What to watch this weekend (Nov. 21-22)

This weekend is college football’s calm before the storm, so if you need to get some yard work done, this is the weekend to do it. Unless of course, you’re a Michigan or Ohio State fan. The three kings, Florida, Alabama and Texas, all have two regular season games, then a conference championship to determine who will play for the BCS title. This week, those three are such huge favorites against Florida International, Kansas and UT-Chattanooga that Las Vegas doesn’t even have a point spread in the ‘Bama-UTC game. Perhaps the Mocs are hoping Terrell Owens will once again suit up for his alma mater. The Buffalo Bills might secretly be hoping the same thing. In the NFL, Super Bowl contenders are starting to separate themselves from the early draftees, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a few choice matchups to watch. One includes an undefeated team as a road underdog and two other conference games that could determine who gets into the playoffs and who stays out.

jim-tressell-and-terrelle-pryor(10) OSU at Michigan – (Saturday, 12:00 pm – ABC – OSU minus 12)

Let’s face it. A Rose Bowl berth doesn’t mean anything to Ohio State if they don’t beat their arch rival. Losses in this series get coaches fired. Just ask John Cooper. (I probably just lost three Buckeyes readers for merely mentioning Cooper’s name.) Speaking from personal experience, the only thing more enjoyable than watching college football’s most storied rivalry with a drunken Buckeye fan is hearing him or her explain in excruciating detail how this is college football’s most storied rivalry. So they have that going for them… which is nice. Whoops, just lost three more Buckeye readers. Michigan is 1-6 in the Big Ten this year and Jimmy T has never lost to Michigan, so the Buckeyes have nothing to worry about this year, right?

lamichael-james-oregon-ducks(11) Oregon at Arizona – (Saturday, 8:00 pm – ABC – ORE minus 6)

Imagine a Rose Bowl without USC. Well, we’re about to see it. All Oregon has to do is win on the road this weekend and they’ll make it to their first Rose Bowl in fourteen years. Simple enough, right? They’re opponent this week also has Rose Bowl aspirations, albeit much slimmer. The Arizona Wildcats can still get to Pasadena by winning their final three games, but they must first find a way to stop the nation’s sixth best rushing offense. Freshman running back LaMichael James, the best running back you’ve never heard of, continues to prove Oregon’s ground game is safe for years to come. He’s amassed 1200 yards on 7 yards a carry this season and is averaging over 150 rushing yards per game in his last five.

76184544DV012_DETROITColts (9-0) at Ravens (5-4) – (Sunday, 1:00 – CBS – IND minus 1.5)

The undefeated Colts are probably still scratching their heads over Bill Belichick’s controversial, fourth-and-two decision that gave them the ball back with two minutes to play and twenty-nine yards to pay dirt. This week, they’re a small road favorite against Baltimore, who had been struggling until beating the Cleveland Browns, who you can always count to get any team out of a slump. Amazingly enough, the Ravens opened up as two point favorites in this game. Odds makers must have moved the line to Indy minus one when they realized Bill Belichick doesn’t coach Baltimore. With Cincinnati starting to pull away in the AFC North, the Ravens are likely looking at a wild card spot, meaning every win counts. This week they’ll have to do it against Robocop. Peyton Manning has been unconscious lately. He now leads the league in passing yardage, completion percentage and touchdown passes. Kind of explains why Indianapolis is still undefeated.

tom-coughlinAtlanta (5-4) at Giants (5-4) – (Sunday, 1:00 pm – FOX – NYG minus 6.5)

One of these teams is in big trouble. In fact, they both might be. With both Atlanta and New York resting uncomfortably at 5-4, the winner of this game will hold a crucial tie break in the NFC Wild Card race. Although the Giants aren’t out of contention in the NFC East, their four game losing streak is disturbing. They’re allowing a very un-Giant-like 33 points per game over that stretch. The Falcons haven’t fared much better lately losing three of their last four. This game comes at a good time for both teams, or at least for one of them. Losing might not mean elimination but it’s a big step in that direction.

phillip-rivers-san-diego-chargersChargers (6-3) – Denver (6-3) – (Sunday, 4:15 pm – CBS – no line yet)

What a difference a month makes. Four weeks ago, Denver was the surprise team of the league at 6-0 and the Chargers were labeled as underachievers at 2-3. After a reversal of fortune, the two teams square off on Sunday with the same record and the AFC West at stake. San Diego lost earlier this year to Denver despite Philip Rivers throwing for 274 yards in the game. But this appears to be a different Mr. Rivers who has thrown for 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions since that loss. Meanwhile, Kyle Orton’s status for this game is still uncertain.

