We have a pretty thin weekend on our hands, but there is a nice game tonight to offset the lack of fireworks on Saturday.
(9) BYU v. TCU
Joe Beninati, Glenn Parker, Tim Neverett
Everyone loves to talk about the BCS buster teams, and this season that category includes BYU, Utah, Boise State, and TCU. That may be more teams than usual, but the dreams of one of those four ends tonight in the Mountain West Initials Bowl.
BYU brings the nation’s longest win streak (16) into Amon Carter Stadium tonight, and TCU’s starting quarterback, Andy Dalton, returns from a knee injury. This is a battle of contrasting styles as BYU ranks ninth in passing offense, while TCU ranks 13th in rushing offense.
This is the best thing on television tonight...easily.
If you are married, about to be married, or would like to marry the significant other you are currently with, Saturday is your lucky day. You have a major opportunity to build some relationship capital. How is this possible, you say? Because the mythical hybrid beast ABC/ESPN hates you, that’s how.
You have heard me rant over the game placement for the noon Saturday position many times. Last week, they gave us a gem. This week, they take it all away with devastating, chore-laden consequences.
The upshot is that you can perform duties otherwise unimaginable on a football Saturday: Work in the yard, paint that extra room, or clean out the garage. You can claim to be sacrificing coveted football time along the way—unless he/she reads this column (unlikely).
I can hear each of you now: “Honey, instead of unwinding after a long week by watching football, I will [insert chore] just for you. Why? Because I love you.” You may even earn yourself a special reward in the process.
To be honest, watching one of the noon games on television might be worse than the chores. It certainly is not going to be accompanied by a feeling of accomplishment.
Georgia Tech v. Clemson
Dave Pasch, Andre Ware
I am grasping at straws. Your other options include four Big Ten teams with a collective league record of 2-8. You simply cannot tune in to either one. This is your best possible time-waster.
Besides, you have the opportunity to watch a team run the option against a conference opponent who just fired their coach midseason. So you’ve got that going for you.
(23) Vanderbilt v. (9) Georgia
Dave Neal, David Archer, Dave Baker
Dare I say this one has SEC East implications? ESPN Gameplan brings you this one so most of us will not see it, but tune into ESPN News if it is close because they do a nice job of giving break-in coverage. The picture quality/production value will be nil because it is on Raycom, but this has a chance to be a competitive game.
Vandy suffered a predictably horrible loss last weekend, getting Croom’d on the road, while Georgia did not look particularly good in its rebound performance against Tennessee. The Commodores’ offensive line looks like Ohio State’s, only generating fewer yards and points. Georgia is looking to redeem themselves after losing to Vandy at home in 2006.
Here is your ABC/ESPN2 coverage map for the afternoon. All of Big Ten country gets Ohio State on ABC, with UNC/Virginia on the Deuce.
(11) Ohio State v. (17) Michigan State
Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Paul Maguire, Stacey Dales
This is the start of a tough finishing kick for the Buckeyes. Their five remaining opponents have a combined record of 23-9. This one will set the tone for that entire stretch, as it is hard to see this OSU team losing to the Spartans and coming back to beat Penn State at home and/or Illinois on the road.
In my opinion, Michigan State is undervalued at No. 20. Let’s give both teams the benefit of looking ahead to this game after last week’s struggles against Purdue and Iowa, respectively.
Ole Miss v. (2) Alabama
Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
At best, this is a flip game during Levitra commercials. That is not to say that this is a not a good game. Jevan Snead is very good, and Houston Nutt is crafty in big games. Ole Miss already beat Florida, so the Tide will not take them lightly. Still, Bama plays the jersey, not the team, so an upset is very possible.
For some reason, CBS games always take longer, so you should be able to catch a few minutes of this game once the Buckeyes go to halftime.
(15) Kansas v. (6) Oklahoma
Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham, Jack Arute
This is on here only for those of you with family or personal ties to one of these schools. Otherwise, I would recommend the above-mentioned game for flip purposes. The Sooners are probably going to blow out the Jayhawks early, so you will want to avoid this one after 4:30pm.
Michigan v. (3) Penn State
Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Rob Stone
Speaking of 4:30pm, the Mothership has inexplicably slated this one to begin an hour later than usual. The good part: You will get an hour of football between 7:00pm and 8:00pm, otherwise known as the “dead zone.”
The bad: This game will be wholly uninteresting by that point as Penn State is looking to take out a decade’s worth of bad memories this weekend.
(12) Missouri v. (1) Texas
Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Lisa Salters
The Big 12 has quickly morphed into the Pac-10 and usurped every previous titleholder as the most exciting league on a weekly basis. I am not sure if it is the best, but their two games last week were great.
Mizzou went and f’d this matchup when they lost to Okie State, but it still has all the trappings of a classic in waiting: high-scoring offenses, Heisman contending quarterbacks, and disinterested defenses. There is a very good chance this is a preview of the B12CG. Not to be missed.
(18) Virginia Tech v. Boston College
Mark Jones, Bob Davie
Because every slot deserves a safety net, we offer you an Evening With the ACC. I think VT is garbage and has no offense. Luckily for the Hokies, and you, Boston College prefers to rest their defense in quarters one through four.
VT cannot pass and BC cannot run. In fact, VT has two running backs with more yards than BC’s rusher, while Chris Crane has more passing yards than all of VT’s quarterbacks combined. It’s the irresistible force versus...oh wait, it’s the immovable...nope, it’s...just ACC football.