Appalachian State already knocked off #14 Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, which is one of those schadenfreude type of thinger-doos. We’re all, like, shucks, it was fun watching the Chanticleers go to town, but also like, Take that, CCU. Hah. Ain’t no bag of chips.
On a serious note, we have nothing against Coastal Carolina and continue to wish them well. We just feel their crib in Conway, SC may be situated a little too close to Ketchup Town.
The Silly News this week is of course Washington State firing Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches over the vaccine mandate. Rolovich plans to sue. The Cougars had sucked for some time, and this season Rolovich has had them on a 4-3 roll with successive wins over Cal, Oregon State, and Stanford (last Saturday), which puts them currently standing number one in the PAC-12 North. So you wonder about the alumni boosters and what may be sick, lame, and lazy about that whole scene.
Maybe WSU can stay on their roll with DC Jake Dickert coaching for the time being. We wish them well too.
The Rolovich drama has largely preempted the news about Ed Orgeron’s departure from LSU at the end of the season. We’re saddened by this development, but at least it’s just because of the usual concern that the team isn’t winning. Unlike Michigan, LSU doesn’t have to have head coaches pried from its cold, dead fingers. (The usual media frenzy about Orgeron’s successor is swirling around Dabo Swinney at the moment.)
Thursday and Friday nights both have full slates of mostly non-P5 action, with the one ranked team, #21 SMU (-14), hosting Tulane on Thursday in an American showdown. Colorado State (-3.5) will be at Utah State, and Washington (-17.5) at Arizona, on Friday. We feel the Huskies are now a bit underrated, and hope they don’t prove us wrong.
The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, has the weekend off after a come-from-behind win over South Florida on the 16th. Next up: Navy on 29 October.
New #3 Oklahoma will head to Lawrence to take on Kansas (motto: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”) on Saturday morning at champagne-brunch hour (11 AM Central). Caleb Williams recharged everyone except the offensive line in the shootout win over TCU last week. It’s kind of hard to shake the totem when OU is giving 38.5, and let’s face it, no one takes poor old Kansas seriously. But consider it shooken. It’s the Sooners. A totem unshaken is an invitation to disaster.
New #8 Oklahoma State has a perilous date with Iowa State in Ames on Saturday afternoon. We’re eyeing this one with misgiving, the 4-2 Cyclones being a perennial spoiler for decent Big 12 teams, and RB Breece Hall (with his 748 yards) and QB Brock Purdy being healthy. ISU doesn’t have a whole big bag of tricks this year, but what it’s got is cherce. There’s a reason Pokes are giving no more than 7-ish.
Navy hosts #2 Cincinnati for an American clash at noon on Saturday, the Bearcats giving 28. We’re just going to leave that one right there.
Army hosts sudden #16 Wake Forest, which the always-sensible oddsquad is reacting to by giving the Demon Deacons a mere 3-point nod. We’re seeking behind-the-scenes scoop on how triced-up and germ-free the Black Knights left their locker room in Madison last week, and will let you know what (if anything) we find out.
Air Force posted a nice win over Boise State last week to surge to 6-1, and hosts #22 San Diego State, 6-0, for a cross-division Mountain West showdown on Saturday afternoon. The Aztecs give 3, but the Falcons are in this one. Could be the championship rematch at the end of the season. AFA’s got chops this year.
Virginia Tech comes off a woeful performance against Pitt balanced at 3-3, but gives 3 to visiting Syracuse for the Saturday faceoff in Blacksburg. The Orange is 3-4, but 0-3 conference and suffering its own suckage. The Hokies certainly have another good shot in this one.
Nevada at 5-1 has been kicking tail, but faces a challenge heading to Fresno State Saturday evening. The 5-2 Bulldogs – behind SDSU and Nevada in the MWC-West – lost to Oregon and Hawaii so far, but beat UCLA in September and are still a contender. Fresno State gives 3.5; should be a good game.
LSU did right the ship a bit last week with the heart-stopper win over Florida. The Tigers will be at #12 Ole Miss on Saturday for their Storied Rivalry, the Magnolia Bowl. These days viewers are as apt to associate a name like that with home remodeling, but the trophy actually has a 3-D representation of a magnolia blossom on it, and the rivalry goes back to 1894. Ole Miss is giving 9.5, but we haven’t seen so darn much from them this year that we’re counting LSU out.
Toledo lost a squeaker to Central Michigan last week and at 3-4 is having a comeuppance of a learning season so far. Saturday the Rockets will host 5-2 Western Michigan, which beat Pitt earlier in the fall and in general has looked pretty decent, with one of its losses to Michigan and the other to hot-running Ball State. The Broncos are favored by 2.
Wyoming dropped last week to Fresno State, sinking to 4-2 (0-2 conference), but the road to redemption starts Saturday hosting New Mexico. The 2-5 Lobos are beatable, and the Pokes could really pick up steam if they’d stop dropping the ball all over the field. They can probably even afford a couple of drops on Saturday, but we hope they’ll mind the pigskin and make good on their 20-point advantage.
#1 Georgia has the week off.
New #4 Alabama (-25) hosts Tennessee.
New #5 Ohio State is at Indiana for the marquee game, giving 21.
