakes.
Putnam City (The Original), 2-6, is playing for Pirate Pride at this point. They might actually win tonight against 1-7 Muskogee in Pirate Stadium. 4-4 PC North hosts 3-5 Lawton Eisenhower, also tonight. Weather in greater northwest OKC/Edmond: clear, chilling rapidly after sundown to the 50s in the stadiums. Perfect fall night in Oklahoma.