23 thoughts on “What to watch this weekend (Nov. 21-22)

  1. Chris

    Coincidentally you and I are thinking along the same lines on a couple of the NFL games.

    That being said I can’t help but fathom why the NFL network and CBS Sports would want to show the game between the Browns and the Lions ? Couldn’t CBS sell the airtime and broadcast some infomercials ?

    Ooh’s And Ahs Picks And Pans of The NFL
    …………..

    Read closely my remarks about Lovie Smith concerning Jay Cutler . You’ll fall out of your chair rolling on the floor in laughter.

    Alan Parkins

  2. The Bolts need keep the momentum going and kick the sh*t out of the Broncos…especially if Chris Simms is the starting QB! I want to to see CS’s spleen out on the field by the time the clock says 00:00.

    *I’m sorry, was that in bad taste?

  3. Chris

    I hear that ‘Any Given Sunday’ writer and director Oliver Stone is thinking of adapting Sunday’s game(Browns vs Lions) for a rewrite, for a future film project of his . Now he’s said to be looking for financial backing for the as yet untitled project.

    I know that you always wanted to go ‘Hollywood’ and thought of yourself as Tampa’s answer to Chilli Palmer. So can you help him out with the ‘seed money’ ?
    I mean his last flick ‘W’ was well received by the critics even though it was lambasted by the right. I found it quite engaging myself, in a funny sort of way.

    Alan Parkins

  4. Chris

    So Hanahan wants to do Sandra Bullock ? Who hasn’t wanted to do over the years ? I mean the list is endless.

    Paula Deen , Rosie O’Donnell,Martha Stewart, Barbera Wa-Wa, Connie Chung, ‘The Bag Lady , The Bag Lady’s half sister and last but not least , Sarah Palin for good measure . I guess that’s because they both like guns and he always wanted to visit Alaska . So he could get to see Russia.

    Alan Parkins

  5. Chris

    You know what they say ’bout church girls don’t you ? ‘They do all their best work lying on their backs in the missionary position’. Now that’s all I’ve got to say ’bout that !

    How bad must things be when not even Donnie Walsh and the Knicks don’t want AI’s a_s ?

    Can’t Iverson take the hint now and just shut it down ?

    I hear T-Mac may well be having the same problem with the Rockets . As he and the GM sat down on Friday for a pow-wow. Somehow I think T-Mac is toast in Houston. They don’t need now that they’ve got Aaron Brooks and Ariza.

    Am I in the dark about this but what’s NASCAR p_rn ? ’cause if it’s grown a_s men in nothing but their skivvies , then I now know why Hanahan is the way that he is. LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    D’ya think the Bucs’ll cover the number against the Saints ? I think that Drew Brees is going to tee off on the Bucs and go ape s_it on them !

    Don’t quote me on this but it’s time for Raheem to cut ties with Antonio Bryant. The guy is being paid $10 mil’ a year and he’s softer than a baby’s a_s. Now he’s complaining that the team are pressing him to come back , when he’s not ready. This is the same guy who complaining that he wasn’t being included enough in any of the Bucs’ play scheme. Is he as dumb as he looks ? If you’re not on the field claiming to be injured then how the f_ck can you think that you ought to part of the Bucs’ playbook. Why’d they sign this guy.

    So you’ve still got faith in Raheem’s decision making process. Bearing in mind he recently said that the defense and certain offensive players just aren’t good enough. The same dumb a_s guy who assembled this Bucs’ roster in conjunction with Mark Dominik.

    Need I say anymore on the matter ?

    Alan Parkins

  6. Chris

    You remember we’d briefly discussed good sports movies ? Well Eastwood has one coming out starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman called ‘Invictus’.