New #6 Michigan (-23.5) hosts Northwestern.
#7 Penn State (-23.5) hosts Illinois.
New #9 Michigan State has the week off.
New #10 Oregon heads to UCLA, giving 2. OK-State and Oregon have the only really competitive matches in the top 10, and since neither is likely to be a factor on the CFBP+ roulette wheel, we’re hard put to award either one the “game of the week.”
Best of the rest
If we awarded game of the week on sentiment, we’d hand it to UMass at Florida State, because we’ll be darned if UMass isn’t playing Florida State. !!! Good on em. The Minutemen scored engagements this fall with long-time FBS vets Pitt, Boston College, and Toledo, and finally a win in the FBS over UConn last week. So things are looking up, and getting to take the field with FSU is icing on the cake. Seminoles give 35.5.
There’s a dearth of Storied Rivalries this week, but football aficionados will naturally be aware that USC will be at #13 Notre Dame for their utterly too, too Storied Rivalry – the one we call “that low-class dance hall downstairs.” Yes, it’s time to skip back and forth across the field to see who totes home the bedazzled Shillelagh, the fruitiest game trophy in all college ball.
USC may be inconsistent as all get-out to date, but in a Storied Rivalry as hard-fought as this one, even #13 isn’t giving more than 7.
If you want to see how Washington State does with a five-coach deficit, they’re hosting BYU (-4) at 12:30 (Pacific) Saturday on FS1.
In FCS, our McNeese State Cowboys are 2-4 coming off the win over Northwestern State, and will host Incarnate Word (yes, again) on Saturday. We may have forgotten to mention that the Southland Conference had a messy divorce this year, with a bunch of schools heading for the exit to affiliate with other conferences. There are six football schools currently left in Southland this fall, so they’re scheduling multiple meets. McNeese gets another shot at UIW and will see Southeastern Louisiana again on the 30th. UIW QB Cameron Ward pretty much ate the Cowboys’ lunch in their first match of the fall season (Incarnate Word also won their spring season meet); we’ll see if the Pokes can capitalize on experience this time.
It’s homecoming for McNeese this weekend; we hope it’s a festival in Lake Charles, which has taken big punches recently from Mother Nature. The game kicks off at 10 AM Central, with rain predicted throughout the day and temps rising to the mid-80s.
In Div II, Slippery Rock took a tumble last week, slipping to 6-1 and #17 in the Coaches Poll with a loss to PSAC foe Indiana (PA). IUP was a sub-ranked lurker, so SRU is a bit lucky to remain ranked after losing 48-21. (IUP has bobbed to #23. Top-cruising West Florida also suffered its first loss, to West Georgia, and has dropped from #1 to #6.)
SRU will be in Erie to face Mercyhurst, which at 2-5 with big losses to both Indiana (PA) and California (PA) would be the underdog at home. The Rock is still in it for the PSAC championship and FCS tournament play; wins will be essential, with five top 25 teams still undefeated.
The game starts at noon, with intermittent showers and temps topping out around 50. The lake’s chill will no doubt prevail; autumn has arrived.
Central Oklahoma is now 4-3, we are proud to report, after topping Fort Hays State 24-14. Saturday is homecoming for the Bronchos, who will be hosting one of our fave schools – Washburn U. (Topeka, KS) – in Edmond. Washburn edged out (former) Div II #2 Northwest Missouri State 17-16 last week, sending NWMSU south to #10 and ensuring a challenge for UCO this weekend.
Long-time correspondents will remember the Washburn team as the Ichabods, with a mascot who should clearly be selling hamburgers and shakes. But other than being the alma mater of Bob Dole (and, less illustriously, Fred Phelps, of Westboro “Baptist” “Church” infamy), what has Washburn does for us lately?
For one thing, it conferred a law degree on Togiola Tulafono, former governor of American Samoa. Governor Tulafono had the interesting distinction in 2006 of demanding that Hawaiian Airlines cease service to Pago Pago, accusing the airline of predatory pricing. Hawaiian offered the only external airline service to the island group; in Wikipedia’s account:
In August 2006, the FAA stated in an official letter to the governor that the territory must continue to allow Hawaiian Airlines to fly the Honolulu-Pago Pago route or risk losing U.S. financial assistance.
Tulafono, a Democrat, also endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
Kickoff, at 2 PM, will see partly cloudy skies and temps in the low 80s.
In Div III, Rose-Hulman is up to 4-2 after a win over Anderson, and heads off Saturday to take on Manchester U. in North Manchester, IN. Manchester comes in 2-4.
We would be remiss not to mention that Manchester (IN) is the alma mater of Roy J. Plunkett (1910-1994; R.I.P.), the inventor of polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, more commonly known by its commercial name: Teflon.
Manchester was also the first U.S. university to hold permanent observer status as an NGO at the United Nations.
Expect mid-50s and partly cloudy for the 1:30 PM game start.
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy keeps its record spotless, now 6-0 after downing MIT last week 56-34. The Mariners host Catholic U. for USMMA Senior Day on Saturday, the Cardinals coming in 5-2 off a win over Coast Guard.
A tad dampish and around 60 for the noon kickoff in Kings Point, but in spite of cloudy conditions, no rain is expected.