    In it Freeman play former South African President Nelson Mandela. And it tells the story of his maneuvering to get rugby’s World Cup to be played in South Africa as part of the healing process of bringing the country back together after apartheid. Fascinating stuff ! I’d read the book but had no idea that Eastwood’s production company Malpaso had bought the rights to it , with the thought of turning it into a movie.

    Alan Parkins

  7. Al…

    There’s a part of me that’s actually disappointed that AI won’t be joining the Knicks or any other team for that matter.

    As a Magic fan, I’m glad the T-Mac years are well in our rear view mirror. The Orlando Magic are clearly on the right track and the Rockets are doing the best they can to make something out of literally nothing.

    Not only do I think the Bucs cover, I think they’ll give the Saints their first loss of the season. Of course, that’s just the homer in me talking. And I’ve been drinking.

  8. Al… so do you think the movie will be good or cheesy?

    Someone needs to make a movie out of Ireland getting jobbed by France and FIFA.

    I hear Ireland plans a protest of the French embassy. Hopefully they won’t bring car bombs as we could see Peugeot stock plummet.

  9. Sigh…as a USC fan, I will be out doing yardwork…or maybe some beach clean up! There are some good matchups this weekend. It’s hard not to pull for the Florida teams.

    Hey, how about the Magic last night? We’ve got Boston’s number! They’ve already suffered some injuries this year but finally have some depth to their lineup to make up for it. When everyone’s healthy…

  10. Jump on the Gator bandwagon, Elizabeth. There’s plenty of room. For USC, it’ll be back to the drawing board next season. But at least you can take solace in the fact that the cupboard is far from bare. I mean, Barkley is only a freshman.

    As far as the Magic go, I must say, I didn’t have a shred of doubt about picking up Vince Carter in the off-season. Sure, they let go of a young, promising Courtney Lee but I don’t know he’ll ever show the potential of a Vince Carter.

    With Carter essentially a number three scoring option behind Lewis and Howard, that should take a lot of pressure off him. All the Magic need from him is 16-5-3 every night and they’ll contend.

    It was a great win on the road against a Celtics team last night that just looked pissed as they came off the floor.

    I fully expect the Magic to be in the Eastern Conference Finals at the very minimum.


  11. Chris

    When you have you ever known Eastwood to make a cheesy movie. Just look at some of his last features…Flags of Our Fathers , Letters From Iwo Jima, Changeling, Gran Torino, Mystic River , Million Dollar Baby to name but a few.

    I think that this’ll have critical and box office acclaim. Even if the sport itself isn’t recognizable here. The potency of the story out to resonate with the audience.

    I promised the girlfriend I’d take her see that indie piece everyone is raving about ‘ Precious’. Even though the subject matter is rather dark the acting is said to be phenomenal. And boy oh boy they’re even saying that Mariah Carey is extremely good in her role as a social worker. Having seen Glitter on DVD . I thought her acting career had been left for dead ! LOL, LOL , LOL !!!!

    By the way I dropped this piece on AI and T-Mac. Enjoy .

    All Good Things Must Come To An End I Repeat All Good Things Must Come To An End !

    Alan Parkins

  12. Chris

    Heartbreaking loss for Notre Dame ? Since when have you started to feel sympathetic towards their program ?

    Screw Weis and the program ! He’s essentially ran it into the ground and now he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank when they choose to fire his fat a_s.

    Never mind the fact that Lou ‘I Can’t Keep Enough Saliva In My Mouth’ Holtz still think that he can do a great job there.
    Wake the f_ck up Lou and smell the expresso for God’s sake. Enough already !

    ESPN Acronym Entertainment Sports Programming Network ….

    Alan Parkins

  13. Great article. There’s a lot of good data here, though I did want to let you know something – I am running Fedora with the circulating beta of Firefox, and the look and feel of your blog is kind of flaky for me. I can understand the articles, but the navigation doesn’t function so well.

  14. Hmmm… Maria. Thanks for the feedback.

    I try to consistently ask some of my regular readers on different browsers if there’s any appearance issues.

    Sometimes it shows up differently on IE as opposed to Mozilla.

    I’ll keep asking. Thanks again.

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